Quirky Questions with Joyce Reynolds Ward

Klone's Stronghold by [Reynolds-Ward, Joyce]

I asked quirky questions of Joyce Reynolds Ward! But first, the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DVXFZ9H

And some links:

https://www.books2read.com/u/m2vZDG

www.joycereynoldsward.com

Now to some questions!

Hello, Joyce! Let’s get to know you really well: what is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?

I have a round scar on my left shoulder underneath where my bra strap goes that looks a little bit like a gunshot wound—I’ve had bodyworkers comment on it the first time they do massage or acupuncture. Actually, it came from a cyst removal when I was seven years old. One of my older brothers has a much bigger cyst in the same place, and there was a concern that mine would get bigger and interfere with the bra strap. I’m—glad it happened. However, because I tend to scar easily, I have a lumpy scar there. At one point there was discussion about removing the scar but the doctor decided that could lead to a worse one. When I was younger, it would ache but it hasn’t done that for years.

I got caught up on the word ‘bodyworkers.’ I love it! Name the top five things you take with you during a zombie outbreak.

I’d start with a flamethrower. Then I’d do my best to convince a veterinary or vet tech to hole up with me, because they’d know how to deal with nonverbal shambling creatures (wait, are we talking fast zombies or slow zombies?). I’d also lay in a stash of Zombie Tools’ best blades (seriously, Zombie Tools out of Missoula, Montana, has some good stuff) like this nagimaki, the Reaper III https://www.zombietools.net/shop/the-reaperiii/. Plus the usual food, water, piles of books…

Great! You’re officially one of my zombie-fighting crew! If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?

As anyone who knows me will say, it’s a no-brainer. Horse. The hardest part would be what kind of horse. No question but that I’d be a mare, but would I be the infamous Chestnut Mare with a hefty dose of attitude, or a sweet little bay mare, or something flashy like an Appaloosa or a palomino? Arab, Morgan, or Quarter Horse? I’d probably end up being some sort of stock breed like a Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, or Paint, and be more into doing precise pattern work such as trail classes, reining, or cow work…wait a minute. I just described my current horse!

Horses are the best! What animal-person are you?

Obviously I’m a horse person! I’ve loved horses for years, and have been around them for most of my life. I had to give them up in my mid-twenties and it was a very happy day when I could afford to take lessons when I turned 40, then buy my own horse a few years later. My Shetland pony was a playmate when I was young—we kind of grew up together as I got him when I was nine and he was a yearling. He became one of those infamous one-person horses and would run away with any other rider but me. We played together a lot and I learned the nuances of equine body language in our play. In the long run, my horse experience ended up being very useful when I went into special education teaching, as I found myself being able to read the nuances of kid body language, especially in groups. My current horse is 18 years old and is probably the best horse I will ever own, both in performance and how well she’s bred. I keep hoping that someday I’ll become an overnight success and then can indulge in buying a younger horse to bring along to replace her someday.

I’m still waiting for my horse to come! I’m so happy for you! Would you go out in space if given the opportunity?

In a heartbeat, even though I’d have to put on a motion sickness patch (which I hate). I think it would be cool to go dust skiing on the Moon—I have two characters doing that as a means to escape the bad guys in my Netwalking Space book, and dust skiing is a major feature of my Tranquility Freeriders novelette (which is part of the story collection Learning in Space: Bess and Alex). When I was a kid I dreamed of being a pilot as a route to going to space. Alas, that didn’t happen.

Which leads me to ask: do you believe in aliens?

Well, I don’t NOT believe in aliens. I believe that the possibility exists and that we may never know for certain. Whether any alien contact our species has is through meatspace or through technology such as robots is still up in the air—and alien life MAY be more weird and bizarre than we can possibly imagine. I do write about aliens occasionally, from the “Cowboys and Aliens in NE Oregon during the Cuban Missile Crisis” story, Alien Savvy; to characters in some short stories I’ve written. I guess you could sum up my response as being akin to Fox Mulder’s office poster—“I want to believe.” And yes, I do have that poster up in my office.

