PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Steven Arnett, Author.

Steven Arnett for “Time for Storytelling.”

Novelist Steven Arnett writes in many different genres, including mystery, suspense, comedy, and literary. A graduate of Michigan State University, he was born in Detroit, Michigan, and lived most of his life in Michigan. He now resides in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, with his wife, Delphine, and daughter, Vivienne.

Ana: First, thank you for letting me interviewing you today. I know how busy you are.

Steven, how did you find your calling to become an author? 

Steven:

After I first started reading literature seriously during my first couple of years in college. I developed a passionate love for all types of literature and that led to want to be a writer myself. 

Ana: I read your book, The Labyrinth. It hooked me from the very start, and I remember that I was more interested in finding out the actual identity of the protagonist than the motif of his sudden death. Where did you get the idea? How did you get the reader focused on the person itself and forget that fact?

I wrote the first draft of The Labyrinth a long time ago, and I can’t remember what led me to the original idea of the story. I can tell you that the protagonist is more like me than any of the other protagonists in my stories and novels. Also, more of the scenes and characters in that novel are taken from my life than those of anything else of written.

That said, the story is far from being autobiographical, and even the scenes and characters that are taken from my life have been dressed up a lot from the actual events.  

Ana: What skill do you think is always the best policy in writing and life? 

Steven:

To believe in yourself and never give up. 

Ana: Imagine that today you met yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?

Steven:

To always think for yourself, not follow the crowd or the easiest path in life, and to let your dreams come true. 

Ana: Good advice! And now, what makes a great story for you? 

Steven:

Great characters and dialog and a compelling plot. 

Ana: How did you find your writing style? Has it changed over time? 

Steven:

It just developed as I began to write fiction. I didn’t consciously look for a style: It just developed on its own. Surely, though, it has been influenced by writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, whose writing styles I really admire. On the other hand, it has even been influenced by writers whose style is very different than my own, like Faulkner: I really admire the beauty of his poetic prose. I would say my style of writing hasn’t change significantly over time. 

Ana: What does it mean to be an author for you?

Steven:

It means the enjoyment of being able to express myself in writing and to be able to invent stories and characters and places from my imagination. Also, I felt great satisfaction from publishing my books and getting great feedback from readers. 

Ana: Tell us a story, an anecdote of your writing, presentation of your books…

Steven:

This isn’t such a big deal really, but last year I was featured on the front page of our local newspaper for a story in it about my writing and my books. Obviously, it’s not quite up there with winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, but it was nice for me.

Also, one of my novels, Winners and Losers, reached #1 in its category on Amazon!

Ana: Whom do you admire? And why? 

Steven:

In terms of writers, my favorites are the great American authors of the post-World War I era, including Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald. They are the writers who inspired me the most to become a writer myself, and also, I admire them because they were at the forefront of the greatest era in the history of American literature. 

Ana: Think about a character that demanded total self-control in your novels. What made him or her difficult or special? How did you successfully interact with them? 

Steven:

Mike O’Brien from Death on Lake Michigan. It took great self-control for him to pursue the case of who murdered Rich Mallon, despite many discouragements and distractions. He needed a lot of self-control both to pursue the case and to stay emotionally detached enough to make sure he ended up with the right answer. I don’t consider myself as interacting with my characters: I think of them instead as my creations, but there’s always a wall between them and me that would prevent what I would call interaction.

Ana: What’s your favorite character and what did you learn about him or her? 

Steven:

Robert Byron from The Summer of Robert Byron. I did a lot of research about the Vietnam War for this novel because the lead character, Robert Byron, has just returned from Vietnam and the army when the story begins, and what happened to him in Vietnam is central to the story line. So, I tried hard to get a sense of what it would be like to have served in the infantry there and to come back home, shattered, afterwards. 

Ana: If you had to choose one current character of a TV show, whom would you choose and why? Have you ever attempted to emulate her or him somehow?

Steven:

Before the coronavirus put a stop to most normal activities, I didn’t really watch much TV. However, in the last two months I’ve watched quite a bit of it. My favorite show lately is Babylon Berlin. I quickly devoured all 28 episodes!

