Sunday, July 22, 2007

Henri Does Marilyn Celeste Morris

They call the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens "sanctuary for the senses" and I thought no better place to interview Mademoiselle Marilyn Celeste Morris in a place as beautiful as she. Oooo. La. La.

I'd never been to Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, much less Fort Worth, Texas, but this was the place my next interviewee and I were to meet for a little chit chat. Tour coordinator said I'd have fun because she knew Mademoiselle Marilyn very well and considered her one of her closest friends, so she sent me on a mission - to interview the lovely lady for her The Women of Camp Sobingo Virtual Book Tour that's running to the end of this month.

Fort Worth was an interesting place to do this, too, and the Botanic Gardens here were as beautiful as could be for this time of year. I figured they must have one humungous water bill with all the thousands of native and exotic species of plants in over 100 acres that they have here. I made a mental note to stop off at the Rose Gardens as roses were my passion, even though I'm a such a macho kind of ghost, as you know...haha.

I was growing nervous by the minute. Mademoiselle Marilyn was a way better writer than I was and had published many, many books to my one. I tried not to let that destroy my already deflated ego and decided I’d talk to her as if she was like anyone else.

But how can you help not be intimidated? Her latest book, THE WOMEN OF CAMP SOBINGO, was destined to be a bestseller. I knew it. I felt it in my bones. What a wonderful story of four Army wives who discover their inner strength while they cope with living in a military compound in a faraway primitive country right after WWII.

Interesting time of history and Henri could not wait to interview this magnificent and gifted woman.

It grew to be very hot, so I sat down on one of the park benches near the waterfall and that’s when I saw her. She was fanning herself as she made her way toward me (I had to materialize during the interview or she wouldn’t have seen me, of course).

“You must be Henri,” she said, sitting down beside me. My heart started doing pitter-patters and I pulled out my notes of questions to ask her, then threw them on the ground. I was going to do this interview with no props. Completely au naturelle.

“Bonjour Mademoiselle Marilyn,” I said, feeling a lump forming in my throat. “So glad you could make it. Weather’s quite warm, isn’t it?”

"Well, it’s July in North Central Texas," she replied. "What would you expect?"

Tough cookie! I liked that. “Hope your trip to these lovely botanic gardens was worth it to give Henri an interview. Have you ever been here before?”

"Oh, yes, many times. I love the Japanese Gardens, especially. Soothing and serene. That’s what we’re all looking for."

And some of us are looking for a little more......

“I hear you’ve been many, many places, Mademoiselle Marilyn. Far off places. Do you think that being as you went to all these far off places, it make you better writer for book?”

"Yes. I kind of soaked up atmosphere, scenery, people and languages. A knowledge of history helps, too."

I had to get this woman to open up more. I decided to do for the gut.
“Tell me, what is the most wonderful place you ever been?”
I figured she would say here. With me. Just the two of us.

"You mean, with my clothes on?"
She grinned an infectious grin and I knew she was catching some of Henri's vibes. I expected her to throw off her clothes and let Henri have good time; but, alas, she just kept talking.

"Well, it would have to be Austria," she continued. "I lived there for three years when my dad, an army officer, was stationed there with the US Occupation Forces. If given a diagnosis of only six weeks to live, I would go immediately to Austria and die happy."

If I could have Mademoiselle Marilyn just one time, I would die happy. Wait. I'm already dead. I think I would need to rephrase that.

I was starting to really warm to this woman. Although in this heat, it wasn’t hard to do; but, still, she was so open with Henri and kind. I could picture date with her and much, much more. But, I wanted to know more about this lovely woman who wrote many books. I needed to know her secrets....

“Mademoiselle Marilyn, can you tell Henri why you wrote The Women of Camp Sobingo?”

"It came out of writing my book, Once a Brat, where I related that one of my mother’s bridge-playing friends committed suicide when we lived in that army compound in primitive, 1946, Seoul, Korea. I always wondered why a person would do such a thing; other women evidently had more coping skills and a more stable background than she did. The story just grew from there."

Those lips. It was hard for Henri to remain calm and collected, but interview was first or tour coordinator would send Henri’s head rolling across the parkway.

“Sooooo, how about those Yankees?”

