Monthly Archives: July 2009

At Home with Nonfiction Author Etta Brown

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Etta Brown, author of LEARNING DISABILITIES, Understanding the Problem and Managing the Challenges, received her undergraduate degree from the Ohio State University with a major in Dental Hygiene Education and the Masters in Education degree from South Carolina State University with a major in Special Education. The Educational Specialist Degree was conferred at Kent State University with studies in School Administration, and a major in School Psychology.

Through her graduate programs, and internships, the author acquired skills with speech and language, visual-motor training, auditory training, and the teaching of reading and handwriting.

During twenty years of professional experience in the public schools in Ohio, Iowa and California she has worked as a special education teacher, a school social worker and as a school psychologist. At no time, in either of those positions was she able to use any of her knowledge to help children to learn.

Instead, while she didn’t always agree, much was learned about what not to tell parents about their children. She also learned how school systems function, why they function the way that they do, why there were some things that it was not in the best interest of the school district for parents to know and why they should not be told.

Those were long, frustrating years watching children being placed in Special education because that was all that the School District had to offer. On the other hand were the frustrated parents who agonized over what to do about their child’s learning problems and the stigma of being placed in Special Education.

Having recently retired from public education and started a practice as a Licensed Educational Psychologist, the author is now free to discuss Special education and share information believed to be in the best interest of parents without being unprofessional or disloyal to employers.

She continues to reach out to parents and children through her writing. Her current book is a summary of all that she would have told parents during her career had she been permitted to do so.

The book is available at www.understanding-learning-disabilities.com.  The site contains other helpful information which is not included in the book.  The site also provides an opportunity to contact the author for discussion or to ask questions. Those who purchase the book are assisted with free fax and phone information needed by parents who are seeking to become more empowered during the special education process.

Please answer the following questions (at least 15):

