Writer Interview: Roxanna Andrews

                                        Roxanna Andrews

 Erin Brockovich is a movie starring Julia Roberts based on the true story about a power company that contaminated the water in the little desert town of Hinkley which led to deformities in animals and cancer in humans. But for Roxanna Hinkley was not a movie; it was reality and like so many people in her town, her mother and two sisters both had cancer. Her youngest sister, the youngest of five, died of the disease on Thanksgiving Day.

   With such a sad history together Roxanna has a great relationship with her other sister and she moved to Huntington BeachCA to live with her when she finished high school and began working with her at Wycliffe Bible Translators, which is a missionary organisation that translates the bible into many unwritten languages.

   In 1999 Roxanna and her sister relocated to Orlando, Florida when the Wycliffe Bible Translators (now known simply as Wycliffe) moved there. Roxanna says working with Wycliffe has been amazing and she has helped and met countless amazing people. She is unmarried and has no children, but is an auntie to the children of the many great friends she has made.

 Despite the sad start to Roxanna’s life, she remains an upbeat, brilliant woman who has a real passion for writing and is the creator of the excellent Super Pig series.

 

1. What are you working on right now?

I have just finished a book and it’s at the publishers now. I haven’t heard any news, like it has to be redone or edited so am hoping it is finally done and will be out by June. It is a Christmas story called “Izabella’s Christmas Dream” and is part of the Super Pig Series that I write.

I’m also doing a rewrite of my first two books, The Adventures of Super Pig, and Super Pig to the Rescue. My publisher went bankrupt and didn’t tell me for months. I wasn’t happy at all. So I’m republishing some of the stories.

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

 Izabella’s Dream is about a little frog that lives on Hollyhock Farm where Super Pig lives, though of course her Super Pig identity is kept secret and she is known as Pinky Pig. Pinky tells Izabella about the Baby King (Jesus) born long ago at Christmas and she dreams about it. In the dream she follows a star to a stable and sees all her friends there giving gifts to the Baby King, but she has none. She goes out into the night to find the perfect gift and Super Pig has to come to the rescue. It is a very sweet story and will be available on amazon.com, books a million, and several other online book stores.

 The next book project is a rewrite of 8 stories from my first two books. Since six years has passed since I first published them I felt I would no doubt get a whole new audience and should republish some of the stories. They are about a little farm pig, Pinky, who after listening to her farmer’s grandson talk about superheroes decides to become one. She is looked up to for advice from the other animals when they have a problem so she thinks being a superhero would allow her to be a much more helpful friend. She has no super powers of course, but she doesn’t realize that or care. Her main goal is to help others. I hope the stories will encourage kids to do the right thing and show you don’t need super powers to do what’s right. Each chapter begins with a bible verse that goes with the story. The stories aren’t preachy and I don’t try to have each one be a big teaching lesson. I think there are enough books like that. But they do end with Pinky thinking about her day and a bit of ‘the moral of the story’. She also always says her prayers before going to sleep.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

 I write because I love it. It fulfils more than my day job, and it is a great job. I get ideas and inspiration from friends telling a story about their kids, something I see in a TV show, even friends saying, “Why don’t you have Super Pig do this.” One friend suggested I have Super Pig fly, so I wrote a story about some of her little bird friends trying to teach her to fly and the results of that. I love the story.

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

 No not really, I usually write very late at night, well early morning really. I have trouble sleeping, if I go to bed before 1am, I wake up at like 2 and can’t get back to sleep. So I’m on the computer about 3-4hours in the evening writing. I don’t seem to need much except an idea. =}

5. What is your favourite book?

 It’s hard to say, I like so many. I love to read, didn’t always, but one very boring Summer my mom begged me to just try reading a book, then she was sorry because ever since then I had my nose in one. I read mainly Christian authors and my favourites are Francine Rivers, amazing, I mean I couldn’t put them down, amazing books. I stayed home from work once just to read her books. I also love Stephen Lawhead. He did an amazing, couldn’t put it down, series on King Arthur called the Pendragon Cycle. So good.

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire the most, and why?

