Interview: Charlaine Harris

At Phoenix Comicon, I had a chance to interview Charlaine Harris, author of the Southern Vampire Mysteries aka “The Sookie Stackhouse novels”

Here it is!


It does cut out for a minute or so around the 6 minute mark. IN that, we talked about the “Fabulous” Lafayette in the series and Terry Bellefleur, who does NOT Have weird psycho demon problems in the novels.

Terry is still my favorite character.


Help Support Me!

Okay, a little background before I get to the ‘How you can help” side of my story.

I currently work with an Arizona-based web design company called Desert Sea Design. To see an example of some of the stuff I do for them, you can merely peruse the “Desert Sea Design” and “Corporate Blogs” portions of this blogsite and you’ll see the types of blogs I write for this company.
I do a lot of other, non-writing work as well, including input of coding and stuff for the company.
Well now, Desert Sea Design would like to have me come out and work with them in a more full-time capacity, but in order to do that, my husband and I will have to move to Phoenix, Arizona from our current home in Houston.
The hope in the move is that by being in Arizona, I can physically meet with the bulk of our clients to improve my writing and assistance in designing their websites. There is also a substantial lower cost of living in Phoenix compared to Houston, and despite recent negative news about Phoenix’s Veteran Affairs Hospital, the Phoenix Veteran community has really reached out in recent years to help their own.
Also, my husband has had such a hard time finding work here in Houston that we think a change of scenery can help him find more employment opportunities.
Basically, we need a fresh start.

There is one hitch in this whole process. Money.
Desert Sea Design is a SMALL business, and while they have the money to pay me, they don’t have enough liquid cash sitting around to help finance the move, nor do I have enough to pay for it myself.
So, we need help and assistance with the move.

There are two ways you can help. The easiest, the financial way is simple: make a donation to the Go Fund Me set up for this particular purpose.
All the money earned through the Go Fund Me is going directly to my mover fund.

The other way you can help, if by helping you can donate time (in Houston to help pack the truck or Arizona to help unpack), or other things like “hey, I wanna be cool and pay straight up for the U-Haul” contact the following people:

Lyle @ 480.220.6949 or  Rebecca @ 623.204.0003

Though if you are on the Houston Side and want to help me in the packing, you can email me directly. Comment on this page or email



Now that the financial bit is out of the way, an update on general health and well-being:
Since we started planning the move, we’ve been in better spirits. My mood is better, though I’m sleeping less (moving anxiety) and my headaches are still present, but I’m being very positive about it.
I left a lot of negative-stirring Facebook groups and started a group for positivity called Uplift your Spirits
I admin Land of the Nerds, Arizona Veteran Magazine, Wall Sensations, and Desert Sea Design Facebook pages, so I’m busy. I’ve completed book One and Two of the Olisbeth Mason Chronicles and began my short SciFi story I’m calling tentatively “The Store.”
My Husband has started his first novel.
Dogs are healthy.
We have a car now (though it’s a clunker with attitude).
I’m patiently waiting word from Arizona on the fundraising efforts made by the Veteran Community Health and Wellness Center and the results of the GoFundMe campaign.


Help Support my Sister Site.

This is almost a direct copy/paste from my fandom blog, Land of the Nerds:

I apologize that I haven’t posted in a long time, but I hope that very soon I can resume blogging on this site on a regular basis. Right now, Land of the Nerds needs your support.

We at the Land of the Nerds do what we do for the love of all things nerdy: Fandom, comic books, regular books, games, movies, whatever.
But maintaining a website is not cheap, and we’ve incured some expenses that require we Take Action!

Here’s what you can do:

We have for sale now two of our Epic Nerd Shirts: one in Blue, one in Red.

red nerd blue nerd
They won’t print until 30 of each color have sold.
All the proceeds will go to helping keep this site awesome.
These shirts are on a special price: only $15

These are a special, one-time print through Teesprings, and they won’t sell unless at least 30 are printed.
That means if we sell 30 red and 2 blue, they’ll print the red but no blue.
So, buy away.
To get the Red Shirt: click here
To get the Blue Shirt: click here
This is a special discount deal! we ordinarily have the shirt on sale in brown on this site for $20.

