Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.

(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 18:

Somehow I made an enemy. For reasons I cannot even fathom, fate has deemed me the Peter Pan to its Captain Hook, the Chicken Little to its Falling Sky, the Dorothy to its Wicked Witch of the West. How do I know this is true?

(Cue "List of Very Telling and Troubling Events")

  1. My laptop--you remember little Byron Austen Dell, whom I took into my home and heart and laptop carrying case only a few short months ago--has been ill. How ill? Please reference the picture I have very conveniently provided. ---> His difficulties began as a simple, yet infuriating error message, which popped up every 30 seconds for several days. It was very annoying. Nothing I did got rid of these messages. The "click here for more information about this error" thingy didn't help at all. Soon thereafter the screen began blacking out for no conceivable reason. Then keys began falling off the keyboard like some kind of computer-leprosy. I have backed the little guy up and am preparing for the worst. *As of this posting, he seems to be improving a bit. Cross your fingers. Momma can't afford a new laptop*
  2. Oh, yes. There's more. I have been unpacking lately. Strange how that always seems to follow packing and moving. In my haste to finish my day's allotment of unpacking so I could do some much needed writing, I did something entirely stupid and probably avoidable. I slammed my finger in a door. The distal-intermediate joint of my digitus tertius took the brunt of the impact (that's just fancy talk for "the top joint of my middle finger). The good news: it's not actually broken. The bad news: It is so stiff and so sore that I can hardly move it, which brings us to #3 on this very depressing list.
  3. The voices in my head are getting louder and more angry. Things have been chaotic lately and I haven't had time to do much writing (that should read any writing, but I find the very idea so tragic that I struggle to admit the extent of my writing deprivation). I was going to rectify this grievous situation yesterday... you know, right after I finished my unpacking for the day. Then I very nearly fractured my finger. I am generally a relatively fast typist (I have on more than one occasions scored over 80 wpm on a typing test--both times in order to qualify for jobs). Typing this post would normally take a couple minutes. I've been at it for 40. Pathetic. And my finger is starting to throb.
  4. But I'm not done. Two sick kids.
  5. Not feeling so hot myself.
Perhaps Fate would accept a box of chocolates or a gift certificate or something. Everyone likes gift certificates. It's like getting cash, only less convenient.



Don't forget I Need Friends Friday right here on... you guessed it, Friday!


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Friday, December 25, 2009

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's friend is Santa Claus--someone who requires no introduction!

SME: Welcome, Santa. Er... St. Nick. That is... Father Christmas. Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas. Um.

Santa: *dressed all in fur, from head to foot, clothes all tarnished with ashes and soot.* Ho, ho, ho. *belly jiggling like a bowl full of jelly* And those are only my English names.


SME: You certainly take the prize for the Friday Friend with the most names. Thank you for taking time to come visit at INFF. I know this is a busy time of year for you.

Santa: Actually, I have just reached my least busy time of year.


SME: Good point. How did things go last night, by the way?


Santa: Very well. I got an early start.

SME: Wait. Don't tell me you took off while creatures were still stirring. I'm pretty sure that's against some code of conduct.

Santa: I waited until sugar plums were in full dance before beginning my yearly journey.

SME: Excellent. I would hate to think "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" had been
rendered uselessly inaccurate.

Santa: Ho, ho, ho. *belly jiggles*

SME: Speaking of which, why did you lay your
finger aside of your nose? That never made much sense to me. Is this some sort of North Pole custom? Perhaps a signal to an accompanying elf that you are in need of a staged distraction?

Santa: Actually, I just had an itch.

SME: Been there. I often ask my Friday Friends what their favorite cookie is. I'm thinking though, considering the massive amounts of cookies you consumed
last night, that I'd do better to skip that question.

Santa: That would probably be best. I won't be able to think of cookies without becoming nauseated until at least June.

SME: True story.
So, is red a particularly warm color? I ask because I just moved to a cold climate and am trying to figure
out how to be at least minimally warm.

Santa: Red isn't any warmer than any other color.

SME: Then why do you wear it all the time.

Santa: At one point I wore an all white suit. Mrs. Claus hung it out to dry one year and it blended into the snowy landscape so well we never found it again.


SME: Hence the "no white after labor day" rule, I guess.

Santa: Ho, ho, ho.

SME: How would you like to play a game, Santa?

Santa: I love games! Although I am a little tired, so I may not be very alert.

SME: Not a problem, Santa. My games require very little mental clarity
.

Santa: (his eyes twinkle, his dimples look exceptionally merry) Perfect.


SME: I am calling this game, "Name The Presents Sarah Got From Santa on Christmases Past." I will throw out a year and you tell me what present you gave me that year.

Santa: I will do my best.

SME: 1986.

Santa: A "Kid Sister" doll. --------->

SME: Correct. I loved that thing. It was almost as big as I was.
1988

Santa: A Little Professor Calculator.
<---------

SME: You. Are. Good.
2009

Santa: I brought you exactly what you asked for.

SME: Yes...

Santa: You asked that the toys I bring for your children not make any noise.

SME: And you came through. What a guy!

Santa: (with a wink of his eye and a twist of his head) Ho, ho, ho.

SME: I drew a portrait of you. Would you'd like to see it?

Santa: I would love to!

*markers scratching paper in a very expert sort of way*

SME: Here ya go.

Santa: It is fantastic, though I'm not sure the elves would recognize me without my trademark belly.

SME: Ho, ho, ho.

Santa: Ho, ho, ho.

