Monday, June 18, 2012

Author Splash with the Multi-Talented and Bubbly Betty Dravis

Welcome back faithful fans...and huge hello to all of you who are visiting us for the first time!

JLB Creatives Blog strives to bring you the best of the author world - whether it be discovering the talents of so many wonderful authors, learning about writing, book releases, and so much more. 

This week we have the privilege of presenting to you another stellar
Author Splash! This is the third week in the series for they dynamic duo, Barbara Watkins and Betty Dravis. Over the past couple of weeks we've introduced you to this team of authors who came together and created the amazing horror, Six Pack of Blood. For more info on that, please visit the archives and look for the June 4th, 2012 post. June 11th brought us the chance to get to know Barbara Watkins on a more personal level as well as an author, and this week we're diving head first into the amazing life of author Betty Dravis.

So grab your coffee - sit back - relax and take in a dose of Betty... won't be sorry!

Introduction Video for
Author Betty Dravis

And now I proudly present to you, Author Betty Dravis...

 First, I’d like to thank Janet Beasley for the pleasure of appearing on this awesome blog, along with the co-author of my latest book, the acclaimed Barbara Watkins.

I’ve been interviewed many times, but this is the first where I’ve been invited to delve into my past. That, in itself, brings a problem because I’m so accustomed to answering “book” questions. Now where do I begin? Hmmm…

Since my 84th birthday is coming up in December, I have a lot of ground to cover, but to make my earlier years brief: I was born in Hamilton, Ohio in 1928; the youngest daughter of John and Felda (Crawford) Barger’s seven children. My formative years were spent happily rousting about with my six siblings, under comfortable guidance of our Baptist parents.

 I was the “high-stepping” drum majorette of our high school band, and started writing poetry when I was around eleven. I was fortunate to have a great creative writing teacher in high school who always wrote “best in class” on my writing assignments. That alone boosted my writing interest and it was fostered by caring parents.

Of course, in those days, they encouraged girls to get married above all else, so it wasn’t until after marriage that I began writing in earnest. Since I moved to California to visit my sister, got married there, had babies right away and couldn’t leave the children to work full-time, I ended up writing free-lance columns and feature articles for various weekly newspapers in our area.

I seldom think about the very first job I had in Ohio before moving West, but it was in a department store, Robinson-Schwenn’s, which was similar to our current-day Macy’s. I worked behind the jewelry counter and enjoyed earning my first paychecks. I probably spent all the money on jewelry, and often wonder if that accounts for my well-known love of bling and all things “shiny.” J

Moving on from there, in the early years of my marriage, I also modeled for Bon Marche  and on the late Gene Nelson’s KCCC TV show in Sacramento. That was a huge ego boost and a lot of fun. I continued after the birth of my first daughter, but when a second one came along, I quit when I gained that first inch in the waist…and never returned to it. Writing was in my blood by then.

As for other jobs, I was executive secretary to the Plant Manager at Campbell Soup Company and a clerk at a local bank, both in Sacramento. Neither of those jobs gave me a sense of accomplishment because I was already “stuck on” writing.

I ended up having six children, five lovely daughters and a handsome son, so working full-time was out of the question for many years. (Those are the years when I free-lanced, mentioned above.) When the children didn’t need me as much, I started working full-time and was elated that my very first post-kiddies’ job was as editor of The Gilroy News Herald. All those early newspaper by-lines paid off… After that I edited another paper and then founded my own newspaper in 1978, at age fifty. Based in San Jose, Construction Labor News was purchased by all the Building Trades Unions in the area. The paper was sanctioned by the AFL-CIO in Washington, D. C. and our slogan was “The Voice of Labor in Silicon Valley and Beyond.”

 Newspaper work was a demanding, yet heady, business: During my freelance days I met and interviewed the famous Clint Eastwood and a few other celebrities; during my Gilroy News Herald stint I interviewed the fabulous movie star Jane Russell and the then-up-and-coming, dynamite singer Tanya Tucker. Since Construction Labor News was highly political, we endorsed candidates and in that capacity I met and interviewed everyone from Congressman Norm Mineta to all our County Supervisors and City Mayors. I also met First-Lady Rosalind Carter at a joint media event, but my most memorable political interview was with the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

I won many awards as a journalist, but feel most honored by the Resolution of Commendation from the California State Assembly.

After retirement in 1992, I started writing fiction novels, later returning to celebrity   interviewing, also. I wrote three fiction novels before doing a few non-fictions; I documented some of my interviews in a print book, Dream Reachers (co-author Chase Von). Von and I also published Dream Reachers II, which contains thirty-three interviews of inspirational people. My most memorable interviews of that book are Al Pacino’s stepmother, actress/producer Katherin Kovin Pacino; Quentin Tarantino’s father, actor/producer Tony Tarantino; Italian Ambassador of Goodwill and acclaimed author/screenwriter Antonia Tosini; and the gorgeous Actress Susan Kennington.

