Meet a hidden Australian jewel – Tabitha Ormiston-Smith #interview
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith is here and we did this interview a bit ago and I kept running out of time and meant to finish Gift of Continence and… no excuse, bad bad blogger! You can read a bit about her book and also please check out her Smashwords Author Page and grab her short stories, they are all incredible! I really have enjoyed them so much!
*BIG DEEP BREATH* Tabitha is a dear woman who lives in Australia, is passionate about politics, civil rights and her wonderful animals! I am thrilled to finally spotlight this incredible person I also call friend. We may not always agree, in fact we have butted heads quite often but I adore .. nay I love her to pieces. When you meet people like this in your life, you are blessed. Reading and now will be reviewing soon; I was really worried because I was afraid I was not going to get into her books, mainly because it is not within the genre’s I tend to read. Boy was I wrong, even GEOFF LIKED A STORY, you have arrived, Tabitha… Geoff hates everything!
Before we head into the fun interview, let’s find out about Tabitha with a “NORMAL bio, shall we?
CG -Tweet the book: You are challenged to tweet a synopsis of the book or about you to include your tweet handle, GO! (Has to fit in a tweet plus link, so make it 120 characters, I will be adding a custom tweet button at the top of post. You can and are encouraged to include #hashtags)
In 140 characters? How about one for Gift of Continence
Wedding from hell. Marriage from hell. Laugh till you piss yourself. #GiftofContinence – http://bit.ly/GiftofContinence
CG – Introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you. (As in tell us something NOT in your bio, give us a dirty little secret not having or having to do with your writing – please take the chance to not take yourself too seriously and enjoy!)
Well, hello, captive audience *rubs hands and grins evilly* Now a very funny story about income tax law…. no, just kidding. Something that’s not in my bio, that most of my readers won’t know, is that I am a lawyer, although I am not currently practising. I know many people will consider that a dirty secret.
CG – Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?
I am not sure – I’ve an historical novel in progress, but as it is still funny I am not sure that counts as a separate genre. However, my new project, which I haven’t yet done anything for except research, will be sort of science fiction. But it’s not a matter of wanting to break into that genre – merely that that’s how I would describe the story idea that I have.
CG – UPDATED see last question… stop SCROLLING WAIT till you READ the rest!!!!
Now as to flash fiction:
Darkness settles down
Blanketing the target mind
When a bully strikes
I took the easy option with the haiku – actually I adore haiku and write them all the time. I’ve never attempted flash fiction, well not consciously, although my short story “Breakfast” was dashed off in half an hour when I was experimenting with different styles. But that is just over 1000 words so I’m not sure it qualifies as flash fiction. But for you I will attempt it. I am giving myself half an hour and 500 words.
Now here is the one I have just written for you, using the prompt ‘Darkness’ with a 500 word and 30 minute limit:
Dieter hit with a flourish and settled back in his chair, smiling. That would send her off to cry in her little bedroom for sure. Stupid bitch. He’d a short way with n00bs. That’s what they were for, to be abused. Dieter had been posting in the forum for a year now, and had racked up an impressive 57,326 posts, qualifying himself as a Senior Elder in the forum’s ranking system. Everyone in the forum respected him. He had lots of friends who agreed with everything he said. He was a God! He hit the Track This Discussion button. He’d get alerted in his email whenever anyone posted. He couldn’t wait!
He switched back to his email screen. There were fourteen automatic reminders from the forum. Good – things were jumping this afternoon! Great stuff!
Someone had responded to his attack on her original post, pointing out that he was in error. Dieter’s brain went momentarily blank with rage. How dare they! He was The Dietz! He had to be kowtowed to! Well, he’d fix her little red wagon. She’d soon learn not to talk back to The Big D!
His fingers flew over the keyboard. Long practice made him adept at composing the most hurtful reply possible. Never mind the facts – it made the n00bs even more fun if you told a few lies. They got all outraged and tried to set the record straight. What a fun day he was having!
He opened another window, went to Google and put in the n00b’s name. Oh, glory, glory, she was a published author! Now he could give one star reviews to all her books and get all his followers to do the same! That would really make her cry. Let’s see, there was a Smashwords link. Ah yes, she’d given an author interview. What could he twist from that to make her squirm? Oh nice, very nice, she’s admitted she doesn’t know anything about promotion. He took a swig of warm, flat Coke, flexed his fingers and began to type. Soon he was lost in pleasure, almost orgasmic with delight at his cleverness.
Suddenly the door to his room crashed open. His mum stood there, swaying slightly. The sickly reek of gin and stale tobacco wafted off her.
