Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gypsy CaraVanners

GypsyVanner's  50 Shades of Blue, 1 year old filly
The Gypsy Horse, including the Gypsy Cob and the Gypsy Vanner, are a stunning horse breed native to the British Isles. Usually growing to about 16 hh, the Gypsy Horses are known for their flowing, feathery mane and tail.

From Brooksville, Florida, USA, meet American Registered Gypsy Horse breeders; the proprietors of Gypsy CaraVanners,  Adrian and Jennifer.

Breeding only quality bloodlines for exceptional offspring, Adrian and Jennifer share their amazing journey with their beautiful Gypsies….

We already had a few acres fenced, & decided to get a few ‘natural lawn mowers’ who needed homes. A horse was on this list, I hadn’t had a horse in years and thought it was about time to get another.

One night Adrian was looking online in the local newspaper for critters and I heard from the other room, “Honey, it’s more than we agreed to spend, but I want him.” As I looked at the sale ad for $1,200, and saw this rearing horse…mane, tail, and feather flowing (now known to be Gypsy Gold’s Cushti Bok)…I looked at him and said, “Number 1: A horse like that doesn’t exist…Number 2: If it does, it’s not $1,200….It’s a spoof ad.”

This sent Adrian on a mission to prove me wrong. It wasn’t long after that he ran in the room, laptop in hand, stating “They do exist!” We spent the rest of the night researching Gypsy Vanners, and tearing up as we read Dennis and Cindy’s story of finding their 1st Gypsy Vanner…Cushti Bok.

Gypsy CaraVanner’s 1st Gypsy Vanner 
Jenn’s Blue Eyed Stallion

Jenn's Blue Eyed Stallion
Shortly after we found out what a Gypsy Vanner was, we started making the ever so long drives to tour farms in Florida. Two had passed, and I was driving to a business appointment just off the Countyline Road. I almost drove off the road as eyes fixated on the passing sign. Did I really just read that?!?! A Gypsy Vanner Farm, just down the road from my house! Lucky Charm Vanners nonetheless! I had to turn around to be sure! I circled past the farm 3 or 4 times, trying to catch a glimpse, & hoping no one noticed me stalking their horses!

Steve and Julie at Lucky Charm Vanners have been wonderful throughout the last few years, I’m not sure they realized that selling us Blue meant ‘adopting’ 2 humans for a few months until he was weaned. You could see his bright blue eyes from across the field; he was all leggy and curly….probably less than a month old. Blue was friendly as could be from the 1st day we met him…along with a sweet, but pesky lil’ filly, named Blossom.

A few days had gone by, Adrian and I were out to dinner. He told me that Blue had been sold. I did my best to choke back the tears welling up in my eyes…he let me go for a few days before telling me that he bought Blue for my Birthday! I wasn’t sure if I was happy, or mad at him for making such a big purchase without me. He even had Julie in on it, against her will….I still can’t imagine what Julie thought when he went over with his buddies…..

Apple Blossom

Apple Blossom is by far our most intelligent and curious Gypsy! She had us pegged for suckers from Day 1. We purchased her ½ brother, Jenn’s Blue Eyed Stallion, from Lucky Charm Vanners, and he was not yet weaned. Lucky for them (Ha!), Blue was our 1st Gypsy and their farm was only a ½ hour from our home! So everyday we would drive to groom and work with Blue. And everyday, Blossom would hopelessly follow Adrian around, and rummage through the grooming caddy. So, while I groomed Blue, Adrian groomed Blossom…when Blue got halter and lead lessons, so did Blossom.

One day we brought carrots for the mares, or so we thought, & learned just how powerful Blossoms jaw was! Blue was having issues biting through the tip, and Blossom was powering through the entire carrot like Bugs Bunny chomping through a carrot…no one could believe it…I think Gold Rush’s Sugarfoot (Blossom's Dam) was even surprised to see her ‘lil girl chomping through the hind end of a carrot that she could barely get through herself! A sad day came for Blossom and Blue when Blue left for our farm. It wasn’t much later, that Blossom followed Blue home to Gypsy CaraVanners….

You will see Blossom standing by the gate for hours, wiggling her upper lip, trying to figure a way out! Once she does, she’s not out for just her freedom, but independence too! She carefully closes the gate behind her after each escape, so the other horses don’t follow her!

