New Writer – Orville Evjen

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I grew up in South Dakota on my family ranch. I am half native Lakota and Norwegian. My ranch was homesteaded 100 years ago. I learned to draw when i was real little. I would watch Saturday morning cartoons and try to draw what i saw. When i 18 my folks passed away and i moved up here after wandering around for two years. I created a native Lakota comic book in 1999 called Myth and Lore, but it didn’t sell. Later i wrote and Illustrated a graphic novel about Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea. In 2007 i enrolled in to Bismarck State college for graphic design, or commercial art. In 2012 i started researching for my last graphic novel on Abe Lincoln. In 2018 i self published Lincoln. In 2018 i also relaunched my line of comic books called Myth and Lore. 

How do you make time to write?

I am big believer in staying busy but also in keeping my nerves calm. I had a rocky childhood so now i work much better when I’m totally at ease. I exercise, try to get my sleep, and watch inspirational shows and books along with comic books. 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes this happens when I’m stressed and tired. I try to avoid working when i am both of those.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.

I love fantasy art, but after working on Lewis and Clark and Lincoln, I have found that I love working on history based books.

How are you publishing your recent book and why?

Independent or self published. I tried for a year looking for a publisher but because my book was history the comic book publishers would not get back to me and a big publisher said its not the right book for them. So I went to Xlibris out of Indiana. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?

I think I’m an introvert. It actually works well. I stay home and work. I do like to socialize some, but I’ve learned to stay away from alcohol and i do not date much. Not that i don’t want to date but with out bars its more difficult.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

Off the top of my head I like the phrase

“You can crap in hand and wish in the other, guess which one fills up?” ~Grandpa off of Grumpy old men.

Also, I thought of a couple of my favorite quotes from authors other than myself

“Life is the greatest fairy-tale!” ~Hans Christian Anderson. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If you find an author  you really love then read everything they have done. I do more research than leisurely reading.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Under Amazon and Lincoln by Orville Evjen. Also at my website www.bravecrowcomics.com  I’m also on Barnes and noble.

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

I am assuming you mean from my book, So on page 161, I didn’t write this, but its my favorite quote from my book, Abe at the first Republican convention:

“In my opinion it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. A house divided against itself cannot stand, I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the union to dissolve. I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.’” ~Abe Lincoln

AuThursday – Joshua Knels

Please welcome Josh Knels, a fellow member of the BisMan Writer’s Guild!  Joshua, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name is Joshua Knels. I grew up in Fairview, MT, and moved to Bismarck after I graduated high school and attended Bottineau for a little while. I didn’t get into writing until I was fifteen. I suffered a back injury during a football game that took me out of sports for the remainder of my time in school. That’s when I started reading books and grew a passion for reading and writing. I started writing my first project when I was a sophomore in high school, but later dropped the project when I went to college.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your writing? 

Introvert. It gives me plenty of time to write since I don’t go out much (even less so since Covid-19). The only time I go out nowadays is for work or D&D nights with friends during the weekend

How do you make time to write? 

I usually write between shifts when I get home from work or on my days off. 

What genre are your stories and what draws you to this genre?

I usually write fantasy adventures since I enjoy world-building and creating new worlds. I often mix it with other elements, such as romance and horror. 

Do you ever get writer’s block? 

Not as much as I thought I would get. I am always thinking about character development and story elements and rarely get burned out from it. When I do, I just relax for a day or two and I am back at it. Listening to music while writing a scene also helps me out a lot.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Depression for sure. When I feel overwhelmed and depressed from work and personal matters, it has an impact on my writing. Whenever I am in these funks, I either write scenes where characters feel the same as I do, or I just take a personal day to myself and try to get over whatever is stressing me out or depressed at the time.

So, what have you written? 

Nothing complete right now, I’m afraid, except two books that I self-published in 2011 and 2012.

41xd2DMgXuLThese books, The Seattle Massacre & Trails of Blood were two books of a series of murder mystery & horror books that I was writing a long time ago under the pen name J.J. Knight. I stopped writing them when I lost progress on the third book several times and a lot of my other projects when my computer went out and I didn’t have them saved on any other source. I had lost the passion for writing this series and in general when I hit a very deep depression that lasted for over three years and didn’t write anything during that time. It wasn’t until 2016 when I started writing some Pokemon fanfiction to get back into the groove of writing until 2018 when I started my D&D project. In 2019, I fell in love with one of my favorite D&D characters, Victoria “The Scarlet Rose” Valentine, and decided to write a book series based on her and in a modern setting. 

Where can we buy or see them? 

I think you can see the two books on Amazon. I don’t intend to continue that series unfortunately since there’s no passion left for that project and all energy will be devoted to my next project. 

What are your current projects?

My current project is The Scarlet Rose, a planned multi-part series. It is a modern fantasy story that was inspired by my favorite D&D character, Victoria “Scarlet Rose” Valentine. The story follows the main character Victoria, a girl born with the appearance of a devil (horns, tail, and red tail). I was inspired to write this project from elements of Hellboy, Supernatural, and Men in Black.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Never give up your dream and always practice. Write what makes you happy and don’t be afraid to ask others for help and opinions.

AuThursday – Justin Cancilliere

FB_IMG_1573480310475Please join me in welcoming my fellow North Dakota Author, Justin Cancelliere, whom I met at October’s ND Library Association Meeting.  Justin, Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised in Cleveland, OH. As far back as I can remember I’ve always loved writing and had a passion for the arts. In 2017 I took the plunge and self-published my first book, “The Legendary Creature Project: The Gryphon.” In Feb. of 2019, I decided to create the BisMan Writer’s Guild in an attempt to bring together local writers to uplift them and be helpful to them and their work.unnamed (2)

How do you make time to write?

In between working full time, helping my wife with her business, and podcasting it can be difficult to make time for writing. But I try my best to make at least an hour in the day, it usually ends up being an hour a week but… 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I do, especially when you can’t get behind a story. 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I write in science fiction, for the most part. But I love science fiction because it delves into the horror that can come from the advances in science and technology.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

As of now, Indie. I love Indie publishing because there are no deadlines except for the ones you set for yourself.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work? 

Believe it or not I’m kind of a combination, but for the most part introvert. I’m not quite sure how it has affected my work.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I really don’t have one.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Whatever you do, never stop writing. It’s very easy to fall into the mentality of “my writing isn’t going to go anywhere, so why bother.” But I beg to differ, if you’ve reached one person with your writing, then that’s one more person that has read your work.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.justincancilliere.com

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

From “The Legendary Creature Project: The Wyrm”:

It had been a week since he had injected Steven with a new DNA sequence. It wasn’t too soon after that Steven began to develop scales and large, razor-sharp claws which now protruded out of his fingers. His face had also begun to transform, taking on reptilian-like traits. All of his hair, nails, and teeth had fallen off and laid at the bottom of the tank.