One of my favorite things to do, is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground, or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame and sparks drifting up into the night sky joining the stars. We were in the Pocono’s a few weeks ago and met a lot of wonderful people. Standing in the pool watching over the grand-kids, I struck up a conversation with a lady from Queens NY. One of her favorite things to do? Camping and reading a good book. Sounds about right to me. So, wherever you’re joining us from, relax. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Also, don't forget to sign up for my Newsletter.
Today I’m welcoming C. Becker, author to the Around the Campfire. What’s your preference coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
Cocoa, thanks, with lots of marshmallows.
Marshmallows are a must have in our camper, whether for s'mores,on a stick or on your cocoa. Now that we’re set tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp. If so, tent, trailer, RV? Where? Did you like it? If not, and no judgment here, would you like to someday? Where?
I’ve never camped in a trailer, but as a kid, I’d help my brothers and sisters throw blankets over the metal jungle gym in our backyard and erect our own tent. We slept outside a lot. Unfortunately, I always got asthma from the cold air. The dust mites in the sleeping bags might have played a part, too. I’d run into the house in the middle of the night and have to take medicine. When my mother saw me, she wouldn’t let me go back outside. (Sad face L) Besides our backyard campground, I’d toast marshmallows and hot dogs after doing yard-work with my family. We lived on a farm so work was plentiful and entertainment was scarce, but we had so much fun!
Improvised camping, I love it. We also did blankets over the furniture inside. So, C. Becker, tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
My most recent project is a suspense novel Finding Euphoria. The book is the first of a trilogy. The story centers on an exotic shrub from the Amazon Rain forest and the life of a woman Hailey Langley. Hailey’s current dealings with the shrub stem back to the death of her uncle when he experimented on a deadly chemical from the plant while he was in medical school.
Sounds exciting! Do you have a tagline?
The Search is as deadly as the high
Great line. One of the first questions I get after people find out I’m an author, is the process especially time. If you don’t mind me asking, can you tell us how long Finding Euphoria took from conception to fruition?
I don’t mind you asking at all. From start to fruition, the book took six years. LOL. I sure hope the second book comes a lot quicker. I think it will. The learner curve will be logarithmic!
What a fabulous word, logarithmic. It’s a new word for me and I love new words. I had to look it up. Writing and getting a book to market is not a quick process. I’m glad you stuck with it. But, did you ever hit the place where you threw your arm up in the air and said nope this is not going to work? If so, how did you get past it?
I haven’t gotten to the place where I give up. Though I get to the place where I wish I could lock myself into a room and write with no distractions. My writer’s group is phenomenal. They keep me on track and I love to discuss my story ideas with them.
Having a supportive group whether in the virtual or non-virtual world is important. Good for you. Next question, I have a myriad of projects at various stages of development, how about you? Anything you’re itching to get to?
I’m currently working on book 2—Losing Euphoria; Trust No one. The story takes place six years after the first story. I also write children’s stories under another name and just had one published this spring. Another children’s story is being illustrated as we speak. When I finish the Euphoria Trilogy, I have one story I started last year, but got sidetracked working on the Euphoria series. My youngest daughter and I also have an idea for a Christmas romance I want to write with her. There’s never enough time to do all the writing I long to do. (Sigh!)
Not enough hours in the day. I’m looking into the future and retirement soon. And children’s books must be fun. But, looking over your shoulder into the past, is there something you would tell your beginning self?
I definitely would have joined a writer’s group years earlier.
Excellent advice. Groups give authors support and advice in a sometimes isolated world. Now the fun questions? Do you have a tattoo? If yes what is it? If you feel brave, where? Does it have a story you feel you could tell us? If not and you were to get a tattoo, what would it be?
No, tattoo. I know, I’m boring. But in my next novel I have a character with a tattoo. I never really thought of what I’d get, because I don’t have a desire to get one. Both of my sons wanted tattoos a few years ago, but I wouldn’t let them get them until they turned twenty-one. Now, that they’ve turned twenty-one, they don’t mention getting one anymore.
I don’t think it makes you boring at all. Personal expression is just that, personal. No ink, but have your traveled? What was the best vacation you ever took? Why?
This summer. Myrtle Beach with my husband and kids. We finally decided to get a house with a pool and it was the best. Instead of seeing shows every afternoon, we just hung out together in the pool, talked, and enjoyed the beach. We are already planning our vacation next year and hope to rent a house with a pool again.
Myrtle Beach is a fabulous place. There’s an all you can eat seafood buffet near there. My friends’ kids and I had a crab leg eating contest. They won. Years ago, there was a commercial which talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is yours?
The best Kodak Moment was a beach picture with my children. My husband photo bombed it to be funny. We still laugh at the picture.
Those are the ones, aren’t they? With family and close friends. I know you spoke of a writing group earlier, are there any mentors, authors, or books, other than yours, you would like to give a shout-out to?
