Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
Thank you, Jamallah, for having me today. I also want to thank everyone for visiting my guest post.
I’m somewhat nerdy, and I keep to myself mostly. I do like meeting up with friends and doing fun things with them. My entertainments are usually individual pursuits. I enjoy writing because it allows me an avenue to express myself, probably the same reason I grok with computers with no formal training. I love good foods but prefer patronizing restaurants when they’re in their slow run. I like a quiet meal unless I’m with friends. Then the talk gets pretty animated.
Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I read and take in social events of interest, like the symphony and ballet. I also attend public symposiums and other presentations of interest.
What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
Well, my routine isn’t daily. Most usually, I set aside most other activities and block out most of the day or evening for writing.
Where do you get your ideas from?
A variety of sources such as chance encounters, a stray phrase, daily occurrences and dreams, to name a few.
Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
Bogga Fat Cat, one of the short stories in the collection I have published. I like Bogga’s speaking style.
Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
When I writing, I have a constant need to snack. I like a combination of salty and sweet snacks. I try not to keep much in the house. Trail mix I make myself is my favorite snack. I feel less guilty.
Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
I don’t really have a muse per se. Mostly, Inspiration calls from time to time.
What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
Inspirational. Historical fiction and romance. These are two genres I’m sure would provide an almost insurmountable challenge.
Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
Pippa Jay, Susan Cain, Louise Penny, Octavia Butler, Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay, Anthony Beal, Ariana Franklin, and Anne Penny.
Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
Kim, in the excerpt I share today from my collection of short stories. I love her inquisitiveness. Stanley, from Home, You Can Never Go Back. He has a past that he’s moving forward to meet. Takes courage when there’s pain involved.
What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Finding balance. Balance between self-confidence and self-doubt. Balance between discipline and reprieve. Knowing when it’s finished and ready to go.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
In the words of the talking shrunken head, “It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” The smooths out though as you crest that learning curve.
If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
I don’t know. Pretending to be a reed in the wind?
What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
Something very cliché. An indefinite period of time on tropical beach with crystal clear waters and few tourists or staff.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
No problem, Jamallah. First, I’d like to share a little information about Arachne Enterprises. Arachne Enterprises Publishing manages publishing needs for Montrée Whiles, Rabiyah Hamnach, and Satine Steele. Arachne Enterprises is kind of like an imprint. This frees up my time a great deal and allows me to manage multiple pen names efficiently.
I’m sharing an excerpt from my collection of short stories, A Voice From An Inner World. The title of the story is, “Fireworks.” I thought it appropriate for the 4th of July. Sometimes kids can crack you up with their stories. The way they compile information can be even more entertaining.
The book I’m working on under this imprint is, Adrianna. The pen name under which it is being written is Rabiyah Hamnach. The story is about the changes a Muslim family must adapt to when moving from a predominantly Muslim community in Michigan to a small Texas town in which the Muslim community is very small.
“How much does Fire make an hour?”
“What do you mean sweetie?”
“I mean,” Kim paused and appeared to think for a minute. “Daddy works, and they pay him.”
Marge chuckled as she turned the chicken to brown on the other side. Kim perched on the stool, seemingly oblivious to her mother’s efforts over the stove. A cock crowed outside.
“Oh, Kimmie. Works means something else here. It means the parts of something that make it work. Fireworks kinda means the parts that make fire.”
“But Mommie. I thought it was colored lights. You said fireworks were colored lights in the sky.”
“Yes, dear, I did. And, it’s true, it’s colored lights in the sky, but it’s made from something that makes fire.”
A loud wail was heard from another room. Turning off the stove, Marge placed the pieces of chicken in a baking dish, put the lid on it and stuck it in the oven to cook some more.
“Quick Kimmie, go say good morning to your brother. Tell him Mommy’s coming.”
Kim climbed off the stool she was sitting on and ran out of the room. After pulling a bowl out of the fridge and setting it on the counter, Marge dashed out of the room as well.
