Meet the Members: Curt Locklear

“I believe in goal-setting, so I do not doubt that my books will ultimately take off and be sought after by all types of readers.”

-Curt Locklear

A member of the Writers’ League of Texas for four years, Curt Locklear lives in The Woodlands, TX.

curt-locklearScribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Curt Locklear: I write in several genres: contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction. My published novel is historical fiction.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

CL: Were she alive, I would like to have a drink, probably tea, with Mother Teresa. I would ask her how she was able to persevere and do  so much good for the poor, and indeed for the world, despite incredible odds.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

CL: I would have to have the Bible, but if I could bring along a fiction book, it would be Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

CL: I have attended some valuable workshops. I believe the people who run it are a confluence of geniuses. You know what writers need, and I applaud you.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

CL: I believe in goal-setting, so I do not doubt that my books will ultimately take off and be sought after by all types of readers. Although my first novel trilogy is a historical fiction, many of my most enthralled readers do not typically read historical fiction. What I hear the most is something like, “OMG, I love this book. I love the characters.”

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

CL: Anything by Anthony Whitt — sterling writing with strong characters. His books are about Texas cowboys facing incredible danger.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would look to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

CL: I am a retired educator, having been a principal at elementary, middle school, and high school. I am an accomplished education consultant. In addition, I give talks about the Civil War or other historical eras, always accompanied by my banjo and guitar. I tell corny jokes and make the learning memorable and fun. I’m available to teach on writing, brain theory, and more. www.CurtLocklearAuthor.com and email curt@curtlocklearauthor.com.

Finally, it’s my humble opinion that Writers’ League rocks!

Thanks, Curt!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: David Eric Tomlinson

“Writing, like nothing else, encourages me to focus on the bigger picture, to try and make sense of my community, my place within it, and how and where change can be affected.”

–David Eric Tomlinson

A member of the Writers’ League of Texas for three years, David Eric Tomlinson lives in Dallas.

tomlinson-webScribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

David Eric Tomlinson: I write fiction and the occasional book review or personal essay.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them? 

DET: My college writing professor, novelist and memoirist Mel Freilicher, who I haven’t seen in more than ten years. He always has a unique perspective on the intersection of art and politics, so I’d want him to explain the recent presidential election and what it all means. If anyone can do it, Mel can.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

DET: Underworld by Don DeLillo. It makes sense of this modern world like nothing I’ve ever read.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

DET: The Writers’ League has given me access to a whole diverse community of Texas writers, all of them pushing boundaries and taking chances with their work, which is so often excellent. I’ve reviewed several novels for the Members Review, something that has helped hone my own craft, because it forces a closer engagement with a manuscript, which is always a good thing for an author.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

DET: I’ll keep writing novels. It’s a long game, many years from idea to finished product, but that process forces me to both retreat from and engage more deeply with the world around me. There is such a constant barrage of information these days, much of it meaningless. And writing, like nothing else, encourages me to focus on the bigger picture, to try and make sense of my community, my place within it, and how and where change can be affected.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

DET: I read a fantastic novel by Dallas author Joe Milazzo a few years ago called Crepuscule W/Nellie. It’s about a love triangle between Thelonious Monk, his wife (just diagnosed with cancer), and Monk’s benefactor, a wealthy baroness. It’s a big, brilliant, rambling, gutsy book that dives into jazz and the creative process and intimacy and friendship. Another great one is Carmen Boullosa’s Texas: The Great Theft, about Mexico’s invasion of Texas (which had been stolen from them), in 1859. It’s a funny, irreverent, and politically relevant take on the seemingly endless cast of characters struggling for control of the border.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

My debut novel The Midnight Man was just released this month from Tyrus Books, now a division of Simon & Schuster. It’s a story about five Oklahomans who overcome deep racial, political, and social differences, to form a kind of family unit, in the year preceding the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The plot revolves around a capital murder trial. We’re having a book launch party on Monday, January 16, at The Wild Detectives bookstore, in Dallas. You can learn more about all of that here: www.DavidEricTomlinson.com.

Thanks, David!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: John Pipkin

“It’s supremely important for you to have a community of writers to turn to for support and for advice, and for drinks when you finally crawl out of your writing cave.”

-John Pipkin

pipkinA member of the Writers’ League of Texas for over 16 years (and a former WLT Executive Director!), John Pipkin lives in Austin.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

John Pipkin: Literary Historical Fiction. My book The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter (Bloomsbury) came out in October.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

JP: David Foster Wallace. I’d like to ask him what was on the deadly-entertaining videotape in Infinite Jest.

