Welcome friends and fans to the unique and distinguished literary assemblage of Desert Coyote Productions, Inc.
Today, I am pleased to introduce and showcase one of our highly celebrated authors, Mrs. Patty Wiseman. This talented Romantic Suspense novelist, a native of Tacoma, Washington, currently resides with her husband Ron, and loveable crème lab Cutter, in Marshall, Texas.
Mrs. Wiseman graduated from Bethel High School, in Spanaway, Washington, and proceeded on to study at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
In December of 2011, Patty retired after serving 24 years with Ernie Marshall Investments. Now, this spirited lady dedicates the vast majority of her time to a revered passion … writing.
Hello Patty, it is indeed a pleasure to host this one-on-one chat with you and hope our modest interview will shed a beacon of light on your life and career, past and future.
BTM: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Was there a particular person who influenced this path, such as a teacher, friend, or associate?
PW: First of all, thank you Bernadette for such a warm welcome. It’s easy to pinpoint when the writing spark first appeared. My 1st grade teacher in Colby, Kansas, Mrs. Bell nurtured my desire to read and to write. She was an exceptional teacher. I’ll never forget her. We moved there for a year to recuperate from my chronic bronchitis. I believe it was destiny, otherwise I would never have met her. She had us putting together little poems even at that early age, and the magic of words turned a light on in my brain. There are other teachers throughout my educational career that were inspiring, but she is definitely at the top of the list. I believe capturing the magic in a child at a very early age will assure a love of reading and writing. Teaching is an absolute gift.
BTM: Outside of your family members, is there one entity who supported you above all others?
PW: There have been so many, but probably the most influential entity was the NETWO association. North East Texas Writers Organization. It was the first group I joined to better learn the craft of writing. The first conference I attended many years ago really turned on the switch for me. I am still a member of that group today and rely on the many friendships I developed there.
BTM: I understand you penned the first novel in your series, An Unlikely Arrangement, after becoming awestruck by a bit of your family history. Can you explain the story behind this discovery?
PW: As a child, I would hide under the stairs at my grandmother’s old farm house and listen to the stories the adults told about her. She was a rebellious young woman, and her parents came up with the solution to arrange a marriage for her. My father was the product of that marriage. Unfortunately, my grandfather was killed when daddy was only 10 months old, so he never really knew him. The stories always haunted me, and I finally put together the series. This was at the height of the gangster era in the ‘Roaring Twenties’ in Detroit, Michigan, and I incorporated that into the series. Doing the research uncovered more information I’d never known before about my family. It totally consumed me. I loved writing this series, and I hope I did justice to my grandfather who was completely swept under the rug and out of sight after his death.
BTM: Could you expound a little on one of your main characters, Ruth Squire. Do you feel connected to Ruth and her circumstances in any way? Would you say a quantity of her indomitable qualities relate to the ‘modern day’ women?
PW: Ruth Squire is absolutely relatable to strong ‘modern day’ women, and yes, I do feel the connection. I know my strong, independent personality comes from her. She wasn’t afraid of anything, a force to be reckoned with, if you will. You’ve heard the expression, ‘ahead of her time’. She definitely fit the description. Yes, she was a spoiled 17 year old girl as the series begins, but I tried to show her evolution into womanhood. I had a healthy respect for her when I was a child, and some of the things I didn’t understand as a small child, I certainly relate to now. She raised my father after her husband’s death until she married again, 6 years later. I found myself raising two teenage boys by myself for over 10 years. I thought of her often.
BTM: Research is the key to bring forth the soul of a character into a novel. How did you go about gathering the fundamental facts necessary to cultivate your characters? Did you find travel was required to obtain some crucial facts?
PW: Of course, I spoke with the closest family member I had at the time I began the series, my mother. My dad has been gone for more than 20 years. I did travel to Cheyenne, Wyoming to dig through old pictures, documents, etc. to get more of a feel for what she was like as a young woman in that era. My mother knew her very well, so she had a lot of information, especially when she and my father first married. I’ve always wanted to travel to Detroit to lay flowers on my grandfather’s grave, but it hasn’t happened yet. Fortunately, I have many online friends who live up there. My own publisher grew up in that area. When I got stuck on something related to the area or the time frame, they were always there to set me straight. I did a lot of fact checking with them. I used ancestry.com for a lot of research, also. There is a wealth of information to be had on that site and many others! We are fortunate to live in an internet world. Research is made easier because we have that at our finger tips. I will go to Detroit one day soon, just to visit grandfather’s grave.
BTM: How much of the story is realistic vs. fictional?
PW: I’d say 60% is realistic and 40% fictional. Her story was a perfect basis for a great mystery series, and laid the groundwork. I was able to use actual facts to perpetuate the story, and use poetic license, so to speak, to weave the mystery throughout.
BTM: Is there an underlying message in your novels you want readers to grasp?
PW: I have an affinity for strong, independent women. Women have as much drive as men do. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, it’s still a man’s world. Imagining the struggle some women still face today with the proverbial ‘glass ceiling’, it is shocking to look back at what women went through in the 1920’s. It was the era when women began to break out, follow their dreams, and try to compete in a man’s world. There were a lot of trailblazers back then. I consider my grandmother one of them.
BTM: If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything in your latest book, An Unlikely Beginning?
PW: I enjoyed writing the 2nd book almost more than the first, because I had uncovered so much more information. My imagination became married to the facts, and together, the story unfolded almost by itself. No, I wouldn't change anything.
