O. Warfield

O. Warfield, author and poet,  wrote the Omar Blue Saga, which includes Omar Blue,  K-9 Town, USA, and the new publication Led By An Eagle,  to reach out to families, avid readers and dog lovers of all ages.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

O. Warfield: I live in Richmond, Virginia,  with my loving husband and daughter.  Accompanied by my daughter, Joy, I offer special entertainment to hospitals and facilities for children and adults with special needs and to seniors in assisted living communities. The events include readings of Omar Blue and a host of gifts and surprises.

When did the writing bug bite and in what genre?

O. Warfield: When I was a young girl, I wrote short stories. As I got older,  I wrote little poems too. No one would see them. It was just something I did.

A while back, I started writing poetry for friends. Just to brighten their day if they were having a bad one. Usually silly stuff about something that may have just happened or more serious for something they were going through such as sickness or even death of a loved one.

After being told many times how comforting my words were and how I should become a true writer, I decided maybe I should put more thought into what I was writing. In doing that I began to realize how easy and comforting writing is to me.

I’m told it’s a rare gift how fast I think up poems and/or stories for almost any scenario but I think it’s just a trait most writers have.

I write prose when it better suits the story I’m telling, but my real love is rhymes.  My Omar Blue Saga is told in rhymes, with special attention paid to meter and flow.  My rhymes don’t distract, they enhance my stories, making them unique.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

O. Warfield: Until I started writing my books, my only goal was to make someone feel better when they read what I’d written especially for them. My short poems.

When I started writing Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA, my focus was on entertainment and humor. I had a very sick family member who loved animals. At least once a week I’d read what I had completed to her. I wanted everything to end on an upbeat note even though there were serious undertones. My first book is a little more juvenile than the second, Led By An Eagle. It was geared towards family reading, children especially, and included  illustrations. I’m happy to say that readers of all ages have and are enjoying it.

Briefly tell us about your latest book.

O. Warfield: Led By An Eagle has leader Omar Blue taking his Pack into the mountains to meet his kin. K-9 Town is full of excitement. Though reluctant to leave their beloved K-9 Town, USA the pack sees this as their chance to find out more about their mysterious leader whom they have grown to love and respect. A leader who makes each of them feel a part of something wonderful and invincible.

But … just before their departure, Rottweiler Brady has a confrontation with Mountain Lion Booby while he and Pit Bull Sammy are on an enjoyable morning stroll. The mountain lions’ plan backfires when Booby is embarrassed in front of his followers. Livid because “Professor” Brady had gotten the best of him, the mountain lions vow to rid “their” land of Omar Blue and his Pack, forever. They’re going to follow the pack into the mountains, picking up kin as they go.

Meanwhile, it’s no secret they’re being followed by Mountain Lion Booby and his Pride. But fearless to a fault, Omar Blue and his Pack’s attitude is, “Let them come. We’ll handle them when they think they’re ready.”

Having a ball, as Omar Blue and his Pack are known to do, even those lovable naughty puppies get into the act.

The showdown is one of a kind and will have you right in the middle of the action. To be remembered as unique and I hope, powerful.

This book is to be enjoyed by the whole family.

 What’s the hook for the book.

O. Warfield: Led By an Eagle is made up of a community of diverse characters. Big, small, mixed breeds, purebreds are all the same at K-9 Town, USA. Each has its own personality and background. Love, friendship and loyalty are taken to another level. My characters know they are loved and needed and will protect each other above all else. They love the town they have founded and the way of life their leader has shown them. For this they would live or die for Omar Blue, just as he would for them.

How do you develop characters? Setting?

O. Warfield: My characters are imagined from real life animals and people. I put in some of the breed’s natural characteristics in most cases, then add what I need for a particular scenario. Some of my main characters belong to family and friends. My dog Omar Blue has a strong character. That’s what it takes to be a respected leader. I’m talking about a strong presence so he can lead my rottweilers, pit bulls and the others and make it fictionally believable. I built his character around his real personality. Sweet as can be but definitely an alpha. Some of my stories come from listening to people talk. Especially my naughty puppies. We all know how funny babies are when they are just learning to do things on their own. As I listen, I start formulating my stories for Omar’s K-9 Town Pack.

My settings are always wilderness with trees and mountains for shelter and wide open spaces where the pack can run free and the puppies can run wild.

O. Warfield: Who are the most unusual/most likeable characters

In Led By An Eagle there are two. The oldest of the Elders. Komondor Rasta Mama who was introduced in Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA along with her son Rasta Kooley and his family, and, Great Dane Granny who is making her first appearance.

These two have special gifts. Rasta Mama has the gift of second sight. She can see bad things that are about to happen. Great Dane Granny is able to cast away evil. They have named themselves the “Seers” and plan to travel together and use their gifts and “special potions” to keep Omar’s Pack safe.

O. Warfield: Do you have specific techniques to help maintain course of the plot?

Maintaining the course of my plot isn’t hard because there are so many directions I can go. Just as real life takes us in many directions. K-9 Town, USA is just getting on its feet. There are many adventures ahead without changing the course of the plot.

