Tuesday, January 29, 2008
WHO IS JUDI MOREO?
Judi Moreo is a leading authority in the areas of communication and motivation. She has conducted consulting assignments, training workshops, seminars and keynote speeches in 26 countries on 4 continents. She has coached countless business leaders worldwide on issues of corporate change, cultural diversity and conflict management.
Her expertise has assisted corporations and organizations such as Walt Disney Imagineering; Sony Electronics; the U. S. House of Representatives; Investec Bank; U. S. Army; BMW; Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Nestle; and Nissan Motor Corporation.
As an international business leader and entrepreneur, Judi knows first hand what it takes to be successful especially amidst political, social and cultural differences. In 1991, she became a senior executive in one of South Africa's most prestigious corporations. In 2003, Judi was named Nevada Business Person of the Year by the U. S. Business Advisory Council. She is currently President of Turning Point International, Inc., an international performance improvement consulting firm in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce honored her with the Woman of Achievement - Entrepreneur Award.
She has served on the Boards of Directors of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Women's Council; the World Modeling Association; the Greater Las Vegas Soroptimist; Women in Communication; and the Las Vegas Professional Speakers Association. Judi is listed in the World's Who's Who of Business and Professional Women; Who's Who in Professional Speaking; and the World's Who's Who of Women, and was awarded the Outstanding Achievement and Community Service Award by the American Women in Radio and Television.
This year Ms. Moreo received the Diamond Star Las Vegas Visionary Award.
You can visit her website at http://www.judimoreo.com/.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Read more about Judi's Book.
This week's blog tour is a little different. Judi Moreo has asked that instead of just posting a summary of her book, I share a little about myself by discussing this passage from her book: Every step I take brings me closer to the realization of my dreams
My first reaction is: depends on where I'm stepping. If my dream is to have a model's body and my steps keep taking me to the refrigerator, I'm not gonna realize my dreams. So this statement is as much warning as motivation.
Frankly, it's one I do need on occasion. I have a tendency to check my e-mail again and again, hopeing for a distraction when I should be working on the next story. Sometimes, I take on a project, not because it's getting me closer to my dreams but because someone asked. And, well, there is the refrigerator. However, in the long run, I just get frustrated because I know I've stepped away from my dreams. (or the 'fridge is bare, but that's a different issue.)
This statement also reminds me that we seldom just GET our dreams; we have to work for them, move toward them on step at a time. Since I'm a very task-driven person, this makes a lot of sense to me. I'm pretty good at breaking down my dreams into goals and then steps to the goal. Thus, even though a dream seems vast, each step is very doable.
So let's take an example. My dream has been to write fiction. After completing one (rather lame) novel in college, I took a big detour from that dream for several years until one day, I felt the need to return to that dream so strongly I nearly screamed. (Actually, I think I did yell, "If Turtledove can teach college and write books like this, why haven't I even written one story?") I was a mother of toddlers, and a Reservist, so becoming a famous novelist was out--but I could write a few stories, maybe write for some local magazines...
"Cinders" (which recently appeared in Twisted Fayrie Tales by EternalPress) was written in a month.
My next step was to pull my husband in. We always communicate well with kids around, so dinner dates often ended up rehashing work and home. Bleah. Instead, we started collaborating on stories, building an elaborate near-futre universe where an order of Catholic nuns performs space search and rescue operations for "supplies, air and the Love of God."
That step led to several stories; the anthology, Leaps of Faith (coming in print in Summer 2008 from The Writers Cafe Press); and Infinite Space, Infinite God (available from Twilight Times Books.) We're working on Infinite Space, Infinite God II, and I'm writing a Rescue Sisters story, "Snakes on a Spaceship" for it. I've also got a novel planned and perhaps even a TV show.
I've written several novels--again in small steps. My first novel was written by simply promising not to sleep until I had just one sentence down. it was slow going, but it's done and I have two more complete. One, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, is due out in 2009; the others are still seeking a home. Again, that's a dream I've broken into smaller steps--right now, a set number of submissions to publishers and agents each month. In the meantime, I'm writing other things and dreaming big.
But no matter how big the dream, it all begins with the one step that moves me toward it.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
-What inspired you to write this story? I am not really sure Karina. I’d like to cook up some profound answer, but really I just had this character in mind that owned a café. I did a character sketch for how I saw Chaneeta Morgan and started writing. The story just came to be. As weird as that sounds, that is how it happened. I knew it would be about small towns but I didn’t know what was going to happen in the small town this time.
What was the most interesting part of the story for you?