I really came to admire the lead character, Gereon Rath, and the interaction between him and Charlotte Ritter, who becomes his detective assistant and eventually his lover. The way he manages to keep his integrity despite all the corruption going on around him during the Weimar Republic era of German history hooked me. He’s definitely far from perfect, though, and that’s what makes the character interesting: Perfect heroes tend to be dull! I have never tried to emulate Gereon, though. 

Ana: Imagine you have two teleportation devices to travel through time, where will you place them and why? 

Steven:

Tough question because there are many times and places from the past I would like to visit! However, one that really intrigues me is 1920s America, when everything changed, and the modern world was created. I would also love to have lived during the time of Jesus and his apostles, just to see what he was really like and what really happened. If I can sneak a third time in, I would also love to go back to the Golden Age of ancient Greece. 

Ana: What could you not live without?

Steven:

Without question, that would be my wife, Delphine, and my daughter, Vivienne. 

Ana: Tell us about one secret passion.

Steven:

I can’t think of any: The passions I have I don’t keep a secret at all. 

Ana: Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?

Steven:

In terms of my writing life, I had some really inspiring professors in college who passed on to me their love of literature, which has stayed with me ever since. 

Ana: What’s the most rewarding at the end of the day? Why?

Steven:

Being happy with my family and friends and continuing to stay healthy. Health is a big deal when you get to be my age (68). I know so many people my age who didn’t make it this far or who have terrible health problems. 

Ana: Finally, let’s talk about your last work and your future plans.

Steven:

It’s been awhile since I wrote anything new, but I have been running some ideas through my head about possible new novels. I really enjoy mystery novels, and they are from one of the most popular genres, so my thoughts have been leaning in that direction. If I do write another mystery novel, it would probably be set in the 1960s/1970s era that my other books are set in. That’s the era I really feel I know the best and represents my life better than any other I’ve lived in. To some extent, as you get older, you become an observer of the world, rather than a participant, as new generations come along, and to me that makes it harder to write about them convincingly. 

Ana: Thank you, Steven, for this amazing interview.

The books referred to in this interview, and the other books written by Steven Arnett are available on Amazon. To learn more of Arnett, check out his Facebook Author Page. 

PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Maya Galleas, Watercolor Artist & Writer

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Maya Galleas for “Time for Storytelling.”

Maya is a girl from a large industrial city who took art as therapy for herself. Tired of formulas and equations, she chose the path as an artist. Maya also loves to write stories, articles, and notes to inspire others with her story and experience.

Ana:First, thank you for taking some time off your busy schedule to answer some questions.

Maya, How did you get your start as a writer and a watercolor artist?

Maya:

Firstly, I started to draw a long time ago. The drawing was really art therapy for me. It was a way to get away from negative thoughts and find harmony in myself. At that time, my husband was seriously ill and bedridden for several months in a row. He always did illustrations, and I was trying to make him feel better. I went to the shop and bought some acrylic paints. Coming home, we began to draw. So we got our first happiness at that time.

Moreover, paintings of superheroes and landscapes helped him recover, and I could see the power of art therapy. So for the first time, I felt my desire to be an artist. I started painting with watercolors almost recently. I always wanted to try it, but I never had the courage. I picked up a brush and paint, and I could not be stopped. Now I like to paint in a loose style and monochromatic works, galaxies and space, the night sky and cute leaves and flowers. All this gives the transparency of paint and the unique properties of watercolors that I have been looking for so long. Each painting is my mood and part of my story. Memories and feelings are reflected in my paintings. Each of them is unique and charged with a positive mood and joyful thoughts.

How did I start writing? I often ask myself this question, but I should always be honest. My husband wrote poems and short stories to me. I was always inspired by them and wrote something of my own, small and full of feelings. So I had a great interest in literature and creativity. Then I wrote articles and share my personal experience with other people on social networks and a blog. This was my greatest experience. Now I’m writing quotes and articles, creating designs for them. This experience makes me the happiest girl in the world.

Ana: And how do you combine writing with being a watercolor artist?

Maya:

Certainly, I take my ideas mainly from my life. That’s everything that surrounds me or is inside me. Also, ideas can be what I see in other people or what is happening just outside my window.

My message is you never need to give up, you need to fight your fears and laziness, be positive in any circumstances. In the simplest things, we can find inspiration for something new and unique. And live a happy life full of bright events and joy.

Ana:What 3 adjectives describe your art and writing style and why?