Oops, wrong state. I was getting nervous. She laughed which sent tingles inside Henri.

“I’m sorry, Mademoiselle Marilyn. Tour coordinator has me so nervous. She told me you were a hottie…well…you certainly live up to your title. Let’s try to change the subject, shall we? So how is your virtual tour going? You know I toured last month and I have to tell you, Mademoiselle, it was a lot of work. How has it been for you?”

"A hottie? Pardon me while I laugh. As for work, yes, it’s a lot of work to promote your work. I’d rather be writing, like many authors who lack the promoting gene, but luckily, I have Dorothy for that."

Dorothy. Tour coordinator. Tour coordinator from hell. Slave driving tour coordinator from hell who makes Henri blog and promote and go on tours and...well, you get the picture. I couldn't understand why this woman of great pleasure loved her so. Must be a woman thing. They always stick together on things like that, something I'd never understand.

“How else have you been promoting your book besides the tour?”
That was for tour coordinator so if she reads this, my head will stay on top of shoulders.

"I recently sent word to my high school alumni association newsletter editor and asked her if she would mind doing a little Blatant Self-Promotion and told her about my writing career," she said. "She’s thrilled that we have a published author in our midst, so she said yes. And I gave a copy of my Once a Brat book to my son-in-law’s stepmother at my daughter’s wedding last month, and she is spreading the word about all my books. I will also be speaking at the singles class at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Fort Worth next month and will have brochures on hand to direct people to where they can buy my books. Also will be signing books at the Overseas Brats homecoming on August 3rd, and will plug my other books there, too. And further down the calendar, I will be on radio, in Weatherford, TX (just outside of Fort Worth) to discuss The Women of Camp Sobingo, and in particular, e publishing."

I could hear a voice calling my name. I looked up and Mademoiselle Marilyn was peering into my face. I was flat on my back. I apologized, saying I hadn't had breakfast that morning, and let her pull me to my feet. I guess the full extent of promoting had knocked me out. Is this what book promoting is all about? Where are the good times and the Coors Light and fishing down at the pond with Boo?

I gathered my composure and continued with the interview. “Do you have other books you’d like me to mention in your interview?”

"Heh. I think I just did," she laughed sensuously. "There’s the book about my military brat life, Once a Brat, which covers my travels with my army officer father from 1938 – 1958 (yes, Henri, I’m that old! Now do you still think I’m a hottie?)"

Uh, shall I remind her how old I am? *grin*

"And my first novel, Sabbath’s Room, a paranormal murder mystery set in the Texas Hill Country; and my book about my struggles with Lupus: Diagnosis: Lupus: The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient. Those other books are in print by PublishAmerica and available on Amazon. This book is my first venture into e publishing and we’ll see how that goes.

"Incidentally, my dear Henri, Mardi Gras Publishing is known mainly for its – er – erotic novels. (Do you see the come-hither look in my eyes?)"

A woman after my own heart. My life's story was one big erotic novel after another. I was liking this woman from the lone star state.

“Okay, I do have to ask this. Do you blog? That was for tour coordinator, too. She is such a slave driving blogging fool and insists I blog more than I have been. Why, in your own words, do you think it’s necessary?”

"The more you put out there on the Internet," she said, "the more known you become, at least in certain circles, such as the Military Brat community with my Once a Brat Book Blog

With families and friends of persons with lupus:

My blog about the supernatural cat who solves a murder,
Besides my “rants” blog, http://www./
And my blog for writing miscellaneous, http://www./

So, yeah, blogging is important. Dorothy is such a slave driver, you are right. But she’s also a good and patient teacher for those of us afflicted with the absence of the Promo Gene. Look, she’s even using YOU, a ghost, to promote my book."

Touche! But, there was a lot for Henri in this which the lovely lady would find out later. So, use me, baby, use me.

“Okay, that wraps it up. I won’t keep you out in this heat any longer. Do you think that maybe we might be able to hook up sometime?”
No need to beat around the bush in this heat.

"Maybe around Halloween? I’ll bring my book about a black cat that used to belong to a witch and we’ll discuss whether anybody on The Other Side might be interested in it."! My cheeks blushed. What a wonderful woman. I got her number and told her we’d catch a movie sometime.