Discovering the characters various goals, wants needs or desires. Finding out what the characters really want. Not just their surface wants – I want a million dollars is usually not about the money—it’s about what the money can buy or do for the individual. I want to be loved is okay, but I want to be loved by a certain person is even better.
So the characters’ desires or goals – their deep, story–worth-telling goals is the product of the writing and that I enjoy ferreting out.
Who is your favorite character and why?
In this story it’s Chaneeta. I think be cause I identify with her more than the other characters. I don’t know if it’s an age thing or if I’ve some how become involved in her goal. Is it my goal, or is it hers? I don’t have an illegitimate child, I have never been in a racially mixed relationship, I have never robbed a bank—but there are other similarities between her and me. I just like the way she grew into the type of person I wish I was.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? The easiest?
The hardest part I don’t know that there was a hard part unless it was letting the book end. When you spend so much time with your characters they become like family and you want to keep them close – especially the nice ones. I wanted to watch Hope and Dusty’s relationship develop. I don’t know that it will and I was totally surprised by their instant attraction to each other. I may have to explore that in a subsequent book. The secrets are already a series I’m developing so I may just continue with Chaneeta and Hope and see where it leads me.
The easiest? The easiest part was making the twins roles in the story. I modeled them after my sisters in law (twins) and they are pretty much as I portrayed them in the story. They filled the parts I needed so perfectly I only needed to set them on the page and watch them.
What’s next for you?
I always have a couple more novels in the works. The book club selection I’ve got going now The Capricorn Goat ~ ~ January Flannel is available to anyone who wants to sign up at http://billiewilliams.com/BOOKCLUB.html a chapter a week delivered by Constant Contact to your in box — in rough draft form. The chapters are then archived on my web site so anyone can read them all at their leisure.
I also have a series of writing books, three of which are published, Writing Wide, Exercises in Creative Writing; Characters in Search of an Author; and Spice up Your Writing! Write to Entice. Two are in the development stages – Mystery, Muse and Manuscript and Playing with Plays. The first chapters of these five books are the basis for the free 5-week writing course offered on my Pens in Motion website. If anyone is interested they can go to http://www.pensinmotion.com and read more about it and sign up.
I also am working on the second 3-act play for another novel (My Dear Phebe) of a friend of mine (Janet Elaine Smith).
Monday, January 21, 2008
Fires rage across the tiny town of Nettlesville. Someone is bent on burning it down too the ground one building at a time. Can Chaneeta and Olga bury their rivalry long enough to stop the arsonist before the town is nothing but ashes, or will Chaneeta's secret past destroy her and possibly the town?"
Read the first chapter and an interview with excerpts.
Available from Wings ePress, Inc http://www.wings-press.com
or any books store.
ISBN 978-1-59705-766-0 Print
978-1-59705-283-2 electronic download in several formats
Monday, January 14, 2008
SHALOM, MARY is a series of imaginary letters the Blessed Virgin could have written to her childhood friend, Rebekah. It starts with the Annunciation and ends after Pentecost. In it, I try to include the feelings common to all mothers and also details of everyday life at that time.
It can be ordered at http://www.cafepress.com/diskusbooks.15937225
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
1. What inspired you to write this story?
The debate is still on if the whole thing was a result of something I ate before going to bed one night! Or so say my sisters! At any rate, Time Masters became the result of several different things. I had started a story just for fun back in the 1980’s entitled the ‘Door To Muirara’ but had a rough outline at best, and never did really get it going. When I became a book reviewer in 1993 and started reviewing a lot of mystery and romance, not to mention I had an antique book collection and was dabbling in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan books at the time, I thought what quite a few avid readers and reviewers think. “Gee, I bet I could do this!” And so you think to yourself, “How hard can it be? I like to write!” So my inspiration for writing was a challenge to myself to go through the process, the WHOLE process of not just writing a book, but finish it and set up a series. (It’s the business/marketing/natural project manager side of me) and then be able to say I did it! And if I was really serious and wanted to take it all further, those notes were done and a rough outline of a twelve book series was in place. “So oh goodie!” I said when it was all done, or at least a decent draft. “I did it!” And with that, I stuck in the infamous trunk. Which I still have! I got it in 1979 before I went off to college! Another element in this whole thing is I absolutely love history, and wanted some part of history to research. Ok, truth be known I love to be a blood hound and research! So the Glencoe massacre of 1692 became the launch pad point, and of course, it gave me plenty to research! I then had to create a character centered around that particular event in history, and … well … the rest now is history! Pun intended!
