Archive for the ‘People’ Category
What I love the most about blogging, is the wonderful people I meet in the blogging world. Today I am featuring the author Lada Ray, an extraordinary individual with many talents who stops at nothing to pursue her dreams.
Thanks so much for being a guest on my blog Lada. I am always curious to learn more about other authors.
L: It’s my great pleasure to be your guest today, Darlene! Thank you for your gracious invitation!
You have a very interesting background. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
L: I was born in Russia, when it was still called the Soviet Union. Since the age of twenty, I’ve lived abroad. I studied linguistics (got M.A. in comparative linguistics) and traveled to a number of countries on most continents. For a while, I worked in Havana, Cuba as a translator. After coming to the USA, I worked as financial consultant at AIG and Smith Barney/Citigroup, after which I decided to travel to Asia to study Feng Shui and various metaphysical disciplines. I received my International Feng Shui Master certification from the famed feng shui author, Lilian Too.
Presently, I write full-time at my Upstate NY residence. So far, I’ve written several books including mystery/thrillers Gold Train (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure), Stepford USA (Accidental Spy Small Town Adventure), Green Desert (Accidental Spy Iraq Prequel), metaphysical fantasy novelette Catharsis, Legend of the Lemurians (Earth Keepers Chronicles 1) and my new release, The Earth Shifter, a visionary fantasy/thriller, which is an epic novel. I will soon be releasing Earth Keepers Chronicles 2 and 3: Lemurian Crystal and Atlantis. I’m also working on The Earth Shifter sequel: Key of Destiny.
What or who inspired you to write?
L: I think I’ve always wanted to write. When I was a child, I often put together stories in my head. But my life developed in a different direction, or rather directions, until one day I realized that I had acquired much knowledge, wisdom, and unique experiences throughout my life’s many adventures, and decided to share them with the world.
When you were a child, who were your favourite authors?
L: This is easy. My father was a huge history and international adventure buff. We had a large library of classical literature, including complete Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, Alexander Dumas (how much I adored those Musketeers!), Shakespeare, Fenimore Cooper, and many others. I also read Russian sci-fi, especially Brothers Strugatsky, and Polish author Stanislav Lem, as well as the Russian classics: Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky. Later, I couldn’t get enough of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. My fave author as a teen was (still is) Mikhail Bulgakov, author of incredible fantasies and other books based on real events: The Master and Margarita, Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Occupation (hilarious time travel comedy of errors, featuring Ivan the Terrible), Dog’s Heart, White Guard (about the 1918 Russian Civil War). I think Bulgakov was a major influence on my writing.
Who are some of your favourite authors as an adult?
L: Oscar Wilde, Rumi and Mikhail Bulgakov. Of contemporary authors, I actually enjoyed J.K. Rawling’s Harry Potter. There are more, but these are the ones that came to mind immediately.
What has been the defining moment in your writing career?
L: I would say that publishing The Earth Shifter qualifies as one. I’ve published several books before this one, but it all started for me with the idea of The Earth Shifter several years ago. It took me a while to figure out how to tell this complex, fascinating and inspired story. In the interim, I wrote several other books, including mystery/thrillers Gold Train and Stepford USA. But in the end, it all came back to The Earth Shifter. Seeing it finally on digital shelves, and now also in print, is a huge milestone, and I’m very happy!
Your books are an interesting mix of mystery, intrigue, history, action, fantasy, philosophy, culture and spiritualism. Where do you get your ideas?
L: As I said earlier, I have accumulated many ideas and experiences throughout my life. These experiences are longing to be shared with the world. I have many more ideas and projects – if only there was more time in a day!
I love that your books take place in different parts of the world. Have you been to all the places you write about?
L: Yes, I’ve been to most places I write about. If I haven’t been to one, I still know enough, either from talking to others or from my own research and knowledge of similar places.
Where is one place you have not been to that you would love to visit?
L: Tibet and Machu Pichu.
When you are not writing, or thinking about writing, what do you like to do?
L: I love hiking, walking and traveling. I also love working on my blog, playing with my kitty, doing photography, meditating, and doing various metaphysical experiments and studies.