When we first moved into our new ranch, we had a few horses roaming around letting them get the ‘lay of the land’. Blossom noticed quite quickly that the little box next to the garage door, opened the house! Although she wasn’t sly enough to read the code over my shoulder, she had no problems lifting the cover and pressing buttons with her muzzle!

Gypsy CaraVanners was stunned when they found Westmoreland Blue Girl. She was Grand Champion Mare at the Georgia Feathered Horse Classic in 2009…Blue Girl was only a year and a half old! Her bright blue eyes with the overo, and tribal pattern make her quite unique! Blue Girl is a registered GVHS Futurity horse. Her 2012 foal, by El Brio Charlie, is GVHS Futurity eligible. 
Anubis' Feathers at sundown

Gypsy CaraVanner’s is proud to have Westmoreland Anubis as their new and upcoming stallion. Anubis is the last born son of The Lottery Horse. Already, as you walk up to Anubis, his thick neck & chest give no indication of what a truly kind & gentle spirit lies behind those peppered blue eyes. Anubis belts out a friendly neigh every time you approach his pasture….guaranteed to put a smile on your face, no matter how bad the day! We have every confidence that he will fill his father’s horseshoes!

Connect with Adrian and Jennifer….
Gypsy CaraVanners
(864) 72 GYPSY


2 BLUE Eyes! Tri-Color! Agouti! White kissed ears for luck! And almost ALL white! 
Congrats to HV Snowflake & GG Mojo on a healthy lil filly!!!!

Jenn’s Blue Eyed Stallion & Naomi are happy to announce 
their healthy filly born 2/6/13!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Evening's kiss

Faintly tolls the
evening chime
that sounds to
meld your heart
with mine

To gaze into
your eyes so clear,
to hear the
angel's chorus there

No place to harbor
from this event,
I cannot hide from
evening's kiss...

© Gina Mcknight 2011

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


 Thank you writer Drew Mischianti and photographer Natalie Estrada for my beautiful copy of 'HORSEPOWER'!  Arriving from Spain today, it is gorgeous! 

The photography is absolutely stunning! It is a coffee table book that will be a conversation piece in your personal library, your stable, and tack room! A must have for every horse lover! <3 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


A hard courageous winter
drifts complacent snow;
the old mare braces for more

She dapples, then greys
pawing frozen terrain;
she’s stoic, proud,
lifts a final brow

Sidestepping frozen thickets
non-garish in ruminations;
bewitching casual forests,
beseeching her master’s hand

She’s fading now
a bittersweet time;
silent, still, dreamy somehow
her master she’ll miss, molasses and whip

Her memories remain;
she was fashioned to serve,
created for adoration,
baubled, adorned

She sees it now
through wide-open gate;
it’s waiting for her
the celestial shore.

© ginamc 2013


Sunday, October 20, 2013


From Michigan, USA, meet artists Phil and Diane Brodak. Together they are the proprietors of They are the creators of horseshoe d├ęcor, bat/bird/duck houses, yard mosaics, and more.

What types of items do you create with horseshoes?

Gun rack, Cup holders, Fruit caddy, Door knocker, Tissue holder, Towel bars, Coat hooks, Ashtrays, Napkin holder. Paper towel holder, Lucky horseshoes creations, Business card holder.  

Do you purchase horseshoes from a local farrier?

Yes, from several. We also purchase new shoe's if need be.

How long have you been woodworking?

Forty years plus. I have been making Bat Houses and Birdhouse's for the past 20 years.

What type of wood do you use for your bird and bat houses?

Northern white cedar, it will hold up much longer then pine or plywood.

Does a bat house have certain aesthetic requirements?

Yes they do. They need to be properly sized for use by bats. All of our bat houses are Bat Approved according to construction standards from BCI Bat Conservation International.

What are the requirements for placing a bat house in my yard?

The minimum height is 12 ft or more above ground level and facing the south.

I've never seen a Duck Box. Most of our ducks here in Ohio fly south for the winter. What breed of duck lives in a Duck Box?   

Wood Duck, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, American Kestrel, Screech owl.

What's a Texas Cooler?

Good question. The Texas Cooler is an outdoor insulated cooler designed and built by me. It is designed for BIG out of door parties. It can hold over 700 12oz cans!   

You travel around on your Harley. Do you have a favorite Harley adventure?

All of my travels are a true adventure when I am on my Harley. One of my favorite locations is Terlingua, Texas, at the edge of Big Bend National Park. I have been in 46 of the 50 states and enjoy all of them.   

