For our chat I asked Vivian who she'd like to go back in time to visit with. Here's what she had to say
Back in time to visit with Gram, Bess Gibbs, from Stolen for Regan Taylor
VZ: Mrs. Gibbs, you lost your daughter and her husband to a drunk driver, and now you and your husband have their daughter to raise. How will you manage having a seven-year-old?
Bess: Please call me Bess. Roy and I will do fine. Besides we have Roy and Gloria to help. They don’t have any children yet, and they love Torri as much as we do.
VZ: You and Roy manage the bed and breakfast with your son’s help, and his wife’s, but will a child disrupt things?
Bess: Oh, my no. She has visited us since she was a baby and has never been a problem. She loves this huge, old house.
VZ: Will you tell us about the Light House? I understand it originally was a duplex for Roy’s grandfather and twin brother.
Bess: Yes, it was. The elder Mr. Gibbs wanted his sons to have a special home. I’d say this huge Victorian is more than special. When Roy’s great-uncle didn’t have any children, the property came to Roy, who decided to create a bed and breakfast.
VZ: Why did you name it the Light House?
Bess: Because of all the antique oil lamps. We placed at least one in each room.
VZ: The house is beautiful. I’ve always been partial to Victorians.
Bess: Me, too, and antiques.
VZ: Bess, I’m writing a novel about a family who own and manage a bed and breakfast, and I could use some help presenting things clearly. How do you and Roy and Bob and Gloria live in the building and keep your privacy from visitors?
Bess: We still have the building divided. Roy and I have an apartment on the second floor on the south side of the building. Bob and Gloria have one on the first floor next to the large family room where we all can congregate. Of course, Torri has a room by us, in one of the tower rooms.
VZ: Do you have other employees?
Bess: We have a cook and gardener, who live in the apartment over the garages. Two young women do housekeeping and wherever needed. They have rooms on the third floor. They aren’t really employees, more like members of the family.
VZ: Thank you, Bess. You have helped me very much. I’m sorry for the torment I’ll put you through in my novel, though.
Bess: Whatever faces us in the future, we have our faith to strengthen us, and our love for each other.
A bit about Vivian --
Vivian Zabel always has had a vivid imagination and, when a child, used it to tell her siblings and friends stories. As soon as she could write, she began to put those stories on paper. She wrote her first poetry when she was eight, and still writes it. Poetry was and is her therapy. When a “friend” laughed at her announcement that she would write a book someday, Vivian didn’t share her goal any more, but she didn’t stop planning on writing that book.
As she reared her children and was a stay-at-home-mother, with spells of working in the business world, Vivian wrote short stories, poetry, and articles, which were published. Vivian taught English and writing for 27 years and retired in 2001. Every year she taught, she attended writing classes, workshops, and clinics, not only to learn how better to teach her students, but also to hone her own writing skills. Finally in 2001 she was able to write full time and write longer works, after she retired from teaching.
At present, Vivian has six books to her credit, two co-authored. Her latest books are Prairie Dog Cowboy (written under the name V. Gilbert Zabel), Midnight Hours (written under the name Vivian Gilbert Zabel), and Stolen, released in November 2010.
Her interests besides writing include her family (husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren), reading, helping other people publish their books (through 4RV Publishing), and traveling.
As an editor for over thirty-five years, an English and writing teacher for nearly thirty years; an author with poetry, articles, short stories, and novels published over a span of forty-two years (with more than her share of rejections along the way) and the head of a small publishing company for over three years, Vivian Zabel experienced both sides of the submission experience. Since submissions for 4RV go to acquisition editors anonymously (only fair way to do the job), one of her submissions was rejected a couple of months ago.
Her publishing company 4RV Publishing produced the Oklahoma Book Award winner in fiction for 2010: Confessions of a Former Rock Queen by Kirk Bjornsgaard. Other books have received regional awards in their categories. 4RV has released children’s books, middle grade and young adult books, novels, and nonfiction books.
Vivian has also received emails from rejected writers thanking her for sharing evaluation comments that help and some swearing at her for being so blind she can’t tell wonderful writing when she reads it.
Since submissions for 4RV go to acquisition editors anonymously (only fair way to do the job), one of her submissions was rejected a couple of months ago.
Vivian’s blog: http://vivianzabel.blogspot.com
Vivian’s website: http://VivianZabel.com
4RV Publishing http://4rvpublishingllc.com
Orders (other than from bookstores, online suppliers) http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com
And when I saw her picture and that great smile, I knew she was someone I wanted to have as my friend.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
JENNIFER DICAMILLO writes memorable characters in unforgettable stories. She’s won over 180 writing awards, so you can be assured you’ll be reading a well-written story. She’s also a motivational speaker, poet, and playwright who loves kids (she has five!) and animals. She lives in a haunted hollow just north of Branson, Missouri, with her two four lb yorkies, Mojo and Pixie; her calico cat, Sibli (Sister of the meadow); and her tobiano paint horse, W.C. (Wild Card).
The Price of Peace (Publish America) is a tongue lashing, sword slinging epic saga of clan warfare set in 13th Century Wales. It begins with murder, rallies in romance, wallows in intrigue, and culminates in suspense. Once you finish this, you really will have survived the war!
Deadknots (Hard Shell Word Factory) is a fun anthology filled with paranormal mysteries. You won’t want to miss The Banshees of Baxter County which easily could have been called Gophers Gone Wild. Gophers from the high school science lab are mysteriously set free. Before long, gophers are showing up all over the county, and so are dead bodies. And if that’s not strange enough for you, ghosts have been seen at the local cemetery.
Four Dead (Mojocastle Press) isn’t your traditional romantic suspense. Four bodies have turned up in dumpsters in just as many months. One week before another body is due to show up, detectives Mike Barber and Beth Thompson realize that Beth fits the profile of the victims and her apartment sits smack in the middle of the other murders. With no leads, and very little hope of surviving the week, Beth decides to let loose a little bit by cornering Mike into setting up dates with his brothers. The week is fraught with high tension, scant new leads, and frightening revelations.
Mentally Unstable (Under the Moon Press) is a collection of short mystery stories that are sure to entertain readers of all ages. From cozy to hardboiled, humorous to dead serious, this anthology really has a good variety of award-winning tales.
The answer to the 40 million dollar WIP question "If I could go back in time to ask anyone in the world, living or dead, what you need for your current WIP, who would it be and what would you ask them?"
My response: I'm a multi-task writer. I always have at least one poetry collection in the works (I have four published!) and I've also got about twenty things started, usually one in every genre I write in, which is pretty much ALL. So, narrowing all that down, I'd go back in person to meet William Shakespeare. I'd get him to tutor me on the basics required in every production he ever created. I figure I'd learn some things about pacing and meter, maybe pick up the iambic pentameter beat, but certainly get the quintessential list for long lasting success. I figure he'd be pretty surprised to hear how long his works have ruled the world. I plan to flabbergast him with the crazy notion that we let women play women in productions these days. I'm sure he'll be scandalized.
As for my current MYSTERY IN PROGRESS, I'd ask ol' Will if he liked it, get his notes on improvements. I think he'd find any holes in my plotting. Or places red herrings should be put. Maybe he'd name some viable herrings himself. Wouldn't that be fun to say? Wouldn't the headlines be great? Time Travelin Writer Consults Shakespeare! Will on Jenn! She could have asked Jesus, Ghandi, or a make-it-or-break-it best selling sponsor like Oprah, but no, she picks the bones of the great master instead!