Calliope Writing

Guest Blog Post: Interview with a Character from Pamela Schloesser Canepa’s ‘Detours in Time’

I’m excited to have had the opportunity for author Pamela Schloesser Canepa to write a great blog post about her new book, Detours in Time. Before we jump into an interview with one of the novel’s characters, let’s learn a little more about the book.

DetoursTimeRevisionV6[1625]On a whim, feisty Tabitha takes a trip to the future with her trusted friend Milt, an awkward science professor. Wonders and curiosities abound. However, their fun journey soon leads to a challenging maze of danger and difficult decisions. On an unplanned “detour,” the two set events into action that could save one life and destroy another. Can these friends of completely different mindsets agree on a course of action? Detours in Time starts as a fantastic escape and grows to present many moral dilemmas that could either ruin the best friendship or bring two people closer together.

Now that you have an idea of what Detours in Time is about, let’s jump in to the character interview.

Pamela, take it away!


Elise Winters is a side character in Pamela’s new sci-fi release titled Detours in Time, a novel of time travel and the moral dilemmas it can create. We’ve teleported her to the present for a brief interview about herself and the novel’s protagonists, Pinky and Milt.

Background: Elise Winters, age twenty-five at the time of her appearance in Detours in Time. Birthdate: Jan. 8th, 2022. Profession: Nanny. Education level: High school diploma.

Interviewer: Welcome, Elise. Make yourself comfortable. Would you like some water?

Elise: You mean aguafer? No, I’m fine.

Interviewer: I really love your outfit. Where did you get it?

Elise: This jacket came from one of my favorite shops. Domingoe’s. They specialize in vintage styles. The scarf used to be my mothers. The jeans, again from Domingoe’s. The blouse came from a thrift shop somewhere, I can’t remember the name.

Interviewer: Very nice style there. It looks reminiscent of the 1940s.

Elise: Well, not everyone dresses like me now, but it sort of reflects my interests.

Interviewer: What would some of those interests be?

Elise: Mostly ballroom and swing dancing. Swing is my favorite. We’re reviving some favorites from a happier time. It’s gotten really popular again in the last ten years. Let’s see, another interest is I love to read and watch the news. I love to learn about my world and what’s going on. I don’t really read books unless they’re about our history.

Interviewer: That’s great. So, you graduated from high school. Why didn’t you go to college?

Elise: College wasn’t really an option for someone of my social and financial standing. My dad worked on a quality-control assembly line for a robotics company, and my mom was a seamstress. I’m happy with my life; it’s okay.

Interviewer: You like being a nanny, then?

Elise: Well, yes. The hours are great. The kids are at a good age where I can take them out to the park. It’s not bad at all. There’s also a Nanny-bot that does a lot of the menial side of it. That thing can’t replace me, though. It’s hard to motivate a kid to stay in their seat through mealtime. I have a way with them.

Interviewer: Tell me about some of the recent news that has interested you.

Elise: Well, General Steven Pring, the one who reunited our nation again and ended the war, is running for president. Let’s see, there’s also a mission to Mars. We’re going to Mars! There’s a space shuttle, and they’ll be sending everyday people! You have to be able to pay the ticket, though. So I may not go, but I have entered the lottery. There are two tickets that can be won. I won’t hold my breath.

Interviewer: Wow! That is amazing. Tell me about the strangers you met in October of 2047, Milt and Pinky.

Elise: I’m not being watched for my involvement with them, am I? I mean, we just had a conversation.

Interviewer: No, we’re just curious as to how it fits in with our story.

Elise: Milt was a trip. An older guy, but cute. Very curious. He asked a lot of questions. Pinky was nervous, timid. She seemed to not really know where she was. They were both pretty interested in my Matt and the newsplastic. It even has plastic pages to make the images easier to see, side by side. Then I get it erased and they upload the latest news. Oh, Milt still wears eyeglasses, would you believe it!? Pinky wore this strange t-shirt and was dressed all casual. Pretty girl, though. They didn’t even understand our monetary system. You could tell they were from somewhere else.

Interviewer: Did that scare you?

Elise: No. I’m an open book. I love to meet new people, and I can get a feel for their aura. By the way, can I smoke in here, or is there someplace closeby where I may smoke? Didn’t mean to interrupt, but, you know…

Interviewer: Well, you can step outside.

Elise: Outside!? You’re kidding! Wow, now I feel like the fish out of water! I can wait a few minutes, though.

Interviewer: That’s right. You’re not used to being able to step outdoors and just light a cigarette, are you?

Elise: No way! I’d feel bad about it, too. We have designated businesses that allow it when you happen to be away from home. You should see the people piling in there! But if outside is the only place you allow it…. I won’t be here for long anyway.

Where was I? Oh, Milt and Pinky. Like I said, Milt had this kind look in his eyes; he just seems like a really caring person. Pinky looked sort of scared, so I had no reason to be scared of them. I tried to help them out. They had lots of questions.

Interviewer: Are they the sort of people you’d enjoy hanging out with?

Elise: Hanging out! You really talk different. Spending time with them would be fun. Yeah, I’d like “hanging out” with Milt; he seems fearless and like he’d be a lot of fun. Pinky just needs to loosen up a little. She seems like she doesn’t trust people. I’m sure I could get them to my dance club and show them a great time!