O. Warfield: Do you have a specific writing style?  Preferred POV?

I really don’t know if I’d call it a style of writing. I love to rhyme but I’m just addicted to writing. I entertain myself with what I write, so I hope my writing, no matter what form, is entertaining to others. My stories seem to have little lessons attached to them. I think that’s because reinforcement of good ideals never hurts. Maybe I can label that a part of my writing style because it comes naturally.

O. Warfield: How does your environment/upbringing color our writing?

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and became an adult in the late 60s when “make love not war” was one of the more popular sayings.  Omar Blue’s K-9 Town, USA is an example of this philosophy.  They want to live in peace but will go to war at the drop of a hat. They won’t let anything disrupt their way of life and the happiness it brings them.

O. Warfield: Share the best review you’ve ever had.

I’m very proud of this review. My reader captured every feeling I envisioned. The review is from: Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA.

Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA – I have to say that when I saw the book – slim in size I thought at first it was going to be detailed with facts about dogs, so thankfully it was short and to the point. I never ruffled through the book to get a glimpse of what my eyes were about to enjoy. I took it to my desk and planned to take a sneak peak. After the 3rd page I was hooked. Literally I could not put the book down – the stories are delightful, and I felt like I was right in the middle of action with the K-9’s. Darn the phone is ringing – put the book down – great wrong number – back to the stories. Before I knew it I was on chapter 8, and I decided to stop reading so that I could savor the rest of the book on a slower pace. The author made this a fun, easy to read book, and the problems presented, along with the way they were solved relate to life – trusting, leadership, teamwork, diversity and so much more. Its a great book for any age bracket. I think each age group will relate to it differently based on their own unique set of challenges.

― Ricky

O. Warfield: What are your current projects?

I’ve finally published the e-book and paperback versions of Led By An Eagle. It’s now available on Amazon.com. I’m on cloud nine about that review I mentioned above but I know this is only the beginning. Writing is the fun part. Promoting is serious business.

A never ending project of mine is working with an agency called Fetch A Cure. Through community outreach by way of events, campaigns and fundraisers, FETCH works to promote the need to help pets live long, healthy lives. We continually work to raise awareness and further education about pet cancer prevention, detection and treatment and senior care and aging issues. I could go on and on but instead I’ll let you find out about the wonderful programs we have in place by visiting http://fetchacure.com.

In addition to the above, I am now gearing up for my yearly contribution to the Combined Virginia Campaign. This is a statewide fundraising effort done by State agencies. Each year for the last eight, I’ve coordinated a spectacular talent show with proceeds going to the Sickle Cell Foundation, the first six, then we brought the money even closer to home, changing our theme to “Pampering Tots.” All funds are donated to a diaper bank program known as Capital Diaper Bank, to purchase pampers for babies in the community.  This takes place mid November. Lots of fun and talent in addition to being very gratifying.

O. Warfield: Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Visit my blog to learn what makes me tick and be entertained at the same time, http://omarblue.blogspot.com

Linkedin  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=104878369&trk=tab_pro

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/O.-Warfield/e/B004SIXGDI/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=100001606294213

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OWarfield

Thanks for joining us today.

O. Warfield: Thank you again for what you are doing.

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Maggie Stevens

Today’s guest is Maggie Stevens, author of Parent Fix.

Shelagh: Hi Maggie, please tell everyone a bit about yourself.

Maggie: I graduated from Brigham Young University with my BS/CA degree in Youth Leadership. Professionally, I work with youth groups, parent groups and educators offering parenting help in today’s world. The health of any society lies in the strength of its families. Thus, strengthening families will strengthen communities and nations.
Currently, I am partnered with Borders Book Stores presenting parenting workshops across the country. In addition to Borders, I regularly visit The King’s English Book Shop, Barnes & Noble book stores, Frost’s Book Stores and Sam Wellers Books. I will be presenting parenting segments on KUTV news and KJZZ morning news program. In San Diego, I work with the San Diego Unified School District and present parenting segments on XETV Bay City Television. Coming soon: A talk radio show with KFNX 1100 in Phoenix. I am the proud mother of five grown children.

Shelagh:When did the writing bug bite?

Maggie: I have always enjoyed writing and I began my writing career writing travel articles for the travel sections of local newspapers. Ten years ago, a dear friend of my son who spent most of his growing up years in our home, asked me if I wouldn’t write down my philosophy on parenting. He was expecting his first child and wanted to be the best dad. I was thrilled he would ask. As my notes came together, chapters formed and ParentFix became a book.

Shelagh: Please tell us about your latest book.

Maggie: When parents change … kids change

The majority of parenting books on the market are about changing the child’s behavior. After raising 5 children, I can vouch for the fact that it is impossible to change another person, especially your child. Parent Fix focuses on understanding a child’s needs and why certain behaviors occur. A child’s behavior should be used to teach parents about the needs of their child. When you help your child meet his needs, the bad behaviors disappear. This approach to parenting works so much better than the everyday battles that are occurring between parent and child. Currently, the most common reaction parents have to their child’s bad behavior, is to get angry about the behavior and then punish them. This destroys relationships. As parents we need a strong relationship with our child when they hit the teenage years. It is possible to avoid teenage rebellion and have an enjoyable life with a teenager!