Connect with Phil and Diane…

Friday, October 18, 2013

Daryl Boyd

From Galena, Ohio, USA, meet Daryl Boyd, President Arthrogen GmbH. A successful corporate executive, Daryl interviews about his horse heritage as well as breakthrough technology in the world of horse medicine….

Tell me about growing up on your Grandfather's Ohio farm and your Dad’s farm in Michigan….
My grandfather’s small farm was north of Toledo, Ohio. The farm had horses, cows, chickens, pigs, field equipment and an old car he drove to the farm. Yes, I can never forget that farm. You see, my cousin (who now is a doctors) at age 3 and 2 respectively, decided to stay in the car one day. And unfortunately for my granddad, he left the keys in the car.   My cousin had the steering wheel and I was on the floor manning starting the engine, and mashing the gas pedal. Needless say we hit a telephone pole, almost ran over my oldest brother’s leg, and crashed into a brick wall….. so we were told. We woke up in the hospital and our names were written in the local newspaper captioned; “Youngest 2 drivers in Ohio have their 1st car accident!”

My dad’s Michigan farm, I only periodically visited him up to the age of 9 or 10. My 1st encounter with farm life was at age 3. One of my brothers and I walked outside through the kitchen into the backyard toward the huge red barn. And what was waiting for us was the meanest rooster on Earth. His name was Tom. Tom spread his wings started squawking and chased my brother and me - crying for our lives back into the house. My dad conveniently got the broom and quickly tamed ole Tom. What I remember most was getting lost in the tall corn fields and loving every moment, until the neighbors 2 hound dogs chased me home.
My experiences with horses dates back to my beginning at my grandfather’s farm. Whenever I wasn’t assisting wrecking my grandfather’s car, I was held onto a horse. My long term encounters with horses were many summers as a camper at YMCA Storer Camps as they were called in the day, located in Napoleon Michigan. Later in College, I became a camp counselor.  When the advantage of being a counselor, I could ride horses almost every evening. My favorite horse his name was Chief. On a background of white Chief had large gold spots with occasional black spots. He was a leader of the pack. Chief had a reputation of only letting a select few ride him. If we were out on a ride with the campers, Chief would see to it that before the ride was over, I’d be ridding him. I wanted so very badly to buy this horse. He was my first horse I loved, and I think he felt the same way.

Now you travel the world representing GOLDIC. 
What is GOLDIC?
As far as application for horses, we are selling GOLDIC enhanced Gelsolin for lameness regeneration. AND to be certain, we can regenerate ligaments, tendon and cartilage in all animals.

Seven years ago our 1st animal patient, a horse name Commander, had revived two failed therapies: anoids, and then Hyaluronic Acid + Steroids for a Right Suspensory Ligament Defect. With 6 weeks to go for a jumping competition, Commander was treated with GOLDIC. Commander competed without any sign of lameness or pain. Commander is now 19 years old and still competing today. 

Watch the video with Dr. George Veith, DVM, Germany; Dr. Professor Ulrich Schneider, and Commander....

GOLDIC is a key technology…on the basis of patient own blood (autologeous),  under presence of gold particles we can induce defined cytocine production. These cytocines are injected in the defects area. All kind of tissue can be treated, ergo: Treatment possibilities of several degenerative and/or inflammatory diseases.
Indications: Chondromalacie/Osteoarthritis, Tendinosis, Sesamoidosis, Bursitis, Spine disorders, Woundhealing, Parondontitis.

Helping Humans and Animals excites us! Enhanced Gelsolin is a protein up regulated by our Arthrogen, GmbH GOLDIC Product. Gelsolin actives site specific sleeping stem cells. GOLDIC stimulation of blood is done outside the body, and then after 24 hrs the 1st of 4 injections are accomplished. 

Connect with Daryl for more information….

From Gina: 
Please note that any medicine, whether for horse or human, depends completely upon each individual assessment. I am only suggesting this product to try if you are having trouble with your horse’s health. I recommend you check with your veterinarian and his/her assessment of this product. My interest is for informational purposes only. Receiving no compensation for this referral, nor affiliated with this company in any way, it is my sincere wish for you and your horse to prosper and have a purpose filled, healthy life.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Glyn Williams, Author

From Derbyshire, United Kingdom, Glyn Williams is the author of over 20 published books.  

A former radio Disc Jockey, his current book release Oh Shit, I'm Dead!: A journey into the afterlife is receiving rave reviews!  It is a paranormal/metaphysical fictional scenario of life and death.

