Friday, January 4, 2013

In Mysterious Ways by Venita Louise: Interview Excerpt: BTS Tour Stop


 




Welcome! Thanks for being here.  :)  Does travel play in the writing of your books?

I either live in or have visited the places I write about. The Internet is also rich with information about places and things. I often wonder what Ernest Hemmingway, Louisa May Alcott or Mark Twain would have thought about having the world at their fingertips. We are so fortunate.


Tell us about your current release.

In Mysterious Ways is the story of Lang Garret, a well-known California artist and his fiancé, Amanda Howard, a bluesy nightclub singer. They travel to Arizona for Lang’s gallery appearance. After his little surprise for Amanda is trashed, they wind up accepting an invitation to pay a visit to a recently formed crop circle. What begins as an innocent and curious adventure turns into a predicament of terror. The energy within the circle changes six people’s lives forever.

 

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I was membership chair of the California Writer’s Association for five years. During that time I was introduced to some wonderful critique groups. They have helped me immensely. My husband is the best beta reader around.


What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

I tend to get attached to my characters and I really miss them when I have finished a book. It’s the oddest thing. I’ll be thinking of them as I go about my day and there are times when I feel them thinking about me. Spooky, or maybe crazy.

 

Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or movie?

I don’t necessarily see myself as the character but I do relate to some of their thinking or feelings. I really relate to clumsy actions and awkward communication. LOL


What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?

For me, it helps to take breaks and watch a movie or go out to dinner with family or friends. I am also fortunate to have other outlets.

 

What hobbies do you actively pursue?

My husband and I are in a soft rock cover band called, Meridian. We also have an original band, White Smoke. We released our first CD last year called Proper Introductions.

 

What’s the next Big Thing?
In Mysterious Ways will be available in audio in the near future.








When well-known California Artist, Lang Garret, takes a trip to Phoenix, he has more than his gallery appearance in mind. His plans include a little surprise for his fiancée, Amanda, who is traveling with him. Unfortunately, a twist of fate, a chance meeting, and a chain of unforeseen obstacles throw all of Lang's intentions out the window.

Lang and Amanda accept an invitation to join a group visit to one of Arizona's energy vortexes that mysteriously contains a newly formed crop circle. It seems innocent enough, but what begins as a curious adventure for a group of six turns an expected pleasure into a predicament of terror.

The unfathomable energy of the circle has a different repercussion for each individual who enters it. It seems impossible that the gyre could produce a horror, the power to kill, a marvel, the power to heal, and a blessing all at once, but the supernatural occurrences caused by the circle continue to alter their lives long after leaving Arizona. Now Lang and Amanda writhe under the struggle to keep their relationship intact and prevent the energy from annihilating their love.



 






“It was the darndest thing, I tell you.” Fred scraped his chair back from the oak table, got up and walked over to the window. “I been camping and hiking hundreds of times, and I ain’t never seen nothin’ like that.” He bent in front of it to catch the warm breeze that fluttered the tan and yellow cotton curtains. He turned to give Andy a perplexed look.


Andy ignored it, got up and went to the rustic built in buffet, and poured himself a cup of hot coffee.


“Okay Fred, you saw lights.”


“Brighter than any lights I ever saw before.” He stepped back and  resumed his seat at the table. He swallowed hard as his eyebrows knitted. “They had to have flashed for a good stretch of time.”


“You want a cup?” Andy offered.


“Yeah.” He laughed quietly. “I sure ain’t gonna kick the caffeine today. I’m free of all of Patsy’s nagging for at least a week while she’s off visiting her mother. Quit caffeine, quit carbs, watch your cholesterol, she tells me! Geez, she has me on so damn much fiber I think I have driftwood floating in my colon.”


Andy chuckled. “What else did you see?” He set the mugs on the table.


“Well, like I said. There was the bright lights, and I felt a heat-like energy running through me.” He brushed his hands slowly down the front of his shirt to demonstrate. “I remember looking at my watch and the second hand was stopped, so I started to count. One miss-sippy, two miss-sippy, I got all the way to forty-seven miss-sippy before they took off as quiet as a whisper.” He pointed to the ceiling. “Not sideways, but straight up.” He blew the top of his coffee and took a cautious sip. “Strange thing is Patsy said she didn’t see anything. She was inside the tent reading her book. When I told her about it, she said she was afraid I’d fallen off the wagon.”


Andy suppressed his amusement and peered at him over the top of his mug. “So you were the only one in the area to see the lights.”


“Ah, come on, I didn’t imagine it,” Fred said with frustration building in his voice. “My damn dog was anxious as hell, runnin’ in circles and markin’ territory to beat the band. I know by the way he was acting, he saw it.”


