Saturday 30 June 2018

Writing doesn't have to be lonely!


Hello Everybody!

Today's post is a re-blog from an interview that one of my guests posted on her website. Janice Spina has been a guest twice on the Scribbler and invited me to be a guest on hers - I wanted to share it with you this week.
Writing, they say, can be a lonely hobby (career, job, what have you) and perhaps that's so when you sit down to write, make up stories, you're all alone listening to your imagination. But the writing world is not an isolated spot. There are so many helpful authors and writer's out there that reach out to help each other and it's a wonderful feeling. I like to think that the Scribbler is such a place - a hangout for artists, authors, photographer's and creative people. We only have each other when it comes to reaching a new audience and hopefully, hopefully, readers will discover your books and stories. There have been so many helpful people that have been kind to me featuring me on their blog or website, for which I am most thankful. A few of them you might want to visit.
Susan Toy -
Chris the Reading Ape -

Tina Frisco -

Chuck Bowie -

Interview with Author Allan Hudson!

Please welcome author Allan Hudson to Jemsbooks Blog Author Interview Segment.
Thank you, Allan, for coming today. I’ll turn over the reins to you now. I’m looking forward to learning more about you.
Thank you, Janice, for having me as a guest on your popular blog. It’s great to be here.
  1. Please tell us something about yourself.
I live on the east coast of Canada, in the province of New Brunswick. I’m married to a terrific lady and her name is Gloria. I’m a father, step-father and a grampy and I don’t think I could be happier. I’ve had two careers in my lifetime being involved in the jewelry business for many years as a sales representative and I’m also a carpenter. At present I work at both. Self-employed, building and repairing things during the first days of the week and I work part-time at Peoples Jewelers. I’m getting close to retirement and am looking forward to having more time to write.

Jspina: You certainly are creative, Allan – working in jewelry and a carpenter! I’m impressed.
  1. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always been an avid reader as I think all authors are. I can’t remember a specific time when I thought I might like to write my own stories until I saw an ad for a creative writing course. I attended this course and knew then that writing was something I wanted to do. However, I didn’t get started until I was 56. One of my favorite authors, Bryce Courtenay, started writing when he was in his fifties. I was inspired by his testimony that it was never too late. A prod from my wife one time when I was talking about writing got me started.  Can’t remember her exact words, but it was something along the line that I talked about it enough and I should just sit down and do it. I haven’t stopped since.

Jspina: It’s nice to have such a supportive spouse. 
  1. What process do you need in order to write?
I prefer early mornings and no distractions. I have a spot in my garage set up with my laptop, coffee perc, scratch pad and notes where I get most of my writing done in the warmer weather. When the cold starts setting in, I work in my house where we have a work station for our computer.

Jspina: Whatever works for your muse – go with it.
  1. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
That’s always a tough question even though I have many things I’d like to write about. Looking back at what I’ve written, many ideas come from places and subjects I read about, either in other novels or magazines. For example, in my last novel, Wall of War, I read about the Incas and Peru and was captivated. I knew when I started that the story would have some of both. Sometimes the ideas come from my own surroundings, from people I know or observe, from my work.
(photo credit - Steve Halama - Unsplash)

Jspina: Sounds fascinating, Allan. 
  1. What projects are you currently working on?
I’m three quarters of the way through my third novel which is different from the first two in that it is historical fiction, rather than an action/adventure novel. It begins in 1911 with the grandfather of my main character from the first two novels. I am trying a different format from the historical fiction novels I’ve read. The novel will cover one decade, 1911 – 1920 in the life of Dominic Alexander. Rather than chapters, the book will be divided in years and what the highlights of each year are. I’m thrilled how it’s taking shape. My hope is for a series of decades in each novel (long-term planning). I’ve also outlined the third Drake Alexander Adventure.

Jspina: It’s nice to mix things up a little.
  1. What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?
Writing has become hobby number one. I’m a stained glass artisan and upon retirement, I hope to incorporate my love of woodworking and stained glass into projects when not writing. (photo credit - Stephanie Krist - Unsplash)

Jspina: Now, that is quite a talent to be able to do so many things.
  1. What advice would you give prospective authors?
Looking back at when I started writing, I knew nothing of publishing and marketing. I was completely overwhelmed at what the Internet has to offer in the way of help, publishers, scams, advice, get rich schemes, etc. I would recommend being leery of many things a new writer will be exposed to and to befriend other authors and gain from their experience. I also suggest joining a writing association and/or a writer’s group.  These folks will offer wonderful help and all have been down the same road so they can answer many questions and help with your writing. Most of all, keep writing as often as you can.