Maya:

Inspirational, supportive and educational. I always try to support people and inspire them to new discoveries and opportunities. I like to share my experience and knowledge with them, and show with my own examples of what solutions or opportunities exist in different situations. I like to write articles and analyze different aspects of life in them and give my support to other people. I’m still working on motivating and inspiring quotes, texts and illustrations. They can help to understand all the internal abilities of each person and his full potential.

Ana:What is most challenging about what you do?

Maya:

The hardest part is overcoming my own fears and limitations. Sometimes it’s even difficult for me to evaluate my own works and see their true value. For example, when I worked with mountain landscapes, it was difficult to overcome fears and make the first movement with a brush. But after several works, I welled understand their forms. Everything in our life begins with the first step and continues with practice to achieve the best possible results.

Ana:How do you define beauty in 280 characters or less?

Maya:

Beauty is an abstract understanding that doesn’t have clear edges and shapes. I see the beauty in simple things, in the stars and the night sky. Beauty is in the universe with its randomness and order, a variety of colors forming nebulae and constellations, planets and the sun.

Ana: What visual references do you draw upon in your work as an artist?

Maya:

My main reference is nature and a drop of imagination. I’m inspired by dangerous rocks and the old canyon, cute and strange clouds, big waves and a calm ocean. Flowers with their natural gradients and leaves with their different shapes. Its special beauty is even in the starry sky.

Ana:Do you interact with the digital world technology in your work as an artist?

Maya:

Absolutely. I also need to use a camera, scanner and Photoshop like any artist and writer who uses social networks.

To create quotes, for example, I have to use the skills of a designer and digital illustration. So it is simply impossible to imagine a modern artist in our time without such tools and skills.

Ana:Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?

Maya:

Never. Every successful person says so, but often we doubt literally everything. Put a period or comma here or there. Draw a line higher or lower. Doubts and fears are inevitable, but only by defeating them, we get stronger. So I often say, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fight with our doubts.

“If you chose the path, follow it and don’t go anywhere else with it. Especially if it really matters to you.”

At such moments, I remember the words. “If you chose the path, follow it and don’t go anywhere else with it. Especially if it really matters to you.” Diamonds and mountains collapse in that way and success are created.

Ana: Imagine you meet today yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?

Maya:

If I could meet myself in the past, I would say, belief in yourself always and in what you do. Appreciate your work and the work of other people. Life is a difficult thing, as people say. But only an optimistic attitude and positive thoughts will help to survive in this difficult place.

“In the future, your painted sky will be much more beautiful.”

Ana:Tell us a story, an anecdote of your writing, presentation of your watercolor pictures .

Maya:

I remember more funny stories about art. I painted such small pine trees in a landscape of the mountains that I could not look at them without tears. I finished the landscape of the mountains, crying a lot of tears. And once I looked under my desk in search of my cat Ri and saw space covered with small dots of white gouache. I use it to make stars. But the stars are already all over the room, trying to fill it with unique patterns and colors.

Ana: LOL! Is there anything special you do to get into a creative mindset?

Maya:

I watch all kinds of educational series. I discuss different topics with my husband and look for answers to questions. So I keep my mind open, and it stimulates it to new ideas and thoughts. There are so many mysteries and unknown secrets in the world. It can charge with new ideas.

My favorite music, which allows me to dive into myself and find the right mood, can always help.

Ana:What would a perfect day for you involve?

Maya:

My best memory as a writer is when I first realized that I would be writing my first memoir. The events, words, and parts of the plans, like butterflies in my stomach, still give me a sense of enthusiasm for just thinking about it. It is difficult to imagine, but sometimes an idea begins with a thought and a book with a first word. This is the same case.

On the other hand, my best memory as an artist is the delight of working with paint. I remember the first time I covered the paper with water to work with the wet technique of painting. After making several movements and adding different colors, I saw how they mix and blend into new and unique colors. This feeling is so exciting that I remembered how I stood in a chemical laboratory and mixed two reagents, watching how they change colors and get other properties.

Ana:Your worst souvenir as artist and writer…

Maya:

The worst souvenirs in my life, probably this is when my laptop broke down and I could no longer type texts and work with a book. It was a difficult time and really unpleasant, not only a souvenir but also a surprise.

