Gabriele (Gabe) and I have been friends for about six years now. She was a fellow founding member of the Anita Factor writing group. Gabe’s commitment to a writing schedule and consistency is something I have long admired. At each Anita Factor meeting, we have time to read from our own writing for critique and Gabe is the one member who consistently has something to read at every meeting! And no, Gabe, it’s not “boring!” 😀
Isn’t this a gorgeous photo? I just love this one.
Anyway, I have asked Gabe two questions. One of them by now you’ll likely have noticed is consistent. What book did you last read and would you recommend it? I think it’s important to keep the word flowing about great books!
So, Gabe, which book was it?
“The last book I read was “Prussian Nights” by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (translated from Russian to English by Robert Conquest). 1977.
“It’s a 100-page narrative poem abut the Soviet attack of East Prussia during the final months of 1945. I picked it up for three reasons.
- It’s Solzenitsyn.
- It’s set in the exact area and time that my mom attempted to flee the Soviets.
- It’s research for my own writing.
“Now that I’m finished, I embrace more than ever the horror of war and the humanity of the ‘enemy.’ I appreciate the truth of Buffy St. Marie’s song, Universal Soldier. So, yes, read it. Short and evocative!”
What are your ethics of writing about historical figures?
“I explore the lives of ‘little people.’ This gives me room to be flexible—after all, I’m writing fiction. When it comes to famous figures, I rely on facts. When it comes to documented events, I turn to facts. I do a lot of research to make my settings, my characters and their worlds as true-to-life as possible. However, my books are an interpretation and not memoir. But here’s a question…aren’t all memories interpretations?”
Gabriele has two books published in her Katya’s Stone series [Rebelight Publishing Inc.]. The series is middle grade historical fiction based on the true events that happened to her mother during WWII. Click book images for links to Amazon.ca:
Gabe considers herself an explorer (reader), a gardener (writer), and a muller (as in mulling things over, preferably while walking). After years of rushing about madly, she’s embracing a slower, simpler life.
Today, I’m introducing you to my friend, MaryLou Driedger. MaryLou is one of the most fascinating women I have ever met and I truly admire her spirit. She has strength in the face of adversity that inspires me, especially with regard to views and rights of women. MaryLou is a member of The Anita Factor writing group.
I asked MaryLou the following two questions:
What is the funniest thing that happened to you lately?
“The thing that has made me laugh out loud in the last few weeks is a British television series on Netflix called detectorists. It follows the members of a metal detecting club in a small community. Great writing, great characters, great scenery and incredibly funny in a droll way.”
What was the last book you finished reading? Would you recommend it?
“Just finished reading Tuscon Jo by Carol Matas. I chose it because it is by a Manitoba author and is set in Arizona where I am holidaying for a couple months. I would recommend it especially if you are writing historical fiction for middle graders set at the turn of the century in the United States. I am working on a novel like that right now. I had never heard of Fictive Press who published the book. Found out they publish work with a Jewish influence. The main character in this story is from a Jewish family. Since I am also working on another middle grade story from Judaic history it might be a good place to send that manuscript once I have polished and enhanced it.”
MaryLou Driedger is a newpaper columnist, art gallery tour guide and university student supervisor who lives in an old warehouse in downtown Winnipeg. Her favorite role in life is being a grandmother. She loves to travel, read and blog and dreams of someday having one of the stories she writes for children published.
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by super special people. My writing group, The Anita Factor, is ten members of strong, closely knit friendships and I feel privileged to be a part of this group. I thought it might be fun to ask my fellow writers some questions, so developed a new blog theme called “A Minute of Time with [Name].” I’m interviewing each of them, two questions at a time. These posts will pop up often on my blog and should be fun, informative, insightful and, of course, creative!
Let me introduce you to Deborah Froese.
Deb (I get to call her Deb!) and I actually met several years ago… 17 years, I think, when I took my very first “Writing for Children and How to Get Published” course through Red River College. It was Deb’s first year teaching the program. We reconnected several years later and shortly after that she became a member of the Anita Factor.
I asked Deb these two questions:
Are you a hunter or a gatherer?
“That is a fantastic question! It depends upon the season. There are times when I gather up the folds of life and hold them close, and there are times when I step out to seize hold of something new.”
“The last book I finished was The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, an exquisitely written story about a bookseller who prescribes his patrons books for ailments of the heart and soul, but has trouble healing his own broken heart.”
Deborah Froese is the author and illustrator of
Mr. Jacobson’s Window [Peanut Butter Press].