“Thanks for coming, Marilyn. I understand you will be on tour coordinator’s blog, Pump Up Your Book Promotion on Wednesday. I’ll see you then. If I don’t see you sooner. *wink wink*”

"Of course. A movie would be great. Call me."

Be. Still. My. Ghostie. Heart.

I watched Mademoiselle Marilyn stride out to her car. She was an angel. Do check out her book, THE WOMEN OF CAMP SOBINGO at Mardis Gras Publishing. I know I’ll be checking her out…reeeeeeeeeeal soon.

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Henri Does A Little Catching Up and Great News!

I just got news that Camp SoYouWannaSeeAGhost starts August 1…wooohoo for Henri! Don’t worry, my 21st century friends, I will be blogging as I will take my trusty laptopper with me.

I leave Tuesday evening for two glorious weeks in the mountains of Tennessee…wooohoo. I love wooohoo. Henri is picking up on slang pretty good, n’est pas?

Oh, excusez-moi, but the phone is ringing and Ezra isn’t home. You 21st century friends sit tight. Henri will be right back. Grab a Coors out of the fridge if you want.

“Bonjour? Yes. No. Oh my. I’m on it. Thanks!”

Wooohooo, I get to go to Texas tomorrow to interview Marilyn Celeste Morris, author of THE WOMEN OF CAMP SOBINGO! Henri loves flying to far off places and tour coordinator says Marilyn is known to be a hottie, so I am there! Tune in tomorrow, mes amis, and Henri will tell you all about it!

Bon suit!

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Henri Does Jane Green

Henri couldn't wait to post that title!

Camp SoYouWannaSeeAGhost was postponed, so I took tour coordinator up on her offer to interview what 21st century Americans call a NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. I hear that's a good thing to be. Last I heard, she was #12 on THE LIST and that's supposed to be a good thing, too.

I told tour coordinator that it made Henri a wee bit nervous to be interviewing someone of that greatness and she said, "Henri, Jane Green is just like anyone else. Be yourself and everything will go fine."

What tour coordinator doesn't understand and this is what I understand, too, that Jane Green is NOT like anyone else I know of. She is tres beau in Henri's book. Ohh. La. La.

Anyway, Jane is coming any minute and Henri has to gulp down a few Coors Light to steady nerves. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp.

Better. There she is!!!! Do I look all right? Do I look suave et sophistiqué? Is my head on straight? Okay...wish me luck!!!!

Henri: Thank you for coming to visit Henri, Mademoiselle Jane! Henri has been looking forward to your visit all month and finally I get a chance to ask you questions! Are you ready?

Jane: I think so...

Henri: First, I want to tell you how much I admire your work and I’m very impressed that you made this NY Times Bestseller list. Can I ask what the bestseller list is all about and how did you get your book there?

Jane: Sales, sales and sales. Whilst I haven't done as much PR this year as in previous years, I think I have an incredibly loyal bunch of readers who go out and buy my book as soon as it comes out. I also try and stay in touch with them via my website - and, so I can let them know when things are happening and when books are coming out.

Henri: Mademoiselle Jane, you make Henri’s heart flutter. I am new at interviews, so if I ask something that is off the wall, please excuse me, but since I’m dying to ask, are you married?

Jane: Happily co-habiting with my beloved.

Henri: Oh. Well, then Henri doesn’t have a snowball chance in Egypt?

Jane: 'Fraid not.

Henri: Do you have any 21st century daughters that do not have marriage partner?

Jane: I have one, but she's currently five years old, which I think may be a little young...

Henri: Okay, okay. I’ve just been smacked on head by tour coordinator. I must get to Second Chances now. This is something they are calling a chick lit book? What exactly is a chick lit book and why do they call it that?

Jane: Originally chick lit started with Bridget Jones's Diary, but it came to mean a fluffy commercial novel about a single-twenty-something who was looking for Mr Right. Now I would argue it encompasses women's fiction of all ages, and it's defining characteristics are realism
and emotional honesty - good chick lit will reflect the lives real women are living today, whether they are twenty, or in my case, thirty, forty and fifty somethings.