  1. Where do you live (city, country)? Oakland, California 94610, USA
  2. What is the weather like? Usually sunny, but kind of chilly this summer.
  3. Have you lived there very long? Relocated to California in 1994, and on to Oakland in 1998
  4. Would you rather live somewhere else? I have lived in the east and Midwest with a temperate climate which includes the changing of all four seasons, hot summers and cold winter.  In California, I miss the changing of the seasons, the changing color of trees in the fall, and most of all I miss the spring thunder storms.  Afterwards, the air was so clean and pure that it was a delight to be outside.  California is not privy to having the air cleansed by nature.  However, I have adapted and have begun to appreciate all that California has to offer.  I still miss the storms and changing seasons, however.
  5. Are you married or single? I am single
  6. Do you have kids? No children
  7. Where were you born? Xenia, Ohio, USA
  8. What was your childhood like? Childhood was a challenging time growing up the last of five children. We lived on the edge of a small town, and our backyard was miles of meadow, woods, creeks and streams.  Our house was where all the children in the neighborhood came to play.  My mother embraced this situation because she always knew that her own kids were playing in the “back yard”.
  9. Back to the present, what’s your favorite room in your house? The favored space in my home is a combined kitchen- computer nook- living room that I designed when I remodeled my condo.  The only enclosed spaces are the bedroom and the bathroom.  The living space has glass doors which open onto a large deck full of potted plants including a form of orchid which blooms during the winter in California.  It is my sacred place of refuge.
  10. Do you have an outside job? No, I retired 4 years ago, traveled some and during the second year I started writing.  The writing process covered three years because I just started writing one day without a title, or objective for the work.  At the end of the year when I did not have anything more to say, I began editing and realized that I had been doing some pretty good therapeutic writing.  I had verbalized all my anger and frustrations about schools, children and parents that I had not been able to address during my employment. After editing out all the anger and frustration of a 30 year career working with children, I found that there were some gems of wisdom that would be helpful to those who could benefit from an insider’s view of public education.  In the book I shared with parents all the intimate details of how to navigate the special education process and emerge victorious with an appropriate education plan for their learning disabled child.  This wisdom I edited carefully and published.
  11. What is your favorite thing to do on your day off? When I am not writing, I study metaphysics and world religion.  I have gained insight into the process of spiritual development which is exciting and validating for me as a post menopausal woman.  A book about the marvelous benefits of post menopausal living is a book in the making.  I plan to expose the beauty of the elder female and validate all those who no longer look like the ideal picture of beauty seen in ads, TV and movies.  Older women reflect an inner beauty which comes with spiritual transformation during the post menopausal years.
  12. What’s your most favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Fresh fruit found in abundance all year round in California.  Some it is imported, but still available at reason costs.
  13. Do you have any pets? I had a tom cat that was the love of my life.  He was one big bundle of love.  I miss him years later, and have not been able to get another pet.
  14. Do you know your neighbors? I live in a condo in a large city.  In my building you become speaking acquaintances not neighbors like in a Midwest neighborhood of house.  Yet, people are courteous and polite, not friendly.
  15. Pepsi or Coke? Neither, I am a tea drinker.
  16. Favorite time of year? Summer in California, I get to repot my plants and watch them regenerate into big beautiful things that I could not create in the Midwest.  In the Midwest, I love the Fall of the year, it was a time of completion and preparation for a long winters rest.
  17. Favorite color? Pastels of any color.  They compliment my skin tone.
  18. Favorite book? Ageless Bond, Timeless Mind by Deepak Chopra, anything metaphysical
  19. Does your car look better than your house? No, it is parked in an indoor garage so no comparison can be made.
  20. What’s on your mouse pad? I had to look.  It is a freeby from a county agency that I picked up at a convention of some sort.
  21. How many times do you let the phone ring before you answer it? I always answer the phone as quickly as it is convenient to do so. I appreciate others doing the same.
  22. What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Whatever my intuition feeds into the daily calendar.  I have trained myself to confer with my intuition first thing each day, and things always go well.  I study metaphysics, remember.
  23. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla if it is made by Bryers my favorite ice cream company.  They make ice cream from simple things like milk, cream, sugar and fresh fruit.  There is nothing in there that you can’t pronounce.
  24. Do you like to drive too fast? I drive a foreign car which runs best when it is exceeding the speed limit.
  25. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? I divorced the stuffed animal with which I slept.  Have not considered marrying another one.
  26. If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be? I would like to visit with my brother Waldon again, he protected me from many sources of discomfort while I was growing up.
  27. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink? After many evenings  of headaches and emergency room visits, I found that I am allergic  to alcohol and made the logical decision to not drink any more sloe gin.
  28. What is your zodiac sign? Scorpio and I am not on the cusp.  All of what they say is true, and I am loving every moment of it.
  29. If you could have any job that you wanted, what would it be I think I would be a teacher of metaphysics and counsel those who are having difficulty finding the purpose and resultant beauty and benefits of the human experience.
  30. What’s under your bed? It is a very private place where my dust bunnies tolerate no interference in their life style.
  31. Is the glass half empty or half full? If the glass was full and you poured half out, then it is half empty.  If, on the other hand, it was empty and you put some in, then you filled it half full.  There is a starting point for everything and you progress from the beginning.  It is impossible to begin at a half way point.  Life begins and progresses to the half way, and then the full point.  My glass (life) is full, and I cannot imagine it being only half full again.  At the beginning when it was not so full, I rejoiced knowing that I was privilege to learn the secrets to living that would fill it to the rim.

These secrets will be revealed in my next book:  Secrets of the menopausal transformation. Leave your comments at www.understanding-learning-disabilities.com click on Contact Etta Brown.

At Home with Young Adult Fantasy Author Barry Eva

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Barry EvaBorn in Barnet, Hertfordshire, Barry Eva, also known as “Storyheart,” left his beloved England in 2000, moving to the USA to be with the woman he’d met and fallen in love with on the Internet.

