Category Archives: Interviews

#Bookreview and #mini-interview ‘what if I got down on my knees’ by Tony Rauch. For readers who enjoy short-stories, love language and the unusual.

what if I got down on my knees by Tony Rauch
what if I got down on my knees by Tony Rauch

Sorry I haven’t been around much recently, but today I bring you a review and the author, Tony Rauch, has also agreed to answer a few questions, so we have a double feature, a review and a mini-interview.

Title:   what if I got down on my knees
Author:   Tony Rauch
ISBN:  098293355X

ISBN13:  978-0982933558
ASIN:  B00YNR6HBM
Published:  Whistling Shade Press; 1 edition (May 31, 2015)
Pages:  189
Genre:  Literary Fiction/Short stories

Description:

what if i got down on my knees? presents romantic misadventures and entanglements of absurd, whimsical, existential longing, featuring discovery, secrets, identity, escape, strange happenings, endurance, regret, and hope. The stories are little postcards from the lonely regions of the human heart.

These tales of wonder are about people trying to find meaning and a place in an indifferent world, and their discoveries, revelations, secrets, failures, struggles, connections, and odd encounters along the way—

—two unemployed men steal dogs and run them through buildings around town.
—a man goes on what turns into the worst date in recorded history.
—you are asked to baby-sit for a neighbor, only to find a giant baby waiting for you.
—a man comes home to find his entire yard and home paved over by a long lost rival.
—a clerk at a used record store finds a man has passed away on one of the couches.
—some young adults go into the basement to get sad, in order to impress girls.
—a stranger extracts a baby from a man waiting for the bus.

With themes of longing, fragility, uncertainty, impermanence, regret, the mysteries hidden in everyday life, discovery, ennui, loneliness, irresponsible behavior, confusion, change, identity, and absurd situations, Tony Rauch is a worthy successor to the artistry and absurdism of Donald Barthelme and Steve Martin.

 Body of review:

I received a copy of this novel from the author and I voluntarily review it for Lit World Interviews.

Short stories are an acquired taste. We might think a short read is perfect because we are always rushing and don’t have a lot of time, but sometimes we might feel disappointed when the story ends and we’ve invested time and, in the best of cases, emotions only to have to get to know some new characters after a few pages. Of course, not all short stories are born equal. And this collection of short stories by Tony Rauch proves the point.

Some of the short stories in this collection are whimsical (surreal) and might leave you scratching your head (or looking up to the sky searching for… No spoilers) , some are vignettes illustrating the lives of people who might appear content with their lives at a superficial level, but whose thoughts and worries run deeper than it seems, many are about lonely people wondering about others and trying to connect (in some occasions with hilarious consequences), some are about pretending to be something or somebody else, about growing up, about growing old, about moving on or remembering the past…

The quality of the writing is superb, and the first person narratives cleverly capture the speech and rhythms of the characters, who sometimes are talking to others, sometimes conducting an internal monologue with themselves, or even writing a story. From young kids trying to impress their friends to old men dying, from people contemplating a new relationship to others letting go, these few pages run the whole gamut of experiences and emotions.

To give you some examples:

His skin appeared two sizes too tight for his body, stiff and washed out, like he’d gotten it secondhand, or found it in an alley late at night.

His suit is mythical—straight, lean, long, pure, giving, musical, thoughtful, caring, dynamic, cosmopolitan, unselfish, strong, industrious, and nostalgic for his mother, her peanut butter cookies, and snowy Christmas mornings.

“And what would someone do with a dream of mine? Where would you keep it?”

“I’d stretch it out to create a sail, and then use it to float off to who knows where,” I advise.

 Some of the stories are nostalgic and melancholy, but there are great comedic moments, ranging from slapstick to joyful turns of phrase (and oh, a so very satisfying revenge story).  Another example I highlighted:

Eventually, he turned up in over 3000 cans of a popular brand of tuna. A horrible fate to be sure, and amplified by the fact that the guy was notoriously reputed to detest tuna.

I won’t tell you which stories I liked the most as I’d find it difficult. I checked the reviews, and on reading the comments when the reviewers mentioned a story or another I’d agree with them. So… Just go and read them and enjoy their variety.

 What the book is about: Many things: growing up, life, dreams, realities, loneliness, relationships, friendship, revenge, writing…

 Book Highlights: The quality of the writing and the very distinct characters and voices. The whimsical sense of humour.

 Challenges of the book: Sometimes with the electronic version I wasn’t clear when I had moved from one story to another. The titles of the individual stories and the different parts weren’t always easy to tell apart.

Although the book is not long, I think it is best taken slowly and savouring the quality of the writing, rather than rushing to get to the end of the story. It is not a book to be read in a hurry.

 What do you get from it: Beautiful writing, stories that make you think and a few laughs.

 What I would have changed if anything: As I mentioned perhaps change the size of the titles or the formatting (in the digital version) to make the divisions clearer.

 Who Would I recommend this book to?: To readers who enjoy language and a mood more than heavily plotted stories (although there are some great ones too). And to writers who are considering writing short stories, or just keen on exploring the many ways characterization works.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $12 

Kindle: $3.22 

Author Tony Rauch
Author Tony Rauch

And now, I asked a few questions to the author:

People have less and less time these days and short forms of writing are becoming more and more popular. From flash-fiction to microfiction and even stories told in Tweets, it’s all about brevity. Of course, the short story has a long tradition, but what is for you a short story? And what makes it (so far) your preferred choice when writing? –

For me a short story is anything that conveys a feeling, or an event, or that sets up an event that may then spring forward. It does not have to have a beginning or an ending. I like story starters, that is a written piece that poses a situation or premise, and then you have to imagine various outcomes. But the premise is so interesting it creates that zing in your brain and gets you thinking. That to me is a good story: anything that kick-starts that zing in your imagination and gets you thinking on a different track or about various possibilities.

I prefer the short form because I don’t need a lot of useless background info that longer work sometimes gets bogged down in. I don’t have a lot of free time, so the short form is good for getting ideas down. I have a lot of different ideas, so the short form works well in sorting them into more organized paradigms.

Tony Rauch in action
Tony Rauch in action

Who are your favourite writers, in general, and writers of short stories (if they aren’t the same ones)? Why? What have you learned from them? –

Favorite authors, influences: Anyone interesting, imaginative, and concise. Anyone who makes you think.

Mostly I like short stories as they get to the point quickly. The books that really inspired me are mostly imaginative story collections because they were exciting and new and you never knew what was going to happen next in them. Also, they were brief, which made them memorable and easily digestible.

I like strange or absurd adventures that are well crafted and have a meaning to them, and sci fi as it offers ideas. Reading these types of writers is like taking mini adventures that I could not experience otherwise in the limitations of my actual life –

Older writers:

Donald Barthelme, J.D. Salinger, Richard Brautigan, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Charles Bukowski, Leonard Michaels (murderers), Mark Twain, James Thurber, Antoine de Saint Exupery (the little prince), Dr. Seuss (cool illustrations), Roald Dahl, Steve Martin (cruel shoes), W.P. Kinsella (the alligator report), Jim Heynen (the man who kept cigars in his cap), Don Delillo.

Contemporary writers:

Barry Yourgrau, Mark Leyner, Adrienne Clasky (from the floodlands), Lydia Davis (Samuel Johnson is indignant), Etgar Keret, Stacey Richter, George Singleton, James Tate (Return to the city of white donkeys), Thom Jones, Italo Calvino, Stephen-Paul Martin, Will Self, Denis Johnson (Jesus’ son), David Gilbert (I shot the hairdresser), David Sedaris, Paul Di Filippo, D. Harlan Wilson, Andersen Prunty.