SME: Alright, Santa, the final question is: Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Santa: 1. The interview was held after Christmas Eve, not before.
2. You thoughtfully avoided discussing cookies.
3. I enjoyed the game.
4. I can now go to bed.
5. I got to chuckle warmly.

SME: I chuckled warmly, too! Thank you so much for joining us today, Santa. Now go rest for a few months.

Santa: I sure will. (Gives a nod. Rises up the chimney. Springs his sleigh. Whistles. Flies away a la the down of a thistle.) Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

1

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.

(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 17:

Did you know it's Wednesday? I honestly had no idea until a couple minutes ago (and it is now 3:30 in the afternoon). I sort of lost track of time in the midst of packing up all my family's belongings, moving those belongings to a different state, then unpacking in a new house while watching unfamiliar white flakes fall from the sky and wondering who lives in a place as cold and strange as this.

My back hurts. And I'm tired.

But I just got my desk and books unpacked and set out and found myself a couple little nooks in my new house that will be just perfect for writing. Give me another week to settle in and get my kids back in school and I should be hard at work once more.


Oh, and I got a Christmas card from my editor--yep, still love saying that--a couple days ago in the mail. Made me feel very, very official. And the fact that he didn't send coal has to be a good sign, right?

PS--Don't forget I Need Friends Friday. This week's guest is SANTA CLAUS!!!


(ignore "Read More!")

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Friday, December 18, 2009

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's friend is Jean Henry Mead. In her own words, "I'm one of those un-normal writers of historical and mystery/suspense as well as photojournalism. I have four books of interviews with bestselling and well known authors, actors, Hollywood screen writers, politicians, etc. and currently have a blogsite titled Mysterious People, as well as four other sites. I've had 12 books published, including four novels, and magazine articles published domestically as well as abroad . . . Humor is the most important ingredient in my work, nonfiction books included."

Let's meet Jean!

SME: Reasons Why Jean Henry Mead deserves a gold star:
1.Jean first wrote to me to set up an INFF interview ages and ages ago and, being the borderline airhead that I am, I forgot to write back for an entire month.
2. When the day of the actual interview rolled around and various near-disasters prevented us from actually having the interview, Jean very graciously agreed to reschedule.
3. (see #2, but apply to the rescheduled interview)
4. When we finally got an interview scheduled that wasn't subsequently cancelled, the website where I conduct the interviews went completely haywire! Jean, being the understanding lady that she is, agreed to answer the completely random questions I sent her via email.
Gold star, Jean!!!

SME:What's your favorite cookie?


Jean: My favorite cookie used to be chocolate chip but I ate so much chocolate that I'm now allergic to it. My favorite now is cream filled, like an un-chocolated Oreo.


SME: Un-cholocated Oreo? Is that even legal?
Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Jean: Yes, I've wanted to be a writer as long as I could hold a pencil. I wrote my first novel when I was nine and in sixth grade, a chapter a day to entertain classmates. Thank goodness it was never published.

SME: Um... I have a few of those, myself.

Jean: I wrote for my high school newspaper and was editor in chief of my college newspaper while a divorced mother of four young daughters. (I often took m youngest to class with me and she's now teaching middle school in Salt Lake City.)


SME: My oldest went to college classes with me, as well. He was born at midterms of my final semester before earning my Bachelors.


Jean: I was too busy raising kids, coaching and managing girl's softball, working as a news reporter for the local daily and carrying 15 class units at a community college in a neighboring town to even think of writing another novel until the girls were in high school. I then took a Famous Writer's School fiction course and worked on my historical novel for a number of years. It's currently available as a reprint at Amazon.com as Escape, A Wyoming Historical Novel.
I also wrote eight nonfiction books before writing my three mystery novels, the latest Diary of Murder.

SME: So what are you working on right now?


Jean: I'm currently working on the fourth novel in my Logan and Cafferty mystery/suspense series, titled Murder on the Interstate. I just finished my children's novel, The Mystery of Spider Mountain, and I'm putting the finishing touches to my book of interviews with mystery writers, titled Mysterious People, for Poisoned Pen Press. I've also got a historical mystery novel started about single women homesteaders.

SME: In other words, you don't have much going on right now. Sheesh!
So, what's your favorite continent?

Jean: North America, from North Pole, Alaska to Ensenada, although I love Hawaii and its people. I enjoyed practicing my three years of high school Spanish while in Mexico, but was glad to drive back across the border. The poverty in the border towns is depressing and the drug crime is incomprehensible. I served as a border patrol reporter in San Diego in 1977 and was fortunate to be one of the reporters to ride in the border patrol's first helicopter, which had been on order for 23 years. I was shocked by all the trails leading from the border into California.

SME: Wow, what a boring life you've had.
To make things a little more exciting, I have a game! The 3rd Friday in December is "International Underdog Day." In honor of that auspicious recognition, I've invented a game called "Three Cheers For the Underdog." I'll share with you 3 real-life stories of underdogs and you pick which is the actual ending to the story. Get at least 2 right and you will be the INFF Champion for the week!

#1-An 88-year-old widow takes on the system by...
a.) spending 2 years walking across the continental United States, advocating for campaign finance reform and gains the attention of the U.S. Senate
b.) running for a seat in the U.S. senate and winning 33% of the vote
c.) she did both of these things and her efforts were documented in an HBO film entitled "Run Granny Run"

Jean: B.

SME: She did do that, but she also did A and HBO documented it. So, the correct answer is C.

