A Book, A Baby, and A Sweaty Guy...

3:22 AM Elizabeth Seckman 81 Comments


I am so excited to have a very special writer visit today!!

About a year ago, I was out blogging and ran into a little book, “Cat and the Dreamer”. It was a Saturday morning and my boys were still in bed, so I downloaded the story and began reading. I got so absorbed by it, I failed to make Saturday pancakes and forced the boys to eat cold cereal.

Since Annalisa was my partner in child neglect, I followed her blog and stalked her until she decided to call me friend. J

Find Annalisa at her Blog
On Facebook
On Goodreads
So, when Annalisa launched her new book “That Sadie Thing”, I was totally eager to invite her over for a chat.

Annalisa has many skills, but she has two I am particularly interested in…areas I am so very weak.  

They both involve briefs.

How do I write a short story and how do I not look like my grandma in my undies?

I lured her in with tea (she’s from across the pond…the Atlantic one).


Annalisa…come on in…kick the dirty clothes out of your way…my boys change in the living room…I think it’s because I don’t allow TV in the bedrooms…but just be careful you don’t trip and break your neck. I only carry the minimal amount of insurance.

Comfy? She nods, maybe looks a little frightened, but I push on…

I have a couple of good questions that I want good answers to. (And by good, I mean I better like the answers!)

I know your day job is exercise guru, right? I love the term guru!

Then I will call you Guru from here on out! So Ms. Guru, you're skinny...I assume that means you know what you're doing so… Help me!! I have tummy flab. A bit of jelly belly. What's the easiest, and by easy I mean, what's the best way to lose without giving up chocolate and not breaking a sweat?  

*Got to love those Brits, she didn’t roll her eyes at the question. Just flashed a little smile and said…

I started exercising so I could carry on eating chocolate - but I'm afraid it does mean breaking into a sweat.

CRAP! I mean I’m not at all surprised, but I had hope, ya know?

Well, walking is a great way to burn extra calories every day, but a couple of sessions a week of high impact exercise would be ideal. You can even do it in the privacy of your own bedroom. A circuit of squats, press ups (or modified press ups), jumping jacks, running up and down stairs for 20 minutes!

Press ups? That the same thing as a push-up?

Show me a push-up?

Look! Koopmans is out promoting his Blog O' Hop! Take it away Mark! I wasn’t about to break a sweat, not even for a demo!



Liegestuetz02 ani fcm

(This is not really Mark Koopmans, it's Frank C. Müller, courtesy Wiki Commons)


Yes, thanks Mark. Push-up press up; they’re interchangeable.



And not something I care to do…soooo…onto the next topic!!

Authors are always looking for ways to get their name out there. Published shorts can be a plank on the platform, but the problem is...writing short stuff is HARD!!!

I've tried (and failed) many times. You, however, know how to do it. You have quite the list of short stories published and even have that new book, "That Sadie Thing", a collection of wonderful short stories available for sale from Amazon, simply click here  (See how I worked that plug in? I know, I’m good!) 

So, what are some of the secrets of the short tale? 

I've always found short stories much easier to write than novels - it's interesting you say short fiction is a way to build a platform, because when I first started and really wanted to publish collections of short stories I was told I needed a novel as a platform before a collection would be considered! Attitudes are always changing.

The reason I find shorts easier than novel lengths is because I don't have to explain anything in a short story. I have one that hasn't been published yet where a woman wakes up one morning and she's completely alone - all the people have disappeared, leaving radios on, cars in the drive etc. I don't explain it - it's the reader's job! If I was writing it as a novel, I'd have to come up with some plausible explanation.

In short stories, I can dip into a moment in the lives of the characters, be a little bit nosey and then leave again before they start doing the boring stuff like grocery shopping.

I don't actually think there's a secret - I think people are drawn to short stories or novels. If you can do both with ease, then you are very lucky. 


Now, before you (and all the rest of you guys!) go...mind doing me a favor? 


This is Norah.

She's my great niece.
(She gets her good looks from me, can't you tell?) 

Norah is competing for a cutest baby photo contest and she wants votes.