Science fiction from the 40s, 50s, and 60s:

Rod Serling, L. Sprague De Camp, Ray Bradbury, Phillip K. Dick, Aurthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Charles Beaumont, Ursula K. Le Guin, Douglas Adams (an 80’s writer), etc.

Author Tony Rauch trying to grab the intangible
Author Tony Rauch trying to grab the intangible

Many writers read this blog. I subscribe to the advice that one should read in order to improve one’s writing. I know it will be a difficult choice, but any stories in particular that have had an impact on you or have increased your understanding of the form? 

Yes, many – see the list of authors above. One thing I look for is that buzz or zing when they convey a feeling or present something I hadn’t ever seen before. For example, I like that F. Scott Fitzgerald story “Winter dreams” because in it the character changes, or his feelings for someone changes. I like that arc, that sense of change the character goes through in a story. That story presents a loss, and the character’s feelings about that change and loss.

Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

Yes, it is:  https://trauch.wordpress.com/

You can find book information and story samples on that bad boy of rock and roll.

If you know of any good publishers looking for arty story collections, please let them know about me. I’m always looking for good publishers. A lot of places don’t publish single author story collections.

Thank you for your time.

Thanks very much to Tony Rauch for his book and for answering my questions, thanks to you  for reading, and don’t forget to like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

 

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Spotlight on Indie Author @AngelaKaysBooks. The Murder of Manny Grimes.

Today’s Spotlight Author is our very own Angela Kay! A new Indie Author as well as one of our busiest book reviewers here at LWI.
angela-kay
1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel the Murder of Manny Grimes?
I started writing it during my final semester of college. I was taking a writing course where we were to write the first thirty pages of a novel. I didn’t really have an inspiration strike…I just started writing and the plot seemed to unfold. My professor and students alike 8-the-murder-of-manny-grimes-coverloved the beginning of the story. Because of my passion of writing, I continued the first draft with the hopes of getting it published one day.

2. For aspiring writers out there, tell us how long it took you from idea to publishing your novel? Tell us about the process of how it all came about.

It took me seven years to perfect it. I finished the first draft in a year. I was excited because it was the first full length novel I finished. For the most part, I’d only written short stories. After that, I began to edit my book, and it was a major headache. I must have changed the direction of the story three or four times. I took a lot of breaks from it…more than I should have. Finally, by the many rocks God tossed my way, I finished my final draft. And just as I finished, I came across an awesome editor who didn’t mind fixing a few kinks. I played around with the idea of submitting my completed novel to a bunch of agents, but the truth is, it’s a dog eat dog world out there. I didn’t have patience for a bunch of no’s. Even when I was ready to send it off, I was hard on myself about whether it’s good or not. After considering my options, I went the route of starting as an Indie author. My publisher is a long time friend of a friend, so I trusted him. After I got my beloved books in my hands, I knew I did the right thing.

3. What kind of research did you do for the novel?

The setting used to take place in New York, but someone a long time ago told me it sounds as though it’s in Augusta, Ga (where I currently reside). That got me a bit worried because the setting relies a lot on the aftermath of a bad snowstorm. I mean, it is the south, where we hardly see one flake. I went online to see whether it was possible (although I knew it’d be okay since it’s fiction and anything was possible). I was glad to find that in 1973 we were hit with sixteen inches of snow. Although it was a long time, it satisfied me. The other researching I did was try and get the investigation as close to real as possible. I spoke to several police officers, primarily lieutenants, since  my main character is a lieutenant. They were kind enough to answer any and all questions.

4. When I read a book I sometimes like to have a visual of characters. What actors would play your main characters in a movie?

Lt. Jim DeLong: Michael Fassbender. He’s a little older than DeLong, but I think he’d be good for it.
Russ Calhoun: Possibly Dean Winters
5. What are you working on now?
I’m currently editing the sequel to “Manny Grimes,” and plan to release it in a few months. I also have an FBI thriller ready to be edited and another book I’ve almost completed. I’m only doing suspense now, however, I’m starting to dabble with a bit of romance–I already have an idea for a saga.

6. I know you edit the work of other authors, how can people contact you for your services?

7. What do you think is the one thing that drives your main character to do what he does?
Lieutenant Jim DeLong is passion-driven. I think when he gets something in his mind, he can’t seem to let it go. It’s also somewhat of a release while he’s dealing with personal issues outside of work.

8. If you could’ve written any other book than your own, what would it be and why?
Probably “Pride and Prejudice.” I love that book so much. It’s in a complete different era and I get swept away in the character’s lives.

mark-and-krystinaIs there a way people can get an autographed copy of your book?

Sure! They can email me for more information at angelakaysbooks@gmail.com. I sell signed copies of my book for $14 even. That includes shipping and handling. You can check out my book by clicking on these links: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Like me on Facebook: Angela Kay’s Books

To learn how to receive a FREE PDF copy of The Murder of Manny Grimes, click HERE!

Interview With K.T. Munson @ktmunson

I had the pleasure of interviewing author K.T. Munson. The first book of hers I read was Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand, which I loved. I also have her latest, Unfathomable Chance, in my hands. Thank you, K.T., for allowing me to interview you!

What do you like to read in your free time?

I actually like to review indie authors and small press houses books in my free time…the little free time I have. I’ve had some real gems come across my kindle and they inspire me to work harder and become a better author. Plus I get to help out fellow indie authors, so that is always a bonus.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

This is a tough question for me because I never really paid attention to anyone and just sort of did my own thing. So instead I’ll take some creative liberties here. The most helpful thing I can think of is when my mother showed me that we have an ancestor who is a published poet. I told my mum I was going to be published one day too. Her encouragement and support has always gotten me through the rough patches. She is my #1 fan and I’ll continue writing and publishing if she is the only one who reads it. The most destructive thing was relying on technology. I lost chapters and chapters of a book in college. It broke my spirit to write for a long time because I felt like I lost a part of me when my USB stick died. Don’t rely on technology; always have backups of all your work!

Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?

I like to paint, make jewelry, and grow plants. I honestly have a ton of hobbies some of which never took, like knitting. I like to keep myself busy year round since I live in Alaska with everything from camping to hunting on top of the inside hobbies. Don’t even get me started on TV, movies, video games, and D&D.

Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)

I have to edit my books from printed copies. Everything else I just go with what I feel like. The moment my book writing becomes structured and rigid the moment it stops being fun.

What is your writing space like?

Anywhere I like. Honestly I take my books with me and work on them when I’m flying for work, sitting at home on my computer, or typing ideas into my phone. My work space is wherever I am but most of it is in my computer room. It is an old pine desk my parents bought when I was 5. The darn thing is falling apart but I just can’t bring myself to replace it. Under it is the group of my works, all broken into little accordion folders that contain editing, beta reader notes, original concept notes, and even sketches.

Do you have any pets? Can you tell us a funny story about them?

