Rising Star: Maureen Mckenzie

 

Hello everyone, today, I am featuring rising star Maureen Mckenzie AKA Rosy. She is an up-and-coming poet from the United Kingdom. She is very talented, and I see her going far with her unique poetic style.

 

Blind Seasons

By Maureen Mckenzie

 

What a thing the spring

The pretty daffodils … where?

If only for a few days and hours

The lovely smell…

That newness

The dew, the damp, cool rain…

To whirl and bring warmth again

I feel it, not see it

It’s ok. I love it

I know it’s spring…

Now, it’s summer

There’s a bummer!

It’s too hot. Is it not?

No air conditioning here

Oh, dear!

The warmth through my feet

Wearing sandals, what a treat!

Walking in the sea

As the tide comes in

Now, there a thing

I feel it, not see it

It’s ok. I love it

I know it’s summer

So, autumn

Here you are

The door is ajar

The leaves are rustling

Everyone is hustling!

Getting ready for Christmas!

No! It’s too early

But the leaves are all twirly

Colorful aren’t they?

I feel it, not see it

It’s ok. I love it

I know it’s autumn

Winter, oh burrrr it’s cold!

It’s grey out there

So I’m told…

It’s all festive with Christmas joy

I love that feeling … oh boy!

Snow crunch on ground

Ok it’s found

The white stuff under my toes

With cold it glows

I feel it, not see it

It’s ok. I love it

I know it’s winter

I can feel it, hear it

Touch it

Sense it

it’s here

it’s ok.

Isn’t it?

What’s that you are saying…?

You don’t need sight to have vision

But isn’t that a division?

Though

Between light and dark

What a lark!

But I’m ok…

 

 

 

Globalization, me dear!

By Maureen Mckenzie

 

I think the time has come near

When we must hold dear

This much we must dare

And be bold and to share

Every creed, color, religion, and nation

Without any frustration

Good will and love

Does shine down from above

But our planet is heaving

And no one is leaving

There is no escape

We have made many a mistake

In our evolution

Without thought or solution

The planet needs saving

Whilst new IPhones we are craving

The water is rising

The sun hotly shining

As icebergs melt

Depleting ozone is felt

People rush round

Much importance is found

In activity trivial

Nonsensical ritual

Wars never ending

With no peace transcending

Nuclear war could transpire

That would destroy every desire

In one moment we’d be gone

There would be no song

So, wouldn’t it be better for us?

To not make so much fuss

And our differences put aside

So no one need hide

Globalization must bring us together

Because none of us are really that clever

So, do you have an idea?

To work this all out me dear!

 

Bio:

 

I was once a visual artist who painted. I still have my art displayed in galleries as a visually impaired artist today, but now since losing most of my eyesight over the past few years to glaucoma, I have started to write poetry.  People often said to me it would be a good idea to write a diary to share my feelings of sight loss, but I feel writing words in prose is more effective and a better way for me to portray my creativity. Some say poetry should always rhyme, but I think this is true to a certain extent, but not necessary all the time

 

My poem Blind Seasons has to do with the four seasons… and sight loss… reality, and that is mine. I have 10% optic nerve left in each eye.

 

If you would like to check out more of Maureen’s work, visit her blog at Rosy Poems. I’m sure you will find a poem or two that will pull at your heart strings.

 

Author Q and A: Bj Edwards

picture of author BJ Edwards

 

Hello everyone. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with author BJ Edwards. I love to travel, but I never thought I would get the chance to take a virtual trip to visit the United Kingdom.

 

BJ: Thank you so much for having me Blaque Diamond. You should really take a trip out here. I’m sure you will find it a fascinating place to visit.

 

Blaque: I just might have to do that. The United Kingdom is a place on my bucket list that I would love to visit in my lifetime.

 

BJ: I would love to give you a tour.

 

Blaque: Awww! That’s so sweet of you. I would really like that. So, I would like to talk to you and see who you are behind your title of author.

 

Bj: There is a lot about me that people may not know.

 

Blaque: I’m sure there is. It is a great opportunity for readers to get to know you more. So, lets get started. How many books have you published to date?

