Writer Wednesday: Meet Foy Iver!

Foy Pic2-4-6-8, what do we appreciate? Wednesday! Wednesday! W-r-r-r-iter Wednesday!

And I doubly appreciate it today, because my good friend and deliciously fabulous writer Foy Iver is with me. Foy’s way with words steals my breath every time, folks – if you haven’t read her flash fiction in the places listed below, go seek it out. You won’t be sorry.

I recently enticed her to come share a little about herself, a quick bite, flash-esque interview, as it were, so I hope you read a little and comment a lot. Let’s show Foy some writerly love!

What inspires you to write?

Writing doesn’t come easily for me. Usually my best stories or poems are born out of painful experiences that I need to process: a miscarriage, the death of a friend, my own failings. Through writing, I pull out those emotions, flip them upside down and around, study them, understand them, and then imprison them on the page.

comfrey herbName one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book.

Research is my enchanted fruit. I could spend years digging up useless gems of information while the meat of my story lies rotting in my brain. Semi-useless fact #19203742893: Comfrey (also known as Knitbone [is that not the coolest name ever]), was used to promote healing in broken bones in the early days of medicine.

Name two things people don’t know about you.

1) I recently left my job to be a full-time writer. This is the first in seven years that I haven’t been employed or seeking employment. Yes, it feels odd.

2) I struggled with reading until about the age of twelve when letters just fell into place. After that you couldn’t get my nose out of a book.

What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?
So your inner editor sees a rhinosaurus? Let others have a peek. They might spy a prize-winning unicorn in the making.

Fountain penBio:

Foy S. Iver is a flash fiction author and fantasy writer. Her stories have found homes at several online sites, including Flash! Friday, Micro Bookends, Three Line Thursday, Angry Hourglass, Paragraph Planet, & Visual Verse. She chases after the FlashDogs and has a few pieces in their solstice Light & Dark Anthologies.

Find her on Twitter @fs_iver or drop by her site, www.foyiver.com. In the non-virtual universe, she lives with her husband and Blue Heeler in the mountains of Northern Virgina.

Wahoo! Thanks so much, Foy – such an honor to host you here. 🙂

The West Virginia Book Festival – My Experiences as Author & Reader #wvbookfestival

AMOCSueLondonThis past weekend I was privileged to attend the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston, WV, headlined by no less than Neil Gaiman, and featuring such spectacular author-speakers as Homer Hickam, Jodi Picoult, Jeff Shaara, and Jacqueline Woodson. The wonderful Jane Friedman also presented a seminar on self-publishing for authors, which I was thrilled to attend.

I wore dual hats for the two days of the festival – one as reader fangirl, and one as author. You see, fellow Virginia Romance Writer Sue London was there featuring her marvelous Haberdashers series, and she graciously allowed me to display A Man of Character in her booth. I even got to spend a few hours hanging around to sign copies for anyone who wished one (and to my utter delight, there were some people who did!). It was my first big book festival signing (I’ve been blessed to hold signings at the Artisan Galleries in Massanutten, but the two venues are quite different). I met several enthusiastic book aficionados, sold a few books, and several readers signed up for my newsletter – hooray!

Speaking of which, congratulations to Carla W. for winning a copy of A Man of Character! Maria G., Elizabeth S., Debbie S., and Holly W., thanks for signing up for my newsletter. Even though you didn’t win a book, I hope you’ll stick around to find out more about my books and me!

NeilGaimanI wasn’t alone in my adventures, either – luckily for me, fellow friends and Shenandoah Valley Writers Foy Iver and Rebekah Postupak were in attendance. After a delightful dinner together on Friday, we listened in awe as Neil Gaiman charmed the entire audience with his humor and insights, and even read us a story.

Saturday morning that reader hat was firmly fixed to my head as I hit the famed used book sale, and scooped up a rather insane number of romances for under $20. Woo hoo!

My camera was blurry, but who cares? Foy, Rebekah, and I still managed to ham it up for this silly selfie.

HomerHickamThen it was off to hear the charming Homer Hickam speak – he’s really quite entertaining and funny, and the stories he told about his folks were both amusing and touching. My favorite anecdote was when he talked about meeting Harper Lee. She appeared at an event at which he was scheduled to speak, where she said to him, “So I hear you wrote a classic?” “Yeah, that’s what they say,” he responded. “Your readers will never forgive you,” was her comment. Something about that struck a real chord in me – we do tend to associate an author of a famous book only with that book, and anything else they write likely pales in comparison, right?

JodiPicoultI missed Jeff Shaara and Jacqueline Woodson, as I was chatting with Sue at the romance booth while also meeting and greeting folks, but finished off the festival by listening to Jodi Picoult speak. It’s with great embarrassment I admit that I’ve only read one of her books — House Rules — but I have a number of friends who love her stories, and after hearing her talk about some of the subject matter and research methods for a few of her hard-hitting books, like 19 Minutes, many more of hers are on my list.

Book Festivals are fun, y’all. When I’m there, I truly sense I’m with my tribe, my people. I felt that both as a reader and as an author, and it makes me even more determined to get to RWA and any other romance festivals I can find — and has me anxiously awaiting the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville next spring.

Thank you, Sue, for allowing me to join your party!

Sue and her husband setting up shop. They are both so very warm and charming, y'all.
Sue and her husband setting up shop. They are both so very warm and charming, y’all.

Thank you, Charleston and West Virginia, for a fabulous weekend!


This photo doesn’t do the stunning scenery justice, but I have to admit, I literally whooped and hollered at the gorgeous fall foliage draped across the mountains.