BTM: I understand you plan to release a third novel in this series sometime in the early spring of this year. Can you share a little of this current work with us? Has the title been set and the cover designed?
PW: Do to some unforeseen events; the book should be released by the end of July of this year. The title is ‘An Unlikely Conclusion’ and the end of the series. The cover has been designed and is the best one yet, in my opinion. I love to read a book that keeps me guessing at every turn, and I try to write that way, so this book follows that style. You’ve watched Ruth evolve in the first two books, now she really has some unbelievable obstacles to overcome. I like an advertisement that one of my friends did for me once. She said, “Face the Unlikely with Patty Wiseman’s Velvet Shoe Collection.” I think that hits the nail on the head.
BTM: You also co-authored another novel prior to the release of your current series, Scent of Double Deception, under the pen name Ann Alan. What was the inspiration for this book?
PW: Yes, I did. Actually ‘Scent’ came out a few weeks after “An Unlikely Arrangement”. My co-author and I ‘cut our teeth’ on that book. The book was many years in the making while we learned the craft, and boy did we have a lot to learn! As we progressed, we discovered we had very different writing styles. I believe that is why it took so long to get right.
The inspiration came from a time in our lives when we found ourselves single mothers at the same time, and the escapades we both experienced together. It’s a fun, rollicking book with a lot of intense characters. I used a pen name under the advice of my marketing agent who was concerned about branding. We both have gone on to write our own novels where we can celebrate our unique styles. It was an eye-opening experience.
BTM: We all have goals, some obtainable and some not. What are your future aspirations, both long and short term?
PW: Long term, to sit home in my ‘jammies’ and pen stories my followers want to read. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to sit in my office and create stories. I’m up at 5:30 every morning getting my day organized so I can spend the rest of it writing.
Short term, I am heeding the advice of my marketing agent in order to get my name out there and known. I had an experience in Dallas at an event where a woman walked up and told me she was looking for the next Patty Wiseman novel. What a thrill for my books to be known as Patty Wiseman Novels. I’ve had two wonderful marketing agents, one of whom I am still working with. She’s phenomenal, and I hang on every word she tells me. Branding is the single most important thing you can do to achieve success. Branding is what they explain as your name or 'store front'. It's not your book, necessarily, but your product as a whole. I look at it like this... there are many phone companies, all of them sell phones and service. What does one have different than the other? You know their brand or logo, can identify it on sight. Even if you didn't see the words, you know the logo. What will the customer get when they walk into your store that is different from anyone else? The same goes for authors and writers. What will you get when you walk into my store you can't anywhere else? My style, my voice. I am humbly following her advice.
BTM: What caused you to leave the “Twilight” state of Washington, and move to the great “Lone Star” state of Texas?
PW: A couple of reasons. One, my health. The dampness played havoc on my respiratory system. I was always ill. I chose college in Oklahoma to escape the wet state. A job brought us to Texas and here I have remained, healthy and happy.
BTM: I understand you are an avid bowler. What is your highest game? What is the type and color ball you use?
PW: I’ve been a league bowler for over 35 years. My highest game was a 228, although I’ve had many over 200 games. My average is 150. I use a green 12 lb. Hammer. I bowl on a ladies league and a mixed league. I love the camaraderie of the women and the competitiveness of the men.
BTM: We often hear about the authors novels, but what about the ‘real’ down-to-earth person who is behind the pages. What can you tell us about yourself? For example, your favorite food, your favorite color, favorite song, do you like to dance, what is it you do for fun? Allow us to see inside the woman who is Patty Wiseman.
PW: I suppose my favorite food is salmon, probably because I grew up on Puget Sound and it was readily available. Every time I went back to visit, my dad would head straight for a seafood restaurant on the waterfront and treat me to a salmon steak. Red is my favorite color and probably depicts my personality the best. Right now, my favorite song is Hilly Billy Bone, by Blake Shelton. Growing up, I never heard much country music. When I came to Texas that’s all I heard! In Washington, I took Arthur Murray dance classes. In Texas, I was taught to dance country at a popular club. I fell in love with it. I actually met my husband at that club. He’s pure cowboy and a superb two-stepper! I teased him when we got married, I hoped he could live it down that he married a Northern girl. He's never complained. LOL
! It’s been 20 years now; I love every minute of it.
For fun, we like to take the RV camping, fish, attend Texas Rangers baseball games, travel, cook together, spend time with our family, and in the summer sit out by the pool sipping margarita’s.
BTM: Tell us how you balance everyday life between that of a writer and that of a wife, mother, and grandmother.
PW: For 24 years I worked as an administrative assistant to a financial advisor. It was a career that suited my disciplined personality. Since retiring, I adhere to the same schedule. I am up at 5:30, eat a bite, take my mile walk with my dog, and am back in to write most of the day. My children are grown, and we have recently sent off the grandchild we cared for the last 7 years to basic training in the navy. We are free to think of ourselves more now, and we are really enjoying it.
BTM: Thank you so much for your time Patty. I’m sure our followers will now have bit of insight into your vivacious life and extraordinary literary works.
PW: Thank you so much, Bernadette, for a fun interview!
Patty Wiseman’s books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Nook. In addition to Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn, and Facebook, you can visit Patty on her website at www.pattywiseman.net.
I’m happy to present another of Desert Coyote
Productions, Inc. authors, Bernadette Thompson Martin.
She is one of our out of state authors and lives with her husband Ken in the quaint South Carolina low country town of Cottageville.
Bernadette was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to the small industrial town of Millville, New Jersey. There she spent the first 25 years of her life.