Better known for his short romance stories on the net and in his book “Stories from the Heart.” Barry is popular for narrating his stories on local TV or as a guest on other media stations,where his whit, oratory, and old-fashioned English charm make him a popular interviewee.

At present, Barry is living in Connecticut, with his wife and two children.

Book Site:http://across-t-pond.com
Follow my daily blog at: http://acrossthepond-storyheart.blogspot.com
Follow my Blog Talk Radio Show at :http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Across-the-Pond
Amazon Reviews
: http://tinyurl.com/o7sokp

  1. Across the PondWhere do you live (city, country)? Seymour, CT
  2. What is the weather like? Normally raining this so called Summer
  3. Have you lived there very long? 9 years
  4. Would you rather live somewhere else? Yes, back home in England
  5. Are you married or single? Married (3rd time)
  6. Do you have kids? Yes one from my first marriage who is getting married in October and two terrors now Victoria 8, and Andrew 6
  7. Where were you born? Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
  8. What was your childhood like? Happy
  9. What was it like growing up as a teen? What did you do for fun? Sport, Adventure, Dancing
  10. Back to the present, what’s your favorite room in your house? Bedroom
  11. Do you have an outside job? Outside of what? If you mean every day job then yes I work in IT looking after computers
  12. What is your favorite thing to do on your day off? What is a day off? When I can I like to catch up on the TV sport or visit my favorite watering hole for a laugh and a cold beer and hopefully a song or two (I love to sing)
  13. What’s your most favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Toasted crumpets and marmite
  14. Do you have any pets? Yes a miniature African hedgehog called Princes Ella
  15. Do you know your neighbors? Yes
  16. Pepsi or Coke? My wife has a coke habit, my daughter is a Pepsi person, me… a nice cup of tea
  17. Favorite time of year? Spring.. the start of a year the awaking after the winter
  18. Favorite color? Blue
  19. Favorite book? “Across the Pond” of course
  20. Does your car look better than your house? No both are looking like their owner, very shabby
  21. What’s on your mousepad? Picture of Tower Bridge
  22. How many times do you let the phone ring before you answer it? 2
  23. What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Lately, start harvesting my Farm Town farm on Facebook
  24. Chocolate or vanilla? Err Rum and Raison
  25. Do you like to drive too fast? No in England you are taught to drive more defensive, as the roads are so twisty etc.
  26. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? Glad you did not ask my wife that, err me no
  27. If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be? Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
  28. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink? Beer
  29. What is your zodiac sign? Aquarius… When I first came to the US, I was asked that same question and replied.. “I used to be a Leo but did not feel right so changed it to Aquarious” The person who asked was very shocked and replied… “You can do that in England?”  (I can’t help having a joke *grin*)
  30. If you could have any job that you wanted, what would it be? Radio show host chat and music
  31. What’s under your bed? Rubbish and rubbish more than likely some lost socks and items left by the kids
  32. Is the glass half empty or half full? If it is half empty it will soon be time for it to be filled up again

At Home with Writer, Editor, Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion and Reviewer Cheryl Malandrinos

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Cheryl_websiteCheryl C. Malandrinos is a contributor for Writer2Writer.  Her articles help writers increase productivity through time management and organization.  A member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also the new editor of Musing Our Children’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion and interviews authors and editors at her blog, The Book Connection.  She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and three children.  Visit Cheryl’s website here.