Jspina: Yes, I agree, Allan. It can be daunting. But with all the wonderful fellow authors out there to lend a hand, we can succeed.
  1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If I could, I would take three months and visit the places I’ve written about, Bangladesh, Peru, Scotland and Mongolia. I’ve always been intrigued by these destinations and would love to visit them. (photo credit - John Salzarulo - Unsplash)

Jspina: I hope you get the chance to see all these wonderful places one day.
  1. If you could have one wish, what would it be?
I suppose I should wish for something unselfish, like world peace or a cure for cancer which would be the top of my list. But if I could have a personal wish, it would be a book contract. To write for a living would be my ultimate pleasure.

Jspina: Hear, Hear! I guess all authors want the same thing.

10.What would you do if you were not a writer?
Exactly what I’m doing. I enjoy building things. I love serving people with their jewelry decisions because it’s all about love.

Jspina: Keep doing all these things you love and be happy and content in your life, Allan.
  1. Please share your books with us and a synopsis of each.

Dark Side of a Promise is the first Drake Alexander Adventure.

It’s been three years since Amber Payne died. The man responsible has not been held accountable. They know who he is but no one knows where he`s hiding. Law enforcement have been unsuccessful in their pursuit and have basically given up. Her brother, Williston Payne, turns to his best friend Drake Alexander, an ex-Canadian Commando, to find the man and bring him in…or kill him.
Both Alexander and Payne have the money, the time and the people. They only need his whereabouts. Payne digs deep and with his contacts, Bartolo Rizzato, the man they seek, has been seen in Bangladesh, the most unlikely of countries they anticipated he would surface from.
The men lead a group of staunch ex-soldiers, a lusty French expatriate and a stalwart Bengali cop through the streets and rivers of Dhaka in the chase of their quarry only to discover crimes more terrible in their objectives. The only link connecting the trail of victims is a disturbing mark left on the torsos, the same as found on Amber Payne.

Wall of War is the second Drake Alexander Adventure.

Deep in the wilderness of the Peruvian Andes lies a monument hidden for centuries. Who were the builders? Why was it abandoned? What secrets does it reveal?
In 1953, an amateur rock climber makes a startling discovery. Overwhelmed by the choices he must make, the mountaineer completes his ascent deciding he will document his findings and present them to his superiors as soon as possible. It will take another fifty years before anyone reads what he wrote.
In 2004 news of the strange revelation reaches Drake Alexander. He will become involved whether he likes it or not. People very dear to him are plunged into a nightmare of avarice, impairment and death. Using all his skills as an ex-soldier, with accomplices he can trust, can he save his tormented friends from the raiders that thirst for the secret that lies within the mountains?

Allan’s novels are available on Amazon as an e-book or hard copy.
Here are the links to Allan’s books and social media.
Wall of War  –
Dark Side of a Promise – this book is not available at present – undergoing new cover - soon!

Blog –


Twitter –

Thank you, Allan, for coming today. It was a pleasure to get to know you and your books better. I wish you all the best with all your future endeavors and travels.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about another talented author. Please check out Allan Hudson’s books on above links and don’t forget to show an author some love by leaving a review.

Blessings & Hugs,


Saturday 23 June 2018

Jeff’s Musical Car with Jeff Boudreau.

Something Different this week!


I stumbled upon this interesting and original website recently while searching for music from local musician Josee Mills. Jeff  has a unique concept for introducing musical talent. Simply put, he drives them around in his vehicle, recording and taping them while they talk and play music.  He manages a YouTube channel which showcases his guests. He is kind enough to share some information in a 4Q Interview. Read on.

Click on the links between the questions and see for yourself!



4Q: Where did this ingenious idea come from Jeff?

JB: Working in television business for over 15 years, I have always been fascinated with video and TV production. When GoPro cameras first came out, I knew I wanted to have one. I mounted one in the front of my car one day to use it as a dashcam in hopes of capturing something spectacular on the road. One day, I was driving around with my son and he was singing along to a Ramones song I was listening to so I decided to turn my camera facing the car’s interior. Once I took a look at the footage, I decided to take it a step further and invited one of my long-time friends Crystal Kirk for what would become the first ever Jeff’s Musical Car video. The rest is history~

**Musician Josee Mills


4Q: When did you start doing this and how often do you post to YouTube or your website?


