NEWS: Marie Ann Dean on EWTN’s Morning Glory

morning-glory-banner-liveWe are pleased to announce that our Notre Dame alum and Iowa Catholic novelist in the Melitensia genre Marie Ann Dean will be speaking live about her books, the historical fiction novel The Jeweler’s Polish and its sequel, the supernatural fantasy The Beast, the Prophets and the Victory on Thursday, January 26, 2017 on EWTN’s radio show Morning Glory at 7.15am Eastern Standard Time (EST).

 

NEWS: Marie Ann Dean on EWTN’s Morning Glory

INTERVIEW with Maltese-Australian author Rupert Grech

_MG_1559We recently had the opportunity of interviewing our Maltese-Australian author and Melitensia writer Rupert Grech, whose second book Musings and Mutterings of a Maltese Misanthrope was released by Hope and Life Press in September. Here is the interview for your enjoyment.

1) When did you first start writing?

Must have been when I was about three years old and my mother tried to teach me to write my name. No, just kidding. Actually, I had to do a lot of writing of reports, policies, programs, submissions and that kind of thing while working as a school principal, albeit it being more factual, rather than creative writing. Sometimes, however, it did have to be a little on the creative side of things, if you catch my drift. Often the writing had to be clear, articulate and persuasive. While at one small, regional school in the countryside, I had to write a piece every week in the school newsletter. This newsletter was as close as the town had to a local newspaper and was read by almost the entire adult population of a few hundred. I wrote in that newsletter for six years and I believed that in trying to make it interesting every week, I also honed my writing skills to some degree. They even had a mailing list of expats to whom they sent the newsletter. When I left that school to take up a principal position at a larger school, I received a lovely letter from a regular reader; fan mail! I would also get regular feedback about my contributions from the locals. I also wrote a weekly column in a local newspaper in the Blue Mountains area for a couple of years where I reviewed live bands that performed in my hometown. My first attempt at purely creative writing was when I started on the first draft of my first book Stories My Parents Told Me: Tales of Growing Up in Wartime Malta. That was around 2011, I think, and the book was published in 2013.

2) What is the story behind your latest book of satire, humor and reminiscences Musings and Mutterings of a Maltese Misanthrope?

A grumpy, middle-aged man moves house and during the process gets his old record player working again, after it had been inoperable for many years. While listening to cherished LP’s of his youth and polishing off an entire bottle of good red wine, certain songs and record albums retrieve dear recollections of formative events in the past and memorable people known. Meanwhile, funny and frustrating days keep occurring in his contemporary life that often expose a very Maltese set of sensibilities.

3) What motivated you to become an author?

The reason I started writing was to record a story that my mother had told me about when she was a young girl in Malta during World War II. I always thought it was an amazing story, but when I told it to people, I rarely got the reaction from them that I thought the story deserved. I figured that I must not be doing the story justice by narrating it orally, so I decided to flesh it out and write it down as a short story. I encouraged my parents to tell me other stories about their childhood during the war in Malta and wrote them down as well. It is very satisfying these days to hear people say how moved they were by my mother’s story as this was the original motivation for writing it down.

4) What is the greatest joy for you in writing?

Following on from the last answer, by far the greatest joy I experience is when I receive feedback from readers who tell me they were moved to tears or were made to laugh, or just plain enjoyed the writing enough to contact me and thank me. That is just great and I love it when that happens.

5) Do you recall the first story you ever wrote? What was it like for you?

The first time I started writing creatively was cathartic for me. I had been thinking about all the stories my parents had told me for some time. Then, one day during my Christmas holidays, I woke up and decided that I would make a start by writing them down. I became obsessed. I wrote all day and most of the night, only taking short breaks to eat, sleep and take a walk to clear my head from time to time. I wrote the first draft of all seven short stories of my first book in six days. Even now, when I start a short story, I do not stop until the first draft is finished and find that I lose all sense of time. Later, I revise it many times over until I am happy with it.

6) Where did you grow up? How did that influence your writing?

I grew up in the poorer neighborhoods of inner Sydney as a very young child and later we moved out to the working class suburbs of far western Sydney. Ironically, I moved back to the inner city when I attended university. I suppose everyone who writes has their background reflected in their writing to some degree. This last book, my second one, certainly illustrates a lot of personal foibles, values and attitudes.

7) How do you spend your time when you are not writing?

I like travelling and reading. I also play guitar, bass and sing. Mostly, I have a very relaxed lifestyle these days. At night I like to listen to music.  When I am living in Valletta, Malta, I go out several times a week and listen to the plethora of live music available there.

