Tag Archives: Q & A

Q & A Tag – The Writer Next Door

16 May

Hello everyone! Today I’d like to thank Marjorie Mallon from KYROSMAGICA for nominating me to take part in The Writer Q & A Tag. Marje is a writer, book reviewer, and all around great person. She has a fun and colorful blog that is all about the magic of writing, her love for books, crystals, laughter and much more, so be sure to check it out.

kyrosmagica-The Writer Next Door-Marjorie Mallon-Vashti Q

What’s this tag about? Its a fun tag celebrating writers, bloggers, books, and writing. It is also a great way to discover or know more about our online friends in the writing and blogging communities.

Following are the questions that Marje Mellon prepared for me and my answers.

  1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?

 

Hmm. I would interview him.

 

  1. What’s your favorite genre of book and why?

 

I love to read the same genres I write which are fantasy, horror and suspense/thriller. However, I do occasionally read romantic comedies, crime thrillers, and historical fantasies. If someone recommends a book in another genre I may read the first few chapters to see if I like it. I do like to give every book a fighting chance.

halloween-horror-clown-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

  1. Who is/are your favorite author (s), poet (s)? What is it about them that inspired you?

 

Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Tom Clancy. I admire these authors’ imagination and ability to tell a good story in a way that I can play it out in my mind in living color.

 

Poets: Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe, and Anne Sexton

 

 

  1. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bale, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.) Too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) Enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) Pray in a corner for the bell to sound. Guess which one would be my reply, winners will be mentioned on my blog!

 

I would tell them a story. That has always worked for me with smaller cousins growing up and with my nieces, nephews and their friends when they were younger. I might join in a little bit of mayhem too––as I suspect you would, Marje. 😉

 

  1. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored, attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…

 

Nothing made me become a writer. I was born and that’s what I am. My family is very supportive.

 

I’m working on a fantasy series about angels. The first book in the series is called The Fall of Lilith. I’m currently working on some structural issues. I’m also writing the second book in the series, Dracúl.

 

  1. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?

 

When my husband and I sold our previous home (it sold much faster than we had anticipated) we had to temporarily stay at someone else’s house until our new home was ready. I did not want to stay in this person’s house but my husband had good reasons to stay there, so we did. This was one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt like I’d experience hell. The aura in that house was so dark and negative. One of the people living in the house did everything humanly possible to make our stay as horrible as could be. I never felt so uncomfortable and sad in my life. Leaving there was like escaping from hades. However, this experience has made me appreciate my home and my family so much more, and for that I’m thankful. (I know how dramatic this reads)

 

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised? Can you guess what I am?

 

I always start the process as a plotter. Somewhere along the line the pantser takes over. I use an outline, sketches, character diamonds . . . I like to begin the novel in an organized way. As I write things begin to change and I allow the story to unfold in a more organic way. I’m generally an organized person but I do have my messy moments. I would guess you’re a plotter, Marje.

 spiral-festisite-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-graphic-art

  1. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings? Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons . . . etc. . . . Make your own observations . . . and let me know.

 

Vashti Q-fun-writer-blog-book-author-facebook

I believe in God and if there’s a God there are good and bad forces. I believe in Karma, mind-over-matter, visualization, meditation, perseverance, positive thinking . . . For the rest––if I could see it, hear it, and feel it, then it’s real.

scary-halloween-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

  1. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…

 

When I was a blonde I had my hair color done and it looked good at the beauty salon but when I got home I noticed there were a few areas where the toner didn’t take. Had it happen in areas that were not noticeable I would have left it alone but the brassy areas where very noticeable so I called the hairstylist and she told me to come back in. Instead of adding toner to the areas that needed it she put bleach over my entire head, including areas that were already bleached! I didn’t think that was right but I figured she knew what she was doing as the professional cosmetologist. Well, all my hair broke off leaving me with about an inch of hair all over my head and maybe an inch and half or two inches in the front. I was at the shampoo bowl when she said, ‘Oh no!’ I looked up at her and she showed me a handful of my hair.

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-writer-blogger

  1. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you . . .

 

. . . never know when your time will come, so live life to the fullest and appreciate what you have and the good people in your life.

I nominate any writer, poet or blogger who’d like to participate in this tag. You can answer Marje’s questions or make up your own. Let me know when you publish your post. Have a great day everyone!

