1 Question, 10 Answers, August 2013

Hi, peeps! Whew. Been a busy summer, hasn’t it? And it’s back-to-school season, my friends. So with that in mind, Jove and I thought it might be fun to do a “back to school edition” with our 10 authors on the hotseat this month.

The question we asked was:

What was your favorite thing about going back to school and what was your least favorite?

Let’s see what folks said, shall we?

Lynn Ames

When I was a kid (yesterday, right?), my favorite part of going back to school was getting to see my favorite teachers again. Geeky, I know, but there were a few teachers back then who really changed/saved my life. My other favorite part was playing on the sports teams (field hockey, basketball, and softball). I loved competing! My least favorite part of going back to school was math class. Math was always such a struggle for me! Word problems? Forget about it! LOL. Even now, I hear a word problem and have to breathe into a paper bag to keep from hyperventilating.

BIO: Lynn Ames is an award-winning romance and thriller author and founder of Phoenix Rising Press. In her deliciously sordid past, she was an award-winning broadcast journalist, a press secretary for a New York senate minority leader, an editor, and is a nationally recognized all-around awesome PR person and speaker. You can find her on her website HERE.

Shawn Blackhawk

My favorite part of going back to school, was seeing friends that I hadn’t connected with over the summer break. Least favorite? Going shopping for back to school clothes. Shopping is evil. 🙂 [Andi note: I rather agree.]

BIO: Shawn Blackhawk is a poet who spent her early years in the Midwest. Her poetry is her means of deepest expression, and she strives to tell the stories around her with unvarnished honesty and imagery. You can find her on her website HERE and also at Regal Crest.

Carrie Carr

Favorite part of going back to school? Believe it or not, it was seeing my favorite teachers. So many of them were a big influence on me at that time, and I always enjoyed seeing them, and going to class.

Least favorite? Marching band practice before school — blah! It was hot, and it was the same thing, year in and year out. [Andi note: Yay! Band geek!]

BIO: Carrie Carr is a Texas native who got up the nerve to post her first writing to the internet in 1998. She’s been writing every since, doing several standalone novels as well as her Lex and Amanda series. She’s also been published in a few anthologies. You can find out more about her and her books at her website HERE. Her forthcoming novel, Beyond Always, will be available through Regal Crest.

Cari Hunter

When I was at primary school (age 4 to 11 over here in England) pretty much all the children ate the school dinners instead of taking their own packed lunch, and the savoury options were, well, variable in quality to say the least. The puddings, however, were brilliant! Even now, I can pass a long night shift with my Work Wife reminiscing about huge chunks of fluffy chocolate sponge cake with pink custard, Manchester tart (pastry base, jam, thick cold custard topping and coconut sprinkles), syrup cornflake cake, semolina with jam that you stirred in till it went pink, and jam roly-poly (jam was a bit of a theme in those days!) It all sounds terribly unhealthy, I know, but with no fancy phones, gadgets or social networking, we used to play outside till it got dark so we burned off all those calories in no time.

My primary school was non-uniform, but when I went to secondary school I absolutely hated the uniform. It was a nasty black skirt, white shirt, tie, a blue jumper and black blazer. We looked like scruffy undertakers. In summer classrooms, you baked in the blazer until you were given permission to take it off. In winter, the wind went right up your skirt. No one could tie their ties, and you got laughed at if you wore the wrong sort of socks. Being a complete tomboy, I longed to wear trousers, but it was a few years after I went to college that the school changed their policy to allow this. I burned my tie when I left.

BIO: Cari Hunter lives in the Northwest of England with her partner, two cats, and a pond full of frogs. She works full-time as a paramedic and dreams up stories in her spare time. Find her online HERE.

Ann McMan

Favorite: Every summer, in late August, my mother would pile all four of us kids into the family station wagon, and head to Sears for new clothes. I’ve never been much of a clothes hound, and probably, having all of my inaugural wardrobe needs met at a tiny Sears store in Jamestown, N.Y., is the culprit for that. Nothing quite compared to the fiesta of bright new plaids that always held together just long enough to get me through an entire academic year.

Least favorite: GYM. Hands down. I sucked at it. And the prospect of confronting that recurring horror led me to lie awake nights in my tiny twin bed, cursing my life.

BIO: Ann McMan is an award-winning author with three novels and a short story collection under her belt. Her novels Jericho and Dust were Golden Crown finalists and her short story collection, Sidecar, was a Golden Crown winner. She resides in North Carolina with her wife, three dogs, two cats, and many, many vacuum cleaner bags. You can find her at her website, HERE.

