The Divine Pumpkin – Interview with Hemmie Martin

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say.  ~Sharon O’Brien

Over the past couple of months, I have met many new authors, and I find doing these interviews very inspiring and informative.  So much energy and passion goes into writing, and I have learned, when I read these interviews, that it takes great determination from the day the process starts, the editing, and finally the book release.  Most author’s with new books rely on self-promotion as a tool to get their book out there.

Please welcome Hemmie Martin to Muse In The Valley with open arms. She just released her book The Divine Pumpkin published by Winter Goose Publishing  on May 16th.  Hemmie writes Contemporary Woman’s fiction, and is currently writing her second novel.

Using your initials H & M, describe yourself in 6 words.

Happy, human, habit-forming, musical, mis-trusting & mildly amusing.

In what part of our world do you live?


What do you do when not writing?

I love reading, cooking, listening to music and having coffee with friends.

Where does your creativity come from? 

I believe it comes from being an only child. I would make up games and stories to amuse myself and my dolls.

Can you tell us about any challenges getting you book published? 

Rejections are part of the process and most days I took them in my stride. Writing the synopsis and query letter also presented challenges in their own right. Working with an Editor was liberating, but the process of editing itself was challenging towards the end. I also experienced lack of confidence in myself and my work at times – and I still do!

Would you change anything about your experience?

I wouldn’t change a thing as everything I experienced helped to forge my identity as a writer – even the rejections! I would say that even my periodic lack of confidence ensures that I never become big-headed or over-confident about my abilities.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? 

‘The Divine Pumpkin’ is about Forensic Nurse Paloma Parker who seems to have her life in order. She is a successful career woman who is intelligent and confident in her abilities, but she just can’t seem to have a meaningful romantic relationship. Her newest patient, an incarcerated juvenile named Ella, has a connection to her that is fully realized when Paloma’s family secret is revealed.  As Ella yearns for inner peace and Paloma searches for love, these two women may just hold the key to each other’s very different kinds of freedom.

Can you share a little of your current work with us, a snippet?

I am currently working on another novel, ‘Over You’, which follows a group of mis-matched people who all have some kind psychological trauma or pain to overcome. It tells of the support they can offer one another, but also the games people play to meet their own needs.

What inspired you to write ‘The Divine Pumpkin’?

I worked as a Forensic Nurse on a Youth Offending Team, which was a fascinating career. I came across many interesting and yet sad cases involving young people. I sometimes experienced internal conflict over how I felt about the offenders, as even though they’d committed offences, they were still young adolescents. ‘The Divine Pumpkin’ explores this area, although the work is fiction and does not relate to one particular offender.

What are your future projects? 

I already have a second novel with Winter Goose Publishing, called ‘Attic of the Mind’, which is due for publication in Feb 2013.

Do you have a “writing ritual”? 

I prefer to write once all my chores are completed, as I find working surrounded by mess doesn’t allow the words to flow. I drink plenty of coffee in the mornings, then earl grey tea in the afternoons. I like something to chew on as I type, preferable jelly beans. I find that my mind can be more alert mid afternoon, but as my daughter’s return from school and college, it’s not the most family friendly time to write. If there is too much noise around me I listen to music on my iPod. Currently I’m loving the Seahorses.

If we were to snoop in your ‘junk drawer’ what would we find? 

You’d find a box with the teeth my daughters ‘gave’ the tooth fairy. Lipsticks, all various shades of brown, skin care samples and empty bottles of perfume. I have a torch there in case of a power cut, and nail files as I like to keep my nails short. I don’t like the clicking sound long nails make on a keyboard.

Do you have anything you wish to share with aspiring authors? Any advice? 

I attend writing conferences and subscribed to two writing magazines which I read religiously. I enter writing competitions and pay for a critique of my work so I could see where I need to improve. I am also an avid reader. A writer needs to be a reader; to drink in the words of others to stimulate the mind – not to plagiarise!

How can we purchase your book? 

I am published by Winter Goose Publishing, and my book can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It is available in paperback and ebook.

Hemmie Martin spent most of her professional life as a Community Nurse for people with learning disabilities, a Family Planning Nurse, and a Forensic Nurse working with young offenders. She spent six years living in the south of France, and currently lives in Essex with her husband, two teenage daughters, one house rabbit, and two guinea pigs.

Guaranteed Success – FemCentral Writing Prompt

I often take part in Jennifer L. Shelton’s writing prompts.  Once a month FemCentral gives us a topic to write about which brings up many thought-provoking ideas, and helps us dig deep into our subconscious lighting up things hidden deep inside and putting them out into the Universe.

