Month: June 2018

Interview with Willie Handler, Author of The Road Ahead

Willie Handler interview
1. When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I decided to take a stab at writing later in life. Although, I wrote for much of my work
career, it was nothing creative. I take that back. Come to think of it, I worked in public
policy for the Ontario government and there were times when I needed to be incredibly
creative. But that’s a story for another time. After retiring from the government, I took
some time to consider what I wanted to next in my life. Career-wise, I’ve reinvented
myself several times. Just over three years ago, I decided I would like to write a novel, so
here I am.
2. The Road Ahead is a political satire…where did your inspiration come from?
I’ve always had an interest in satire. Working in government with direct contact with
politicians, forces you to develop considerable political acuity. You need to read people
and anticipate issues before the blow up on you. I thought a political satire would be an
ideal first story and my previous career provided lots of inspiration. As it turned out,
writing the book was also very cathartic.
3. Rick is definitely “politically incorrect”. Is he based on a real person, a combination of people, or totally made up?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
There have been many Rick Tompkins in politics. And not just in Canada or the United
States. He is the opportunist or narcissist who goes into politics for all the wrong reasons.
Rick is a made-up person, but every reader swears they know who I’m writing about.
However, the book contains unforgettable lines I heard during my former career.
4. Do you have any experience in politics?
Unlike the U.S., the public service in Canada is nonpartisan. As a senior public servant, I
was restricted by law from participating in a number of political activities. I chose to
remain completely neutral politically and never even had a lawn sign. Since retiring, I’ve
volunteered for a number of political campaigns. Some of that experience is reflected in
the book.
5. How has your life changed since becoming an author?
Good question. My life is always evolving. Many things in my life have changed since I
took up writing that have nothing to do with writing. However, becoming an author has
​exposed me to new experiences, skills and opportunities. I’ve developed a new network
of peers. Yet, I don’t feel my life has changed much at all.
6. Tell us about your current WIP.
The story takes place 20 years in the future. It’s about Dixon Jenner, a chef, who is
selected by NASA to prepare meals on the first permanent colony on Mars. The colony is
destroyed in an explosion while Dix is exploring on his own in a rover. The explosion
gets the attention of two Martians, Bleeker and Seepa, who come to the surface to
investigate. They decide to provide him with shelter and in exchange he agrees to be
interviewed for a study on human anatomy and social structures. Dix attempts to fit into
Martian society with some funny results.
7. Where do your ideas come from?
A couple of years ago I took a course on writing humor. On the first day, I pretended that I was a sci-fi writer
who had inadvertently applied to the wrong course (yes, I may have gone overboard practicing my craft).
I carried this on for several weeks before finally
admitting I had made it all up. One week, I even submitted a sci-fi piece for an assignment.  But everyone in the class insisted I turn the short story into a novel. I thought
a genre I had never considered to write would be a great way to challenge my creativity.
So, I did it.
8. Do you have a writing process?
I have no process what so ever. I just sit down and write. I wasn’t even sure about my
ending until I was working on the last couple of chapters. I believe it’s referred to as pantsing.
9. What is the genre you most relate to?
The common thread in all my writing is humor and satire. I like to try different genres and incorporate my brand of humor.  One day, I would love to write a funny thriller or mystery.
10. If you were asked to give advice to a would be writer, what would it be?
Write like no one is reading.
What I mean by that is don’t write what you think will be a commercially successful book.  Instead, write for yourself.
If it there’s an audience for your book, that’s great.. If there isn’t a market for it, you’re still a success because you
wrote a book. That’s damn hard to do!

My elevator pitch for The Road Ahead
Rick Tompkins, a suburban Toronto insurance broker, never considered a political career
until a good friend, the leader of the Conservative party, asks him to run for office. He
accepts, knowing he cannot win, only to gain visibility for himself and his business. Jerry,
a veteran party worker, is sent to run Rick’s campaign in a riding that hasn’t elected a
Conservative in years.
Rick fumbles his way through the election and manages a surprise win but saddles his
party with an impossible commitment. Even worse, Rick is anything but politically
correct. He offends everyone and stumbles from one scandal to another.
Where you can find me: 
I’m active on Twitter – @WillieHandler
I have an author’s page on Facebook –
I have a blog. I initially used to post funny stuff. Then it evolved into writing advice.
Now, I think I’m going to return to posting some humor pieces. –
Thank you, Willie for being so welcoming to me on Twitter, and for your wit and words of wisdom, here today.
Wishing you all many roads ahead….
Dana L.

