Tag Archives: Reiki

CentreStage with the Lazuli Portals: The Joys and Tribulations of Co-Authorship

Welcome to CentreStage!!!

CentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world. The authors might write for you about their lives, their writing, their books or anything else that inspires them.

Today, I have an absolute premiere here on CentreStage! Today, I am featuring not one, but two authors all at once. I’m introducing you to the fantastic co-authorship that is Joanna Gawn and Ron Dickerson, jointly know as The Lazuli Portals. Intrigued? Well, so was I when I first encountered this amazing pair (in book terms only, not in real life!) on Twitter, and we have become firm blogging friends since.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to share your writing journey with someone else? Read on to get a first-hand account of how that works…

Introducing Joanna Gawn and Ron Dickerson: The Lazuli Portals.
Written by Joanna Gawn.

Unique Dynamic

When Nicky invited us to guest post on her blog, we were thrilled! But then we needed to make a decision: what on earth will we write about?

Undeniably, there are a great many authors out there, but the vast majority are not co-authors. We believe that writing, editing and publishing a series of novels together creates its own, unique dynamic. This also affects us personally, as you’ll discover as you read on.


For a start, we’re a formal business partnership. That means no business decision gets taken without us both having a say – and that can be tricky when I run one other business, and Ron runs two! Finding a decent block of time to ‘discuss things’ can be quite a challenge.

Luckily, technology is firmly on our side. In between occasional ‘real meetings’ (we live about 30 miles apart), we have very frequent instant message chats, in which we discuss anything and everything related to our works in progress, publishing and marketing. If you’re an author, then you know how much time that can take when there’s only one viewpoint (yours!) in play. Then there’s the next blog post and Newsletter to discuss, draft and edit, and writing and editing the Friday Fictioneers ‘flash fiction’ pieces we create each week.

Over the last year or so, we’ve also found a cloud document system to be invaluable for sharing files, because we can both work on them simultaneously. (This also provides opportunities for great silliness!)

Passion and Fun

Both Ron and I are passionate about energy and healing: recognising and directing natural energies, working with the potential that exists around us, and sharing these experiences and ideas as storytellers. We hope our passion comes across in our writing.

Because the Lazuli Portals stories reveal themselves to us through the writing process itself (we don’t write with much of a plan), we learn more about ourselves and our place in the universe, too. For us, writing really is alchemy – a journey of personal transformation.

What we write could be labelled as visionary fantasy. But we’ve chosen not to align ourselves too closely to any particular label, as we believe that our series has appeal beyond those interested in energy-healing, crystals and unseen realms. But we do hope that reading our series encourages an open mind, and perhaps an expansion of awareness of what is possible – of the very real potential which surrounds us in each and every moment, and how it can be used for the greater good. The only thing holding you back is you.

As we’ve had quite different life experiences, we both bring something new and fresh to every discussion – and of course we are both continuing to learn on a personal level. We intend that our writing, publishing and marketing choices bring us as much satisfaction (and as many readers!) as they can. This is fun! We’re not in the writing ‘business’ to get stressed over deadlines, or to write or edit when we really are too exhausted and our creative wells are parched. We’d like to keep our sanity and our health, thanks very much! For us both, balance is key.

Protection and Trust

Now, we were very good friends before we started ‘this writing lark’. How do we protect that friendship when creative egos can come into play, and financial decisions need to be made?

There’s a simple answer to that. Nothing that is business-related comes before our friendship. We set that intention back in November 2010 when we began writing The Cordello Quest. Ron wrote the first few sentences of Chapter One, just to see if I could make anything of it; I finished the chapter and tentatively emailed my work to Ron for his opinion. He asked if I minded if he made some suggestions . . . and please would I write more of the story, right this minute, because he was well and truly hooked. 🙂

I needed to decide whether I wanted to write alone, or whether this was a project we wanted to work on – in depth, and with complete honesty – as a duo. You can see which option won . . .

Working creatively with another person naturally requires a considerable amount of trust. We both do our best to be objective about our work, and all suggestions we make are offered and received with respect and complete openness. Anything less would simply not work.

Comfort Zone – Where Did It Go?!

This element of trust was also key in my agreeing to be interviewed, with Ron, live on air by Stafford FM, just a week after we launched The Cordello Quest. Me, speaking live on radio? No way, I thought. But I phoned Ron to tell him about the offer we’d received, and he ‘persuaded’ me that passing up this opportunity would lead to regret down the line.

Of course, he was absolutely right (he quite often is!) Even if I never do a live radio interview again, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I did it once, and I wasn’t terrible, even though my knees were knocking throughout the entire interview! Working together, we bring out the best in each other – and as good friends, that naturally translates into our personal lives, too.

Now we’re attending book fairs and writers’ circles, and have even met with ‘interested parties’ on foreign shores! Believe me, as an ex-agoraphobic, I’d have done none of these things without Ron gently pushing me in the right direction. In that sense, becoming an author really has changed my life – often in ways I would never have expected.

That’s our story so far . We plan to be writing and publishing for many years to come . . . with our friendship remaining intact. 🙂

Thanks for the opportunity to share our thoughts with your readers, Nicky. Rock on!

Yay, rock on indeed! Thank you so much to Jo and Ron for sharing their experience of writing as a duo. I stand in awe and admiration at you two working together as one and how it’s enriching both your lives! It’s been wonderful to have you visit here today, and I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves. But before I open the floor for questions, first things first…

The Cordello Quest is available from Amazon.co.uk. You can find out more about The Lazuli Portals on Jo and Ron’s website. The Lazuli Portals also tweet and Facebook!

So then, dear reader: could you write jointly with someone else? Share the burden, the pain, the inspiration, the joy? Take turns? Bounce ideas? I’ve got to be honest, I am intrigued but I’m not sure I would succeed. I’m a control freak. But I admire those who can. What about you??