In art, these are moments when paint spoils things or furniture, sometimes leaving amazing spots on all this. One day, gouache hit me right in the eye. It was a frightening feeling, but it all ended well.

Ana:Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?

Maya: A few years ago, we lost one of the most fun and happy family member. We had another cat, Kawaii. She was curious, and like a ray of happiness and hope, gave us her love. Once we could not find her at home. We searched for her for a whole week. We asked neighbors and friends. But we had no result. A week later, we found her. Unfortunately, she was gone forever.

Most importantly, Kawaii has changed my understanding of life. From childhood, she was a sick kitten. But every day she enjoyed her life and lived her full life, delighting us every second. She taught me I need not focus on my negative aspects. More importantly, what I have now.

Ana: If you weren’t a writer /artist, what would you be doing?

Maya:

I’m sure I would become a teacher. I always liked to learn and help others understand new knowledge. Back in school, I discovered this superpower and now I try to develop it every day.

Ana: Finally, let’s talk about your last work and your future plans.

Maya:

Now spring has come, I am attracted by monochrome works. I like to paint mountains and trees, to show beauty with minimalistic colors and shapes. This is my main inspiration, and I plan to create a series of monochrome works. I also plan to create a series of works related to space and the universe. These are my future plans as an artist.

Ana: Thank you, Maya, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Maya Galleas and her work, check out these links:

PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Celia Martin, Author.

Celia Martin for “Time for Storytelling.”

Celia loves history, always has, and she loves to tell stories. So intertwining history and stories just seems to come natural to her. Her 17th century adventure romances take place in England and colonial America. Each book is a stand alone story. Doesn’t matter what order they are read in, but major characters in one book may reappear as minor characters in another book. The three primary families are the D’Arcys, the Lotterbys, and the Haywards, but they have many friends who have their stories as well.

Celia loves multiple characters because for her, they round out a story. In real life, we know many people, are involved with many people. In her stories, her major characters are involved with many minor characters. Besides, for her, minor characters are so much fun to write. And they just appear out of nowhere. When Celia starts a book, she has no idea who some of the characters are going to be or what role they will play. Such fun! 

Ana: First, thank you for taking for letting me interviewing you today. I know how busy you are.

Celia, what do you do for a living? 

Celia:

I am a retired history teacher.

Ana: What was the trigger for choosing your job?

Celia:

I love history, and I also liked having summers off to be able to travel and work on research for my writing.

Ana: Where do you get your ideas? 

Celia:

I have always had a vivid imagination and my brother and I and neighborhood friends played many make-believe games together. When I had to give up playing make-believe, I continued to tell myself stories. Eventually, I started writing some down. I still have so many stories in my head. I never have writer’s block. I just don’t have enough time to write all the stories. Besides writing, which is great fun, a lot of time is spent on proofing, and even more time on promoting. 

Ana: What and Who inspires you? 

Celia:

If I had anyone inspiring me, it would be my mom who encouraged my reading, and my dad who was full of stories.

Ana: What message do you want to get across?

Celia:

In my books my characters are caring people. Besides just the love of history and what life was like in a different time period, as well as fun adventures and sweet love stories, I would say I try to make empathy a major theme.

Ana: What is most challenging about what you do?

Celia:

Book promoting. Because I am technologically challenged, I know I am not able to do as much promoting as I wish I knew how to do. Plus, right now, no book signings. That hurts. And I am having trouble getting people to do reviews.

Plus, I would dearly love to hear from readers, but none seem to contact me. I believe those who like history and like adventure and romance would really like my books, but I am having trouble reaching them.

Ana: Imagine you meet today yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?

Celia:

Try to learn to be more media-savvy.

Ana: For you, what makes a great story?

Celia:

I like history, but I like it to be accurate. 

I like romance, but I’m not particularly into erotica. Not that I don’t write some love scenes with some sex involved, but I would say they are more romantic that sexual.

I like adventure, and I think my action scenes are very vivid. I like to be able to see the action in my mind when I am reading as I do when I am writing. 

And I like mysteries, but not gory ones. Most of my villains are evil, but they are not necessarily evil just for the fun of it. I try to make them real and often with circumstances that have led them to their worst behavior.  

Ana: What do you feel are the most relevant aspects of a successful story?

Celia:

Holding the readers attention and having them care about the characters and what happens to them.