She eventually moved to Miami, Florida where she met and married her husband. After living in the big city for 30 + years, she retired from the hectic corporate life, hung up her executive heels and moved to the South Carolina country. Their unpretentious five acre farm is shared with two Akita’s, three cats, three cockatiels, four miniature goats, a miniature donkey, and now a miniature mule, along with more chickens than she cares to
count. The warm breezes, gentle sunlight, and Magnolia scented air make life dreamy and peaceful — the perfect setting to enhance an author’s active imagination.
Please join us in welcoming Bernadette today. It’s so nice to finally get to know more about one of our most mysterious authors.
(DENNY): First of all, I understand your co-author and friend Jeannie Faulkner Barber worked collectively with you on the dynamic fantasy novel Destiny Never Sleeps-Quest of the Two Queens, yet the two of you have never met in person. Is this true?
(BERNIE) (laughs) This is definitely true. We talk on the phone a great deal, sometimes for hours at a clip, yet neither of us has met the other face to face. When we figure out how to work the dang computers, we plan to communicate via Skype.
I reside in South Carolina and Jeannie lives in Texas, so we are separated by a considerable distance. Hopefully, the two of us will get together in the near future. When we do, that should prove to be a super event. Knowing how we are, the first two or three days should consist of little sleep and nonstop chatter. Lol. I’m not sure if our husbands, Ken and Monte, will appreciate it, but I know she and I will. We are each, uh, kind of talkative so to speak, and have a lot to talk about. If push comes to shove, we’ll have the guys hook up the boat and go fishing while we talk..lol..
(DENNY): How did you and Jeannie meet?
(BERNIE) Actually, we met on Facebook playing Farmville. Ironically, Jeannie and I felt an immediate bond of friendship begin and one thing led to another. Now, neither of us play, nor have time for, Farmville, but our friendship is incredibly strong, and I believe it is one that will last a very long time.
(DENNY): Has your friendship with Jeannie deepened since the collaboration of this book?
(BERNIE) In many ways it has intensified, but for the better. Working together on Destiny gave us a greater insight into the mind and soul of each other. At times, we found ourselves saying the exact thing at the same time or thinking alike. We love each other as one would a sister and could not be closer than if we were blood related. If truth be known, I believe Jeannie and I spent two thirds of our time laughing and goofing off while working on this novel. We had a great time. Our literary task became fun instead of a chore.
(DENNY): Can you give us an inside view of this unique fantasy novel?
(BERNIE) The four main characters, Kat, Randy, Jay, and Tippy are all friends who are now in the autumn of life. Age and death will soon take them all. Kat wishes to eliminate this plague. An eventual trip at sea grants the wish as the four are eerily transported into a mysterious parallel realm. They are soon introduced to Adera, a Queen who is as kind and gentle, as she is beautiful. Kat feels strange, as though she has come home, and intends to remain, but the others desire to return. This undertaking is only possible by performing a selfless deed … a feat that could bring about their destruction. Lurking in the shadows is another Queen—one who is vile and heartless. She wishes to control this realm, and in time, the other as well. As the dangerous path home begins, the four brave companions encounter fascinating life forms … human and some not so human. New friendships are formed, and true love is realized. They also learn another brand of love exists … an unselfish soul-wrenching one of country, honor, friends, animals — and more. Lives will be lost, tears will be shed, and hearts will be broken. However, the strength of boundless love will triumph and, for some, happiness will flourish.
(DENNY): Every story has a beginning. How did the entertaining tale come
(BERNIE) The enchanting tale formed over fifty some years. It began when I was perhaps five. I was lying out on the top of our Beagles dog box watching the clouds change and trying to figure out what they were morphing into.
One might call it a simple daydream or perhaps a vision, but suddenly the sky and clouds seemed to vanish, and I envisioned this magnificent black horse running in the surf. The beach was silver white, and the ocean and sea appeared as one, each as blue as the other. Suddenly, he stopped and began to walk toward my tiny outstretched hand. I called him McLachen. That was the first of many, many visions and the actual birth of this novel.
(DENNY): Are any of the characters based on real life people and perhaps a few personal experiences?
(BERNIE) Oh my goodness yes on both questions. As a makeshift tribute, I decided to use as many of my family and friend’s names as possible. Horace, for example, was my father’s name. Jim is my brother’s name. Landers is the last name of a dear friend in Florida who is fighting cancer. Randy, Jay, and Tippy are inspired by my three lifelong friends, Bruce, Ray, and Peppy.
Some titles are fictitious and a product of my imagination, such as Merneos, Adera, Nirage, Bagi, or even the kingdom of Bowlandria.
Mythology has always tantalized my mind's eye. Many of the characters are derived from Greek folklore, as well as ancient entities like Ambrose … better known to us mortals as Merlin.
Another aspect used is a hint of urban legends. Meeley, for example, is a nickname for Amelia. Charles Taylor, or Charlie, was the actual leader of Flight 19 that disappeared out of Ft. Lauderdale. I don’t particularly say ‘who’ anyone is, but imply sufficient hints which allow the reader to use their imagination. Isn’t that the true gist of what writing and reading is all about? I believe our task as an author is to use our special talents to script a novel, which in turn should stimulate the reader’s psyche and transport them to another world, real or otherwise.
As for part two of your question, this novel is overflowing with experiences, some which actually border on the bizarre. Living in Miami, Florida for nearly forty years, and traveling out into the Bermuda Triangle many times with my husband and friends, provided the amazing realism. I have personally witnessed the boats compass spin wildly out of control, and saw things that cannot be explained … by anyone!
