Welcome to the bright sunny room.. it is my favorite room in the house and I come here to read write and think. Sometimes I take a nap in the sunbeam while George snuggles up but mostly it is my place to be content and my own little world – away from my other own little world… Hey , everyone needs a getaway even from their getaway, like layers, or onions.
Except it smells more of impending spring time as I have the windows open and the breeze is blowing in with the sunbeam behind to take away any lingering winter chill. Look at George, he likes to sit in the window while I work and act like he is ruler of something. meowing to every other cat that strolls on by.
Sometimes if I am feeling artsy, I will paint or draw, and a friend is dropping by to sit for a portrait and have a little chat about things, life, books, poetry, muses, art, stuff of that nature.
If you haven’t guessed ..have you guessed? …it is Red Dwyer of Redmund Productions, the M3 Blog, author of 7 published books, woman and friend extraordinaire. She is not easy to keep up with these days so I’m ecstatic she has time to come and visit with George and I, and I think she may bring along Beau, her little furry companion for George to entertain. Could be fun because well, Beau is a dog but they should be all right.
It is Red’s first appearance at Running naked With Scissors in the spotlight.
In fact, look what the cat just dragged in.
…ummm.. is that growling? Oh they will be fine…
~ Come in sit down, make yourself at home. I ‘m so excited you are here and oh yay!!!! Coffee? Cookie? Hahah I know, I got this… (see that look, it says .. Lizzie? the one eyebrow raised and … ok I know what it means so I can just …. breath and channel my exuberance… ) see?
I’m so happy you are here Red, I even dusted, ..a little.. anyways, it’s been about a week since we last sat down for a chat over at M3, to discuss one of your books Darkness Introduced…. Anything new since then?
Actually, yes. (grins) Mantra’s Book of Shadows debuted Friday.
That is amazing, you are ..prolific, yes that is the word I see getting attached to you lately. It fits for sure and I have to tell you I was really excited to see this book come out.
Tell us a little about Mantra… some of my readers are not familiar with her as we are. Who/what is Mantra?
Mantra is my fairy muse. She lives in a lantern, is incessant, sings, makes music and when I cannot stand any more, goes walkabout.
How long has she been with you?
How did you first hear her voice and then realize her to be your muse?
I realized when I first heard her voice. I had always heard the music. It was not until I was a teenager I could actually make out the words. Kinda like listening to a heavy metal band for years before you realize the words actually mean something to you, too.
Your first book of Mantra’s poems…which I love by the way and my copy is getting a little dog eared too..
Mantra for a Muse
What is different about Mantra’s Book of Shadows (MBS) from Mantra for a Muse? (MFM)
Sunlight and moonlight… Perhaps the closer analogy would be solar flare and sensory deprivation chamber. MFM has chapters named Love & Songs and Laughs. MBS has chapters named Words You Cannot Take Back and Dirt & Water.
And I do not think I killed anyone in MFM. There are a number of casualties in MBS.
HaHa killed anyone … yea.. no I don’t remember any killing in MFM… I bet you got them curious now ..they want to know who gets killed ;-)
but how is more interesting.. what? just saying. (impishly)
Any ideas where she will lead you next? Are you already on the next book and how do you think her darker side will be received by those who have never seen it.
Her next book already has about a dozen poems in it. It is more in line with MFM with some straight man humor, more natural surroundings (read Earth) and positivity.
I am interested to find out. So far, the words which have stuck out to me the most from readers were:
- Just plain scary
- Heart pounding
- Adrenaline rush
- Gave me the shivers
So, I know it speaks to everyone on a singular level.
hmmm yea I think I said a few of those things myself.. I love it though, It is the other side to be sure but I have Mantra for a Muse and it is one of my favorites, can’t wait to get my copy of this one to keep them together.
I would think with the scope of the topics in MBS the writing had to be cathartic as a kind of purging of emotional stuff… an outlet for things we don’t as a whole discuss on a daily basis,
The epilogue professes to be my blue period book. It is. Even the dedication is dark. The topics in it range from environmental rape to spousal abuse to suicide. The imagery is stark, and the metaphors are bleak enough to shake you into listening. This is not some flowery, feel-good, rainbow-laden book. Many people would like to close the coffin on thoughts of murder and cataclysm. I write them down.
I have refused to answer this question about this book more than once. The catharsis was real. I did purge some of the images from my head and heart. Many remain. Getting them on paper left some room for light to creep back into the recesses.
Did you feel a shift in yourself upon completion and publishing of this book ? I mean beyond the light returning…
No. I worked on a deadline for this book. The telling there will be more was the emergence of the last poem in the book the night before it went to proof. I had to change the cover twice because the book grew after I was finished writing it. I sent this one to beta at 100 pages. The cover closes at 121 pages.
I had this incessant imp who came home after sitting for her portrait to inform me she had more to say in this one. A lot more.
So when did the title come to you … Book of Shadows is perfect and fits this book so well, did you know pretty quickly from the tone of the poetry that is what it would be.. ?
When I looked at the poems to see what would be suitable for a book, it was über obvious. The word shadow appears in a dozen of the poems. It truly is about the real shadows and the metaphorical shadows we have in our lives and hearts.
You think you can keep Mantra from kicking me in the shin for a while? Just saying ;-)
It is that or pull your hair, like she does me. And you know she only does it when you do not listen the first time. She tells you exactly what she wants.