Ana: Tell us a story, an anecdote of your writing, presentation of your books (or whatever you would like to share).

Celia:

As a teacher, what I loved to get across to my students was not so much dates and battles and well-known men of history, but how people of the past lived and the problems they faced. Just ordinary people.

We took people on wagon trains west. We made farms and forts and villages. We made colonial signs for our colonial businesses explaining what the business was with a picture or something on a sign, like a boot to designate a shoemaker, because a lot of people in the past could not read.

Anyway, the kinds of fun that I wanted my students to have is the kind of fun I want my readers to have when they read my books.

Ana: How did you find your writing style? 

Celia:

I always had my stories, but what made the biggest difference for me was the terrific writing group I was with for a number of years. They taught me more than I ever learned in writing classes that I took. 

Ana: Has it changed over time?

Celia:

Yes, thanks to my writing group and what I learned from them. I learned to see, hear, taste, and smell in my character’s point of view. My readers should be able to experience what my characters are seeing, hearing, etc.

Ana: What does it mean to be an author for you?

Celia:

Having my first book, To Challenge Destiny, published was such a thrill. I carried it around with me and had to show it to everybody. Now, I have 5 published books, another due out in June, another hopefully in August, and more that I am working on. As I said, I have multiple stories in my head. Just have to get them out. Writing is so much fun.

So being an author means getting to share all my fun stories with other people.

Ana: Who do you admire? And why? 

Celia:

I admire a lot of people, but if you are asking about a specific author, I would say, Georgette Heyer. I loved her romances, her humor, her characters, and her multiple minor characters (which my books have). 

I also read her more historical works. Heyer was very knowledgeable. She knew her history, and she could read Old English. I suppose Georgette Heyer had more influence on my writing than anyone else, though I also like the way Joan Wolfe writes.

Ana: Imagine you have two teleportation devices to travel through time, where will you place them and why?

Celia:

I don’t know that I would want to leave the present. Diseases, lack of proper sanitation, poor transportation, no computers or electricity or good heating – I like to study the past and paint pictures of it with my words in my books, but I don’t want to go there. I am a cancer survivor. Wouldn’t be if I lived in the past. Nor do I want to go into the future. Right now, it is not looking too bright for the young people.

Ana: What could you not live without?

Celia:

My husband and electricity.

Ana: Tell us about one secret passion.

Celia:

That’s an easy one, I want more readers to discover my books. If they like history and they like romance and adventure, they are bound to like them.

Ana: Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?

Celia:

The most moving story in my life is when I married my husband. We are not only lovers, we are best friends. We love being together. I feel so blessed.

Ana: Finally, let us know about your last work. What’s new?

Celia:

As I said, I have 5 published books. 17th century adventure romances with strong women heroines, lots of fun characters, and sweet love stories. 

In June, my book, Fate Takes A Hand, will be released. It will be free on ebooks for the first two weeks it is out and then like my other books, it will be 99 cents throughout the summer. The story is a fun romance, with some cute kids, a terrific dog, and a lot of fun minor characters. 

Ana: Thank you, Celia, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Celia Martin and her books, check out the following link:

PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Aleix Morreres, Musician.

Aleix Morreres for “Time for Storytelling.”

Aleix Morreres is a singer-songwriter, composer, music producer and music publisher with more than 25 years of experience in the music industry. He has participated in several projects among them: being the music supervisor for plays, producing music for several short films and video producer. He has also been vocal coach and stage expression coach.

Ana: First, thank you for taking for letting me interviewing you today. I know how busy you are.

Aleix, what drew you to the music industry? What first got you into music?

Aleix:

Music has always attracted me since I was very little. I remember that I used to sing along with my favorite childhood heroes. I used to characterize myself as my favorite clown with facial cream to emulate white makeup and I used a big hairbrush as a microphone. 

My mother says that she remembers when I was very little that when I listened the firsts notes of Superman theme my face shimmered with a big smile and excitement. 

But if I have to say that something really touches me and moved me to embrace music was Star Wars’ soundtrack. That really awakened me the need to learn how to produce music. 

Ana: Who are you inspired by?

Aleix:

People around me inspires me. Listen to the people is a great source of inspiration. 

Ana: Tell us about your creative process. Do you have any rituals around creative process?

