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Entries tagged with “interview”.


This character interview stuff is too much fun! Here is the interview I had with … be still my heart… sexy cowboy, Colt Thompson. From my book “The Second Time Around” Book I of the Belanger Creek Ranch series.

Gloria: What is your current state of mind?

cowboy coltColt: Do you mean how do I feel about life? I’m a workaholic. In my heart, I want to live at Belanger Creek Ranch, but since my Dad had a heart attack, I’ve returned to the farm at Cantaur, and I’m running it now and trying to keep my dad out of trouble. It’s not how I imagined my life being, but I’ve learned the hard way that life doesn’t go the way you imagined.

Gloria: Why do you say that?

Colt: Well, I’m cured of any illusions about love and romance. I was married once and I worshipped that woman. I loved her with a passion … until I found out that she was cheating on me. I would have tried to work around any problems we might have been having in the marriage, but that wasn’t her final betrayal. The last one cut me to the bone. I hated her for that one, and I filed for divorce immediately. She left me with nothing but the clothes on my back, and a mountain of debt…a painful lesson well learned! I will never lay myself open to a repeat performance. Love, romance and happy marriages are an illusion. Even if I thought I could fall in love with someone again, I’d do everything possible to make sure it didn’t happen. It simply isn’t worth the pain.

Gloria: Do your parent’s have a happy marriage?

Colt: Yeah, my parents are great. My mom is a saint. Dad has his faults—he’s stubborn like me. He’s always been a farmer and a workaholic, I guess I get some of my traits from him. Yeah, I would have to say that basically, my parents have a great marriage. I’ve noticed nowadays most women aren’t like my mom. They don’t commit to a relationship the way she has. They are too busy doing their own thing.


Gloria:
You sound a bit bitter, even chauvinistic.

Colt: I am bitter and I think I have a reason to be. I’ve been called chauvinistic before…yeah I’ve even been called an ass. But I am what I am, because a woman taught me the realities of life.

Gloria: You are a good looking man and you are relatively young, are you in a relationship with anyone now?

Colt: No, nothing romantic or too serious. I’ve been seeing a woman in Swift Current called Shauna Lee Holt. We are and friends,,, (he quirks an eyebrow) with benefits. We both have needs that we satisfy for each other, but we are not in love, so no one is going to get hurt if the other walks away. Neither one of us will try to abscond with half of the other person’s life’s work. She owns the firm that does our accounting work, so financially she is secure. Dad and I are partners in Thompson Holdings: Cantaur Farm, and Belanger Creek Ranch are both entities of it.

Gloria: Do you always feel you need to play it safe?

Colt: I got royally screwed over emotionally and financially once; it isn’t going to happen again!

Gloria: What is the trait you most despise in others?

Colt: Dishonesty… betrayal!

Gloria: What is the quality you like most in a woman?

Colt: I’m surprised you would ask me that.

 Gloria: Seriously, before you were hurt, what did you look for in a woman?

Colt: If I were looking for a woman now, it would be different from what I looked for back then. When I was young looks and a great body meant a lot. And the woman I married loved horses and the rodeo life, and so did I. I thought we were a perfect match, but it was all a fantasy. I was so besotted, I forgot that we had a farm and a ranch to run, until Dad jerked me up short and made it clear that if I was part of the business, I had to pull my weight with the work.

If I were to look for a woman now looks wouldn’t be as important… yeah, I know… every man likes to wake up to a good looking face on the pillow and a slender strong body snuggled into your arms. But seriously, honesty, loyalty, a sense of humor, someone who cares as much about you as she does herself, a woman who enjoys what you do—especially when your business is a ranch or farming. The ideal woman for me is someone who will work beside you through the long days, and the good times and bad. I’d want a woman who loved kids. I always wanted a family until…well that’s another story. We’d both have to be considerate and respect each others moods—everyone has a shitty day once in a while. She’d have to understand that there is a time to play—although I seldom do that; but work has to come first around here. I’m not saying she’d have to be a clone of me. I know we’d both have to give and take. But since I’m NOT looking for another woman to be part of my life, none of that matters.

Gloria: What if you met a woman with all of those qualities, what would you do?

