Tag, You’re It!

By Patricia Zick @PCZick

I’m playing Indie Author tag today, and I’m IT. Being “IT” means that I share information about my work in progress, or WIP.

The Rules

  1. Give credit (including a link) to the Indie Author who tagged you.
  2. Play by the rules; therefore, you must post the rules.
  3. You MUST answer all ten questions below.
  4. List five other Indie Authors with links that you have “tagged” so that the game can continue.

Link Back

The Indie Author who tagged me is Christoph Fischer who writes the blog Writer Christoph Fischer where he writes reviews and promotes Indie Authors. He’s the author of The Luck of the Weissensteiners. His work in progress is Sebastian.

What is the title or working title of your WIP?

Safe Harbor, but I will have to change it before publishing. There are too many other books out with the same title.

What genres does your novel fall under?

Contemporary fiction with environmental themes

What actors (Dream Cast) would you choose to play the characters in a film version?

Emily Booth: Ashley Judd

Daniel Booth: Matt Damon

Barbara Evans: Michelle Pfeiffer

Jack Owen: Harrison Ford

What is the main outline for your book?

Safe Harbor is set in Florida where an international conglomerate starts to set up perfect living and vacation communities where they control every aspect of life, including wildlife put on display for the enjoyment of humans. The novel examines the folly of man when he transforms nature for his benefit. Nature always wins in the end. A group of ordinary citizens forms an odd group as they attempt to stop the destruction of the natural world they treasure.

Will your book be Indie published/self published or represented by an agency and sold to a traditional publisher?

I plan to publish this book as an Indie. However, I would be happy to accept an offer from a traditional publisher for any of my books.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I wrote the first draft during six months in 2007. Then life interrupted, and I put the manuscript aside until now.

What other books in this genre would you compare your book to?

It could be a combination of Barbara Kingsolver and Carl Hiassen.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The book is set in Florida where I lived for thirty years. For a time, I was a reporter covering the politics of several small towns in north Florida. For some reason, Florida and its people write the stories for me. Sometimes I create scenes that are tamer than real life because some of the things that happen in this state are not to be believed. Remember hanging chads, an astronaut in diapers, Trayvon Martin, and Casey Anthony, and you can figure out what I mean. Add in swamps that cover the lower part of the peninsula and some pythons, panthers, and alligators, you’ve got the setting for the next Great Florida Novel.

What else about the book might pique readers’ attention?

How about this: wildlife on steroids, new age charlatans clearing auras at the farmers’ market, a Vietnam Vet who’s actually a spy, and a dentist in love with his drill. I didn’t even mention the love triangles and the mysterious appearance of a tribe of people thought to be extinct.

Five other Indie Authors I’m tagging: Stop by their sites and say hello.

Rachelle Ayala: http://www.rachelleayala.com

Kris Jackson Design: krisjacksondesign.blogspot.com

Jennifer Donohoe, Author: http://www.jenniferdonohoe.com

Michele Shriver, Author of Real Life Women’s Fiction: http://micheleshriver.com

Carol Ervin’s Auther: http://carolervin.com

I hope you enjoyed this game of Tag as much as I enjoyed putting it all together.

Today is the last day of Trails in the Sand’s Virtual Book Tour and that means, it’s the last day to enter the giveaway. Visit my last tour stops today and enter the cool giveaway.

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I’ve been on a virtual book tour with Trails in the Sand this week and today is my last stop and your last chance to enter to win a special package.

I’ve been on “tour” April 22-29 to celebrate the forty-third anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the publication of Trails in the Sand. Today’s the last day you’ll be able to enter a raffle for an exciting giveaway at the end of the tour. I’m giving away a package of autographed copies of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, along with a Route 66 baseball cap, a Trails in the Sand magnet, all wrapped in a “green” grocery bag donated by fellow blogger Betsy Wild at What’s Green with Betsy. The bags were designed by Where Designs.???????????????????????????????

The Tour Schedule for April 29 – Check out these blogs today and enter to win the tour giveaway.

