The Rhode Island Authors Showcase is back! Each day in November, I’ll be featuring a different RI author. Each post features a giveaway – a book, an anthology, or something else! All you have to do to be eligible for the daily drawing is leave a comment on the blog post. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner one week after the blog post (to give you time to catch up).
By commenting on each post, you’re also entered to win our bigger prizes: GRAND PRIZE is a $250 Amazon gift card, BONUS PRIZE is a $100 Amazon gift card, and the CHEER UP YOU WON SOMETHING PRIZE is a $50 Amazon gift card. The big prizes will be chosen, again using a random number generator, on December 7.
So happy to have Phyllis Calvey on the blog today! You know I have questions….
Phyllis, where is your hometown? Bellingham, Massachusetts (right over the line from Rhode Island!)
What genre(s) do you write? Nonfiction
And what have you written? The Butterfly Club: “Is That You?” (2014), Caterpillar’s Search for the Perfect Halloween Costume (2021)
Who are your favorite authors? I enjoy quoting lines from Tolkien, rereading Jane Austen’s dialogs between Darcy and Elizabeth, and living The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. After reading the entire series to my family one winter when our children were young, we put our television away for the next seven years; we gathered wood, made a latch-key door, a braided rug, and planted a huge garden.
What were some of your favorite books growing up? Growing up, my mother read all the Little Golden Books to us; Aesop’s Fables, and classics like The Little Red Hen. I loved reading books like Heidi, Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, and soon was captivated by the Nancy Drew Mysteries.
What do you like best about writing? I write stories that have really happened. They are so profound and unexpected that people often ask if I made them up. I assure them I’m not that smart! What I love best about writing is finding those unexpected connections that make you feel like you are not writing alone.
What do you find most challenging about writing? What I find most challenging about writing is being patient enough to allow the story itself to lead you. The more I learned about monarchs the more amazed I became how their metamorphic nature seemed planned from the beginning to offer comfort and hope that death is not the end, rather, a new beginning. It is no surprise to me how these ethereal creatures have captured our imagination and perhaps a little part of our soul.
Writing The Butterfly Club kindled a love affair with Monarchs that inspired me to write a children’s book, Caterpillar’s Search for the Perfect Halloween Costume. (Now this one I made up!) In the end, what hadn’t dawned on me was that a Monarch’s bright orange and black wings are the very colors of Halloween!
Where do you get inspiration? How do I find inspiration for a story? I don’t. It finds me. For example, as my cousin began telling me about an unknown man who came through the line of her 35 year-old brother’s wake wearing a butterfly pin on his lapel and what had taken place, I knew I had found my inspiration for The Butterfly Club: “Is That You?
You’ve just been given the chance to collaborate on a book with one of your favorite authors. Who’s the author and what’s the title going to be? Given the chance, I would love to collaborate on a book with Laura Ingalls, the title being, Little House on the Prairie with Electricity! It would be fun to share our own family’s story with her!
Please answer the following two questions to have a chance to win your choice of a copy of either The Butterfly Club: “Is That You?” or Caterpillar’s Search for the Perfect Halloween Costume.
Question 1. What was your favorite Halloween costume growing up?
Question 2. If you were writing this story what insect and costume might you have chosen?
(My 21 year-old grandson said a mosquito wearing a vampire costume. I loved the idea but only wanted to use the “good” bugs!)