Colt: Run as fast as I could. I’d marry a horse (I love them) before I’d ever let myself get addled brained enough to get involved with another woman. I’d never count on getting it right the second time around. Believe me… once was enough!

 Image credit for cowboy photo

 

 

charactersecondtimearoundAn author is supposed to know their characters inside out,so just for fun I decided to do a series of character interviews from my books…

This is my interview with Frank Lamonte from “The Second Time Around” Book I of the Belanger Creek Ranch Series. Enjoy!


Gloria:What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Frank: Many would expect me to say that becoming a veterinarian is my greatest achievement, but becoming a veterinarian is almost an extension of who I am. I love all animals: it pains me to see them hurt and it makes me happy to help them heal. I probably understand animals better than I do humans! Horses are my favorite animal. When you work with them over a period of time, you form a deep friendship, and you will have a friend for life.

I digress here—what is my greatest achievement?

Becoming my own person is probably my biggest achievement, although I didn’t realize it when it was happening. I am an only child. That has its blessings, but it also has its downside. Mom had trouble carrying a child, and after several miscarriages, my parents were thrilled to finally have a baby in their arms. I know my father wanted a son badly—but I am certain that when I was born a girl, Dad took it in stride. He showed no signs of disappointment, and decided I’d make a great son anyway. He named me Frank Lamonte, after his father, and there was never a thought of calling me Fran or even Frankie…I was FRANK.

My poor mother never got to enjoy having a little girl. Probably the only time she got to dress me in dainty pink, was my pajamas when she put me to bed at night, or when we went to church on Sunday morning.

Once I was a toddler, Dad started taking me with him everywhere. We had a small ranch and he let me help him with chores, and I when he went to town for parts for the equipment, or feed for the animals, I would tag along. I went everywhere with him. I became an extension of him.

I grew up in his world and I loved everything about it…the animals, especially the horses. He took me riding, tucked in the saddle in front of him as soon as I could walk, and later he taught me to ride when mom said it was Ok for me to be on a horse by myself. He encouraged me to team rope with our neighbor, and dad’s best friend’s son, Clint Roberts. When I got older, and we went to rodeos, Dad was there, keeping an eye on things, protecting me. Once I had matured into a young woman, he was there to make sure that I didn’t become a “notch” on some rodeo guys belt!

He gave me room to grow—but I was never really independent of him, until I went to vet school. I met Martin Cole when we were team roping and then we both ended up going to vet college. When we got together, the natural urges of a young woman came to life in me. I enjoyed his attention on a romantic and sexual level. I even thought I’d fallen deeply in love, but on another level, it was like slipping my hand into a comfortable pair of gloves. He was a male companion, and that was what I was used to having. He wasn’t like my dad, but when I look back now, I think he became a replacement for him in my life—just on a different level.

I was young, I had never dated… not because dad interfered, although no one would have been good enough for me! I still hung out with guys all the time, I just became one of them. I didn’t relate to girls. They seemed to be immature and silly. Becky Freemont is the only girlfriend that I’ve ever had. I’ve known her since kindergarten. We are still very close and she is always there for me.

I took my studies seriously and so did Martin. We worked hard, and after we graduated we came back to Stettler, Alberta where I’d grown up. From the time I was about fourteen years old, I had spent all my spare time at Jason Winter’s Vet Clinic, helping him where I could. He was very patient and I was a good worker and a quick learner. When I left for vet school, he told me there would be a job waiting for me, and when we graduated he hired Martin and me.

Although Martin and I were engaged, we hadn’t “lived together” so when I came back to Stettler I moved back in with mom and dad. My life seemed perfect—marriage was in my future, I was living back at the small ranch where I had grown up, and I was home with mom and Dad.

Then over a nine month period, my whole world fell apart. My dad was almost killed when a horse went over backward on him. The thought of losing him struck me numb. When we knew he would live, tough choices had to be made. The ranch had to be sold, and mom and dad bought a place in town. I moved in with them and tried to help mom look after dad. I was worried sick, and far too busy. Martin broke our engagement, because he said I had no time for him and I wasn’t fun anymore. He took up with the secretary in the clinic. That was the last straw for me!