#2-A brand new “theory of the universe” garnered the attention of the physics world last year. Who accomplished this?
a.) a stay-at-home mom who returned to school to earn her degree
b.) a fulltime surfer and snowboarder who also happens to be academically brilliant
c.) a child prodigy who spent her first ten years in the foster program

Jean: A

SME: Oh how I would have enjoyed that being the real answer, being a stay-at-home mom, myself. The correct answer, however, is B! Narly, dude! Hang 10!
Lastly, #3-The Arizona Cardinals, who are essentially synonymous with losing (and I can say that, I'm from AZ), had their own underdog moment this year when...
a.) they made it to the Superbowl and managed, to everyone's surprise, to win!
b.) they made it to the Superbowl and managed, to everyone's surprise, to ALMOST win!
c.) they made it to the Superbowl and everyone simply stared in shock because that team at the Superbowl just doesn't make sense.

Jean: B.

SME: Ding, ding, ding! You are correct. They not only got to the superbowl-an amazing accomplipshment in and of itself, they very nearly won. Who'd've thunk?
Now on to the part of the interview where I draw a portrait of my new friend. You!

(Jean has not actually seen her portrait, we were having email issues. *shakes head at the absurdity of her troubles with arranging all this*)

*drawing, drawing, drawing*

SME: Tuh-duh!

(I am absolutely certain that if Jean were able to comment on this fabulous portrait, she would say something along the lines of...
Wow! That's amazing! How do you do it? Have you considered a career in portrait drawing? 'Cause you have mad skills, girl.)

SME: Why, thank you!

Once again, a big ol' thank you to Jean for being cooperative and understanding and for being my Friday Friend!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


(ignore "Read More!")
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.

(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 16:

I am attempting to pack an entire house. By myself. Most of the packing was done weeks ago before we put the house on the market, but all the little last minute things need to be boxed up now. I'm discovering there aren't very many hours in the day. Has anyone else realized that. So very inconvenient!

I had this plan all worked out with lists and schedules and flowcharts. I was doing pretty darn well, I must say. Things were getting packed. I was feeling a little impressed with myself.

Then I got an email from my editor (still love saying that). That's right folks, I got the edits for Courting Miss Lancaster yesterday. Luckily I still have access to the internet and haven't packed up my computer. I panicked a little, then pulled up a couple moving boxes to serve as a desk and got to work.

The edit was actually pretty light (thanks to Ashleigh, Ginny and Jewel for all the presubmission proofreading--made a big difference, I think). There was one historical thing I needed to verify but, of course, all my reference materials were packed. I made a phone call to Donna Hatch--a fantastic fellow Regency author--to find out if I was completely off on this or if my memory was proving uncharacteristically reliable. Good news--I remembered correctly.

So I sent back my review of the edits this morning--yep, I'm very, very tired today--and it's back to packing.

Sarah M. Eden life tip of the day: Don't ever move out of state one week before Christmas, especially if you are also anticipating the arrival of book edits. A person simply must sleep.

PS--Don't forget I Need Friends Friday. This week's guest is not only an author, an experienced interviewer and a new friend, she's extremely patient and forgiving and cooperative. Yeah. There's a story there, and I will share the whole messy thing with you right here on Friday!!


(ignore "Read More!")
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Friday, December 11, 2009

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's friend is Rachel Starr Thomson. Rachel is the author of the fantasy series, "The Seventh World Trilogy." She can be found on the web at www.RachelStarrThomson.com.

Here's my new friend, Rachel!


SME: Welcome to INFF.

Rachel Starr Thomson: Thank you! I'm glad to be here.

SME: I am curious. You and I have never met. We live in different countries on opposite ends of North America. How
did you find your way over to SarahMEden.com?

Rachel Starr Thomson: A few months ago, you interviewed my friend Rachel Rossano--


SME: Ah, yes. Another Rachel.

Rachel Starr Thomson: --I read the interview and really enjoyed it.

SME: She rocked that interview, especially considering the kinda mean, really hard game I had her play.

Rachel Starr Thomson: Yes, she did. She's always been fantastic at drawing people into her world.


SME: You write fantasy. Have you always liked fantasy best or did it sort of just happen?


Rachel Starr Thomson: I'm not sure I'd say I like fantasy "best," but I've always been drawn to it. My dad read us the Chronicles of Narnia when we were kids and I t
hink I grew addicted to that sense of the magical and beautiful that may be lurking where we least expect it.

SME: I have always felt like a really good fantasy is, when it boils down to it, good versus evil. The Force vs the Dark Side. Harry Potter vs Voldemort. I am assuming you have both sides in your "Worlds Unseen" trilogy.


Rachel Starr Thomson: Oh, yes.

SME: I realize that summarizing a series in a couple lines is tough, but give us a glimpse into your trilogy.

Rachel Starr Thomson: The Seventh World Trilogy centers around a young woman named Maggie Sheffield and others who have always believed certain things about their world--but when they encounter another side to reality, they realize that everything they've always believed about their history is a lie. In reality, they're at the center of an ancient war, and two opposing forces are about to return to their world and try to claim lordship. Maggie and the others have a role to play in the triumph of light or of darkness.

SME: So, pretty classic fantasy.


Rachel Starr Thomson: It's very classic in the sense of good vs evil, little guys vs terrifying villains. But there are no elves or dwarfs, and the setting is a little grittier. Sort of a mix of Victorian and medieval Europe.

SME: And the first two books are available now, right? And you're working on the third?

Rachel Starr Thomson: Yes, Worlds Unseen and Burning Light are available through my Web site (in fact, they're on sale right now for $25 for both). The Advent is in progress. Actually, I'm very much hoping to finish the first draft of The Advent today -- and you are the first person online to learn that.


