author interview

Author Interview: The Orchard

Deep From the Archives

This is an author interview that I did in 1996. Seriously! In fact, it’s the first of many that I’m bringing up from the deep archives of my work.

author interview: The Orchard

The Orchard by Adele Crockett Robertson

While reading The Orchard, you can almost breathe in the sweet, fruity scent of apples. Tipping your head slightly to one side, you might hear the distant buzzing of bees dripping rich honey into elaborate combs.

Adele Crockett Robertson writes as she must have once farmed apples. Gently, but with a purposeful hand; practical, yet ever observant of the poetic beauty of life. Her clear, lyrical phrasing draws you completely into her world of 1932-1934: the weather harsh, the living rough, the people strong.

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Writing Traits: Are You a Writer?

freelance writer
FabJob Guide to Become a Freelance Writer

Before We Get Started

Here are some posts from my site that can help with freelance writing:

Writing a Nonfiction Book: Keeping it Real

Nonfiction Writing: Toss Out a Great Opener

How to Write a Book Proposal: Nonfiction Example

Research, Write and Review: The Biography

What is Content Creation?

Writing Traits to Consider

Give yourself one point for each of these writing traits that sound like you. You:

Film Review

Film Review: Car Wash

Car Wash movie
Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash

Encyclopedia Entry

Note: I had written this film review for an encyclopedia and then the project itself got cancelled. So, I decided to upload it to my site.

Car Wash is a 1976 Universal Studios film produced by Art Linson and Gary Stromberg, directed by Michael Schultz and written by Joel Schumacher. This 97-minute musical comedy contains elements of drama and romance, with at least one reviewer calling it reminiscent of 1930s theater. This blaxploitation film, set in the Dee-Luxe Car Wash located in Los Angeles, California, covers just one day of interactions among two dozen-plus multi-racial characters, including car wash staff, their customers, people working at nearby businesses and more. Throughout the movie, employees listen to disco music from KGYS, dancing as they work, with news breaks synchronizing with car wash events in this episodic-style film.

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Nonfiction Writing Advice: Toss Out a Great Opener

boomerang book

Here is some nonfiction writing advice that I’d created years ago.

To unravel the twisting, turning history (of the boomerang), you’d have to travel back in time. You’d slip back to an age before there were airplanes, before there were cars, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. You’d travel to a place where America wasn’t yet known, to a time long before William the Conqueror subdued England in 1066. You wouldn’t even recognize the world you’d enter, the primitive, murky horizons of ancient man.”

Film Review

Guest Film Review: Hero and Villain – The Story of Martin Luther

Film Review by Ryan Sagert

film review: Martin Luther
Library of Congress: No Known Restrictions

The story of the Reformation was one of faith, politics and philosophical change, which took place in the mid-16th century in what was then and is today Germany. At its most basic, the Reformation was a movement, headed by Martin Luther to challenge the authority of the Catholic Church, then the political and religious head of Europe, for its right to sell indulgences, which was the forgiveness of sins for fiscal profit. On a historical level, the Reformation marked the end of blind faith and ushered in the age of reason. 

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Writing a Non-Fiction Book: Keeping It Real

writing a book
Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

I want to write a book” or “I have a book idea.”

When people find out that I’m an author, that’s often what they say to me – and, I reply, “That’s great! The world needs more wonderful books.” (And, it’s true. There can never be enough wonderful books!)

A follow up question that I sometimes get asked is, “Do you think I have the talent to write a book?”


Author Interview: Peg Cochran

book from author interviewee

From the Archives

Note: This author interview was originally published in 2013 on another site that is no longer live.

The combination of talent and persistence can’t be beat. To witness the personification of these two personality traits, you need look no further than Peg Cochran, author of the Gourmet De-Lite mystery series, featuring Gigi Fitzgerald, as well as the author of other cozy mysteries (more about those throughout the interview!).

When Peg was seven, she discovered a series that has delighted young readers for generations, featuring the daring sleuth Nancy Drew. From that point on, Peg knew that, when she grew up, she would write mysteries.


Author Interview: Joanna Campbell Slan

Author interview

From the Archives

Note: This author interview was originally published in 2013 on another site that is no longer live.

When you read a book by Joanna Campbell Slan, this award-winning, best-selling author sure makes it all look easy. The author of the Kiki Lowenstein mystery series and the Jane Eyre Chronicles, though, sure didn’t have it easy as a child, teenager or young adult.

“I grew up,” Joanna explains, “in a chaotic home with alcoholic parents. For a while, we were on welfare.” And, when her father drank, he didn’t become gregarious and friendly. Instead, according to Joanna, he turned mean and would wake her up at night just to tell her that she’d never amount to anything.

encyclopedia entry

Football Player: Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson (1947-)

football player
Photo by Dave Adamson on Unsplash

Encyclopedia Entry

Note: I had written this for an encyclopedia and then the project itself got cancelled. So, I decided to upload it to my site.

Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson initially rose to fame because of his collegiate football performance at the University of Southern California (USC) where he set records for rushing yards gained, was named All-American (1967-68), won the 1968 Heisman Trophy, and played in two Rose Bowl games. He then gained more fame as an outstanding professional running back, known for his speed and dexterity, and then as a sportscaster and for his performances on television and in film. In 1995, he was charged with the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman, with the television proceedings one of the most attention-garnering trials in United States history.

Film Review

Film Review: Glory

Civil War Film

Encyclopedia Entry

Note: I had written this film review for an encyclopedia and then the project itself got cancelled. So, I decided to upload it to my site.

Glory is a 1989 Civil War film that shares the story of the 54th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry regiment, one of the first units comprised of African American soldiers. Directed by Edward Zwick, the screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, and the film merges historical people and events with fictional characters and subplots. Its ensemble cast shares the story of this unit from its formation to its most prominent place in history: the courageous yet futile attempt to take Fort Wagner in South Carolina from the Confederates. Although the 54th Massachusetts suffered enormous casualties in this historic event, it was the impetus to numerous other African American units forming in the Union army, with nearly 200,000 black soldiers ultimately fighting in the war. Plus, their mettle under fire convinced many people that black men could fight bravely and well.