8) What do you read for pleasure?

I like to read a wide variety of books. Both fiction and non-fiction. I enjoy reading biographies and memoirs of people with extraordinary lives and I enjoy short stories as well. I just finished reading Fortress Malta- An Island Under Siege 1940-43 by James Holland;  I am currently reading Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis and have just ordered a book of short stories by an author I have been wanting to read for a long time: Where I Live Now by Lucia Berlin.

9) What are your plans for the future? 

Well, doing more of the things I enjoy: travelling, reading, playing and listening to music. I am considering a trip to Japan next year, a place I always wanted to visit. I am also thinking of tackling something other than short stories in my next book; possibly a novel or novella. And continuing to spend each year between Valletta, Malta and the Blue Mountains in Australia.

INTERVIEW with Maltese-Australian author Rupert Grech

INTERVIEW: New Jersey’s Brian Kiczek and the book Help for Suffering Humanity

Brian GOOD USE THISHere for your reading pleasure is the interview given by New Jersey chiropractor, teacher and Catholic author Brian Kiczek, D.C., about what made him write the recently released devotional book Help for Suffering Humanity: Mary, Help of Christians (Hope & Life Press, 2016) and his faith in God. Please click here to read the whole interview.

INTERVIEW: New Jersey’s Brian Kiczek and the book Help for Suffering Humanity

BOOK LAUNCH: Brian Kiczek on EWTN Global’s “Morning Glory” on August 29

Brian GOOD USE THISOn Monday, August 29 at 7:15am EST, our latest author Brian Kiczek, D.C., of New Jersey will be speaking on EWTN Global Catholic Radio’s Morning Glory about his book Help for Suffering Humanity: Mary, Help of Christians, which shall be released that day to the general public. Help for Suffering Humanity will available for purchase starting August 29 in paperback and ebook editions from Amazon, Hope and Life Press, and major booksellers. Pre-orders are now being accepted.

BOOK LAUNCH: Brian Kiczek on EWTN Global’s “Morning Glory” on August 29

Listen to interview of Iowa’s Marie Dean on WVIK’s Scribble 8/20/16

Marie Ann Dean RESIZED

Click here to listen to the great radio interview given by our Iowa novelist Marie Ann Dean on WVIK’s Scribble on 8/20/16, where she speaks about the small Mediterranean island of Malta, its culture, what it takes to write a successful novel, and her recently released historical fiction book The Jeweler’s Polish (Hope & Life Press, 2016).

 

Listen to interview of Iowa’s Marie Dean on WVIK’s Scribble 8/20/16

NEWS: Marie Ann Dean on WVIK 90.3FM on Saturday

Marie Ann Dean RESIZEDFollowing hard upon the heels of her two book signings this past weekend, which generated great interest from the public, our Iowa novelist and Notre Dame alum Marie Ann Dean will be interviewed by Don Wooten on the NPR program Scribble, about her recently released Catholic historical fiction novel The Jeweler’s PolishThe program will be aired on the Quad Cities – WVIK 90.3FM on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 12:00pm CDT.

NEWS: Marie Ann Dean on WVIK 90.3FM on Saturday

Catholic theologian and poet Christopher Villiers speaks about his faith

Bio Photo
Christopher Villiers

Christopher Villiers is one of our British authors who is also a theologian and a poet. Here he speaks about his faith.

Who is God for you? God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:19) and He wants me to live with Him for all eternity as an adopted child in His family. It is through the person of Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, that the invisible God becomes truly visible in a personal sense. Of course, God is infinitely more than we can imagine Him as being, but divine revelation gives us enough. God is not a mere amiable vagueness or vague amiability, but someOne with a mind and will of His own who calls me to glorify Him and everything in relation to Him.

What does it mean for you to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? It means to follow Him wherever that may lead, to seek to understand Him, and to do His will. Loving Christ is not a sentimental thing. It means following him to Gethsemane and Golgotha, it means a kind of death, in order to rise again in Him. The Jesus of the Gospels can be a rather terrifying figure – He is no chummy chat-show host or anodyne salesman of family values and general niceness (vide Lk 14:26). My personal relationship with Jesus means that I know that I should not abandon Him, although sometimes I shall abandon Him and need to repent, and that He shall never abandon me. I would also like to make clear as a Catholic that my relationship with Christ is rooted in His mystical body the Church, built on the rock of Saint Peter and most fully represented in the Catholic faith. My relationship with Christ commits me to relate with my brothers and sisters in Him, including of course Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians – indeed, all sorts of people I would not ordinarily relate to in a million years. Christ calls us to communion with Him, but also with each other in Him.  Continue reading “Catholic theologian and poet Christopher Villiers speaks about his faith”

