GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Author Guest Post: Laura Bickle + Giveaway! | I Smell Sheep

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Author Guest Post: Laura Bickle + Giveaway!




How Collecting Action Figures Made Me a Better Writer

Yeah. I never really grew up.

I give a good impression of being a responsible adult, though. I’m happily married, pay my bills, and remember to clean out the fridge before fuzzy green civilizations start hailing me as the Bringer of Light.

Yet, I collect action figures. I had some when I was a little girl, to be sure. I had the 1970’s Lynda Carter Wonder Woman doll. I had a handful of GI Joes that wound up using Barbie’s Dream House as their command center. But the things that I most avidly collected were He-Man and She-Ra action figures. My brother and I staged epic wars on snow days when we tore the cushions off the couch and set them up as forts and canyons on the floor. We turned the dog into an armored personnel carrier (he was a very patient Good Dog). And the Christmas that Castle Greyskull arrived under the tree…OMG. Epic rejoicing.

This was my first exposure to fantasy as a genre. Seriously! I grew up in a pretty rural area, a place where there were no sci-fi conventions or channels beyond basic cable. Magic swords and green tigers and winged horses…oh, my. This was completely accessible to kids, and I reveled in it.


Especially She-Ra. I already owned Teela, Evil-Lyn, and many of the male figures from the He-Man group. But I was super-excited to see a line of female figures. She-Ra was their leader, the sister of He-Man and the most powerful woman in the universe. This was pretty revolutionary for the time – powerful girls in charge of the storyline and saving the world! I tuned in to watch She-Ra’s adventures ever day after school, wishing that I had my own flying horse and magic sword. But I made do with my pink plastic sword and the family dog (again, the long-suffering dog who was less than thrilled about being dressed in construction-paper wings).

These toys helped me think about the world in a different “what-if” way. What if life and adventure were really unlimited, and I could create and defend the ideals I chose? What kinds of heroines could I develop with my own crayons, magic markers, and pens? What if there really were no rules about how a heroine “should” be?

I remembered that, the feeling of no limits. And I keep some reminders around. Through the miracle of eBay, I’ve gathered together quite a few action figures. I remember a lot of them from my past, but others are new to me. Having them around forces me not to take myself too seriously.

And they also remind me that there aren’t any limits. They keep me in touch with that childlike wonder. And the possibilities are all mine…even if they are covered in pink glitter.


The Hallowed Ones
 One sale NOW for $1.99 during the month of August 2013! 
Click on the AMAZON LINK to get your copy.

The Outside
Pre-order HERE on sale September 3rd 2013

Author Bio
Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science, and when she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library she’s dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs (she also writes contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams). Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. The latest updates on her work are available at http://www.laurabickle.com/.



 ***GIVEAWAY***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

66 comments:

  1. OH i do still have a lot of clothes for SHe RAh in the shop ( collection one) ( not sure there are still a figure though) i find them cute

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    1. They are still a lot of fun for me! So funny to see them again after all this time!

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  2. Great post! I don't have any action figures (apart from Snape) but we have a house full of plush animals, so I know what you mean about holding on to that childlike wonder. *hugs*

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    1. Hi, Sullivan! *hugs* Love the plush animals, too! (And Sparky says hi!)

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    2. Yay to all the piggy friends!!! xoxoxo

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  4. I never had many toys as a kid; but I fondly remember a huge tree in our backyard that inspired many make believe adventures with my sisters - Our fav book when we were kids was an Enid Blyton series "The magic faraway tree.

    The only thing I collect now are books :)

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    1. Trees are such a wonderful place to escape! We had a big maple in our backyard when I was a kid - much wonderful time spent there. :-)

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  5. I used to collect cards when I was a kid but not anymore.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I still collect cards, but Tarot cards. Every deck is always new and different.

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  6. I collect dragons and nesting dolls

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    1. Oooh! Dragons! And nesting dolls are so pretty.

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  7. I suppose the societally correct answer would be that I collect handmade Mexican coffee mugs, which I do. However the reality is that I collect books. I have hundreds, maybe thousands in paper format, and more than that on my Kindle. I love reading and I love meeting new authors. If a book is good, I will re-read it. If it is awful, I get rid of it, so there isnt's a chance of me picking up a bad book in my library. Perhaps others might not like my taste, though. Since I have learned not to EVER loan books, it is irrelevant. michelle_willms@yahoo.com

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    1. Ah, yes! I've learned the hard way that loaning books and DVDs is a sure way for them to disappear, never to return!

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  8. I collect books and fairies. I have had to go through my books lately and I ended up donating 8 large boxes to my local library >.< The fairies are in various forms: figurines, dolls, prints and even a tattoo ;)

    Kassandra
    sionedkla@gmail.com

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    1. Books and fairies! Two of my favorite things! :-)

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  9. I wanted a She-Ra so badly when I was little!!! I collect books, now, although, I also just donated several big boxes of books to the library. Only so much space exists in my tiny condo, I'm afraid.

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    1. I totally understand the space limitations. I sold a bunch of old books just recently...there's only so much shelf space!

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  10. Hot Wheels...Yep it's sad but I went kinda nut a while back and now I own way too many to count. My son thinks it's awesome and my daughter wants to play with them. Thank heaven they don't know about my GI Joe collection.

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    1. Oooh! GI Joes. I had some of those when I was a kid. I think I still have the Baroness and Scarlett around here, somewhere...

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  11. Hi, my name is Dani and I collect trolls.... There, I said it! They didn't have the fabulous action toys like She-Ra when I was a kid (although I made sure my daughters had them all!) Yes, I loved Zorro and Superman, and my Batman comic collection was enviable (it would be a lot MORE enviable if I still had it!). I played mostly with so-called boys' toys, like an electric train, building sets and a farm (all together at once usually). I loved building cardboard towns for my trolls, so many boxes were regularly sacrificed. I still have every one of the trolls that my sister and I owned, plus I love to "rescue" and restore old trolls from eBay.

