Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Owl Lady Comes to MB4

Aaron Lazar and Dora Machado

We are delighted to welcome Viv Drewa to MB4. At Aaron’s kind invitation, Aaron, Viv and I are sitting around his fireplace, sharing a stout blend of Earl Gray, talking about all things writing. And yes, there’s an owl on the mantle, because there’s always an owl when Viv comes for a visit, a very wise one whose wisdom she’s always happy to share with her fellow writers.

For those of you who don’t know Viv, she’s the accomplished pen behind The Owl Lady Blog and the indie author of several novels, including The Owl of the Sipan Lord and The Owl and the Angler. She’s also a legendary figure in our writing community, known for her kindness and generosity in supporting, promoting and mentoring her fellow writers.

Aaron: Viv, you spend so much time promoting your fellow authors, we’re astounded. Where did you get your most generous spirit? Were your parents like you? Do you have siblings, and did they also inherit that amazing gift?

Viv: Awww, shucks, you’re making me blush!!!

My father was the one I learned generosity from. He was always there to help someone, friend, family or neighbor. My ‘baby brother’, who passed in 2014, was the same. If a friend or family member called him to help with their car or wiring or plumbing problems, he’d drop everything and go help.

Aaron: That is so cool, Viv. I had a feeling you might have come from a very giving family! And I’m sorry to hear about your brother passing. That must have been very difficult. Were you close siblings?

Viv: When we were grown yes we were very close. We didn’t live close and would spend Sundays on the phone laughing at anything and everything.

Aaron: We are fascinated by the owl theme that permeates your books and beautiful book covers. Why owls and how did you come to love owls?

Viv: I was three when I fell in love with owls. We had an owl clock in the living room that sat on top of our TV console. It was 6” tall and was an electric alarm clock. I wanted it so bad! I didn’t get to put it in my bedroom until I was 13 and used it until I was in high school. It stopped working and I wanted to take the insides out and put flowers in it as a decoration and put it on the shelf with the many owls I had already collected. Unfortunately my grandfather threw it out and I never saw it again.

I chose to add them, as a guide to the solution of the story, because of my love of them. They’re mysterious, curious and just downright adorable!

My granddaughter, Annabelle Furlong, designed the cover for “The Owl of the Sipan Lord” which won first place in the 2015 AuthorsDB cover contest, and also “Midnight Owl” A Joe Leverette Mystery, Book 1. She’ll be doing all my covers.

Aaron: Ah, another family connection! Someone in your family must’ve loved owls, too. ;o) And your covers are great – kudos to your granddaughter! Tell us, Viv, what genre books did you read as a child/young adult? Did they influence the type of books you write today?

Viv: I was always attracted to books with pretty pictures of animals when I was very young. Later I read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries.

Aaron: I read the Hardy Boys mysteries, too! And also as many “animal” mysteries as I could get my hands on. ;o) Do you have a favorite book in your own stable? What it is?

Yes, and I was able to purchase it from a library that had closed and it’s the exact book jacket from the one I read in 1963! It is “The Whistling Sword” by J.R. Green. It was the first book I read after the mysteries I mentioned in #3 and it was the book that made me want to be an author.

Dora: Tell us a little more about that. When did you decide to become a writer and how did you go about it?

Viv: That was in 1963, I was nine so becoming a writer was just a dream at this point. I excelled in writing and won two competitions, then came in 2nd and 3rd in two more. I have the story I wrote in 1963 where my teacher wrote: “Someday you’ll write books and they will be published!” I’m thinking of having it framed. Unfortunately she passed away 40 years ago but I know she’s watching from heaven and is pleased her prophecy came true.

Dora: Aw. What a wonderful story. How do you go about writing your books? Do you have daily, monthly and yearly goals? And as active as you are in promoting other writers, how do you find the time to write and be at the heart and soul of the writing community?

Viv: First I follow something I learned at a screenwriting seminar: It’s a story about ______ that ______ and sometimes add: What if _____?
         Second: I decide how many main characters I need, and secondary, too. Then I interview them to get to really know them.
          Third: Give them physical descriptions and names.
          Fourth: Start writing.

As for goals I set yearly ones. 2016 I’m planning on writing two books, maybe three. Plus four short stories for Ashtrays to Jawbreakers Anthology.