“Hear, Bubba? Mommie’s coming. She’s cooking for the picnic today. Then we’re going to watch Fire work. His job is to make colored lights in the sky.”
Marge smiled to herself as she entered the room.
“Now what’s your fuss there Bubbs? Whew-ee! I can smell that diaper all the way over here. Bet you’re hungry too.” She leaned over the crib and made clucking sounds at Bubba. “Kim, give me the diaper pad and a diaper hon.”
About forty-five minutes later found them all back in the kitchen with a brown curly-haired toddler in a high chair. Kimmie was feeding him cereal from the box and he was alternately putting the little round bits of cereal in his mouth and throwing others on the floor.
“But Mommie. Fire is always orange and yellow. How does fireworks have other colors? You said the colors like blue, and red, and pink, and purple, and other pretty colors.”
“Well, they mix stuff with the gun powder.”
“Gun powder? Guns use powder? Like the powder you put all over me after a bath? What does it smell like? Bubble gum, like my powder?”
“No honey. Really, it’s a mixture of charcoal, sulphur and saltpeter. You know what charcoal is. It’s the same as the black rocks we put in the barbeque outside. But it’s all ground up. Sulphur is what we make matches from. You know when Uncle Paul smokes his pipe? He lights it with a match. Do you remember that?” Marge was busily stirring potatoes and other things together for potato salad. She reached over and turned the oven off.
“Yes. I think so. It smells funny when he scratches it on the box, Mommie, right? Did I ever see Fire do work?” She was trying to keep her brother from throwing cereal on the floor.
“No. Hon. I don’t think you did. Dad said you fell asleep last year when he took you to the family picnic. He said you played all day and almost wouldn’t eat. You and your cousins ran, and teased the dogs, and played in the water. When he brought you home, you were still asleep.”
“Why come you didn’t go?”
“I was sick and Bubba was sick too.” Marge left the kitchen for a few minutes, clicking her tongue as she passed Bubba’s high chair.
“Mommie?” Kim said as Marge walked back into the kitchen and set a big basket on the bar.
“What kind of salt does Peter use? You said the Fire works with barbeque rocks and matches and Peter’s salt.”
“You silly! I said saltpeter, dear. Saltpeter is something called potassium nitrate. Grandma uses it for making pickles. It also helps us make some kinds of fertilizer for plants and gardens.” Carefully Marge began packing the basket with picnic goods.
“Where does it come from Mommie? I mean the work Fire has to do?”
“Well, Dear, it’s fireworks. Long time ago a Chinese cook accidentally made it when he was cooking outdoors. Kinda like barbequing but that’s the way they cooked long time ago.” She left the kitchen again for a few minutes and came back carrying a red, white, and blue checkered table cloth. Which she packed on top. “Now sweetie, run across the street and get Carla. She’s coming with us to the picnic and your daddy will be back in a half hour.”
“Okay Mommie.” She skipped out of the kitchen and let the screen door slam on the way out.
“Okay Bubbs. Let’s get you ready to go. My, you do love your cereal, don’t you?”
Marge came back into the kitchen just in time to hear Kimmie and Carla talking.
“And, you know what? Fire works for a Chinese cook and uses Peter’s salt. My mommy said the colored lights Fire makes comes from planting rocks from the barbeque grill in a garden with fertilizer. That’s why Daddy left early this morning. He and the other firemen are gonna help Fire with getting the garden ready.”
I’ll give away a free electronic copy of the book I discuss above by drawing. Include your email in your comment below to be added to the drawing. For anyone else I will send a bookmark if you’ll also include your email address as well.
Release of Adrianna, by Rabiyah Hamnach. TBA
Create Space (for a hard copy): https://www.createspace.com/3993185
Smashwords Montrée Whiles: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/montreewhiles
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/arachneenterprises
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/arachneenterprises
Montrée Whiles Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/scribblingsbymontreewhiles
Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6526398.Arachne_Enterprises