WHY CREATE? Susan Joyce Interviews Curious, Creative People.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of interviewing a variety of interesting people. They were interesting to me, not because of their positions in life, but rather because they were curious souls with a sense of adventure, a yearning to learn and explore—to play. Remembering how much I enjoyed doing these interviews and getting to know these interesting people, I interviewed an author friend in February and enjoyed it so much, I decided it was time for me to PLAY and interview curious, creative people again.

Welcome to my “Why Create?” interview series!

Author Patricia Steele was born in Woodland, California to an English/Dutch mother and a Spanish father, Patricia has always felt like a gypsy. She began writing short stories while her young children were napping. After working in the health insurance industry for over 30 years, she retired in 2011 and became a full time writer. She has written mysteries, travel memoirs, and a “Cooking Drunk” cookbook. Pursuing her passion in genealogy, Patricia researched her Spanish heritage and followed her ancestor’s trek walking across the miles of Spain, through the flowers and sugar plantations of Hawaii and into the state of California.

Susan Joyce: Welcome Patricia Steele! I write to make sense of my life and the world around me. Why do you create?

Patricia Steele: Because the words won’t stop coming and I can’t NOT create.  Creating stories is second nature to me and my brain thinks that’s what I was born to do.

Susan Joyce: I know you have written books in a variety of genres. Which genres do you especially enjoy reading?

Patricia Steele:  I love adventure entertaining me WITHOUT using the F word, intense love scenes or blood.

Susan Joyce: Are there genres you avoid?

Patricia Steele:  Yes – Paranormal, books filled with blood and guts and books filled with sex sans story.

Susan Joyce: Do you have a regular writing schedule?

Patricia Steele:  No — I think me and my computer are connected at the hip…whether it’s right after my coffee or at 4 a.m. when words flow and sleep stops.

Susan Joyce: What has been seminal in your development as an author?

Patricia Steele: Reader’s responses to my stories have been the most positive and uplifting part of my love of writing

Susan Joyce: What is your strongest childhood memory?

Patricia Steele:  My strongest childhood memory is when my mother and step-father uprooted me from California to Oregon when I was nine.  The feelings I had at that time helped me write The Girl Immigrant — the immigration story about my abuelita (grandma) when she and her family fled Spain in 1911.  She was also nine years old and my memories became her feelings in order to write the book from her viewpoint.  I never quite got over losing all my family when I left them behind to move to Mars (smile).

Susan Joyce: Mars?

Patricia Steele: When I was a child and my parents moved me from California to Oregon, I was nine.  I had no idea where I was going and Oregon could have been Mars for all I knew.  That feeling of intense loss helped me stand in my grandmother’s shoes when she was yanked out of Spain when she was nine. Mars is defined as any place you have no idea what waits for you.

Susan Joyce: What inspired you to become an author?

Patricia Steele:  I have always loved words, words and more words.  Telling stories to my children became second nature and when I decided to actually write my first book, it was after the death of my daughter (2 weeks before her 9th birthday) See?  That number follows me still.  I took several creative writing classes over the years and absolutely loved writing.  I am still trying to write my book about Chrissy and the memoir is half finished.  Now, after 39 years, I can write about her without crying. Maybe this year?

Susan Joyce: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Patricia Steele:  (1) Successful writers are the people who are amateurs who never gave up. (2) Believe in yourself and write with passion or not at all.

Susan Joyce:  Patricia Steele thank you for sharing your creative thoughts and adventures!

Follow Patricia Steele’s blog at:
http://onspanishsoil.blogspot.com.uy/
http://www.patriciabbsteele.com/
https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Steele/e/B00439B23S

Interview with Author S. J. Francis

Welcome S. J. Francis, author of Shattered Lies –a suspenseful story of deceit, bigotry and a family’s deep dark secret.

Susan Joyce: Greetings! Knowing that Writing is your passion, but animals are your world, I’m curious to know more about your childhood. Where were you born?

S. J. Francis: In the city that never sleeps: New York, New York. The most unlikely place for an avid animal lover.

Susan Joyce: Did you have a horse? Other animals?

S. J. Francis: No horse in NYC, but later on, lots of animals beginning with a cat. Fish, turtles, salamanders, parakeets and more quickly followed. My parents indulged my love of animals, especially since they loved them, too.

Susan Joyce: Who were you as a child? Shy, curious, or did you always have that adventurous spirit?

S. J. Francis: As a child, I have to say that I was a bit of everything, but first and foremost, I loved animals more than anything. I definitely have an adventurous spirit, which led me to my love of traveling and my love for the outdoors, culture, sightseeing, and museums, and, of course speaking up for animals.

Susan Joyce: How many animals share home with you?

