Posts Tagged ‘Azores’

Kevin de Avila Interview – Azorean

November 28, 2010 6 comments

Good morning, everyone. Today I want to mix things up with a different kind of interview. I met Kevin de Avila through Krysten Hager, a writer whom I believe you’ll remember from several weeks ago.

If you were to look for him on his native soil, you’d find him at the local home improvement store, helping customers find the right item for that home project they’ve been anticipating for so long. If he’s not there, he’s probably at the keyboard doing his regular news updates for the many readers of his Azorean Facebook group page.

Kevin isn’t a full-time writer stalking fame at every turn. He is, however, an enthusiastic young man of Azorean Islands loyalties (known also to Americans as Portuguese) and one who believes in doing something to promote his country of birth to the rest of the world. He’s an interesting personality these last weeks and wanted to introduce him to my readers.

Please help me give him a big WordPress welcome. I’m so happy that you could sit down with me for a while, Kevin, and talk Azores and life. Let’s just get right to it.

Kevin, I know you’re heavily involved with the promotion of The Azores–a place I’ve been interested in for many years. You have that marvelous Facebook group dedicated to the islands, as well. There’s a rumor that you’re also involved with television in some way. Could you tell us about that?

Kevin: I can confirm… that those rumors are true. I used to appear on many films and telly programs as an extra, but not anymore. There have been a few works that I did where I had played some roles that were non-extra related, which is uncommon for an extra.

For example: I once played a role of Sir Henry Mill Pellatt in his teenage years. Sir Henry Mill Pellatt was the original resident of Casa Loma, which is a castle he had once lived in after it was built in his favor. You can find my name credit here:–40DlA4Xen0KA;

Please note that my surname was misspelled, which is a common a thing. I hope to be back working in the film industry again, but this time with my writing…
Claudsy: That’s impressive. I knew you had acted, but not how extensively. Do you get to travel very much with your writing?

Kevin: No, but I wish I did.

Claudsy: Other than writing about The Azores, what do you prefer writing about and why?

Kevin: I have written short satires, but I have not… published any yet.

Claudsy: Have you done any writing in the fiction arena? If so, what have you written?

Kevin: Yes… I have written short stories and screenplays. They… have all been based on adventure, comedy, and drama.

The comedies I write are the Charlie Chaplin type… slapstick, and a little bit of Seinfeld-type comedy. I have always enjoyed those types of comedies and always will. I find there needs to be more of those types of comedies out there… because I find the non-Charlie Chaplin and Seinfeld type comedy boring, unfunny, and a bit wrong.

Claudsy: What do you do in your non-writing time? What enjoyments do you take?

Kevin: [I] research on all kinds of history, but mostly Azorean, Madeiran, and Portuguese history.

Claudsy: I suppose this will sound like a peculiar question, but how many languages do you need to use on a regular basis in order to write and publish as a European?

Kevin: Only two, which are English and Portuguese.

Claudsy: So English is used for publication there. Interesting. Could you tell us what you believe is the most important purpose of writing in today’s world?

Kevin: It helps create a better understanding between different cultures and people; I find it teaches the world the many different societies that are out there in the world.

Claudsy: That’s very true. I think blogging has helped that way as a tool, too. Do you think that the internet has helped the world’s peoples create better understanding between them or has it simply divided them along different lines?

Kevin: Oh yes, I think it has helped. They see that there are different perspectives on the lifestyle and society of people than what they would usually see in the media. …the media can be biased at times.

Claudsy: Your pride of country is evident. If you could accomplish only one thing with your writing, what would it be?

Kevin: With respect to my group and English and Portuguese, [I would like to] get my message across to more people and to the media. I am proud of my Azorean heritage and would like to have more people and the media aware of the small, but very beautiful, group of islands.

I would like to have contacts that share the same heritage as I do, especially contacts that are doing genealogy searches to trace their ancestors. I try, as best as I can, to do a great job by keeping my members updated on what is going on in and around my and their beautiful Azores.

It is just too bad [that] most of the news I post is in Portuguese, not in English, because it is news directly from the Azores; hence, why it is in Portuguese. It would be nice if it was in English for my members who do not understand the Portuguese language, because I have a lot of them who don’t understand the language …otherwise, they would learn a lot more of [what] is going on in and around my Azores…

Claudsy: I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Kevin. I’m sure those of your members who don’t use Portuguese have long since discovered the wonders of Google’s instant translation ability. If not, you could always give them a heads up on your Facebook page to remind them that it’s available. And, in case you’re wondering, you do a nice job of keeping the Azores reality in the front of many readers.

Is there anything else you’d like the audience to know about you.

Kevin: I am a dinosaurologist and a footballologist; footballologist as in soccerologist. I am very keen on both those subjects–the same way that I am very keen on the beautiful Azores and on my own family.

Claudsy: Could you explain that term for us: dinosaurologist? I’ve not heard that one. Do you mean paleontologist?