 I would have to say Dr. Seuss. =} I loved his books as a kid and still do. My mom subscribed to a book a month club and I’d get a brand new book every month, so cool! They were just so fun, the fun words he used, words he made up, like “Pantukas”. You have to admire a man who can make up words like that. I’ve made up a lot of words and my friends think it’s a riot. I also love to do funny poems and since Dr. Seuss was able to rhyme everything, something I have to think so hard to do, I just think in so many ways he was a genius.

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

 I’m sure I have a million annoying habits; my friends are so kind to put up with me. =} I do have several hobbies I really enjoy, one is making cards. I love to be creative. I also do mosaics, haven’t in a while though. One can only have so many mosaics pieces in the home and can only force so many on friends. But they are so fun to do and I use cut up dinnerware so the pattern can be really beautiful.

I can also be very funny so my friends do like me at parties to help entertain. =}

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

 I do have a blog. Life According To Super Pig. http://accordingtosuperpig.blogspot.com/ But since I have been working on writing projects I have neglected it terribly.

9. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

 Would you believe I have never had one? I’m so sorry; I will make it a point to do so in the near future. Are they fattening? If I get hooked and gain a bunch (more) weight, I shall blame you. =}

 

 Roxanna was a great person to interview and if you wish to learn more about her and her Super Pig Series follow the links below and remember her book Izabella’s Dream will be out soon! And Roxanna, no Jaffa Cakes are not fattening at all, at least I like to believe they aren’t.

http://accordingtosuperpig.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @SuperPigStories

 

 

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Father’s Day with the Inlaws

Father’s Day with the Inlaws

 

Every year for Father’s Day, we get my father-in-law something practical – a new coat, new wellies, a book, a new tool set – but this year my wife turned to me and said “I think my dad is a bit lonely. He doesn’t really have any male company.” Uh-oh I thought, here we go.

   “I’m sure he’d ask if he wanted to spend time with Tony and I” I said (feeling this was the safest answer).

   “Well, now you mention it,” (funny, didn’t think I did) “Dad’s asked if you fancy going to that new tree rope adventure place they’ve got just up the road. Tony and June are away with the kids that weekend because Tess is in a competition. But I thought we could take him.”

   (There’s a big wooded area nearby where they’ve made an adventure-course out of ropes at different levels up in the trees – 8ft, 15ft, 20ft and so on, with ropes and wooden ladders and harnesses and the idea is to climb, swing, zip-line and balance as you make your way through the trees).

   This was how I found myself, last Sunday, high up in the trees, getting pelted by the rain, with a yellow helmet and navy-blue harness on. To let you in on a little secret I was actually looking forward to having a go on this little course when they first created it. But NEVER was my father-in-law meant to be involved.

   The day was spent with my wife and mother-in-law both down on the ground, sat on a bench, underneath a big golfing umbrella watching us, screaming in fear and then sighing in relief.

   A 70-year old man who is afraid of heights (and doesn’t realise this until we are 20-ft up in the air) should not being doing this adventure. When you wait your turn on the zip-wire to get you to the next tree of the course, you’re supposed to hook yourself on to the rope around the tree your standing on (on a wooden platform) to ensure you don’t plummet 20-feet to your death. I only had to remind my father this SEVENTEEN  times during the course of the day, because the plonker walked around the platform waving at his wife pretending to be big, strong and brave and nearly slipped over the edge on many occasions.

   When you go on the zip-wire, the idea is you hook yourself on and go one at a time. My father-in-law insisted I hooked myself up first, which I didn’t mind. That is, until he wrapped his arms and legs around me just as I pushed myself off the platform and came with me. (Apparently he hadn’t been paying attention to what everyone else had been doing and thought we were allowed to go together). We are talking a combined weight of 28-stone. Naturally, we weren’t going anywhere. We were stuck in the middle of the zip-wire, unable to swing across. People were laughing, people were trying to pull on the other ropes to get us across, and some people (like my wife and mother in-law) were screaming hysterically, because of course, my father-in-law was hooked up to nothing. I’d just like to point out that at this particular point in time we are dangling 20ft in the air. He’s clawing at my body, desperately trying to hang on and the more he squirms, the more we spin about and the more likely he is to fall off. Eventually we are pulled to safety.

