The Mountain City Bronzes

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Between Tweens - Middle-Grade Author Suzanne de Montigny

This is the last interview in the Between Tween mini blog hop. This week I've interviewed Suzanne de Montigny. I must apologize first because our internet is down, I'll put on bio at a later date. Thanks

1. Please give us an idea of what your story is about from your main character's perspective.
A loud, hissing sound filled the air. The unicorns looked up, their eyes filled with horror.
Azaria, a unicorn colt, is intrigued when the young, clairvoyant dinosaur, Darius, foresees a terrifying change to their world. When a giant fireball smashes into the earth, the unicorns struggle to survive the hurricanes and starvation that follow. But nothing compares to the danger when the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs settle in the valley, and their leader discovers the healing power in the unicorns’ horns. Greedy and ruthless, Ishmael will stop at nothing in his pursuit of wealth – even the complete extinction of the herd. Azaria must find a way to outsmart Ishmael before it’s too late.
2. How long was the process for this book, like how long from idea to finish did it take?
In all honesty, about forty years if you take into account that the story is based on a novella I wrote when I was in grade six. But once I began writing it again, it took me about four years before it was published. That’s because I was learning to write properly. Now it doesn’t take me anywhere near as long to finish a book.
3. Do you write in the mornings or evenings or whenever you like?
I write in the morning when my mind is fresh as a daisy. If I write continuously until my boys come home, I’m usually pretty exhausted and can’t think anymore. That’s when I take a nap.

4. Do you have an ambition to write a paper novel some day?
Absolutely! It’s challenging selling ebooks to middle grade kids. They still like paperbacks.

5. What do you like about MuseItUp Publishing?
All the care and attention I get from other authors. They’ve been such a great help. It’s so nice to be part of such a large family of authors.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Between Tweens - Middle Grade Author Sandy Carlson

This is the second week of Between Tweens. If you read the last week, you'll be familiar with the questions. These are Sandy's answers.

S.L. Carlson is a former elementary teacher, singer, and adventurer. She's been a member of SCBWI since 2009. Her first MG fantasy, Star Opening, came out last fall. Her tween fantasy, War Unicorn, is set to be released this summer with Muse It Young.

 1. Please give us an idea of what your story is about from your main character's perspective. I found a stupid ring buried in the ground and now this rude unicorn feels like she’s the boss of me. Take her to the king? Well, which king? There are many. (from Reginald in War Unicorn)
2. How long was the process for this book, like how long from idea to finish did it take? From writing the first sentence(which changed a few times) to sending back the editor’s revision notes, War Unicorn has taken about five years in the making.
3. Do you write in the mornings or evenings or whenever you like? I never get to write whenever I like. I write when our one and only computer is free and when I’m doing the gazillion things I’ve committed to.
4. Do you have an ambition to write a paper novel some day? I sure do. And I have done so. I've published 4 books with The Merry Viking Publishing House, and someday hope to have War Unicorn also in print.
5. What do you like about MuseItUp Publishing? Hands down, the answer to that question has to be the people. From the editors to the fellow authors. There is much encouragement and cheering on. I’m delighted to be part of the family.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Between Tweens - Middle-Grade Author Heather Fraser Brainerd

Hi all. This week, and the next two weeks following, I will be posting interviews in a series called Between Tween. There are four of us, myself, Heather Brainerd, Sandy Carlson And Suzanne De Montigny. My upcoming ebook in a tween adventure and the other three are middle-grade authors. In this series we discuss our books and writing experiences.

The Between Tweens concept is that each of us come up with five interview questions, each week we post the answers of one of us until all have been interviewed by the others. The links to the other blog is posted at the bottom. 

Heather Fraser Brainerd has been writing since she was a child. After careers in both the insurance industry and early childhood education, she began writing again. Her published works include the YA paranormal romance Dream Shade and the first two books in the José Picada, PI series, Deception Al Dente and The Sound of Sirens. The José series, which is paranormal mystery for grown-ups, is co-written by Heather's brother, David Fraser. Heather and David's first MG novel, Shadows of New York, will be released in 2014.

Here's the interview

Please give us an idea of what your story is about from your main character's perspective.
In Shadows of New York, Josh Cooper is tired of getting new nannies all the time. His mom is pretty picky, though, so he doesn’t really have a choice. This time something is different: the new nanny is a dude. This surprise, however, pales in comparison to the supernatural secret that the male nanny – or “manny” – shares with Josh.

Press ? for keyboard shortcuts.

How long was the process for this book, like how long from idea to finish did it take?
Oh my gosh, that’s a good question! I think it took a couple of years. My brother David Fraser and I co-wrote Shadows of New York. During the process, we published two other books together, Dave published a short story, I published a novel, Dave started writing a novel that’s almost done, and we wrote another novel together. So it’s been a busy couple of years.

Do you write in the mornings or evenings or whenever you like?
I write whenever I can find time, which usually tends to be mid-day.

Do you have an ambition to write a paper novel some day?
Actually, I think that Shadows of New York would be great in print.

What do you like about MuseItUp Publishing?
 I love the people! It’s such a supportive, creative environment. When I signed on with MIU, I had no idea that it would lead to friendships all over the world. What a blessing that has been!