I have two cats: Emma and Lizzie. They are both named for Jane Austen characters (Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennet). Emma is more my cat than Lizzie. As to a funny story I have tons, but my favorite is when I brought Emma home from her first vet visit, and she of course howled the entire way over and misbehaved the entire time (constantly trying to slink away) but honestly she got a thermometer shoved up her butt so I could sympathize with her distress. When I brought her home and parked in the garage I let her out of the cat carrier so that she could wander back into the house. Instead she hides under the car and wails because she doesn’t recognize the garage as home. I can’t get her out of there and after trying to push her out with broom, I abandon her and go and stand in the hallway and wait. Twenty minutes of constant wailing and she finally walked into the hallway. She immediately recognizes it as home and stops. She gives a look that says ‘You’re a jerk and I’m not an idiot’ and proceeds to go upstairs and eat some food. Needless to say I don’t let her out in the garage anymore.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I try to edit or write every day. I constantly have at least 2 books I’m working on at the same time. Usually a main book and what I like to call my relief books, which is usually a romance of some sort.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Everywhere. Cliché I know but seriously, everywhere. Usually the main concept comes to me in a dream. I’m a lucid dreamer most times and I get some doozies that are like living books or movies in my head which I remember 90% of when I wake up. 1001 Islands was Chapter 1 and Unfathomable Chance was Chapter 4. Sometimes it is a single image I am working towards or a concept. For North & South it was both, the image of a girl alone in the desert wandering towards certain dangers and the idea that every decision we make affects another person, like the butterfly effect.

What do you hate most about the writing process?

*Groan* Editing. I don’t mind rewriting but editing is killer. Thank goodness for editors.

What do you think makes a good story?

Originality with a color of the familiar. I like to bring whole new worlds alive and I think creating a world that people lose themselves in is a good story. Right up there with characters that are relatable or believable.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Gosh everything. Lawyer, doctor, inventor, and an accountant to name a few. Little did I know that I could do all those things…in my books. I have researched the strangest things, let me tell you.

What is your favorite book that you didn’t write?

The entire A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Interview with J.R Lindermuth

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J. R. Lindermuth is the author of 15 novels, including six in the Sticks Hetrick mystery series set in a fictional rural community near Harrisburg PA. A retired newspaper editor/writer, he is now librarian of his county’s historical society where he assists patrons with research and genealogy. He has published stories and articles in a variety of magazines, both print and on line. He is a member of International Thriller Writers and is a past vice president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

You can find J.R Lindermuth at the following social media sites:

To purchase J.R Lindermuth’s books, please visit his Amazon author page: 

https://www.amazon.com/J.-R.-Lindermuth/e/B002BLJIQ8/

1.  You were born in a coal mining town in Pennsylvania.  Was it the norm that most men in the town worked as miners?

Mining was the dominant industry when I was born, though my father, grandfather and other relatives worked on the railroad. Silk mill factories, which employed many men and women earlier, was in its decline.

2.  What has happened to coal mining in Pennsylvania now?  Are the mines closing down these days like they are in the UK?

The big mines here and in other counties have closed down. There are still a few small operations but the majority fell victim to environmental concerns, the expense of getting coal at deeper levels and lack of demand due to competition with alternate fuel sources–oil, gas and other.

3.  What’s the most interesting story you’ve ever covered in your previous work as a newspaper reporter?

That covers a lot of time; 40 years on the job, not counting additional in the military. Three that particularly stick in the memory would have to be covering a conference on the DMZ in Korea; the Dr. Jay C. Smith murder trial and the resettlement of refugees after the Vietnam war.

Readers may find this of interest–Dr. Smith was a high school principal who was sentenced to death for the 1979 murder of Susan Reinhert and her two children. His conviction was later overturned, but a co-conspirator William Bradfield died in prison.

4.  How has modern reporting changed from your time as a newspaperman?

I began with manual typewriters, switched to electric, then went through various computer phases. All digital cameras now; no more darkrooms. Change continues. It seems to me many, not all, but many reporters now rely more on technology than getting out of the office to interview and observe activities. There’s far too much personalizing of copy, too. A news article should convey just the facts, not opinion. Opinion is meant for the editorial page.

5.  Do you miss the buzz of working to a deadline now that you are retired?

I still often work to the deadline. My own fault. I’m a born procrastinator (according to my daughter) and sometimes need a push to get started on an assignment or duty.

6.  You serve as librarian of a historical society where you assist patrons with research and genealogy.  Have you delved into your own ancestry?

Oh, yes. A paternal aunt and I had started tracing family history when I was still in high school. I’ve now documented my paternal line back to the 1600s. So far I’ve only got my mother’s (Sears) back to ca 1790. Despite my German surname, my DNA results revealed my ethnicity to be 74 percent Great Britain.

7.  Tell us a little bit about your Sticks Hetrick Crime Series, and about your main protagonist.  What is your new book about?

Hetrick is a retired police chief and now a county detective who keeps getting involved in crime-solving. The protagonist in this latest book is one of Hetrick’s protégés, Officer Flora Vastine.

When Jan Kepler, a school teacher, birder and niece of a fellow officer, is murdered Flora finds herself thrust into an examination of the other woman’s life. Despite other suspects, the behaviour of another classmate rouses Flora’s suspicion. Her probing opens personal wounds as she examines the cost of obsessive love and tracks down the killer.

8.  The Darkness, your 15th novel and the 7th in the Sticks Hetrick Crime Series, will be published on September 13th.  How do you promote a new book launch?

There are no book stores near me. Normally I would have a release day at the local library. But I’ve been under treatment for cancer since January (doing much better now) and not supposed to drive because of the medications I’m on, which pretty much restricts me to online promotions–hitting FB, Twitter and the other hot spots, seeking interviews like this, reviews and, possibly some paid advertising.

9.  If I asked you to write exactly seven words to describe your new book, what would you write?

Intriguing plot, skilled characterization, twists and romance.

10.  Do you send your manuscripts off to literary agents, or do you prefer to remain self-published?

After getting the normal hundreds of rejections from the BIG publishers, I got smart and started submitting to smaller publishers who are more attentive to their writers. I’ve only self-published one novel. I don’t currently have an agent.

11.  How long does it take you to write a novel?

That depends. Some are fully formulated in the mind and the writing goes very quickly. Others, counting germination, research, actual writing, can take years.

12.  Do you write only in the thriller genre?

No. I’ve written non-fiction on various subjects that interest me and fiction in the mystery/suspense, historical, Western and romance genres.

13.  Who is your favourite author?

That’s like asking which of my children is the favourite. I read widely, both fiction and non-fiction, and constantly find new writers to admire. Some of my favourites in the mystery genre would include James Lee Burke, Ruth Rendell, Harlan Coben, Ian Rankin, John Harvey, Elmore Leonard, Charles Willeford and Val McDermid.

14.  One of your hobbies is ‘listening to good music’.  What type of music or bands do you consider good?

My personal favourites are classical, blues and folk music. But I have catholic tastes and will try anything to see how it jars my senses.

15.  You have travelled extensively.  Where in the world would you like to travel to now if you had the opportunity?

The UK would be a priority, Mexico or the Caribbean close seconds.

16.  Where is the best place on earth?

The place where you feel full-filled and happy.

17.  Is your glass half full or half empty?

Half full.

18.  If you could save one possession in a fire, what would it be?

Most possessions can be replaced. Since I live alone I’d have to say family photos.

19.  Do you prefer to be alone, or to be around people?

I enjoy solitude, but I also like being with family and friends. Not in crowds, though. Abhor crowds.

20.  You are a  past vice president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.  What were your duties?

As vice president I worked with the president and other officers to develop policies and helped coordinate our prestigious Derringer awards program and filled in for the president when she wasn’t available.  Through a process of judging, Derringer awards (named for the popular pocket pistol) have been annually presented since 1998 to authors in four length categories, from flash fiction up to novelette. The purpose the society is to promote and support short form mystery fiction and provide a forum for short story writers.

 

 

Thanks John, for answering my questions today.

