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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Writer Interview - Lynn Cooper

Like many talented individuals, Lynn Cooper wears more than one hat. On one hand, she is a seductively engaging erotica writer with a brand new anthology currently sizzling up Amazon. On the other hand, there is her wise and humorous alter ego Junie Swan - a children's and motivational writer. A woman with such personality range cannot help but be fascinating, and so we sat down with her (virtually) to pick her mind.

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What is your favorite virtue? Well, it is definitely not patience. I have to say temperance would be my favorite. Practicing moderation and self-restraint is most admirable, and avoiding excessive behavior is quite healthy for one’s mind, body and spirit.

Your favorite qualities in a man. For me, it is imperative that a man possess these seven qualities: faithfulness, honesty, reliability, compassion, assertiveness, optimism, and a kick-ass sense of humor.

Your favorite qualities in a woman. The same list pretty much applies to a woman. I would expect no less from the fairer sex.

Your chief characteristic. Consistency. No matter what’s going on in my life, my nature and fundamental character stays the same. Whatever comes my way, I approach it with humor and resolve, believing that it will somehow turn out as it should.

What do you appreciate the most about your friends? Their unwavering emotional support—everyone needs someone that they can count on to bolster and encourage them when things get rough. Likewise, it is just as beneficial to have someone to celebrate and share the good times with.

Your main fault. It will sound cliché but I give too much. Whether it is due to internal or external factors, I tend to be a people pleaser. More often than not I give to the point of it being detrimental.

Your favorite occupation. Of the occupations I have tried and there have been many, writing is my favorite. Acting is a close second—perhaps in some ways they are one in the same. After all, in my imagination I do act out every thought and feeling of the characters I create.

Your idea of happiness. My idea of happiness is the absence of illness. If I have my health then there is no valid reason to be unhappy.

Your idea of misery. Sickness, grief, being separated from someone you love in my mind is pure misery.

If not yourself, who would you be? My first impulse is to say Dolly Parton. She came from nothing and scratched and clawed her way to the top. She is kind and generous. She has written some of the prettiest songs I have ever heard. She has the best laugh and wears the coolest wigs. She has huge boobs, a tiny waist and dimples that flash when she smiles. Dolly has more money than God and she’s had her tongue down Burt Reynolds’s throat. She is a creative genius and one helluva of an entrepreneur.

Your favorite heroes in fiction. Edward Fairfax Rochester (Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre),Rhett Butler, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, Dorian Gray, Jane Eyre, Lolita and Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables).

Your favorite heroes in real life. These days the word hero is overused and oftentimes plastered on undeserving candidates. However, my Uncle Kenneth is my real-life hero. Like all veterans he is to be commended for serving his country. He fought in the Vietnam War and received the Purple Heart for saving his entire platoon. When he returned home after suffering from malaria and scarlet fever, he was nearly beaten to death at a bus stop by a gang of war protestors. Many years later he saved my life by staunching the flow of blood from my body after a freak accident.

There are many men and women who are heralded for their heroic contributions to our world, but none of them used their hands as a human tourniquet to spare my life. Although I am grateful for their existence and their accomplishments, my personal hero is my uncle.

Your favorite food and drink. Pretty much all Italian dishes especially Chicken Parmesan and seltzer water.

What is your present state of mind? Anticipatory.

Your personal motto. My personal motto is to never say I can’t until I’ve tried. When I was a little girl my grandmother used to tell me, “can’t never could until she tried.” She taught me not to have a defeatist attitude. So often in life the impulse is to say or feel that we can’t accomplish something before we even attempt it. If I had not adhered to this motto, I would not have had the courage to write a single word.

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