Aleix:

First, I start a relaxation process that I learned in a camp for actors. I discovered that an excellent way to tap your inner thoughts and feelings is through relaxation. After that I raise my arms like if I were entering to the finish line smiling for two minutes while I’m listening to some energetic music. That’s the way I start my creative process. 

Ana: What inspires you to be creative?

Aleix:

Feelings, emotions, experiences of my own and sometimes someone else’s stories. These are my drivers to write a song. Now that I’m thinking about it, there was a time that fear was a strong driver to produce music. The fear of being rejected by a girl made me wrote some love songs. The irony was that this girl was also afraid of being rejected by me. After I sang in front of her both of us laugh because was like: “yeah we both feel the same way”. 

Ana: What kind of music you create, play or sing?

Aleix:

I’m not really attached to any particular genere. I consider myself as an eclectic music lover. As an example, I recently finished the soundtrack of a short film in which I used symphonic orchestration, Jazz, and Heavy Metal. 

Ana: Can you see your finished product before you start?

Aleix:

That’s a good question that I’ve never asked myself before. It all depends on the project, if it’s a soundtrack I usually imaging the general idea. For instance, what kind of instruments I’m going to use.

When I write songs, I start with my guitar and the process is a little bit in the opposite direction. I mean when the song is finished then I start to experiment with different instruments. But sometimes, yes, I have a clear idea about how the song should sound before I’ve ever started to play or sing any note. 

Ana: Is there anything special you do to get into a creative mindset?

Aleix:

I start to play random riffs (chord progressions) and hum some notes until I find something that makes me say: “I really like this…” But some days are better than others. 

Somebody once told me that if you want to be a good composer / songwriter you need to practice and the only way to do that is to write songs as many times as you can. 

Perhaps you need to write 500 songs before you write that amazing and epic song of the decade. Or perhaps you can achieve it at the third try but the only way to figure it out is to practice as much as you can. 

Ana: What message, if any, do you try to put into your work?

Aleix:

I think of my work as an ally for people to help them express their emotions wether a happy music that makes you dance and sing along or a sad song that helps you to cry and let go any unpleasant felling. 

Ana: Did you ever find yourself unable to express your creativity to the fullest?

Aleix:

Yes, sometimes It happens. For instance, I remember when I was trying to write a song that was supposed to have an eighties sound and I was totally blocked. 

I think what happened is that I had so many ideas that all of them collapsed and I went totally blank. So, at the end I never finished that project. 

Ana: What kind of things inhibit you?

Aleix:

Something that inhibited me was the need to achieve perfection. But one day I learned that perfection is the sum of imperfections made with the heart. 

Ana: Who or what is your greatest influence?

Aleix:

Certainly, I have many different people who inspired me but I can say that John Williams (film music composer), Bono from U2, Robert Smith from The Cure and finally but not least James Hetfield from Metallica were people that contribute to my love for music. I think that the common driver in all of these amazing human beings is their passion in what they do. Literally, you can feel the energy that flows from their performance.

Ana: If you hadn’t chosen to become a musician, what would your alternative career have been?

Aleix:

An actor or a filmmaker.

Ana: What do you think about applying music in education? Could music inspire and motive students in their process of learning?

Aleix:

Definitely, it’s been proved that music can enhance cognitive process. 

Also, I read that same brain areas are turned on either when performing mathematical operations either when playing a music instrument. So why not exploit a better cognitive process with music aid. 

Ana: What would a perfect day for you involve?

Aleix:

When everything flows in a smooth way and I’m able to make smile the people around me. It doesn’t matter if they are known or unknown people. 

Ana: Imagine you have two teleportation devices to travel through time, where will you place them and why?

Aleix:

I have always speculated on what the life of the future will be like. It will be that one day we have all this wonderful technology that we see in science fiction. If so, I would like to jump several hundred years into the future and look at what humanity has been able to achieve.

This eye-catching building, designed by the Viennese firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, is the crowning glory of Lyon’s newest neighbourhood, the Confluence, at Presqu’île’s southern tip.

Lying at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, this ambitious science-and-humanities museum is housed in a futuristic steel-and-glass transparent crystal. Its distorted structure is one of the city’s iconic landmarks – Lyon, France.

