I hope you’re enjoying the summer vacations. I’ll be taking several weeks off from blogging to take advantage of the rest of my husband’s summer break. During this time, I plan on taking more bike rides (our longest one this summer only being 24 miles), reading, writing, doing daily excursions, and taking in the views of South Wales, UK.
See you at the end of summer!
Resting, Excursions, and Vacation,
There are dimensions of writing and Lyra Shanti dabbles in many of them. She loves immersing herself in a magical world, so be prepared to enjoy this enchanting interview.
Describe yourself in 150 words or less.
My name is Lyra Shanti, and I am an author, songwriter, poet, and playwright. I was born in San Francisco, but raised in Bellingham, Washington, which was a beautiful place to grow up with its tall trees, lakes, and mountains in the distance. I currently live in ultra-sunny Florida with my soul-mate and partner, Timothy, and my two insane cats.
If you could create a unique t-shirt, what would the t-shirt have on it? Describe.
I already own a few hand-made T-shirts I’ve created on places like Zazzle, such as a shirt for my musical, “#chat,” and an Arthur Rimbaud shirt with a quote from his amazing poem, Eternity.
Tell us about your published works.
I have books 1 and 2 of my Shiva XIV series out on Amazon for kindle and paperback with book 3 coming out very soon, probably this autumn. Shiva XIV is the epic coming of age story about a boy named Ayn. Raised in seclusion by priests on the planet Deius, Ayn is prophesied at birth to be the messiah of his planet. When a great enemy throws his destiny off course, he is forced to decide if he really is the one to save their galaxy or if everything the priests told him was a lie. A blend of sci-fi and fantasy, Shiva XIV has adventure, romance, political intrigue, and magical creatures; it’s unlike anything you’ve ever read!
I also have a novella called The Rainbow Serpent, which is a spiritual fairy tale loosely based on the Garden of Eden. My poetry collection, Sediments, is out on paperback as well.
If you were a tree, what type would you be?
I’d be a cherry blossom; they’re just so beautiful and relaxing. Then again, I love weeping willow types. The way they hang down and sway in the wind is so breathtaking.
What is your writing process?
I don’t have one. Ha! No, seriously, I don’t have a set regiment or anything. I need basic things like ice cold water and some kind of peace and quiet, though the latter isn’t always possible. I usually try to make myself do at least a little writing every other day, even if I’m not feeling up to it. When I was younger, I allowed myself way too much procrastination and insecurity; I let myself get eaten up by such setbacks. But now, I know better. Books don’t write themselves, and if I want them finished and read by readers, I have to push myself as hard as I can to write until the story is done. Sometimes, it’s just planning out the outline, and other times, I am in full on typing as fast as I can mode. It just depends on my mood.
What does success mean to you?
As long as I am being true to myself and doing everything I can to express my feelings and inspire others, as well as myself, I feel that I’m the best person, and writer, I can be. I don’t know if that’s “success” exactly, but it is my personal best.
How would your best friend describe you?
I think she’d say that I am a very determined, strong person who doesn’t let adversity keep me down. She often tells me that I am brilliant as well, which always helps my ego, especially when I’m feeling like an insecure wreck, which happens more often than I’d like. (Writers are such vulnerable creatures.)
When you’re not writing, where can people find you hanging out in the virtual world?
When not writing, I’m browsing on Disney park sites or checking out what’s new on Goodreads. I also keep up on my favorite manga online, specifically Yona of the Dawn.
Where is your favorite place to go and relax?
My favorite place to relax, besides certain spots at Disney World (it’s like a home away from home), is definitely Panera cafe. There is one close by, and I’ve hung out with my other half, written new works, or just relaxed with a mocha. I love most cafes, but that particular Panera just feels right.
I’d like to thank Lyra for participating in an author interview and sharing herself with us. It was a pleasure getting to know her along with her inspiring accomplishments.
Tattoos are an extension of our creativity, desires, or tributes. It’s a personal choice to design our bodies with pictures or inspirational words. But sometimes, someone we don’t know and trust— tattoo artist… or tattoo botcher can distort our visions of the perfect tattoo. If you’re considering inking your body, here are a couple things you should keep in mind.
1) Make sure your tattoo artist can spell. Spellin’ iz da most impotent thing when it cums to sayins. Have them write it down or make an outline of it on your body so all they have to do is trace it. This avoids any spelling mistakes… except if you don’t know how to spell the word. If that’s the case, bring a dictionary.
The botcher must be studying phonetics.
I wonder what her mother’s angle is regarding this tattoo.
A little too much information.
Your (belonging to or associated with person) You’re (you are) You (just you). This is why we should all know the difference.
Can someone help me out here? Is this supposed to be ‘absolutely ridiculous’?
I bet Bon Jovi knows how to spell it.
This person obviously didn’t remember how to spell before they forgot.
2) Make sure the tattoo artist is actually an artist before they start drawing on you. This is very important if you plan to put a famous person on your body or a tribute to someone who died. You want people to be able to identify the person and hear how beautiful it is, not gasps or giggles. Your body is a temple; don’t let the tattoo debauchery desecrate it. Here are a few artists gone mad.
Maybe he got confused and thought the guy wanted a caricature of his gal?
If I were Sheleen, I’d be hunting this tattoo butcher down.
Perfect example of ‘you get what you pay for’.
Yeah, I totally see it. Good thing it’s on her back.
Was this a joke?
Which horror movie were these kids in?
