Posted tagged ‘writer’

Legacies From The Past

September 27, 2013

A WORD FROM B. J. MYRICK

Have you ever wondered where a writer gets the idea for a particular book and what is involved in the creation of the story that looks so enticing in the book’s description? The idea for my novel was inspired by Mother’s stories about homesteading in No Man’s Land and my great-grandmother’s recipes for herbal cures—she was a medicine woman.

Within the tattered pages of the old Dr. Chase book, published in the 1800’s, were my great-grandmother’s recipes for herbal cures written on blank pages at the end of chapters. They contained weird ingredients such as sugar of lead, chloroform, sarsaparilla, sulphuric ether and acid, iodide of potash, stillingia, poke root, and morphine, to name just a few. Her cures covered diphtheria, blood purifier and liver regulator, piles, worms, and a host of other ailments. With her concoctions, she healed ill and dying patients who had been given up to die by the doctors. Unfortunately, she never passed down the tradition of healing with herbs.

As I considered how I could use the herbal healing in a novel, I remembered all those family stories my mother told me about homesteading in No Man’s Land. As a child, I used to beg her to retell the stories, and she would laugh and say, “Oh, you don’t want to hear that again.” But she always recounted those fascinating tales of digging the dugout, confronting outlaws, digging the well, fighting prairie fires set by the cattlemen to drive out settlers who were a  threat to open range. I never tired of hearing about those frightening experiences of what it was like to homestead in that wild and untamed territory.

The story, Nelly of No Man’s Land takes place in Oklahoma over a two-year period. A pioneer family homesteads in The Strip where they struggle to survive in a lawless territory. Nelly Duncan is a dying woman who battles to regain her health while struggling to resolve the personal pain of her husband’s alcohol addiction and infidelity. Through the help of a medicine man, she regains her health there. Then the past returns to haunt her: the handsome peddler she turned to for comfort during her husband’s unfaithfulness and who fathered a child her husband thinks is his own, reappears in her life.

Take a step back in time and travel with me through the pages of Nelly of No Man’s Land as I share the journey with you. The historical novel is available at amazon.com in both eBook and paperback.

VIEW THE BOOK TRAILER

Read more about B. J. Myrick and her books at amazon.com.

Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for their images.

FLASHBACKS

September 6, 2013

hazel's blog photo


ABOUT THE STORY

Throughout The Survivalist’s Daughter, Kindra has flashbacks to the FBI raid and the killing of her stepmother. The worst of these flashbacks happens during a school lockdown drill when the tinny intercom voice and the loud banging of chair legs on the floor combine to bring the devastating event back to her.

Kindra is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental illness most often associated with soldiers. However, the illness can happen to any person of any age who undergoes a harrowing experience. Read more on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of PTSD on the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in civilians

ABOUT HAZEL HART

hazel cropped copyHazel Hart, a member of Kansas Writers Association and Kansas Authors Club, has won awards for her short fiction, including “Amanda Marie,” published in Kansas Voices, and “Confessions,” published in Words out of the Flatlands.

She has three published suspense novels, The Night before Christmas, Family History, and Possessing Sara and has co-authored two books of short stories, Dark Side of the Rainbow and The Edge of Nowhere, with Bonnie Eaton aka B.J. Myrick, which are also listed on amazon.com.  Visit her amazon author page and preview The Survivalist’s Daughter.

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images

PARENTAL KIDNAPPING: THE SURVIVALIST’S DAUGHTER

August 6, 2013

hazel reading copy

 

THE AUTHOR SPEAKS

In The Survivalist’s Daughter, I explore a number of social issues, including parental kidnapping, blended families, gun control, school security and lockdown drills, and social media. A major issue that runs throughout the novel is parental kidnapping and its effects on the main character, Kindra.

Over 203,000 parental kidnappings occur each year. While most children are recovered quickly, a few, like Kindra in The Survivalist’s Daughter, were kidnapped at such a young age and kept so long that they have no memory of the left behind parent. Even if the left behind parent is remembered, the kidnapped child often distrusts that person. For Kindra, that lack of trust is exacerbated by her suspicions that FBI Agent Epperson is using her mother to get information from Kindra about her father’s gun-selling activities.

For more information on parental kidnapping, check these websites:

http://www.stopfamilyabductionsnow.org/parents.html gives the reasons why children are kidnapped, tells who may be at risk, and includes stories of children who have been kidnapped.

http://www.childfindofamerica.org/information.htm  contains facts and statistics about kidnapped children.

This FBI sithttp://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/cac/family-abductionse, Violent Crimes against Children, defines parental kidnapping and lists the options under the law that allow the FBI to become involved.

http://jeannehannah.typepad.com/blog_jeanne_hannah_traver/2011/08/parental-abduction-emotional-social_cost.html focuses on international parental kidnapping, but the emotional effects of parental kidnapping on children are the same, regardless of whether the kidnapper stays in the United States or takes the child abroad.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hart-likemotherlikedaughter author2Hazel Hart, a member of Kansas Writers Association and Kansas Authors Club, has won awards for her short fiction, including “Amanda Marie,” published in Kansas Voices, and “Confessions,” published in Words out of the Flatlands.