Every writer will want to read Glyn’s advice for writing, marketing, and much more….

Welcome Glyn!

What was it like being a radio personality?

That’s a loooong story.  I started my own radio station back in 1994 before ending up presenter and sales director for a local station. Entertaining has always been in my blood since working as a DJ in my teens.  The jump to radio was a natural progression from that.

I have presented mainstream shows such as breakfast and drive time, and also had a specialist show based on old soul music.  Radio is fantastic, you get to connect with people that you’ve never met on a very personal level and have fun with them.  Presenting on the radio is the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off... oh hang on, I did that once too.

Radio was the great love of my life, I’d have been happy to do that forever, but circumstances forced a change in my life when I developed High Grade Dysphonia.

What is High Grade Dysphonia?

Dysphonia is a disorder of the voice – something causing a problem with your vocal chords.  It comes in several grades relating to how bad the problem is.

High Grade is the closest you can get to cancer of the throat.  It’s a stage where it’s not quite cancer... yet. With high grade, surgery is the recommended route.  In my case the problem was on my right vocal chord so I had laser surgery twice to remove the offending tissue.

For the next six months my voice was very hoarse, but eventually settled down.  I do still have a voice, but it’s no longer strong enough for constant professional use.  I could just about present show once a week, but my sales career was an impossibility following the surgery. Thankfully, I’m all clear now.

What books have you written?

I began by writing business books based on my marketing knowledge. The 7 Deadly Sins of Advertising was my first book, closely followed by 21st Century Tactics.  I also co-wrote a book with a former colleague Simon Bozeat called Working The Net – it’s all about business networking.

I also have many other books available in different business related genres.  I do those under pen names. Recently I wrote my first ever fiction book. I never thought I could write fiction but have since been told that I have a natural flair for storytelling.  It probably comes from the radio creativity.  It has a rather controversial title – Oh Shit, I’m Dead sold more copies in its first month that my non-fiction put together!

I’ve a feeling that the Bestseller Tactics series which is due to be released soon may well be my last foray into non-fiction.  But then you should never say never again according to James Bond!

Describe your daily routine….

My day actually starts the night before.  I don’t consider my work day complete until I have planned at least part of tomorrow.  I create a list of the five most important things I have to do tomorrow. And I’m an organized workaholic.

I get up at 7am sharp, shower so that I feel fresh, and then make my way down to the home office.  Usually I’m sat there by 7:30 with a fresh cup of tea.  I like to get the distractions out of the way first, so check and respond to email, and social media messages, adding anything to my list that comes from that.

Then I simply start going through the list.  My day consists of around 30% writing time, 35% marketing time and the remaining 35% is taken up with everything else such as getting a book ready for launch, creating book covers, doing experiments, working with my peer group, and learning new stuff.  I think continuous self education is very important.

I also run several other passive income businesses.  I have a twitter management service (see and various other methods of generating income too.  Most of them run on autopilot.  My whole work focus is on building passive income. I’ll have some lunch somewhere along the way and call it a day at 6pm.

What is the key to marketing?

Working smart.  That sounds flippant but it’s not meant to.
Smart marketing means leveraging any marketing that you do to maximum effect, and it also means being highly targeted on who that marketing is aimed at. The third part of smart marketing is making it passive marketing.

Let me explain each part of that...
Leverage, is using a single piece of marketing time and time again. Let’s take this interview for example.  Once this is published on the internet I will link to it from several webpages.  I will also put it into my automated social media posts so that every couple of days or so it will appear on twitter. I will put links on Facebook to the article, and I will include a link to it on my mailing list autoresponder.  I will often find other places to put links to the article and other people will also share it – it could even be picked up by someone like Hubspot for example and could well lead to other interviews.  

Leverage is taking one thing that promotes you, and spreading it far and wide. Being Highly Targeted means finding the right place for your marketing.  If for example I wrote a horror book then I would single out the kind of people that like Horror.  There’s no point in wasting time pitching your marketing at romance fans if your book is about a serial killer that eats people.  I’d find places that horror fans hang out.  Forums where they discuss horror movies for example.

Passive marketing is where you put something in place that lasts for a long time, or that automates much of the work.  This interview will be passive marketing for as long as your website is here for example.

