Author Interview Stand Together Anthology – Victoria Zigler

Author name:

Victoria Zigler.

How did you become involved with this project?

I saw a post about it on Facebook, and thought it was an excellent idea, and a great way to potentially help those suffering in the Ukraine.  I wanted to help, but I can’t – and would prefer not to – fight, and I’m not in a position to take in refugees, but I can write.  It’s not much, but at least it was something I could do to try and help.

Tell us a little about your work in this book?

I wasn’t sure at first what I would write for this anthology.  I mean, I write for children for the most part.  But I got to thinking about how the young children must be feeling in all of this.  So I wrote a poem about it.

Please tell us about your other publications/work.

I’m a poet and children’s author.  To date I’ve published 11 poetry collections and 48 children’s stories.  I’ve also now contributed to three anthologies, counting this one.

My stories are mostly animal stories, fairy tales, and fantasy stories, but I have dabbled in a couple of other genres too, including writing a series of five books about a little boy named Toby’s adjustments to sight loss, which are based on my own experiences with adjusting after losing the last of my own sight.

Do you think the written word (or art) bring power and freedom?

Absolutely! Words have power.  There’s no doubt about that.  And the right words at the right moment can make a huge difference in producing a positive outcome in any situation.  Unfortunately, the wrong words at the wrong moment can just as easily shift things in the other direction.

If you could have dinner with any literary character or author who would you choose, and what would you eat.

There are too many to pick from for either catagory, so I can’t decide.  And what I’d eat would depend where we went and what vegan-friendly options they had on the menu that I liked the sound of.

How influential is storytelling/poetry to our culture?

Words in any form are very influential.  Stories and poems have shaped mankind’s history, and will shape our future too.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why?

Either a gryphon, because I love lions and like the idea of being able to fly, or a mermaid, because then I could live under the sea.  Which I like the sound of most differs depending on my mood.

Which authors/books have influenced you the most?

Everything I’ve ever read has influenced me in sme shape or form, whether I’m aware of it or not.  As for those I know definitely have – well, there are too many to name, so I’ll just stick with my original answer of all of the ones I’ve read.

What’s your next writing adventure?

Whichever of the many works in progress I have I end up finishing first.  Beyond that, I can’t really tell you at this point.  Even if progress is slow, I’m always working on something, so there’s bound to be something in the not-too-distant future.  Half the time even I’m not sure, so you’ll have to just watch my blog and social media to find out what I end up publishing next.

What is your greatest success?

Well, counting the anthologies I’ve contributed to I’ve got more than 60 titles to my name (I believe it currently stands at 62).  I’d say that counts as a pretty great success.

What’s your favourite quote, who said it and why?

“In a universe so full of wonders, how is it that humans have created boredom?”

It’s a quote from Terry Pratchett’s “Hogfather” which was said by the character of Death.  And I love the quote because it’s an excellent reminder of all the wonderful things there are to enjoy and appreciate in the world.

Tell us a silly fact about yourself.

Even though my favourite colour has always been purple, and my favourite scent is lavender, my favourite flower isn’t a purple one.  My favourite flower is a yellow rose.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

I’m not entirely sure I did completely grow up yet.  And maybe I won’t even bother, since it seems pretty dull.  But when I was little I wanted to be a vet with a large family who wrote and published books in her spare time.  Where exactly I was supposed to get all this spare time with being a vet and having a large family I’m not entirely certain, but there you go.  The chance for the vet and large family to happen has passed, and they’re no longer options.  But I got to be an author anyhow, and one out of three isn’t bad.

*~*

Victoria Zigler is a blind vegan poet and children’s author.  Born and raised in the shadow of the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, she moved away from Wales three times: once to spend six months living in Alberta, Canada, the other times to spend a few years living near Hastings on the South-East coast of England, UK, each time returning to Wales.  Now she lives in Wales again, along with a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie, a Cavapoo named Logan, a Hermann’s Tortoise named Artemis, and her Canadian husband, Kelly.