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    1. Yay for you for rescuing old trolls! Trolls need love, too! :-D

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    2. I frustrated my mother completely because I hated dolls from Day One, and she was forever trying to give me one at every special occasion. But somehow trolls were different. Something in their smiling faces make me smile too. I have to wonder if there's a gene for loving squashy-faced things, since I'm a long-time PUG lover too! (Two at present, Toby and Fiona)

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    3. That might be a theme, Dani!

      There is a very rare She-Ra doll that is a troll - LooKee. If you have one of those in your collection, he's worth $$$!

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  12. My DH would say I collect books. He has quite a collection of books as well. I think collect bags. A co-worker of mine sells Thirty-one bags. I think I may have problem. :)

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    1. It's only a problem if your closets are too full to make room for shoes! ;-)

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  13. Oh man does that take me back! Yeah, those cartoons were GREAT for imagination. I use to watch He-man, She-ra (use to be upset that She-ra/Adora did not venture to Eternia but He-man/Adam traveled to Etheria) Thundercats...

    Huh, that must be where my lvoe for high fantasy came from...

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    1. I know that's where my love of fantasy came from. Talking cats and skeleton wizards? It was the best thing on TV when I was small!

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  14. When I was younger I guess I collected barbies. Every christmas and birthday I could be assured my grandmother would buy me one. Most of my toys came from her since my parents really didn't have much money. Then my grandma would make me doll clothes. She'd either crochet me pretty dresses or make them out of cloth.

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    1. Oh, that's so cool! I had an aunt who would make Barbie clothes for my cousin and me. It was a lot of work, I'm sure!

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  15. I COLLECT BOOKS,RECORDS. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK AND THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY! SHELLEY S. calicolady60@hotmail.com

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! I'm right there with you on the book collection!

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  16. I used my Barbie Dream house as a command center for my Barbies that I turned into vampire slayers. Lol, I kid you not, I made wooden stakes out of small twigs, sharpening the points on the cement and then putting them in the little black backpack she carried. I had a lot of pegasus and unicorn toys along with wolves, dinosaurs and swords to go with the crazy games I played with my sister. Plus, my best friend at the time was a boy.

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    1. Barbie has a whole lot more adventures than people give her credit for, I think! My Barbie was a super-spy. Also an astronaut. :-)

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    2. Oh WOW -- if I'd only thought of making Barbies into vamp-slayers, I would have been a LOT more receptive to dolls!

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    3. Barbie would make a most excellent vamp slayer!

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  17. Shhh. I still have all my She-Ra dolls and the castle too!!

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  18. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Katie! :-)

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    1. Any time Laura! You're an amazing author, woman, human being. We love u :)

      So I'll also share something I collected and it's pretty damn nerdy. hehehe I used to collect spoons. Those small spoons that you can get racks for and hang on the walls. Yup, that was me. I would get a new spoon from a different state we would venture to as a kid. I had... a lot.

      Don't know where they are now, but I would guess my Dad's garage. :)

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    2. Awwww (blushes)! Thanks so much, Katie! I love you guys to pieces, too!

      Spoons! That's one heck of a collection, Katie! You need to unearth them from your Dad's garage!

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    3. Spoons were a classic with my mom's generation. I knew one gal who had two living room walls covered with them. If you didn't collect spoons, then you collected salt'n'pepper shakers. My mom collected both! I admit to still casting an appraising eye on the occasional salt'n'pepper set -- they're so darn cute! Haven't given in yet but there's still time....

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    4. Interesting! I had an aunt who collected painted wooden eggs and another who collected bells.

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  19. I still have all my old She-Ras. I finally let my daughter play with them and she broke one. Mommy is not pleased.

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    1. Ooooh, yeah. I can totally see that being a Very Bad Thing.

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  20. In addition to books, I collect rabbits --- ceramic, plush, wooden, etc. I started collecting rabbits, because I was born in the Year of the Hare (Chinese Zodiac).

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    1. I am also a rabbit-year gal! Rabbits rule!

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  21. I love collecting Twilight items and I love books. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.

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    1. Great collections! Thanks for stopping by, Victoria! :-)

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  22. Mangas and books mostly. Also, dolls...mostly Barbie, but some anime and TV and singer ones as well.

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    1. Oooh, manga! I love some good manga! And the recent Barbies are really amazing - I love some of the fantasy ones they've come out with in recent years. I have the Medusa from a couple of years ago - love her to pieces!

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    2. There are many things that I buy in frequence... But I would have to say I collect mugs. I drink a lot of tea and I love finding quirky mugs to drink out of.

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    3. A very useful collection, Erin!

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  23. Awesome post Laura! I used to love watching He-man and She-ra, but we never collected the dolls here in Holland. We used to play with Playmobil and Lego. Babies never attracted me either.
    Today I collect figurines by Nene Thomas, and books.

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    1. Oooh! I love Nene Thomas' work! Most excellent, Aurian!

      I've been getting my husband some Lego Star Wars stuff for the past couple of holidays, and he's enjoying the blast from the past. ;-)

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  24. Dragons, owls, and wolves. I have tons of little figurines and knick-knacks of them.

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  25. Books and dvd sets of shows I like.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  26. Books, stamps, and all things BTVS.

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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  27. I collect oriental things, books, author swag, weapons, horror related items, jewelry, shoes, porcelain masks, and electronic gizmos. lol

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    1. That's an awesome lot of collections, Kimberly!

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