So long as they are friendly! Which season defines you?

Winter. I do not tolerate heat well and never have. I learned to downhill ski fairly late in my 40s and love it, though these days I don’t ski as often as I did when I taught middle school up on Mt. Hood. There’s nothing like being up on Hood on a crisp bluebird day when all of the Willamette Valley is socked in with fog. The one green flash at sunset that I’ve seen was from a ski-lift on Hood, not in the Keys. One reason we moved to Northeastern Oregon was for the cooler winters with more snow. I’ve learned to ride my horse in the snow. As she’s gotten bolder and more comfortable with the footing, we’ve done such things as gallop through the snow, which we both love. Skiing, mountains, and snow have been huge influences on my writing over the years, including the year where I got 60 ski days in at Timberline. I’d ski, then settle in the lodge for an hour or so to write. The other lovely thing about winter in a drier cold climate like the mountains of Northeastern Oregon? There’s a lot shorter pollen season.

You and I are more alike than you know! Except I have yet to try skiing! Thank you, Joyce, for participating in my quirky interview! Support Joyce by buying and reviewing her book, and while you warm up your frozen toes in the ski lodge, I’ll be posting another interview here, next Friday!

Happy reading! 🙂

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Quirky Questions with Stephen Pearl

Tinker's Plague by [Pearl, Stephen B.]

I asked some quirky questions of Stephen Pearl! But first the books: www.amazon.com/author/stephenpearl

And some links:

Website: www.stephenpearl.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephenBP

YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UC14QVfS9kiuc6sK7P3-yOmg

Blog: http://stephenpearl.blogspot.ca

E-mail: stephenwriter@rogers.com

Question time!

Let’s start with this: Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving?

Bring on the sharks. 

I earned my PADI Advanced Open Water Diving Certification when I was eighteen. I earned the basic diving certification when I was fifteen. Sharks are like any other predatory animal. Respect them, don’t try and treat them like pets. Put on your chainmail reinforced wetsuit, stay in the cage, if you have one, and enjoy the view. Make yourself look unappealing. I’d love to go on a well-organized and equipped shark dive with people who knew what they were doing and respected the animals.

There is beauty and wonder in the oceans. Millions of years of evolution leading to near perfect biological forms. The basic body plan of sharks has barely changed in a hundred million years. They have survived extinction events that left the world teetering on the edge of lifelessness. They are close to perfection and a wonder to behold. Beauty in function, strength in form and smarter than they are generally given credit.

They were on this earth long before us and will likely still be here after humanity is an unpleasant memory. They define majestic. I love animals in general and am enamoured of most apex predators. Sharks define apex predator. 

A great predator of the ocean! What’s your favorite cheesy pick-up line? Have you ever used it for real?

Having been extremely socially inept through most of my early life I never used that many pick-up lines. Looking back, I have to wonder if, “Hi, I think you look lovely and I would appreciate the opportunity to find out if one so physically beautiful has a mind and a heart to match, would you do me the honour of joining me for a drink?” would have worked for me. I’m a pretty straightforward person, and I think it sums up the goals of a first meeting in a nice way.

What did work for me was honesty. I was dressed as a Scottish lord complete with sword and dirk circa 1200 ad or so at the time. (SCA demo at the university). I saw this stunning woman and mustered up the courage to walk with her as she went to register for her classes. We chatted as the registration line progressed. As we neared the table I went for it saying, “I guess you know I’m trying to pick you up. Would you like to have dinner with me?”

Those blue eyes looked into mine and a beautiful smile graced the loveliest face in the world and she said, “Yes.”

That was thirty-five years ago. She is currently at her computer in the other room working on a magazine ad for my books. The thirty-third anniversary of our hand-fasting (Pagan marriage) is in November.

Could anyone say no to a Scottish lord with a sword and dirk?! What’s the closest thing to real magic?

The ability to cause change in accordance with directed will utilizing physical laws that are not yet fully understood and or acknowledged by the traditional sciences. 