Now for a few fun, personal questions, which do you prefer:
Cats or dogs? Love all animals. I have a very cute kitty, but I equally love dogs.
Coffee or tea? Love the scent of coffee, but can’t drink it – maybe on special occasions. I’m primarily a tea drinker, with a large collection of Oriental green teas in my cabinet.
Lakes or oceans? Oceans and seas. I grew up on the Black Sea and some of my best memories are associated with it.
Cake or pie? Cake.
Now that we have that out-of-the-way, what advice would you give someone who is starting their writing career?
L: I like this quote: “A successful writer is the one who doesn’t give up.” Keep writing and keep sharpening your writing saw.
Anything else you would like to add?
L: Check out my new, top-rated fantasy/thriller THE EARTH SHIFTER! The ebook is available now, and the paperback is coming to Amazon in a few days. Gold Train second edition paperback is coming to Amazon in a few days as well. And Stepford USA paperback will be available at the same time.
For more about my books and other projects, visit my blog: LadaRay.wordpress.com.
Also, I wanted to add that I just started a new project called YA Revolution.
This is a grassroots movement for books with message and meaning. To find out more about it and to join go to the official YA Revolution Page on my blog. All readers and writers are invited!
In conclusion, thank you very much, Darlene, for this fabulous interview! I enjoyed it tremendously!
Read my review of The Earth Shifter on Goodreads
These and other books are also available at Sony, Apple, Kobo and Smashwords.
Check out this amazing author:
After receiving a copy Amanda in Arabia, from her aunt, Karoline Cullen, this eager fan couldn’t wait to start reading the book.
For more samples of this talented photographer’s work check out her website http://www.cullenphotos.ca/
Here is my wish for you this weekend, courtesy of Neil Gaiman
Have a fabulous weekend!
“I believe that everyone else my age is an adult whereas I am merely in disguise.” Margaret Atwood
I had a birthday last week which made me think, did I learn anything over the year?
Upon reflection, it was quite the year. I helped my mom settle into a retirement home, cleaned out her apartment and then sold it. That alone was stressful and upsetting as it meant a huge change for my mom. Fortunately she is handling the change gracefully. My perfect job came to an end and I had to look for another one. We all know how stressful that can be. I worked for a wonderful organization with amazing people and I was doing exactly what I love to do. I managed to get another job in the same industry. But it was a new program for all of us with many changes, the learning curve was steep and the stress was tremendous. I went on a once in a lifetime European holiday, only to break my ankle on day two. When I got home I needed an operation to pin it all together again. This slowed me down a lot, which I didn’t like at all.
Many good things happened over the year though. My third book was published! I still can’t believe I have three published books. I made some fabulous friends at my new job. I went on a cruise down the Danube with good friends and saw some fascinating sights. I spent valuable time with friends and family throughout the year.
What did I learn from all this?
- That change can be hard but something good always comes of it.
- Slowing down can be good for you.
- People are kind and willing to help, even strangers.
- I am fortunate to have the most supportive friends and family.
- I have the best husband ever!
I have been treated royally this past week. Flowers and dinner with hubby. A birthday party and cake at work.
My daughter took a ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay where I met her for lunch on Saturday. We had a great time as always. She gave me “Sky” the Eagle Bear Totem puppet. He is part of the Storytellers puppet collection and was designed by Coast Salish artist Doug LaFortune from Victoria BC. On the tag it reads “Standing tall, sharing stories of our people of how we are connected through vision and strength.” A perfect gift from a thoughtful daughter.
I had tea with a good friend and her six-year-old on Sunday. I received countless messages from friends all over the world. which made me feel so special.
I have been given many lovely gifts including a Sheaffer fountain pen, a note-book, a British tea caddy and many more wonderful things.
I think the quote on this birthday card says it all
I learned that I am one lucky girl.
A wonderful blogging friend of mine, Chris King over at Bridges Burning has featured me in her Friday FITFS post and I feel so honoured. Check out her blog and see what she has to say about little old me and many other things. Her posts are always interesting and fun to read.
by Chris King
“Never let a day go by without a dream” Darlene Foster
My favorite series is the FITFS – that is Following in the FootSteps of my blogging heroes. These are all people I admire and in some way or really in many ways and would like to emulate them.