She has three published suspense novels, The Night before Christmas, Family History, and Possessing Sara and has co-authored two books of short stories, Dark Side of the Rainbow and The Edge of Nowhere, with Bonnie Eaton aka B.J. Myrick, which are also listed on amazon.com.  Visit her amazon author page and preview The Survivalist’s Daughter.

Subscribe to Keyhole Conversations while you’re here!

Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

THE END OF THE JOURNEY: Publication and Promotion

April 28, 2013

grant's final promo copy

Grant Overstake: Publication and Promotion

In this third and last segment of  our interview with Grant Overstake, he details the final steps he took to prepare Maggie Vaults Over the Moon for publication and distribution. Listen in as he discusses his experiences with book cover design, editing, Create Space and Amazon, and promoting through social media.

ABOUT THE STORYLINE

In the new teen sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, author Grant Overstake retells the story of another amazing small-town athlete, Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who pours her broken heart into the daring sport of pole-vaulting. The story climaxes at the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championships, the largest track meet in the nation, held at Wichita State University‘s Cessna Stadium.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

grant overstakeFormer Miami Herald Sports Writer, Grant Overstake, is a lifelong participant in the sport of track and field who competed in the decathlon for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. A multiple award winner for excellence in journalism, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the author’s premiere work of sports fiction.  Read more about Grant on his website.

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Many thanks to The Inn at Glenstrae for graciously allowing Keyhole Conversation to film the interview with Grant Overstake. Take a tour of this beautiful bed and breakfast inn here.

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maurice FINAL copy

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

GRANT OVERSTAKE ON WRITING “MAGGIE”: NOT A LONELY VIGIL

April 27, 2013

grant overstake promo2 copy

     Writing is often thought of as a lonely vigil, but Grant Overstake, author of “Maggie Vaults over the Moon,” found this not to be true. In this Keyhole Conversations interview, he acknowledges those people who helped him along the way.

     His novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, has been endorsed by National Schools of Character as a story with a “positive character-building message for young people.” A former athlete and Miami Herald sportswriter, Grant has the experience needed to bring Maggie’s journey to life. Through pole vaulting, Maggie achieves both a physical and symbolic triumph over gravity.  Set in Grain Valley, Kansas, this sports-related book has a depth people of all ages can relate to. Without a doubt, readers are sure to enjoy Grant’s novel of courage.

     Watch the interview below as Bonnie Myrick and Grant Overstake discuss the inspiration for the novel and the people who encouraged and supported him, which he describes as believing mirrors that reflected back on him, and his novel is “…truth embedded with a capital T.”

ABOUT THE STORYLINE

In the new teen sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, author Grant Overstake retells the story of another amazing small-town athlete, Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who pours her broken heart into the daring sport of pole-vaulting. The story climaxes at the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championships, the largest track meet in the nation, held at Wichita State University‘s Cessna Stadium.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

grant overstakeFormer Miami Herald Sports Writer, Grant Overstake, is a lifelong participant in the sport of track and field who competed in the decathlon for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. A multiple award winner for excellence in journalism, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the author’s premiere work of sports fiction.  Read more about Grant on his website.

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Many thanks to The Inn at Glenstrae for graciously allowing Keyhole Conversation to film the interview with Grant Overstake. Take a tour of this beautiful bed and breakfast inn here.

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flash katoonzcopy copy

Subscribe to Keyhole Conversations while you’re here!
Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

MAGGIE VAULTS OVER THE MOON–MORE THAN A TEEN SPORTS NOVEL!

March 29, 2013

grant promo of maggie copy

Grant Overstake’s novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, has been endorsed by National Schools of Character as a story with a “positive character-building message for young people.” A former athlete and Miami Herald sportswriter, Grant has the experience needed to bring Maggie’s journey to life. Through pole vaulting, Maggie achieves both a physical and symbolic triumph over gravity.  Set in Grain Valley, Kansas, this sports-related book has a depth people of all ages can relate to. Without a doubt, readers are sure to enjoy Grant’s novel of courage.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

ABOUT THE STORYLINE

In the new teen sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, author Grant Overstake retells the story of another amazing small-town athlete, Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who pours her broken heart into the daring sport of pole-vaulting. The story climaxes at the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championships, the largest track meet in the nation, held at Wichita State University‘s Cessna Stadium.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

grant overstakeFormer Miami Herald Sports Writer, Grant Overstake, is a lifelong participant in the sport of track and field who competed in the decathlon for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. A multiple award winner for excellence in journalism, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the author’s premiere work of sports fiction.  Read more about his upcoming booksigning at Watermark Books and check out his website.

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Many thanks to The Inn at Glenstrae for graciously allowing Keyhole Conversation to film the interview with Grant Overstake. Take a tour of this beautiful bed and breakfast inn here.

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timmy  readingcopy copy

Subscribe to Keyhole Conversations while you’re here!
Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

COLLEEN KELLY JOHNSTON: ACTIVIST AND POET

April 12, 2012

Keyhole Conversations continues our National Poetry Month series with poet Colleen Kelly Johnston reading poems about Ireland and family relationships.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Colleen Kelly Johnston is a woman who people might not immediately recognize as a poet, as she has been a political activist most of her adult life. One aspect of that activism was her involvement with the Feminist Movement. Her essay, “I Didn’t Play with Dolls,” was published in Radiating Like a Stone: Wichita Women and the 1970s Feminist Movement.