Another is my automatic social media marketing where I send out literally thousands of direct messages a month on Facebook and Twitter. Another is my email signature.  I send lots of email, every message has a signature link to my author page on Amazon or my website. Passive marketing is marketing that you do once – and gives you a return forever.

The last piece of advice I’d offer is my golden rule: Do something to market your books every single day.  Even if it’s just one social media post, even if it’s just making one more passive message

Who is your favorite author?

I don’t have one to be honest, it changes very often.  I loved James Herbert’s books and also like Graham Masterton.  I enjoyed Dan Brown until Inferno, which I simply cannot get inspired with.

In non-Fiction, I like sales psychology books.  Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Ariely, stuff like that. I love to learn how the human mind ticks.

What are you currently writing?

Non-fiction wise, I’m just finishing the third book in the Bestseller Tactics series.  I’m planning to release all three on the same day to test the theory that Amazon gives you extra exposure when releasing multiple titles.

Fiction wise I have began work on a new series of books that surround a Medium / Clairvoyant called Melissa Collins. She’s a bit of a quirky woman in her late 30’s that solves ghost problems.  I’m having fun with that one.  I’m aiming for a series of 9 books in the next 12 months.

Do you have advice for novice writers?

Yes, write series books.  Don’t hop from subject to subject building a catalogue of unrelated titles.  If you write fiction, then build a single character and write many stories based around that character.  Think Hercule Poirot, Kay Scarpetta, Jack Reacher or Miss Marple. If you write non-fiction, then write on one subject for as many books as you can – become an authority in that niche.


Because the biggest seller of your books – are your other books.

List 10 things that people may not know about you….

I’m a Northern Soul music fan and dancer.

I write in several pen names and have over 20 books published.

I’m a part-time currency trader.

I’ve been married 30 years to the love of my life.

I have a cat called Feebie.

My office computer has 9 screens.

I love Javea in Spain.

I collect rare 1960’s American soul records.

I’m a hoarder – My loft and garage are full of stuff!

I love buying the latest gadgets (see above).

Connect with Glyn...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Henna for Horses

Experience the Magic of Horses
Amazing horse whisperer Missy Wryn ....

Missy Wryn is an internationally recognized Horse WhispererHorse Trainer and HORSE POWER Speaker who has pioneered a WHOLE horse approach and training methods to communicate and work with horses.  From horse lessons to horse keeping Missy founded HorseMAREship™ which includes her acclaimed Training the Whole Horse® techniques for a "w"holistic approach and deep rapport with horses.  To attend a workshop or presentation visit Missy's Calendar of Events.  
To schedule Missy for your event email

Monday, October 14, 2013

Namrata, Author

Privy Trifles, aka Namrata, is an investment banker by profession and a child - woman, a dreamer, a dancer, a bibliophile, a poetess, a writer, a painter, a singer by passion is how Namrata can be described who blogs at Memoirs of Me and Reviews and Musings  apart from being a reviewer for leading publishing houses. 

A lover of words, paper, and memoirs, Namrata is one of 25 writers included in a new anthology 25 Strokes of Kindness.

Describe a day in the life of a writer...
I am an investment banker by profession so my day typically begins early in the morning as I need to report to work by 9 am.  I love observing life very closely hence I note down all that comes to my mind during the day and give some shape to it. A story, a poem, 55 fiction, a post or if nothing else then an FB status, but words keep me company throughout the day and night too.

Once I am back from work I blog, read and use the social networking sites to keep myself abreast about the world!

Where do you like to write?
I love writing indoors the most, preferably at my desk with my favorite coffee mug for company!

How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?
I carry a diary with me 24*7. Yes I even sleep with it lying under my pillow. I scribble anything and everything that comes to my mind and then give shape to it at leisure.

Are your characters based upon true life or fiction?
Depends on the story. Like if you ask me, most of my blogposts are real life stories with true characters. But then someone once told me a real writer has to be able to write real fiction. And so I started writing imaginary stories then.

Who is your favorite author?
It has to be R K Narayan and Paulo Coelho undoubtedly. I simply love the magic R K Narayan wove in his masterpiece Malgudi Days. I wish to create something like that where even fantasy seems existent to the readers. About Paulo Coelho I love the way he narrates his own experiences as stories making all of it come alive. Someday I want to write like them and become immortal in my words.

You are currently published in a new anthology release. Can you give us a small excerpt from your story?
Well, I am published in a book called 25 Strokes of Kindness by Grapevine India. The entire anthology is based on random acts of kindness. The title of my story is A Rare Sight and it’s the story of a father and a daughter.