   But it didn’t end there because soon after that incident we reached – the hoops. These are metal hoops tied together by rope that you put your feet into, while your hands held onto a rope above. They were kind of like the hoops you can get on some monkey bars in the sense that they move. Which is how my father-in-law ended up almost spread eagled 20ft in the air.

   I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was to finally reach the end. We’d planned to have lunch in the picnic area there but due to the weather we were both soaked through and decided to grab a sandwich and coffee from the café and eat them in the car. My father-in-law took the harnesses and helmets back to the equipment desk which was stationed near the café. While he and my mother-in-law went to get lunch I walked with my wife to the car to get our dry clothes out of the boot. I’d managed to (awkwardly) get changed in the back seat and had just got out of the car as my father-in-law handed me a drink and sandwich. “I’ve left your dry clothes in the back,” I said. “I’ve pulled the front seat forward so there’s plenty of room to change.”

   “Change?!” he exclaimed. “What for?”

“Because we’re wet through,” I said.

   “Ah, but you don’t want to get them clothes wet n’all” he said.

“Why would I get these clothes wet?” I asked, some what nervously.

   “Well on the way to the café, I saw a sign in the reception bit, about if you re-book to do the course again, you get 10% off. So I’ve booked for us both to do it again!”

   “And-” added my mother in-law a big, happy smile on her face. “The rain’s put people off, so they said you can do it again now!”

 Do you want to know what Tony got away with getting him, a DVD player. Next year we’re getting him socks!

Writer Interview – Elizabeth Laura Abrey

                                               ELIZABETH LAURA ABREY

 

Born an only child to a British father and South African mother, Elizabeth Laura Abrey is 32, single and has no children. She was born and raised in Africa and moved to the UK eleven years ago. Her parents are now sadly deceased; her father was murdered just eight months after her mother lost her battle with cancer.

   Elizabeth, who goes by the name Libby, is well-educated and has diplomas in Creative Writing, Forensic Science, Parapsychology and Child Care. With a passion for learning she’s considering studying Criminal Profiling and Criminal Psychology too!

   Things are looking up for Libby; this month she is going to be published for the first time in The Wordsmith Journal, which is an online Christian based publication.

 

With such a sad background but strong and determined personality I couldn’t wait to interview Libby!

 

INTERVIEW

1. What are you working on right now?

A short story and a Novella.

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

The short story is about a young woman’s struggle with her inner demons and how her break from reality and the subsequent fall out affect the people around her. The Novella is about starting a new life in a different country, finding love and coping with addiction.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Writing frees me, gives my imagination and creativity free reign. It helps me realise that there is more to me than the 9 to 5 office worker that everyone else sees.

My inspiration comes partly from my mom and my memories of her, and partly from music. Specifically a band called Blake. Their music has given me focus, hope and comfort in tough times and I find myself at my most creative when listening to them! Their lyrics spark my imagination for new writing ideas all the time!

 

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

I’ve never really thought about it, but now that you mention it; Peanut M&M’s come to mind!

5. What is your favourite book?

That’s a tough one. It would have to be a draw between Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire the most, and why?

Jane Austen without a doubt. Her intelligence, wit, self-sufficiency and the fact that her writing is ‘light’ has always given me reason to admire her work.

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

Hmm. I can speak Afrikaans, enjoy crocheting and am attempting to teach myself to play the guitar. Probably my most annoying habit (to others) is that I smoke.

 

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

I do have a blog, one I’ve just started so bear with me as I muddle through and attempt to coherently document my thoughts for your reading pleasure. http://libbyabrey.blogspot.co.uk/

9. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

Absolutely, without a doubt….LOVE them!

 

 Libby kindly agreed to do an interview for my little, unknown blog and is the first person to be featured. Cheers Libby!

 

If you wish to follow Libby’s career then please follow these links.

https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethLAbreyWriter

http://libbyabrey.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: blakegirl4ever

 

Thanks for reading

TPW