“If only Charlie could talk.” Andy grinned.


Fred snorted into the top of his coffee, blowing a few drops onto the table.


“Look Fred, I’m not saying you imagined it. Maybe it was a police helicopter checking out the area, looking for a suspect or something.” Andy had known Fred for over ten years, and during that time he had never given him cause to think he suffered from an overactive imagination or paranoia. Still, his bizarre account of mysterious lights and watch-stopping heat was a bit much for him to swallow, no matter how detailed it was.


Fred laughed without humor. “Don’t you think I know a helicopter when I hear one? There was no sound at all,” he said, as he wiped up the coffee with the sleeve of his shirt.


“What do you want me to do?” Andy asked. “I didn’t see it. I believe you saw something, but there could be a very logical explanation for what you saw.”


“Come out there with me, I want to show you.”


Andy shrugged. “There’s nothing to see now. The lights are gone, right?”


“That may be true,” he said, as he reached in his shirt pocket.


“But look at this.” He produced what looked like a bent piece of a weed and held it out.


“So?” Andy took it from his fingers and examined the stem. “You pulled a weed.” He shrugged.


“Look closer,” Fred said and placed his elbows on the table to lean forward. “See the blow holes?”


“Blow holes?” Andy frowned.


“Yeah, all the juice in the plant has been forced out from the inside like it was heated in a microwave or somethin’.” Fred pointed to the area he was referring to.


Andy leaned back in his chair and twirled the stem between his fingers.  “I’ve seen this before, the sun does it.” He gave him a deliberate smile. “Arizona is about ten degrees hotter than hell. You know that. It isn’t unusual for a plant to react this way.”


“Maybe so.” Fred took it and held it over his head at arm’s length and squeezed one eye shut to get a more focused view. He sighed, brought it down to eye level and gave Andy a peculiar glance. “But it doesn’t get hot enough in this area for this to happen, and only the plants in the twenty foot radius looked like this.”


Andy tipped onto the back legs of his chair and went silent. He folded his arms and studied the plant stem.


“You know what else?” Fred asked grimly.


“What?”


“Patsy said I was outside the tent a good half hour, but I could only account for a few seconds.”


“I’ve never heard of a crop circle in Arizona,” Andy said skeptically and brought his chair down on all four legs with a thump.


“I’m telling you,” he waved an arm in a circular motion, “some of the plant stems were flash burned right onto the rocks.” He laid the stem flat in the palm of his hand. “But only inside the circle,” he muttered.


“Okay, Fred.” Andy sighed. “I’ll go with you, but it will have to be tomorrow. I have clients to pick up this morning.”


Fred released a breath and slumped in his chair. “Thanks, Andy.” His expression turned edgy.


“What’s that look for?” Andy asked.


Fred shrugged. “I feel as nervous as my dog does when he knows he’s goin’ to the Vet.
 


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I come from a very interesting family, actually a bunch of mixed nuts. At a very early age, I assigned myself a very important job within the family. I had the need to keep everyone laughing and developed the knack to do it, similar to the skills of a rodeo clown. I was good at it too. I can still see them in my mind’s eye, with tears of laughter rolling down their cheeks, doubled over and holding their stomachs.
Through the years, I have studied several avenues of creativity. My first love was art, and I spent many years rendering portraits for the almost rich and famous. I quit sketching people after a time though because I was slowly becoming a cosmetic surgeon. “Make my nose smaller, straighten my teeth and give me more hair.” Consequently, pet portraits became my specialty. Doggies don’t give a hoot if their hair is thinning or they have freckles on their nose.
In the year 2000, I discovered a new passion. Writing. I adore a mystery, a good romance and lots of action. However, the ghost of the rodeo clown still lives in me and finds ways to thread humor throughout. The things I find funny can appall some people. Dark and dangerous may be lurking out there, but I can always find some piece of humor in the worst of situations. That in itself can be quite annoying. I still haven’t decided if I want to write Romance, Mystery or Horror. Not a good thing, but I’m hoping one day to capture all three in one story.
Although I still write and dabble in art, I am fulfilling a lifelong desire of performing music, quite a stretch for the autumn chicken that I am. I perform in two bands, Meridian which covers classic rock over several decades, and White Smoke, a band that formed between myself and BJ Saidi. He is not only a talented musician, songwriter, and producer, but also the love of my life.
A friend once gave me a quote that has been on my refrigerator for twenty years. It’s author is unknown but I have found it encouraging in every aspect of my life. It says, ‘Use the talents that you possess; for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best.”





 



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