“In his childhood Suresh used to love darkness for it meant endless of play and no studies. He used to wait for the power failure to happen and would jump out of the house the moment it happened. But off late he had begun to hate darkness; a hatred so strong that right now a shiver ran down his spine the moment he opened his eyes for a moment and saw only darkness around. It reminded him of Sampoorna; his life, his pride, his joy, his heart, his soul, the only meaning to his existence, his princess whom he lovingly called ‘Sampi’…”

Oh, sounds intriguing! I would like to read the rest of the story.
How can I purchase a copy of your book?
The book is getting released on 23rd October and is currently available for pre-release orders.

What are you currently writing?
After this book, my second book (another anthology) called Time’s Lost Atlas by Half Baked Beans is releasing in December 2013. That is also again a very unique project where 11 authors have come together to write about 11 events of the last decade which changed the way we saw life. There is another project that I am working on. There are some 20 bloggers who have come together to work on a book, an anthology actually with various genres. It’s exciting working with likeminded people as the enthusiasm is so infectious that you push yourself beyond your limits to give your best. I am also working on my manuscript. Amidst all this blogging continues to be my favorite activity and so does reviewing. As I said before anything that has got to do with words is something I am always involved in.

List 10 things that people may find of interest about you....
Well that is kind of tricky as I feel almost everything about me in known in public; I will still try:

I write daily and it’s kind of so deeply programmed that I cannot sleep without that. Could be in my phone’s message box, post it, diary, FB or just any random paper. But it has to be writing.

I have learnt 7 types of dance forms. And there is a huge to-be-learned list pending.

I am a hoarder of letters, cards, gift cards, sticky post it notes and other such small memoirs. I have boxes full of them.

I am an excellent cook!

I am very meticulous when it comes to work. I need to plan every second in advance.

I like my stuff to be very neatly arranged all the time ( Yes!! Even in hotel rooms! I make beds there too even before check out).

I wear my heart on my sleeve always. I am falling in love every time with something new – a song, a movie, a book etc.

I sing well.

I used to stammer at one point of time in my life.

I am scared of darkness.

Connect with Namrata…

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Paul Collins, Author

From Melbourne, Australia, welcome international acclaimed writer Paul Collins!

A successful multifaceted writer, Paul Collins’ award winning books are world-renowned. His newest release The Beckoning is flying off bookshelves. 

As a speaker, he encourages and supports fellow writers in their marketing and publishing endeavors. He is a mover and shaker in the publishing industry; creative, captivating, inspiring, and so much more….

Paul’s many books for young people include Trust Me Too, which he edited (just selected as a White Raven 2013 title) and series such as The Jelindel Chronicles, The Earthborn Wars, The Quentaris Chronicles and The World of Grrym in collaboration with Danny Willis. His latest is The Maximus Black Files (Mole Hunt, Dyson’s Drop and The Only Game in the Galaxy). The trailers are available here: and

Paul is also the author of over 150+ short stories. His adult horror book, The Beckoning, was just published by Damnation Books: (and other platforms). A review can be read at Goodreads: It’s ranked 7 on the psychic thriller page (just behind Stephen King’s latest!) and 37 on the occult suspense page.

Paul has been the recipient of the A Bertram Chandler, Aurealis, William Atheling and Peter McNamara awards and has been shortlisted for many others including the Speech Pathology, Mary Grant Bruce, Ditmar and Chronos awards.

He is currently the publisher at Ford Street Publishing ( and runs the speakers agency Creative Net (

When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

PC: I didn’t read books as a kid – but I read many Marvel Group comics such as Iron Man, Captain America, Spider Man, The Hulk, etc. For some inexplicable reason I figured I could write these as a novelist. I remember my father laughing when I told him I wanted to be a writer. He was of the opinion that only university-educated people were writers. Decades later, after I’d had about 50 books published, I asked him if he remembered telling me I’d never be a writer. “No,” he said, “I don’t. But if I did, it was because I knew you would set out to prove me wrong.” I guess that tells you something about me. I hate to be told I can’t do something. I published a science fiction magazine called Void when I was 21. I’d only vaguely heard the name Asimov. I was told by Australian fandom that I couldn’t do it. In fact, there was quite a bit of animosity toward me because I set out to prove everyone wrong. Luckily, many of Australia’s leading SF writers of the day, including A Bertram Chandler and Jack Wodhams, got behind me and sold me original stories. And away I went.