Land of the Nerds is a free site. We do not get paid to post the things we do: the Doctor Who videos, our blogs, our reviews, or even our Facebook/Twitter page.  it is a labor of love, and buying the shirt means that we can continue to give you some epic nerd stuff over this next exciting year.
Basically, buying a shirt will help me out in my current crisis.

My friend’s work with Service Animals

I’ve been busy working on things and haven’t had time to post in a good long while.

However, I want to take a moment to brag about my friend Mystica, who’s now helping to raise and train a future Service Dog named Mulan in Belgium through Hachiko in Belgium.


You can read about their adventures Here.

I am not disabled to the point to require a service dog, (though my schnauzers do provide emotional support) but I also know that taking care of a dog, raising it, training it can be a hard and difficult task. Service Dogs especially.

I can’t wait to watch Mulan grow!

Westside Bully:

Here is the trailer for the short film I wrote with my husband for the IFP Breakout Challenge:

Breakout Film Challenge Screening and Awards presented by IFP-Phoenix
for tickets and more info on the event.
Westside Bully is based on a true story from the life of director Lyle Dillie. This short film explores bullying as a reciprocal action. Reminiscing about a time in his childhood, he finds he struggled to fit in with his peers. The boy is from an underprivileged household and struggles with learning disabilities, which makes him the target for bullying by some of his classmates. After realizing that other students can become targets of laughter and humiliation, the boy seeks empowerment through bullying, only to learn that sometimes the most vulnerable people can be the most dangerous. Westside Bully is an empowering film that is a poignant self-reflection of vulnerability and exploration of an increasing problem with today’s youth.

Produced by Land of the Nerds
Story by Lyle Dillie script by Mandy Oviatt and Morgan Oviatt.
Cinematography by Joy Benedict / Michael Dazen
Edited by Lyle DIllie


Larry Dillie and Tom Benedict – Engineers
Carolyn Broe – Musical Director
Joe McKiernan and Jason Lawrence Dillie – Camera Crew


David Dillie – Bully
Garrett Erickson – Nerd
Tom Benedict – Substitute Teacher
Jason Dillie – Security
Lyle Dillie – Narrator

Classmates :
Malichi Worley
Carzlon Ford
Joshua Dillie

What I’ll remember about 2013, good and bad. .

As the new year rings in, I am going to quote from my favorite author, Robert Jordan (1948-2007):

“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.”

Well. the Wheel has turned, 2013 has passed, and 2014 is now upon us.  Now I sit here evaluating  last year, and look towards the new year.

First the Bad:


2013 was a miserable year for me. I had more “bad days” with my fibromyalgia than good ones. My teaching license expired unused. My hormones were screwy, leaving me to have some of the worst female troubles I’ve ever had. I damn near had a nervous breakdown at work.
I spent six months unable to get medicine from the VA because of some wacky error in the system.

Speaking of work: I started 2013 as an electronics sales associate, where I was stalked and harassed by three customers, who were only caught and stopped sometime in the early spring. Management did not believe me for a while, and my coworkers thought I was crazy. Until they harassed another department. The guys’ excuse was “She’s a redhead.”
Around that time, I had my annual evaluation for job performance, only to be told that I would not be receiving a pay raise. Effectively because my health problems made it damn near impossible for me to do my job well.

So, I looked for another job, and found one at AIO wireless, taking a 75 cent pay raise on the promise of a good commission, for every sale I made. I never saw a single commission check the entire time I was at AIO wireless.
I got robbed by a guy at AIO and was blamed for the robbery.

That job caused me a lot of undue stress, particularly in the area of my health and anxiety. Even when I was on my medication.
pain dayThat photo was taken at work.

And about a month after the robbery  the company fired me because of my disabilities. Without warning. 

I did not want to fight it. Because that job wasn’t paying me enough to live on. They’d schedule me for a three-hour day, when it took me 40 minutes to get there. Not worth it. 

When I was fired, I was highly upset, but I started my path to disability , something I’m still on.

Other bads of 2013: Our one working car died, and we’re borrowing one from a friend still, an older vehicle with a lot of problems.
Our new car savings went into helping us through the rough patch after I got fired, and I’m now very, very broke.

I missed my sister’s graduation, my mother’s wedding celebration. Because I couldn’t afford to go.
I raked in a cool $2000 in traffic tickets because our now deceased car couldn’t pass inspection and we couldn’t afford to pay for it.