Actually, this is somewhat inaccurate because many of the principals of the magical traditions have been recognized by more “traditional” sciences. The principles of energy dynamics which were part of “Magic” as far back as Egyptian times and field strength dynamics, which can be charted in poltergeist activity, are two examples.

As Hamlet said, “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” I may be a bit off, I’m quoting from memory.

In another sense, the natural world. The sound of wind in the branches the cold shock of water when you jump in a lake. The wonder of a sunset. The joy of watching baby raccoons play and explore on your deck. If you can’t feel the magic in these part of you is dead. Magic is a label for many things and I will not doubt its reality. Its manifestation is a different matter. I do not believe in shooting fireballs from your fingertips or flipping cars with telekinesis. At least not on the physical plane.

There is magic in nature, that’s for sure! What superpower would you like to have for a day?

Total, long-range, focused telepathy with my computer and word processor to hand. I’d read the minds of the most influential people in the world recording all the dirty secrets and what would be necessary to independently confirm my findings.

When the day was through I’d blackmail the true power structure in human society into making changes that I feel are necessary. Pushing sustainable green energy, setting up health care for all on a global scale, funding education and birth-control programs on a global scale. More intense testing for GMO products before deployment. Legal culpability on the producers of GMO product for unforeseen occurrences.  A global reduction in military spending that would see all military’s reduced to a tenth of their current levels over the next 20 years with the funds freed up being used to pay off deficits then fund education, medicine and a space program that could give us some elbow room if we don’t get our global population under control.

Bravo to use your powers for the good of others! If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?

A cat. See the whole apex predator thing above. Cats are the most loyal and noble of beings I have ever known. Their loyalty is hard to earn but once given it is unshakable. I have never met a being that cared more than a cat for those they choose to love. Also, they are grace incarnate.       

Just a quick plug. In my new novel CATS, a group of people are trapped in a VR5 video game where they are turned into cats. It’s fun.

Add to the nobility and wonder I feel that cats represent if I got into a household like mine I’d have it made. Well, the neutering might not be that pleasant. Maybe I should think on this a bit more. 😊

Nine lives to live! Do you believe in aliens?

Given the size of the universe and the billions of years that there has been for random chemical reactions to create replicating organisms, I’d be shocked if there wasn’t life out there. Intelligent life, as we would recognize it, most likely, but maybe not as common as we’d like to think. Look at the only model we have to study, which is the earth. We’re about 3.8 maybe 4 billion years in on life on this planet.

For most of that time, life was little more than slime. Algae simple one cells organisms.

Later came multicellular life. Later still, anything we would recognize as having a brain capable of more than governing rudimentary behaviours.

It’s only been two hundred and forty million years, or so since the first dinosaurs and true mammals appeared. As to our own lineage, that really only goes back about 31 million years to the common ancestor of apes and monkeys. Anything we would recognize as human, only about 1.8 million years ago.  It is likely that if a homo-erectus, the human preform in question, was alive today it might be able to earn a living sweeping floors.

What this comes out to is that evolution took a long time to come up with a tool using, intelligent species on our earth. It is likely it would do the same on other worlds. Now the point must be made that there are several species on earth that could be called semi-intelligent with manipulative digits. Monkeys, Raccoons, Octopuses to name a few, so maybe in the future the process of producing intelligent tool using species will accelerate. (See the Uplift series by David Brin).

Long and short, to me the evidence indicates that while life may be fairly common in the universe, intelligent life that are active at the same time as we, as a species, are would make up a fraction of a percentage of it.

We also must ask ourselves, how long is an intelligent tool using species likely to survive? How many close calls have we had since we developed the ability to annihilate ourselves? We’ve only had that capacity really since the 1950s. How long will it take other intelligent tool using species to do themselves in through active war or just plain selfish stupidity? (See the mess we are making of the planet.)

I’d love to be in a galaxy teeming with life and other intelligent species, but I have my doubts. Still in all, I’m open to the possibility.

We just have to hope if there is, they are friendly! What would you tell your younger self?