Now, if you have thought about getting a tattoo, here are a few creative ideas for you to consider.
Quite ingenious to create humor from loss.
Your love becoming part of you.
Here’s a way to clarify it.
The old fashioned way, except ‘coment’ is more like a Twitter revision.
Okay, you asked for it. Today is promotional blog day. Yes, yes it is. We all must take time to promote, and promote I shall. I’ve had some of these on my sidebar, but not everyone looks through them. If you do, I appreciate it, and apologize for the repetition. If you don’t, well then this post is for you. Stop rolling your eyes. Focus!
I have an Amazon Giveaway going for both of my books. Another one will follow this one, so if you don’t win, you’ll get another chance. If my books are just not your kind of reads, pass the giveaway onto someone else.
To enlarge, click on the below bookmarks I created.
Book Cover Contest
My book covers are also entered in the 2016 Cover Contest on Authorsdb. If you have a few seconds, please click on both of the below links and vote for my book covers. And to go a step further, share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Gracie Bradford. I love the name Gracie. This woman is full of energy and an inspiration for all. There’s so much to say about Gracie, so I’ll let her do the honors. Please give a warm welcome to this woman of many hats.
Describe yourself in 150 words or less.
Words to describe myself are fun loving, driven, risk taker, and daring explorer. Loves shoes and to collect unique and colorful accessories. Love football! You might see me in the stadium of a college or an NFL game cheering for both teams. Writing is a passion. My thoughts move faster than I can type. My patio adorn with a breathtaking garden of large colorful potted plants all carrying the name of my children. I have to fertilizer one plant more than others because it is the prodigal son that makes you want to keep your phone on mute. My grandson says that I am like a runaway train since retirement. I walk five miles per day, indulge in blue bell ice cream, chase it with a diet coke to eliminate guilt then off to the gym for water Zuma twice weekly and exercise class three times weekly. Oh, love dancing!
What specific moment or situation made you want to become a writer?
I always wanted to write a book eventually. Throughout high school, I dreamed of seeing my name in print on the shelf of a bookstore where I spent most of my leisure time. Three years ago after my retirement, my four sisters who are teacher/educators, wanted to go to the International Reading Conference as an exhibitor. Ironically, they did not have a book to exhibit. So, we had a brainstorming session which birthed the writing of a series of books about children with special needs. A perfect match with their education background and my healthcare experience. At least I thought so until I realized I would do all of the writing and publishing. I wrote and published my first book within three months and had a fantastic display at the conference where teachers/educators came from all over the world.
Where was your favorite travel destination?
My favorite travel destinations were Australia and South Africa. I know you asked for one, but both were equally exciting and educational.
Tell us about your published works.
I have self-published several books. The tagline for my work is “I AM….” I use this slogan at exhibits and as an introduction when presenting at conferences.
Lady Bird: Shawn’s Sixth Sense – A story about a boy, his dog, and blind friends.
Who Am I? I AM…. (A compilation of five short non-fiction stories about elementary and middle school children coping with special needs in the classroom. These stories are told from the child’s perspective. A story from a blind child, a child with cancer, a child with diabetes, a child with Downs Syndrome, and a child with severe physical disabilities.)
Through My Lens – I AM…. (This is the fiction counterpart to the above book, Who Am I? – I Am….)
Blindsighted – Extraordinary Friends –Text and image copyright by Outskirts Press, Inc. – I added the characters.
June The Prune and Lady Bird (expected release date is August 2016) – a fiction about a 10-year old girl, her dog, and her struggle with cancer.
Name one thing on your bucket list.
The one thing that I hope to achieve within the next year is to travel to the Antarctic, which will complete my goal of traveling to all continents. I would go sooner if my traveling companion stays healthy long enough to make the trip.
What’s the one writing achievement that you’re truly proud of?
Many years ago, more than I care to remember, I wrote the first rules and regulations for a new state licensure board that were mandated by legislation. You haven’t experienced writing until you have a bank of lawyers, staffers, special interest groups and elected officials scrutinizing every word. I have nightmares about when to use the words “will” and “shall.” I never realized the ramifications of these small words until I wrote those rules.
In turns of books, I think the receipt of my book, LADY BIRD: SHAWN’S SIXTH SENSE was a proud moment. The scheduled August 2016 release of my next book in the Lady Bird Series, JUNE THE PRUNE AND LADY BIRD, brings joy to my heart as well. My deceased parents would be soooo proud!
Did you go the traditional route or did you DIY publish?
I took the DIY route because agents have specific topics they are looking for, and it takes much longer going the traditional route. Although, I have plans to go the traditional route with my first non-fiction leadership book.
Is there anything in particular that you love to write about, such as sex or circuses?
Writing about sex at my age could prove to be fascinating for the millenniums. But, I prefer to write about adorable pets and about topics that need to be heard, but no one wants to talk about.
If you could have anything you want without question, what would it be and why?
If I could have anything that I want without question, it would be uncompromised love and happiness, peace, joy, companionship, grace and mercy. These things are part of the soul that money can’t buy.
However, from a selfish standpoint, I think I would want to win the Mega-Million Lottery. By doing so, I can contribute to all of my charities (my nieces, my nephews, my sisters who want to travel but never have the money, my non-profit organizations that I volunteer with and scholarships for kids who can master the courses, have the desire to go to college, but parents can’t afford to send them and of course my church).
I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did. For more information about Gracie, please visit her LinkedIn. You can also visit her Amazon Author Page to follow and purchase her books.