SME: Wow. I feel very privileged! (This interview was conducted quite a few days ahead of time, so this probably common knowledge amongst Rachel's fans, but I still feel privileged to have been the first to know!)
So... what's your favorite continent?

Rachel Starr Thomson: I don't believe in playing favourites. I love Europe for its history. I love North America because without it, my life would be very different.

SME: And I love the way you spell favorites. We are kind of boring with spelling in the US.

Rachel Starr Thomson: That's true.

SME: I understand you co-direct a Christian ballet company.

Rachel Starr Thomson: I do! We were out on tour yesterday from 6:30 a.m. to nearly midnight. The company is called Soli Deo Gloria Ballet and we're currently touring this year's Christmas production, "Behold the Child."

SME: I'll let you in on a bit of Sarah M. Eden trivia that has never been revealed on this website...

Rachel Starr Thomson: Ooooh, exciting.

SME: I was a dancer when I was even shorter than I
am now. I specialized in ballet, tap and injuring myself.--->

Rachel Starr Thomson: Well, then you have far more experience in dance than I will probably ever have. My job is coming up with ideas, picking music, and watching everyone else do the hard work. Although I also sing and narrate in our productions.

SME: So, see, we are women of many talents.

Rachel Starr Thomson: We are!

SME: Knowing you are connected with dance and I was once a little prima ballerina (ok, not really--I was always too clumsy to be any good), I have devised a special game just for us with a dance theme. Isn't that fantastic?

Rachel Starr Thomson: I can hardly wait.

SME: I am going to ask you a few random trivia questions having to do with The Nutcracker Ballet. Get the answers right and you win nothing, but you'll look really cool.

Rachel Starr Thomson: Fire away!

SME: #1: The Nutcracker Ballet is based on what?
a.) a book
b.) a traditional Icelandic folk tale about a sea lion and a mermaid
c.) a nightmare I once had when I was very young after getting my finger caught in my grandmother's wooden nutcracker soldier

Rachel Starr Thomson: I'm gonna go with the book. Although I don't actually know of a book on which The Nutcracker is based.

SME: The answer is A!! "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" was published in 1817, and the ballet was first performed (with Tchaikovsky's wonderful music) in the late 1800's! You're 100% so far!

Rachel Starr Thomson: Great.

SME: #2: Which of the following versions of The Nutcracker Ballet is NOT considered a classic?
a.) Mikhail Baryshnikov's, premiering in 1976
b.) George Balanchine's, premiering in 1954
c.) the version I personally choreographed and performed as a kid in my backyard on my roller skates (true story)

Rachel Starr Thomson: I'll have to choose c., although I think that was probably just a failure of media coverage.

SME: Definitely a marketing issue. Yes. The answer is C!
Okay, last question... #3: In the original story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," the tale ends with...
a.) The mouse king changing his evil ways and opening up a kiosk at the local mall selling prepackaged nuts
b.) Marie (who is renamed Clara in the ballet) and the Nutcracker (transformed by her love back into the handsome prince) marrying and living happily ever after
c.) All the men in the audience breathing a collective sigh of relief. Oh, wait. That's the ballet.


Rachel Starr Thomson: I choose b. But that's kind of weird. How old is Clara, 12?


SME: Yea. Weird. I'm going to assume that she grows up a lot over the course of that book. Like many, many years.

Rachel Starr Thomson: I hope so.

SME: Guess what? You answered all the questions correctly. You're the INFF champion!! (fanfare and streamers and shouts of celebration!)

Rachel Starr Thomson: Thank you, thank you.


SME: Well done.
Now on to the part of the interview where I draw a portrait of my new friend. You!

Rachel Rager: How exciting!

*a frenzy of creativity*

SME: Tuh-duh!

Rachel Starr Thomson: Looks just like me. I love the shoes.

SME: Oh, yes. I am an avid fan of mary jane's. Cute and sensible, just like me.
Well, last question of the interview: Top 5 reasons this is the best blog in
terview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Rachel Starr Thomson: 1. I got to talk about my favourite subjects.
2. I got to use Canadian spellings.
3. You unveiled secret information about your past as a dancer.
4. It made me laugh several times.
5. Now I'm all excited about finishing "The Advent" today!

SME: Congratulations on that. There is just something about finishing a first draft that is exhilarating!

Rachel Starr Thomson: That there is.

SME: Well, thanks for stopping by.

Rachel Starr Thomson: Thanks very much for having me. I've had a great time.

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

(ignore "Read More!")
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.

(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 15:

The week started out pretty quite on the book end of things. ("Book end." Get it? It's a pun.) Not much was happening. Then yesterday I got an email from my editor--wow, it's amazing how much I still enjoy saying those two words together--asking that I send him an in-depth description of my hero and heroine as well as information on costuming because the graphics department was arranging a photo shoot for the cover of Courting Miss Lancaster !!

A photo shoot! I'm picturing enormous fans blowing on two people in costume, making their hair blow while a photographer is yelling things like "Work it!" and "Fab, darling! Fab!" And a lackey is running around providing everyone with premium bottled water. And someone is wearing a beret. I don't know why, but there's a beret.

Being the responsible author that I am, I took the assignment to heart and provided my editor--giggling in glee--with a very in-depth reply. Do you think in-depth means "doctoral dissertation?" 'Cause that's what I sent.


Very, very, very fun. I can't wait to see the cover!!


Now... the winners of the contest. What? You thought I was just going to post them right here. Pshaw. Click on "Read More!" to find out who the lucky two are!