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Candid Talk with Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin

7 Oct

Hello everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog. It is my great pleasure to introduce to you today the lovely, talented writer and blogger Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin. I met Yolanda on Google+ and it didn’t take me long to discover that she is a wonderful person. I visited her blog Love, Pain and Other Catastrophes and quickly became a fan. Read on and you’ll see why.

Writer-Blogger-Yolanda

In her words…

I was born in Madrid Spain and immigrated to Australia with my parents when I was four years old  I speak and write Spanish fluently and dabble in Italian.  I have grown up surrounded by Spanish culture and traditions and have integrated them into my life in the land downunder.  I guess you could call me a Spanaussie.

I live in beautiful Sydney, Australia and am a Licensed Conveyancer.  For those of you who don’t know what that is … I practice Property Law and all that it involves.

I have many interests one of them being the theatre both performing and attending.  I am a member of a community theatre at which I perform.

I enjoy photography, trying capture the place … the moment, through the lens of a camera.  Hand in hand with this is my love for travel.  I  feel I have learnt so much through experiencing the different cultures and the colours of the many countries I have been lucky enough to have visited.

My greatest passion is writing.  Life is my inspiration with all its beauty and its ugliness.  I have always enjoyed writing, but started my blog as a way of externalising my thoughts and emotions. Whilst I enjoy writing prose, poetry is my first love.  I love the freedom of expression it allows.  Writing allows me to immerse myself in another character or travel to another world.  It feeds my soul and lets my imagination take flight.  It is as essential as breathing.

I live, I love, I breathe …. a mixture of unique and ordinary.  A little bit mad, but sometimes very sane.  Life has brought moments of overwhelming joy and dark despair …. I travel through this journey that is life, with one eye open and the other closed to unnecessary reality.

“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” Oscar Wilde

Take my hand and join me in this journey that is life.

Yolanda has aways had a flair for the dramatic.

Yolanda has aways had a flair for the dramatic.

Okay, lets start the Q & A…

1) If you win the lottery what would be the first thing you would do with the money? (no mushy answer, haha!)
Really, no mush damn … lol It would depend on how much money I won. If I won an outrageous amount I would definitely leave work and dedicate my time to my writing and other things that I enjoy doing. I’m sorry, I have to get a little mushy … Please don’t stop the interview!! I would help my daughters out financially and as I have intentions of doing some work with charities once I retire, I would start that a little earlier. I have always wanted to contribute to and work with ill and/or abused children.

 Okay, that’s it! I’m writing a long letter to pope Francis requesting you be canonized as a saint.

2) Do you speak Spanish?
Yes, I do. I read and write in Spanish as well. My father in particular was adamant that my brothers and I would learn the language. He would make us sit down in front of a small blackboard every day after school and give us lessons. He was not quite as diligent with my younger brothers. Of course, I hated it at the time, but I am now very grateful that he took the time to teach us. I also went to Spanish lessons when I got older and speaking Spanish at home obviously helped. Although I speak Spanish well, my English vocabulary is more extensive and I would consider English to be my first language.

I believe it’s great to have a second language.

3) What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
I have been very lucky, I have not had too much criticism of my writing and the little that I have had has been constructive and I have learnt from it. The only incident I can recall happened about two months ago, when I was told that my writing was ‘dribble’, that my poems were ‘a pandering bunch of crap’ and that I ‘had only published one technically good poem’. It hit me in the gut and it hurt at the time, but everyone is entitled to their opinion and you cannot please or cater to everyone.

     I, like you, believe that everyone’s entitled to their opinion and I understand that not everyone is going to like every piece you write, but there’s a right and wrong way to give a critique. There’s no reason for someone to be rude or mean. Of course it hurts.

4) What are you passionate about? (in addition to writing)
My two daughters, they are my greatest achievement and my greatest love. Ooops, sorry I forgot about the ‘no mush’ rule ☺

I’ll let it go this time. ;D

I am passionate about the theatre, both attending and performing. It takes me away from reality and transposes me to another place and sometimes another time. Come on, who wouldn’t love it? You get to dress up and pretend to be someone else just like most of us did when we were kids. I will let you in on a secret, I have never really grown u, ha ha. On a more serious note, it has taught me discipline, expression and articulation when speaking.