JB: I just celebrated my 5 year anniversary in November of 2017. I have released over 300 videos as of today and I release a new episode every Sunday evening.
**Musician Sass Jordan

4Q: Share a childhood memory or anecdote with us.

JB: Music has been a passion for me for as long as I can remember. I used to get a weekly allowance as a young teenager and as soon as I had money, I would head straight to the local record store in Bathurst to buy 2 CDs. I couldn’t get enough!

**Musician Natalie MacMaster

4Q: How do you line up your musicians with everyone’s different schedules and do you always take the same route?


JB: When I first started my series, I did all the bookings. Now that I’m gaining popularity thanks to social media video shares etc, I often have artists contacting me. As for the route, I usually take Main Street in Moncton because it’s slow moving and there aren’t a lot of potholes.

**Musician Jesse Cook

Thank you Jeff for being our guest this week and  telling us about Jeff’s Musical Car.


For those of you that want to listen to some very good music in an original setting, or check out a band before you buy the music, then drop by at these links.


This note is from Jeff's FaceBook page:
I'm closing in on half a million views between all of my videos! It's been a while since I said hello and thanks but I really do appreciate the support I get from everyone. Every video share, video like, Facebook page invite helps me tremendously. It's getting easier for me to spark up conversations with big label bands and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I also hope this series continues to spark interest in supporting your local music scenes and introducing you to new music. Thanks!

@jeffsmusicalcar (twitter and Instagram)

Saturday 16 June 2018

Guest Author Jeremy Thomas Gilmer of New Brunswick.

I’m always surprised at the fount of talent from our small province and Jeremy is a vibrant part of our writing community. We met through a writing group in Fredericton and I’m pleased to have him as a guest this week. He is nice enough to answer some questions for a 4Q Interview and as a bonus is sharing one of his stories.


Jeremy Thomas Gilmer was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada and spent his childhood in Canada, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. He has worked in a number of different occupations, from climbing instructor to construction, soil mechanics and engineering. He has spent the last twenty years working on international mining projects in South America, Africa and the Arctic. He did not attend University. He has recently relocated to Fredericton, New Brunswick. His short story ‘Congo River, County Antrim’ was long listed for the CBC Canada Writes short story prize in 2015. 


4Q: You are presently the Kira Writer in Residence in ST. Andrews. Please tell us about this experience and how it came about.


JG:  Being selected for KirA came very much out of the blue and I applied without much hope of winning it, but with the idea that the process of applying and getting my name and work in front of people would be a good move. Roger Moore, the poet and academic was the WiR there last year and he was very keen for me to apply. As I write this I am preparing for July and I am so looking forward to fully focusing on writing without the push and pull of other work(s) affecting that. I am hoping to complete a collection of short stories which I have been working on for some time, and of which the included story will be a part. So far the people at KirA have been fabulous to interact with and I am excited to spend time with the other artists who will be there is July, it is quite a group. It’s a truly international endeavor and I encourage anyone with an interest to apply for next year.  
(Photo credit: Dillon Anthony)


4Q: We’re always interested in where an author’s ideas and/or inspiration comes from. What’s your take on this Jeremy?


JG: This is a question that has often baffled me. Most writers I know have a deficit of time and perhaps energy, but almost never ideas. I am struck by story ideas walking down the street, brushing my teeth or driving. To be fair, I have spent much of my life being exposed to new and different places, people and cultures, and this very much shows in my work. For me, it is often an image, a smell, a place or a sound that triggers an idea. It isn’t always fully formed, but seems to shape itself around what mental furniture happens to be filling my head and heart at the time.  As for inspiration, much of my work revolves around war, conflict, migration and their effects on the human landscape. There is no shortage of these things in the world today, and I am trying to tell the stories in between, the strange and sometimes very subtle ways people’s lives intersect and change in reaction to the changing world around them.

To people who want to generate ideas for their own writing, I have a few suggestions. Creative writing classes and courses are where you can learn your craft, the technical skills with which you build the architecture of your stories, but the ideas, the music, must come from you. You need to live to have stories to tell. Go spend time with strangers learning to do things you don’t know how to do. Get away from what you know and get into places that are completely alien to you. If you don’t know yourself, you can’t write about others. I don’t know a single, great writer who has not gone out into the world and lived. Here is a hint, if it doesn’t scare you a bit, you aren’t doing it right.


4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote with us.