Winner #1, who receives a copy of Aubrey Mace's Santa Maybe... Marcia Mickleson

Winner #2, who receives a copy of Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season, featuring Sarah M. Eden's short story "Stolen Christams"... Anna, who was comment #4 on Aubrey's blog!


Anna--shoot me off an email sarah (at) sarahmeden (dot) com with your mailing address and I will get you your prize right away. Marcia, you'll have to check in with Aubrey.


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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Today is the last day to enter the Great Holiday Giveaway and win free stuff that you can then use as Christmas gifts/keep for yourself/frame and hang on your wall as a momento of this most important moment in your life!!

Don't forget to enter: CLICK HERE!

(Winners will be announced tomorrow!!!)


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Friday, December 4, 2009

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's friend is Rachel Rager. Rachel is an author of clean romance (three cheers!) including By Love or By Sea, released earlier this year. She can be found on the web at www.RachelRager.com and at her blog.

Let's get to know Rachel!


SME: Welcome to INFF.

Rachel Rager: Thanks.

SME: You're from Wyoming, a state I have never been to in my entire life. So, let's pretend you are the Wyoming Tourism and Visitors Bureau. What is something in Wyoming that an ignorant tourist like me really ought to go see?

Rachel Rager: Oh, my. I'm from Casper, so my first thought would be Fort Caspar.


SME: Sounds very military.

Rachel Rager: Last year I actually wrote a book based in Fort Caspar, then called Platte Bridge Station.

SME: So it's historical? The book, I mean.

Rachel Rager: Yes. The book is fiction but takes place there during Custer's last stand and when Caspar Collins gets killed. It was a lot of fun to research!


SME: Is this a published book, soon-to-be-published,
never-going to see the light of day...?

Rachel Rager: This book was a Christmas gift for a couple friends and probably needs a ton of editing. But hopefully someday it will be published.

SME: Awesome. So, Fort Caspar it is. I'll add that to my future travels list.
From the "Info I learned about you" category: You have three daughters. The emotional roller coaster must be nonstop at the Rager household.

Rachel Rager: Oh yes! Never a dull moment!

SME: How does your husband handle that? As the only guy in a house full of
females, he must really feel the dearth of testosterone.

Rachel Rager: He does remarkably well. However the girls are still young, so he may change his mind in 5 or 10 years!

SME: Um, yeah. I'm already contemplating the impossibility of three teenage girls sharing a bathroom.

Rachel Rager: I try not to think of it. My husband likes to teach the girls fighting skills. He says if he's going to have girls, they're going to be tough. And they are.

SME: My daughter learned somewhere along the way how to effectively administer a wedgie--a bit of knowledge she put to good use ag
ainst her older brother.
So, what's your favorite continent?

Rachel Rager: I've always been fascinated with Europe. I don't really know why.

SME: Europe, I think, has pulled ahead in the "Favorite Continent" poll. I hope it feels very proud of itself. Africa and Australia are totally getting stiffed, though.

Rachel Rager: Or Australia. My mom lived there as a girl.


SME: You've redeemed Australia.

Rachel Rager: Oh,good!

SME: Your novel "By Love or By Sea" came out earlier this year. Can you give us a quick blurb?

Rachel Rager: A young woman encounters a boy from her past
who was assumed to have drowned at sea. She is engage to another man and while her long lost love tries to put the pieces of his former life back together, she must decide where her heart really lies.

SME: Now, because I am a big fan of games, not to mention they take up space in the interview, I have a game for you to play!

Rachel Rager: Okay.

SME: I have entitled this game: 'Tis the Season. In honor of the countless hours I spent over Thanksgiving weekend watching a cable marathon of corny made-for-tv holiday movies, we are going to revisit a few of these not-to-be-missed offerings.
I'll ask 3 trivia questions about made-for-tv holiday (mftvhm) movies. Get the questions right and you win.

Rachel Rager: Uh-oh.

SME: 1: Which of the following is NOT an actual title of a mftvhm?
a.) Will You Merry Me?
b.) Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus

c.) Dancer the Reindeer stars in The Nutcracker Ballet

Rachel Rager: A. Will You Merry Me?

SME: Sadly, that's an actual title. Makes you wince, huh? The correct answer was C!

Rachel Rager: I thought for sure that one was real.

SME: No worries, though. I think you'll get this next one right.
2: Which of the following was not a glaring deficiency in at least one of the mftvhm that I personally watched over Thanksgiving weekend?
a.) When the "entire town" shows up to hoist and transport a house (yes, the entire house), only three people (the same three people) are ever shown in any of the shots. Talk about small-town charm!
b.) When the "epilogue" portion of this feel-good movie darted to ten years later, both the hero and heroine look unaccountably exactly as young and fit as they did in their early twenties. It's a Christmas miracle!
c.) The mother of the bride in one particular movie was played by an actress who couldn't have been more than five (maybe ten) years older than the actress playing her daughter. That's taking the whole mother-daughter "let's be friends" thing a little too far.
d.) Every single one o
f the above occurred in AT LEAST one mftvhm I watched this weekend because, apparently, I am in desperate need of a life.

Rachel Rager: How about D. Not that I agree with the final statement.

SME: Ding, ding, ding! I knew you could get that one.

Rachel Rager: Whoo hoo! *arms in the air*

SME: This one might be tough, but I think you can get it.
3: Which version of "A Christmas Carol" is my absolute favorite?
a.) The one with George C. Scott as E. Scrooge
b.) A Muppet's Christmas Carol

c.) The one with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and all those loveable Disney characters
d.) The answer is A. So don't pick b, or c, even though I like those versions, as well.