Jennifer, often writes about, “what we resist persists” and I agree.  I have discovered, while writing these prompts, I  often discover deep hidden secrets, or bring up things from my inner self, that I would never thought to write about.  Once out there, I either release and forgive these emotions and images, OR I begin to create and build on what I wrote.

This week, Jennifer posted a poem I wrote for this month’s prompt, and I am so pleased with it I want to share it here on my blog.  This particular poem is one I want to build on in my life, and begin experiencing the things my heart has always desired.


If I Could Prevail


If I could not fail,

I would set sail,

Across the ocean floor.

I would ride on a shark,

In the areas so dark,

and frantically start to explore.

If success was guaranteed,

I would plant a huge seed,

In the desert so arid and dry,

Then I would call on the rains,

To sprinkle my grains,

And plants would grow to the sky.

If I could not flounder;

I would become the founder;

of the biggest art school on this earth,

I would gather supplies,

Piled high to the skies,

and everyone’s art would give birth!

If prevailing was sure,

I would search for the cure

For every disease known “man” (and woman)

I would gather my findings,

and cut through the grindings,

As healing everyone is the plan.

If I could not fail,

I wouldn’t end this tale,

I would continue in order to inspire.

I would keep living this life,

and ending the strife

and set everyone’s muse on fire!


Magic In the Backyard – Kellie Elmore

 I am genuinely honored to introduce to you Kellie Elmore, Author of the up and coming book:  Magic In the Backyard.    This is not a dream interpretation, but an interview I had with her this past week.  Kellie and I met online about 2 years ago.  I have always been drawn to her website , which shares the same title as her book, for its beauty and prose.  So get comfortable, grab a cuppa, and enjoy the show!

Now available for PRE-ORDER on AMAZON

About Kellie

Kellie Elmore is a writer who knows no bounds. She believes self-expression is most beautiful in its pure, raw and unedited form. “No rules, just write” is her motto.

Kellie finds inspiration in nature and in the humble surroundings of her “backyard” – Southeast Tennessee. Through poetry and prose, Kellie writes freely about cherished and magical moments as well as tragic losses. Her goal is to take readers back, rekindle a memory or elicit a feeling. Charles Bukowski wrote, “If it doesn’t burst out of you, don’t do it.” Kellie agrees and states, “If it were not for my pen, I would explode! Writing is my happy pill.”  Join Kellie as she writes her way through life’s journey – magic in the backyard…

Magic in the Backyard by Kellie Elmore will be released in April of 2012 via Winter Goose Publishing.

The Interview

Here we go…

KL:  Describe yourself in 5 words.

KE:  Sensitive, Loving, Funny, Silly and Weird

KI:  What do you do when you are not writing?

KE:  I’m always writing! lol But I enjoy playing with photography. I have really been experimenting with it here lately and have actually snapped some pretty neat shots I am pretty proud of.

KL:  Where does your creativity come from?

KE:  That would be life in general. Everything around me gives me something to write about. Especially people. I love watching people, how they interact and try to figure out why they say or do certain things and then I build scenes and characters from what I come up with.

KL:  Can you tell us about any challenges getting your first book published?

KE:  Actually, there were not many challenges at all except getting up the courage to submit my work in the first place. (Rejection scares me.) But, once Winter Goose Publishing graciously accepted my work and we began the whole process, it has went pretty smoothly.

KL:  Would you change anything about your experience?

KE:  Oh, not at all. I am having a blast with all of this! Can’t you tell?

KL:  Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

KE:  My book is titled Magic in the Backyard and it consists of prose and poetry. It is made up of primarily stories about growing up here in East Tennessee and the experiences both emotional and spiritual, that I have lived. Inspired by love, loss, nature and a wellspring of memories, I have literally put my heart to paper for this collection.

KL:  Can you share a little of your current work with us?

KE:  Sure! One of my more recent pieces that has received quite the reviews by my readers is titled “My Porch Swing is a Time Machine” and it is a really great example of the kind of prose you will find in the book…

in the silence of the afternoon

when the sun is just laying down to rest

giving shadow to the pecan tree in the yard

that blows a sweet wave of

cool air across my shoulders

and the town is crawling home from

their business and loafering-

when all I hear is the grinding creak of

the chain of the swing against the hooks

and the evening songs of the mockingbirds

my porch swing becomes a time machine,

with arms of gentle breezes,

wrapping me in yesterday

back and forth between memories

and I let it carry me

to the times when I sat with her

rocking the day away, watching birds

and drinking sweet iced tea on

hot summer days, with not a care for

much of anything at all except

what we might have for supper

and like the slow drifting clouds,

time and those hungry, empty spaces

travel- passing by in fleeting wisps

just beyond the reach of my fingertips

KL:  Thank you!  I almost felt as if I was on that swing!

KL:  I am in love with the book cover. Tell us how you came to choose this particular image. What does it mean to you?