In the last few years, though, Colleen has been a serious writer of poetry and, as a result, her poems have been published and won awards all over the country.

One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.    —Voltaire

Take the poll below. Which series did you enjoy most?

  


Special thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

A STEP BACK IN TIME

January 24, 2012

Keyhole Conversations steps back in time with Richard Walkup, a  prolific painter who later turned his talents to writing. His oil paintings range from realism to abstract, from moody environmental subject matter  to city scenes painted with color and excitement. In Thunderstorm, he captures the feel of nature’s power. Can you see the wind pushing huge thunderheads,  hear the lightning crackle in the ominous cloud formation ?

We hope you enjoy the oil paintings of this amazing artist as much as we did.  See if you can guess the genre he writes in by looking at what and how he paints

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See what Richard has to say about his art

and what his paintings represent to him.

“Everything I know about painting I learned in fourth grade art class, from primary colors to vanishing points and horizon lines.  Using an abstract subject that obsessed me for weeks, I began painting Puzzle Cubes In Space in 1970.  That was followed by Kansas City Turns On, inspired by a picture of Kansas City, Missouri, at dusk from beneath the Pesao Bridge over the Missouri River, as depicted on the 1969 Kansas City, Missouri, phone directory.

“Then came, In The Beginning, (Cockroaches Rule),  Water and Wine, still life.  (Spaceship) Returning HomeFood Fruit and Wine still life,  Ghost Town 1970Thunderstorm Over the Prairie, Oklahoma City ShinesSpook, my pal.  Hang-gliding near Manhattan, Kansas (Port hole) Portal to Space,  America the Beautiful,  Chess Dream Scape and  Out of the Flat Lands.

“These paintings represent my philosophy of life, my view of the beauty and the ugliness of the environment, and love and beauty in the abstract.”

THE LAYERS OF A WRITER

January 20, 2012

Keyhole Conversations is proud to present the art of award-winning author, Bonnie Tharp. As you view the slides below, consider the feelings her paintings evoke and how her selection of subject matter, use of color and brush strokes, and movement within the composition capture a love of family and an artist steeped in tradition and enduring values.

In her writing, Bonnie Tharp evokes strong images with words, layering the scenes in her novel like the layers of paint she applies to her art work. It is easy to understand how this writer won the 2011 coveted Coffin award for her novel, Feisty Family Values.

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Bonnie has selected a few of her personal pieces to show today, which includes pen and ink sketches and oil paintings.

When asked how she was drawn into art, here is what she had to say.

“I was drawn to art from a very young age. As a toddler I doodled on any flat surface, or margins of the newspaper, it didn’t matter. My grandmother pasted all my little drawings in a notebook and gave it to me when I was an adult. When I started grade school, I discovered I loved to sing and my voice wasn’t too bad. All through high school I sang in chorus and with our church choir. It was with that choir that we toured Europe singing in churches in Germany, France, Holland, and Austria.

“I tried playing guitar but never learned how really. I had a beautiful, but cheap guitar from Woolworth’s that had metal strings that made my fingers bleed, so I quit. Throughout all this time I never stopped drawing and painting. I often used art to express my feelings growing up. I was a writer, too, and kept a diary. BUT, that didn’t work out well, because I didn’t censor my writing and my stepsister was nosey. I didn’t get back into writing until after I graduated from high school and started college.”

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
                                                                                                  —Dolly Parton

A special thanks to Free Web Images for their clip art

Kansas Authors: Closet Painters? Take a peek.

January 7, 2012

Now that the frantic pace of the holidays is over, it’s time to take a deep breath and relax.

Keyhole Conversations has taken note of the fact that most of the writers interviewed on our vlog also paint. It’s another form of creative expression that closely ties into writing. A five-week series on authors who express themselves in other creative ways will be featured on our blog.

Our first writer, Bonnie  Myrick,  followed art as a career before she began to write seriously at the age of sixty-two. Her fiction covers many genres: horror, paranormal, mystery, and historical. Her chosen art media ranges from three-dimensional works of sculpture and pottery, as well as mixed media, painting, and pen and ink sketches.

We hope you enjoy peeking through the keyhole into another facet of Bonnie’s life.

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  Bonnie Myrick tells why she became an artist.

       “I had two sisters who were talented artists. I became an artist by accident when my sister, Betty, wanted me to accompany her to her art classes. I wasn’t interested, but she kept nagging until I agreed. Then I discovered the world of color and began to paint. All I have left are a few of my early personal pieces.

      “All my paintings are in oil. The still life is a copy after Cezanne and the old man was painted using Rembrandt’s technique known as chiaroscuro. The sculpture is cast plaster and the lump box was salt fired using red clay. The oil is a painting of  my electric range top. The Jerusalem street scene is copied from a small post card, my earliest attempt as a beginner.”


B. J. Myrick, author of Out of Control

Visit her page at authors den and amazon