Friday, July 3, 2015

That Explains It!


 
I recently received some ancestry information pertaining to the maternal side of the family.  I only had a vague awareness of the Morse family history and was surprised at a few similarities: 
·        My great-great-great grandparents came to the U.S. from England.  I too came to the U.S. from England.  I was born in Wimpole Park.
·        My great-great –great grandfather was the brother of Jedediah Morse, father to Samuel F.B. Morse (Inventor of the telegraph – Morse Code).  No wonder I’m such a chatterbox!
·        My great-great grandfather (Ahira) and his wife Ann were Catholic.  Through the years, many of the Catholic Morse Clan converted to Protestantism.  I was raised Protestant and converted to Catholicism in 2006.
·        My great-great grandmother (Ann) smoked a pipe.  I smoked a pipe in college – not pot mind you, regular pipe tobacco…always the rebel!
·        My great-grandfather (Samuel) married Amanda Jane Dunbar (I was named after her – Patricia Jane). Amanda was the only child of eight that survived into adulthood.  I too struggled to survive into adulthood due to a plethora of health issues … made of strong stock!
 Some other interesting facts from my mother’s side of the family:
 
        *  Our ancestors have been traced back to the Gauls of France.
 
        *  My great-great-great grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War under George
           Washington.
 
        *   My great-great grandfather (Ahira) fought in the war of 1812.
 
        *   My great-grandfather (Samuel) settled in the Washington Territory and became friends
             with Chief Joseph, Chief Lawyer and Chief Looking Glass - all of the Nez Perce Tribe.
 
        *   My grandmother, Nellie Morse Davis, was a matron at the Washington State Penitentiary.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Welcome Paige Randall to "An Author Speaks!"

Paige Randall is a DC-based fiction writer and just published her first novel, Circling The Shadows. She writes contemporary romance, today, but as she says, "Who knows what the future holds."  Circling The Shadows is the first in a four book series called Sunshine and Moonlight.  Paige's books promise passion, interesting fun, and probably a few tears! She likes her characters a little flawed, just like the rest of us. Paige lives for sun, surf, sand, music, dining with friends and loved ones, travel, books, TV and film. Book two, Forever Falling, should be available in August 2015.

What five words describe you?

Honest, Tenacious/Stubborn (opposite sides of the same coin), Passionate, Confident

What are you working on at the minute? What is it about?

Currently I am in final edits of Forever Falling, the second book in my Sunshine and Moonlight series.  Circling The Shadows is the first. I’ll begin writing the third in June and then the fourth and last in 2016. In Circling The Shadows, we meet Anna and John. I don’t want to give too much away, but Forever Falling brings us Callum, a relation of Anna’s. Gorgeous British Callum leaves London, heartbroken and angry before showing up on Anna and John’s doorstep in South Carolina. Callum journeys the United States looking for ways to mask his pain. His pain gets much worse, before it gets better. He finds solace in the most unexpected of places and in the most unexpected of people when he starts thinking about more than just himself.

 Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I’d love to see Anson Mount, who plays Cullen Bohannon from AMC’s Hell On Wheels, as John and the incomparable Cat Deely as Anna in Circling The Shadows.

  If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

This is a really hard question.  I think I would have to select J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series and that is not a very exciting answer.  I have enormous respect for J.K. in that she literally changed to world for young readers.  Not since The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew can I think of an author that brought more young readers to the written word.  That astonishes me.  Since Harry entered our world the genre of young adult has boomed, bringing us countless and truly excellent young adult new authors.  It is truly incredible.  

 What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest thing about writing is real life. Keeping focus on my 9 – 5 job, doing laundry, cooking, showering, etc.  When I am really into a story, no matter what draft, I can only minimally function outside of the story.  It is engrossing in a way I would have never imagined.  It is a feeling like the truest love there is.  Writing Circling The Shadows, I lost 10 lbs., my car battery kept dying because I was a virtual shut in, and I showered… well… not quite enough.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writers block?

While I know this exists, I haven’t experience it yet (knocking on wood).  My first two novels have flown from me hard and fast. I have a rule that I never stop a writing session at the end of a section or chapter.  I’d rather leave the story mid-sentence so it is always still moving inside of me. With both stories, I did get to plot points where I was concerned I was “writing myself into a corner.” With both novels, I would go to sleep feeling a little unsure.  Again, with both novels, I would wake (typically I am up 3 am – 5 am, thinking) and the story would have written itself in my sleep.  I became one of those people with a notepad at my bedside to wake and write notes. Solutions came like gifts in the night.  It was the most incredible feeling, for which I am forever grateful.
Where would your dream location be for writing?

 A beach, everything is a beach for me.  When I started my second novel though, I was on a plane to Asheville and spent hours upon hours in the hotel lobby on my laptop unfolding the story.  You will see that hotel lobby in Forever Falling. I think in my perfect dream, there is a beach house with a little room on a high floor. Windows are open wide and curtains blow gently from the ocean breeze. I can smell the ocean every second of my day.  I’ll write here and live my life in perfect peace and passion.

When creating characters, are they based on people in your life?

My characters are 100% fiction.  The only time I did borrow real life people was for more of a joke with my hairdressers. One was retiring and the second was taking over so I made them a married couple in Circling The Shadows (note: Joe and Barbara in the story and yes that is their real names). People find my commitment to fiction a little unbelievable, as in not believable.  My characters have a few traits from my life – love for music and curse words, fear of food poisoning but love for cooking, dedication to family – but they are otherwise pure fiction. Frequently people ask me of my sex scenes are based on my own experiences. I WISH is the only answer for that.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do read reviews.  I’m still new at this and send every single review to my mother!  I would never respond to a review, good or bad.  I think that violates a trust between a reader and a writer. Just because we have incredible connectivity through technology, doesn’t mean we need to use it.  When a reader takes the time to read my novels, I am so incredibly honored.  Time is precious and they’ve chosen to spend time with me.  I hope they will like it, but every story is not for every reader.  We are all entitled to a difference of opinion, as long as we speak with respect, I think.  Mean reviews don’t deserve a response.  That is just a very rude attention grab.

If you couldn't be a writer, what would you be?

I have learned that I need to create. For many years I subsisted with great joy in making and raising children… making beautiful meals, a home, holidays, etc.  These are all wonderful and worthy occupations. There came a point when I needed to create something else.  Now it is writing. If I wasn’t writing, or when my pace slows, I will learn to create music.  I am absolutely enamored with the idea of an acoustic guitar and a simple song. 
 
What would you tell your younger self that would have helped you in your writing career?

WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE!!!  I applied to a Master’s fiction writing program after I got my English degree.  It was a tiny program (25 writers) at a huge university.  I didn’t get in and I didn’t write for years after that.  I want to kick myself every time I think of it.  I see on social media people list themselves as an “aspiring writer.” NO!  If you write, you are a writer. Aspiring has nothing to do with writing.  We all aspire to finish a large piece, to be published, receive acclaim, but that isn’t about being a writer.  Writers write, that’s all. 

Where can we buy your work?

 
Circling the Shadows is available on Kindle and Paperback on Amazon.com.
 
Links are here on my site: www.PaigeRandall.com/Novels
 
 

 
 
  
 How can we keep up with you?

I LOVE to connect with readers!  Find me at the following links:
 
Blog: www.PaigeRandall.com
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/ThePaigeRandall

Twitter: @ThePaigeRandall
Instagram: Paige Randall Writer
Goodreads: Paige Randall