Here are some links you can find Heather's books at.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Back

Well, officially, it's spring. Other people's children will be on March break soon, if they're not already.

In Ottawa, it doesn't look like spring as it snowed the other day and will again tomorrow. That's fine with me. As I said in an earlier post, I'm not suffering winter this year. I'll take spring when it comes.

I do have a few new dresses to wear though. My problem with them is that I bought them online. In the right size but they don't fit. Well about half of them fit, the other half are just a bit too small.

Since I'm losing weight, I decided not to send them back. I will fit into them sometime. I was wanting to fit in them by spring. No such luck right now. That I will do it is certain as I'm steadily losing pounds. But I really did want to wear them in the spring. I may have to wait for fall.

I think that's one of the drawbacks of online shopping. You can't try anything on and you have to send back if it doesn't fit. What a bother after you've paid shipping.

But I'm okay. I'll wait for spring and hope that I can fit in these cool dresses when the time comes. I'm not ready to give up online shopping.

Happy spring break, everyone.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Leopard Spot Shoes

I enjoyed this winter, even if it was a 'bad' one. Meaning that there was so much snow fallen that it couldn't be cleaned up until it was almost critical.

Today, however, with it's warm winds and melting snow has made me wish for spring and nicer weather. It's not that I'm exactly sick of snow, it's just that I'm ready for something else.

Besides, I want to wear my new shoes. At the beginning of winter I bought some casual shoes. They have cowhide that is made to seem like leopard spots. They're big and strong shoes and I'd love to try them out. I have just a little fear that they might be so stiff I won't be able to walk but they should break in nicely.

Speaking of shoes, I did a dummy thing. I saw a great pair of shoes online and bought them. What's so dumb? Well, I totally ignored the fact that I can't wear heels too high because my calves cramp up.

It's really painful but it's something I've learned to avoid by not pointing my toes and tightening my calf muscles and the same time. Guess what these shoes do? Right. So I can't wear them but never mind, they're a work of art. I'll just keep them.

I said I bought them but actually I was given a $20 coupon and they cost less than that so I didn't pay anything. Why not spend on something I can use? Well, I had to use it for a certain time and there was nothing else I wanted. These shoes might come in handy some day.

But one thing is for certain. I'm going to enjoy my leopard shoes a lot.

Monday, March 3, 2014

End Of An Era

I miss my step-mother. She died in October, 2013 of cancer. It makes me think back to when I visited her and my then-alive father in Enderby, BC.

It was my first plane ride and I was nervous, having watched a few episodes of Mayday on television. My room mate drove me to the airport and I went through the security. We waved good-bye as I went it. Then I waited for my plane.

Luck must have been with me that day because I found myself sitting beside an ex-pilot who told me what exactly was happening as the plane took off. I liked this man, he and his wife were on their way to India to look after an orphanage that they do some volunteer work for.

I was interested in the back of the the seat in front of me which had a little picture of an airplane and showed where we were in the sky route to BC. One thing puzzled me about it, though, and that was, is the front of the plane on the picture where we were or the back. Because the front could show Manitoba and the back Ontario but it passed the time. I couldn't read.

There was no turbulence or anything to worry me so I actually quite enjoyed my first flight. Except the end of it. We landed in Calgary and I phoned my sister who lived there at that time. When I boarded the plane to Kelowna, which takes an hour, I was sitting right beside a muscle guy.

You've all heard people say that fat people should buy two tickets. Well, I found out that muscle guys are much worse, they are solid and I had to lean over all the way to Kelowna. I'm just lucky I didn't have to sit next to him all the way to Ontario.

But now, as I think of that, I realize I'll never have another reason to go to Enderby. My real mother, Peggy died of cancer in 2000, my father in 2010 and now my step-mom. For me, it's the end of an era.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Small-Hipped Mother

I know the Bible says that women shall give birth in pain but I wonder if there isn't another reason for the birth suffering that has taken place throughout Western history.
After all, one of the first things Europeans noticed about Native women was the fact that they didn't have trouble in childbirth.

Pain was minimal for the First Peoples. I was watching a TV show about Amazonian Indians and noticed that the women were all big hipped and long pelvised and I thought of beauty standards.

Maybe other women have troubles because men have chosen small hips as a desirable trait. Women, of course, want to be beautiful to men but it seems in the Western world all they think of is their role as paramour. Western womens prime focus is on being sexy and motherhood in their view, is second or even not thought of.

I know that Native peoples are very respectful of motherhood and it made me wonder if the Native women were big hipped because the men think that that trait would make them good mothers. At least not mothers dying in childbirth.

Well, we can't help what we look but I'm thinking that thousands of years of choosing mates for sex only hasn't been detrimental to women in the birthing department. I know European peasant men often chose women with big hips just for the reason that they wouldn't have trouble giving birth so I know I'm not the only one who thinks this.

People will do what they will do though and Western women just want to be sexy and when they think of themselves it isn't as mothers even though they're going to be spending a lot of their lives as mothers so I suppose we're always going to be spending days in the maternity wards while the Natives just pant a bit, then crouch and whoosh - baby.