1. Where do you live (city, country)? Wilbraham, MA USA
2. What is the weather like? Right now, in the 80’s and rainy. We’ve had a tremendous amount of rain this year.
3. Have you lived there very long? For over nine years
4. Would you rather live somewhere else? The Outer Banks of North Carolina, which is where we vacation each year.
5. Are you married or single? Very happily married.
6. Do you have kids? We have three, ages 22, soon to be 8 and 5.
7. Where were you born? In a hospital like most people I know.  Springfield, MA.
8. What was your childhood like? I can’t remember, I’ve blocked most of it out. 
9. What was it like growing up as a teen? What did you do for fun? It was tough. My mom died when I was 14 and I grew up very quickly. For fun, I got a job and started saving to travel on class trips to Montreal and Bermuda.
10. Back to the present, what’s your favorite room in your house? That’s a tough one. I turned our formal living room into a playroom/reading room and it has my two large bookshelves sagging with books. I also love the bonus room above our garage, which I have great plans for once it isn’t filled with so many toys. I also spend a lot of time in my office, which is decorated in a nautical theme and has a painting created by one of my virtual book tour clients that reminds me of the Outer Banks.
11. Do you have an outside job? I work from home as a writer, virtual book tour coordinator, a wife and mom.
12. What is your favorite thing to do on your day off? Honey, as a wife and mom there are no days off. Only moments when the rest of the family is occupied and I might get a chance to read.
13. What’s your most favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Toast and tea.
14. Do you have any pets? We have three beautiful cats: Tiger, Killer and Stubby. I had no hand in naming any of them.
15. Do you know your neighbors? Yes, all 24 sets of them and most of their kids.
16. Pepsi or Coke? Definitely Pepsi. Coke is just so, yuck.
17. Favorite time of year? Fall. There is nothing like fall in New England. My writing desk faces the backyard and gives me a great view of the leaves changing colors.
18. Favorite color? Red. When I was much younger I dreamed of owning a candy apple red corvette.
19. Favorite book? The Stand by Stephen King.
20. Does your car look better than your house? A little bit. I’m a neat freak so I try not to let things get too out of hand, even when I’m working on deadline.
21. What’s on your mousepad?
Nothing, it’s just a plain dark green.
22. How many times do you let the phone ring before you answer it? Only three, or the answering machine picks it up. Actually, if we didn’t have a phone, I would be very happy. I prefer email.
23. What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? I’m hungry.
24. Chocolate or vanilla? Is that even a valid question? Chocolate, of course.
25. Do you like to drive too fast? Not anymore. Those were my pre-kid days.
26. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? Only if you consider my husband a stuffed animal.
27. If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be? Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love reading about and researching the time period in which she grew up and I am admirer of her Little House books.
28. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink? I don’t drink. I’ve just never really enjoyed the taste of alcohol.
29. What is your zodiac sign? Cancer
30. If you could have any job that you wanted, what would it be? I have it. I’m a writer, book reviewer and virtual book tour coordinator. Being a wife and mom is pretty cool too!
31. What’s under your bed? Cat fur.
32. Is the glass half empty or half full? This might surprise people, but it’s always half empty. It takes a lot of effort to curb my pessimistic side. I can encourage others to be positive, but on a whole I’m not like that.

At Home with CEO/Founder Pump Up Your Book Promotion and Author Dorothy Thompson

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Romancing the SoulAuthor’s Name: Dorothy Thompson
Book Title: Romancing the Soul
Genre: Relationships
Publisher: Zumaya Publications
Page Count: 350 pages
ISBN: 155410095X
Pick up your copy here

Author’s Bio:

Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book Promotion with eight years experience in online Dorothy Thompsonmarketing.  What began as an experiment after self-publishing her promotional e-book A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published eBook and 101 Internet Radio Shows to Promote Your Books turned into her thriving new career as an online book marketer.  She is also the author of the children’s book, No More Gooseberry Pie, the relationship anthology, Romancing the Soul, and the pararanormal comedy novel, The Search for the Million $$$ Ghost which is under the consideration of a playwright in New York.  Dorothy has written hundreds of online marketing articles and has been quoted in the celebrity tabloid, OK! She has also appeared on dozens of radio shows including Lifetime Radio, Single Talk, and Achieve Radio with Fran Silverman.  Dorothy runs several blogs including her marketing blog, Book Marketing Buzz, The Writer’s Life and Beyond the Books.  Dorothy resides on the beautiful island of Chincoteague, Virginia.  Her offline interests include traveling, biking and sitting at the end of her dock and watching the sun go down. Connect with Dorothy at Facebook at www.facebook.com/thewriterslife and Twitter at www.twitter.com/thewriterslife. You can email her here.