(But I don’t think he’d tell me.)

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

JP: John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667). It’s an epic poem, so it has the merit of being really really long, and it holds up under multiple re-readings.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

JP: It’s supremely important for you to have a community of writers to turn to for support and for advice, and for drinks when you finally crawl out of your writing cave.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

JP: I’ve written novels set in the 18th and 19th centuries, so eventually I’d like to creep up into the 20th century, maybe.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

JP: Dominic Smith, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

JP: Ah, I feel like I’ve already been doing a lot of shameless self-promotion on social media lately, so maybe I should pass on this one. (Okay, one thing: the UK edition of The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter came out on December 15, and the large print edition publishes on January 17. That’s it.)

Thanks, John!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Douglas Carlyle

“My motto is, ‘Writing Fiction and Saving Lives . . . All in a Day’s Work.'”

–Douglas Carlyle

A Writers’ League of Texas member since 2009, Douglas Carlyle lives near San Antonio.

me-croppedScribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

I write in multiple fiction genres:  Family Drama, Romantic Fantasy, Medical Thriller, and Crime Mystery.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

Douglas Carlyle: I would like to share absinthe and champagne with Ernest Hemingway. My question to him would be, “If you could narrow it down to one thing, what event had the greatest impact upon your career?”

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

DC: On the Road by Jack Kerouac.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

DC: Two things immediately come to mind. First, I learned that there are many excellent independent authors around the world who, like me, choose not to pursue traditional publishing. WLT helped me achieve that personal goal. Secondly, writing is acquired talent that takes a substantial amount of effort before one should consider him or herself proficient at the task. Even then, one can never stop refining one’s skillset. WLT offers the ongoing workshops and networking to assist in this matter.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

DC: I’ve published four novels. A fifth novel is half complete. I hope to complete it upon my retirement next year and to continue writing as a way to maintain my mental acuity and to meet other talented authors.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

DC: News of the World by Paulette Jiles.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

DC: I’ve rejected agency representation and traditional publishing because I’m certain the quality of my work would suffer from the prescriptive business practices I associate with going that route. I write what I want to write. Because I touch on subjects that have deeply affected me, it shows in the passion of my words.

There is a strong moral lesson in each of my novels. In my debut award-winning novel, In Search of the Fuller Brush Man, that lesson is “True love is never-ending.” That is a lesson I learned from my mother and my high school girlfriend, both of whom are now deceased, yet left indelible marks on my life.

In my second novel, Vinegarone, the lesson is “Greatness comes from the most unexpected people and places.” It alludes to the insensitivity with which we treat the homeless and the mentally ill.

My third novel, Boundaries, teaches us to “Beware of our misuse of technology.” It shows how greed and bureaucracy can destroy that which should give us great hope.

Finally, my most recent and second award-winning novel, Death by Times New Roman, plays on the cliché, “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.” It leaves you wondering who you can trust. This novel is the first in my Cat Kavanagh Mystery Series featuring a heroine who is tough, smart, sassy, all the while struggling with her PTSD.

I live on our Domarja Mesa Ranch about 75 miles west of San Antonio between the “thriving” wide spots in the road Tarpley and Utopia. We refer to it as being “centrally isolated.” I am an electrical engineer by degree. I worked in the semiconductor industry in Texas for twenty-six years beginning in Austin in 1977. Travel around the world has given me great inspiration as has raising three daughters and leading the life of a gentleman rancher.

Since leaving the world of electronics in 2003, I have been able to focus my energy full time as both a paramedic and firefighter–my dream job I began over three decades ago. While discharging my duty and medical ministry, I encounter people most of us would likely not have the opportunity–perhaps not the desire–to meet. These people are colorful. They span the spectrum of human existence. They often are experiencing the most tragic, intense, painful, emotional, humbling, moment of their life. They confide in me. They tell me their story. Fragments of these incredible people who cross my path maybe just once, maybe many times, become bits and pieces of my characters. If the individuals in my novels appear genuine, that’s because they are.

My motto is, “Writing Fiction and Saving Lives . . . All in a Day’s Work.”

Thanks, Douglas!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members Interview: Susan Elliott

“I think I’d like to have a latte with Stephen King. I would ask him to tell me a story.”