JG: My childhood and young adulthood was full of wonder.
Jungles and deserts and oceans, it was not your average childhood. We were living in Jebba, Nigeria and I would have been maybe two or three. It was a very isolated place at the time, where we were. I was playing in the back yard and I fell and deeply cut my forehead. Now, parents know that a cut like that will bleed terribly. We had no doctors close by and my parents were in a panic, so on a neighbor’s advice they took me to a local tailor who was able to sew up the cut with a needle and thread. At the time there were issues with security and children, so my father had hired a Tuareg tribesman named Chin Chin, to basically be my bodyguard. Following the treatment I was extremely sick for three days, and for those three days Chin Chin sat outside my bedroom window and kept watch. My father told me that except for the occasional bathroom break he did not leave that spot for three days. My mother told me they had to force him to eat and drink, so upset was he that I was injured while in his care. The first faces I remember are of my parents and of him. I recall being carried high in the air on his shoulders, walked around the village and I remember being spoken to in Arabic and Tamasheq. These are images and sounds that remain very powerful to me and likely always will. I have a picture with little me, naked as a jaybird sitting on Chin Chin’s shoulders, in what must have been 45 degree heat. I still have this jagged scar on my forehead, I often run my finger over it while I am writing. I guess it is kind of a touchstone.
(Photo of Chin Chin: Bill Gilmer's African Archives.)

4Q: What’s on your agenda for the future Jeremy? What are you working on?


JG: First is this collection. Following that, I have a couple of novels in development, quietly sitting in files waiting to have attention paid to them. Both require some further travel to flesh out a bit. I also have another short story collection in the wings, some written and some gestating. I expect the next two to three years to be rather full, but it very good ways. I am someone who deeply enjoys the process, the work, and the roads that lead to the finished thing, whatever that thing is.


For a real treat, Jeremy is sharing one of his short stories.
(Copyright belongs to the author. Used with permission)




              They climbed, higher and higher into the evening. The mass of the mountain was visible even in the dark, the stars obscured by the shape of it against the night sky. Efe lead Thomas by the hand, as they came around the bend and the sky came into view, he felt for a moment as if he could touch it, the blue black rolling with the dots of light and blinking satellites. Thomas’ hand gripped his tightly. It was just below freezing, which for the time of year was a kindness.


They walked up and up the trail following lit signs that told them in French where they were going. They passed a few people descending the trail, heading back to chalets and huts, warm fires and schnapps. They came through a narrow passage in the rock and the flat of the lookout opened before them. Efe sat Thomas down on a rock and he thought of the first time he had come here, with the boy’s mother. Before work and before pregnancy, before perfect mornings and nights of fighting.

              “It won’t be long.”

              “I know, Papa.”

              He remembered their first trip here, it was the first time she had left Nigeria, she had actually only been out of Lagos twice, to see family in Jebba, and he saw her pursed lips and narrow eyes as she looked across Geneva. Nothing was good, or right for her. Not the apartment in Versoix, not the buses or trains, especially not the food.

He thought of those first days, returning to a crying baby in the crib, wet diapers, her hidden under the covers, weeping muffled by the TV and the duvet. It would always take so long before he could touch her, hold her. She would not go near the baby for hours, he wondered what happened during the day, while he worked. He thought of the two of them, mother and baby, her staring at him from across the room.

He could remember her magic, her visions. In Lagos she could see a car accident before it happened. She knew the sex of a cousin’s baby before it was born, she could tell you the color of a Sunrise, dark purple or brilliant yellow, before the sun crept out of its home and burst onto the day’s canvas. He had always loved these things in her, it was honestly what had drawn him to her once they were courting. But there was always a sadness, a knowledge that she would not share. Something that followed her, and later them. He often wondered what she saw, what she feared in their union.

Thomas sat next to him, close to him, and wrapped the wool blanket around them both, leaning into his father in that way he did. He thought of the hours and days he spent away from his boy, in tunnels and labs, blinking lights and screens, graphs and displays. He did his own magic here, playing with the very bits of the universe that made everything. Machines the size of cities were at his fingertips, yet, he could not know who was calling before the phone rang. Her voice calmly telling him, it will ring in a moment, your sister from Accra.

And then, he thought of losing her before he knew she was gone. Nights spent smashing atoms deep underground while the mother of his child struggled with the dark of her night. He remembered her last words, dragging a weary bag to some train she would not name. I cannot even see him, that is what she said.