My editor was super—ELF! I loved working with her. I’ve had great support with the authors at The Wild Rose Press. Namely, Mona Sedrak, Stephen King, Amber Daulton, CJ Zahner, Madelon Smid, Debbie Grahl, Barbara Bettis, CB Clark, Jean Grant, Tena Stetler, Katie OSullivan. Some have helped hosting me on their blogs and others have been valuable resources in writing and marketing.
Elf is my editor too! I recognize many of these names as well. Wild Rose Press is a fantastic house. Here’s your final question. What does literary success look like to you?
Finding readers who seek out your books to read. I think every writer wants their books to be a best seller.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Finding Euphoria on that best seller list. C. Becker, thank you so much for joining me around the campfire today. I would appreciate you leaving us a blub and exert from your work. Don’t forget to add where we can purchase your book and how we can find out more about you below.
Thank you for having me today! I enjoyed chatting with everyone tonight. Bring on the S'mores!
S'mores for everyone! And don't forget to stop by next week when Linda Griffin, multi published author and scrabble player joins us Around the Campfire. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to see this week's movie recommendations and recipe.
Until next week Be a Happy Camper!
Hailey Langley refuses to be a victim and has moved on from her traumatic past. But her marriage problems worsen when a deadly illicit drug threatens to draw her into the life she left behind.
Mark Langley has allowed his job to interfere with his marriage, but he never suspected the secrets in Hailey's past might hold the key to solving both of his current investigations.
Together, they must unravel the mystery of the drug called Euphoria and find a way to save not only their marriage, but countless lives, before it's too late.
Read a sample of Finding Euphoria by C. Becker
He turned the bottle around in his hand and set it on the end table. “Don’t put me in this position. You know what would happen. Grace is his mother. She’s the one who needs to stay with him.”
Regret tugged at her heart. “I wouldn’t take any time away from her.”
Parker groaned. “Just you being there would make her feel uncomfortable.”
“You know why.”
“But I’ve stayed away for seventeen years,” she whispered.
“That was the adoption arrangement.”
She bit her lip. “I can’t stay away any longer.”
“You agreed to those terms in the contract. You terminated all parental rights.” Parker stood and paced to the kitchen.
“But it’s not fair!” She put down her water and began wringing her hands.
Straightening his arms, he leaned against the bar. “Hailey, please don’t start. I know how you feel…”
“You couldn’t possibly know how I feel. I need to see him.” She fought to control the bitterness in her voice.
She rose, knocking over the water bottle. “He’s my son!”
“Not anymore, he isn’t.”
The rebuke stung. “He’ll always be my son!”
“When you gave him up, you promised to keep your distance.”
The reminder lanced her heart. “You’re being unfair. He’s dying.”
He slammed his fist on the bar. “Don’t say that. He can’t die.” Parker pushed himself up and stomped near the window, raising his hands to rest on top of his head as he faced the curtain.
A muscle twitched in her hand. Her knees buckled. She sat on the edge of the couch, wringing her hands. “I was young. I couldn’t give Justin the life he deserved. I’m not asking to take him back. I only want to see him.”
Rubbing his jaw, he walked back to the couch and sat. The hard lines on his face softened. “The adoption papers were clear. No contact.” He placed his hands on top of hers and stilled them. “If the decision was mine, I would allow it, but Grace would lose it if she found out you’re Justin’s biological mother.”
Her hands squeezed into tight fists. The urge was unbearable. “I wouldn’t tell her.”
Parker ran a hand through his hair. “Argh! Don’t you understand? She’d take one look at your face and know the truth. Don’t forget, you’re the one who wanted us to protect him.”
She stood. “Well, you did a hell of a fine job, didn’t you? You divorced Grace and deserted him. Parenting takes sacrifice, Parker. You were too busy changing careers, and now he’s messed up with drugs. How did that protect him?”
Standing, he reached for her.
“No. You stay away from me.” She extended her hands and backed up a step. “Justin’s dying! Dying, Parker! And I don’t know him…You won’t let me see my own son.”
He wrapped his arms around her.
She pushed him, pummeling her fists against his chest with all her strength.
He silently took his beating.
To find out more about C. Becker and her book click the links below.
http://cbeckerauthor.com/ or C. Becker website
Twitter C. Becker author
Facebook C.Becker Author
Amazon Author Page C. Becker
You can find her books here...
The Wild Rose Press Finding Euphoria ebook link
Amazon Finding Euphoria ebook link
Amazon Finding Euphoria paperback
Barnes & Noble Finding Euphoria ebook link
Apple itunes Finding Euphoria ebook
And since not everyone can get to the campfire here's an indoor recipe from the Food Channel
Recommended Medical Movies
The Medicine Man (Bonus! Sean Connery is in it plus it's about the Amazon).