Catholic theologian and poet Christopher Villiers speaks about his faith

Marie Ann Dean speaks about what made her write The Jeweler’s Polish

Web res 2nd poster THE JEWELER'S POLISHHere is the interview with our latest Catholic author, the Notre Dame alum Marie Ann Dean of Iowa, as found at CBS-San Diego, whereby she speaks publicly about what made her write the 5* Catholic historical fiction book The Jeweler’s Polish and her faith in God. Interview is also found on FOX, NBC, International Business Times, Miami Herald, Star Telegram, LA Daily News, Erie News Now, Sacramento Bee, Contra Costa Times, Concord Monitor, Pasadena Star News, Columbus Ledger Enquirer among others. Please click on the first link above to read the interview.

Marie Ann Dean speaks about what made her write The Jeweler’s Polish

Author interview: Marie Ann Dean of Iowa

Marie Ann Dean RESIZEDBelow is our interview with Marie Ann Dean of Iowa (US), the Notre Dame alum and author of the Catholic historical fiction novel based in Malta titled The Jeweler’s Polish, newly released by Hope and Life Press.

1. When did you first start writing?

I first starting writing as a very young child. I remember writing for my parochial school newspaper, a little two-sided mimeographed sheets organized by the nuns. I wrote some things, including a little historical reference to the founder of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. I was writing poetry as a child, as well. I have written dozens of short stories, plays, and poetry ever since I can remember. I was a feature writer for my high school newspaper and feature editor, as well as the high school assistant feature editor for my school in the local city newspaper. In college, I also wrote features. At Notre Dame, I had poetry published in The Juggler and I wrote many, many poems and plays, one of which was put on at Notre Dame by a group of very talented students. It was a strange play about children and adolescents responding to The Black Death. I have written both verse dramas and prose dramas. I just like to write.

2. What is the story behind your book The Jeweler’s Polish? 

The story is entirely made up as the two Emeralds in the book are fictive characters. But many of the facts regarding the Knights and the French Revolution, as well as Napoleon’s rise to power, are common historical types of information. Most of my novels either take place in the small Mediterranean island of Malta or are connected by characters from Malta. Malta, like England, inspires me to write. I believe we all have spiritual homes, even on earth, which encourage us to be whom we are created to be and place is important to me.

3. Where did you grow up? How did that influence your writing?

I grew up in Iowa and my family is full of writers. My great-grandfather, great-grandmother, great uncle, grandmother, and others all had published works including novels. More importantly, the two great journals of the Czech community in America were written and published by my great-grandparents. These can now be found in the library of Illinois Benedictine College.

4. What is the greatest joy for you in writing?

John Henry, Cardinal Newman stated that he meditated with a pen in his hand. I find that I am closer to God when I write. Also, I am more in touch with my own self.

5. How do you spend your time when you are not writing?

I pray mostly, being a semi-contemplative in the world. I do some spiritual direction and intercessory prayer. Also, I do research and paint, clean house, and carry out all the normal daily chores. My life is based on a monastic day, somewhat.

6. What do you read for pleasure?

For pleasure, I have moved from reading poetry to novels. I do read the classics and like to re-read the same books. I am reading Bleak House at the moment. I have been reading Dickens rather systematically for a few years now. I also read contemporary novels. My son gave me Game of Thrones for Christmas two years ago, but to be honest, I have avoided reading most modern novels after the year 2010 as I do not want to be influenced by contemporary fantasy. I like going back to the older forms, such as epistolary novels, which have charm. But I can say that I have read most of the main novelists from the earliest ones recognized in the 18th century, down to our times.

7. What are your plans for the future?

My future plans are to continue to be a contemplative in the world and pray for others. As a Catholic, I also pray for the holy souls in Purgatory, which I have done since I was a child. Serious praying takes energy, which most people do not realize. I live in true monastic fashion, day by day, with a regular schedule, which I do admit brings peace and balance to one’s life.

Author interview: Marie Ann Dean of Iowa

NEWS: Christopher Villiers interviewed at Catholic Book Blogger

Bio Photo
Christopher Villiers

Our award-winning British theologian and poet Christopher Villiers, author of Sonnets From the Spirit newly released by Hope and Life Press in December, has just been interviewed and featured by Pete Socks at Catholic Book Blogger. Click here to read the complete interview.

NEWS: Christopher Villiers interviewed at Catholic Book Blogger