So, what Good stuff happened in 2013?

Well, I started getting paid for some writing I do for my friend’s company. It’s irregular work, I don’t get a lot, and I’m considered freelance, but I get paid to write for him.
I started maintaining two blogs: this one you’re reading and Land of the Nerds.
Two of my articles were published in The WOD newspaper in Arizona.
I wrote a screenplay for a short independent film my buddy is producing about Pirates and Tattoos.
I finished my first novel.
I had an entire calendar year without my dogs getting sick.
I started my new career path.
My husband got a job, all be it a low-paying one with almost no hours.
I started watching Dr. Who, and found a new fandom.
I met some amazing people through my work with Land of the Nerds at Space City Con.
I have some wonderful friends who have helped support me (emotionally and financially) with my mini-crises. Even a bit helps.

What I want out of 2014

I want my disability to start.
I want a new pair of glasses.  (No, that’s a need)
I want to finish book two in my series. Book 1 should be published before Valentine’s day. I’m working on cover art and completing editing at the moment.
I want my friend’s business to be a bigger success so he can afford to pay me more.
I want my husband to have either more hours at his current job, more money per hour, a better-paying job at the company, or a job worth his Master’s degree.
I want to be able to pay off our traffic tickets.
I want a working functional new car.
I want to have creditors leave me the hell alone.
I want to visit my family in Georgia.
I want to end this year on a high note.

How my life is, now.

A few months ago, I posted a message on my Facebook page about what I needed to fix my problems


Many of this stuff has changed, so I’m going to rewrite that whole post to be more up to date.

1. My husband has a job now, but it doesn’t make a lot. He needs to keep it for at least six months and needs to have about twice as many hours each week.

Every dollar we make goes to rent. Every. Single. Dollar.

2. I seriously need a mani/pedi. For my self esteem if nothing else.

3. We need a car, and preferably one that is paid in full. I need it to Run, I need it to Pass Inspection, and I need it to have A/C. I’d also prefer it have decent fuel economy. I have no income, as of now, and our savings for a down payment has been depleted through the last few months with my previous crap-paying job.

4. I want to take a trip home to see my family, for at least a week. I haven’t seen any of them for many years. I missed two weddings and a graduation.

  5. I need a social security lawyer.

6. I need a second computer so my husband has a computer as well. It would also be good to have a back-up for this one.

. I need at least a year, possibly two off work. I need to spend time healing my mind and body

8. I need new glasses. Mine are held together with Gorilla tape and hope. They pinch my face and I have to squint behind them to see.

Merry Christmas: Remembering my grandfather

I will always believe in Santa Claus, and with good reason.

My grandfather, Robert Gerald Brown, Sr. was Santa:


This picture is of him, from his days as Santa Claus. Real Beard, Real belly, even the real rosy cheeks.
One year, he even went away during the Holiday season because he was  the Santa Claus at a big mall in the North East.
He was an amazing and a wonderful man.

Grandpa died of Cancer in 2002, just a few months after I got out of the military.
This week, he would have been 81 years old.

In my childhood, I thought he was a Vampire hunter: he owned a shop that made wooden stakes.

He was a Mason, a Shriner. And, from what I remember my mom telling me, a Boy Scout Master when my uncles were younger.
Perhaps the coolest thing about my Grandpa was that in his later years, he ran a business selling foods at carnivals.
It started out as a fundraiser for the Shriner’s hospital, selling ice cream at carnivals and fairs. But, it expanded.
Grandpa Claus sold ice cream, funnel cakes, bloomin’ onions, lemonade, an entire cavalcade of snacks and sweet foods at festivals. And he made sure that he included the entire Brown family in on the business.
Anyone who wanted to, he’d let work with him for a day, or for a week, or for a festival.
I say “wanted to” because working with Grandpa was fun family time for most of us. He enjoyed his work at the fairs, the looks people gave him when they saw Santa scooping Ice Cream or making a funnel cake. He was a reminder to kids at the County Fair to behave because Santa Claus was watching, even in the spring time.