Awakenings (Another favorite of D. V. with Robin Williams).
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. ~George Bernard Shaw
One of my favorite things to do, is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground, or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame and sparks drifting up into the night sky joining the stars. Sometimes silly, sometimes serious conversation go on around our fires. So, wherever you’re joining us from, click on the campfire video below and relax. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Also, if you would like to keep up with Around the Campfire and information, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. Okay, without further delay…
Hello, Colleen. What’s your preference coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
COFFEE!!!!!! So black and thick even coffee connoisseurs shudder
Lol, no fancy drinks for you. But whether fancy or not, have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp. If so, tent, trailer, RV? Where? Did you like it? If not, and no judgment here, would you like to someday? Where?
In a tent – from the massive army tent my grandfather gave us that humiliated us in campgrounds where most families had progressed to the more modern, sleek and colorful, practical tents…to something tiny and pinched, suitable for only one or two that a bear had no respect for, making me yearn for my grandfather’s thick, green canvas I’d been ashamed of as a girl. Camping evolved in location from alongside the tiny creek in the family’s timber, to lake campgrounds, then to the Rocky and Sierra mountains. As a kid, I thought there was nothing like it, but of course it wasn’t me trying to perk coffee with grounds by fire or manage biscuits in a skillet. And smelling like fishing worms or sweat didn’t bother a child who did what she could to avoid daily shower routines anyway. Now I prefer camping as a fond memory, something I refuse to sour by trying it again.
So, Colleen I can tell you’re a writer from your camping description, tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
Oddly enough, my current WIP (work in progress) carries the title of that creek my family used to camp next to when I was young. Hush Puckena, a tiny branch that doesn’t even make it onto maps. Even though the title is factual, this historical novel is pure fiction, building a romanticized reputation for that creek during the Civil War as a place where the clandestine remained hidden for years.
How interesting. My husband and I are history buffs. He especially Civil War. Do you have a tagline?
My current WIP doesn’t have a tagline yet, but my personal tagline is “Fiction with a heart.” If you look at the taglines of my previous books, you can see why – “My story has been whispered behind doors and hands, always by others. This time it’s Mine to Tell.” Or, “The need for love…to find that someone she is meant for, the one who will stay forever…” Also, “Husband needed. Purely business arrangement, able to take orders without taking over…” And, “She couldn’t love her enemy, because he did…”
Those are great. People often don’t realize how difficult a tagline is to create. If you don’t mind me asking, can you tell us how long it took from conception to fruition? It’s the most asked question for me.
My current WIP took a while to conceive and is nowhere near fruition yet. I had just given birth to a finished novel and needed time to transition from it and its characters to something of a whole new personality. That said, in general, most of my books from conception to fruition take a year. One much longer, but a year is my norm.
Each story has its own pace. Did you ever hit the place where you threw your arms up in the air and said, nope this is not going to work? If so, how did you get past it?
I have completely deleted only one full novel in my life. It wasn’t that the storyline was bad, but I wrote it at the wrong time. Reference my answer above about conception. Like a real family, a parent/body takes a breather, long or short, between children. I didn’t rest between books like I needed to, but pushed myself into the next before I was ready. On an even darker note, I also had a ‘throw up my arms’ moment about writing as a whole. It came with a critique that was veiled personal criticism. The damage was done before I discerned the difference between offerings that helped move my writing forward or those that just plain attacked me. It took time for my compulsion to write to surface again. But with the experience I was able to discern more clearly valuable suggestions, painful or not, and make sure when I reviewed or critiqued that my focus was for the good of the writer or reader I addressed.
I’m so glad you shared this. Many writers get discouraged. I have a myriad of projects at various stages of development, how about you? Anything you’re itching to get to?
When a story idea strikes me, I make a note of it. I have a jillion of them but I have yet to go back to any of them and follow through. Who knows why…but I keep jotting them down. When I do write, I tackle one project at a time. I write from inner inspiration, a connection to the heart of my character as they suffer through something, and in order to pour that suffering onto a page, I have to remain in touch with it so it can speak to me as I write.
I kind of envy your focus. With several books published and more in the works, looking over your shoulder, is there something you would tell your beginning self?
What I told myself in the beginning has carried me through to today. Again, reference one of my earlier answers, the one about throwing up my arms. Before I ventured into the writing world, I thickened my skin. I faced that not everyone would like my work, and that was okay. Also, that what I thought was brilliant, wouldn’t necessarily be so, and I had to accept that other eyes saw truths about my stories that I didn’t. I reapply that mantra almost daily. It helps me stick to my commitment of learning to write well, and brings good fruit from suggestions that though painful, move my work forward.
Do you hear that folks? Toughen up. Not everyone is going to like you. It’s okay. Now the fun stuff, do you have a tattoo? If yes what is it? If you feel brave, where? Does it have a story you feel you could tell us? If not and you were to get a tattoo, what would it be?