This depends on the age.

As a child: I’d say, stick with martial arts and kick the ass of any bully dumb enough to go after you. Bullies are cowards! You don’t need to win the fight you just need to hurt them. Do that and they will move on to another victim and leave you alone. Adults in your life are useless because your teacher is abusing you by proxy and your parents are too busy saying how great the teacher is to care. Caring would take effort and force them to admit that they weren’t perfect.

As a pre-teen and teen: Your parents are as useless socially as they seem. You will not view them as wise when you get older. Do not take their advice. Seek out someone who has a clue and listen to them.

As a teen: Slow down, don’t try to fall in love before you fall in like. Despite your father’s adolescent bragging, most of your associates are virgins. Don’t invest all your emotions in one person and definitely don’t let fear cause you to stay in any kind of relationship.

As a young adult: Forget any bogus career advice you’ve ever heard and go for the forest ranger program. You really have no interest in medicine as a career, that is your father talking. Oh, and you really aren’t suited to your current girlfriend, don’t let fear of loneliness make your decisions. Let the relationship go and play the field.

Oh, if only we could deliver those messages to our younger selves! Thank you, Stephen, for taking my quirky interview! Support Stephen on social media! We’ll be chilling here in the shark cage next week with another author’s quirky answers!

Happy reading! 🙂

 

Quirky Questions with M. L. Sparrow

Flirt: A College Romance (What Happens on Campus Book 2) by [Sparrow, M L]

I asked some quirky questions of M. L. Sparrow! But first, the book: mybook.to/buyFlirt

And some links:

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-L-Sparrow/…

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show…

Twitter – MLSparrow1

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mlsparrowaut…

Now to questions!

Welcome, M.L.! Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving?

I’d love to go shark diving and I’ve always wanted to go sky diving. I want to do both in Australia. However, bungee jumping is a big no from me; mostly because I’ve heard the recoil can hurt your back and I once saw someone pee themselves doing it.

Oh, my! I think I might forgo the bungee jumping! In your opinion, what is the best Disney animated movie?

That’s such a hard question! I love all the animated Disney films! The Black Cauldron was my favourite as a child (weird, I know, considering it’s actually quite scary!) Frozen and Moana would definitely be in the running, but my favourite now, as an adult, would definitely be Beauty and the Beast.

Tale as old as time! What’s your favorite word?

My favourite word would be paraphernalia! I use it all the time in my writing, then have to delete it when I’m editing because it doesn’t seem like a word my characters would use as often as I do.

But it is fun to say! One of my favorite questions: What’s your biggest screw up in the kitchen?

I once blew up a cake in cooking class at school. Even the teachers didn’t know how! Her best guess was that I’d put in too much baking powder. Still, the boys in my class scraped it out of the tin and ate it, whilst I had to clean the oven!

That is quite an accomplishment! Goodness, boys will eat anything! What is one of your favorite quotes?

I have ‘Decide what to be and go be it’ tattooed on my arm. It is a quote from The Avett Brothers and it reminds me to keep chasing my dreams.

Let it be! What animal-person are you?

Honestly, I love all animals, but I’m most definitely a dog person. I currently have two Border Collies who I love to bits and when I finally have my own place I plan to rescue as many dogs as I can. 🙂

K-9 rescue! Would you rather fly on a dragon or meet a mermaid?

Oh, definitely the dragon! I love books and movies with dragons and it was a fantasy of mine when I was younger (ok, maybe it’s still a fantasy of mine!) to fly on a dragon, like in Eragon.

Fly away! We love dragons here! Thank you, M. L., for taking my quirky quiz! Support M.L. Sparrow on social media and fly in next week to read another interview with quirky answers!

Happy reading! 🙂

Quirky Questions with Sarah Kenney

I asked Sarah Kenney some quirky questions! But first, the book: www.amazon.com/author/thecursedauthor

And the social links:

www.goodreads.com/thecursedauthor

www.thecursedauthor.wordpress.com

www.instagram.com/officialskenney

www.facebook.com/TheCursedAuthor

Now for some questions!