Interview with Steven James @readstevenjames

I had the honor of interviewing national bestselling author, Steven James. He is known as the “master of storytelling,” and for a very good reason. Ever since I happened upon The Rook, book two of his Patrick Bowers Files, he’s been my favorite author.

I’d like to thank Mr. James from the bottom of my heart for taking his time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions.

1) What did you enjoy most about writing Curse?
In Curse, several new characters are introduced into the series. For me, since I don’t outline my books, it’s always exciting to see who shows up on the page and what they’re like. In this book, maybe my favorite character ended up being a girl who was blind. I consulted with a girl who’d been born blind, asking her what her nightmares are like since she has never seen anything. That journey and what I ended up including in the book was fascinating to me.

2) What do you like to read in your free time?
Even though I like to write thrillers, I tend to read more literary fiction, philosophy, and poetry, as well as books on the craft of writing. I still love suspenseful and scary stories, but lately I’ve tended to watch these in film instead of read them in books.

3) What are your hobbies?
I live near the Appalachian mountains, and so I love to get out to trail run or even play disc golf. Besides eating Cheetos, drinking coffee, and binge-watching on weekends, I like to play basketball with my friends and moonlighting writing poetry that will probably never end up in print.

4) Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)
I almost always write standing up. I tend to listen to trance or EDM. I do best working in long stretches, rather than working at a project here and there throughout the day. Give me ten hours in a row over 5 hours spread out throughout the day and I’ll be happy.

5) What is your writing space like?
My basement.

6) Do you have a favorite book you’ve written?
As far as novels, I think my favorite might be The Rook or Checkmate. I also wrote some inspirational nonfiction books, and I believe my favorite of those is called Story: Recapture the Mystery.

7) Where do you get your inspiration?
From everything. I’m always thinking of ideas, jotting down thoughts of dialogue on scraps of paper, receipts, notebooks. Typically at the end of the day, I have far too many ideas to write the next day, and it sort of keeps cascading like that. I keep thinking someday I’ll catch up, but at this rate, that won’t happen for another two or three hundred years.

https://i1.wp.com/breatheconference.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Steven-James.jpgBiography

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book THE BISHOP their Book of the Year, says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.” And RT Book Reviews promises, “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you.”

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

Respected by some of the top thriller writers in the world, Steven deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As critically-acclaimed novelist Ann Tatlock put it, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”

After consulting with a former undercover FBI agent and doing extensive research on cybercrimes, Steven wrote his latest thriller, EVERY CROOKED PATH—a taut, twist-filled page turner that is available now wherever books are sold.

If you’ve never met environmental criminologist and geospatial investigator Patrick Bowers, EVERY CROOKED PATH is the perfect chance to dive into the series and find out what fans and critics everywhere are raving about.

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Interview with Bridgette L. Collins of The Chip Maker.

Bridgette L. Collins image.Today’s guest is author and fitness coach Bridgette L. Collins. No, the book we’re talking about today isn’t about fitness. At least not about physical fitness. No today Bridgette talks about her book The Chip Maker, which I reviewed not too long ago here on LWI.

First of all, tell us about where you’re from and a little about it, what it’s like.

Although I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, I lived in the Dallas, Texas area for nearly 20 years before relocating back to Houston, Texas in 2013. It was important that I mention Dallas because it was during that time in my life I embraced my love for writing and became an author. In response to your question, “What it’s like”? Well, Houston is a BIG city with a lot of diversity and down to earth people. If you visit, check out the great offerings in the museum and theater districts. But, if you come during the summer months, just know you’ll definitely experience our high heat and humidity. Being an avid runner, what I like most is the atmosphere Houston and the surrounding areas have created for outdoors/nature enthusiasts which consists of an array of running, biking, and hiking venues.

You’re a fitness coach, among other things. How did you end up writing a work of fiction?

My first three books (Broken In Plain Sight, Destined to Live Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul, and Imagine Living Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul) are all novel-like self-help books that have educated, encouraged, and empowered many through a collection of stories that peel back the masks of challenges with weight, health, work, marriage, relationships, depression, and lack of self-love. Although I have a background in health and fitness which led me to write fictional stories about the failures and triumphs (inclusive of the whys) related to living healthier: mind, body and spirit, I’ve always wanted to write a different type of fiction inclusive of law and order and conspiracy theories. So, when I was presented with a writing opportunity that would take me outside of my comfort zone, I took on the challenge which resulted in The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast.

There is a lot of End of Times references in The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast. Are you very much up on apologetics and biblical scholarship or did you have someone to go to for just in case help?

The content for the book was inclusive of both my biblical research and the theology background of a former pastor who resides in Dallas, Texas. During my biblical readings when I was unsure about my interpretation of certain scriptures (which included looking up cross-references), I’d email my former pastor who in turn would provide me with biblical insight based in his studies, in particular, as related to end times prophecy. Because of a myriad of opinions, perspectives, and interpretations on end times prophecy, I was careful about what I presented in the book. However, just like any conspiracy theory writer, I wanted to craft a storyline that combined biblical references, current day events, and the future of the world. It’s no secret that the capability to track and monitor humans via an implantable chip is already in existence.

I found it interesting that you started with several scenes in one period of time and then went back to several months prior leading up to those scenes. What made you choose that road to travel with your story as opposed to having everything in chronological order?

There is no particular reason for the road I chose to travel, other than I watch a lot of movies where the story starts with the climax (or ending scenes) then cuts to say “8 months earlier” (or the like). That’s what I wanted to do with this book. I wanted to show the future, then in reverse sequential order reveal to the reader the precise consequences of each action leading up to the climax.

What is your particular interest in End of Times prophecy?

When you consider biblical prophecies and inferences made by pastors, theologians, and churchgoers about the signs of end times and the second coming of the Jesus Christ, it’s pretty captivating, especially since we are possibly living in the generation and witnessing the events that must be fulfilled before the return of Jesus Christ.  For the true Christian believer, we must be vigilant about seeking knowledge of the truth, consistently striving to be obedient to and a steadfast doer of God’s Word. A reoccurring message conveyed throughout ‘The Chip Maker’ was to be prepared to say “No”.

Did you base any of your characters on well-known individuals? I can almost see Pastor McFarland. There is one pastor that fits him perfectly that I’m aware of. A lot of us use celebrity like figures as models for our characters. At least on the surface.

No, there are no well-known individuals mimicked in the book. The characters in the book like Pastor McFarland were a figment of my imagination. When you read about pastors whose illegal and/or immoral behaviors have been exposed, you already know there are countless Pastor McFarlands walking around in our midst.

You paint a very realistic picture of what could happen in today’s technologically driven world. Where did you come up with the idea and how did you keep it all straight?

My friend Terry McGee, because of his passion to spread a message about one’s decision to repent, choose, and follow Jesus Christ, wanted to write a screenplay based on the second coming of Jesus Christ. To make a long story short, he sought me out. Well, I don’t have a background in screenplay writing, and neither does he. So I convinced him to consider a book in hopes it would be attractive to a film making company thereby resulting in a movie. As time passed we continued to toil over and over on the direction of book. In late 2013 while getting ready for work one morning, I saw a news story about a lost dog. The dog’s owners were so grateful for his safe return and credited such to a microchip implanted inside of their dog. I started to think about the idea of such with regards to humans. So, I started researching microchips. It didn’t take long for me to discover numerous articles discussing an implantable chip which included many opinions and perspectives along with the citing of legislative bills associated with implantable chips in humans. As my research increased, so did my knowledge (which included current testing of the RFID chip on humans) along with negative connotations associated with government power. So, yes, I allowed my imagination to run wild. I convinced Terry on the direction we needed to take which included a story line touting the RFID chip as today’s modern day mark of the beast. Any why not suggest in the storyline, with consideration of the seemingly never-ending evolution of modern technology, vital elements of a bigger picture. Elements such as a relationship between the implantable microchip, mark of the beast, new world order, the antichrist, and world domination. When you consider biblical scriptures in the Bible and the signs the Bible prophesies before the return of Jesus Christ (as evident of the horrific events occurring present day), I know it was the Holy Spirit guiding me and keeping it all straight.