April 29

Jody’s Book Reviews features my guest post “Tikkun Olan Found Its Way into the Novel.” Jody features giveaways and tours. She also posts book reviews, but at this time she is not accepting requests for reviews.

Celtic Lady’s Reviews features Trails in the Sand. Kathleen Kelly says her blog is for reviews and giveaways.

Confessions of an Inner Aspen features an interview with me. Aspen is an aspiring writer of fiction and writes book reviews.

 

Book Tour and Giveaway Continues

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I’m on a Virtual Book Tour this week with Trails in the Sand  – Visit tour stops to enter giveaway

I’m on “tour” April 22-29 to celebrate the forty-third anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the publication of Trails in the Sand. At each stop, you’ll be able to enter a raffle for an exciting giveaway at the end of the tour. I’m giving away a package of autographed copies of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, along with a Route 66 baseball cap, a Trails in the Sand magnet, all wrapped in a “green” grocery bag donated by fellow blogger Betsy Wild at What’s Green with Betsy. The bags were designed by Where Designs.???????????????????????????????

The Tour Schedule for April 28 – Check out this blog today and enter to win the tour giveaway.

April 28

Bex ‘n’ Books features Trails in the Sand. This blog features book reviews, giveaways, and promotes authors and their books.

Trails Book Tour and Giveaway Continues

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I’m on a Virtual Book Tour this week with Trails in the Sand  – Visit tour stops to enter giveaway

I’m on “tour” April 22-29 to celebrate the forty-third anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the publication of Trails in the Sand. At each stop, you’ll be able to enter a raffle for an exciting giveaway at the end of the tour. I’m giving away a package of autographed copies of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, along with a Route 66 baseball cap, a Trails in the Sand magnet, all wrapped in a “green” grocery bag donated by fellow blogger Betsy Wild at What’s Green with Betsy. The bags were designed by Where Designs.???????????????????????????????

The Tour Schedule for April 27 – Check out this blog today and enter to win the tour giveaway.

April 27

Create With Joy – Live With Passion features a review of Trails in the Sand and an excerpt. The title of this blog says it all: “an inspirational blog that celebrates creativity – in all its forms.”

Book Review Friday – Sailing Down the Moonbeam by Mary Gottschalk

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By Patricia Zick @PCZick

On Author Wednesday, I interviewed Mary Gottschalk who wrote the memoir, Sailing Down the Moonbeam. Today I’m pleased to review the book that captures several years in the 1980s when Mary and her husband Tom embarked on an adventure to sail the world for five years. I thought it would be a travel memoir, but instead I discovered the book is the memoir of a marriage with the travel providing the setting and the sailing serving as a metaphor for the troubled relationship.Cover lg

Mary and Tom decide to set sail from New York City for five years. Idealistic, romantic, and downright scared at times, they do what many of us only talk about doing if we won the lottery. When I told my husband the basic premise of the book, he asked, “Are they still married?” I told him he’d have to read the book to find out the answer. Mary states in the beginning that the stats for couples enduring life on long cruises is “not encouraging.”

Thankfully, Mary kept a journal of the journey, which eventually she turned into this memoir. Let her example be a lesson to all authors or those interested in writing a memoir of events in the past: Write in a journal just to keep track of all the details that will fade from our minds but not from the page. Her descriptive details of the sea and its living world are precise and graphic, which creates word photos for the reader. Here’s one description of her view as they left Boot Key.

“As we made our last trip out through the lush mangrove-lined channel, Tom had the helm, his even more faded orange-and-yellow hat shielding his balding head from the blazing Florida sun. Manatees cavorted among the roots of the trees. Pelicans sat stolidly on the wooden pilings, waiting for the right moment to pluck lunch from the water. Raucous frigate birds were everywhere, flying madly about, hitting the water like torpedoes when they saw fish. Through it all, white ibis stood by like pieces of sculpture, regally taking it all in.”

Without her journal notes, these literary and literal images would be impossible to recall after more than a two-decade gap in the experience and the publishing of her memoir.