Interviewer: Elise, I thank you so much for your time. I do hope you return to a pleasant day, whether you’re working or having fun.

Elise: I’ll definitely be at the dance hall later!

Interviewer: Excellent. Enjoy, and thanks again, Elise!

Read more about Elise, Pinky, and Milt in the new novel, Detours in Time, available at


Author Bio: When not writing, Author Pamela Schloesser Canepa is an instructor of middle school English. She also enjoys time with family and her dog. Pamela has been writing for various reasons including self-entertainment and expression throughout her life. She has been self-published since 2016, with her series of sci-fi books focusing on sci-fi romance and family identity. Pamela has plans to write a sequel to Detours in Time in the time-travel, sci-fi genre. Visit the author’s Facebook page at or visit her website at for more information.

Writer’s Block, You’re a Bitch

As someone who has been writing stories since the innocent age of five, I’ve experienced writer’s block. That would be an understatement. Truthfully, it’s more like I’m in a constant state of writer’s block, with spurts of “Holy crap, I can write!”

Funny Writers Block

So, you can imagine my excitement when one of my favorite people, author David Seaburn, said he wanted to write an article about the subject.

Dave, take it away!

Sometimes when I look at a blank page on my computer screen, I can tell it’s making fun of me or daring me to put even one tiny mark on its unsullied surface. No, I’m not kidding. This is for real. Sometimes it even looks, well, hostile, like it’s giving me the finger; and personal, like it’s saying “What in the world made you think you could write?” Lucky for me, I have other things to do when that happens. I stay away, not because I really want to, but because I have other stuff in my life. Who’s going to change the litter? Or binge-watch The Americans? I can’t just drop everything and sit down in front of a mind-numbingly blank page and, like, write. Who does that?


I just can’t write anymore!!

Okay, so, it’s hard being a writer because sometimes writing is the last thing you want to do or feel you can do. It’s anxiety-provoking when you don’t have anything in the tank. I mean, what does that say about you? That you’re a loser or something? I hate being in that position, so I’ve found some tricks that help me avoid the dreaded Block of the Writer.

Make Writing Habitual

First, I find that it helps if I write routinely, no matter what I write. You can define “routinely” for yourself, but generally speaking, that’s several times weekly. Sometimes I don’t work on fiction. Instead, I may write in my journal or edit what I’ve already written or work on a short blog post. But whatever I do, it helps if I put my butt in the chair routinely (there’s that word again) and practice, as if I were learning to play the piano.

writers block frustration

Shut Up Your Inner Critic

I also try to keep the self-loathing at bay. Getting way up in your own grill when you’re trying to be creative, well, it doesn’t help. I work at being gentle with myself or reminding myself that I have done some good writing in the past, that my writing skills haven’t dribbled out of my ear while I was asleep, that this will pass. Be patient.

…But Don’t Be Too Patient

Before I forget, don’t wait for inspiration. You may never sit down at the computer again if you wait to be inspired. Sometimes inspiration never shows up, but your writing may still be very good. And if it does show up, it probably sneaks in while you’re plodding along, just trying to put words and sentences together.

Source: The Oatmeal

Source: The Oatmeal

Stop Yourself While You’re on a Roll

Here’s a good trick. Ernest Hemingway said, “The best way [to avoid getting blocked] is always stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day…you’ll never be stuck.” I like this one a lot. I’ve stopped mid-sentence when I was on a roll, because when I sat down the next day, it was so easy to get started again. (Please overlook the fact that Hemingway eventually committed suicide. I don’t think that detracts at all from his sage advice. Mostly, anyway.)

Take a Break

I find that sometimes the best thing I can do is get up and walk away for a little while. Go to the bathroom. That’s where the best ideas are hiding. Or get the mail. Or make a cup of coffee or tea. Somehow this rearranges my brain cells, making it just a little easier to go forward.

writers block path

Don’t Give Up Just Because You’re Lost

The best protection against getting blocked is to keep going even if you don’t know where you’re headed. I learned this the hard way. I carried notes around for my first novel for ten (count ‘em – ten) years before I wrote the first sentence. I did this because I didn’t know how the book would end. Actually, I didn’t know how the first chapter would end.

Now I struggle less with this, because I understand that the “not knowing” part of writing is pretty common and that writing into a story is the best way to keep going, the best way to discover what’s ahead. Reminds me of E.L. Doctorow’s famous response to people who asked him about the uncertainty of the writing process: “I tell them it’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” I wish I had written that. I probably had writer’s block at the time.

Happy writing!

David B. Seaburn lives near Rochester NY. He has written five novels, two of which were expertly edited by Katrina Robinson. His latest novel is More More Time (2015, Savant Books). Also, visit his Psychology Today blog here.

Dave, you da man.

And just because it’s that kind of day, I’ll let Ryan Gosling wrap things up.

Funny Writers Block Hey Girl

Hell yes, you will, Ryan Gosling. Yes you will.

How do you deal with writer’s block? Do you huddle in the corner and cry, or do you take it on like a man?!

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