I worked with him only one time, when I was 13,  I think. We drove two hours to Central Georgia for a craft fair. And that day he taught me two important lesson about  sales.
The first was to give things away. He gave away ice cream. He found a local police officer, the boy scout master, and a pair of teenage girls and gave them all a free cone, telling them all “The Shriners tell me I have to give away Ice Cream to on-duty cops/Boy Scout Masters/Girls who are wearing green”  (or some unique identifier about the person). It was his way of showing people, “Hey! Ice Cream! Come Buy some!”

The second was, whenever possible, be the only person selling your goods in a given place. He would only sell ice cream at a fair if there were no other ice cream vendors. The same went with other foods he sold.
And it worked.
Because no one wants ice cream until they see someone else eating a cone.

Grandpa was one of the most extroverted people I know. He could walk up to a complete stranger, and within minutes, strike up a conversation and talk like he’d known the person his whole life. He made friends with ease.

He also served in the military, and when I joined the service, he was very proud of me. To this day, I’m the only of his grand kids to do so (Unless one of my cousins has joined and I’m not aware of it).Christmas of 1984, I was 6 years old and in Kindergarten. That year, I had a doll, Kimberly, who was my child.  Kimberly went with me everywhere until she had an unfortunate incident where my baby sister ripped her head off and was sent to a dolly hospital to be repaired. In the meantime, I was scared, alone, and doll-less in my room.
So that Christmas, Grandpa gave me the one present I think I loved more than almost any other present I’ve ever received.

He bought me April Natasha Brooks: (She was born Cornelia Natasha, but that had to change. Yuck.)


Taken Dec 23, 2013. I’ve had her 29 years.

That was the year that the Cabbage Patch dolls were the gift. the Hard gift to find, and all that. Grandpa told me he saw her at the store, and she begged to come home with him, so she could live with me. I fell in love with her at once.

April was not a replacement for Kimberly, she was a supplement, a friend for Kimberly when she came back from being repaired. And someone for Kimberly to play with.  I’ve long-lost Kimberly, but April I still cherish.

I don’t remember wanting one, or asking for one, but April was the present I needed, the toy I love and cherish even now into my *cough* repetitive late twenties.

And it happens every year. At some point in the holiday season– either his birthday (December 21), on Thanksgiving, the first Santa I see, or even when I watch a film, I’ll start to tear up and miss him a little bit. Just a bit.
This year, that was yesterday, when I watched Miracle on 34th street.

Why do I believe in Santa Claus? Why will I always Believe?
Because my Grandpa is  Santa.

And…. the Prologue (or part of it) from my story.

I’m still tentative on the title of my work, but I thought I’d at least take a moment to present my prologue.


Note: Not my picture, just used for purpose of this post.

As I look back on my life and the decisions I’ve made, I think it all goes back to those blasted headaches. Why couldn’t I be cursed with a less obtrusive backlash, like sunburns, or depression, rage issues, kleptomania, or even a limp? I think I would have even been okay if the backlash the Fates gave me was a drinking problem or gluten intolerance. But no! I get headaches: Soul-crushing, brain-melting, life-ruining headaches. These headaches stopped me doing so much when I was little, and nearly killed me in my youth. 

            People who don’t have brain-pain like mine don’t understand it. I couldn’t make plans, because every time I did, I would have to cancel because at the last-minute, the headaches would dance a tango behind my eyeballs. When I tried working, I would get to work only to find that my brain decided that it would rather throb and ache instead of letting me handle people’s money. I learned quickly that bosses and customers don’t understand headaches as the reason behind not being able to work. Dating was next-to-impossible: no man wants a girlfriend who has to leave halfway through dinner because her head is about to explode.

     But, I should not remain angry with the Fates for the headaches.   Because had it not been for the headaches, and had it not been for Him, I would not be standing here today.

And you? You definitely would not be here, either, on the wrong side of my Divine wisdom and just anger.



Happy Holidays!

I know I haven’t posted much on this page in the past month, but I wanted to take a moment to wish all my readers a merry Christmas, happy new year, and a joyful solstice.


I’ve been hard at work on my first book, a story about a girl who discovers she is the Goddess Athena.

Currently, primary writing is finished and i’m in the editing phases.
I plan on self-publishing in ebook format. It will be available perhaps in February or so.


In the meantime, I’m looking for a cover artist.


Any takers?