In total, I’ve written seven books, including the Dream Reachers series mentioned above. I’m extremely proud of the latest e-book, Six-Pack of Blood (with Barbara Watkins) and an e-book Star Struck: Interviews with Dirty Harry andOther Hollywood Icons. Three are novels in print and e-book format (1106 Grand Boulevard, The Toonies InvadeSilicon Valley and Millennium Babe:The Prophecy); two are nonfiction in print only; and two are only in e-book format.

I’m gratified to report that Six-Pack of Blood is selling very well, locally and internationally, has ranked #1 in horror and is constantly in the top twenty of Amazon Kindle ranks for horror, anthology, ghosts and occult. Due to the combined efforts of me and my gifted co-author Barbara Watkins, this e-book won the coveted Best Paranormal/Horror Award from Dimi Nakov, producer/director of Zodiac Entertainment. With that encouragement, Barbara and I are now working on a sequel, Six-Pack of Fear.

 My most recent award for a fiction book is for 1106 Grand Boulevard; it placed in top twenty of Best Women’s Fiction 2011 at Heart Press.

I also wrote three short stories that were consistent best-sellers in the Amazon Shorts program and had contributions published in four anthologies Every Childis Entitled to Innocence, Sweet Sunshine, The Wounded Rose and Just Our BestShort Stories 2005.

I love writing; like I say, it’s in my blood, but I also enjoy reviewing, having just completed my 752nd review for Amazon and a sprinkling of others for Midwest Book Reviews, GoodReads and Shelfari.

Due to my age, I don’t do the “young-fun” things anymore, but I still enjoy dining out and shopping with friends and family. I like Mexican and Italian food and love the great bargains at T.J. Maxx; more bling to adorn myself and my home… J

But above and beyond everything else, comes my family: four surviving children, two angels in Heaven, nine grandchildren, five great-grands and my one great-great grand. Everything I do and have ever done has been for them, hoping to instill Godly morals and the good old American work ethic in them. So far it’s working…    

I love my babies…the flesh-and-blood and the “book” creations. I’m working on a book, Betty Dravis Eyes, which will introduce them to my readers. It’s an eclectic compilation of short stories in various genres, real-life anecdotes and accounts of the tragedies in my life, as well. 

Now that you've met Betty - 
how can you resist buying her books?

GOOD NEWS if you can't!

~   ~   ~

And that's a rap!

I certainly hope you enjoyed getting to know Betty, along with Barbara Watkins over the past few weeks.

Next week, June 25, 2012, you'll have the chance to catch up with me, Author Janet Beasley. You'll get to discover some of the history of how Maycly came to be, where it's going, and what the future holds for my Hidden Earth Series!

Here's wishing you a stellar week - as always...stay casual, live life to the fullest, and have a piece of chocolate for me!

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  1. I'm overwhelmed by the awesome SPLASH that Janet Beasley Author gave me on this popular JLB Creatives blog. I hope my readers read it and learn more about me, my life, books and children. Comments are greatly appreciated. Enjoy...and thanks, Janet. You're a good friend as well as talented writer. ♥

    Hugs- Betty Dravis

  2. P.S. Janet, any chance you could list my website on the list to the right? I'm changing the name to Betty's Girl Cave soon; the link is

    Thanks so much,


  3. Oops! Make that BETTY'S GIRL CAVE (men welcome)... Can't forget my wonderful male author friends.


  4. Wow - just when I thought that I knew everything about my dear friend and co-author, Betty Dravis - I'm pleasantly surprised to find out that I've only scratched the surface! What an amazing life and writing career; the legacy she has created for all those who love and adore her is phenomenal.

    I am blessed indeed to have the opportunity to work with her, and proud to say *I love you my dear friend* - and am humbled by your everlasting loyalty, true friendship, and generous acts of kindness that you shower upon those in need.

    Yep - you're *ONE CLASSY LADY*

  5. Thank you for sharing Betty on your blog, Janet; Betty's a marvelous woman.

    Betty, I loved getting to know more about you, and I really must read one of your novels. I really enjoyed Star Struck and your short story collection with Barbara.

  6. What a wonderful interview and I LOVE the pictures! Off to share!

  7. You ladies have made quiet a splash. Janet, Thanks for spotlighting Betty and all her great work.

  8. Nice interview. I can't believe you're from Hamilton! Ohio, Betty. If you tell me you lived in the big Victorian house at the corner of 7th and High Street, I'm going to freak out just a little bit.


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JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)