(DENNY): Who and what was the inspiration to enter into a writing career?
(BERNIE) This is perhaps the easiest to answer. It was undoubtedly a high school teacher named Pat Witt. During my senior year, our English teacher became ill and could no longer teach. He was replaced by Ms. Witt for the remainder of the term.
She once had us do a book report, but no subject was given. We were to use our imaginations. One afternoon, she asked me to stay after class and asked my permission to read my report to all the class’s as an example of good writing abilities. Being shy, I begged her not to, but finally relented and agreed, but only if she would not say who wrote it. It was she who turned my head toward writing. Subsequent to that day, she would frequently implore me to further my literary education. Ms. Witt resiliently stated she saw in me a rare talent, and it was my duty to cultivate that gift. I was flattered of course, and did as she asked, but even now remain on the shy side and continue to question the ‘rare talent’ part.
(DENNY): Are there any other genres you wish to write in someday besides
(BERNIE) No. This is my calling. My mind created this other realm, and it is there I belong. To venture away from it would be a terrible mistake. I believe in writing what you are most comfortable with, and for me, it is fantasy. This tale contains a touch of romance, but I am not a romance writer. There is added bits of horror, but not intense terror. We have an adequate amount of that in our everyday life. Also, with this type of wholesome fantasy, we are able to infuse many underlying values so desperately needed these days.
(Denny): Will there be other stories that connect to Destiny Never Sleeps, or
will new adventures be forthcoming?
(BERNIE) Quest of the Two Queens is the first in a series of three planned. However, I have purposely allowed for unlimited expansion. After all, the ‘Realm’ is quite vast, and there is much more to be explored.
The next in this series is underway, and the third’s tale outlined with accompanying notes. Some characters will be sadly eliminated, such as Jay, but others will be added. In number two, we will introduce Faye and Punk. She is a bouncy and impetuous little fairy. Punk is the owl she flies about on and her best friend.
A great deal of what is to come following Quest of the Two Queens is already written within its pages. As the volume’s progress, the reader will, or should say, “wow, so that is who she or he is”, or “so this is why such and such happened.” As an example, in the next novel, the center character is named Cianest. She has already been mentioned in Quest, but the reader will not know that until the last chapter of book two, nor will I spill the beans and tell you more about her. Lol
(DENNY): Other than writing, what are some of your hobbies, both in the present and the past.
(BERNIE) Jeepers, there are so many it’s not even funny. Of course, horseback riding is and always will be my favorite. Nothing feels more exhilarating than being astride such a powerful and magnificent creature as you cantor along with the air blowing through your hair.
I have dabbled in oil painting and even managed to sell a few over the years. My first is presently hanging in our dining room.
We bowl, but truthfully, I’m lousy at it. The only reason they want me on a team is to make use of my huge handicap. Lol.
Essentially, I enjoy anything outdoors, like boating and fishing. I loathe being confined to the house.
On occasion, I help Ken with our flower and vegetable gardens, but draw the line a bit in the summer when the snakes are about. Lol. This gal does not like snakes and is petrified of them.
Cooking, canning, and baking are another of my favorite things to do and by judging the size of our increasing waistlines, my food prep must be pretty adequate. Lol.
The reefs in Florida were fabulous, and Ken was a dive master, so I learned to scuba dive. It was regrettable, but after a year or two I had to give it up due to bad sinuses.
Dancing remains super fun, and I adore it. During my teen years, we lived in New Jersey, not far from Philadelphia. Needless to say, I was lucky enough to dance on American Bandstand many times and even held a secret crush on handsome, young Dick Clark.
Football isn’t really a hobby, but I enjoy it and am a big Dolphin fan. Jeannie was a bit nervous that I would be upset when the ‘Boys’ and ‘Fins’ got together, but no, it’s just a game, and there isn’t a problem. lol
(DENNY): If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why.
(BERNIE) That is difficult to say as I admire so many. It probably would be J.K. Rowling. She was an unknown author … down on her luck and nearly broke. This one struggling mother now has achieved more than any of us could imagine. However, most people don’t know that she has never forgotten her past and continues to give a great deal of her fortune away. She does not care to be lauded for her noble deeds, but does them out of kindness and a remembrance of her own hard times. This talented lady is a great inspiration, and I would consider it an honor to meet her.
(DENNY): What are your goals for the present and future?
(BERNIE) Right now, I just want to make Destiny Never Sleeps-Quest of the Two Queens a success. This is my legacy.
My dream however, is for this story to become a movie, and what a movie it would make. With the invention of 3-G and now the added 3-D concept, this novel would be awesome on screen. To actually SEE my vision come to life on the big screen would be about the greatest joy in my life.
(DENNY) Well, Bernadette, this has been a fabulous interview and we thank you so much for taking the time to give us a little more insight into your life.
If anyone would like to know more, please visit Bernadette and Jeannie’s website at www.destinyneversleeps.com.
Bernadette is on Facebook under Bernadette Thompson Martin.
This energetic, suspenseful, and touching fantasy novel is available at Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and the website. Also, the novel is available for purchase through any book store so if you do not see it in your local establishment, ASK them to order it for you.
DENNY YOUNGBLOOD IS THE AUTHOR OF AN ANGEL BOX, A THRILLER.