(Did you notice how I Jedi mind tricked you there?)

81 comments:

  1. This was a fairly bizarre post in so many ways LOL!

    But it was lovely to see Annalisa over here. That Sadie Thing is fabulous!

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    1. I think it's the fact that Norah has more hair than make-believe Mark that is a bit unsettling. Other than that...Annalisa's advice is wonderful!

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  2. Thanks for letting me visit today Elizabeth - so much fun, as always! And thanks for the wonderfully kind words :-)

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  3. I admire anyone who can write a short story because that's not a lot of time to get your point across. (Not that I use a lot of word anyway.)
    And if you hadn't told me otherwise, I would believe that was Mark.

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    1. My points are usually pretty short!

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    2. Annalisa reminds me of those ladies who can dress fashionably on a dime...only she knows which words to use in frugal ways to make a big impact.
      That's tough!

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  4. Great to see Annalisa here! I love her writing. And this post was fun for so many reasons. I totally cracked up about Koopmans and the push-ups. I honestly thought it was him at first LOL!

    Great post, ladies. :)

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    1. I'm sure Mark would have done if I'd asked. LOL

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    2. Oh, how I wish I could pull off a push up like that.... although I could be his Stunted Double?

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  5. Two of my favorite bloggers in one post? Does it get any better? What a fun way to promote your book and keep us chuckling. The book (and cover!) look and sound fantastic, Annalisa.

    And that Mark is a buff dude-- you did say it really was him, right? ;)

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    1. Julie, when you use buff and Mark in the same sentence, I'm sure he'll take the credit.

      and thanks!

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    2. Julie that $20 for compliment of the post "is in the mail."

      Honest.

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  6. That was a fun interview. Andy yeah, I'm totally with you about the push-ups. Not that I can't do them, I just don't like to...

    (baby contest voted on; so cute! squeeee!)

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    1. I happily admit I can't do a push-up. That's what makes me a great instructor - do as I say, not as I do lol!!

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    2. My push/press ups are so pathetic....I won't even pretend I can do them!

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  7. I am a big fan of short stories. I still think you can get away with no explanations in novels, like The Road, but prepare for a lot of angry readers. :)

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    1. A novel written that way is a completely different skill again!

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    2. True, in a novel, I want loose ends tied up. In a short story, I'm willing to hunt through the scenery, etc. to find the story clues.

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  8. Greetings human, Elizabeth,

    "I am so excited to have a very special writer visit today!!" That's okay, Elizabeth. I don't mind visiting you! Oh, sorry, you mean Annalisa :)

    I must say, jolly good for Annalisa and her book. Wishing her much success with everything in life. I'm into short 'tails', although, mine is rather long. *Wags* tail! Arf! Arf!

    Pawsitive wishes and yay, doggy kisses,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! xx

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    1. Penny makes an excellent point! I got visits from many wonderful writers today!!

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  9. This is a fun interview! And your niece is absolutely darling! I prefer short stories too, though I'm determined to write a novel one day - mmmmaaayyybbbeee...great way to spend some time getting to know you better! Thanks:)

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    1. The novel goal is there with me too, I just don't know if I'll ever make 90,000 words.

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    2. Thanks, she is a cutie.

      And if you can write a short, you can write a long...no maybe's; go write some words.

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  10. I like your description of short stories; that's a good way of viewing them, and it's a good way to approach writing them as well. I always thought short stories were difficult to write, especially because my manuscripts always end up being too long anyway. But I'd like to try writing more short stories, because they're also good exercises in discipline and saying more with fewer words.

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    1. Good luck with them. They are fun to write!

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    2. You make an excellent point...they are good practice too; not just a platform builder!

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  11. What a cutie pie! And your niece aint bad either... ba-da-ching. lol

    Wish I could write short stuff but i go on and on and on. I think it's fab how you and Annalisa met. Her new cover is great!

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    1. When you're comedy tour starts PK, send me tickets and I'll be there. :)

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  12. Great fun! My vote is in! I've already told Annalisa how much I loved these stories :-)

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    1. And then you went and told everyone on Goodreads too - thank you :-)

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    2. You're a great team player Linda. Glad I met you. :)

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  13. Loved the interview guys. Have Annalisa's book ready to read soon and I'm looking forward to it!