Ana: Which of the elements -time, family or work- would you be the most difficult to deal with?

Aleix:

Fortunately, most of the time I was able to achieve a balance between work and family with which I feel very grateful. Nevertheless, it is true that there are times that I would like have more time to do everything I imagine (musically speaking).

Ana: And finally, what are you working on now?

Aleix:

Currently I have started a company that place music in different scenarios like: Films, video games, TV series, advertising and from time to time live performances. 

Above all, I would like to add that I really love what I do and I’m very grateful to the music for that constant personal self-discovery. 

Ana: Thank you, Allan, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Aleix Morreres and his books, check out these links:

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PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Allan Hudson, Author.

Allan Hudson, author, for "Time for Sotorytelling."
Allan Hudson for “Time for Storytelling.”

Allan is an avid reader all my life, he always wanted to write. He was inspired by one of my favorite authors- Bryce Courtenay – who started his writing career in his mid-fifties and went on to publish over twenty best sellers. He knew then that it was never too late to start and it’s been a wonderful journey since. Writing is my passion.

Ana: First, thank you for taking for letting me interviewing you today. I know how busy you are.

Allan, where do you get your ideas? And what message do you want to get across?

Allan:

Like many authors, I believe inspiration comes from our surroundings, the people we meet, the things we do and the memories we make. I live in a small coastal village in Eastern Canada where the sunrises are spectacular, the sunsets glorious, the land is rich, the community is vibrant and the waters are moody.  You will find many references to where I live in my stories.  Often conversations with friends or acquaintances will spark a new story or an addition to a novel. For an example, while chatting with my sisters at a recent gathering, I discovered that many years ago, a cousin had a small convenience store at a public beach with many funny incidents which has acted as a catalyst for a short story I am working on.

I’ve never given much thought to any particular messages I’ve wanted to express. I love feel good stories and I think we need a lot of those in our lives. Many of my short stories contain instances of people helping people. I like older people and children in stories too.

“People helping People.”

Ana: What is most challenging about what you do?

Allan:

Finding the time to write is perhaps my biggest challenge. I still work full time so writing is secondary to life’s commitments but I write every chance I get.

I’ve always been a morning person, so on weekends, you’ll find me up early at my laptop. I like quiet and solitude when I write. I especially have two favorite spots to work from. In the warmer months, I write in my workshop where I have a space cleared specifically for writing. I can look out my window at the water and I always find it calming when I need to think about something I’m stuck on.

In the colder months, I’m at it early at the kitchen table. I plan on retiring in another year so hopefully, there will be more writing time.

Ana: For you, what makes a great story?

Allan:

I like this question and I expect we would all give different answers. I’ve read so many great novels, a lot of so-so novels. Most stories keep me interested but every once in a while, I’ll pick up a book that keeps me enthralled. I can’t wait to get back at it and I can’t stop reading when I do. 

What makes it great? Above all, strong characters, good prose, good dialogue is vital, detail is important to me, what the character is seeing, hearing, doing, etc. I like stories that take me around the world or explore different cultures.

I like characters that are a shade above average, smarter, braver, able to overcome obstacles, kind and no-nonsense. An example is my all-time favorite novel – Shibumi. The main character, Nicholas Hel, is a world-class assassin, an artful lover, courageous with an incredible past, a spelunker and a true friend. 

Ana: What do you love about writing the most?

Allan:

I enjoy taking an idea, an incident, an image or a memory and turning it into a story. 

Sitting in your favorite spot, in front of your laptop, a blank page, a flickering cursor and a few notes and you start. Building the scenes, finding the right words, creating new characters and their personas, all the creative energy that goes into building a story makes me feel good, productive. Getting to the very last sentence and a rush knowing that you’re finished the first draft – what a feeling!

In short, that whole creative journey from start to finish is what I love the most.hat whole creative journey from start to finish is what I love the most.

Ana: Tell us a story, an anecdote you would like to share.

Allan:

As I mentioned in an earlier question, I started writing later in life. After discovering that Mr. Courtenay started around the same age as I was then, I talked about writing a story, I felt like it was possible.

A theme and the main character were already formed in my mind. I just needed to sit and write. I had no clue how to start or really what to do. So, I continued to procrastinate until finally my wife looked at me with a frown and said, “Are you going to talk about it forever, or are you going to sit down and write that darn story? If not, then be quiet!”