-Susan Elliott

A member of the Writers’ League of Texas since October, Susan Elliott lives in Beeville.

my-photoScribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Susan Elliott: Several! I have just a few pen names. Arwen Chandler writes science fiction and fantasy. Lori Steeplechase is working on crime novels, and Anne C. Heart, is a hopeless romance author. So, far I’ve only published one novel and short reads under Arwen Chandler; however, others are coming!

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

SE: I think I’d like to have a latte with Stephen King. I would ask him to tell me a story.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

SE: Aside from my Bible, I would take Dracula. It’s always been one of my favorites.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

SE: My mom was a member in the 80s back in Austin. I am still learning, and I am excited to be part of this amazing group!

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

SE: I hope it takes me to a summer house in Sitka, Alaska. I also hope it becomes something that supports us. My hubs (42 years old) had a stroke earlier this year, and I am trying to support our family through writing.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

SE: My year has been so crazy since the stroke, that I have only had a small amount of  time to read. Honestly, I’ve only read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, or what I’ve been writing. With that said, I look forward to hearing what others in the League recommend.a

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

SE: Well, The Collision of Fire and Ice, published under the name of Arwen Chandler, is now on Amazon. It took me several years to write, and I am so proud of it. It’s part Game of Thrones, part Merlin, and all me. I am currently working on the sequel. The working title is A Requiem of Fire and Ice.

Thanks, Susan!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Emily J. Hooks

“I’ve read two books by Texas authors this year: My Unsentimental Education by Debra Monroe, which was delightful, and This Word Now, by Owen and Jodi Egerton. A witty and relevant read. I love books on writing and it’s a great addition.

-Emily J. Hooks

A member of the Writers’ League of Texas for two years, Emily J. Hooks lives in Austin.

headshot3Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Emily J. Hooks: Spiritual, self-help nonfiction and memoir. I dabble in lowbrow fiction for fun.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

EJH: So many to choose from. I’m going with Malcolm Gladwell today. He would be endlessly interesting and probably pretty funny.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

EJH: Tao Te Ching. I read it everyday.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

EJH: Just how big the writing community in Austin is. And, how to write a screenplay 🙂

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

EJH: Into the unknown…my favorite place to be.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

EJH: If by “Texas-related” you mean by a Texas author, I’ve read two. My Unsentimental Education by Debra Monroe, which was delightful, and This Word Now, by Owen and Jodi Egerton. A witty and relevant read. I love books on writing and it’s a great addition.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

EJH: I have a book coming out early next year called, The Power of Forgiveness: A Guide to Healing and Wholeness. I am running a crowdfunding campaign November 15-December 15 to finish printing and marketing of the book! Find out more at http://emilyjhooks.com/book and https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/forgiveness/the-power-of-forgiveness-book.

Thanks, Emily!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Laura Mathis

“I’d love to incorporate travel into my writing. I am fascinated by the pursuit of happiness and the need for a sense of contentment. Perhaps I could travel to places that have made me happy over the years, and find out how to bring those experiences home.”

-Laura Mathis

A member of the Writers’ League of Texas since July, Laura Mathis lives in Austin.

headshotmathis_laura1Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Laura Mathis: I write primarily nonfiction and enjoy focusing on self-help, communication skills, parenting, and humor.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

LM: I’d love to speak with Wayne Dyer. Sadly, he passed away last year. He made such an interesting transition from writing business books to self-improvement. The first question I would ask is, “What are your suggestions for writing a large quantity of work when you have young children in the home or general life distractions?”

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

LM: I would absolutely want Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss. It’s a simple book on how to adapt to life’s inevitable changes.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

LM: My first event was the Writers’ League Agents & Editors Conference, which was mind blowing. I learned that this journey as a writer is so different for everyone, and that if you want to write, there are many people who will help you succeed.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

LM: I’d love to incorporate travel into my writing. I am fascinated by the pursuit of happiness and the need for a sense of contentment. Perhaps I could travel to places that have made me happy over the years, and find out how to bring those experiences home. Most of all, I want a little writing studio on the water. I plan to hide away and write full time for a living.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

LM: My kids are obsessed with the children’s book Goodnight Texas. The book is beautifully illustrated and serves as a reminder of the great places we have been or want to go. We read it almost every night!

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

LM: When I was laid off from my sales job last year, I truly felt like the universe officially nudged me into the writing world professionally. It’s a world I have been enjoying for decades “on the side.”

I hope you will check out my portfolio HERE. If you know anyone who wants to have a stronger online presence with blogs or articles, I would love to meet them. I’m great at helping businesses grow by sharing their stories with my writing skills.

Thanks, Laura!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!