A native Texan, Denny Youngblood currently resides in Longview,
Texas with his beautiful wife Alice. He earned his Eagle Scout award at age 16
and later went on to serve his country in the United States Air Force. His
earned Ph.D in Psychology has helped him create and pen several novels,
short stories, and non-fiction works. In his spare time, he enjoys drawing and
painting western art and is also an accomplished musician. His wife,
children, and grandchildren make his life complete.
TERESA RICHENBERGER: WELCOME DENNY, IT'S SO NICE TO TALK TO YOU TODAY!
DENNY YOUNGBLOOD: GLAD TO BE HERE, TERESA.
TR: In your book, would you say that the story line is just about catching an escaped killer from prison? Can you tell the readers more about the story line?
DY: The Angel Box story line far exceeds the adventures of catching an escaped Texas prisoner. This particular prisoner, more evil and cunning than ever, becomes an unwitting pawn in an unusual relationship. In Cellie's quest to wreak havoc and mayhem on a family, one family member, Harrison Thurston, a 12 year old boy with Down's syndrome, becomes involved with Cellie in a most unorthodox manner. Harrison is gifted with the ability to get inside Cellie's mind and play him like a chess game.
TR: How and where did you get the materials and information to write your book? Your characters and the towns?
DY: The setting for An Angel Box came from the small community I grew up in. Laverne, Oklahoma is a thriving, vibrant community filled with some very interesting people. It is in a rural atmosphere that Harrison and sister Abigail confront evil as has never been accomplished. The characters, prison setting, rural setting, and other materials came from extensive research and experience.
TR: Who would enjoy this book the most and why?
DY: Readers who would enjoy this fiction tale include those who love mystery, intrigue, suspense, and hard-core thrillers. The villain in this book is bad-to-the-bone awful. Authors cannot have a believable villain who does nice things. Cellie talks the talk and walks the walk. The hero is unusual, interesting, and quite a character on his own. Readers would enjoy the intensity of this thriller, and how it moves the story along at a heart-stopping pace. Best of all, the reader will find the ending to be a complete surprise. Only at the very end is the Angel Box revealed and its purpose.
TR: Does the book take the reader inside the prison wall where the killer lived? Could you give us a little sample of what it would be like?
DY: The reader is taken inside a real Texas prison and allowed to see details the public is unaware of. It is in this setting that we see, feel, hear, and smell the inmates, the walls, the corridors, the day-to-day life of a real prison instead of the make-believe prison world other authors depict.
TR: On the back cover of your book, you talked about it takes a killer to save people from a killer. Could you give the readers a little more on this?
DY: Sometimes, it does take a killer to take down a killer. When Harrison was twelve years old, he accidently killed his mother. It was from this memory that drives the little boy to deal with the mad man, Cellie.
TR: IS there a HERO in your book and if so, can you share some of that?
DY: There are actually several heroes in An Angel Box. Harrison could easily be deemed a loveable hero. So could his sister, Abigail, the matronly sheriff, and several other lively characters. It takes more than one hero to bring down, Cellie. Even then, life dictates that even a hero's best efforts leave them wanting more.
Such is An Angel Box. It will bring the readers to tears, laughter, despising Cellie, rooting for the good guys, and a genuine sense of accomplishment in this fast-paced page turner.
TR: Thank you so much, Author Denny Youngblood for sharing with us about An Angel Box. Where can we buy your book?
DY: It's been a pleasure, Teresa. You can find my book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and ask for it in any bookstore.
Hello to all the fantastic followers of Desert Coyote Productions! We have started doing a ‘round-robin’ of interviews with DCP authors, and today, it truly is my pleasure to be speaking with Teresa Stephens Richenberger. Her book, “Sold to the Highest Bidder”, has received a lot of notoriety. Welcome, Teresa, and congratulations on your book’s success.JFB: The fact that you have put your life story in print probably had a big impact in many ways. Can you share some of that?TSR: One of the biggest impacts that my book has had is that it lets people know there is always HOPE and to never give up on yourself or others. So many mothers have come to me and thanked me for renewing their faith for their children. At times, they’ve wanted to give up on their kids.
JFB: Did you decide on the title for your book? If not, how did that develop?
TSR: The title of the book came about, first because I was sold to the things in the world, and secondly, because I was sold to the Highest Bidder of all, Jesus Christ. He paid the highest price for me - a price no human man could ever pay. JFB: I totally agree with you, Teresa, and how fortunate for us Christ was the propitiation for our sins.
JFB: "Through My Eyes" by Quarterback Tim Tebow has been called a Christian memoir book. Is that how you categorize "Sold to the Highest Bidder"?
TSR: Yes and no. My book tells my story about me coming to Christ, but my book also reaches the
secular readers as well. It will grip your heart.
JFB: You've been at a myriad of functions since the book debuted, including the 700 Club and Seeds TV. Can you give our readers an introduction to your work and tell us more about other places where you've spoken?
: I have spoken to inmates at the prison and shared to women that are in women’s shelter and homes. I have also spoken at Texas Tech University and several Christian universities, as well. I will share to 5 women or 500 women …wherever God opens a door.
JFB: In another interview I read, you stated, 'you couldn't keep up with the game your life was playing'. That's pretty tough words. What exactly did it mean?TSR: The true reference is to the lies that I was living. The fantasyland I had created was
not real life. The drugs and alcohol was a way to stay numb to what my life had
JFB: Well praise the Lord, because looking at you today, that is so hard to visualize.
JFB: In your words, it took several years to 'totally sell out to God'. How did that finally come about?
TSR: I had to be completely broken and understand I could not do it by myself; I needed a higher power (God) to help me.