1. Where do you live (city, country)? Chincoteague, Virginia
2. What is the weather like? Partly cloudy today but it’s not stopping the tourists from bugging the **** out of me.
3. Have you lived there very long? Two years
4. Would you rather live somewhere else? Hmm…I’ve said I wanted to live in the Smokies then the haunted cabins changed my mind.  I’ve often said I’d love to live in California again, but really, this is paradise right here.
5. Are you married or single? Single
6. Do you have kids? Two, boy and girl, both adults
7. Where were you born? Nassawadox, Virginia
8. What was your childhood like? Haha…you don’t really want to know.  Dsyfunctional puts it in a nutshell.
9. What was it like growing up as a teen? What did you do for fun? Hang out at the beach, fantasize about David Cassidy, swoon over long haired blond guys on motorcycles and count down until I turned 21.
10. Back to the present, what’s your favorite room in your house? It’s a toss up between my own private office upstairs overlooking the marsh or the deck off the living room overlooking the channel.
11. Do you have an outside job? Unfortunately and counting the days when I can kiss it goodbye.
12. What is your favorite thing to do on your day off? Go scooter riding with my daughter and/or son.
13. What’s your most favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Okay now this is weird, but cup of noodles.  Every morning of life.
14. Do you have any pets? Two cocker spaniels, a sheltie and a bird named Floyd.
15. Do you know your neighbors? In the condos where I live, there’s nothing but annoying tourists stealing time on your dock, but in the off season, we have one older couple down a ways to the left and another older couple down a ways to the right.  Everyone sort of stays to themselves.
16. Pepsi or Coke? Pepsi!
17. Favorite time of year? Spring!
18. Favorite color? Hmm…let’s see.  I don’t think I have a favorite.  I wear mostly white, so I’m colorless?
19. Favorite book? At the present, Summer House by Nancy Thayer (my idol).
20. Does your car look better than your house? Haha…I don’t own a car because I don’t need one and my house looks definitely better than my bicycle!
21. What’s on your mousepad? Just purple.  Nothing else.  Just purple.
22. How many times do you let the phone ring before you answer it? I hate the phone and let caller ID take care of that.
23. What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? God, tours.  I dream tours!
24. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
25. Do you like to drive too fast? Nope which annoys the hell out of my daughter.
26. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? Just my doggies.
27. If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be? This is easy.  My father and I’d say, “Where in the hell were you all my life?”
28. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink? Lime frozen daiquiri…ymmmm ymmmm.
29. What is your zodiac sign? Cancer
30. If you could have any job that you wanted, what would it be? I have the job I want and that is CEO of Pump Up Your Book Promotion.  Now to get rid of the offline job!
31. What’s under your bed? Carpet, it’s a platform bed.
32. Is the glass half empty or half full? Half full!

At Home with Fantasy Young Adult Author Tom Weston

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Author’s Name: Tom Weston
Book Title: First Night
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Publisher: Tom Weston Media
Pick up your copy here!

Author’s Bio:

Originally from England, Tom now resides in Boston, Massachusetts; with extended spells in the UK and Luxembourg. Tom has a degree in Computer Science, and he claims to speak three languages: English, American, and Visual Basic. Before turning his hand to fiction, Tom had a successful career as the CEO of a consulting company, conference speaker, and writer of industry articles and business books.

His novel, First Night, introduced the unlikely heroines, Alex and Jackie, and the ghost of a 17th century Puritan named Sarah Pemberton. Tom has also written the screenplay, Fission, based on the true story of scientist, Lise Meitner, and the race for the atomic bomb, and which was named a finalist at the London Independent Film Festival.

Tom is currently working on the sequel to First Night, called the Elf of Luxembourg.