How do you organize thoughts and ideas?

PC: I have to write everything down because I have a lousy memory. Luckily editors often pick up threads that I’ve left dangling. Every now and then one escapes even their eagle eyes and gets through. Then a reader will point it out and I have to ensure it’s fixed in case there’s a reprint.

What's the key to writing a great fantasy; dragons, spells, etc?

PC: Following the 12-point structure* is a sure-fire way of at least ticking a lot of the boxes. I think a sound knowledge of history helps, but isn’t a prerequisite. And for every bit of good there needs to be a bit of bad. Power is not infinite. If a magician uses it, obviously there has to be a drain somewhere. No one can be omnipotent otherwise there won’t be a worthy adversary. For my own part, I like writing action, page-turners. I guess I’m more plot-driven than character-driven. Having said that, I think characters develop their own personalities if the author allows them to.

Describe your writing studio ...

PC: I’ll go one better. Here’s a pic. Mind you, it’s not “staged” so please excuse the mess! I run three businesses from this room, and I have to say it’s usually in a state of disarray. Which is odd, because I am quite an ordered sort of person. It just doesn’t look like it. The rest of the house is maintained to a high standard. Truly!

Who is your favorite author?

PC: When I get a chance to read for pleasure (most of my reading time is spent reading the unsolicited pile for Ford Street) I love Eoin Colfer and Philip Reeve. They write the type of books that I endeavor to write, as outlined above.

What are you currently writing?

PC: I’ve been commissioned by Macmillan to write six books for their Legends in Their Own Lunch Box series. These feature a martial arts called Lucy Lee. I haven’t had much time recently to concentrate on writing as I’m on the promotion trail for two current books, The Only Game in the Galaxy, Book #3 in The Maximus Black Files, and The Beckoning, an adult horror novel just published by Damnation Books.

Any advice for novice writers?

PC: Persistence is the key. I wrote The Beckoning about 30 years ago. None of the major publishers wanted it. Luckily for me, I persisted with it, transferred the MS to a computer (it was originally typed on a manual typewriter!). I stored it on various devices such as zip drives, 3 ½ floppies, USB stick and what have you. Just recently I saw that Damnation Books was after MSS so I thought what the heck and sent it to them. It was published six months later.

List a few things about yourself that would interest your fans ...

I used to be a spotlight operator at Festival Hall in Brisbane. I worked on such shows as Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach. On one show the solo trumpet player started and the director said into my earphone: “Spotlight number three, tight focus trumpet player stage left.” For the life of me I couldn’t see the trumpet player. So my spotlight wandered around the stage in front of a packed house. LOL. “Spotlight number three, don’t you know what a trumpet looks like?” drawled the director. Which is funny, because I used to play one.

I have two black belts in taekwondo and ju-jitsu. I was also a kickboxer trained by Dana Goodson, then Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion of Australia. I trained alongside Stan “The Man” Longidnidis, 8-times World Champion.

I worked as a bouncer so I could afford to write stories that have never financially compensated me for all the hours I put into them. A familiar story to any writer, I’m sure.

I live in an historic bluestone building in Ford Street, inner Melbourne. The house was built in 1861 and was the first house in the area.

I have a kelpie called Jack and a red heeler called Molly – these are a sheep dog and a cattle dog respectively. We also have a cat called Harriet, six chickens and a handful of goldfish. I live here with my partner, children’s author Meredith Costain. She’s written about 200 books for younger readers. Luckily the house is so big we each have our own study at opposite ends of a corridor.

I published Australia’s first heroic/epic fantasy novels back in the early 80s. The were Lances of Nengesdul by Keith Taylor, The Tempting of the Witch King by Russell Blackford and The Ring of Truth by David Lake. All three went on to write great books. In those days, though, it was hard to get distribution. So after one distributor folded on me, and another disappeared owing me money and taking all my stock, I decided it was too hard and started writing instead.

My first book was called The Wizard’s Torment. HarperCollins published it in 1995. I have had many books published in the US, but the most popular books were The Earthborn Wars, published by TOR and Bohemian Ink.

Connect with Paul….

*Note from Gina .... The 12-point structure is derived from Joseph Campbell's Monomyth, also known as the Hero's Journey. It is the premise for most heroic tales, including legends such as Odysseus, and modern epics such as Star Wars

Milliron Monday: The Recordings 4

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