Yea I had her portrait done for the book and she decided she didn’t particularly like the angle, I tried to tell her she was nuts, she just did that thing with her eyebrow, like you actually, and I gave in. I like the second set better, she usually knows what she is singing about ..
Turn a little this way, the light is just right .. ok, let’s see…
How is the publishing business? Is the reality of being the head of Redmund close to your vision?
Actually, yes. It is growing far faster than I envisioned, which is not an official complaint.
There are some new authors on board and also a new book from one came out at the same time as MBS,…… being part of the process from the start with the launch books and then going through it with this new author at lightning speed.. (amazing to see I might add.)… but seeing how it all works now that the company is up and running, what would be your ideal output of books every month?
The original goal was four books per month so there would be at least 50 by the end of the year. Yes, there are quite a few which will turn around as fast as LLO did. We have a powerhouse cooperative who are anything but shy about getting their hands dirty to get a fellow author published.
How many do you want to have of your own say on a yearly basis ?
Ideally, I would like to put out three solo titles per year alongside the four FTP anthologies. Based on the pitches on my desk, though, I will more likely put out closer to six solo titles and the four anthologies this year. Thus far, I have three solo titles now and a sequel promised to my readers in April.
Redmund Productions was a huge undertaking and I don’t know if people will ever really understand how big, or how much of it you carried and that although it is a cooperative, Redmund is you.. You also maintain a popular blog and find time to help others get their lives in order… You have a work ethic and motivation beyond what most people can fathom…what is it that drives you, and keeps you going?
(Wry smiles) I am not something others would call a people pleaser. I am the brick bat which strikes you over the head. I have the attention span of a Mediterranean fruit fly, which means patience is not a virtue in the typical sense. I wait for nothing. If we are going to do something, I want to do it now. As in fifteen minutes ago.
That level of motivation gets people to get their rears in gear or their knickers in a knot. Either way, decisions are made and work happens: Redmund: books published; M3: discovery and laughter; Coaching: personal growth and success. I balance the three businesses with an active personal life in a concerted effort to not miss a moment of living which would otherwise pass me by.
It puzzles me you see yourself as impatient, you do not often show that even when you want it done. Just saying, having worked with you for awhile now, I would use patient as a fair description… Annoyed at idiotic foolishness maybe.. hmmm?
ok let’s see what else..
Here is an interesting question I have for you about technology and books, and kinda out of left field, because I know you would never expect that from me… :-) What in your opinion are the benefits or …drawbacks of ebooks vs print version and seeing how email has pretty much made letter writing on paper and through snail mail a lost art….do you foresee the ebooks eventually phasing out the traditional books?
No, but I do see print books becoming collector’s items. eReaders have a load of benefits, not the least of which is storage and the backbreaking work of erecting and dusting bookshelves. To be honest, I will not buy a print book unless I have read the ebook first. If I cannot like it under $5, I am going to hate the publisher, editor, author, bookseller and myself for buy it if I hate it over $15.
And I still write letters because it is really nice to get something in the mail from someone who does not want money.
As a reader, which do you prefer?
What’s your favorite app to read ebooks on?
Book Readers for my PlayBook. I will be looking for a new one because it does have drawbacks. All things considered, for an app under $3, it was a really good buy.
Ok, I am nearly done with your portrait, I think you will like it... hope you don’t take after Mantra mumble mumble mumble
Just tilt your head a little that way please… thank you..
Where do you find joy? I know we have talked about it before, I always love the answer of where yours is, I think it tells much about a person’s soul to know where they find their joy…
In the joy of others. I covet smiles. I believe they are the most endangered of the arts. I do not like the plastic ones, but the ones which come from sheer surprise someone cared enough to know enough about them to get it right.
If you could close your eyes and click your heels and be wherever you want doing whatever you want…. Where is that?
In a cabin in the woods (with a huge Jacuzzi…see my interview at Tilted Tiara RE: Bathroom), where I could spend time in or outdoors with equal comfort (read no snow) writing while a pedicurist plied her trade.
If there was one thing you would want people as a whole to “get” what is it? In other words, what do you believe so strongly, you want to make sure every single person hears and understands that message?
If you do not know who you are, you will never be happy because happiness is part of your character and can never be earned, won or bought; it has to be allowed to escape.
That is such an important thing to know… I wonder if I should double bold it? Just to make sure everyone reads it. You are a beautiful soul, a wonderful friend, smart, funny, and gosh darn it… :-)
I love you and I think it’s done.. Thank you for stopping by I could not be happier to have you here, and you know my door is always open. I love my bright sunny room and having company of a friend makes it even warmer and more special…
You can visit Red over at The M3 Blog anytime, she has much to explore for everyone there, and don’t worry about getting lost, there are signs everywhere
For a limited time and number, you can get Mantra for a Muse and Mantra’s Book of Shadows together and autographed... it won’t last long …
… Also go on over to Redmund Productions and check out her books, and the authors pages and other books, she has done an amazing job with Redmund Productions and can be proud of it’s quality .. I am proud to know her and be a part of the Redmund Production group of authors.. and most delighted to call her my friend.. Oh, and stop by and say hi on FaceBook on the Redmund Productions Page...
I think I may start having more friends come to sit for their portraits. …