Equally descriptive is Mary’s examination of her marriage with Tom. The relationship rides the continual waves of emotion as two people learn to live and function in a cabin on a 37-foot sailboat. Mary touches on many truisms of marriages, and I felt myself nodding my head often while reading the book. Miscommunication (or no communication), different agendas, and competitive spirits collide during the sea trip. Sometimes it was painful to look so closely into the intimate portrait – only because it reminded me of my first marriage that ended in divorce after twenty-six years. So many hurts, disappointments, and infractions build up over the years until they stifle the partners or explode the relationship into tiny pieces of shrapnel.

The emotion I felt during the reading this book is a tribute to Gottschalk’s honesty, descriptive portraits of people and place, and an immaculate writing style.

I recommend Sailing Down the Moonbeam, even you don’t sail. I don’t sail, but I sure loved living vicariously for a short while. I asked the author about her record keeping, and she assured me she didn’t use everything in this book. Good news – perhaps she’ll write more on sailing the seas, both literally and figuratively.

Links:

http://marycgottschalk.com

www.Sailingdownthemoonbeam.com

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I’m on a Virtual Book Tour this week with Trails in the Sand  – Visit tour stops to enter giveaway

I’m on “tour” April 22-29 to celebrate the forty-third anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the publication of Trails in the Sand. At each stop, you’ll be able to enter a raffle for an exciting giveaway at the end of the tour. I’m giving away a package of autographed copies of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, along with a Route 66 baseball cap, a Trails in the Sand magnet, all wrapped in a “green” grocery bag donated by fellow blogger Betsy Wild at What’s Green with Betsy. The bags were designed by Where Designs.???????????????????????????????

The Tour Schedule for April 26 – Check out these blogs today and enter to win the tour giveaway.

April 26

BestsellerBound Recommends features an interview with me using “M” words to describe myself. Maria Savva and Darcia Helle created this blog to showcase Indie Authors and to provide a place for Indies to gather.

Enter to Win During Book Tour

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I’m on a Virtual Book Tour this week with Trails in the Sand  – Visit tour stops to enter giveaway

I’m on “tour” April 22-29 to celebrate the forty-third anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the publication of Trails in the Sand. At each stop, you’ll be able to enter a raffle for an exciting giveaway at the end of the tour. I’m giving away a package of autographed copies of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, along with a Route 66 baseball cap, a Trails in the Sand magnet, all wrapped in a “green” grocery bag donated by fellow blogger Betsy Wild at What’s Green with Betsy. The bags were designed by Where Designs.???????????????????????????????

The Tour Schedule for April 25 – Check out this blog today and enter to win the tour giveaway.

April 25

I Read Indie blog features my guest post “Why I love sea turtles” about my first interaction with the ancient creatures and how they became a central part of the plot in Trails in the Sand. I Read Indie blog reviews and features Indie Authors.

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers features Trails in the Sand and my guest post “Subject Chooses the Writer.” Stop by Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers to “feed your need to read.” Gina’s love of books led her to create a site for her readers.

Trails on Tour – Chance to Win Giveaway

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I’m on a Virtual Book Tour this week with Trails in the Sand  – Visit tour stops to enter giveaway

I’m on “tour” April 22-29 to celebrate the forty-third anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the publication of Trails in the Sand. At each stop, you’ll be able to enter a raffle for an exciting giveaway at the end of the tour. I’m giving away a package of autographed copies of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, along with a Route 66 baseball cap, a Trails in the Sand magnet, all wrapped in a “green” grocery bag donated by fellow blogger Betsy Wild at What’s Green with Betsy. The bags were designed by Where Designs.???????????????????????????????

The Tour Schedule for April 24 – Check out this blog today and enter to win the tour giveaway.

April 24

Freda’s Voice features my guest post “Love Those Writers” about why I chose writers as the main characters in my books. Freda’s Voice is “a Canadian lifestyle blog that is PR friendly.”