Despite spending far too much time in hospital, and eventually losing her sight to Congenital Glaucoma, Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, with no plans to stop any time soon.  She has a long list of publications to her name, including several poetry collections, a whole load of children’s stories, a story in the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, three poems in the Poetry Treasures anthology, and a poem in the Stand Together charity anthology.  Plus, Tori’s Hermann’s Tortoise, Artemis, was featured in both the Magnificent Pets Coloring Book For Children and the Magnificent Pets Mandala Coloring Book For Adults.

Vegan due to both a love for animals and dairy allergy, as well as an Eclectic Pagan, Tori describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world.  She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, which she dabbles in at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time, and is most likely to be found playing with her petkids, involved in calls with the ACB, curled up somewhere with a cup of tea and a book, working on some kind of craft project, or trying to keep one step ahead of those pesky typo fairies while writing her own books.

Links:

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk

Blog: https://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/toriz

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCakYxH7BNyc2Lxr1g1nbP9w

Find Tori’s books on…

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6/

…Along with a variety of other retailers, such as Audible, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

Stand Together Author Interview – Andrew P. Weston

Author name:

Andrew P. Weston

How did you become involved with this project?
I saw the project advertised on social media, and decided to offer a poem or two to help out.

Tell us a little about your work in this book?

I have two poems in the book: The Science of Communication, and Lodestone.

The Science of Communication highlights how volatile the world we live in is. Every day, we see tragedy after tragedy, many of them instigated by bigots who act without thought or consideration of consequence. It also stresses that change will never come, not until society as a whole adopts a different mindset and a willingness to see the good in others; instead of the colour of a person’s skin or the dialect they speak.

Lodestone addresses a similar theme, but this time from the perspective of the damage social media can inflict, especially when the moral compass of the world is set to ‘fit in’ and be popular, instead of doing and saying what’s right. As before, it highlights the need for change, before hatred runs rampant, like an out of control virus.

Please tell us about your other publications/work.

My poetry has appeared in the likes of Muse Pie Press, The Screech Owl, Penny Ante Feud, The Fib Review and The Shot Glass Journal . . . to name a few.

Do you think the written word (or art) brings power and freedom?

It certainly has the power to. Edward Bulwer-Lytton wasn’t kidding when he coined the infamous phrase in one of his plays:

“…Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword.”

The written word is a far more effective tool for communicating than mindless – or premeditated, come to that – acts of violence. And rightly so, for the power of words is eternal and can stand the test of time. I often recall certain passages or stories I’ve read, years – sometimes decades – ago. Something that moved me. Inspired me. Got me thinking. Its value can be just as precious now as it was when I read it. Now that’s power. And many have used such power, down through the centuries, to bring about change for the better.

If you could have dinner with any literary character or author who would you choose, and what would you eat.

That would be Edgar Allan Poe, a man whose mind – and imagination – worked on an entirely different level from those around him. And of course, the meal would centre around his works:
Starters would be Hop-Frog Legs washed down with Ligeia wine.
The main course would be built of a choice of The Purloined Steak Letter and Pit and the Pendulum Pie.
And for dessert, we’d round off with Tamerlane Tiramisu, complimented by his favourite cognac.

How influential is storytelling/poetry to our culture?

I don’t think storytelling or poetry will ever lose their influence, no matter how ‘instant meme fix’ society becomes. Stories have adapted to meet the modern ‘rushed off our feet’ culture by becoming shorter. Many publishers now want submissions which are half the length – or less – of what they used to be.

Poetry doesn’t have to do that. I’m not talking about ‘epic prose’ here, but those cleverly crafted shorter poems that can tell an entire story in just a few verses, or even lines. It’s just a question of adapting to need, and keeping what you produce current and popular.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why?

I’ve always wanted to be the Silver Surfer. I can’t imagine anything more profound than surfing the cosmos, and experiencing the majesty of the universe firsthand, up close and personal, for all eternity.

Which authors/books have influenced you the most?

That’s easy. Stephen R. Donaldson, Raymond E. Feist and Neil Gaiman. I’ve loved the sheer inventiveness of their stories for decades, and always will.

What’s your next writing adventure?

Believe it or not, I’m branching into horror. And so far, I’m rather enjoying it.

What is your greatest success?

Becoming an expert nuisance. It took years of dedication and application, but at last, I’ve done it! According to my wife, that is. . .

What’s your favourite quote, who said it and why?