 

BJ: I have had three books published to date, not including poems that have crept into anthologies. I also write plays and screenplays, some of which have been produced or published. I have a number of books waiting to be published, but publishers work very slowly!

 

Blaque: That’s awesome! What kind of child were you growing up?

 

BJ: Well, this is tricky. I suppose I was curious and creative. I asked a lot of questions and wanted to know everything I could. I always had a strong imagination which I channelled into play, then art, then into the creation of my own stories and characters.

 

Blaque: What makes you uniquely you?

 

BJ: At this point I should say that everyone is unique. That said, I am totally blind, I have been visually impaired all my life, so I guess it has given me a unique perspective. Allied to this, I am passionately devoted to fitness and exercise. So, I guess I am a hybrid – someone who loves books, art and theatre, and someone who loves sweating, sport and martial arts!

 

Blaque: Oh Wow! We have something in common. I am also totally blind. I haven’t been visually impaired all my life, but I am now, and I have adjusted to my new life quite well. So, if you were granted three wishes, what would they be?

 

BJ: Firstly, I would wish that one of my scripts or books would be turned into a film, that would be amazing. Secondly, I would wish that I had a part in a Star Wars film. I mean, a proper part with a lightsaber! Thirdly, I wish that I could direct one of my own plays at a West End theatre. Yes, I know, these are all really selfish, and I should have wished for world peace, or Donald Trump to spontaneously combust or something. But this is unashamedly about me!

 

Blaque: Another thing we have in common I see. Lol. I too would like to see my books performed on a stage and shown on the big screen. That would be awesome! Now, I know how I deal with writer’s block, but how do you deal with writer’s block?

 

BJ: I always make sure I am working on more than one project. In essence, I make sure I am juggling more than two balls, so if I drop one, I can carry on. So, I always try to have a story or book to write, or a play or script to write or edit. This way I can still be productive if I’ve completely ran out of steam in another project.

 

Blaque: Out of the books you have published, which is your favourite and why?

 

BJ: Stalking The Shadows will always be special to me. It’s complex, multi-layered and was difficult to write. It deals with so many passions of mine; magic, battle, anthropology, theology, fantasy. I loved writing it, and love so many of the characters.

 

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

 

BJ: Some stories start life as an emotion, a tincture of feeling that I want to communicate. Others start off from a dream, or a character or event. The key is to give the seed of an idea time to grow. Sometimes an idea will become a poem, sometimes it will become a storey or a play, and sometimes it will grow and evolve a life of its own and become a novel. Ideas are everywhere, fragments of wonder that float amongst us. The key is to capture it, take care of it, nurture it and allow it to fuse with your mind and soul.

 

Blaque: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

 

BJ: Just write. Practice and enjoy. Write for yourself, for your own enjoyment and satisfaction. Writing can be deeply personal and therapeutic, it can make you happy, elated, excited or sad. Poor emotion and imagination into your writing, and don’t get bogged down in thinking about getting published. Just write, and if you’re determined enough, or lucky enough, somebody else will enjoy your words and invest in them.

 

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

 

BJ: My zodiac sign is Sagittarius.

 

Blaque: Who is your favourite author and why?

 

BJ: This is tough, I admire so many authors. If someone was to hold a gun to my head, I would have to say Bernard Cornwell. He is consistently excellent, and his research is exemplary. I adore so much of what he writes.

 

Blaque: Do you have any other talents besides writing?

 

BJ: I am a little bit musical. I play the piano, clarinet, saxophone, and sing.

 

Blaque: What is your biggest fear?

 

BJ: Failure is my biggest fear.

 

Blaque: If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

 

BJ: I’ll actually text him and ask…. back in a few minutes… Ok, he said, “Contrasting.”

 

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

 

BJ: I go to the gym everyday – in fact, I try to train for about two hours a day. I love rowing and cycling. I also love going to the theatre, watching films, music and reading. I also collect swords.

 

Blaque: What did you want to be when you grew up?

 

BJ: When I was really small, I wanted to be an ice cream man! Then I wanted to be an archaeologist, then an actor. I ended up being an English teacher, before taking up writing seriously.