Author Wednesday – Mary Gottschalk

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Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome Mary Gottschalk, author of the memoir Sailing Down the Moonbeam. Mary stops by today for an interview about her memoir and her current work. On Book Review Friday April 26, I’ll post a review of Sailing Down the Moonbeam.Cover lg

Thanks for stopping by today, Mary. I’ve read your memoir, but I wondered if all your books have a common theme or thread?

Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, defines risk-taking as “jumping off a cliff and growing your wings on the way down.”  At first glance, that sounds preposterous.  But upon reflection, it is something we all do, all the time.  When you change jobs.  When you move to a new city. When you get married. When you have children.  In each case, you are stepping out of a familiar environment into one that will challenge you in ways you can only guess at.

I find this quote compelling because I believe you learn the most about yourself and your place in the world when you step outside of your comfort zone. Too many of people stay in unhealthy relationships or unsatisfying jobs because they are afraid to step out into the unknown. In my view, growing those new wings is a critical part of the journey to emotional maturity. This is one of the key themes of my creative writing.

Why have you chosen to write about this particular theme?

I first learned the value of stepping outside my comfort zone during the nearly three years I spent sailing from New York to New Zealand via the Panama Canal and the Pacific Ocean.  As recounted in my memoir, Sailing Down the Moonbeam, I walked away from a “successful” but unsatisfying career, and left behind all of the physical and emotional support systems I’d taken for granted for forty years. As I traveled through uncharted waters—physical as well as emotional—I found myself free to rethink my own social and spiritual values. I didn’t always end up where I thought I was going, but I certainly ended up where I needed to be.

It didn’t take me long to realize that sailing is a metaphor for life and for stepping outside of your comfort zone: the path to your destination is often poorly marked, the route you take depends on external conditions, such as the weather, and all too often you end up someplace very different from where you set out to go.

Although the protagonist in my novel remains in her New York home, she too is forced to cope with the unfamiliar when she has to balance the demands of a distraught teenage daughter and an unconventional rebound romance after her husband leaves her. As she begins to understand why this exhilarating and compelling new relationship – her lover is a woman – threatens some of the values she holds most dear, she also begins to understand her own contribution to the failure of her marriage.

You went sailing in 1985 and then waited twenty years to write about it. Why did you wait that long to tell your story?

I tried several times, between 1985 and 2002, to write a memoir, but those early attempts felt a bit lifeless, as I didn’t yet know how the story ended.

It was one thing to stand on the deck of my yacht and talk about what I had learned and how I had grown, to say that I was no longer going to play “emotional games,” to insist that I wanted to march to my own drum. But those were just words. I had no reason to think the world cared what I had learned or what I wanted. And I had no basis for assuming that I would do things differently once I went back to the world of work and family and friends. It took well over a decade for me to realize that I was approaching life in a new way, and that it was bringing a level of personal satisfaction and financial success I’d never imagined would be mine. I needed the intervening years to get that perspective.

That’s important information to share with others. What’s the best thing said about your memoir by a reviewer?

I have been thrilled by Moonbeam readers who have experienced a “shiver of recognition,” who have come away from my story with a new insight about his or her own life experiences.

Most of my Moonbeam readers are not sailors, and I suspect that many of my novel readers will not have experienced a lesbian relationship. But it pleases me when the social, emotional, and spiritual situations I write about speak to a universal human experience, not the specifics of the sailing world or GLBT [Gay Lesbian Bi-Sexual and Transgender].

What are your future writing plans?

The completion of my novel is in sight, but I have decided to delay publishing it until I can put a solid marketing plan in place, including connecting with potential readers on key issues in the book, such as the dynamics of rebound romances and the impact of divorce on gender identity.

I already have an idea for my next novel, the background of which will be the conflicts between the Catholic Church as a bureaucratic institution and the social and spiritual values held by many sincere Catholics. I do not intend to focus on the pedophile scandal, but rather on the impact of the church’s attitudes toward women priests and nuns, homosexuality, birth control and abortion on real lives. Again, a key theme will be the growth that comes from stepping outside your comfort zone.