2. Who is your favorite character and why?
This is always such a tough question to answer, but I guess if I absolutely had to pick just one, it would be Dallan. Probably because I spent so much time with him in research and creating his back ground. I’d find interesting facts and think, “Oh what fun! I can use that! Isn’t that interesting? Ohhhhh look at this piece of information over here …” and so on and so forth it went. For me it wasn’t work because I wasn’t actually writing with a huge publishing contract in mind. I was just plain ol having FUN! I guess at the time it was an outlet.
I started Dallan in the summer of1993 and didn’t get around to actually writing until 1994. But when I did put him in a setting, one with John Eaton, and let the two characters interact for the first time, he sprang to life so fast it was scary. All the rest of the story began to rapidly fall into place on its own. Dallan being the books life blood.
3. How have your personal faith and beliefs influenced your story?
I was raised with traditional values and by a homicide detective father. Let me tell you that makes for interesting conversations at the dinner table! Though he was never really a church going man, he still made sure we grew up with the golden rule so to speak. Our mother died when she was only fifty from pulmonary lung disease, so dad had to tow the line with all of us and has been doing so ever since. For all four kids, he is our best friend, not just our dad. All in all, it came down to doing what is right in life, even if it hurts a little. It was all about integrity growing up. I became a Christian later on and my upbringing coupled with Christian values, carries into the book.
4. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Hmmm the book was so fun to write, I’m not sure what was hard, other than finding the time to write. My three children were ages three, seven, and thirteen at the time I wrote it. Now they are seventeen, twenty-one and twenty-seven. So most of TM was written between eleven pm and two am on most days when I was writing! There were of course windows during the day I would write when no one was home. There were also times when everyone was home and doing their own thing, so, I would write. I write to music so a head set took care of the household noise!
5. What was easiest?
Well, just letting the characters do their thing. Being there in the moment with them, watching them, listening … and then just writing it down. There’s a technical name for this when it happens, but I can’t recall what it is.
6. What's next for you?
Little did I know that pulling it out of the trunk would cause such a stir! I pulled it out, entered all the editing notes I had on it from umpteen years ago, then decided if I was going to share it, then I wanted to do so on my terms. So I self-published, and spent a lot of time researching this route. I figured, ok, since folks seem to think this should be in book form, fine, I’ll do that. Then they can stop squawking at me! And they could then access it as they like, and I would have creative control. And besides, it would be fun to start writing again as I knew I had other books outlined and if I wanted to, I could write those books!
I researched and found the company I wanted and went with Cold Tree Press. I didn’t want to mess with forming my own little publishing empire and thus utilized a publishing services company. Little did I know they were a lot more than that and have an entire traditional press sister company. I then found out from Peter Honsberger, Cold Tree’s CEO his vision for, and mission for helping author’s get their works out there. Demanding high quality works from authors and letting them know if their manuscript just wasn’t ready for prime time isn’t a problem for these guys. So it’s not like, oh here’s my book and my money, publish the thing! No, you have to submit your manuscript just as you would with a traditional press. They have award winning designers, Peter Honsberger himself is an award winning designer, and spent about thirty years in the advertising industry. I just thought wowzers! I hit the jackpot! Cold Tree strives to bring as personable attention to each book as they can. And they do! I can attest to that! And authors who really want to be serious about writing and marketing their books can have the chance to flip their books to Cold Tree’s sister company and be traditionally published. I thought that to be a really kewl thing. So the thought of doing more than just write for fun hit, and I pulled all those notes out of the trunk about the Time Master series. Book two is already in the works and will be traditionally published. Book three I’ll go right into and get done as well and have it ready to go. The first three books are kind of like a set. At any rate, I am segueing into the writer’s life. Little did I know that what I put in that trunk in 1994 would result in a career change fourteen years later! I won’t be quitting my day job just yet, but will be having a ton of fun again! Oh boy, more research!
Monday, January 07, 2008
The year is 3698 and the threat of civil war is not only brewing, but near boiling. Kwaku Awahnee, Time Master of Muirara, must pass on his Time Mastership to his prechosen successor Dallan MacDonald to prevent the inevitable. Councilor John Eaton must tell the unsuspecting Scot of his new office and all it entails. There were, however, a few slight problems. To become a Time Master the High-lander would have to willingly join with a Muiraran Maiden, who stolen as an infant, hidden in another time, and now grown, must mate or die. Dallan’s job of convincing her she was Muiraran, not human, and have her fall in love with him was small com-pared to the impossible race against time they had to see it done. John’s job was to make sure the Scot was ready to listen. And then of course, talk him into it along the way ....
See the CFRB Book tour.
Buy the Book