Tag Archives: author interviews

Getting Back on Track After a Fire at Work

On Tuesday, May 22, as I was leaving my 40 hour work week job, the fire alarm sounded.  Since I was leaving for the day, I came home.

The next day, I was not to report to work because the library ( I work in Hale Library at Kansas State University) was closed due to a fire.  Needless to say, the library is still closed.

At an all library staff meeting, it was reported that at least 140,000 gallons of water was pumped into the building to put out the fire. And the first through fourth floors are pretty much a total loss.

The fire started on the slanted roof and my workspace in under the flat roof on the left of the photo.  This is the back side of the building.

The flat roof portion is the 5th floor of the library.  This is the only floor that was not touched by fire or water.  There is smoke damage, but we got off very lucky as 5th floor houses the library administration offices, University Archives/Special Collections/& Rare Books, and a large meeting room we call the Hemisphere Room because of its shape.  We have two inner stacks that were not touched by fire or water.  One of the stack levels is just across the hall from where the water was pumped into the building.

On Wednesday, May 30,  staff was allowed a brief period of time to go into their spaces to collect personal items.  We donned face masks, hard hats, and gloves.  Since there is no electricity in the building everyone had to walk up the steep stairs.  I was so glad that I had been walking these stairs several times each day before the fire.  And I was grateful they had us put on face masks because at the 4th floor, the smell of soot, etc. was horrible.  Once I got to my space, it was smokey and I was happy that I had a powerful flashlight with me as my workspace has no windows so it was very dark in there.

It will be months before staff will be able to get back into the building to work, so, for now, we all have been spread out in various buildings across campus.

The photos below were taken by the Manhattan, Kansas Fire Department on the roof of Hale Library.
























This is a photo inside the library of what we call the Great Room and students calls the Harry Potter Room.








Next week, the Wednesday Author Interview Series will be back.



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A History Book Disguised as a Debut Novel

Today, I am interviewing Sheena Macleod author of Reign of the Marionettes, a historical novel set in the Highlands in Scotland.

Welcome, Sheena!

Q: Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

A: I live in a small seaside town in Scotland with my family, and two dogs – Lola a Dalmatian and Missy a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  My working life was spent in mental health nursing, first as a practitioner and then as a specialist practitioner (Cognitive Behavioural Therapist). Around this time, I moved into nurse teaching, gaining an MSc in Advanced Mental Health Nursing and then a PhD.  After taking early retirement from the University of Dundee, I combined my love of history with my passion for research and set out to write a series of historical fiction novels. Reign of the Marionettes, a historical drama based in Restoration London, is the first of these books and my first published novel.

Q: When and what made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

A: I love to read and have since childhood. I became interested in the Highland Clearances and started researching the life of the Duchess of Sutherland – Elizabeth Sutherland Leveson-Gower – who is regarded as one of the principal agents involved in clearing tenant farmers from the internal straths and glens of the Highlands in Scotland to make way for sheep.

I traced Elizabeth Sutherland’s family back through the generations, trying to understand her background and role in the Highland Clearances. The main character in Reign of the Marionettes, Elizabeth Herbert, is a distant relative of the Duchess of Sutherland.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for your books?

A: From history. Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Q: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

A: I write historical drama and enjoy including small details of the time. Despite writing historical fiction, I try to keep a current feel as if events are happening now.

Q: How are your books published?

A: Reign of the Marionettes is published by Dark Ink Press.

A short story, “Ghosts of Culloden”, was published in a fiction anthology in March this year by the One Million Project. Over a hundred authors from around the world contributed short stories to form three anthologies- Fiction, Thriller, and Fantasy. All proceeds, less costs of publishing the anthologies, will go to help Cancer Research UK and homelessness.

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Interview with author Karl Bourdiec

Thank you, Karl, for stopping by today!

 Karl Bourdiec states that he is “an author, photographer, and local hermit.”  He lives in South Shields, United Kingdom, a coastal town at the mouth of River Tyne in the northeast part of the country.

Enjoy the interview!

Q: Karl, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A: I sort of fell into, I started as a scriptwriter. A failing one which is really the only type of scriptwriter there is. Turning a TV script into a book isn’t too hard to do. Making a book better than a script is easy.

Q: How long does it typically take you to write a book?
A: Recently I’ve been really hitting the writing hard.  I try to have a book ready every four months. When I have an idea I have to really run with it.

Q: What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
A: It’s hard, but when the book falls into your lap it’s very easy to work on. Time-wise, the first week I plan the book. For three weeks I get every idea down, preferably in order, really just tell myself the story. Then I start from scratch and rewrite the whole thing again.

Q: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
A: I’m a satire writer, my writing is the quirk. A lot of my ADHD ends up in my books.

Q: How are your books published?
A: I was self-published. Sort of still am but I’m in the middle of creating a bit of a group for satire writers. We don’t really have a voice in the book world.

(Here that Satire writers.  If you would like to visit with Karl about a Satire Writers Group, please contact him.)

Q: Where do you get your ideas for your books?
A: I listen to a lot of podcasts. Every so often an idea sort of lands in your lap.

Q: If you don’t mind sharing, when did you write your first book?
A: 2013.  It was a book I’ve rewritten a few times now, I was finally happy enough to release it last year.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
A: I’ve started to play a lot of pc games. they are kind of addictive, aren’t they?

Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I have a book I’ll always go back to because it was one of the books which made me a writer.  The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Q: What do your family and friends think of your writing?
A: They have always known me as the guy who tells stories.  I think they knew what I was before I did.

Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
A: It’s less about creating books and more about books sales in general. There is a lot of rude books out there, more erotica than I could ever consider.

Q: What do you hate most about the writing process?
A: The fear that I’ll get stuck on the next book; that I’ll run out of ideas.

Q: How many books have you written? 
A:  Four.  I’m working on book Five but its book three of a series.

Q: Do you have any suggestions to help us become better writers? If so, what are they?
A:  Never stop writing, and rewrite everything.

Q: Do you get feedback from your readers much? 
A: Just reviews on Amazon, which is amazing to see and more than I’d ask for.

Q: What is your preferred reading audience?
A: Anybody who is okay with reading books which sort of bend the rules of storytelling.

Q: What do you think makes a good story?
A: That one thing which keeps you reading. In my books, it’s the ridiculousness of the story.

Q: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A: I’m one of those people who didn’t know until they were twenty.

Q: Where can we find/purchase your books?
A: All of my books are here http://author.to/Kb or you can get a free sample of A Well Time Death  here  http://_freebook.karlbourdiec.co.uk/AWTDB 

Q: Will you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite works?
A: I used to have an answer to this but now its all a blur.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to say to those reading this post?
A: Keep reading.

Connect with Karl on Twitter: @KBourdiec
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If you purchase a book, do not forget to leave a review.
Thank you for taking the time to read this interview and learning more about Karl Bourdiec!

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Looking for Authors to Interview

I hope those who read this blog post today will share with all your author friends.

I am looking for authors to interview in order to help them promote their books.

If you are interested, please contact me at cyannris at gmail dot com.


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