Henri: I do not know if you know this, Mademoiselle Jane, but I am a ghost. Do you write about ghosts?

Jane: I haven't thus far, but I once wanted to.

Henri: Are you afraid of ghosts?

Jane: Only poltergeists.

Henri: You make Henri chuckle. Okay, back to book. Can you tell 21st century mortals what book is about?

Jane: Second Chance is the story of a group of people who were best friends in high school, and have drifted apart in the years since.

Now, approaching their forties, one of them, Tom, boards the train for New York City as he has done many times before, for a run-of-the-mill business trip. When the train is destroyed in a terrorism attack, he leaves behind him a wife and children, and, scattered across the globe,
four friends whose lives he has touched forever.

In this new book, I explore how loss and grief can make way for a new start in life, and new possibilities. My four heroes have barely spoken to each other since college, but come together one night to remember and celebrate their lost common pal, Tom. And in the weeks and months that follow, Tom himself seems to be setting life-changing events into action.

For Paul, it means a second chance at a family, even though he and his wife are beyond hope. For Saffron, it means a chance to conquer her addictions and really learn how to love. For Olivia, it means a one-night stand with a friend of Tom’s that leaves her pregnant—with a big
decision to make. And for Holly it means another chance to escape her unhappy marriage and meet the dashing man who might be the key to changing it.

From midlife crises, adultery, divorce, infertility and pregnancy, Tom binds them all together, encouraging them to make difficult decisions about living their lives every day. The result is a second chance at happiness for all of the characters, if they are brave enough to take the next step.

Henri: This book sounds like something Henri would love to read! Can you tell us who your publisher is and how has your experiences with them been? How have they helped you promote your book?

Jane: I was with Random House for years, and the last three books have been published by Penguin. They take on an indepent PR - Goldberg McDuffie, who organise all the publicity and events/readings etc.

Henri: That last question was for tour coordinator. She’s into this pump up thing. Can I level with you, Jane?

Jane: Absolutely.

Henri: She’s a slave driver. Always making Henri promote book. What kind of advice would you give someone who is new at promoting books? How can I get my book on this NY Times bestseller list like you?

Jane: Sadly there is no magic formula, but online marketing is become more and more important - blogs are now vital for getting the word out.

Henri: And don’t you have to go from city to city promoting books if you have big NY publisher who published book?

Jane: You do. The more they pay for the book via an advance, the more likely they are to put money into marketing and expect you to put the work in to the promoting, which usually involves events around the country.

Henri: It sounds like a lot of work!

Jane: Exhausting and exhilerating in equal measure, but the best part, for me, is getting to actually meet my readers - twelve years on the thrill is just as great.

Henri: Well, Mademoiselle Jane, it’s been real fun. I do wish you’d stop by Henri’s place again. Where can my 21st century readers find you on the Internet if they want to buy your book?


Henri: Thank you for coming and I hope you sell lots of books!

Jane: Thank you so much, and good luck to you too...


Monday, July 9, 2007

Henri Does Jamieson Wolf, Author of The Ghost Mirror

Henri has a special guest today! My mortal friend, Jamieson Wolf, is here with us today to talk about his book, The Ghost Mirror! Spooky and right up my alley! Jamieson, so I understand it is tour coordinator's right arm, whatever that is supposed to mean. Twentieth-century mortals can be quite confusing.

But, anyway, all I know is that he has written a book about ghosties like me and would like the chance to talk about it. Henri loves ghostie stories, tee hee. For one thing, I like to rip them apart. Mortals have a field day with ghosts and spirits and bumps in the night, but The Ghost Mirror was far from being an embellished tale of spirits put in a bad light. I rather enjoyed it myself and this is coming from a ghost, himself!

So, let's see what Monsier Jamieson has to say about his brand new book, The Ghost Mirror!

Henri: Thank you for coming to Henri's little abode on the net, Monsier Jamieson. Can you tell us what your book, The Ghost Mirror, is all about?

Jamieson:Hello Henri! It's great to talk to you again and thank you for having me!

The Ghost Mirror is about Mave Mallory, a thirteen year old girl, who goes to live with her grandmother. While living with her Grandmother, she discovers a mirror in the attic.