That will always depend on my mood, as there are several I really like.
However, the one that has a definite edge is:

“Of all things, I liked books best.” ― Nikola Tesla.

As to why?

It sums me up perfectly. I could read before I went to school. I prefer books to films, video games and a lot of other pastimes. I always have my head in a book, even now, when I’m busy, busy, busy, writing.

Tell us a silly fact about yourself?

I love marmite! It is, without doubt, an exceedingly nomilicious food product that compliments just about anything.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
An astronaut. Something I began to actively pursue when I was younger –  (educationally and vocationally) – and then life got in the way. Bummer!

Stand Together – Author Interview – Joe Bonadonna

Author name:

Joe Bonadonna

How did you become involved with this project?

Alex L. Butcher, who put the project together, and I are Facebook friends, have worked together before, and are also involved in Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell™ series.

Tell us a little about your work in this book?

I’d been writing short stories since fifth grade, and then I started playing guitar. Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison of The Doors, Peter Sinfield who wrote lyrics for King Crimson, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and Keith Reid, who wrote lyrics for Procul Harum, I started writing poems and then soon afterwards, song lyrics. A couple of years ago I started dabbling in haiku.

Please tell us about your other publications/work.

I’ve written three books thus far in my sword & sorcery, heroic fantasy series, Mad Shadows. I’ve also written a space opera and a sword & planet novel, co-authored two children’s books with Erika M Szabo, and co-authored a pirate/horror novel with David C. Smith. I’ve published a number of short stories and novellas, and have appeared in six recent volumes of the Heroes in Hell™ series.

Do you think the written word (or art) brings power and freedom?

Yes! The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Fascist, authoritarian governments fear the power of the word. They fear any artform they think is harmful to their “regimes,” to their plans: art is transformative, it teaches and enlightens us, it makes us hope and dream. To “them,” its greatest threat is that it makes us think, and gives us ideas. Art is truth, and oppressors the world over would bury Truth beneath the dirt of propaganda, censorship and book burning.

If you could have dinner with any literary character or author, who would you choose, and what would you eat.

I’ll pick an author, and not to offend anyone still living, I’ll pick a dead author: Raymond Chandler, because he was the key to my writing my Mad Shadows Triad. Oh, maybe we’d eat pizza or steak, drink whiskey and/or Guinness Stout. Since he lived in California, maybe we’d eat seafood and drink wine.

How influential is storytelling/poetry to our culture?

It’s not only influential, it’s important: it is life affirming. We need poems and literature, music and paintings, and all forms of art. It keeps us sane and healthy. Storytelling and poetry reveal what’s in our hearts. Every art form reveals what we think and dream and hope for. It reveals the depths of our souls. Once again, it teaches and enlightens, as well to help ease the burden of our worries and our troubles.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature, what would you be and why?

I’ll go with being a vampire. They dress well, only go out at night, have superhuman powers, and if they invested wisely during their natural lifetime, over the long years of their afterlife, they could live quite handsomely, indeed.

Which authors/books have influenced you the most?

Once again, I’ll stick with dead authors: JRR Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, Edgar Allen Poe, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ross Thomas, Larry McMurtry, and the list goes on and on ….

What’s your next writing adventure?

I’m hoping to write a fourth and perhaps final volume of novellas for my Mad Shadowsseries — making it a quartet instead of a trio. I’m also working on my seventh novella for the Heroes in Hell™ saga.

What is your greatest success?

That I’m still alive at age 70! Seriously, I’d have to say my Mad Shadows Triad, my, The MechMen of Canis-9, and the stories I’ve written for the Heroes in Hell™ saga are my greatest success stories, and my personal bundle of pride and joy.

What’s your favourite quote, who said it and why?

I actually have two, if I may: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. That’s because inside a dog it’s too dark to read.” — Grouch Marx. Why? Because he was a comedian, and his sarcastic wit often had truth and deeper, more subtle meaning. And: “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” — Anonymous. Why? Well . . . wouldn’t you?

Tell us a silly fact about yourself.

I collect Halloween knick-knacks and cheap snow globes.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

A rock-star guitar god. When I started growing up and growing older, I just wanted to be a kid again. I think a lot of us would like that.

Thank you for everything about this project and for asking me to take part.

https://books2read.com/StandTogetherUkraine