Of alligators and erotica: Revealing myself to Marcia Meara and Eden Baylee (Part 1)

image It’s Friday, and we all know what that means… That’s right! It’s time to call in sick for a three-day weekend! It’s also time for Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, which many bosses, especially editors, accept as a legitimate cause for illness. So go ahead and read this before making that phone call! For those who might be visiting for the first time, I should explain my weekly NWOW is when I take what I’ve learned from 15 years as a columnist and filter out the impurities, much like that water filter in your refrigerator that hasn’t been changed since you bought it, and offer you a refreshing glass of slightly sulfuric-smelling wisdom.

But don’t take my word for it! Publishers Digestion has called my NWOW, “…Writing advice you can’t find anywhere else. And we’d like to keep it that way…” and what The Master of Horror® Stephen King has heralded as “…Writing wisdom that keeps me awake at night…”

But enough accolades!

This week’s NWOW is a bit of a departure for several reasons, beginning with the fact that I’m pretty sure “alligator” and “erotica” have never been used together in the same title. In addition, this week’s NWOW also kicks off a two-part post focusing on interview styles. Earlier this week, I had the privilege of being Marcia Meara’s guest at her blog Bookin’ It where, in addition to book reviews, she interviews authors each Wednesday. Marcia is also the author of the Florida swampland thriller Swamp Ghost (Don’t blame me if you have nightmares about albino alligators) and Wake-Robin Ridge, a paranormal romance thriller that has been known to freak out albino alligators. Oh, and did I mention Marcia is a hilariously hip grandmother?

Marcia’s easy conversational style is an interesting contrast to the more provocative and straightforward questions posed by erotica novelist Eden Baylee who, in addition to having eight highly popular books to her name including her latest release Stranger At Sunset due out June 30, has a wicked sense of humor and is a very giving supporter of writers.

My interview with Eden will appear on her blog next Friday, which I will include as the second part of this post.

Why am I doing this? After completing these two interviews, I was struck by how each distinct style prompted me to reveal different things about myself, and the lessons I learned about how the same subject can offer different perspectives based on the approach and style of the interviewer.

Plus, I don’t want to be the only person having nightmares about an erotic albino alligator.

Now, on to Bookin’ It with Marcia Meara…


Writer, blogger, grandma, alligator wrestler
Writer, blogger, grandma, alligator wrestler
I’m so pleased to have Ned Hickson with us today for this week’s Author Interview. I’ve been following Ned’s blog as long as I’ve been on WordPress, and know for a fact, it’s the perfect way to start the day. Ned’s laugh out loud sense of humor has caused me to spew Earl Grey all over my keyboard on numerous occasions, but that’s something he and I are still addressing. (You owe me for THREE now, Big Guy!) 😉

Welcome to Bookin’ It, Ned. It’s great to have you here today. Can you tell us a bit about how you became a writer?

NED: I am frequently asked how I became a writer. Mostly by my editor here at Siuslaw News. Except when she says it, the words sound more like an accusation than a question. I can honestly say I’ve been a storyteller since as far back as I can remember, back before I could actually write words. My mom used to record my spontaneous stories on cassettes, which she lovingly kept, knowing that someday I would want them and be willing to pay any price to keep them from falling into the hands of someone like Jerry Springer… (Read more at Bookin’ It)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

24 thoughts on “Of alligators and erotica: Revealing myself to Marcia Meara and Eden Baylee (Part 1)”

  1. To be a writer you need an audience. My audience is limited to me, myself and I. My ego and id conflict and do not like the same things. My blog group is varied and off the wall. I may be found one day. I look for the wanted poster in the post office but the sketch was done by two year old children in crayon. Not flattering to say the least and I do say less.

    1. To increase your audience, I suggest developing several multiple personalities and going completely insane. I use to enjoy my ego and id conflict, but than it just got boring, because you know, it was just the two of them at each other’s throats 24/7.

      1. I am indebted to all of you, which of the types of posts do you like. I need a rule of thumb. I need to deal with the hand. Beware I am armed and dangerous. Enough already, I got to put my foot in my mouth.