Love of the Theatre

Yolanda with her niece in a performance of Jayne Eyre

I also love to travel … Another great teacher from which I have learnt about different cultures, traditions and experienced the beauty of different landscapes and architecture. Hand in hand with travelling is my love for photography which allows me to capture the experience, the moment, the place and share these with others.

5) Where do you get inspiration for your blog posts? Do your experiences, songs, other writers, or dreams inspire you?
All of the above. Inspiration can be found everywhere if you leave yourself open to it. In Life, Love, Death, Nature and so much more … a newborn’s cry, a lover’s touch, a sound, a memory, an experience. I will leave it there, I am rambling. ☺

6) Have you ever hated (or regretted) something you wrote on your blog?
No, I don’t think so. Those of you who have read my blog know that it is personal. I am very honest and open when I write. I write from the heart and gut. My blog may not be for everyone, it was started for me and along the way, I have been told, it has touched other’s lives. There is no greater compliment than this. So no, there are no regrets. Whatever I have written was ‘right’ at the time.

I hear you. Well, actually I read you. You know what I mean. :/

7) Do you consider yourself a writer, blogger or both? Why?
This is the most difficult question because of what my definition of a writer has always been. I have always considered a writer to be someone who writes for a living, however meagre that living may be. What I have learnt from the writing communities that I am involved in, who are full of talented writers and some who are passionate about writing, is that if you write regularly you are a writer. If you have had your work published, you are an author. It makes sense, don’t you think? I am a poet and a blogger. A writer? I am still trying to get my head around being a writer. I have been called a writer by others and I have started delving into writing flash fiction and short stories. Maybe, I am a writer, I will leave that to the readers ☺

You are a writer, poet and blogger.

8) What is your favorite theme/genre to write about? Why?
I enjoy writing about life, the good, the bad and the ugly, and romance. The same three descriptions apply to romance too, lol. Whilst I have a vivid imagination the words flow more easily when I have lived it or have had exposure to something. Upon saying this, any form of writing irrespective of what theme/genre you write in, this would apply to. When writing, you have to dig deep and draw from inside. The more we get out there, live, experience and feel, the more we have to draw from.

     I absolutely agree. You do have to get out there and LIVE life. Experiment, take risks (calculated, don’t go nuts) and have fun.

9) If you got an offer to be a travel writer for a popular magazine making lots of money, would you leave your current job and go for it? Why/why not?
Is this a serious question? I am typing my resignation as we speak , lol … To combine my love of travel, with my love of writing and throw in some photography would be the ultimate career. To then be able to share these experiences with others, how exciting and satisfying. So, if there are any travel publishers out there … Hell, any publishers I’m your gal!! ☺

 You go girrrl! Ha,ha!

10) What do your loved ones think about your blogging/writing? Do they read it?
My family have always been aware that I write poetry, but some were surprised when they found out I had started writing a blog. Mainly because of how personal it is and how much of me it exposes. When I have written particularly raw pieces, my daughter used to ring and asked if I was ok. She is better now as I have explained to her that it is not always about me. They are all very supportive and all follow my blog. They have told me that they enjoy it and many posts have touched them. If they really hated it, I would hear it … We are very open in my family, lol.

That’s awesome Yolanda! 

11) What makes you laugh?
Myself, I can laugh at myself very easily, lol See, he he. Children, a good comedy, life … I laugh a lot and it has gotten me through some tough times. Laughing is the key to wellbeing and so much more fun than giving in to sadness.

So true! Sometimes I’m asked why I’m always smiling and laughing. Well, it keeps you young. It is the best medicine.

12) What makes you so sad you could cry?
Ok, here we go … mush again. The plight of so many people in war torn countries, living in extreme conditions. The poverty, famine … With so much wealth in the world, why does it still exist? Especially the children that never get a chance to reach their full potential. Abused and terminally ill children. When I feel like crying about my pain, I try to think about how great my life is, compared to others. This does not invalidate my own pain, we all experience sadness in our lives. I have gone off on a bit of a tangent, he he. I am pretty emotional, a sad movie or book will have me sobbing.

     I’m writing the letter to pope Francis as we speak. Ha,ha. But seriously, the things you mentioned are heart-wrenching and the       answer to your first question is GREED.