I was reeling, and I gradually slipped into a depression. I didn’t realize what was happening, because I was so immersed in what had happened to dad, and the sale of my treasured home. I thought I had good reason to feel blue…it would pass.

Then Doctor Winter’s stepped in and told me I had to take care of myself. He put me on an extended leave of absence, and told me to go to see my doctor and seek help. He told me to get out of Stettler for as long as it took for me to get back on my feet. He actually found me the job as a ranch hand at Belanger Creek Ranch.

It was a long and painful journey…and it seemed like I made some pretty stupid mistakes while I was there, but in the end, I found an inner strength I didn’t know I possessed.

When I came back to Stettler, I found comfort in knowing that my parents supported me, but I stood on my own two feet and made my own decisions. I had doubts and fears, like everyone, but I was no longer an extension of my father, or anyone else…I had become my own person.

Gloria:What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Frank:
For me perfect happiness comes with peace of mind, accepting yourself for who you are, and being grateful for the wonderful things you already have. Strong feelings of self worth, contentment and acceptance create perfect happiness.

In today’s world, people tend to judge others and themselves by how they look, and what they possess. Doing this just causes discontentment. I have nothing against trying to improve your lot in life, but feeling “less than,” because of what you have not acquired, or may never acquire, is self-defeating.

Gloria:What is your favourite occupation?

Frank:Working with animals—being a veterinarian is my true occupation, but being a ranch-hand has been very satisfying too.

Gloria:What are qualities you value most in a man?

Frank:Honesty, loyalty,  a good work ethic, the ability to have access to his inner child and know how to have fun. I also admire a man who is confident, but not entirely focused on himself. He should show kindness and respect to others and me (if he is my partner) He should also be a good listener when I need him to be.

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Bizzlinkzz: Today I’m very pleased to be interviewing Author Gloria Antypowich, from Horsefly British Columbia .

Bizzlinkzz:When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Gloria: I`ve always had a flair with words. Once when I was in high school I got caught in the washroom with some other girls who were hanging out there to skip a class. The punishment was a 1000 word essay. I was ticked off because I had been there for legitimate reasons, although I did stop to talk a bit longer than necessary: so I wrote a sarcastic essay. The teacher gave me an A+ for it and commented on my writing skills. My mother saved it and in later years put it in one of her scrapbook photo albums.

About the same time, I wrote a short fashion article and submitted it to the Western Producer. They published it and I received a cheque for $2.49. I was thrilled, but I didn’t think about being a writer.

When I was a young mother, I had a small stack of articles that I hid in the closet in my daughter’s bedroom, but I didn`t try to publish them, it was just an outlet.

A few years after we moved to Horsefly, I started to seriously consider writing. I was in my early thirties, and working outside the home when I went to my first writers conference in Regina, Saskatchewan. I had also wanted to check out the `Cypress Hills`because that name sounded so romantic to me. Although I had planned to go by myself, my husband Lloyd didn’t want me to drive that far on my own. At that time he was a rancher/log truck owner, so he took time off to go to the writers conference with me. We also toured through the Maple Creek, Cypress Park area and I made notes for research for the series of books that I am publishing now.

I also attended  the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conferences in Dallas and San Francisco during the next couple of years. I wrote the first version of Hearts At Risk during that time. Vanessa Grant introduced me to an agent, who read the book and took me on. She submitted it to Harlequin and they replied that they had too many books that were ranch related at the time. Because the book didn’t get snapped up immediately, I lost the support of my family. I let my feelings get hurt and shelved the project for thirty years, until I decided to publish Hearts at Risk in 2011, after my husband and I had retired. I published You Can Run in 2012, and then my writing got sidetracked.I started to reinvent my career in 2014. It’s been a hectic eighteen months!

Bizzlinkzz: Where do you get your information and ideas for your books?

Gloria: I think like a writer all the time. I talk to everyone—people I don’t even know and ask them all kinds of things. Recently I met a lady who works at a copper mine in the Yukon, and I immediately thought about what a cool career that would be for a female in a book. I asked her a lot of questions about her job, wrote down the name of the mine where she works and it went into a file on my computer.