JFB: Also being a Christian and a believer, I know what it means to live under grace every day. Your journey presents such inspiration to so many. It was a tremendous challenge to turn your life around as your have done. Please share how it happened.
TSR: I was not an overnight success. It took a couple of years for me to turn my life around, even after I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I had to fight every single day to choose to do the right thing. I kept going to church. Then, I got a couple of accountability partners who would hold me accountable. I learned scriptures from the Bible and would say them aloud. I had to start believing God’s word over
mine, or my friends, that His word was the truth about me.JFB: The axiom "write what you know" seems to hold true here. What complex barriers were encountered while traveling back through such a dark and traumatic past?
TSR: I realized how lost and broken I really was. I would take time out from writing and actually cry out to God thanking Him for rescuing me. It reminded me of what I had come though and that God’s grace and mercy was always there for me.
JFB: Obviously, you've acquired a considerable, loyal 'fan base'. So many appreciate and admire this dynamic testimony. Other than God, who has been the greatest champion to facilitate the publishing of your work?
TSR: Desert Coyote, because I had no clue how to get my book out there or set things up. Don A. Martinez has been wonderful with all his help.
JFB: Yes ma’am, all of us as DCP authors are indebted to Don, as well as his wife, Stacey. They both are amazingly talented in their own respects.
JFB: There's quite a lot of scripture quoted among the pages, but I'm curious as to which verses had the most influence as a lifeline to bring you to the place you are today?
TSR: II Timothy: “I do not have a spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind.” I live on this scripture, even today.JFB:I agree, those are prodigious words for all us to draw from.JFB: Teresa, thank you for giving us some insight to your life's horrific ordeal and your journey through to God's love and light. Is there anything further you'd like to share
? TRS: That if you have faith, just the size of a mustard seed. God can, and will, take that little seed and make a mighty tree! Never lose hope. I encourage you to read my story, “Sold to the Highest Bidder!” You can get it at Amazon books, and or Ebooks, Barnes & Noble, and of course on Kindle and Nook.
It is also available on my website: www.teresarichenberger.com
Ask for it at your favorite bookstores because they can also order it for you.
Also, you can find me on Goodreads.com or Facebook as Teresa Richenberger. Sold to the Highest
Bidder is on CBN.com,
CBN online, and YouTube. If you are wrangling with life and its
difficulties, I encourage everyone to check out this great novel, as well as
keep up with this fantastic author because she is definitely going places
sharing her story and the Good News of
Jeannie Faulkner Barber was born and raised in Marshall, Texas. Writing has been one of two passions in her life, the other being drag racing: she drives her own racecar. She met her husband Monte at the track. She is an Officer of the East Texas Writers Association. She currently lives in Kilgore, Texas with Monte. They have three sons and nine grandchildren.
Jeannie was the third author to see print from Desert Coyote Productions and has had involvement with three books through DCP: her debut novel Scent of Double Deception (with co-author Ann Alan), a solo mystery Taste of Fire about a female firefighter, and the fantasy epic Destiny Never Sleeps: Quest of the Two Queens (with Bernadette Thompson Martin).
She has been published online, as well as in an anthology through her writer's group.
It is my pleasure to welcome Jeannie to this interview.
Don A. Martinez: I like to start off interviews by asking people to tell us something folks may not know about themselves. There's an extended bio for both yourself and Bernadette in Destiny Never Sleeps, but maybe is there anything that might have been left out of that little blurb, a little quirk that sparks your writing or your creative motor?
Jeannie Faulkner Barber: The human-interest side of the whole writing relationship is that we have never met face to face - yet. Not only did a dynamic fantasy novel develop, but an extraordinary honest and true friendship. We think so much alike that often times the same word, comment, or idea comes out in unison. When we write together, the taks becomes more joyful than just a creative mission, and we spend alot of time laughing.
DAM: The three books you've put out through DCP have been quite varied in subject, nature, and tone. Scent had a dark, foreboding feel, with all of the multiple identities and lies; Taste of Fire showed a lot of danger, both of the disastrous and human kind; and then you have Destiny, which goes into classical epic fantasy. Is there anything that feels difficult about switching between all of these kinds of stories?
JFB: There was a distinct variance with the first two novels even though suspense and mystery mold both plots. However, with Destiny, Bernadette's creativity and gregarious imagination made it an easy and fun transition.
DAM: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing habits? When you have a burning story in you, how do you go about getting that out of your head and onto paper?
JFB: I'm more inspired and creative on rainy days, but when an idea comes, regardless of place, time or weather, it's as though the scene plays forth like a panoramic movie in my head. the trick is to type as fast as I can, especially when my characters appear to have a mind of their own. It's truly a gift from God...like how do you explain being able to walk or speak? It just comes naturally.
DAM : What do you use to trigger your imagination?
JFB: Anything and everything. A single word can spark a complete graphic scenario, which ultimately can lead to chapter after chapter.
DAM: Let's talk about what your read for yourself. Are there any recent books you've read, not necessarily from the DCP catalog, that you'd recommend?
JFB: Reading gave way to the inspiration to write. I recently finished Implosion by my great author friend Fran Riedemann and now am into Ten-Gallon War by John Eisenberg. This story recants a roller coaster of events between two Texas owned NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Texans (who became the Kansas City Chiefs.) I must say though, when I'm writing, there isn't much time to read...gotta have priorities.