Nope, not a tattoo person. Maybe a necklace instead? A book, a pen, something of spiritual significance since I try to listen for the right words in my heart.
I don’t either but often admire them on others and the significance behind them. Your books are from different times and places, what about you. Where was the best vacation you ever took? Why?
Oddly enough, a group trip to New York City. Who would have thought a long bus ride with complete strangers could turn out to be the trip of trips! Somehow, we were all well matched in our interests, our enthusiasm, and our respect for the group. It was marvelous!
I’m originally from Brooklyn. I see New Yorkers as exactly that. Years ago, there was a commercial which talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is yours?
I was ten, it was my birthday, and I was standing curly-headed and possibly too animated at the edge of a bluff in the timber near the family home. I lost my balance and toppled forward. It was a long drop, but before I went completely over the edge, something grabbed me. It lifted me upright and balanced me on my feet again. I glanced around but no one visible was there. I stood still after that, and the Kodak Moment of what felt like hands saving me has vividly remained.
Wow, your guardian angel was on duty and we are so glad for that. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, other than yours, you would like to give a shout-out to?
As far as other authors and their books, I adore Louise Penny! She writes insight to the human soul in her mysteries, almost turning the genre into literary fiction. I also enjoy Laura Strickland’s fabled characters in her fairy tales retold. I have no direct mentor, but I learn from others’ works whether it be written, told, or acted.
Final question. What does literary success look like to you?
Every single one of my books has a purpose beyond entertainment. There is a reason for each one, and if that reason speaks to the reader and they can identify with it, my work is done and done well. Beyond that heart goal, being accepted by a traditional publishing house also meant success to me. It was an affirmation that I in particular needed.
Colleen L Donnelly, thank you so much for joining me around the campfire today. I would appreciate you leaving us a blub and exert from your work. Don’t forget to add where we can purchase your book and how we can find out more about you below.
Make sure you keep scrolling for this weeks movie recommendations and recipe. Don't forget to stop by the campfire again next week when we interview YA author and Line-Dancer, Susan Antony
My first book, “Mine to Tell,” was an Amazon #1 Bestseller and has been enjoyed by so many, I will include its blurb and excerpt here.
Annabelle Crouse is determined to reopen her great-grandmother’s boarded-up house—and her shunned life. Many years earlier, after an unexplained absence, Julianne was relegated to a separate home by a rigidly unforgiving husband, and the Crouse women have suffered the disgrace of her assumed guilt ever since.
Despite her family’s strong disapproval, Annabelle is driven to pursue her mission through cobwebs and dust, finding the clues and the coded story left behind by her great-grandmother—Why did she go? And why did she return? Annabelle has to know.
Only one person, a man she grew up with but never noticed, stands with Annabelle as she discovers the parallels between her story and her great-grandmother’s—two women, generations apart, experiencing what love truly is.
“Mine to tell,” Kyle said suddenly. It was a jolt. I was yanked from my mental tumble into a pit of unredemption. Alex looked up too, a quizzical expression on his face. “Julianne left a story behind,” Kyle continued. “Some of it speculation and rumors by people who don’t know, and the rest of it by her own hand. It was a love story. One that was countered with suffering.”
We were all quiet. I looked at him, my heart melting as I heard his masculine voice speak of love and suffering. I wanted to lean across the table and hug him, but I was too afraid.
Alex leaned back in his chair. “What my father went through didn’t feel like love when we were little.”
“But maybe it was,” Kyle persisted, his tone smooth and even. “Does love always turn out the way we want it to?” Then he looked at me. “Julianne Crouse was a fine woman. We haven’t finished her story, but she suffered, and she was fine indeed.”
Tears came to my eyes. “Thank you,” I squeaked. Kyle stood and walked around the table to me. He helped me stand as he thanked them for their time. He retrieved Julianne’s picture, took my hand, and together we went to the door. Alex and his wife following us.
“I hope you’re right,” Alex said, running his hand through his thin, brittle hair as we stepped outside. “My father had some things to come to terms with, but he was a good man. A better man later in life, when he told us he was sorry. I never knew for what.”
Mine to Tell http://amzn.to/1PNJo4S
Asked For http://amzn.to/1TyflEu
Love on a Train http://amzn.to/1m9eYCx
The Lady’s Arrangement http://amzn.to/2qj7DE2
Out of Splinters and Ashes https://amzn.to/2K0WTHt
Movie Recommendations in honor of Guardian Angels
It's a Wonderful Life. I know it's hot but did you know the movie was shot during a heat wave in the summer of 1946
The Preachers Wife. I'm a huge Whitney Houston fan so, yes, another winter movie to cool you off.
Find this weeks recipe here
Have a great week!