She steps through the mirror when trying to rescue her friend and finds herself in a strange world where magic is real. She discovers that she has powers, magic, that runs beneath her skin. In reality, she is the Last Witch and there is something that wants Mave's soul very badly.

Mr. Lavender, an eater of souls, knows what Mave is. Her soul burns brighter than any soul he has ever seen and he wants her magic for his own.

Mave must lean to use the magic inside her if she is to defeat Mr. Lavender and save her world...and our own.

Henri: As you know I am an author myself and my genre, the paranormal, comes quite natural with me. Do you find it comes natural with you?

Jamieson: It seems to. There was a while where I was trying to write the Great Canadian Novel but in the end I just stuck with writing what I enjoyed the most.

A lot of my work tends to be in the paranormal or speculative fiction variety. It just seems to be what I want to write. It's what I most enjoy at any rate. :)

Henri: Do you like ghosts?

Jamieson: Now, Henri! Of course I do! I find they're great story tellers and are really good practical jokers.

Henri: Have you ever seen a ghost?

Jamieson:I've only ever seen one. It was when I was younger. I was in my bedroom and saw a bright, white orb floating in front of me. When I tried to touch it, it flittered around my room and then vanished.

But it left me with a sense of warmth and kindness during a difficult time, so I can only hope it was a ghost and not a hallucination. LOL

Henri: Does it make you uncomfortable that I am a ghost? *grin*

Jamieson:Not at all Henri! I find talking to you very enjoyable. And I know you like women so I don't have to worry about you hitting on me. LOL

Henri: Do you like vampires?

Jamieson: I do but I don't know any personally. I read a lot of vampire fiction though. One of the best vampire books I've read is Blood Calls by romance mega-star Caridad Piniero. I think you might know her...

Henri: You make Henri chuckle, Monsier Jamieson. You picked up on that right away! Proud of you, my man. Did you know she's not a real vampire? Oui, I saw her reflection but she sure had me fooled there for a minute! Hey, did you know that you can go out on Saturdays without your garlic for some odd reason?

Jamieson: Well, I try to leave my garlic at home at all times. I like to cook with it! Besides, if I wear it, it tends to drive people away and I don't get to sign any books!

Henri: Don't you like garlic, Monsier Jamieson?

Jamieson:Love the stuff. I'm not a vampire! LOL

Henri: Okay, Henri is just having fun with you. I need to know something, though. Can you tell Henri what is the number one way to promote books? I have a tour coordinator that won't get off Henri's backside over promoting books. What do you recommend I do?

Jamieson:It's all good Henri, I don't mind joking at all. The number one way to promote books? Man, just one way? Well, if I had to pick one I would have to say Blogging. Blogging is SO important to promoting yourself and your books.

Blogs show up higher on search engines, even higher than web sites! And, since blogs are constantly updated, the search engines always pick them up.

It's good to have a web site, but if you want to get noticed, you have to have a blog.

Henri: I am liking to talk to you, Monsier Jamieson. Do you like talking to me?

Jamieson:Of course Henri. You are a ghost with style and panache. And it's not every day that I get to talk to a ghost you know.

Henri: Can you tell I make a lousy interviewer?

Jamieson: Oh, Henri, not at all. You are charming, light hearted and you make me laugh. What more could you hope for? Don't sell yourself short!

Henri: Oh, Monsier Jamieson, you make Henri laugh. Can you tell my beautiful 21st century women who frequents Henri's blog how they might frequent yours? Do you blog like Henri?

Jamieson: Of course I do! You can find my blog at, but I also have a blog for The Ghost Mirror which you can find here:
Henri: Oh, be still my little ghostie heart! TWO blogs? Henri can barely keep up with what he has now! Tell me, where can mortals and ghosties like myself buy your wonderful book, The Ghost Mirror?

Jamieson: You can buy it by heading on over to e Treasures which you can find at

Henri: Thank you for coming, Monsier Jamieson, and I hope you have more luck with your tour coordinator than I am. She is what 21st century mortals call a major PITA. Don't tell her I said that. Well, good luck to you and I hope you sell lots of books!

Jamieson: Thanks so much Henri and thank you for having me! It's been so much fun!