(You guys just love to make me blush! I never thought I was at the heart and soul of the writing community. Just one of the group.)

I have to give Aaron credit for helping me find time to write. I read an interview where he said you find the time even if it means getting up a little earlier every day. So I’m up at 5 a.m. and write or do research until 8 a.m. Then get on with promoting my fellow authors.

Aaron: What’s your favorite character in your books? Why do you love him/her and how did this character become "real" to you?

Viv: My favorite character is Det. Joe Leverette. I created him over 30 years ago when I was dabbling with screenplays. I had always planned on using him in a book after that.

Leverette is a stoic personality, always studying his surroundings and at the age of 56 seems to attract a barrage of 25+ year old women. (Which he hates) If you remember the late Edward Mulhare in “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” TV program, that’s how I visualize him.

Dora: Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Viv. We loved having you here.

Aaron: Yes, Viv, thank you for coming. You give of yourself so freely all the time, we’d like to tell our readers more about you and your books. So here we go!

Thank you both for inviting me to your wonderful blog! I had a good time!

All About Viv’s books:

The Angler and the Owl

Before retiring France Hunter decides to go to the place where she found her first new species of owl: The Amazon. Her group follows a well know angler, John Sinclair, and his team, along with a reporter who wants to do a story on Hunter.

Once arriving at the site, Sinclair leaves to go further up the river. He has a show to record and is hoping to catch an even larger fish this time.

Hunter, and the group with her, run into a gruesome nightmare with the satellite phone
destroyed and one man fighting for life. Sinclair is not due to pick them up for another week.

Will they survive?

From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life

The true story of a young man forced to leave his family to escape the Russian czar in 1913 Poland, or be drafted into the Russian army and fight against his own people. (I’m planning on making this into a novella)

The Owl of the Sipan Lord

Martin and Clare Montgomery worked as an archaeological team until Martin's accidental death at a dig they were working on in Peru. Clare swore she'd never go back, but after having a dream about the dig that didn't add up to the finds of the area, and the help of the Peruvian Pygmy Owl and a blue-eyed spirit, she did.

Midnight Owl A Joe Leverette Mystery, Book 1

Detectives Joe Leverette and Philip Marsden are assigned to investigate the murder of a woman who was found dismembered in Port Huron, Michigan. After investigations, it is discovered the
murderer is going after the individuals who found each of the body parts.

Leverette becomes interested in Carole Sage, one of the women involved, who is a sensitive but is unable to pursue her due to her involvement in the case. His colleagues in the police
force notice the infatuation he has for the woman, but she does not.

The witnesses dream about the murderer removing the particular body part they would eventually find, are startled awake and then they hear an owl hoot several times. Fearing skepticism, they don't reveal their dreams to law enforcement.

Carole Sage actually sees the original murder plus the murder of the individual witnesses. Police Chief Billingsley understands the gift she possesses and arranges a sting operation in order to catch the murderer which fails. Two witnesses are dead and they don't want any more to die.

This books is for 18+ due to the violence.

I also write short stories for the anthology “Ashtrays to Jawbeakers: A June Project” which is on it’s 10th edition and each issue is always available for free on Smashwords.


More About Viv Drewa

I am a Michigan native who has enjoyed reading and writing since 1963. Though I studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan my passion has always been writing.
I had been awarded third place for her nonfiction short story about my grandfather’s escape from Poland. Later, rewrote this story and was published in the “Polish American Journal” as “”From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life” and has republished it on as a short story.

I took creative and journalism courses to help transition to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer. I worked as an intern for Port Huron’s ‘The Times Herald”, and also wrote, edited and did the layout or the Blue Water Multiple Sclerosis newsletter “Thumb Prints.”
I also write two blogs promoting my fellow authors:


Unknown said...

Hi Viv ;)

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thanks so much for joining us, Viv. It was great fun to sit around and chat about books and how you came to be a writer! We'll have to do this again sometime.;o)

writerchick said...

Loved the interview Aaron--I really got to know my new friend alot with that info. she is a sweetie.

Joyce said...

This is so interesting. Viv sounds like "my kind of people."
I would love to listen to some of her books and review them if Audible codes are available.
Thanks, Joyce

Joyce said...

This is so interesting. Viv sounds like "my kind of people."
I would love to listen to some of her books and review them if Audible codes are available.
Thanks, Joyce