 

Blaque: Are you a dog or a cat person?

 

BJ: Dogs all the way. I have a big black Labrador guide dog called Oliver. Though, my first pet was a cat called Bill, and my second pet was a Yorkshire terrier called Loo-Loo!

 

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

 

BJ: Bestselling books are seldom the best written books. My goal is to get more books published, and work with progressively bigger publishers. It would be good to get my work out into more book shops. It would be nice to come across someone on a train and notice they are reading one of my books.

 

Blaque: If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell it?

 

BJ: “You know, life is often pretty hard. Sometimes it’s like pushing a boulder uphill whilst wearing roller skates. But keep on trying, keep on working, keep believing and never give-up. Find the beauty in everyday things, and life just might work out Ok.”

 

Blaque: What is your all-time favourite book?

 

BJ: Tricky. The book that had the most profound effect on me was Wilbur Smith’s Sunbird. The book that moves me the most is Cry The Beloved Country.

 

Blaque: What is your most favourite season of the year, and why?

 

BJ: Autumn. There’s a very interesting energy to the changing of the season, the falling of the leaves and the sun as it dips lower and burns more fitfully. The smell of wood smoke, the crunch of leaves, the knowledge that Winter waits, and that bonfires will soon be coaxed into life.

 

Blaque: Very interesting interview. It was nice to see that we have some things in common.

 

BJ: Yes, I wanted to give readers a deeper sense of who I am.

 

Blaque: That I can tell. I’m sure they found out some things about you today that they never knew. So, where can your books be purchased?

 

BJ: Readers can purchase my book Stalking The Shadows: Ancient Destiny Book 1 on

 

Audible

 

It is available as an EBook and an audio book. They can also purchase my book Tesserae from Amazon in EBook or paperback versions.

 

Blaque: Where can readers find you on social media?

 

BJ: They can find me here

 

Twitter

Facebook

 

Blaque: Are you also a blogger?

 

BJ: yes, my blog can be found at

 

BJ’s WordPress blog

 

Blaque: And your website?

 

BJ: My website can be found at

 

BJ’s Website

 

Blaque: Well, everyone, I hope you enjoyed getting to know just a little bit more about author BJ Edwards. Be sure to check out his publications. If you are a fan of historical fiction, poetry, or fantasy, then I’m sure you will find some amazing adventures in his books.

 

BJ: It was a pleasure speaking with you today Blaque Diamond.

 

Blaque: The pleasure was all mine. Thanks for having me. I’m going to hold you to that tour of the UK.

 

BJ: I’m a man of my word.

 

Blaque: Until next time. Happy writing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Q and A: Ann Harrison

Author Q and A: Anne Harrison

 

Let’s get to know Christian fiction author Ann Harrison a little more. Here is just a little peek into the person behind the books. Once you have read this entire question and answer session with the author, hopefully you will understand who she is better. She wears the title of author, but there is a lot more to her than that. Enjoy!!!

 

Q: What inspires you to write?

 

A: I get inspired to write in a variety of ways. Sometimes I get inspired from what I read, and sometimes I am inspired by music, and at other times, things that happen in everyday life can inspire me. I have been inspired by dreams recently as well.

 

Q: Where is your favorite place to write?

 

A: I currently write at my kitchen table, but there are times that I like to take my phone out on the patio or out by the pool and jot down ideas that come to mine.

 

Q: What is your favorite season of the year and why?

 

A: I love fall, because the temperature is cool, but not too cold, and it’s the best time to spend some time outside to find inspiration

 

Q: How many books have you published to date? “Compilations and anthologies included.”

 

A: Including anthologies, I have had work published in five books, with a possibility for a sixth one coming up in the near future.

 

Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?

 

A: My favorite Holiday is Christmas. I love the music, gathering around the tree with my family, and the oohs and ahs of surprise when everyone opens their gifts. I also love the fact that we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

 

Q: Name three people who inspire you and explain why.

 

A: One person that inspires me is Karen Kingsbury. Her novels inspired a character that I created for A Journey of Faith. My friend Tish Williams also inspires me because she encourages me when I am suffering from Writers block. Last, but not least my daughter inspires me. Sometimes she says things that sparks creativity.