“DeeDee, it’s two o’clock. Did you take your medication?”
Dieter sighed. “Just taking it now, Mum.” He wheeled himself down the hall to the bathroom, from long practice avoiding the hall mirror with its cruel reflection of his obese body, lank, greasy hair and acne-spotted face. In the background his mother’s voice faded away….
“And you can get this pigsty cleaned up, God, it stinks in here, you little bastard, if I ever find out who your father is I swear to God I’ll….”
CG – I hear you recently adopted a new girl in your life. Can you do me a favor and ask your other pet (Ferret) how he feels about.
Oh dear, I am at my country house and Ferret is still in town and won’t be joining me until tomorrow. But I can tell you that he is quite taken with young Emily. Here’s a video:
You can see that he loves her, for he doesn’t rise up and smite her.
CG – Has your life experiences with your animals and training contributed to any of your novels and stories? Is there one thing in particular that you can tell my readers about that makes us smile (yes cuteness is allowed… to the n’th power!)
Of course! ALL of my writing has been informed and shaped by my life experiences. But specifically with regard to animals – oh, yes, definitely. My book Gift of Continence has two strong animal characters, a cat and a dog. Both characters were taken from life. And in my work in progress is another major dog character taken from life. Most of my work has animal characters – except for the dragon stories, I think it all does. The best thing about my life as a writer now is the way my non-human family helps me. Ferret is totally my assistant. He lies in my in tray and supervises everything I do. And Beau used to come into my office roughly once an hour and force me to take an anti-eyestrain break and to knock off at 1730 every night. He would bustle importantly into my office and place his stuffed elephant into my lap to signal quitting time. Since he died, I think I get less work done.
CG – If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters? (Some have a huge cast, so say no more than five, I am thinking many would be able to do at least one, you do have one character right? Include photos of choice or I can find them)—[you can opt in or out with this]
I don’t usually think in these terms, not being terribly interested in actors, but there is one casting that I think is absolutely essential, and that is that Maggie Smith MUST play Gran, in Gift of Continence.
CG – Why?
Because she is absolutely perfect for the part. I am thinking of Lady Violet in Downton Abbey. I’ll never forget that scene when she was talking about when her children were little and Robert remarks that all she actually did was spend an hour with them after tea, and she looks shocked and says “But it was an hour EVERY DAY.” For me that just epitomises the kind of character that Gran is, and Ms Smith plays her to perfection.
CG Write one line you would love for him/her to say from your book.
”Oh, I mustn’t tell you that, my dear. It would be disrespectful to my dear husband’s memory, the old fart.”
CG – Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing (as in what candy / snack food / drink / 80’s hair band you break out in song too when you just cannot figure out the next line to write and that bitch of a muse is off on her own hunt)?
There must be coffee and in quantity. In town I have my own espresso machine, and not one of those silly little modern things with “pods”, either, but a proper one. In the country I have to make do with drip method, cafetieres and percolators. But there has to be coffee, and really a few cigarettes too.
CG – What do you do when you’re not writing? (ie: What festive things do you do for fun? What things do you do when you make yourself have fun, and what is on the top of your list to do when you actually take two days for you (and family)[another place to talk about Emily etc]
Well of course I do read a lot, and often I can justify that as work even though it is really fun. E.G. if I have a review to write, I can justify spending hours reading a novel as work. I love that about my job. But outside of that, there are the kids, Emily and Ferret, and I love to spend time with them. I just finished Emily’s maiden shows; five dog shows in three days, and four blue ribbons – other times I will take her to the beach, the Botanic Gardens, out for lunch, that kind of thing.
CG – During the zombie apocalypse, what fictional character would you want watching your back? (I cannot help myself)
OMG enough with the zombies! LOL! I think I’d want Van Helsing. He disposed of Dracula so I suppose he could cope with a few zombies too. Or else Buffy. I love Buffy.
CG – If your book was a meal what would it be? Meat and potatoes? Vegetarian? A light nouveau cuisine?
I think it would be something frivolous and not at all nourishing. Profiteroles, or something like that.
Let’s make this a real Cabin Goddess “Interview and a recipe”
CG – Create a drink (with or without booze) representing your book in name and ingredients.
OK here goes. Here is the Hello Kittini. I invented it in honour of Hello Kitty, the post-modernist icon of goodness and love. Be sure to drink responsibly (call a taxi!)
- vodka – there’s a Russian one I particularly like but I can’t spell it.
- Caster sugar
- Maraschino cherries
- Raspberry cordial
- Martini glasses
- Refrigerator (1)
- Place vodka in freezer.