Sandra Moran

I was one of those weird kids who couldn’t wait for the beginning of school. And the reason why wasn’t seeing my friends or the new classroom — it was the school supplies. I loved (LOVED) going to the Walgreens with the list of that year’s must-haves and laboring over my purchases: the No. 2 pencils, the protractor, the 64-box of Crayola Crayons (with built-in sharpener), the pink pearl eraser and of course, the mother of all school supplies … the Trapper Keeper. I spent hours (yes HOURS) arranging and rearranging these treasures in my pencil box or satchel. And the smells … oh, god, the smells … the woodiness of the carefully sharpened pencils, the new, plastic-ness of the Trapper Keeper and mineral aroma of the eraser. It was Geek Heaven — which leads to my least favorite part of school: actually having to use them. [Andi Note: good god we are separated at birth]

BIO: Sandra Moran is a teacher, author, and international woman of intrigue. She’s a native Kansan with a once-secret past as a journalist, political speechwriter, and archaeological tour manager. When she’s not indoctrinating students with the joys of anthropology, she’s dressed as a superhero in pink tennis shoes, which she uses to blind those engaged in nefarious deeds. You can find her at her website, HERE.

VK Powell

You’re really testing my memory here! If I recall, my least favorite thing (since I’m an introvert) was meeting new people every year. I wanted to stick with my old friends and have life continue as usual, but there were always newbies–hard for me, but I managed. My favorite part of school (you’re going to yawn and say, “Oh, one of those!”) was actually learning. I really enjoyed finding out new things, studying, taking tests, and getting that big ole A on my report card. I would’ve made an excellent professional student if I didn’t have to work.

BIO: VK is a 30-year veteran of the police force, now retired. That’s where all that unique cop flavor in her writing comes from. To learn more about her, check out her website HERE.

Robin Roseau

Wow. We’re talking memories going back 40 years.

There were two things I liked about back to school. I loved to learn, so I was excited about the opportunities going back to school represented.

And back to school was full of other excitements. Would I like my new teacher? Once I was in junior high, would I like my classes? What would we learn? Would it be new or more regurgitation? I probably didn’t actually think about that last question until much later in life, but it was all part of the excitement.

What I didn’t like: back to school shopping. It was a stressful time for everyone involved. My parents had four kids to deal with, and I didn’t get along with my older sister. Imagine a mother forced to take four kids back to school shopping while on a budget. Imagine the two eldest don’t get along. Imagine the third was given to wandering away, following her feet without a care in the world. Imagine how stressed out all that would make her. So Mom was stressed, which the rest of us couldn’t help but feel, and she wouldn’t let us buy the things “all the other kids had”, meaning we knew we would be social pariahs. So we were probably snotty. Well, I wasn’t, because I was perfect, but my siblings were terrible. I promise, I was the sweet one. Honestly.

I didn’t learn to be a smart mouth until much, much later in life.

Okay, I was probably really, really good at pouting.

So Mom would be stressed. Several of us would be upset at the knowledge we’d be social pariahs for how we dressed. Both of those fed on each other.

I’ll stop hyperventilating now. 🙂

BIO: A writer by avocation, Robin has a renaissance interest in many areas. A bit of a gypsy, Robin has called a few places home and has traveled widely. A love of the outdoors, animals in general and experimenting with world cuisines, Robin and partner share their home with a menagerie of pets and guests, although sometimes it is difficult to discern who is whom. Learn more about her at her website HERE.

Jerry L. Wheeler

I never looked forward to school all that much. Bullying, humiliation, and a sense that I just wasn’t like everyone else kept me from participating in a lot of school life. I was afraid I’d get laughed at yet again. Still, since my birthday is Sept. 23rd, I always get a sense of renewal at this time of year. Forget January 1st–since I’ve been an adult, my year starts on Sept. 24th. Now I anticipate it with a passion and can’t wait. In fact, I’m starting to get excited about it now.

BIO: Jerry L. Wheeler is a writer and editor. He was also a Lamba finalist, so that makes him super cool. Learn more about Jerry at his website HERE.

Barbara Ann Wright

Fave part? Two words: school supplies. New notebooks, pens and pencils filled me with excitement, as if they contained new worlds waiting to be uncovered and awkward doodles begging to be brought to life. Also, Trapper Keepers.

Least fave? Nervous belly. Being around people again after seeing just my family over the summer always gave me butterflies. Even as a kid, I sucked at “getting to know you” chit-chat. Luckily, I was tall and could run away quite quickly.

Barbara Ann Wright writes fantasy and science fiction novels and short stories when not adding to her enormous book collection or ranting on her blog. Learn more about her at her website HERE.

One comment

  1. This was really interesting, reading about some of the similarities between authors. Now, for the rest of the story, “how many of you just had to taste the paste?”

    Like Ann McMan, there was always a shopping trip in store for us. I hated clothes shopping, because my mom and I never saw eye to eye on clothes. I was the tomboy and she like the girly stuff. I never won any of those arguments. But, we had more say in our shoes and this was the one thing I always loved. My one new pair of shoes for the year.

    For me, least favorite as far as the academia was gym class. I was always in the group of “last picks.” No matter how hard I tried to get out of that group, I never succeeded.

    The best part ever in school was when the dress code got changed and I could wear my beloved “pants” and not have to wear those dumb dresses all the time. Although, the one time I got to have a pair of fishnet stockings was pretty cool.

    Thanks all you folk, for sharing with us.


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