Rachel Rager: D. And I will agree that A. is a classic!

SME: Yeah!!! Two out of three is good enough to make you a winner here at INFF. Congratulations!

Rachel Rager: Thanks! I'm usually quite lousy at games!

SME: And my games are usually quite lousy, so sounds like a good combo to me.

Rachel Rager: It was delightful!


SME: Ah, gee. Thanks.
Now on to the part of the interview where I draw a portrait of my new friend. You!

Rachel Rager: How exciting!

*the sounds and smells of sharpies being expertly utilized*
SME: A masterpiece!

Rachel Rager: I like the boots!

SME: I thought a pair of Uggs would come in handy.
Alright, final question. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Rachel Rager: 1. Because I am not nervous (probably because I'm in my pj's still and glasses)
2. I have holed myself in my office with a movie blaring for my sick children in the other room!
3. Sarah is the best interviewer in the world!
4. I can eat my chocolates and no one even sees me!
5. And, I'm having a fabulous time!

SME: All exceptionally good reasons.

Rachel Rager: Yes. I think so too.

SME: I hope everything goes wonderfully with "By Love or By Sea." Let us know when you have another book coming out!

Rachel Rager: I will, thanks!

SME: And thank you for joining us at INFF.

Rachel Rager: Thank you for having me!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


Don't forget to enter the Great Holiday Giveaway!


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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.

(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 14:

So are you excited for March? I mean, are you really, really excited about March?! Oh. You should be.

Big news, people. Big ol' news!

The release date for Courting Miss Lancaster has been moved up--to MARCH! That's right, March--the month of my second favorite holiday!

That is only three months away!!

(Ya'll are gonna rush out and get a copy, right?!?!?!)

*happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance*




Don't forget to enter the fabulous holiday giveaway!!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All of you
Out in Book-ville
Really should know...

These two gals
Both have books
That just scream "Ho, Ho, Ho!"

Wondering what to get your friends and family this Christmas season? Never fear. Aubrey and Sarah are going to save your Christmas one gift at a time.

"Santa Maybe" by Aubrey Mace and "Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season" featuring Sarah M. Eden's short story "Stolen Christmas" would make PERFECT holiday gifts!

And, in honor of the Season, we are hosting a double giveaway! Two prizes, two winners, two ways to enter.

To get in on the action, simply answer the following questions in the comment section of the specified blog:

At Aubrey's blog: Which famous author will Sarah impersonate in the much talked about contraband catalog scheme?

At Sarah's blog: What present did Aubrey decide she wanted in the "Santa Baby" game?

PSSSTTT!! The answers to both questions can be found in Aubrey's I Need Friends Interview found HERE.

The contest is open until Tuesday, December 8th. Enter for your chance to win!

Happy Holidays.





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Friday, November 27, 2009

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's friend is Heather Justesen, an author with Cedar Fort. Her romance, The Ball's In Her Court (click here to watch the trailer), was released earlier this year. She can be found on the web at www.HeatherJustesen.com, and at her blog.


SME: Welcome to INFF.

Heather: Thanks, Sarah, I'm happy to be here!

SME: I'm going to skip right to the first question on my mind...
Your blogger profile says you have "two dogs, two cats, four geese, a bunch of ducks, a slew of chickens, two turkeys, five guineas and three fish." Um... on purpose?

Heather: Yeah...I know, I'm crazy. My poultry obsession started with me thinking I just wanted a few hens....and totally expanded from there.

SME: I wondered if maybe you had a Noah thing going on and animals just kept showing up.

Heather: Nope, it was all intentional.

SME: Okay.. standard question: What's your favorite continent?


Heather: I've been thinking about this because I knew you were going to ask. After much debate, I decided it must be Europe because it's where I most want to visit.

SME: Me, too! Which country would you pick first?

Heather: England, without question!

SME: See, I knew you and I were meant to be friends. Aubrey Mace and I are plotting an author trip to England (purely fantasy, of course, because going would require having a life and neither of us do). You should come
.

Heather: I would love to come! A fantasy trip is probably the only kind in my future, immediate or otherwise.

SME: Done!
Your book "The Ball's in Her Court" came out very, very recently. Tell us a little bit about it.

Heather:
My main character, Denise, grew up with a single mom who neglected and abused her, so Denise entered foster care when she was 9. At age 12 she was adopted by a great family and after some struggles managed to make a pretty good life for herself.
The book starts when she's 26 and decides she needs to find a few more answers to her past, so she sets out to find her birth father, and extended family she never met. And it's a romance because what good is a book if there isn't at least a tiny bit of romance in it? Well, okay, so there are plenty of romance-void stories out there that are well worth a read, but I like me a bit of kissing.

SME: I have a thing for romances, in case you didn't guess.
I noticed you've been doing some book signings and blog tours. How is all that going?

Heather: So far it's going great! I have a lot of friends and family who are being so supportive of me and buying my book as Christmas gifts (something I highly recommend).

SME: Books make great holiday gifts. *cough* Stolen Christmas *cough, cough* hint, hint
Your main character plays basketball. What inspired that?

Heather: I just wanted her to do something out of the ordinary. In her case she's a computer programmer, a job almost strictly reserved for guys. And she beats the guys in one-on-one at the gym at night. I had a friend in school who used to beat guys in basketball, so I guess you could say it's her fault I gave Denise that trait.

SME: At a whopping 4'11" I never really had a future in basketball.

Heather: I'm nine inches taller than you, but I have no athletic genes whatsoever, so I never had much of a future there either.