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    1. Thanks for buying, hope you like it :-)

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    2. I've got it too. Got a few others in the pile to finish, then I'm ready!

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  14. I've been reading many novellas and short stories lately. I'd like to write them, but my mind is always on longer tales.

    Annalisa's latest work looks interesting. I hope to read it.

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    1. Mine too Medeia. But then I rarely have short conversations either!

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  15. Isn't it cool how you can stalk somebody these days and then become buddies? I love that about the internet ;)
    I've written a few short stories in my time, but I prefer to write novels, to be honest. I also prefer to read full length novels that shorts, but that's just me!
    Your great niece is absolutely beautiful... voted!! Good luck!

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    1. It is amazing! Even more so, is how you can be such good friends with people you have never met!

      Thanks for the vote :)

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    2. And Elizabeth is a cool buddy to have!

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  16. Annalisa, you did a great job hanging in there amidst the craziness!

    Hi Elizabeth! That's one cute niece you've got there ;)

    Lovely interview, ladies!

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    1. I know - even with poor pseudo-Mark doing all those push ups at the same time :-)

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    2. Thanks Gwen! I have to agree. :)

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  17. Oh and I don't even know where to start - except to say I showed the picture to No. 1 Son and he said, and I quote: "LOOK, Papa, it's YOU!!"

    Whatever dude :)

    Trust me, I *wish* me and push ups were such good friends!!!

    PS... thanks for the funniest Blog O'hop promo ever :)

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    1. Lol! Your son's going to be a little bit confused next time you do a push up in front of him:-)

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  18. PS... now that my ribs have recovered from the tickles (and I've finished my latest set - of sandwiches) I wanted to say a big congrats to Annalisa, too.

    I hope your stellar reputation won't be ruined - even if some of these comments about the Beacon of Baldness are disturbing :)~

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    1. Poke the bear and get bear hugs. Or eaten.
      It's tricky...

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  19. LOL! Bloody brilliant --- like, ALL OF IT!

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    1. I see you wen with the British vernacular too. Nice of you to make Annalisa feel at home.

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  20. That was epic, Elizabeth! I'm thinking Mark needs to do a writers workout video! And what a fun interview as well. Good luck to Annalisa, love the cover and the book sounds really good. I've got your book marked on my TBR list, already. :D

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    1. Elisa! YOU ARE GENIUS. I think Mark totally should make those videos.

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  21. Annalisa is a magical writer :).

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  22. I really have to either give up chocolate or exercise? Not good!

    I love Annalisa's cover, it's absolutely stunning!

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    1. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Rebecca :-)

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    2. I'm thinking adding exercise is a much better alternative to getting rid of chocolate!

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  23. This post is hilarious! I can't remember reading a more interesting interview!

    Also, is there a way to eat chocolate as an exercise? Like, sitting up to a table or something?

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    1. I suppose, if the shop was five miles away, and you walked there and back, that would use a few of the chocolate calories :-)

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  24. Great title post. LOL.
    That cover design is really captivating and quite intriguing too!
    I've added the book to my TBR list.
    Congrats Annalisa!

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    1. Thanks Michelle - I'm really pleased so many people like the cover!

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  25. Entertaining interview!

    I've done short stories, now just need to get the novel thing under my belt. I like dipping in and out of people's lives too.

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    1. I hope you nail the novel thing one day Nick :-0

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    2. You will nail that novel Nick. I just know it!

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  26. Great interview! Totally cracked me up. I was seriously hoping for some way to burn that chocolate without breaking a sweat though :)

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    1. Me too Meradeth. Maybe one day...

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    2. I hate being the bearer of such bad news :-D

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  27. Norah is beautiful!

    I loved Cat & the Dreamer, too, and look forward to reading more from Annalisa.

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  28. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I'm looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks a lot

    Feel free to surf to my blog post; filing bankruptcy in florida

    ReplyDelete

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