What characters do you relate to and that come out in your writing? by: S.J Brown
The characters in Close Ups & Close Encounters are the animals or critters as I call them. I relate to most of them in one way or another and I try to have that evident in my writing. My writing is a way to share the connection I feel with most wildlife.
A coot, mentioned in Venturing Out was enjoying the solitude of a private pond. I also enjoy quiet moments alone outdoors with just me and mother nature. Taking time out from the busy world around me tends to help me re-energize.
I encounter and write about small groups or herds of deer. White Tailed Deer in general are timid creatures that just seem to go about their daily routine. They go for hikes in the woods, which is something I enjoy doing. Hiking with family and friends helps me to connect others with my love of nature. I encounter deer a lot when they have paused to enjoy a meal. While our diets differ, I do enjoy having a good meal with family and friends.
I write about migrating birds as well . They have a home base, but also travel to other areas. I enjoy the freedom of traveling. Leaving the familiarity of home and traveling to another locations is very appealing to me. There are a multitude of wild locations each with it’s own unique appeal. Some locations offer dozens of towering trees filled with curious critters like squirrels and chipmunks. Other places have acres and acres of fields filled with berries that attract bears, or grains that appeal to small rodents and the larger critters that pursue them. Ponds and lake offer serene surrounding that appeal to a variety of animals.
Yes, I can even relate to the elephant in the chapter entitled the Playful Pachyderm. He simply wanted to introduce himself to a new friend. Although his intentions disturbed others, he didn’t really mean any harm.
I also include animals that elude the lens when I write about my experiences. Like them I have times that I simply don’t want to be bothered, like when a telemarketer calls.
In general I don’t write about characters I don’t relate to in some way. Without some type of connection to a subject the writing seems to lack something. I think readers pick up on this and it diminishes the quality of the work.
~Close Ups and Close Encounters~
On a whim, S. J. Brown decided to embark on a career in wildlife photography. Armed with an inexpensive 35mm camera and a love for the natural world, her adventure began. Accompanied by her spotter and husband, she ventured to a variety of locations.
The couple soon learned that there was more to this than just camera settings, lighting, and getting the right angle. Not all wildlife is agreeable to having their picture taken, and many are not easily accessible.
Camera in hand, S. J. Brown encountered delicate butterflies, bears, birds, deer, wild horses, and more. Along the way, there are successes and failures, cooperative critters, curious subjects, and some close calls.
As a wildlife photographer S. J. Brown took her cues from her subjects. Their body language let her know when to step in for a closer shot and when to back away. When she was out in the field, she strove to observe and record not to interfere. The exception to this rule is when people pose a threat to wildlife; then she will take time to relocate a road dwelling critter to its location. Brown has saved snapper turtles from soup and other creatures from the taunts and teases of unwise humans, but she will not interfere with Mother Nature’s food chain unless it involves a domestic animal pursuing a wild creature. With this in mind, she has sent many a cat away from a bird feeder and saved many a squirrel from a curious canine.
S. J. Brown’s book Close Ups & Close Encounters features over fifty of her wildlife photographs as well as the stories behind getting those images. S. J. Brown’s photographs and written words are her way of sharing her experiences. Introducing others, such as her granddaughter, to the field is one of her primary goals and loves. She hopes her work will give others an appreciation for the natural world.
Really loved this book. The pictures were fabulous and the stories were well written and kept me glued to the pages. This book is for every age group and I am so glad I purchased it. Parents can even read this book to their children and the pictures that accompany them are beautiful. I would gladly recommend this book to anyone. – J. Gonce (Amazon)
How Do You Come Up With Your Book Ideas?
by: Marianne Spitzer
That’s a very good question. I can find inspiration in most anything I see that interests me. I also use life events to write my books. I have a muse who will do cartwheels when she knows we have found a good idea. Her name is Blooderfly. She prefers horror and mystery stories, as do I. My inspiration for Gypsy Spirits came from a real life event. The first scene in the book was an argument between Annamarie and Daniel, two of the man characters. That argument and the utterance of the Gypsy curse actually took place one July morning between my ex-husband and me. There are a few Gypsy facts in the book my mom told me. She heard the stories from her grandmother. Other than that, it’s all imagination. I also find inspiration in pictures. A friend posted a picture of iron gates held up by a huge brick arch sitting alone in the midst of the woods. I wrote the short story, The Forgotten Gates, from an idea that popped into my mind while looking at the image. Another image of a frightening clown brought back a memory of being lost inside the fun house with my dad when I was six. I wrote the short story, The Fun House. It is the first in a series of “Evil Doll” short stories. Gyspy Spirits and the sequel, Annamarie and Magdalena, are available on Amazon now as e-books. I am working on the third book in the trilogy, Lena, now. I have also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER, which I wrote for 2011 NaNoWriMo. I had a small idea of an evil grandfather and it bloomed from there. The sequel, Old Man Malone Returns, will be available early this summer. My family wonders how I can see things in images they don’t see, or how I come up with my ideas out of the blue. I am not exactly sure. It is something that has been with me for a very long time. The first scary story I came up with was when I was eleven. I told my brother a spooky tale as a bedtime story one night. Unfortunately, he was only three at the time. He didn’t appreciate it and screamed at the top of his lungs. My mom didn’t appreciate it either and I was forbidden to tell my brother any more stories. However, I did get the idea for the short story, The Witch’s Cross. I thought it was worth it although my brother says the thought of the story still scares him. Isn’t that the idea of writing a horror story? Happy reading!!
I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children’s stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three “spirit” books. I have self-published the second “spirit” book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third “spirit” book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.
Author: Marianne Spitzer
Publication Date: April 2012
Spirits? Madness? Which haunts Daniel? His teenage bride, Annamarie, must answer the question while she deals with her husband’s controlling behavior and abnormal fear of spirits he believes exist in the surrounding woods near their home. During an argument, her anger erupts and she yells a few odd words at her husband, Daniel, which she explains is her Gypsy curse. A bad day at work convinces him the curse is real, but after the brutal death of his best friend, his belief in the curse and his terror of the spirits escalates. Annamarie begins to have foreshadowing dreams of a young Gypsy girl who resembles her in every way. As the dreams become more vivid and frequent, Annamarie begins to fear her utterance of a Gypsy curse may have brought spirits into their lives. When they both have the same dream, she believes Daniel’s fears may be real. They feel they may be close to answers when a human killer enters their lives. With two battles to wage they must stand strong together. Frightening events spiral out of control and Annamarie must fight for her husband’s safety, his sanity, and her own.
“Highly recommend this book. Excellent story mixing love, family matters, mystery and spirits. The end will really surprise you as it did me.” – Carolyn on Amazon
Hello to everyone, welcome to my new blog site. I have to apologize to everyone that has tried to access my blog in the last couple of weeks. So sorry to you all. Several weeks ago my website and blog crashed and I was left to rebuild it all. With the help of course of the amazing Jaycee Delacruz of Sweet N’Spice designs. I wouldn’t be able to get up and moving without her.
Here is what is going on in the next couple of weeks on my new and improved blog:
∞ Gypsy Spirits by Marianne Spitzer, guest post
∞ Close Ups and Close Encounters by S.J. Brown, guest post