We laughed over that a few times but it was the catalyst I needed to get on with it. I’ve never looked back and, in some sense, I guess, I owe it to her for getting me going.

Ana: After that process, what does it mean to be an author for you?

Being an author allows me the opportunity to leave something in the world after I’m gone. When I first started writing, I drew to short stories and penned a few of them. Having three grandchildren, I wanted them to have something that I made especially for them that would continue to be in their lives long after I left. I created three collections of short stories, each one a limited series and dedicated them to my grandchildren. The first copy was signed and given to them, of course.

In other words, I hope that someday, they’ll be going through their collection of memorabilia and will find a book that their “Grampy” made for them.

Ana: In the case of you have two teleportation devices to travel through time, where will you place them and why?

Allan:

I would have one in my workshop here at home. Here at home being on the east coast of Canada in a small community called Cocagne. The other machine would sit in the same spot a hundred years previous.

The Countdown starts…

I have recently finished a manuscript of historical fiction and my main character immigrates to Canada from Scotland to settle in Cocagne. During the writing of the story, I had the opportunity to research the history of my community. Then, comparing the area to today, it was a vibrant busy place, several hotels, two churches, shipbuilding, farms and fields stretching to the horizon, fishermen reaping the bounty of the Bay, a house on an island – what an amazing history. I would love to be able to go back to the turn of the century and see it for myself.

Ana: Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?

Allan:

This is an interesting question. I think each of us have that moment in our lives where something meaningful happens and changes our ways of thinking. 

I had a close friend who was married to a lady from the US and they moved back to Canada to start a family. We worked together, became friends. We hung out together with our wives and I became the godfather to his oldest child. Later, things changed, they moved to another city two hours away and I saw little of them as the years progressed. Until one day, I was working in his city and I met my friend for a coffee and we chatted about his marriage breaking up and such.

Sad moment because they made a swell couple. After several hours, he looked at me and said, “There’s something I have to tell you”. He had a strange look in his eyes and I thought he was going to tell me he had a terminal illness. After a moment of silence, he informed me, “I’m gay.”

Up to that moment, I’d never know a gay person personally. So, I didn’t understand their struggle.

“Live and Let Live”

Personally, I think he was brave to tell me, not knowing how I would react. I’d always been of the mind “live and let live”. Digesting the news, I didn’t see a gay person on the other side of the table. I saw a good friend that happened to be gay.  So, I broke the silence that ensued by telling him that I guess I wouldn’t have to worry about him flirting with my wife. Relief flooded his face and we laughed so hard.

Ana: Finally, let’s talk about your last work and your future plans.

I have three projects on the go. My completed manuscript of an historical fiction account of a young man having to go live with his bachelor uncle due to misfortunes and difficulties in his mother’s life. Loneliness and happiness follow until catastrophe strikes. As a result, it changes the young man’s life and he decides to emigrate to Canada and start anew.

Tentativley titled – The Alexanders – Dominic, it covers ten years of his life from 1911 to 1920. It’s with my editor now. I’m hoping for publication in the Fall of 2020.

My second WIP is the third book in the ongoing Drake Alexander series. It is 75% completed. No working title as of yet.

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My first two novels introduce him and his antics. An ex-soldier, he and his small group of friends are vigilantes.  They have the time, the funds and the experience to hunt for some of the world’s deadliest criminals.

The third series is their hunt for two brothers that went on a bank robbing, killing spree and have never been caught. A victim’s father approaches them, pleading with them to bring the brothers to justice for killing his daughter, but the clues are twenty years old. It’s an international thriller, the hunt takes them from Bordeaux, France to Mongolia to Switzerland.

My third project is the next Jo Naylor series. In my latest release – Shattered Figurine – Josephine Naylor is a detective. She discovers crimes too close to home. At the end of the story, she needs to leave Canada. Certainly, it has been well received with many excellent reviews. In the next installment, Jo Naylor is on the run and in Thailand. Maybe she’s not a cop anymore but she still finds someone in trouble. Can she help them in a village where she doesn’t know anyone?

Ana: Thank you, Allan, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Allan Hudson and his books, check out these links:

Web: http://www.allanhudson.com

Twitter: @hudson_allan

FB: @southbranchscribbler

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