But sometimes a conversation that I overhear in a restaurant triggers a thought, or something I read in a magazine, or hear on the news. The background for the hero in my fourth book was generated by a conversation I had with my son twenty- five years ago,before he got married. The incident stayed with me, and years later I talked with him and his wife, and another incident that happened to an acquaintance of theirs came up. I wrote down the man’s name, and searched Canada’s 411 pages, found his name and cold called him. I explained who I was and why I was calling and he was happy to talk to me. All of this was research, to give me a feeling about how my character might feel in a given situation.

For book three, a conversation with a woman who had acted as a surrogate for her sister left me in awe. I knew I wanted to write a book that included surrogacy. I researched on line and read about a woman with infertility issues, and discovered Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH). I read related posts, where people explained how they felt about having the syndrome. I was fascinated! I had never heard of it before, but I decided this would be perfect for a heroine. Then I spent weeks researching surrogacy in Canada and the US. I followed two blogs about people who were actually documenting their journey through surrogacy. These were real people, their posts were authentic. What a window of opportunity for me! This was all research, but it gave me insight, so I could write with authenticity.

I also buy ebooks about the topics that interest me, or if I have to, I’ll buy a real book. I do most of my research online: the internet is full of information. It is like putting together pieces of a puzzle.

Bizzlinkzz: How long does it take you to write a book?

Gloria: It takes me a good six months for the first draft, but then I rework it and do a rewrite, and edit it.

Bizzlinkzz:   What do you think makes a good story?

Gloria: I believe a good story captures the reader’s imagination and helps them emotionally connect with the characters… At this time my books are set in “western romance” genre, but I think they are more than that. I believe a book can be set in any situation, but if the characters and the way they react are compelling, people will enjoy the read.

Bizzlinkzz: How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

Gloria: Basically I have written four books. But I published the first two, and then my writing career was put on hold. After that, I had Jen Blood at Adian Enterprises assess the four books. She suggested that I rewrite Hearts at Risk and rebrand my writing. I took her advice and now I will be releasing the first two books, along with two more as the Belanger Creek Ranch Series.

Frank and Colt are characters from my first book (The Second Time Around) and I feel like they are my first child. I love The Second Time Around, but for me writing Full Circle (originally titled You Can Run) was like playing the piano by ear! The book just came to me, flowing from my fingertips, onto the computer, like a movie was playing in my mind. I didn’t do much research for it, except to explore Swift Current, Saskatchewan and learn more about it on the internet. I fall in love with all my characters, but I think Full Circle, Book Two of the Belanger Creek Ranch Series is my favorite.

Bizzlinkzz:Are there any authors that inspired you to write?

Gloria:
I would have to say that my love of reading inspired me to become a writer. However, some authors that come to mind are: Janet Dailey, Linda Lael Miller, Bev Petterson, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Stacy Eaton, Vanessa Grant ….and so many others that I can’t think of right now. I also read Wilbur Smith, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, Stephen King, Jim Giammatteo, John Betcher, Claude Bouchard, Lorne Oliver, R.E. Donald, Dan Brown and more recently Mathew Peters.

On the other end of the spectrum I also read Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval and Zecharia Sitchin.

Bizzlinkzz: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Gloria: I am a voracious reader. I have over 800 books on my Kindle and I have read most of them. However, I seldom read during the day. I love to spend time with family and friends. I am not physically fit, I but love to go for a ride through the forest on the quad. I love to spend a day on the little lake close to home. We have a small old boat with an electric motor that we take out there —the silence and the magic of nature is wonderfully relaxing. I like all kinds of music from Meat Loaf to Zamfir, or simply recordings of nature sounds playing in the back ground. I love to play a game of cards and sip a glass of wine. I treasure days that I can spend sitting side by side with like-minded people, on the computer, not even having to speak, simply being together. And when I am pushed, I’ll do the housework!

Bizzlinkzz: When are your books coming out?

Gloria: The first two, The Second Time Around and Full Circle, are already formatted for ebook at Kindle KDP and Createspace for paperback version. The launch is planned for May 8th, just before Mother’s Day!


Bizzlinkzz:
Finally, What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Gloria:Keep doing what you love to do! Don’t let other people’s influences stop you. Keep writing! Don’t give up…and remember it’s never too late. I’m 71! Everything happens when it is meant to.