How long did it take you to write The Chip Maker and then get it published?

Although it’s a relatively short book, I must admit the completion of the book took longer than we expected as the idea and discussions started in 2012. Amid life-changing circumstances over the past four years, our delays also included the fear of what the content of such a Bridgette L. Collins image.book would look like and attract. Once a wholehearted commitment was reached, the fine details were organized and put into place. Within the past eight months, the content of the book was finalized and published.

What’s your one piece of advice to aspiring authors to fulfill their dream of publishing a book?

Number one, start writing. A lot of people don’t get started because of fear. Then, never stop searching for the right words and the right phrases to connect with and entertain your readers. Whenever I’m listening to SiriusXM in my car, or looking at a movie on Lifetime, or engaged in an old episode of Criminal Minds, or a viewing a news story on CNN, I am always jotting down words and phrases I may be able to use a later date in a storyline to add more impact. Most importantly, don’t talk yourself out of taking the next steps such as seeking the services of a professional editor, book cover designer, interior designer, distributor, etc. A lot of people will start the writing process, but never pursue the next steps.

Totally unrelated to the book, what’s the one thing someone with spinal problems and fibromyalgia can do in order to lose weight and get fit?

Without knowledge of the individual’s current physical state (i.e., level of pain, fatigue, and physical movement, etc.), I’ll provide a general response. The initial primary goal is to move more. In doing so, it’s crucial that the individual engage in an aerobic activity that does not pose a risk for undue trauma to the impacted part of the body. Although there may be pain and fatigue present, I’ll take for granted that the individual has the capacity to walk. If there hasn’t been no recent consistent movement (i.e., physical activity), then the key is start with something small and gradually increase the person’s ability to move consistently. Depending on the capacity to walk, an example of something small would include the individual walking (slowly) back and forth, from the beginning to the end of his/her driveway, as many times as he/she can for five minutes each day for two weeks.  On the third week, he/she can add a minute and thereafter a minute each week until he/she is up to 30 minutes a day. It’s important not to focus on how long it might take to get to 30 minutes, but to focus on developing consistency with doing the walk activity. I know medication can be a contributing factor to weight gain. So, not knowing the contributing factors related to excess weight (i.e., medication, inactivity, or poor food choices, etc.), I’ll provide another general response. More than likely the need for medication will remain; however, with the implementation of walking and any necessary food consumption modifications, the desire to lose weight and get fit will be recognized beginning with the small change. Remember, walking is the first ‘small change’ step. As walking gets easier and easier, the time to incorporate other physical activities can be explored (i.e., water aerobics, cycling, hot yoga, strength training, etc.). In addition, it’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to causes of flare-ups. And, most importantly, not to do too much too soon… As you prepare for the small change, think about… Getting started. The progression. The consistency.

By: Ronovan Hester

Get Chip Maker at:

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“The Truth She Knew,” An Interview with the Author, Jennifer Owenby

Did you ever read a book and wonder what the motivation was behind the author who wrote it? Me too!

So, I decided to contact the author, Jennifer Owenby to find more about why she wrote “The Truth She Knew.” Please click HERE to read my review of this book.

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Here’s what Jennifer Owenby had to say:

What’s The Truth She Knew about?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Here is the back cover verbiage:

“A bittersweet story of young love independence, and soul-crushing manipulation. J.A. Owenby shines a light on the impact that mental illness can have on a family.” —Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D., Professional Life Coach

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.

For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.

But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.

Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.”

The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse.

Why did you write The Truth She Knew?

I wanted to bring awareness to issues that are typically discussed behind closed doors. I wrote about several including mental illness and abuse from a daughter’s perspective. I have a soft place in my heart for teens and young adults in their early 20’s. I’ve found through talking to many kids in this age group that they are confused by things they experienced at home and sometimes blamed themselves when it shouldn’t have fallen on their shoulders. Mental illness is real and can show up in many forms. In Mama’s case, there was a religious and manipulative element.

How did it feel to write about someone with mental illness? How did you “get inside their head”?

It was tough. Thankfully, I had access to a few amazing mental health therapists that answered questions and directed me to good reading material. Mental illness is very complex and not a one size fits all.

I also love psychology so it was something I was interested in learning about.

Do you have a message with this book series?

Yes, that was the motivation behind the books. There is hope and help if you’re in an abusive situation or have a loved one that is mentally ill.

Did you draw from personal experience?

I am a survivor of domestic violence. My life is so beautifully and wonderfully different than those years I spent running and hiding. I went through some very dark times and lost hope more than once. It was my two kids who kept me going when I thought things would never get better. And as I begin visualizing what I wanted my life to be, to look like, and taking steps in that direction things began to change. I’m so very blessed today. There is hope and help.

You mentioned this is a series? What can we expect for Lacey, your main character, in book 2?

The Truth She Knew is about so many important issues, but book 2 focuses on Lacey’s journey and how the cycle of abuse continues. Her path to find safety lands her in an unimaginable situation and she experiences a real wake up call. My main message─there is a cycle, and unless you reach out for help, people will continue to make poor choices and find themselves in the same situations over and over.

What do you say to people who have read the Truth She Knew and reached out to you for help?

I can listen to them, empathize, and direct them to the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233, and NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). In fact, those helplines will be listed on my new website and in book 2.

Where can readers find out more about you?


Author, Jennifer Owenby

If you’re interested in upcoming giveaways including gift cards and signed copies, please follow my Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby/.

Also, my website is in progress atwww.jaowenby.com

Twitter @jaowenby

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/jaowenby1/

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/jenniferowenby9/

You can also search The Truth She Knew and read the 5-star early reviews here http://bit.ly/28LFell

Thanks for stopping by to learn more about “The Truth She Knew.” This is one of those books that haunts you with the realities of dealing with mental illness. You won’t be able to put it down!

Interview by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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Interview with Mark Donovan of Waterkill.

mark-donovanToday’s guest is Mark Donovan , author of Waterkill, a book I recently reviewed here on LWI as well as Amazon and Goodreads. He currently resides in New Hampshire where he has spent his career working in various high tech engineering and marketing positions. He holds degrees in electrical engineering and business, and is a private pilot.

How much of Waterkill was influenced by the headlines?

The headlines of 2015/2016 did not influence me to write Waterkill. It was, however, the headlines from 2014 that compelled me to finish the book. I began writing Waterkill in November, 2013 and then after writing around 25K words I shelved it in January 2014. I Waterkilldidn’t go back to it for another 10 months and completed the first draft in April of 2015. It was the Ebola outbreak that hit the United States and Europe in late 2014 that caused me to decide to complete Waterkill. It was during this time that I realized how feckless our federal and state governments were in dealing with a major epidemic. This fact, along with the constant and real threat of radical Islamic terrorism, made me realize that I needed to complete Waterkill. I felt compelled to raise public awareness to the vulnerability of a biological terrorist attack, and that our public water supplies are soft targets.