One I haven't read, but tops my list is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, which is the story of a young girl who, after being raped and murdered, watches from her personal Heaven as family and friends struggle to move on while she comes to terms with her own death. It received much critical praise and was an instant bestseller. I've always had aspirations of writing a novel in first person - a difficult task if done efficiently.
DAM: Who do you consider to be an influence on your writing? It's hard not to notice that your middle name is "Faulkner," would you consider William Faulkner among your influences?
JFB: Most definitely! His novels are works of art and renowned classics. I'm humbled to be a relative of such great talent.
DAM: This might be a bit of a philosophical question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. A lot of folks have various reasons why they write, whether it's because they have a passion for their story or an overactive imagination. Why do you write?
JFB: A little bit of both, of course my 'other' passion is drag racing. I have a need for speed.
DAM: What are your future plans in terms of writing?
JFB: God gave me a grand new scheme and story which I'm keeping under wraps for the present time.
DAM: I've heard scuttlebutt about sequels to Destiny, would you care to elaborate?
JFB: SInce writing with Bernie is as easy as breathing air, Volume 2 and 3 are already underway.
DAM: To get to your other life's passion, what's your greatest memory on the racetrack?
JFB: Although winning many trophies and crossing that finish line first, especially in San Antonio, Texas for Super Chevy, is a monstrous thrill, my greatest moment was laying eyes upon my future, and now present, husband, Monte Barber. He's my biggest fan and supporter of all my endeavors.
DAM: Well, this has been a great interview, and I want to thank you, Jeannie, for taking the time to answer my questions. Before we end it, though, could you let the folks reading know all the places where we can find your presence on the Web?
JFB: This has been fun and definitely a pleasure, Don. You can find all of my works on Amazon, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble.Welcome to my Amazon Author Page.
My Facebook Fan Page
My Personal Website
And my Blog The Pen Temptress
I'd like to add a huge 'thank you' for the magnificent job you do as my editor and publisher at Desert Coyote Productions, as well as your talented and creative wife, Stacey.DAM
: Thank you once again, Jeannie
Congratulations go out this morning to the following five lucky winners, who will be receiving signed copies of Infernal Eighteen,
the fourth Phantom Squadron novel. They were the five that rose to the top out of the 505 total entrants at Goodreads.Congratulations to:Frosina Belevska, Auckland, Totaravale, New Zealand
Cassy McKenna, Blackalls Park, New South Wales, Australia
Karolina Joyce, Borris, County Carlow, Ireland
Alexandra Marta, Ineu, Arad, Romania
Robin Thompson, Estacada, OregonYour books are on their way this morning. Congratulations again!For those of you who entered and didn't win, either in this giveaway or the e-book giveaways on the Blog Tour, there's still hope! You still have a couple of opportunities to score Phantom Squadron for free!1:
and enter the Great Phantom Squadron Trivia Contest
, for your chance to win autographed book sets, merchandise, and e-books. This is also your chance to get an inside track on next year's final volume in the series! This contest runs through May 16th.2: Go here and check out the Hidden-In-Plain-Sight Ranch Codebreaker Challenge, which is ongoing.
The widgets are all over the site, and they'll all confirm this, but just to let everyone know ...
The drawing for 5 signed copies of Infernal Eighteen happens TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT PST!
February 15th, 2013 is an auspicious day. Today, Infernal Eighteen goes worldwide.
You can pick up your copy at fine booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AbeBooks, Powells, Alibris, and othe retailers. E-book editions are also available for Kindle, Nook, and all formats serviced by Smashwords.To celebrate the release of this book, there's several giveaways going on right now. There's our Goodreads giveaway, which you can enter now through February 28th, for one signed paperback. There's also e-book giveaways on stops we've made on the Infernal Eighteen blog tour: two e-books each are up for grabs at the Reviewing Shelf
(ends TODAY!) and at Second Book to the Right
(ends on Monday, February 18th). Then there's the big enchilada, our BIGGEST CONTEST EVER.
It's not quite a giveaway, though, for a prize this big you'll have to work for it. Go to the page linked in the above line, and enter the giveaway either via e-mail or on the form at the bottom of the page, along with your answers to the trivia quiz on the page. We'll tabulate up the answers, and based on how many questions are answered correctly, we'll determine our winners. The prizes are huge:* The grand prize winner (most correct answers) will receive the ENTIRE Phantom Squadron series in paperback, autographed and personalized
, including the final book when it's released.* The second-place winner (second-most correct answers) will receive a piece of Phantom Squadron merchandise from DCP's Zazzle store, of their choice, personalized if that's an option.* The third-place winner (third-most correct answers) will receive the ENTIRE Phantom Squadron series in e-book format, including the final book when it's released.Follow the links above
The son of two 20 year navy vets, Don A. Martinez spent much of his formative years around the Pacific Rim before settling in the continental U.S., first in Michigan and New York before eventually landing in Texas.
He has been writing all of his life, getting his start in elementary school as a two-time Young Authors selection in Oak Harbor, Washington.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and a Master of Arts degree in English from Buffalo State College (SUNY-College at Buffalo), where he wrote his thesis on application of mythic storytelling techniques to the modern media.
Currently, he lives with his wife Stacey, new daughter Kahlan, and four cats in Texas; where he is a college English instructor.
Professor, author of 4 novels, publisher of Desert Coyote Productions, new father - welcome!
LYNN - Don, you are a busy man! After writing 4 novels, what advice do you give other authors who may consider writing a series?