              Thomas gasped, and sat upright.

“It is coming, Papa! I can hear it!”

Efe looked up into the night, just in time to catch three, perfect flashes. The meteors lit the sky. One for each of them. He felt the sting of a fishhook in his throat as his eyes filled. Thomas touched his wet cheeks.

“Why tears, Papa.”

Efe removed the boy’s dark glasses, his cream colored eyes opening to the bright sky.

“Your Mother also knew when they were coming. You have her gift, my Love.”


The boy smiled at the thought, as the stars spun.


Thank you Jeremy for being our guest this week.

For those of you who are interested in discovering more about Jeremy and his writing, please visit the following links.

Facebook- Jeremy Thomas Gilmer Writer

Saturday 9 June 2018

Guest Author Sarah Butland of Nova Scotia


It’s always fun to have one of my guests return for a second visit and that’s the case this week. Sarah shared an excerpt from her novel Blood Day on the last visit and you can see it HERE. She is kind enough to participate in a 4Q Interview.

Sarah Butland was born in Ontario, the year was 1982. She moved to New Brunswick for over 15 years and now resides at home in Nova Scotia, Canada. Butland has been married to her high school sweetheart and has a superstar son named William and Dogo Argentino named Lumen. Besides home schooling and working part time, Sarah finds time to follow her dream of being an author and teaching others that they can do the same.


4Q: It’s been awhile since your last visit Sarah. You’ve been quite busy as one can see from your website. Tell us about your latest work, I Saw the Forest.


SB: My latest work is I Saw the Forest, a short story, a practice in imagery and realizing my own obstacles I was letting keep me down. Being in the writing or any creative industry can be daunting and disheartening at times, frustrating when you feel like you’re beating your head against a wall in hopes someone, anyone, will hear. But for most of us in the creative arts, it would be harder to stop breathing than it would be to cease being passionate. 

I Saw the Forest ties in the saying “see the forest through the trees” as I have always had the opposite problem – dreaming so big I couldn’t see or celebrate the little steps or successes which often mean much more than we give them credit for. So, if you will, I always see the forest and not the trees.



4Q: So, where do your ideas come from Sarah? What inspires you?

SB: Good question and I wish I had an answer. The simplest way I can describe this is the ideas come through my fingers. Whether I’m typing or writing, I seem to be transported out of body to write the tales that come from literally thin air. Since I was a child I would wander through the forest behind my house and simply imagine. I didn’t need video games or role playing, I just needed a moment to enjoy the peace before the voices would visit and create chaos.
I write like I read, by the seat of my pants and not knowing what is coming next. It keeps me motivated to listen to the characters and the freedom to just tell their story with no expectations or fears of insulting anyone.


4Q: Pleased share a childhood memory or anecdote with us.

SB: When I was “taught” to craft stories in school it was mandatory to show a brainstorm or plot layout before writing the real thing. I struggled with this until I realized I could draft a story and go back to brainstorm or “draw the web” in the time it took my classmates to write out their plotline. I would present my scattered thoughts to the teacher, leaving my story on my desk, and then return to my seat to write another story so it looked like I was hard at work. Then, before the deadline, I would present the story I wrote and I don’t think my methods were ever questioned.  

4Q: You have an ongoing story on your website at present and you add to it daily I believe. What is this all about?

 SB: In March I happened to find an organized “AtoZChallenge” which invited participants to write a blog post every day in April starting with the next letter of the alphabet. I felt like I abandoned my blog for other projects at that time so immediately signed up, knowing it wouldn’t be easy but that it was necessary to get me out of my writing funk. And I did it! I wrote random posts about writing and the process of finding time to do what you love.

After I wrote I would occasionally blog hop to see what others participating were writing about and discovered some wrote a short story with each post. I thought it was brilliant and decided to personally challenge myself to keep going with the word a day challenge but write fictional pieces. When I got started I realized the project was turning into something bigger than I imagined as the story the characters were telling weren’t worthy of just one blog, they needed the entire month.

I try to write less than 500 words for a blog post in hopes that someone will actually read it and it just naturally breaks up like that.
*As I am replying to you it is May 27th and I feel like it will either come to a very abrupt and awkward end or could continue. We’ll need to wait and see (or you can go back now as you’re readying this after May 31st and see what happened). 


Thank you Sarah for being our guest this week and sharing your thoughts.

For those of you that want to discover more about Sarah and her writing, please visit her website at, on Facebook at and follow her Twitter feed at