I was able to read your first version of Waterkill and then some of your professionally edited version. You’ve done your work justice by doing so. What brought about your having the book edited?

I had half a dozen close friends and family review my “final” draft version of Waterkill and their editorial comments and reviews were benign and very positive. So, I decided to release the book. The first “official” reviews that came in on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads were also very positive. However, as time went on, and the reviews continued to come in, I began to see comments about the book needing some professional editing. So rather than continue to see the book take negative hits, I got proactive and began searching for an editor. After about a week I found a person who had been an editor for the past 25 years and had an impressive resume. I commissioned her immediately to do a Line-Edit and she did a great job, albeit I had a bit of a hard time at first accepting her reduction of the word count by 15%. In the end, after reading her completed work, I had to admit the book was much crisper and to the point. She also gave me a great deal of constructive advice for my next book. One important nugget of advice she gave me was to try to keep one point of view throughout the book. “No head hopping” was her constant reminder to me.

What was researching for the book like? You go into quite a bit of detail as far as geography for certain locations as well as some military weapons.

I’ve spent over 30 years in high tech as an electrical design engineer and product marketing manager. Along the way, I’ve designed or defined radar systems, infrared missile guidance seekers, telecom and datacom equipment and semiconductors, advanced computers that went on the space shuttle, and for the past 7 years, magnetic sensor semiconductors that are used in robotics, automotive and industrial markets. So from this background it was easy for me to write about the surveillance and weapon technology in Waterkill.Mark Donovan image

From the geographical perspective, I have traveled far and wide throughout the world during my career, including North America, Europe and Asia. In addition, I was able to interview my parents who spent nearly 10 years in Saudi Arabia, including 3 years living near the Yemen border to get the perspective on the culture, geography and people from that area.

What authors do you think have influenced your style of writing?

When I decided to begin writing the “Dave Henson” series I wanted to write books that were akin to Clive Cussler, but instead of an ocean/marine background theme, I chose to focus mine on technology and aviation since I have a passion for both. So, Clive Cussler novels certainly influenced me.

Michael Crichton, Ayn Rand and Wilbur Smith have also influenced my writing style. With Michael Crichton and Ayn Rand it’s the technology and willingness to be politically incorrect with the Zeitgeist of the day that inspires me to write. Both told compelling stories that also had messages that went against the grain of the prevailing political winds.  With Wilbur Smith, it’s his human rawness of both good and evil, along with his excellent storytelling, that influence my writing style.

Why a water based bioterrorist threat?

Today when we think of terrorism attacks we normally think of airplane hijackings or bombings and mass murder with semi-automatics. I wanted to make people aware that there are other ways that terrorists can attack, and that it can be fairly sophisticated. Many of the radical Islamic terrorists are well educated people, who have engineering degrees, and I might add provided by the United States College and University systems. Water is our most valuable resource and critical for our survival. It is also a commodity that many of us take for granted and that is also easily accessible to those who want to harm it.

What is your experience with Islam? I ask because there are times you do show a good knowledge during the story. I know because I had several Muslims work for me.

I have worked with many Islamic people over the years due to my high-tech background. Some have been, and are, good friends of mine. This is why I tried to be fair in my book to the Islamic religion, but not hesitating to point out that radical Islamic terrorism is a real problem that must be faced and dealt with. As I also mentioned, I had my parents perspective of them living nearly a decade in Saudi Arabia.

How much of the tech in the book is possible?

Much of it is possible. The work in Nanotechnology, and MEMs technology, has just been astounding over the past decade. Case in point, the drone technology that we have today. Some military drones are as small as a housefly today, and there are companies/research institutions that have demonstrated swarm behavior with these micro-drones. The nano-dust that is mentioned in this book is still for the most part theoretical, however, due to nano-material science I believe we are only a decade away from realizing this concept. Michael Creighton discussed this technology in his book PREY that he released in 2002.

You handle Islam very carefully in Waterkill. Some authors could have made it a one-sided affair but you took the time to show the degrees of the faith. Was this a conscious effort or did the book lead you in that direction?

I made a conscious effort to be fair and not to confuse individuals with twisted minds, for whatever reason, and a population of 1.2B people that practices Islam, most of which is comprised of peaceful people.

There is a quote you use at the end of the book, where did you get that from? (Meaning, did a friend lead you to it, did you stumble on it. Something like that. And I’m talking about the Muhammad quote.)

Through my research on Islam I stumbled upon that phrase/quote and felt it had a great deal of relevant meaning to my story.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a new book with the working title “ROBOGOD”. It is a departure from my “Dave Henson” series and delves into the world of robots and how they will impact our lives both professionally and personally in the not-so-distant future. In my current day job I am heavily involved in the robotic industry, and the stuff that I see coming is exciting from a technologist perspective, but also very frightening from a human and ethicist. The book raises questions on how ready the human race is prepared to work and live with robots that look and act very similar to humans. See an article that I recently had published in RoboticTrends.com on the topic of robots: http://www.roboticstrends.com/article/the_role_of_magnetic_position_sensors_in_robots_and_the_iort

Mark Donovan's Lake View imageWhat do you do for fun?

I love to fly, read, hike and be with my family. I am fortunate enough to live on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire where it allows me to do all these things.

What authors do you read?

As previously mentioned my writing has been influenced by reading the works of Clive Cussler, Wilbur Smith, Ayn Rand and Michael Creighton. However, my reading is quite eclectic. For example I love reading Lee Child, Ted Bell, and James Patterson. However, I just finished reading the Great Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald. I remember reading the book in high school, and saw it a couple of weeks ago just before I left for a job trip. So I grabbed it and read it on the plane.

Give us one word to describe your book.

Techno-thriller.

What’s your favorite word and why?

My favorite word is “Do”. I have always been a big proponent of personally doing things rather than just thinking about doing them or watching others do something, e.g. laying on a sofa and watching a sporting event rather than playing the sport yourself. Life is too short to just dream and think, or watch others live life, but never personally do something big yourself.

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An Interview with Kate Frost of Beneath the Apple Blossom.

Kate-FrostToday’s special guest is Kate Frost, a UK author with a personal story to share.

Where do you hail from?

Bristol, a city in the south west of England that’s wonderfully cosmopolitan with lots going on, yet also within easy reach of countryside and the coast. I’ve always lived here apart from three years spent at university in Aberystwyth, a gorgeous seaside town in Wales.

Who are the authors that most inspired you to become a writer, or that you think influence your writing style?

It was the books I read in my childhood that inspired me to become a writer – authors like Roald Dahl, J.R.R. Tolkien and Arthur Ransome. I loved the way they could transport me to another world, and as I had a vivid imagination anyway, together the two things just clicked.

I imagine you get asked this a lot, but your book, Beneath the Apple Kate Frost FamilyBlossom, covers many of the stages of young 30 something women’s lives, how much for your life or those around you did you pull from?

Certainly friends who know me well will understand how my life has influenced this book. I wrote Beneath the Apple Blossom as a direct result of having fertility treatment, so the emotions within the book and the actual experience of undergoing treatment are true to life, yet the characters and their individual experiences are fictional. I had toyed with writing a memoir but decided what I went through was too personal to share, so I thought about turning it into a novel instead – that’s when the characters of Pippa, Georgie, Sienna and Connie were born. I was inspired by the online friendships (and the one in real life) I made via the fertility centre forum I was a part of during four cycles of fertility treatment, and that led to the relationship Pippa and Connie have in the book. Thirty-something women are interesting to write about as it seems to be an age when there’s a lot going on, whether that be the decision to have babies or not, relationship struggles, infertility concerns or career worries.    