I am a contract writer for The Iowan, a general interest magazine that covers a variety of topics in my adopted state. It gives me a great excuse to poke into all sorts of activities I’d never get to see otherwise. I also do occasional contract writing assignments for other organizations around Des Moines.

Thank you, Mary. It sounds as if you’ve always tried to learn from your life experiences and apply them to your life. It’s important to share what you have learned with others, too. Good luck with your fiction. Hopefully, you’ll stop by again when you’re ready to publish the new novel.

About MaryMary-Gottschalk-7x9Mary has made a career out of changing careers. After finishing her MBA, she spent nearly thirty years in the financial markets, working as an economist, a banker, and a financial consultant to major corporations. She has worked in New York, New Zealand, Australia, Central America, Europe, and amazingly, Des Moines, Iowa.

Along the way, she dropped out several times. In the mid-1980s, Mary and her husband Tom embarked on the multi-year sailing voyage that is the subject of her memoir, Sailing Down the Moonbeam. Twice, she left finance to provide financial and strategic planning services to the nonprofit community, first in New York and later in Des Moines.

In her latest incarnation, she defines herself as a writer. She is working on her first novel, writes for The Iowan magazine, and lectures on the subject of personal risk-taking.

Mary is active on several non-profit boards in the Des Moines area.

Links to books and social media sites

http://marycgottschalk.com

www.Sailingdownthemoonbeam.com

http://twitter.com/marycgottschalk

http://www.facebook.com/mary.gottschalk.9

http://www.facebook.com/MaryGottschalkWriter

http://www.linkedin.com/in/marygottschalk/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/105973496280247274228/posts

Giveaway on Virtual Book Tour

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I’m on a Virtual Book Tour this week with Trails in the Sand  – Visit tour stops to enter giveaway

I’m on “tour” April 22-29 to celebrate the forty-third anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the publication of Trails in the Sand. At each stop, you’ll be able to enter a raffle for an exciting giveaway at the end of the tour. I’m giving away a package of autographed copies of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, along with a Route 66 baseball cap, a Trails in the Sand magnet, all wrapped in a “green” grocery bag donated by fellow blogger Betsy Wild at What’s Green with Betsy. The bags were designed by Where Designs.???????????????????????????????

The Tour Schedule for April 23 – Check out these blogs today and enter to win the tour giveaway.

April 23

Words Unlimited features my guest post on how I came to write Trails in the Sand on Back Story page. Words Unlimited is a lovely blog dedicated to writing and writers.

The blog Bless Their Hearts Mom will publish a review and excerpt of Trails in the Sand.
This is another lovely blog where books and products are reviewed.

Earth Day – Incorporate “Green” in Stories

source: www.outlook.noaa.govBy Patricia Zick @PCZick

Today is the forty-third anniversary of the very first Earth Day in 1970 when environmentally minded folks came together to raise awareness after several major disasters in this country. First, in 1969 there was a devastating oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara that compromised both the habitat and the wildlife within reach. Then, if that wasn’t horrific enough, a river caught fire in Ohio. I repeat: a river caught on fire because of the high amounts of combustible crap in the water.

We’re still celebrating Earth Day, and we’re still dealing with environmental disasters such as BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill three years ago.

This blog is devoted to writing and writers and today is no different despite my opening paragraphs. Today, I urge all writers to consider doing something “green” in your work. You don’t have to write environmentally themed novels as I do, but you could create a character that recycles or drives a Prius or drinks water from stainless steel containers or uses cloth napkins.

I attended a writer’s conference many years ago at the height of the AIDS Awareness campaign. In one of the sessions, an agent urged the participants to make sure the characters were having protected sex, whether it was to show a character pulling a condom out of a drawer or simply having two characters discuss the issue before partaking in sex the first time. I’m doing the same thing here. No matter what you believe about climate change, taking care of our planet just makes good sense. As writers we can lead by example.