Kevin: No, I mean dinosaurologist, as in one who specializes in the study of dinosaurs by reading books, watching documentaries, going fossil hunting, and so on. It is similar to a paleontologist, but not in the same field. You could add amateur paleontologist instead. The thing is, Claudsy, dinosaurologists dislike being described and called amateur paleontologists, I am one of them. I have been told by various people that I should take a course in the paleontologist field.

Claudsy: That’s a new one on me. I’ve never seen the term used here in the States. Of course, it’s probably out there and I just never noticed. Thank you for educating me on something new. I love learning extraordinary stuff like that.

I’m so glad you could come to talk with us, Kevin. You’ve been a delightful guest. I hope you get many more people to come to your FB page to learn about your wonderful Azorean islands. I find them fascinating because they’ve been so critical to Atlantic shipping and maritime history for so long. It’s sad that American’s seldom hear their name, or know that they exist.

Thank you again, Kevin, for taking the time to be with us today. A busy schedule doesn’t always allow for such interruptions in an otherwise hectic day.


Short Personal Biography

Though not a full-time writer, Kevin manages to inform his FB readers regularly about his beloved Azores Islands. This former actor trained in film production, which also included writing and now uses his spare time for passion‘s sake.
He has a blog, but no current website. Please note that the majority of his blogs are written on his note entries under his Facebook profile.


Note entries:

Azores group:

Azores page:

Take the time to investigate Kevin’s page and notes, and the time to translate from his native Portuguese. You’ll discover many fascinating information that you never knew existed. And if you’re a writer, you may just find that new setting you’ve been looking for to position that mystery just right. Take a chance on something different.

I will take some aspect of this interview for a commentary in the next day or two. I hope all of you will stop by again to read and comment on it.

Have a productive and creative week everyone and feel free to stop by any time to just say hello, and hopefully, learn something new.

A bientot,


Interview with Krysten Lindsay Hager

October 1, 2010 7 comments

Good morning, everyone. I’ve invited Krysten Lindsay Hager here today to share some of her life and experiences with us. Please welcome her with your usual warmth.

Claudsy: Good morning, Krysten. It’s so good to have you here. I’d like to begin with a very simple question, if you don’t mind. How long have you been writing and what do you write?

Krysten: I started writing early on and won my first writing contest in the first grade. It was a school wide contest (1st-8th grade) so I thought I had died and gone to heaven. My reward? A certificate and a clown doll. Luckily it was a cute clown doll, not the nightmare inducing kind. Over the years I’ve written middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, essays, news/journalism, and magazine articles. I really enjoy humor essays.

Claudsy: You didn’t waste any time, did you? Good for you. Would you tell us where you  live now and why are you there?

Krysten: I currently live on Terceira Island in the Azores, which are a group of Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve been here nearly three years but will be returning to the U.S. in the winter. We moved here because my husband’s job brought us here.

Claudsy: I’ve always been fascinated by the Azores and wanted to go there. But, how do you function living there? What amenities do you not get there that you would here and what do you really miss?

Krysten:  Everything is flown in or brought in by boat pretty much, which means magazines and newspapers can be held up at customs, so sometimes we’re a month or more behind. I miss current magazines and American newspapers.

The volcano in Iceland kept planes from flying in (bad weather does as well), so sometimes it’s a struggle to get food. Fresh fruits and veggies aren’t easy to get either. You can buy a few things locally from one of the farms, but most of the farms here are for raising cattle more than produce.

Claudsy: That’s a far cry from here, it’s true. Krysten, has anything changed for you since living in the islands, regarding how you look at writing?

Krysten: I found myself focused on more internet based projects and wrote for a few websites and web magazines since sending things through the mail was a big dodgy. However, when I first got here the library was closed and there was no English bookstore, so I went to a small chapel library to see what I could find to read and met this woman there.

The first thing she started telling me was about how newcomers always come in with a list of projects and goals they want to complete while they’re there, but they miss out on the fact the island is a great place to stop, listen, and reflect. She said for most people it’s the first time they can have time to just read and spend time in silence, listening instead of talking.

I admit I was super jet-lagged while having that conversation (I was dealing with a six-hour time difference), but later I thought about that and started to notice how often we aren’t alone with our thoughts or take time to reflect. So now, I try to be more observant of what’s going on around me and I find I take in much more, which can only help my writing

Claudsy: The entire change in environment must have had a major impact on you. What’s your next project going to be?

Krysten: There’s a new book blog that’s just started, where I’m going to be doing author interviews and reviews on there soon, called “Authors and Appetizers.” I’m very excited about that. I also have an essay on family traditions and a recipe coming out this fall in: Country Comfort: Holidays Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Warm the Heart & Soul.

Claudsy: I’m glad you could continue to write there. What have you learned about yourself since taking up residence there? Does that affect how you feel about writing?

Krysten:  Being in Portugal has made me more aware of the different backgrounds people have, and I hope that helps me to expand as a writer, taking into consideration that not everyone has the same upbringing or grows up having the same experiences. I’ve met people from Egypt, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Spain, etc. It makes you realize there is more than one way to see a situation and seeing all these culturally diverse viewpoints makes me realize how sheltered I was in the U.S.