Paper or Plastic?

When I turned…, well let’s just say one year for my birthday, my mom bought me a Kindle, and I loved it! Being an avid reader it allowed me to never be without a book to read, whether I was riding in the car, or sitting by the pool. I joined Kindle Unlimited and some weeks read five books, but that all changed when I actually wrote one of my own.

I still enjoy my Kindle for traveling, but today nothing feels as good in my hands as a real book. There’s just something about curling up in a chair, or stretching out on the boat, whiling away the afternoon with one of my favorite authors that truly makes my heart happy.

So which do you prefer, paper or plastic? Or maybe like me, you like a little of both?

On this blog we have six published authors; Zelle Andrews, Patti Bassard Jefferson, David Edmonds, SE Rose, Sam Staley, and me! There are also two ladies with books still being written, Gay Barrett and Peta Monk. If I may speak for all of us, we appreciate when you buy our books, either in electronic or actual book form, and nothing makes us happier than to have someone say, “I bought your book and I loved it!”

Paper or Plastic is a personal choice, although for the first time in years more paper books are being sold than ebooks. Maybe people have found out like I have, the pleasure you get when you really turn a page!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and you can send them by email, on in the contact box on the website.  And Oh yeah!  No matter what form of book you choose, PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW!

Wishing you the Happy Endings that come from reading a good book!

Dana L.






The Power of a Word

Do you remember this children’s rhyme?  Sticks and stones  may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. It sounds nice, but in reality it’s the biggest crock of butter you’ve ever been told!

Words can hurt, and hurt badly. They ruin marriages, and families and friendships, all because they’re so easy to say, but impossible to take back.

Who in your life says the most negative things to you in a given day? You know, the person who says “you’ll never lose weight”, or “you’re not a very good athlete “. It’s you, right?

It doesn’t matter where words come from; your spouse, your parent, a friend, or your own thoughts and mouth, the wrong words can take away your joy, your motivation and sometimes even your life.

Today I’m challenging you to keep your words positive, whether you’re talking to yourself, or someone else. Words are a weapon and they can be spoken for us or against us.

Remember in Lottie Loser the first time Ashley Marshall called Lottie a “loser”? Those words helped define Charlotte’s life,  but thankfully they didn’t break her.

My goal is to think before I speak and to use my words to change my life! Because you know what? I’ve proven that I can lose weight, and I biked The Netherlands! But most importantly, I want to use my words for healing, and not for pain.

Wishing you a day filled with wonderful words, for others and especially for you…


Dana L.


Three Authors You Should Know!

It’s author week and it’s my pleasure to share with you Three Authors whose work you I hope you will love as much as I do.


Sam Staley (S.R. Staley) is a lover of pirates, and his series about them is lots of fun! I just completed the first book in the series, The Pirate of Panther Bay, and was especially fond of Isabella, The Pirate Ship Captain.  A woman Pirate? Yep! And I did my Amazon review, too!

Everyone has had their life touched by cancer. Whether by personal experience, or that of a friend or loved one, the next author, Angelina Assanti has a very poignant story to share.  Her #1 Best Seller, Thank God I Got Cancer Because Now I’m Not a Hypochondriac Anymore, is written in a way that will make you laugh and make you cry, and it will definitely make you think.

Jeri Hines is the author of several series set during the old south, or The Revolutionary War, and every book  I’ve read has melted my heart. Her Southern Legacy Series is one of my favorites. Belle of Charleston is Book I and if you like strong male characters, you’ll love both Cullen and Wade.

I hope you enjoy this month’s author share, and that you’ll read and appreciate their work. I’ve read the books listed above,I wouldn’t recommend them if I hadn’t.  And remember….leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads!

Books are my passion…what’s yours? 📚

As always,

Dana L.