CentreStage with Richard Holmes: Inspired!

Welcome again to CentreStageCentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world, often introducing fellow featured authors at loveahappyending.com as well as my fellow authors in the Sapphire Star Publishing family.  On CentreStage, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them.  Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.

Today, it is my great pleasure to welcome a loveahappyending.com featured author…  Introducing: the amazing Richard Holmes!

Richard says:  “You Can’t Beat A Bit Of Inspiration”

First of all I would like to thank the wonderful Nicky Wells for having me as a guest on her blog.  I know that she has had a number of amazing authors as guests and it’s an honour for me to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before.

**Nicky blushes** Thank you for your kind words, Richard, it’s lovely to have you visit today. 🙂  Sorry to interrupt, please continue….

I have chosen as a theme for this short post, “inspirational quotes”.  I don’t know about you, but I love a bit of inspiration and I do get fired up by the thoughts and musings of the world’s great “quoters” both past and present.  Some pieces of inspiration are self-explanatory, such as this masterpiece from Marie Curie:

Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood

But there are other gems of wisdom that are open to interpretation and may need a bit of pondering before the meaning becomes apparent, such as this piece from Charles Dickens:

Have a heart that never hardens; a temper that never tires; a touch that never hurts

On the surface he appears to be contradicting himself with his talk of a temper that never tires, but if you think about it, it seems that he is actually talking about desire and enthusiasm; the fire one gets in the belly when one gets their teeth into a project.  The drive to keep going right to the end.

I would like to share with you a couple of my personal favourites, and also my own slant on them.  Firstly, this wonderful quote from Sri Sathya Sai Baba; I will never forget the feeling I had when I first came across this because it is so true and apt:“In your heart you will find peace, everywhere else you will find only pieces

These words are just so true.  If you think about it, when we take the time to find a quiet space and sit with our own reflections, we can and do find that inner peace that passes all understanding.  But in the helter-skelter of the outer world everything seems so disjointed.  We are always running here, there and everywhere; sometimes achieving nothing in the process, and the noise can sometimes be deafening.  Life really can seem like a 1000 piece jig-saw at times with the pieces scattered all over the place.  But when we find that inner peace nothing else seems to matter and we can experience that blissful feeling of being an impartial and silent observer, unruffled by all the chaos in the world.

Pesky me, interrupting again: so sorry! Just had to say how much I adore that quote. It’s beautiful, and I am happy that you’re sharing it here today.  End of interruption, I promise!

Another quote that really inspires me is this one from Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Someone gave me a picture as a gift back in 2003, when I was moving to Wales, and this quote was on it:

Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail

I only recently found out it was one of Ralph’s and it really makes me think whenever I’m having one of my “woe is me” phases.

Lastly, I very recently saw an American female singer being interviewed on TV.  Her name is Melody Gardot, and she had been involved in a terrible car crash. She used her time recovering in a hospital bed to learn to play the guitar.  Although she recovered she was left very sensitive to light and sound, but when the interviewer asked her about her ordeal she said the most wonderful thing.  She described the whole experience as the universe “opening its arms” and giving her the most amazing opportunity which she grasped with both hands.  It made me think of that quote and how she was a classic example of someone who dared to tread where most people would not and because of this she became a shining example for others to follow.

That’s just such an amazing story!  Anyone interested in finding out more about Melody’s story can visit her website here or take a peek at her potted history on Wikipedia.

Well, all that remains now is for me to say thanks again to Nicky Wells for having me as a guest on her blog……. Thanks Nicky!

The pleasure is all mine, Richard. I am humbled and delighted by the quotes and thoughts you are sharing today. Thank you!  Now, I believe there’s a book you’d like to tell us about at this point?

I do indeed!  I’d like to introduce the  first book in the Fragments Of Divinity series. This is an innovative publication of  blog style articles that deal with potentially complicated spiritual subjects in  an easy to read and understand way.  Based mainly on my own actual  experiences, these delightful articles will provide both inspiration and insight  to the reader, and will also answer many of those nagging questions that you  thought you would never receive answers to. A truly inspirational read.

And here’s Richard’s bio and amazing life story:

Richard was born in London in 1955 and has lived a very topsy turvey life that hit rock bottom as we entered the new millennium.  “I always felt like a bit of a misfit, not really belonging anywhere. This is illustrated by the fact that I left school at 15 with no qualifications and would have been asked to leave had I not done so voluntarily. By the time I was 17 I’d had 24 jobs and was just not able to settle anywhere.”

Out of frustration and boredom Richard joined the army in 1976, but this did not work out either and he left at the end of 1979.  After a three-month interim period Richard went off to Germany to work and remained abroad for six years. It was during his time in the army and in Germany that he succumbed excessively to the temptations of alcohol.

Richard returned to the UK in 1986 and by the mid 1990’s found himself in a pretty sorry state. Things came to a head during the latter part of 2000 when Richard’s life seemed to sink down to an all-time low.  “Finally, out of the darkness there came a light and in 2001 I found my spiritual pathway giving me a purpose in life“.

These days Richard lives in Tetbury, Gloucestershire and has been working as a medium for over ten years. He runs workshops in various spiritual topics, gives private consultations for guidance along life’s pathway and also tutors on a one-to-one basis in meditation and spiritual awareness. He is a Reiki healer, psychic surgeon, spiritually inspired artist and gives profound interpretations of dreams.

Visit Richard on his website or at loveahappyending.com, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

You can buy Richard’s books on amazon.co.uk,  amazon.com and smashwords.

Well, I have to say I am positively reeling from all these insights (in a good way, of course!). Wow!  Over to you, dear reader.  Which quote speaks to you loudest?  Do you have a favourite inspirational saying or quote? We’d love you to share!