 

Q: How many books can you honestly say you’ve read in a single year?

 

A: I can honestly say that I have read at least twenty books in a year, although that may be even more. I have read too many to count.

 

Q: Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

 

A: My husband, my daughter, and my closest friends, some of who are writers themselves have been my closet supporters in my writing career.

 

Q: What kind of child were you growing up?

 

A: I was a curious child growing up. Sometimes I would go outside to play with my cousins and my brothers, but there were days that I would sit inside and read for hours at a time. I discovered the joy of talking books and they kept me occupied.

 

Q: If you had $1,000,000 to donate to a worthy cause, which would it be and why?

 

A: I couldn’t give it all to one charity. I would have to dole out some of it to hurricane victims, and send some of the money to guide dog schools.

 

Q: What can bring tears to your eyes?

 

A: Sometimes a certain song can bring tears to my eyes. When my daughter is sick or hurt, and when a child has been mistreated also can bring tears to my eyes. There has also been books that I have read that brought me to tears.

 

Q: What is your favorite food?

 

A: I love pizza, and there are so many other foods that I like that I won’t list them all here.

 

Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?

 

A: I sometimes open up a notepad document and brain storm, and I sometimes just sit in silence and let the thoughts come to me slowly.

 

Q: Out of the books you have published, which is your favorite and why?

 

A: A Journey of Faith is my favorite, because I really got to know Becca as she was traveling down her chosen path.

 

Q: Are there any other published authors in your family? “Self-published or traditionally published.”

 

A: No, I’m the only published author in my family. Though, my uncle’s previous wife, who lives in Florida, told me she was working on several books, but I haven’t seen one published yet.

 

Q: If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?

 

A: The first wish I would make is a home for my husband and me to call my own, with bedrooms for my daughter and Michawl’s nephew. I would have a pool and a screened in porch. My second wish is to have the means to travel to different places for inspiration. I also wish for an easier way to write on the go. I have my phone, but it’s a slow going process when I don’t have my keyboard with me. Sighted people can simply pick up a notebook and pen, but it’s harder for a blind person to do the same.

 

Q: What makes you uniquely you?

 

A: I am creative, I like working with people, but yet I can be a quiet person too. I read more than I play games, yet I love to have a little fun too.

 

Q: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

 

A: I get most of my story ideas in a variety of places. For example, a piece of instrumental music can spark an idea, a book I’m reading, or a bit of everyday life. However, sometimes I can either get inspired by a dream I’ve had, or I can be reading, and an image of a scene will start forming in my mind. When that happens, I have to go with it, or get some pointers from other people to ignite the spark. Once I get the creative fire going, I can write for hours.

 

Q: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper or the computer? Why?

 

A: I prefer writing my first drafts on the computer. Instead of having to rewrite the entire book, I can simply revise the draft and edit my work, to tighten it up the best I can before asking someone else to edit it for me.

 

Q: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

 

A: My advice to aspiring authors is to read, read, and read. What I mean by this is read books in the genre in which you plan to write, and read other genres too, because story ideas can come from anywhere. Also, keep your eyes and ears open, because you never know what inspiration you can get from a conversation, or a simple life event. Also, when you are unsure about an aspect of your writing, like one of the characteristics of your protagonist or the setting for your story. Do your research, to make your story believable and to make sure your facts are accurate and consistent.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Ann in a deeper sense than just her title of author. You never know what you will find out about a person unless you ask questions. Hopefully, some of your curiosity about the person behind the inspirational stories have been quenched.

 

Check out these books by author Ann Harrison:

 

A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery is available in paperback at

Amazon

It is also available in hard cover and eBook on amazon and other book retailers.

 

Stories outside the Box is only available in eBook formats through Smashwords at

Stories Outside The Box

It is also available in Kindle format through Amazon.

 

To learn more about Ann’s published work and to read her blog, visit her website at:

 

Ann Writes Inspiration

 

Follow Ann Writes on social media:

 

Follow her on twitter:

 

Twitter