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It’s time for some fun on this Monday morning! Today, my Top 10 is being featured on the fabulous blog, I Read Indie. Many thanks to the equally fabulous Mandy for letting me hop on over to her site and share a little bit about myself and Corcitura! It was great fun! 😀

As a bonus, I am also giving away two Kindle copies of Corcitura to US residents! Follow the link to enter in the next six days for your chance to win:


And while you’re there, check out a rather sanguinary excerpt from Corcitura.



Top 10 Reposted!

1. Fav song/singer?

My favorite song is usually whatever I’m listening to while writing. Sometimes, a scene calls for absolute silence, while at others, it’s nice to have something pumping in the background to get the ideas flowing. For City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier, I listened to Lifehouse’s Hanging by A Moment. This song was a tremendous inspiration for me and became Ilyse and Ian’s anthem. For Corcitura, I listened mainly to Promentory from the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack when I was writing dramatic/conflict or chase scenes (the constant beat really helped focus my thoughts) and then Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis when I wrote a death scene for one of the vampires in the book. Given the sanguinary nature of the lyrics, I thought it was appropriate. 😉

For the dystopian/fantasy novel I began last year (and am still working on), I wrote the entire prologue while listening to Lux Aeterna (the version with LOTR-esque percussion and vocals). My gosh, that song is great background music when you’re writing about gargantuan beasts attacking in all their terrible grandeur! So fitting. For the other two chapters that I’ve written so far, I listened to the Gladiator soundtrack and other epic music compilations I discovered on YouTube.

Currently, for Uendelig (the first book in Dwellers of Darkness, Children of Light, an eight part series of loosely connected novellas in which young adults battle against creatures and fantastical beings from the otherworld that have crossed the void and ended up in our own), I haven’t been listening to anything while writing the opening chapters, but when I get to the draugr scene toward the end of the book, I know I’ll be digging into my stockpile of epic music to find something worthy for battle. 😉

Celine Dion has been my favorite singer since I was eight years old. I was lucky enough to see her in concert at Caesar’s Palace in 2005. Some singers sound terrible live, but Celine sounded amazing, even better than she does on her CDs. She was also really interactive and did quite a bit of dancing and kept up an incredible energy and excitement level throughout the whole show. It was a tremendous experience, and one that I’ll never forget!

2. Fav season?

Definitely fall. Just the feel of it. You can almost sense that it’s time to break out The Turn of the Screw for a millionth reread. Or is that just me? 😉 I love the crispness in the air, the glorious burnt orange and golden hued leaves, the carte blanche you have to read all the scary/classic Halloweeney books (think The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, etc.) you want and classify them as “seasonal reading” without making all your Goodreads friends wonder if you’ve been bitten by a vampire and somehow developed strangely macabre reading tastes. 😉 Plus, fall also means I get to bake these delicious chocolate chip pumpkin spice cookies that have become a tradition with me over the last few years.

3. Worst vacation?

I haven’t had one yet, thank goodness, although when I visited Paris in 2004, my hotel room was the size of a shoebox. There was also only ONE iron in the entire hotel, as we discovered when the concierge knocked on our door the second day we were there and asked for it back! But that’s beside the point. The important thing was, I was in Paris, and apart from the smallness of the hotel, the location was fantastic! I spent most of my time seeing the sights and wandering around the Rue de Rivoli, making daily stops at W. H. Smith English Booksellers. They were running a £2 for £5 and £3 for £10 sale, so I stocked up on all the UK Penguin editions of the Jeeves novels that weren’t available back home. I would go back to Paris just to shop there! 😉

4. Guilty pleasure?

British detective & mystery shows. I can’t get enough of them! Midsomer Murders was the show that launched me on this trajectory three and a half years ago, and I haven’t looked back since, moving on to Miss Marple (with Joan Hickson), Campion, Inspector Alleyn, Rosemary & Thyme, and, my most recent favorite (and probably most favorite of all) Inspector Lewis. As if visiting the haunts of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien weren’t incentive enough to go to Oxford, there is now the added chance that I might bump into Robbie Lewis and Jamie Hathaway while they are on a case. 😉 Thanks to Netflix (I love you streaming!), I’m currently time-warping back to the 1920s and enjoying Tommy & Tuppence. Such fun, and Tuppy’s hats are amazing!! 😀