Beneath the Apple BlossomWhat’s the significance of the title of the book?

There are two pivotal scenes that take place literally beneath an apple blossom, which I won’t describe as it will give too much away. Apart from those two scenes the reason behind the title is the idea of an apple tree in bloom being so beautiful and full of life compared to the dark, tangled mass of roots below ground. Often what we see on the surface of a person’s life is completely different to the turmoil they’re going through beneath the surface. 

What genre do you think your book falls into?

Contemporary women’s fiction – although that’s a very broad term. Family life and women’s literary fiction are sub-genres it could slot into quite well.

Tell our readers a little about Beneath the Apple Blossom.

In a nutshell it’s about four women, two longing to have a baby, two desperate to not be pregnant, and how they struggle with the choices they’ve made and the hand that life’s dealt them.

Could you have written this book before your son came along?Kate and Leo

Absolutely not. The core idea of this book was a direct result of having undergone four rounds of fertility treatment and the highs and lows that went hand in hand with it. Clearly we got lucky in the end but that was after four years of heartache and despair. As a writer it was all emotional fuel for a novel (not that I was thinking like that at the time!) – infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy and birth. Although the book is fictional it helped to draw upon my own experience of these things.  

How do you think writing for magazines has helped your novel writing?

It’s helped by giving me the mindset of working to a deadline. Particularly with self-publishing it’s easy to let things slip and put things off, so I write novels the way I would write an article for a magazine and set myself a deadline and stick to it. 

The Butterfly StormTell us about your previous book The Butterfly Storm.

It’s quite different to Beneath the Apple Blossom, both in the way it’s written and the subject matter, although there are common themes such as family, friendship and impending motherhood. At its heart is a love story with Sophie Keech escaping from her fiancé and overbearing mother-in-law-to-be in Greece, back to the beautiful north Norfolk coast in the UK when her estranged Mum is injured in an accident. It then follows her physical and emotional journey to discover who she is, where she belongs and who she loves. I published it in 2013 and it’s done really well, featuring in Amazon’s Movers and Shakers chart on more than one occasion and making it into the top five in Literary Fiction and Women’s Literary Fiction categories.

What are you currently working on and why?

I’m working on a lot of things! I’m writing the second book in The Hopeful Years series that follows Beneath the Apple Blossom and Connie’s story in Tanzania and Zanzibar. I’m also halfway through writing the second book of a time-travel adventure trilogy for 9-12 year-olds. Into the Past (Time Shifters Book One) is going to be published in October, so it’s a busy year. 

With your being so accident prone, aren’t you concerned about indulging in your cooking obsession?

Ha, yes! I seem to be okay cooking and haven’t had too many accidents, save a couple of minor scalds. I think it’s the fact that I’m pretty unstable on my feet that’s the issue. It’s just as well that we don’t get much snow in the UK as I cannot walk on ice and look like some crazy adult-sized baby learning to walk when I do.

How did end up with your publisher, Lemon Tree Press?

Ah well, Lemon Tree Press is actually my publishing name. Instead of publishing under ‘Kate Frost’ I’ve

effectively set up my own publishing company under which I’ve bought my ISBNs and will publish my books.

What advice to you have for authors out there looking to find a publisher?

Persevere and make your book as good as it can be. I got very close to getting both an agent and a publisher but neither worked out in the end. I personally didn’t persevere with finding a publisher and instead took things into my own hands and self-published. I haven’t looked back. 

Finally, what one word describes your book?

Emotional.

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Interview with Cuban author Alejandro Puerto Hernandez

Alejandro Puerto Hernandez is a young man of 19 years who since childhood has had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, particularly about other nations’ economic and political histories.  He has written ‘Western Cycles: United Kingdom’ detailing the U.K’s political history from World War II onwards, analysing the economic situation at the time, and the nation’s challenges with each successive government.

41x9Tbl0TPL[1]Alejandro.jpg

http://bookShow.me/B01GSBET88

Today Alejandro has been kind enough to answer 20 of my questions.  You can find him on the links below or contact him on the email address given:

Email: western.cycles.contact@gmail.com

1.  Living in Cuba, how did you become interested in British economic and political history?  Was it for a college course?

No, it wasn’t for a college course (I start studying in September), but living in an under-developed country as I do, since my childhood I have had a genuine interest in learning about the economic and political systems of other nations, and using this knowledge as material for reflection and looking for answers in that magical space we call history.  In the particular case of the U.K I was interested in the way they managed to stabilise and even improve their economic and social situation and deal with challenges after the destruction of World War II.  An interesting case was retaining global influence despite losing power after the independence of the colonies.

2.  Did you spend a lot of your childhood writing stories on your own as I did, or did you live in a noisy household where finding time to write and pursue your interests was difficult?

 Much of my childhood was spent looking for historical information on the internet, mainly regarding the U.K. At first it was confusing because the sources gave very varied and sometimes contradictory criteria regarding the different heads of government according to their own policies.  That was the basis on which I began accumulating the most relevant information from an unbiased and entertaining view.  There came a point where I always had a book before my eyes.

With regard to living in a noisy household, I can say that Cuba is indeed loud in more ways than one.  But when writing, I have been able to channel noise into an inner peace which is very rewarding in more ways than one.

3.  Have you ever been to the UK?  If so, where did you visit?

 No, I have never been to the UK, but I would like to visit.  It would be very rewarding to travel by train from Liverpool to Manchester, as the first inter-city rail line was built here in 1830.  This opened the UK’s leadership in the Industrial Revolution. 

I would also like to visit London, because in the same way that all roads lead to Rome, there was a time when all trains carried passengers to London.

4.  How long did it take to write Western Cycles: United Kingdom?  Have you written any other books?

 As mentioned previously I have been writing since childhood.  However, I spent about three months writing this book, and also compiling much economic information into charts throughout the work with knowledge I have acquired recently.

I have not written any other books, but as I feel good when I write, I expect there will be others.  Right now I’m torn between Canada or France for my next Western Cycles book.  I hope that readers of this interview and of my blog will help me to decide.

5.  Were you surprised when Britain voted to leave the European Union?

 I was surprised, but when analysing the situation I don’t think it is as dramatic as the media describe.  I think the UK could retain its access to the common  European market by joining the EFTA countries.  Of course losing the unified trade policy, its economy would not be as integrated as it is today, but the majority of the UK population voted to leave and we should show respect.

6.  If you could live in the time of any of our British prime ministers, which time, past or present, would you choose?

 I would choose to live under the government of  Clement Atlee, because I would like to see in person the reaction of the British after Winston Churchill was not elected at the end of  World War II.  It would also be interesting to note the establishment of the welfare state in a period of scarcity and rationing, just as described in my book.  Of course after a few days or weeks I would like to go back to the present, as there was no internet.  I would write about the experience in my blog.

7.  Did you learn English as a young child, or just recently in your late teens?

I learned English in my childhood and perfected it during my adolescence.  It is a very easy language to learn, and it is a very practical ability to be able to speak two languages.  Of course I am proud to have Spanish as my mother tongue.  No other language is heard with such poetry.

 8.   Did you design the cover and edit Western Cycles: United Kingdom yourself?

I designed the book cover by placing the beautiful flag of the nation as the primary element.  I have always considered that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  I also used the Ubuntu Operating System and typography because its design philosophy is humanistic, so that gets the message across that I want to express in the book.