  2. Erotic albino alligator,eh? That adds another spin to the popular monster erotica genre. I’ll leave that to you to write ok, Ned? 😉 Look forward to hosting you next week.

  3. Okay, here I am, Ned, in all my hilariously hip grandmotherliness, taking time off from alligator wrestling, and…well, whatever else one might think of to do with erotic albino alligators…just to check out your always entertaining and occasionally informative NWOW post for the week. As usual, it was worth the visit. (If for no other reason than to stay in regular touch with the man who keeps Stephen King awake at night!) Great intro, and thanks for reposting your Bookin’ It interview. I’m still getting emails about how much folks enjoyed it. I know I did, and I’m busy dreaming up other crazy projects to rope you into! 😉 And I’ll definitely be checking out your NEXT week’s interview, too.

    Rock on, Young Ned. As your favorite grandmotherly sort who enjoys the occasional wrestling match with erotic albino alligators, that’s my best advice 😀 Keep on keepin’ on. You do it so well!!

    1. Thanks again so much for having me, Marcia! You are at the top of my list of people I want to wrestle an alligator with some day.

      It’s actually a short list: You 😉

      1. Hahaha…people would probably pay us big bucks to see that. And if you are very, very nice to me, I’ll tell you a secret about alligators and their anatomy. Hint…it would definitely give Eden pause for thought. But don’t ask me how I know this. 😀 (I can say no more. At least not in public. You’ll have to email me!) *snort*

  4. I need to develop a routine, the problem is most of my grand (bragging) ideas come around 2am. I keep saying that I should put a notepad by the bed but I haven’t simply because I’m not sure if the ideas are coming when I am sleep walking. I enjoyed your interview which means you are my writing inspiration.

    1. I can’t think of a higher compliment. Unless you told me this while standing on a ladder.

      Seriously, it means a lot to know I can offer some inspiration.

      That said, instead of a notepad, try a small digital recorder. You don’t have to worry about turning on the light and grabbing a notepad; you can just say it while it’s fresh in your mind, then listen the next morning. If nothing else, it could be entertaining listening over your morning tea 😉

      1. My husband keeps threatening to record me at night because I apparently talk in my sleep so I don’t really want to have a recorder near me, goodness knows what I would say!

  5. I enjoy reading those interviews and meeting the interviewers, too 🙂

    This is quite profound, “I was struck by how each distinct style prompted me to reveal different things about myself, and the lessons I learned about how the same subject can offer different perspectives..” I’m pretty sure there’s a life lesson hidden in there somewhere, but I can’t seem to remember where I put it 🙂

  6. Reblogged this on Bookin' It and commented:
    That Ned Hickson! Never had anything “reblogged” from here quite like this! You simply have to read it to believe it! 🙂 You rock, Young Ned!

  7. Ned, thank you for this post! In a previous life I was a reporter, and now, I’m a sometimes writer, funeral director and PR person….who knew?! Your reflections on different interviewing styles helped provoke some insight into my current PR work. Excellent post, although I do suspect some psychoanalysis may be necessary to rid myself of the images conjured from the use of alligator and erotica in the same sentence. 😉

    1. Wow, that is quite a career change! I’m really glad I could provide some useful insights. Sorry about the erotic gator images. Maybe try expunging those images by watching “Crocodile Dundee” or reruns of Wally Gator cartoons? 😉

  8. Truly, I was shocked to hear you don’t read much. I read for the pure pleasure of reading. I re-read for the learning experience. For instance, I love Stephen King, everything he has ever written. What I love most about him is his character development, he draws the most interesting & flawed characters you grow to love or hate! After I have read one of his books, I will re-read sometimes as many as 4 times to see how he influenced what I felt about his characters. To me this is perfecting my craft, not to mention how much I love to read!

    1. Big Stephen King fan here as well. “Misery” and “Four Past Midnight” are some of my favorite reads, and all great examples of his ability to flesh out characters you are completely invested in. Unfortunately, my schedule allows very little reading time. When I do get the chance to read and finish a book, it’s a real gift. I understand where you’re coming from and hope to get there some day while I still have my sight 😉

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