5. Fav book and/or author?

David Copperfield. I read this book close to sixteen years ago and can still quote passages and remember scenes vividly. All the suffering and hardships this young 19th century Englishman endured and all the mistakes he made in love and in life transcended the ages and became so relevant to me, a preteen living in the United States in the 20th century. That is truly a testament to the genius of Charles Dickens. It is also what I think makes a book a classic—its timelessness.

My favorite author is Agatha Christie. I’ve read 40 of her books and plan to spend many happy years reading the rest of them. 😀

6. One item you cannot live without?

As a writer, this would definitely be…my computer!!! I cannot even imagine writing a book, let alone a 700 page novel like Corcitura, in longhand. My admiration for Charlotte Bronte and Dickens especially (who was not known for his brevity) has skyrocketed ever since I became a writer. How did they do it?!

7. Hobby?

I’m a classically trained violinist, pianist, and soprano and have been performing since I was three. I wouldn’t call this a hobby, but for something completely frivolous and unbookish, I can probably recite the entire script of Jaws, complete with dialects and sound effects, and enhanced by the singing of various sea shanties! You wouldn’t want to watch the movie with me. I can also do a pretty mean Gollum impersonation, precious.

8. Fav movie/actor/actress?

Jaws. No question. I started watching Shark Week the year it premiered and became fascinated with Jaws around the age of five when I went to Pic ‘n Save and saw the movie poster. I didn’t see the movie in full until I was 15, but I can’t remember a moment when I wasn’t aware of Jaws. It’s been a part of my life for years.

My other favorite movie is The Fellowship of the Ring. I love the whole trilogy, but The Fellowship (and Gandalf) had a direct bearing on my decision to become a writer, so it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Favorite actor…hmm…how about we do a modern one and one from the past? Russell Crowe for modern (I love him in every movie I’ve seen him in, but am a huge fan of his historical epics  Gladiator, Robin Hood, and Master & Commander), and Danny Kaye, who has provided me with countless hours of laughter since I was a kid. There are also many classic actors I’m a fan of, including Humphrey Bogart, Tyrone Power, James Cagney, and Gregory Peck.

Favorite actress…Judi Dench. Love her! Her movies are great, but I’m a huge fan of her BBC sitcom As Time Goes By. I can watch that show over and over again, and have. I own the complete series (plus the reunion specials) on DVD, and am actually rewatching the final few seasons for what is probably the millionth time. It’s such a great show—like visiting with old friends. 😀

I also love a bevy of classic actresses, too, such as Greer Garson, Vivien Leigh, Lauren Bacall, Maureen O’Hara, and Grace Kelly, just to name a few.

9. Fav food?

Jarlsberg cheese! Give me a handful of Jarlsberg, and I can write for hours.

10. Who would you like to meet? (dead or alive?)

Can’t I invite them all over for a ghostly dinner party and count them as one? No? Ok, then, let me think. I’ll keep it in the authorial realm and settle on C. S. Lewis. Jack! The Chronicles of Narnia have been a constant source of inspiration across all areas of my life for many years. I’ve read and reread my copies of the books to ragged shreds. One of my favorite of Jack’s quotes is “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I would love to hear him talking about his thought process when creating such magnificent stories that are relevant to both young people and adults, since that is something that I strive to do in my own writing. I would also love to have a deep conversation with him about faith, God, and, of course…The Inklings! Ideally, this chat would take place between us in the “Rabbit Room” at The Eagle and Child. Then Jack could give me a tour of Oxford, where we might just run into Professor Tolkien—and I would make Tollers read the “Riddles in the Dark” scene from the Hobbit in Gollum’s voice. As you can see, I’m determined to meet at least one other person from my phantasmal dinner party. 😉