His web site is: www.tom-weston.com.

1.Where do you live (city, country)?
Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
2.What is the weather like? The winter snow has finally given way to summer rain.
3.Have you lived there very long? I’ve had a home here for about 25 years, but large chunks of the time were spent elsewhere, predominantly Luxembourg and London.
4.Would you rather live somewhere else? At one time, yes, when the weather and the traffic were getting to me, but not any more – I had an epiphany, which opened my eyes to the real Boston, and suddenly weather and traffic were immaterial.
5.Are you married or single? Married.
6.Do you have kids? Two boys, both grown and flown the coop.
7.Where were you born? In Stoke-on-Trent, England, The Potteries, home to Wedgwood, Spode and Royal Doulton.
8.What was your childhood like? I was a regular kid from a council estate (what Americans would call inner-city-blue-collar), but I was fortunate enough to attend public school (what Americans would call private school). It was a juggling act at times, constantly moving between these two different worlds, but I think that it helped to establish me as an individual and a free-thinker. So I think that I got the best of both worlds.
9.What was it like growing up as a teen? What did you do for fun? My school was an all-boys school, which was very much focused on career and education, but was the worst preparation for meeting girls, so that part of my life is memorable for its lack of memories, fond or otherwise. I played viola in the school orchestra, and that led me to forming a rock band, where I was the lead guitarist (a very bad one, I might add). That was a changing point. On stage I could adopt an alter-ego, and I became much more confident. (And girls started to ask for my autograph).
10.Back to the present, what’s your favorite room in your house? My wife would say that it is the family room, because that is where the TV is located, but I spend much of my time in my office.
11.Do you have an outside job? Not since I turned to writing full-time. I had run a consulting company for the longest time. It was quite successful, enough to finance what I’m doing now, but when an opportunity came to spend some time in Luxembourg, I handed the reins to someone else. It was supposed to be temporary, but I haven’t gone back.
12.What is your favorite thing to do on your day off? Well I’m having so much fun that I consider every day is my day off. But when I’m not writing, I’m reading or doing a crossword. Every now and then, my friends will drag me to a golf course.
13.What’s your most favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Croissant (with a cappuccino).
14.Do you have any pets? No. I do so much traveling it wouldn’t be fair to them.
15.Do you know your neighbors? We’re one first name basis, but we don’t socialize (that is my fault; I’m a bit of a couch-potato). My parents became good friends with my neighbor’s parents and they exchange Christmas cards.
16.Pepsi or Coke? Regular Coke, but Diet Pepsi.
17.Favorite time of year? Autumn; and not just because I live in New England. I don’t like the extremes of summer and winter. And autumn is the best time to play golf.
18.Favorite color? Brown.
19.Favorite book? Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein.
20.Does your car look better than your house? No. I think of the car as a necessary evil. I’d rather walk if I could.
21.What’s on your mousepad? A picture of Wallace and Gromit.
22.How many times do you let the phone ring before you answer it? As many as it takes for them to give up. I never answer the phone unless Caller-Id has identified them. And even then I’m just as likely to let the answer machine take the call.
23.What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? My book (that is, whatever book I’m currently working on). I’m adept at setting a problem for myself to work on while I sleep, so that when I wake up I have the answer, and the first thing I do is write it down before I forget.
24.Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla (two scoops, with a tiny splash of almond flavored tequila.)
25.Do you like to drive too fast? I prefer not to drive at all. I’m a very defensive and timid driver.
26.Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
Not that I’m aware of.
27.If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be? (Excluding friends and family) Harpo Marx.
28.What’s your favorite alcoholic drink? Red wine.
29.What is your zodiac sign? Aries.
30.If you could have any job that you wanted, what would it be? The one I’m currently doing.
31.What’s under your bed? Dust bunnies and half-scribbled illegible notes to myself.
32.Is the glass half empty or half full? The glass is half full, but the bottle is half empty.