Hello, Sarah! What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it? 

My weirdest scar is on my back, I got it from being my graceful self and falling down the stairs when I was about eight years old. There was a nail sticking up on the step and my back caught it on the way down.
The scar grew as I grew taller and it is about four inches long and curves up slightly, it reminds me of a smile. LOL. Thank goodness I don’t have two circular scars above it!

At least it is a happy scar! Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving? 

I am definitely interested in bungee jumping! Shark diving is a second and sky diving is a no because I don’t trust I wouldn’t fly up instead of down. I really would love to someday go to New Zealand or Australia and jump there! I’ve watched too many videos of bungee jumping to count.

A brave choice! Let’s test that bravery: on a scale from 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you?

Ha. When I’m alone it’s a 5 – When I’m with someone I can put on a strong face and appear a 2.
I’m terrible after I’ve been writing something really dark. When I wrote “Sleepwalker” I hadn’t slept for almost two months, I lived on coffee to stay awake, so I was a bit jumpy at every noise. I remember one night I had to get something out of our vehicle and I ran, jumped in the van, then freaked out and jumped out of the van because I forgot to check the backseat before I got inside so I just ran back to the house!

So it was like method writing? What was the last movie, TV show, or book that made you cry or tear up?

I was searching for a good comedy to watch just a few nights ago and I decided to search through Amazon Prime. I ended up after an hour in the Romantic comedies and saw the movie, “Me before You.”
Well, I had been looking at this movie for quite awhile since I hadn’t heard anything about it but I was always worried it would be sad. I thought that it was just about the girl falling in love with a guy who is paralyzed. Happy ending right? Maybe he’ll even be able to walk for some odd, magical reason?
NOPE!
Whoever thought it was a good idea to make that movie should be slapped. The ending is horrible. Yes, I bawled like a baby, but I was SO mad. I’m no longer sad though, but I am still pissed.

I recommend the books for a good cry, too! It is a trilogy of tears! What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?

I would have to say singing. I’ve sang once in church, and I had to sing in a group for a theatre play I was involved in before, but I don’t like my voice. I’ve done public speaking and have had a lot of anxiety speaking in front of people but I always think “This is better than having to sing in front of someone.” I REALLY wanted to go to school for musical theatre and perform, sing and dance when I was younger but my fear of singing is too much, even the thought of singing in front of a coach – someone who has heard a lot of bad singing voices makes me stop breathing. Maybe someday, but there would have to be a miracle.
However, I do a killer lip-sync to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” but that only happens around 4 a.m….

Lip-sync is becoming a big thing now, so you may have a chance! What is your real-life superpower?

I think my real-life super power would be that I never sleep. I’m lucky to get two hours of sleep every night. I can’t remember the last time I slept a full eight hours. Oddly by night time even if I’ve stayed up for 24 hours I’m not tired.
I’ve heard I’m a vampire many times because I’m pale, have pointy teeth and stay up all night but I think I’m more of a Vegan Zombie though. I’m pale, have dark circles under my eyes, I’m too skinny and I walk around groaning a lot, but I don’t eat BRRAAIINNNSSS…

I think some of history’s greatest had trouble sleeping, too! So maybe you’re one of them…Which Greek or Norse mythology character are you? 

I would have to say if I could choose what Greek Mythology character I could be, it would be NYX – Goddess of Night. I’ve always been quite obsessed with her character – She’s closely tied with Hades. I could sit and read Greek Mythology all day and never get bored. I am currently writing the fourth novel to my YA Fantasy series, “The Devils Curse Novels” and I took the leap to include the character of NYX into the story and I have to say it has been the most fun to bring her character into the picture.

Goddess of Night is appropriate for someone who doesn’t sleep! Thank you, Sarah, for answering my quirky questions! Support Sarah on her social media and know that while you’re tucked in bed sleeping, she’s probably writing more books for you to read! We’ll be here next Friday!

Happy reading! 🙂