KE:  As much as I would love to, I cannot take credit for the cover. Jessica Kristie and the WGP graphics team are responsible for this beautiful piece of artwork! I was ecstatic when I saw it for the first time. the tire swing was such a perfect choice. And blended with the snow, it really sets the mood and hopefully will allow you to appreciate the warm words that await you inside.

KL:  What are your future projects?

KE:  I am currently working on a new poetry/prose manuscript. Magic in the Backyard puts you into moments, my memories and introduces you to who I have known and loved with nature as a backdrop. My new book will be more of a personal journey into who I am. How these people and memories have affected me. I can only relate the content to that of Sylvia Plath as it will ride along the lines of the darker side, just into the gray.

KL:  5 things you would like to accomplish in the next 5 years?

KE:  Nothing is ever set in stone for me. Never has been. Who I am changes often; my idea’s, my desires, my views, my journey so to pick out five specific things would just pull on the reins.

KL:  Do you have anything you wish to share with aspiring writers? Any advice?

KE:  Everyone who knows me, knows my answer to this. Just keep writing. Write about anything and everything, any chance you get. Let your pen replace your television. Get everything on paper – leave something behind – the most remembered things in history have been words.

KL:  Last but not least, how can we purchase your book when it comes out the first week of April?

KE:  You will be able to purchase Magic in the Backyard from, (Barnes & Noble) as well as the Barnes & Noble Booksellers and other major book retailers in your area beginning the first week of April. Direct links to the purchase pages will be posted on all of my social media sites as well as my blog, so be sure you are following me!



Website –
and of course you may always keep updated on my book along with all the other wonderful WGP books and authors by visiting the website at

Good luck with your book Kellie!   Keep us up to date with your new projects!  


Inhabiting Myself

I wrote this awhile back for another blog, however, due to unforseen circumstances, it never got published.  So today, since I was experiencing technical difficulties, I decided to post this short story.




I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I’ve written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.  ~Shirley MacLaine

I can’t believe I shut her up all this time!  I kept her well hidden, locked downstairs in the soberness of the basement.  I went down only to give her the remnants of food leftover from my fridge, and a slim glass of water… other days I would stuff her with food until she would almost get sick!! She HAD to eat, she HAD to stay fat.  That way no one but no one would want to love her.

There were days I would let her out for short periods of time.. this would enable her to see the light and smell the air, just enough so she could survive.  However, she would begin to enjoy the outdoors and she would start smiling and playing.  Amusement was strictly forbidden in this place… she knew that, she would try to smile while I wasn’t looking but I would always catch her!  When I did… Punishment was in order!

“Hey! You!  Ugly!!!! …You think you are pretty when you smile?” I would yell at her.

She would look at me with her eyes so dark.. they were begging me to let her stay but she belonged back where she came from:  In the darkness.

In recent years,  I decided to keep her downstairs for longer periods of time… I would only let her out when I thought she was about to die.  I couldn’t have her death on my conscience, that would be the end for both of us.  I cannot exist without her… I can’t.

One day, when I came to grab her arm to bring her downstairs, she managed to gather enough strength to push me back!  This woman, who didn’t have much energy, managed to run away from me and disappear around the bend.  I was too tired to run after her…. I let her go.

I sat there crying until nightfall set inside my mind.  I realized how much I needed her.. without her.. I didn’t exist.

A few months later she came to visit me, and this time I had no urge to lock her up.  I must admit she looked beautiful.  Her smile was a mile wide, and her glow!! That glow!  I could not stop looking at her…she was mesmerizing.

This woman, who I locked up for years, started to cry. She looked at me directly in the eyes while huge tears streamed down her face.

“You, my dear” She said  “are an egotistical, narcissistic abuser!!”

I couldn’t deny what she was telling me is true.  I didn’t treat this girl with love, compassion or tenderness.  I often forgot to nurture her, and I never embraced her dreams.   She, was nothing to me.. NOTHING!

She looked at me, after she calmed down and said:  “Forgive me? Please forgive me?”  Forgive me for not loving you… for hating you.. for despising you”

I replied “I should be the one asking for forgiveness”

She said “I am you”

And so she was… and so I am.. We embraced each other….

We are no longer rivals .. we are one!

I inhabited myself!

The dark became light, the world became bright.. My creativity soared… I started seeing things in ways I have never perceived them before.  I drew, I wrote, I sang and danced.  I created, I laughed, I cried.  I listened more, loved more and played more.  I joked more, decorated more and everything I would receive would be AWESOME!  I ate better, walked more, and just accepted that this person does not need to be buried.. she exists.. We both exist in  light and in dark need to combine our hearts and give the world the best that we can give.

And so she changed the world… one dream at a time..