SME: Then I think you will appreciate the game I have crafted for you!

Heather: Yay! I love your games!

SME: I have entitled this game: Making Sarah Feel Highly Qualified to Someday Play Basketball. Perhaps you could substitute your name in there, as well.

Heather: Yes! I'm ready!

SME: I have three trivia questions for you that will, I hope, make me feel like that long-shot dream of being a basketball play-uh are within my exceptionally short reach. Get the questions right and you will be the champion of INFF, which comes with no perks, recognition or clout, but brings with it a heap of bragging rights.

Heather: Bragging rights are always an acceptable reward in my book.

SME: Awesome. Let's begin.
Question #1: According to Michael Jordan, how many shots did he miss over the course of his career?
a.) 1
b.) hundreds
c.) more than 9000


Heather: Definitely C. The man played for a long time and even the amazing Michael Jordan would have to miss a fair few. Besides, it makes me feel better if that's the answer!

SME: Ding, ding, ding! Correct! The way I figure it, I could miss 9000 shots. In a row. Probably more. That makes me better at one aspect of basketball than Michael Jordan.
Question #2: How tall was the shortest basketball player to play in the NBA?
a.) Mugsy Bogues at 5'3"
b.) John Harvell at 5'8"

c.) Pete Campbell at 5'11"

Heather: I'm going to guess 1) Mugsy Bogues. With a name like that, he was probably playing way back when they first invented the game, and people were much shorter then. Right?

SME: Another correct answer, Heather! And 5'3" is only 4 inches taller than I am. See, I could totally play (if I were remotely coordinated).
Question #3: What was the score of the lowest scoring game in NBA history?
a.) 19-18
b.) 58-47
c.) 85-75

Heather: You have no idea how tempted I am to Google the answer to that one, but I'm going to be good. I'm going to say b), even though I'm totally tempted to say a) because that's more like the score of any game I played against someone as athletic as I am.

SME: Hee hee. T
he answer is A!!! Fort Wayne Pistons over the Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. Now that is a game in which I would seem like an asset to either team.

Heather: I should have known!

SME: Now on to the part of the interview w
here I draw a portrait of my new friend. You!

Heather: I can't wait!

*sharpies fly at an astounding speed as another work of genius comes into being*

SME: What do you think?

Heather: Cute sneakers--I wear them all the time, and my hair looks good the way you drew it!

SME: I always put effort into the hair. And I pretty much live in my sneakers, too. I figured with the whole basketball theme going on, sneakers would be a good fit.

Heather: Even better, you spelled my name right, which can be tricky.

SME: I double checked the name. I am not a speller.
Alright, the traditional final question. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Heather: 1) Because I've never had such a cool picture drawn of me (and so slimming!).
2) Because I didn't know before that I've missed fewer baskets than Michael Jordan.
3) I can't wait for this fantasy trip to England you, Aubrey and I are going to take some day. We rock!
4) I got to talk about my strange bird obsession, and no one gave me a funny look (to my face).
5) Because we all need friends, and your INFF interviews are totally fun!

SME: They are fun, aren't they. Thanks so much for stopping by and being my friend!
Best of luck with "The Ball's in Her Court."


Heather: Thanks for having me! It was great being here!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

PS--A big ol' enormous, huge, exciting, wonderful, amazing, awesome giveaway coming next week!!!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.

(I'm bringing a long a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 13:

On my list of favorite holidays Thanksgiving comes in number three. Three ain't bad, people. Christmas takes the top slot. St. Patrick's Day ranks number two (bonus points if you know why). Then comes Thanksgiving.

I love pie. If there is no pie in heaven, I'm not going. I also have deep and abiding feelings for turkey, especially the dark meat. My affection for mashed potatoes is eclipsed only by my love for my family. Yet, these are not the reasons Thanksgiving claimed the coveted 3rd place spot on my holiday list.

I simply love the idea of taking a day to think of all you're grateful for. The real joy comes in thinking of things that aren't the normal answers, those things that everyone is thankful for but simply doesn't realize it. For example:


  1. Toilet paper. Think about it.
  2. Dentists. Back in the Regency era, if you had a tooth ache you went to the tooth drawer: a big strong guy with a pair of pliers and no novocain.
  3. Indoor plumbing. Reference item #1 for further reasons to be grateful in this category.
  4. I Need Friends Friday. Think of everything you would miss out on without Fridays. I, for one, would be essentially friendless.
  5. The ability to set your clocks five minutes fast. This has saved me a great deal of tardiness on many, many occasions.
  6. Taste buds.
  7. Pie. Imagine if pie had never been invented. What a sad, sad world this would be.


Have a fabulous Thanksgiving! Check back next week for a mind-boggling, start of the Christmas season, fantastic double giveaway!!



Don't forget I Need Friends Friday, in which I reveal one of my surprising life ambitions!!



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Friday, November 20, 2009

It's that time of the week:


(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's friend hardly needs an introduction. He has set hearts a flutter on more than one continent since his literary introduction in 2005. His very conflicted and angst-filled life is chronicled in Stephenie Meyer's best-selling Twilight series and on the big screen in today's hotly anticipated release, "New Moon."

Ladies and... er... Ladies, Edward Cullen.

SME: *smiles a little awkwardly, stumbling over a few attempts at opening up this interview*

Edward: Are you alright?


SME:
*clears throat* I guess I'm a little... overwhelmed. It's as if everything about you invites me in--your voice, your face, even your smell.

Edward: I get that a lot.

SME: So this must be a big day for you.

Edward: And why is that?