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a Supermegawoman at least according to her grandson -”My grandson calls me “super-mega-woman-supreme” and finding out just a little about this amazing lady confirms the moniker is accurate. Read the rest…. http://bridgesburning.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/fitfs-following-in-the-footsteps-of-darlene-foster-supermegawoman/
What a wonderful world of blogging this is. Thanks so much Chris!
I haven’t participated in a blog hop before but was honoured to be chosen to be part of this one. I’d like to thank Sharon from Sharon’s Sunlit Memories for tagging me to participate. This gives us all a chance to view releases from authors we admire, as well as introduce us to some works in progress. Check out Sharon’s wonderful blog that brings back memories of a 60′s childhood. She posts cut-out dolls, picture books and paintings from way back then. She also sprinkles her blog with pictures of her magical property in Ireland. (a place I wish to visit one day)
The ten questions required to answer for the “Next Big Thing” are:
1.What is the working title of your work in progress?
Amanda in Alberta-The Writing on the Stone
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I like to write about Amanda travelling to unique places but when I was doing a reading at my grandson’s school in Alberta, one of the students said, “Why don’t you write about Amanda in Alberta?” I grew up there so I didn’t think it would be that unique. But then I thought, for children who are not familiar with the area, they might find it fascinating.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Middle reader chapter books, ages 8 – 12 approximately. (although many adults seem to enjoy my books as well!)
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I am not familiar with current child actors. I always imagine my books as animations when I think of them on-screen.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Leah comes to Alberta to visit Amanda where they attend the Calgary Stampede, visit a cattle ranch, spend time at a dinosaur museum and meet a sad rodeo clown, while they try to decipher prehistoric writing found on a stone.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My books are published by Central Avenue Publishing
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I have written four chapters of Amanda in Alberta. I hope to have the first draft completed by June of next year.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I haven’t really compared this story to other books. I enjoyed reading about the Bobbsey Twins and their travels when I was growing up.
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
This book was inspired by the children who read my books. They always ask me, “Where is Amanda going to next?” My family has lived in Alberta for five generations, and my grandchildren live there now so I have tons of inspiration and ideas.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Alberta is rich with history dating back to the age of dinosaurs so there will be something for everyone; dinosaurs, First Nations people, buffalo, cowboys,and a Blue Heeler dog named Bart. There is actually a place called “Writing on The Stone Park”.
Cowboy picture from wikipedia
The five authors that I am tagging for this blog hop are:
Cassandra Giovanni http://cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com/about/
Lada Ray http://ladaray.wordpress.com/about/
Diane Tibert http://dianetibert.com/home/
Michelle Isenhoff http://michelleisenhoff.wordpress.com/book-trailers/
You can answer the questions about a work in progress or a recently published book if you wish. All you have to do is link your post back to my blog.
Check out these great authors (who happen to be very nice people to get to know as well)
This has been a busy and rewarding weekend. On Saturday I was a special guest of Rosemarie Hurst’s as she received the Phyllis Delaney “Life After Stroke Award in the Achievements in the Arts” I wrote about Rosemarie in a previous post. http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/the-heart-of-a-poet/ Rosemarie suffered from a stroke and soon after recovering, had a ruptured brain aneurism. She counts her self lucky not only to be alive, but to have retained 20/20 vision and the ability to continue to create. Rosemarie accepted her award with grace and eloquence. I was pleased to have been invited to watch her be acknowledged in this way.
Saturday evening Paul and I attended the wedding of Kevin and Helena. The wedding reception was held at the popular Chinese Seafood restaurant Sun Sui Wah . The groom was very handsome and the bride stunningly beautiful. She changed outfits three times during the evening, every outfit gorgeous. The food was incredible and I am still full. I don’t eat meat, but was able to eat 9 of the 12 courses. I do enjoy seafood and there were so many wonderful dishes I just couldn’t resist. It was so wonderful to see the blend of wedding traditions as the family has lived in Canada for a number of years but still show respect for their roots in Taiwan. Although we were in the minority, we were made to feel very welcome and special. We are so blessed to have friends from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and honoured to be included as guests at this special wedding.