13) What character from a novel (protagonist/antagonist or other) do you see yourself in? Why?
Can I say two? Elizabeth Bennett in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone with the Wind’. They have always stood out for me. Elizabeth Bennett because she is independent and outspoken for her time, but still feminine and caring of the people she loves. Scarlett O’Hara because whilst she comes from a life of privilege and some would say is spoilt, once thrown into chaos … She is passionate, strong and a survivor. She does what needs to be done for herself and her family. I admire strong women.

     I could see you in both these characters. Great choices.

14) What is your guilty pleasure?
Not too guilty, I don’t believe you should feel guilty about pleasure. Every morning I have a cup of coffee in bed. I get up a little earlier to be able to start the morning with this little bit of pampering and relaxation.

 Hmmm. This makes me wonder…who prepares this cup of coffee? (Re-thinking the letter to pope Francis)

15) Do you think your life would make an interesting memoir? If so, who would play you in a film of your life?
My life has been pretty average with all the usual ups and downs. There are some parts that others may consider interesting, but at this point I don’t feel I have led an extraordinary life. Maybe that is still to come ☺ If a film were made I would want Cate Blanchett to play me. She is such a talented and versatile actress and could even make my life seem interesting, ha ha.

     Why did I know Cate Blanchett would be your choice? Ha,ha! By the way, your life is very interesting, which brings me to my next question.

16) Tell us briefly about your recent vacation in Hawaii.
Aaaah Hawaii … back at work two weeks and it already feels like a dream ☺ It was a fun vacation. I did a 7 day cruise of the Hawaiian Islands, which was great and allowed me to see Maui, Hawaii – The Big Island and Kauai. The landscape of these islands is breathtaking and though I took many photographs it was difficult to capture the grandeur of Haleakala Crater or Waimea Canyon. I met some lovely people on the cruise and had a few party nights, he he. Waikiki was vibrant and busy with lots to do. In Waikiki, Pearl Harbour was the highlight. It was interesting, emotional and a must if you’re visiting. Hanauma Bay is great for snorkelling. Last, but certainly not least, I did some major retail therapy, lol.

 So much for not having an interesting life. 

Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin in Hawaii

Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin in Hawaii

Okay, officially tore up the letter to pope Francis! Ha,ha!

Okay, officially tore up the letter to pope Francis! Ha,ha!

Check out the links below to contact this very interesting lady.

http://lovepainandothercatastrophes.blogspot.com

http://about.me/yolreg

http://yolreg.tumblr.com

https://twitter.com/yolreg

Yolanda I. Regueira Marin

Yolanda I. Regueira Marin
performing in Murdered To Death

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Q & A With Non-fiction Writer Jasveena Prabhagaran

9 Sep
Q & A With Nonfiction Writer Jasveena Prabhagaran

Jasveena Prabhagaran

A very very warm and affectionate welcome to all visiting my blog. Thank you for stopping by. I am so delighted to introduce the caring and passionate writer Jasveena Prabhagaran. She has a blog called Thoughts And Views That Matter where she discusses relevant issues about women, politics and other important affairs. Her posts are quite interesting, and she writes with fervor. I recommend you visit her site and see for yourself.  I do a little victory dance (in my head) whenever I meet someone truly worth knowing.  Jasveena is certainly one of those people, and I feel honored she has accepted to be interviewed by me today.

Jasveena, looking lovely in red.

Jasveena, looking lovely in red.

In her words…

Hey guys!!! It is a wonderful opportunity to be featured on Vashti Quiroz-Vega’s Blog, our very own author friend, and the creator of Robbie the adorable main character from her novel The Basement. Thank you very much Vashti for considering me to be your interviewee, for coming up with a personalised interview questionnaire, and thank you viewers for reading about me.
Let me introduce myself to all of you since some of you may not know me. I’m Jasveena from Malaysia. I have recently graduated from an engineering school and currently looking for a job. I love to blog and write about human rights, women’s issues and just about anything that crosses my mind. My request to be an official contributor for Global Voices has been accepted and now I’m an author for Global Voices for Malaysia. My passion for writing was greatly encouraged by an author friend. She asked me if I could do her a favour, I said yes, and she instantly told me to write a book. I was overwhelmed by her request. I hesitated about the entire idea, but eventually I started to write my book, which features women and their lives all around the world. It is a non-fiction book. I hope to complete it someday soon.