- Place martini glasses in refrigerator.
- Wait until the vodka is well cold – at least half an hour. Twenty minutes if it is an emergency.
- Pour the caster sugar onto a surface – no, Virginia, not that surface, a CLEAN surface. Dampen the rims of the glasses and press them into the sugar so it has an impressive-looking frosted edge. This step is just showing off and can be skipped without affecting the quality of the drink.
- Fill the glasses with the chilled vodka.
- Place a maraschino cherry in each glass
- Place one drop of raspberry cordial in each glass.
BONUS ROUND “MAKE MINE A MEAL”
OK, well the book I am thinking of is Gift of Continence, so given the number of times it occurs in the book I think it has to be this one:
- Telephone (1)
- Telephone directory (1) OR computer (1)
- Look up the number of a pizza delivery service in either the TD or the C.
- Call the place.
- Tell them what you want.
- After you hang up, say some dirty words, because this will get you in Chef mode and make you feel like Gordon Ramsay. It is these little touches that separate the professional chef from the mere amateur.
CG – Like this?
Fast and Furious! Don’t think, just go for it!
- Beer, Wine, Shot Glass and a bottle or perhaps Wombat Blood? Wine
- Coke or Pepsi or Club Soda? Soda water (we don’t call it Club Soda in Australia)
- Your, You’re or You’ll? Depends on the context
- Helmet, Baseball Hat or Drop Bear Pelt? Helmet. There is no such thing as a drop bear. We made that up to keep tourists away. (CG – shhhhhhhhh they don’t know that!!)
- Killer clown or Clown killer? Killer Clown (CG – see I knew there was a reason for why I liked you!)
- Spirits, Demons or Killer Clowns ?(so I am a little obsessed) Spirits – especially vodka
- Duct tape or Zip Ties? Lecky tape. It fixes everything. (CG – errrrrr ohhhh-K? Oh ELECTRICAL tape, check… I got it!)
- Chainsaw arm or shotgun leg (gotta throw a zombie apocalypse related question in here! 🙂 )? I don’t understand this question. (CG – Zombies, Tabitha…. zombies. Gotta teach Emily these things! But just for you… Bruce Campbell for EVIL DEAD 1 & 2 for the Chainsaw or Planet Terror for the shotgun leg ) OH! OK I am going with the shotgun; just because when I was with the circus we had an act where a chap used to juggle with three roaring chainsaws and it was the most terrifying thing I have ever seen. I’m at home with firearms so I am going with the shotgun.
- Pantser or Outliner? Traditionally I have been a total pantser. However, recently I’ve been writing a lot of short fiction and I’m finding the outline a very helpful thing.
- Zombie Apocalypse or mysterious pandemic? Mysterious pandemic. Preferably one that targets bullies.
- Dark or Light Side? Light
- House of Mirrors or House of Horrors? Mirrors
- Learn battle techniques from a viking or a ninja? Viking. (CG – HUZZAH!)
CG –Anything you would like to add… appearances, upcoming releases, where I can find someone to adjust the algorithms for my time machine?
I have signed up for NaNo next month to finish my historical novel.
About King John.
I love the element stories. Both of those were written to a challenge. Three elements were given that had to be in the story. Excuse of the Day the story had to contain a sudden hailstorm, a bag of cement and a magnifying glass. Sophie’s Revenge it was a page torn from a calendar, a paragraph from the moonstone and towering, raging jealousy. I put in the rubber pants as well because that was a kind of joke that people were having on Kboards. This one guy kept saying, will it have rubber pants. So I said I’d include rubber pants in my story.
I LOVE getting the three elements. It makes it so easy, somehow the story just shapes itself in my mind as soon as I consider the three things together. Without any effort. But it doesn’t work unless someone else gives me the elements.
Gift of Continence
by Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
on February 25, 2013
Genres: General, Humor
Amazon • Smashwords • • Goodreads •
With the perfect wedding dress, what can go wrong? A great deal, as Fiona McDougall rapidly discovers. From the wedding from hell onwards, Fiona successively discovers that her new husband is stingy, bad-tempered and an adulterer.
WARNING: do not attempt to read this book while drinking hot liquids, as they may shoot out of your nose.
If you love Aussie humor, you will love this gem of a book! Lots of laugh out loud moments. You could call it, "My Big Fat Aussie Wedding". There are a few "F" words, but it wouldn't be a true Aussie yarn if it didn't have a few profanities thrown in from time to time. Give it a go - and after you've read it, you'll agree that it has to go straight to the pool room along with all your other little treasures. - Patti Roberts - Author of the Paradox Series.