After being away for most of September and dealing with a broken ankle when I returnd, I got behind in reading and responding to blog posts. I must thank the lovely Holly Michael for another award granted to me while I was away. It is the Super Sweet Award. Which is very kind as I think Holly is super sweet herself and has a wonderful blog called writing straight that connects people to inspire and share about life and writing. I suggest you check it out. http://writingstraight.com/about/
I received this wonderful award once before so I am not going to pass it on this time. But it is so great to know that my blogging friends feel I deserve it. Thanks so much Holly and sorry it took me so long to respond.
And why this large bird? This sculpture was outside the building where Rosemarie’s award ceremony was held. I just loved it and wanted to share it with all of you. Some of my readers are huge bird fans so I knew it would be appreciated.
I hope everyone else had a great weekend as well and hope you all stay safe and happy in spite of storms on the way.
The launch for Amanda in England-the Missing Novel was held on Saturday at our wonderful local bookstore, Albany Books. Thank you to everyone who showed up in person or in spirit. I had a wonderful time, was treated very well by the staff and showered with good wishes from fans old and new. After the successful launch, my dear husband treated me to a fish & chip dinner at Rob’s Fish & Chips. A fitting way to celebrate a book about England.
Then today, Sunday, I volunteered to tend the Federation of BC Writer’s table at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference. Some wonderful people stopped by such as Carol Garvin. We have been following each other’s blog for almost two years, but have never met. Carol is just as nice in person as she is on her blog! Ruth Kozak, Kimberley Alcock, Sharon Edelmeier and many others stopped by. I was lucky to be seated next to Joie Carlton who writes hilarious travel books and makes unique beaded book marks. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces. Diana Gabaldon gave me a nice warm smile as she walked by.
So it was a very good weekend for me. How was your weekend?.
While visiting Europe I was touched by the memorials and references to the Jewish people who lost thier lives during World War II. The one that moved me the most was along the Danube in Budapest. I was unable to take a picture as I was on a bus at the time. Fortunately, I discovered Claire’s blog at http://pestipixels.com/2012/09/26/shoes-on-the-danube/ with the perfect picture.
Please take a moment to check it out.
I am very grateful to Pat Wood who has nominated me for the The Beautiful Blogger Award. This is the second time I have been presented with this and I am not sure what I have done to deserve it, but I am pleased and honoured to accept. I have just recently started to follow Pat’s great blog and I would suggest you visit. Her writing is fresh and fun and you will enjoy her British sense of humour.
The Rules for The Beautiful Blogger Award:
1. Write a little something about the Beautiful Blogger who nominated you with the award. See above. And don’t forget to go and check her out too.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
Here are my 7 things you may or may not know about me:
- I was raised on a farm but never learned to milk a cow or ride a horse.
- I accidentally named my daughter after a hockey player.
- I toured England and Wales on the back of my husband’s motorcycle.
- My younger brother and I have the same initials DDF
- When I was a teenager, I wanted to marry Paul McCartney, so I married a good-looking Englishman named Paul
- I am a vegetarian but I will eat fish and seafood from time to time
- I always wanted to go on a European River cruise and I will be doing that in two weeks!
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers for the award.
- Karen Elliott at The Word Shark great writing tips, interviews and interesting stories
- Sherry at Ottsworld for amazing travel photos
- Lorna’s Tearoom Delights mouth-watering stories about visits to interesting tea rooms and places in Scotland
- Niamh Clune at Plum Tree Books many wonderful happenings on this blog
- Katherine Gordy Levine at Parents are People Too Love this woman and her no nonsense approach to life
- Shipla Mudiganti at Dreams Galore I love any blog about dreams
- C. Giovanni http://cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com/ follow this wonderful new writer along her journey
Have fun visiting all my nominees and leave them a Beautiful Comment. They are so worth it. I learn something new every time I read their blogs. As for the nominees, you can pass this award along, only if you wish too.
Thank you again to Pat Wood, I will do my best to live up to the title.
Happy blogging everyone!