Shelagh: Is there a message in your book?

Maggie: Most definitely yes. We are all watching the moral decline of our nation. The family, which is the basic unit of our society is under attack. We are failing in our homes. Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant with our youth. Eating disorders, teen pregnancies,trouble with the law are just a few of the challenges parents face with their teens. It is sad that our most important relationships end up being the most painful part of our lives. It is time to change the way we do things. When parents open their hearts and their minds and try the methods in Parent Fix, they find success.

Shelagh: What can parents learn from this book?

Maggie:

    How to create a Safe Haven
    How to motivate your child
    How to improve your child’s education
    Constructive ways to deal with anger
    How dangerous control is and how to stop using it
    How to teach by example
    How to help your kids make their own decisions
    Why you should not punish kids for behavior
    How to help creativity flourish
    How to live with teenagers
    How to build a strong relationship with your child
    How to relax and enjoy your kids
    How to understand your child’s behavior

Shelagh: Share the best review you ever had.

Maggie:

In today’s day and age of troubled youth, broken families, and a slew of mixed messages from the media, the Internet, self-help books, and talk shows, this book is a breath of fresh air in its honest and down-to-earth approach to helping parents be the best parents they can be, while making clear that mistakes will be made and that there is no quick fix for dysfunctional family, unruly teens, and family fights. It is also refreshing to hear the author speak from her own experiences and explain how parents need to be open to change in order for their children to change. Stevens, additionally, offers sound advice for approaching their teens’ “odd” interests (hobbies, haircuts, styles), by not dismissing them altogether, but by getting to understand them and finding ways to compromise, something that takes an open mind and an ability to let go of some control over their children’s lives. Stevens’ advice is very practical, very doable, and can create a peaceful home, a good relationship between parents and kids, and aid in the formation of responsible, educated, happy young adults.

Writers Digest Magazine

Shelagh: What current projects are you working on?

Maggie: I love being in the zone of writing. When ideas hit and I sit down at my computer, hours fly by. Because of that, I have decided to stay with book writing instead of any other type of writing I could do. I am currently working on another self help book entitled Stuck. As I have traveled promoting my book and presenting parenting workshops, I have found many mothers who love the ideas in my book, but they are unable to implement them. These moms feel such guilt because they know they are failing. Hopefully this new book will help them move forward.
I am also working on a novel. It is a slow go with all the promoting, writing and just living life, but hopefully there will be more to tell in the next few months.

Shelagh:
Where can people learn more?

Maggie: At my website:  www.parentfix.com We have it set up with a question and answer page, a blog page, my speaking engagements and you can even book me for a parenting workshop.
My book is in local bookstores, Amazon.com and at www.parentfix.com

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Elizabeth Bennett

Elizabeth Bennett is currently listed with Who’s Who and has been recognized as one of the Great Women of the Twenty-first Century by the American Biographical Institute.

Shelagh: Please tell us a little about yourself, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth: I grew up in the state of South Carolina. I’m a 1995 graduate of Clemson University with a M.Ed in Guidance and Counseling Services. I worked in the agency setting with children and adults for six years. Since 1995, I’ve been working on Peer Abuse through observational research and theory development. Through speaking engagements, talk radio, newspaper, internet and television, I’ve been able to educate others on Peer Abuse in the USA and Canada.

Shelagh: When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?

Elizabeth: I played around with writing as a teenager by writing plays. I wrote for the newspaper in college and as an adult have been writing. I blog, write articles and wrote my book “Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying from a Psychological Perspective”. So, off and on I have been writing for about 20 something years. Now, it is part of my work.

Shelagh: When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

Elizabeth: When I started writing it was for fun. I never had any goals set at all. Now, I do as I try and use my writing in educating others. I try to write at least three times a week.

Shelagh: Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

Elizabeth: My book is a stand-alone. I use it as an educational tool on bullying and the fact that bullying is abuse.

Shelagh: What’s the hook for the book?

Elizabeth: That Peer Abuse is an adult problem because as adults, we allow it to continue.

Shelagh: How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Elizabeth: As I was bullied growing up and during the early part of my adulthood, it helps tremendously in educating others and knowing this problem and the realities of it.

Shelagh: Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

Elizabeth: “I met Elizabeth through networking after I was a Crisis Counselor at Columbine High School 4/20/99. I had researched the main causes of school violence and being bullied, as told by teens, was the top reason why. Having been through Peer Abuse herself, Elizabeth has dedicated her life in helping others understand how harmful bullying can be. The affects of being bullied as children can stay with them for the rest of their lives. Elizabeth, in her book and networking, shares such important information about bullying and how it can be stopped. For that I highly applaud her journey as she educates others.”

Ruthie Owen, former Columbine High School Crisis Counselor. Colorado

Shelagh: What are your current projects?

Elizabeth: Basically, writing each week on my blog and articles. Also, speaking at two schools in the near future to educate children and adults on the dangers of bullying.

Shelagh: Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Elizabeth: Please visit me at http://www.peerabuse.info or can follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/PeerAbuse .

Shelagh: Thank you for visiting us today, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth: Thanks for all you do and have a good week…

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