S. J. Francis: Currently, I’m blessed with three dogs and three cats. All are rescues. I also have two fish tanks, and all the wildlife that visit us on our property in the country regularly.

Susan Joyce: At what age did you start writing? Who encouraged you to continue?

S. J. Francis: I wrote a great deal in school. I wasn’t always crazy about writing assignments, but when given one I always attacked my assignment with fervor. It wasn’t until high school, though that I realized my love for writing. Thanks to a good friend who listened to my stories and encouraged me to submit my stories that I began my writing career.

Susan Joyce: What inspired you to write “Shattered Lies”?

S. J. Francis: That’s not an easy answer. It all began with one question, “What if?” What if a young woman with a perfect life found out a secret that changed it all?

Susan Joyce: If you could tell every single person one important “something” what would that something be?

S. J. Francis: Always give yourself a chance. No matter what the odds are, you must never allow yourself to fail by failing to take a chance. I believe that if nothing is ventured, nothing is gained.

Susan Joyce: Thanks S. J. Francis for giving me a chance to ask you questions! Wishing you great success with your writing projects and blessings for speaking up for animals!

To learn more about S. J. Francis and her projects visit her author site:

http://www.sjfranciswriter.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Lies-S-J-Francis-ebook/dp/B016H9HAXC

 

Connected Souls

 

NuSTAR1

AS children we sang of the “sweet by and by”
and a beautiful shore in heaven on high.
We were taught if we lived by the “good book” rules
we’d inherit a mansion with gold and fine jewels.

Older, I questioned many things I was taught
by asking myself if they rang true … or not.

My dear brother “Bud” loved a lively exchange;
be it religion, karma, or how molecules rearrange.
Whatever the topic, he had researched and threw
ammunition to start a feisty interview.

Our discussions revealed the importance of living,
of loving each other, of taking and giving.

A husband, a father, grandfather, and son,
a brother, an uncle all wrapped up as one.
Bigger than life with huge hugs to share.
My memories of Bud will always be there.

He made the world brighter and better by far.
For me, he will always be the most brilliant star.

When I learned of Bud’s death, I saw a circle of light;
souls connected together—twinkling bright in the night.
Here today, gone tomorrow? For me, that’s folk lore.
The energy of souls dances on … forevermore.

Susan Joyce

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Categories: All Nonfiction; All Religion & Spirituality; All Sports & Outdoors

Best Wishes for a Joyous Season and a Happy New Year!

Our travels this year took us to ancient sites in Peru and Bolivia! An amazing journey!

alien-skulls-peru

We visited the Paracas History Museum and inspected dozens of elongated skulls and other from the Paracas, Nazca, Wari, Cincha, and Inca cultures. I swear some of those skulls looked alien to me.

nazcaperu

We flew over the Nazca Lines in a small 12 seater plane and inspected the mysterious ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. We had a bird’s eye view of hundreds of figures, made of straight lines and geometric shapes etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand. Most clearly visible from the air, our pilot did wing dips, side-to-side, so we could have the best possible views and click some super snapshots. We did.. The best-known geoglyph is “The Astronaut” at 32m in length discovered by Maria Reiche in the 1960s.

We travelled by boat to see the uninhabited Ballestas Islands. Rich in marine life, the islands are home to sea lions, pelicans, Peruvian boobies and Humboldt penguins. On the way our boat captain detoured to give us a closer look at a huge geoglyph in the form of a candelabra that sailors in ancient times used as a coastal reference point. The Candelabro, almost 500 feet high, is a bit of a mystery. Theories abound about who created the figure and why. I was satisfied with the most scientific sounding explanation — aliens.
On July 12
th, we flew from Lima (sea level) to Cusco (Elevation: 11,152′) When the doors of the plane opened, I felt as if life got sucked out of me. Most others on the tour also experienced high altitude shock in one form or another. Unfortunately my vision became impaired. Fortunately, with time, it is slowly improving. According to my ophthalmologist, I have a macular pucker in my left eye. Bet the aliens didn’t have that problem.

And the highlight of 2016 for me was climbing to the top of Machu Picchu, Peru.

sd-machupicchuperumachupechuperu

Magical! Mystical!

What is your most memorable moment of 2016?

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2016 Readers’ Favorite—Honorable Award

2016-honorable

Dear Friends,

Readers’ Favorite has officially announced the winners of the 2016 Book Awards. I’m delighted to announce that, “Good Morning Diego Garcia” won “Honorable” for Non-fiction—Spiritual/Supernatural.

Check it out:

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/good-morning-diego-garcia

There’s a place for comments and additional reviews. I invite you to help me create a bit of buzz around “Good Morning Diego Garcia” by adding your comments on the link.

I appreciate your time! Thank you!

Susan Joyce