I first met Lydia Aswolf when she interviewed friend and podcaster, Casey Ryan. Lydia has a wonderful way of drawing information out of her guests. She is a psychic medium, an aspiring author, and a strong advocate for writers.
She is also a popular presence on social media, especially Twitter, where she hands out the most delicious tweets ever!
Please enjoy this wonderful interview with Lydia and tune in to her podcast, Lydia’s Literary Lowdown. It’s a great show, and I’ll be making an appearance on it shortly.
Lydia’s Literary Lowdown gives you the lowdown on what’s making heads turn in publishing today. Trends, best sellers, what will be hot, (and not) on the publishing scene next. Literary agents and editors telling us what they’d like to see in their inboxes. Aspiring authors speaking up about their victories, defeats, and unrelenting spirit to sprint ahead and blow dry the ink on their publishing contracts, already. Screenwriters working on that next great film. Poets introducing us to new, exciting prose. Artists of all stripes, supporting other artists. Guests both traditionally and self published pop by to tell us about their latest offerings. We talk book to movie adaptations. The latest hot button topics and scandals taking place in the teeming world of tomes. Social media and marketing experts give advice on how to build that all important platform. The latest writing contests. The nightmares turned into dreams come true overnight. The Lowdown prides itself on welcoming the only crowd you want to hang out with: the write one.
Inside Lydia’s Mind
[eden] Thrilled to have you here, Lydia, let’s start off by telling everyone your motto …
[Lydia] Life doesn’t light you on fire and then hand you the marshmallows to toast over it.
[eden] You are whacky! How about your idea of perfect happiness?
[Lydia] Self cleaning bathrooms. Magnetic socks that never lose a mate. Diets that involve eating only chocolate. Seriously, though, my idea of perfect happiness will always be people reading what I put out there and totally getting it. I can’t imagine a finer feeling than that.
[eden] I can certainly relate.
What turns you on creatively? My past. Probably egotistical, but it’s where I get most of my ideas. One of my manuscripts sprang from the sad fact that, as a kid, I used to walk around crossing my eyes at people. Not being rude, believe it or not. Somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that if I crossed my eyes at someone, I was blessing them. Another sprang from my fascination with the Bible. Yes, the Bible. There’s a verse that heavily implies one poor sap has to walk the Earth forever. I played around with the idea, came up with a decent premise, and went for it.
Do you have words or phrases you overuse? Just is number one on the list. Of late, I’ve overused amiably. Beatifically also comes to mind. And semi-colons. Oh, how I love my semi-colons. I’m still looking for a twelve step or cure to escape their siren call.
What quality do you most admire in a man? Honesty. Brutal honesty is preferable. Should I ask…and I will ask, if my ass looks huge in any given pair of jeans, I need the truth. Because, as a rule, I prefer to avoid wandering around looking like two pigs are having a fight in the arse of my jeans. I married an extremely honest man who looks like he’ll kill first and ask no questions whatsoever. I’m a very lucky woman.
[eden] :D Lucky indeed!
How about in a woman? I don’t discriminate. Honesty is key. Let’s face it: I’m a walking flaw encased in human flesh. This is good, in that I don’t have the time nor inclination to judge others. Bad, in that when, at the tender age of 32, I fell out of a tree feeding birds, I could have used an honest woman to tell me not to climb the tree in the first place.
[eden] I would have told you. I’m a big fan of brutal honesty, sometimes too much so.
Name me your greatest regret. Frogs. That’s right, frogs. I was raised in a rural area. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so we hunted for extra food. I was five or six when my parents told my twin brother and me that we should get some frogs legs for dinner. We caught twenty or so, went to the prep shed, and started cutting their legs off. After a time, we looked into the bucket, prepared to take the frogs out and put them back by the lake. I clearly remember saying to my twin, in total mystification, “Why aren’t their legs growing back?” And then my brother and I looked at one another in complete and utter horror. I will never be able to look at a frog without wincing and then mentally (and sometimes verbally) apologizing for the lost lives of their cruelly slain bretheren. It’s not only my greatest regret. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life.
[eden] Sad and poignant. I don’t even kill insects, so I know what you mean.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Holding a grudge. I don’t forget, and I rarely forgive.
What is your greatest fear? Deer. Seriously, deer. When I was eight months pregnant with my first son, a young buck ran right into the side of our car. We were doing 50mph at the time, and he hit my side. Nearly killed my son and me. Not terribly long ago, I jumped about six feet straight up into the air when we were touring a rental home and I rounded the back yard to find a target dummy of a deer staring back at me. I didn’t scream though. At least give me points for that. Night driving is fraught with peril. My eyes nervously dart from side to side in anticipation of another deer returning to finish off the job.
[eden] In Canada, we also have moose, and they are HUGE.
Which living person do you most admire? At present, the Pope. Don’t get me wrong, here. I’m not Catholic. But this is a guy who’s clearly got the whole concept of understanding and acceptance down. He (and the church) have a long way to go, but at least he’s modeling how it should be, as opposed to how it has been.
What profession other than your own would you like to try? Well, writing. It isn’t my day job, you know. But if I could write and do something else, I’d really, really like to get a reality show going. Yeah, roll your eyes. But you haven’t seen drama or excitement until you’ve seen me storm a psychic/medium/palmist shop and take them to task for scamming their clients. Brutally. Two years ago I had my money thrown into my face and was escorted roughly out of a palmist office for doing just that. A friend who was with me at the time found it highly rewarding. She suggested a reality show based on what she witnessed.
[eden] Do it!
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A book. Midlist, probably. Maybe lower. That way, I could lay around and do nothing but doze all day.
What is your greatest achievement? Escaping the commonly held view as a kid of who I’d become when I got older. According to just about everyone in my hometown, I was going to turn into a chain smoking, hard drinking whore who popped out kid after kid and subsisted solely on welfare. It’s a whole lot of fun to visit and see shock bloom on the faces of just about everyone I run into. A whole lot of fun.
[eden] NO WAY are you a chain smoker. ;)
What trait do you most deplore in others? Disloyalty. I can’t stand it. If I’ve got your back, I’ve got nothing bad to say behind it.
[eden] I like this, very much.
Greatest extravagance? Books. I am, and always will be a book whore. The more, the merrier, as they say.
Name one thing you want to do before you die. Get published.
Trite? Probably. But other writers know what I’m saying. You put years into perfecting, polishing, writing, revising, rewriting, etc. To get published….well, it’s tremendous validation of all the hard work and perserverance it takes to get anywhere in publishing. Not to mention some validation that you have a smidgen of talent. I’d like that. Like it a lot.
[eden] Not trite at all.
Do you have a favorite writer/musician/film director? Depends on the genre. Maeve Binchy is one. I think she was underappreciated for her writing talent, and oh, how I mourn her passing. Stephen King is a horror master. Jane Austen defined so much of what is out there today. She’s a perennial favorite of mine. Musician? Torn. Kurt Cobain comes to mind, but so does Billie Joe Armstrong and the Green Day gang. Film director…old school answer, here. Stephen Spielberg, hands down.
Favorite curse words? You name it, I’ve said it. I enjoy telling unsuspecting bystanders that I could be a tenured professor. My course? Lecturing sailors on how to curse effectively and productively.
[eden] Ha, Lydia! I’m sure you can teach those sailors a thing or two. Thank you so much for joining me and sharing about yourself.
Readers, please say “hi” to Lydia and if you’re on Twitter, look out for her wonderful #tweettreats. If you’re lucky, you may get one!
* * * *