Author Interview- Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog
1- What are you working on at the moment?
I’m freelancing at the moment, and I am actively looking for a job too. In between that, I write for my blogs on current issues and started to draft out my posts for Global Voices too. On top of that, I also research on issues related to women, and write my thoughts out for the non-fiction book I’m working on right now. My book requires valid sources to refer to especially when I’m talking about real life issues. I’m a big fan of Jean Sasson. I learnt that non-fiction books will have issues like people attempting to sue you for your writing. That’s a challenge I need to face and be prepared for legally.

Phew! You’re a very busy lady. 

2- What is the most important lack in your life?

My blessings are uncountable! I won’t say lack, but it is something I wish I had done when I was younger. I wish I had taken sports seriously while I was at school, but I think it is never late to start. I love sports now. It makes you feel so good about your body and health.

I agree, exercise is very important for your health and self image.

3- If you were a man in power what laws would you enforce or establish in your country?
I would make efforts to have cleaner politics (if not transparent political system)! I feel it is going really ugly now with our dirty politics, and back in May we had the dirtiest election ever!

I guess when it comes to politics things are pretty much the same everywhere. Dirt, dirt and more dirt!

4- What did you want to be when you grow up?
I am aiming at being a good employee at work and a good homemaker! I might do my own business later when I have some working experience. Apart from that, I want to do something for people and create awareness on issues I feel matter the most.

You are already creating awareness on issues that matter on your blog.

5- Name three people throughout history that you greatly admire.
I admire Newton for his persistence, Nelson Mandela for his fight for international justice and peace, Lady Diana for being so compassionate towards the poor and less-fortunate.

Wonderful choices!

6- Do you research your blog posts?
Most of my blog posts have some level of research before I write it out. What I mean by research is by referring to external websites or what people are saying about the issues I write about. Posts that reflect my own thoughts and views basically have fewer researches.

7- What do you believe books are for?
Books are the most powerful tools to convey ideas. It can be fictional stories or facts, but if you have something to offer the world, you should definitely write it, as writing preserves your thoughts best!

I couldn’t agree more. When you write a book, you leave a piece of you behind for others to enjoy, and remember you by when you’re gone.

8- Do you believe in complete honesty or is it okay to tell a little white lie to spare someone’s feelings?
I feel it is best to convey your thoughts honestly without hurting others. Honesty doesn’t have anything to do with being rude. It all depends on how we choose to say it.

If only some people knew the difference. : /

9- Are you a brave woman or does fear sometimes stop you from doing what you want?
I take calculated risks when I attempt to do something new. If I find it worth going for, I will just do it. ☺

Bravo!

10- Why do you think what you do matters?
I feel my thoughts and views matter because it concerns a large part of the society I live in and the world in general. I think it is important to be a part in a struggle for justice to make the world we live in a better place. I think I’m just doing my part.

I believe you are doing your part.

11- Is there someone special in your life right now?
I’m so glad that the answer is no. LOL. Not at the moment.

Jassie, I’m sure many hearts leaped with joy just now at the thought of you being single. ;D

12- Do you see yourself as a writer?
I am certainly a writer. I used to doubt myself very much when it comes to writing, but at this point in my life, I can safely say I am a writer.

Good for you. If you don’t believe no one else will.

13- Where do your best ideas come from?
My best ideas come when something crosses my mind and I realise that my subconscious mind is discussing it with me so much that the issue pre-occupies my mind. That’s when I know I need to write it down and share it with my readers.

14- What are you addicted to?
The internet.

15- What’s your weakest character trait?

I take a lot of time to get things done the perfect way. I can’t write when I’m sleepy. I can’t do anything else when I need sleep. I require an ideal situation to get something done. That’s why when I’m into it I will make sure I get it done before I lose my mood. That’s how I carry forward work to the next day. (Not a good thing at all)

     Thank you Jasveena for your honest and insightful answers. I enjoyed interviewing you. 😀

Writer and Blogger Jasveena Prabhagaran

Writer and Blogger
Jasveena Prabhagaran

*Please visit Jasveena’s blogs by clicking on the links below. Learn more about this sweet and passionate writer and read her interesting and informative blog posts.

http://about.me/jasveena_prabhagaran
http://thoughtsandviewsthatmatter.wordpress.com/
http://thoughtsandviewsthatmatter.blogspot.com/

Author Interview -  Lois Lane

Author Interview – Lois Lane