You don’t need to make a big deal out of it, just make it a natural part of the story and maybe somewhere something will click with a reader.

In Trails in the Sand, Simon, one of the main characters, toys with the idea of pulling an old solar water heating system out of the barn. Here’s how I handled it:

“I’ve been thinking about something,” Simon said. “Remember that old solar water heater out in the barn? I’m going to pull it out this afternoon and see if we can install it for the bathroom.”

Do you think it’s salvageable?” Caroline asked.

“I’m not sure, but I know this guy on Vilano Beach who works with this type of thing. I thought I’d give him a call.”

“What brought this about?”

“I keep thinking about our dependence on fossil fuels and wondered how we could change our lives in some ways that might make a small difference. Then I read that piece you wrote.”

“So you do read what I write,” Caroline said. “Sure, see if we can do something with it. Maybe Gus wasn’t so far off the mark all those years ago.”

“Maybe not, but don’t worry, I won’t make you live off the grid totally. I’m thinking there’s a middle ground somewhere. And you know I’m your biggest fan.”

Speaking of Trails in the Sand, my virtual book tour starts today. Please check out my blog stops and enter to win a very cool giveaway: an autographed copy of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, magnets, a Route 66 baseball cap, and a “green” grocery bag from What’s Green with Betsy blog.

Here’s the schedule for April 22 trailsbanner3web

Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries More blog features an excerpt from Trails in the Sand. Melissa loves books and animals. She says her blog is “a book blog with a very pet-centric twist.

Author Richard Stephenson interviews me on his blog. Richard is cool – he devotes much of his blog to promoting Indie Authors.

Bookingly Yours blog features my guest post about the anniversary of Earth Day and the connection to Trails in the Sand.
Jenai reviews books and features guest posts by authors.

Any comments left on today’s post will be entered into a separate drawing (by me) for a Kindle version of one of my three novels in eBook format. Enjoy and do something “green” today.

Enter Giveaway On My Virtual Book Tour

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April 22-29 – Trails in the Sand goes on a Worldwind Virtual Book Tour

I’ll be out on “tour” April 22-29 to celebrate the forty-third anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the publication of Trails in the Sand. At each stop, you’ll be able to enter a raffle for an exciting giveaway at the end of the tour. I’m giving away a package of autographed copies of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, along with a Route 66 baseball cap, a Trails in the Sand magnet, all wrapped in a “green” grocery bag donated by fellow blogger Betsy Wild at What’s Green with Betsy. The bags were designed by Where Designs.???????????????????????????????

The Tour Schedule – Check out these blogs and my posts and enter to win the tour giveaway.

April 22 – Earth Day

Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries More blog features an excerpt from Trails in the Sand.

Author Richard Stephenson interviews me on his blog.

Bookingly Yours blog features my guest post about the anniversary of Earth Day and the connection to Trails in the Sand.

April 23

Words Unlimited features my guest post on how I came to write Trails in the Sand on Back Story page.

The blog Bless Their Hearts Mom will publish a review and excerpt of Trails in the Sand.

April 24

Freda’s Voice features my guest post “Love Those Writers” about why I chose writers as the main characters in my books.

April 25

I Read Indie blog features my guest post “Why I love sea turtles” about my first interaction with the ancient creatures and how they became a central part of the plot in Trails in the Sand.

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers features Trails in the Sand and my guest post “Subject Chooses the Writer.”

April 26

A Page Away features my guest post “Saving Sea Turtles One Nest at a Time” about my job on the team to rescue sea turtle nests during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

BestsellerBound Recommends features an interview with me using “M” words to describe myself.

April 27

Create With Joy – Live With Passion features a review of Trails in the Sand and an excerpt.

April 28

Bex ‘n’ Books features Trails in the Sand.

April 29

Jody’s Book Reviews features my guest post “Tikkun Olan Found Its Way into the Novel.”

Celtic Lady’s Reviews features a review of Trails in the Sand.

Confessions of an Inner Aspen features an interview with me.