Just seeing the difference in a British news magazine as opposed to an American one can tell you a lot. I notice the different types of humor used and what they focus on as opposed to what you see in an American magazine. For one, European magazines don’t focus primarily on just young people and teens. Also, there is more of a focus on royalty which shows they care more about tradition than the flash in the pan entertainers.  

Claudsy: We do tend to exclude much of the rest of the world here, even with CNN. Are you going to continue to concentrate on children’s literature now? Or, are you, perhaps, going to branch out even more?

Krysten: I’ve been very interested in humor essays the last few years and although I wouldn’t write a memoir (I never get how people under 80 can even consider they’ve lived a full enough life for anything like that!), but I’d like to write about my experiences here. I also have a project I’m working on from the viewpoint of a middle school girl.

Claudsy: I’d think all sorts of people would be interested in your Azores experiences. It’s not everyone that lives in the middle of an ocean with all the diverse problems that entails–at least not those who write about it. Would you be willing to live in another country again for the adventure value as well as the writing opportunities?

Krysten: It depends on the country—ha ha! I would be interested to live in the U.K. There’s so much amazing literary talent that’s come out of England, Scotland, and Ireland that I bet you could become prolific just by drinking the water! I have found, when traveling in the U.S. that often different states have their own unique culture and it can be just as diverse traveling from Michigan to South Dakota as it is coming from the U.S. and going to Portugal.

Claudsy: I know what you mean about that observation. Could you tell everyone what your new perspective on writing is?

Krysten: I think I have a much bigger respect for the truth now. Honesty in writing is very important and thanks to Facebook statuses and personal blogs, we find people often try to showcase their lives in the best possible light, which takes away from the full human experience.

Sure it’s nice to have a positive attitude, but all the statuses where you pat yourself on the back or talk about your amazing life, aren’t a hundred percent accurate, and you don’t really learn anything about the person from that. Writers who are honest, raw, and gritty really get to the core of the human experience and that includes suffering.

No kid wants to read a book about a teen or young person with a charmed life. How could they relate? So, honesty in writing is something that I have a huge respect for—even more now than before.

Claudsy: So, tell me, if you could do anything now in your writing career, what would it be and why?

Krysten: I am going to write about my experiences overseas, but I also am looking forward to writing about my experiences with culture shock when I get back. I have not set foot in the United States for almost 3 years, and I can only imagine my reaction when I get back.

Claudsy: I think you may be even more shocked than you think. Good luck and let us know what you’re doing from time to time once you’re back. I, for one, would be terribly interested.

I want to thank you so much for joining us today, Krysten. It’s been such a pleasure talking with you and discovering what your new plans are. Is there anything else that you’d like to say to those out there in the dark?

Krysten: Yes, if you want to write, then you must read, read, read. Many times I meet writers and they talk about their projects and how they want to get published, but when you ask what authors they enjoy or what they’re reading now, they stare at you blankly. It’s repeated at every single writing conference, but if you want to write, you must read what genre you want to write.

Claudsy: There you have it, folks. If you want to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Krysten again for talking with us.

Short Personal Biography

Krsyten Lindsay Hager resides for now in the Azores with her husband. This full-time writer received her undergraduate and MLS from University of Michigan-Flint.

Her writing credits include: Women of Passions: Ordinary Women Serving an Extraordinary God  anthology, Patchwork Path: Grandma’s Choice anthology, Patchwork Path: Friendship Star anthology,  Country Comfort: Holidays Cookbook, WOW! Women on Writing magazine, Girlfriend 2 Girlfriend magazine, The Academy magazine, The Qua Literary magazine, Working Writer, Absolute Write!, Mike’s Writing Newsletter, SCBWI newsletters in Michigan, Minnesota, and the Dakotas, Natural Awakenings. Former staff writer and columnist for the Michigan Times newspaper. Former contributing writer for: The Grand Blanc View newspaper, Davison Index newspaper, Lapeer View newspaper, 

Writing Awards: Deadwood Art’s Council “People’s Choice Award” for best short story

Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition Honorary Mention

Be sure and visit her blog/website at:

I’ll have another something on Thursday before I trundle off to the Pacific for a scenic photo shoot and research gathering two weeks. I’ll pop in once in a while to leave tidbits for any who come to see what’s happening around here.

Enjoy yourselves while I’m gallivanting down rain forest trails and along mountain slopes. A bientot.



New Interview Coming

October 1, 2010 1 comment

Tomorrow will usher in a new interview with writer Krysten Hager. Krysten hails from the Azores right now.

I was introduced to this lovely young woman by an editor friend of mine who’d known her for some time. I’ve never regretted that introduction. When you read her interview, you’ll understand why.

I just wanted to let everyone know that for this month, there will be at least one interview. I’m working on one more for the end of the month. This coming week I’ll be off on a photo shoot to Washington state and will be incommunicado for two weeks.

That’s one more reason I wanted to leave you with Krysten’s words to keep you occupied and thoughtful. I’ll have a couple of posts during that time, though, so don’t worry about having nothing to read.

Having teased you, I’ll just say, “A bientot.”