DON - Before you even think about starting to write, have at least an idea of where you want the series to go, and a general path of how to get there. Also, be prepared to spend a lot of time...and I mean A LOT of time...keeping your continuity straight, because one historical hiccup where you misinterpret a past event from one of your previous books will be jumped on quicker than you can imagine. You need to be prepared to face all of that before starting your own series.
LYNN - Your characters have various super natural powers that are helpful to them, and they also show emotions. What traits do they have that readers can relate to?
DON - It seems to be the human side of the characters that appeals to the people the most. These aren't just comic-book or role-playing-game archetype characters...they have distinct personalities, flaws, problems, and unique solutions to those problems. As an example, a recent review of Dinetah Dragon said that Ariel is the "soul" of the team because she feels her emotions the deepest, which appealed to the reviewer a great deal, mainly because she could relate to the human side of the character, as opposed to stopping at the dragon side. Responses like that, to me as a creative individual, are the most rewarding.
LYNN - As a college professor, you must have an amusing story to share. What funny incident have you experienced?
DON - Many times, the stories that seem funny in one context just seem depressing in another. I can say that I've had some unique things happen in my classes. For instance, a student one time lost credit on a paper because they plagiarized their own paper from the previous semester, simply changing minor details, but keeping the structure and much of the language identical. Another time, during a midterm exam a student veered way off the beaten path with their response to a question about Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, taking the time to write their own little story about a woman looking at a bird in a cage while they're imprisoned in their room, which was basically taking the Angelou title as a writing prompt.
LYNN - Your thesis on applying mythic storytelling techniques to the modern world is intriguing. Tell us about it.
DON - It's pretty much as simple as that. I took several pop culture properties from 1992 forward and compared them to mythic patterns presented by Joseph Campbell (the ever-popular monomyth) and Robert Jewitt and John Shelton Lawrence )the "American monomyth" common to superhero comics). You'd be surprised how much these patterns appear in varied media; over the course of the thesis I looked at such diverse sources as children's literature (His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman), sci-fi movies (District 9), and Japanese anime television series (One Piece), finding the mythic pattern in all of them. An unintended side effect, though, is now I can't watch a movie without looking for the benchmarks of the monomyths.
LYNN - What stands out in your mind that a reader has said about one of your books?
DON - I think the things that stand out are the words used to describe Dinetah Dragon, probably because it's more intimate and heartfelt than what people expect from fantasy. I found the quote from the aforementioned review...she described Ariel as "The one who seems to feel the deepest, empathizes the most, and brings emotions (good and bad ones) deepest into her." I've also heard from at least two readers who list Gabe Francis among their favorite characters in the series, which is quite an accomplishment since Gabe is kind of designed to be deeply mysterious and stay out of the way of the action at all costs. I found that interesting, actually, that folks like the character who intentionally avoids action in a fantasy novel.
LYNN - As a recent father, what tasks have you mastered in caring for your new baby?
DON - We figured out the diapering thing right off the bat, and the sleep patterns eventually came once we discovered the wondrous invention that is Velcro swaddle blankets. It also helps that Kahlan is turning into a really cool little girl, and showing a personality that tends to have "fearlessness" as its hallmark. That's troublesome for us, since she has a tendency to knock herself around trying new things ("Oh don't worry, it's just my head, nothing important!"), but I'd rather she be a courageous kid than a coward like I tended to be as a child.
LYNN - Your workload is tremendous, Don. What do you enjoy in your role as publisher?
DON - There's a certain satisfaction to the happiness authors show when they receive their proof copies, and realize their words are going to be in an honest-to-God book. That I can brighten my authors' day by making up their books to their specifications, getting word out on the releases, posting giveaways, and just all in all giving a helping hand is extremely satisfying.
LYNN - I am an animal lover, myself. What are the names of your cats? Do you have a favorite cat? If so, why?
DON - Our cats' names are themed. The two we brought to Texas from our previous home in New York came from the shelter with the names Lilo and Stitch; when we took two more black cats into our household that adopted us when we moved into tour home, we named them Leroy and Cobra Bubbles. As it happens, recently a fifth cat (orange tabby) has started hanging around our back deck and looking in our windows, and we've taken to calling him Reuben. (You kind of have to be a Disney buff to get the connection in the names.) As far as a favorite cat, they're all like children to us, but probably it would have to be Lilo because she's the one who's taken to being almost a "third parent" to Kahlan, and gets along with her the best.
LYNN - 2013 is still new. What are your goals for this year?
DON - To help as many students pass as I can, successfully release Phantom Squadron #4, maybe get into grad school, and be the best daddy to Kahlan and husband to Stacey I can possibly be.
LYNN - Please list your website and links for everyone to locate you, your books, and your publishing company. I have thoroughly enjoyed our interview!
DON - Thank you, too, Lynn!!
Don's books are available here at Desert Coyote Productions, at the Official Phantom Squadron Site, and on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.
Connect with Don on Twitter (@Desert_Coyote13), at Facebook (Don A. Martinez, Fantasy Author), and on Goodreads.
We quietly opened up a new Goodreads giveaway on Friday, which coincides with the start of the Infernal Eighteen
Blog Tour, but the widgets are all around the site.DCP will be giving away five signed copies of Infernal Eighteen, the newest Phantom Squadron novel by Don A. Martinez, to five lucky winners worldwide. In addition, keep your eyes on this space for a special big-time giveaway on the tour's last day and the book's release date, February 15th ... for bigger stakes than just signed copies of one book.To get in on our Goodreads giveaway,
enter at goodreads.com
by February 28th ... just 24 days to get in on the action!