SME: Hello. "New Moon."
Your latest movie. You are the star, after all.

Edward: You do realize, don't you, that I am not actually in that movie?

SME: Huh?
It says Edward Cullen right there on the poster.

Edward: That is Robert Pattinson. He's an actor.


SME:
I distinctly heard hundreds of tweenage girls scream "Edward" when he showed up at the premiere.
<----*assumes a smug expression* Care to explain that?


Edward: *produces a crooked smile* Are you being serious?

SME: I am always serious.


Edward: *sighs in a way that clearly indicates he is tempted to roll his golden eyes* The young ladies are obviously identifying Robert with the character he plays in the movies. He and I do bear something of a resemblance to one another. Except that he-- *a sudden shift in mood from smiling and slightly friendly to brooding and inwardly conflicted* --is not a monster.

SME: You're kind of hung up on that, aren't you? Obviously it doesn't bother me. We're friends now, remember?

Edward: I never said I didn't want to be friends. *brooding mood changes abruptly to intense and mysterious* Just that it would be better if we weren't friends.

SME: I think I've heard that somewhere before.

Edward: *an unexpected, crooked smile appears apparently out of nowhere* Well, I have been around a while, I'm bound to repeat myself at some point.

SME: *unsure what mood to expect from her guest next* Okay. I understand you like to play the piano.


Edward: *the smile disappears. the brooding returns* I have a lot of time on my hands, being lonely and alone and lonely.

SME: Are you lonely, Edward?

Edward: *brooding gives way to a look of immense sadness and... loneliness* The world's most dangerous predator doesn't have a lot of friends.

SME: I offered to be your friend. But you said it was better that we weren't.

Edward: *chuckles warmly*

SME: *has no idea what brought on that emotional shift*
So, um, do you think Rob Pattinson does a good job portraying you?


Edward: I would like to think I am not as moody as he makes me seem.

SME: *snorts*

Edward: What is that supposed to mean?

SME: I am pretty sure that "Edward Cullen" has been added to every thesaurus in print as a synonym to the word "moody."

Edward: *lifts his eyes dramatically toward the heavens, as if searching for an answer to an unanswerable question. a sigh of resignation mingled with frustration escapes*

SME: *attempts to salvage the interview* I suppose you do have ample reason for being just a touch... well, touchy. If I were madly, passionately in love with my primary source of nourishment, I'd be conflicted, too.


Edward: *looks vaguely amused* This is a very odd interview.

SME: I get that a lot.
What's your favorite continent?


Edward: My favorite continent?

SME: Valid question.

Edward: North America, I suppose. *crooked smile* That is where I met Bella, after all.

SME: Very romantic answer. Mr. Darcy didn't pull out anything that suave.

Edward: *a sudden frown and a look of barely veiled self-loathing* Mr. Darcy probably gets to sleep at night. I don't sleep. Ever. Because I'm a monster.

SME: I have no response to that.

Edward: *an unexpectedly mischievous look crosses his face* I understand I am to expect some kind of strange game or ritual at this point.


SME: Mr. Darcy had no idea what was going on during his interview. It was incredibly lame.

Edward: *drops his head into his hands in a gesture of utter self-defeat* Lame is far better than deadly.

SME: *mutters* ahem... *coughs the next word* moody...

Edward: So what is this game? *flashes another smile*

SME: *smiles back awkwardly, wondering which temperament to prepare for next* I have invented an entirely new game just for you. In fact, you are probably the only person
on the entire planet who could possibly play this game.

Edward: *forehead creased, all traces of happiness have vanished* I do try to blend in.

SME: *clears throat in confused nervousness* The game is entitled "Answer the Questions In Sarah's Mind." I'm just going to sit here silently and you have to answer whatever question enters my mind--since you can read thoughts and everything.

Edward: *a sudden blinding smile* Alright.

SME:

Edward: No, you do not smell as good as Bella. *intensely thoughtful expression* She's like a drug to me.

SME:


Edward: Not at the midnight showing. *a melancholy sigh* Bella and I will go at a less conspicuous time.

SME:

Edward: *crooked and amused grin* I really have no influence there. Stephenie will decide if Midnight Sun is ever completed.

SME:


Edward: I'm not sure I'm in favor of her finishing it. *clenches fists, jaw set in frustration* Living through those early months of torture was hard enough without reading it spelled out in detail on the page.

SME:


Edward: *rolls eyes and looks unexpectedly irritated* I don't bite people on demand.

SME:

Edward: You will have to ask Jacob-- *a growl* --yourself.

SME: *tries to hide the sarcasm* That was loads of fun. Now on to the part of the
interview when I draw a picture of my new friend. You.

*Masterpiece in the making*

SME: What do you think?

Edward: I am very... sparkly.

SME: It's like diamonds.

Edward: *a scowl and an abrupt despondent tone* It's the skin of a monster.

SME: Alright, final question. Top five reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Edward: 1. I was able to establish once and for all that Robert Pattinson and I are not, in fact, the same person.

SME: Because he's not a monster, right?

Edward: *scowls. then smiles crookedly. then sighs. then chuckles. then looks extremely unhappy. but recovers and grins* 2. The interview was remarkably well-timed (with the movie out today and all).
3. The game was not at all what I was expecting.
4. Bella will enjoy reading it.
5. *several rounds of name-that-mood-swing* I have another piece of art for the house, which is filled with art but in which I am often very---

SME: Lonely?

Edward: *amused chuckle* Precisely.

SME: This has been... interesting, Edward. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for not killing me.

Edward: *scowl. then smile* You're welcome.

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!
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