Regarding editing, I am asking the readers to send me their opinion and also find any errors from an editorial point of view and report them to my email western.cycles.contact@gmail.com

9.  In your opinion, what is the best way of marketing a book?

I think the ideal way is to use relevant points of the book in a blog or on social media, looking for ways in which readers feel comfortable being inside the book but not departing from the perimeter.  The online world should appreciate books that are not sold in bookstores.

The content offered online in my blog is not original and I have not worked hard to update it as there is no internet access in Cuban homes.  However, once I begin college I will be able to work harder on my blog and participate more fully online.

10.  Is your aim to ultimately become a full-time author, or do you have another career in mind?

Soon I will begin studying engineering in telecommunications and electronics, because this is interesting to me and a professional qualification in this subject is very versatile.  However, it doesn’t help with writing books, but I think I can combine both.  I am sure I will not stop writing.

11.  Which websites have you used most in your book research?

I used the National Archives of the UK Government, the Statistics Agency site, and the Government Site, ukpublicspending.com and ukpublicrevenue.com, which are all excellent.  I read many articles from The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, and the BBC from many years ago.  My main challenge was to bring all that information in an original and impartial format.

12.  Your Western Cycles blog states concise news items and general information from the Western world.  In Cuba, are you able to access European news programmes on TV, or do you rely on the internet for your information?

I used only the internet, as Cuban press and television are completely biased in reporting the international scene.

13.  Have you sent your book to any literary agents?  If so, have you had any replies?

I have not sent my book to any literary agent.  Any kind of replies, whether professional or friendly, can be sent to western.cycles.contact@gmail.com

14.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  What will you be doing?

I think I will be travelling all over the world, learning the culture of different peoples and collecting photographs of historical sites.  Tourism is a very authentic way to encourage the learning of foreign languages, respect for the customs of other countries, and closer ties of understanding between nations.

15.  Which author has had the most influence on you?

Walter Isaacson is not a historian and serves more as a journalist than a writer, but his book ‘Steve Jobs’ (2011) changed the way we perceive literature, especially the historical genre.  Walter has the ability to present each subject starting with an overview of the overall concept in each case, and then argue in a simple and precise way without losing the chronological order.  I believe that history books should appreciate this style.  That’s why I transferred this ability to Western Cycles: United Kingdom.

 16.  In your opinion, which genre of books is the most popular?

 First Epic Fantasy, and Dystopian Science Fiction second.  In this genre I appreciate popular works such as Game of Thrones, but the folklore is subject to conflict.  For example in the saga abound dragons, giants and witches, but the main thing is the civil war for the Iron Throne inspired by the Wars of the Roses as a primary historical source.

17.  Apart from writing, what other interests do you have?

I like video games a lot.  I enjoy Civilization Saga and Sid Meiers Pirates created by 2K Games.  In addition StarCraft and Warcraft developed by Blizzard, but I’m not as good as I’d like to be.  Using emulators I play The Legend of Zelda and Fire Emblem from Nintendo and Final Fantasy (the older the best).  I admire Electronic Arts games. 

18.  If you could choose where to live, where would you like to be?

I think it’s not in Cuba, but should be a place near the sea.  Among the different places in Cuba I consider myself fortunate to live in Cienfuegos.  It is a small city founded by the French.  It is much less noisy than Havana, and cleaner.

19.  What is the one thing you cannot do without?

I cannot write without a glass of water next to me. Many times I am not thirsty, but I feel more comfortable that way.

20.  Can you dance the Samba? 

Definitely not!


Thanks Alejandro for your answers.  I also like a glass of water next to me while I’m writing!

 

 

 

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Interview with @NickyP_author of Horror, Vampires, & More.

A UK lady with a knack for helping young authors while creating her Nicky Peacock Imageown series of books, Nicky Peacock.

Where do you hail from?

I come from a medium size town in the middle of England called Corby. It has a bit of a reputation as a place to live, but I love it. It’s close enough to beautiful wild countryside to appeal to my nature loving side and close enough to pretty decent shopping centers to appeal to my shopaholic side!

Who are the authors that most inspired you to become a writer, or that you think influence your writing style?

I think that most authors will influence your writing style – whether you want them to or not. Reading a broad range of genres and authors is a necessary part of writing. When I was younger, Poppy Z Brite was a big influence on my horror writing; somehow she made the grotesque beautiful. Anne Rice was definitely the writer that got me hooked on vampires and other monsters.

What’s your favorite word and why?

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… as it’s really quite atrocious 😉

Things readers may want to know, hmm, are you married?

I’m currently single. I’m pretty happy with it, although I certainly wouldn’t turn down a gorgeous man with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates at my door! It’s quite a hard life being an author. Most of us still have to work full time jobs, you know if you want those luxuries in life like food and shelter! So, once you try to squeeze in writing and have some semblance of a social life, well dating can kind of feel like an after-thought. Also, I’ve had some pretty dismal dates recently: One guy burst into tears over his ex, another talked all night about his dogs, but by far the worst was the guy, who after learning I was an author, decided he wanted something to eat…at home. He just left! 

How does working with young aspiring authors help your own writing?

Growing up in Corby, I didn’t have a mentor, or someone to look to, for my writing, so I decided that I would try to be that person for the next generation. Writing is hard, getting published is harder and being an author is the hardest of all. You have to not just produce work but have reasonable editing skills, marketing knowledge and time to spend on social media plus all the literary specific sites such as Goodreads and LibraryThing. Having someone who has been there and done all that can help make those jobs easier and less time consuming so that a budding writer’s desire to tell a good story isn’t consumed in the fires of work.

Lost In Wonderland imageTell us about your two series with Evernight Teen, Battle of the Undead and The Twisted and The Brave.

Battle of the Undead is a vampires VS zombies YA urban fantasy set at the start of the zombie uprising. Vampires, fearing the loss of their food supply (us) start to make plans to protect uninfected humans.

The Twisted and the Brave is a YA series that twists the themes of classic children’s books into contemporary, violent thrillers with a supernatural edge.

Being two different animals, which do you enjoy writing more, the anthologies or novels?

LOL, I’m not above saying that I want to sell books and make some money, and that only really comes from novels. Anthologies are great for a quick fix. Short stories are, well short and there are plenty of publishers out there putting out call-outs that writers can answer, but they’re not Battle Covers imagegoing to help boost that bank balance! I do enjoy a good challenge for a short story, but right now I’m focusing on the longer fiction.

Tell us how you get included in so many anthologies. I know some don’t know how to go about getting involved.

The website Duotrope, although you need to pay for it now, is a great investment for writers. It’s a complete database of publisher call-outs for anthologies and magazines. The best advice I can give is to stick to genres that you feel you can write well and don’t take on too much. There are always deadlines for these and part of the trick is picking what you can realistically do, rather than what you wish you could do.

Where can we find your most recent work, and what is your next piece coming out?

You can find my books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Peacock/e/B007UH2ACW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1467062178&sr=8-1

It’s a race at the moment because I’m currently working on both the last book of the Battle of the Undead series, Bad Karma and also the second in The Twisted and The Brave, The Assassin of Oz.

What’s your guilty pleasure movie that would surprise people, being that you are into the horror genre in writing?

Hmmmm, I do like a good superhero movie. I really enjoyed Deadpool and Antman, although they are quite acceptable within my genres. Although not a movie, at the moment I’m binge watching RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix – I love that show, it never fails to make me smile!

Thank you for having me on your site today, now I’ll sashay away…

You can get Nicky’s books at:

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Connect with Nicky at:

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Interview with John Nicholl

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

I wrote ‘White is the coldest colour’ primarily as an entertaining dark psychological thriller, but I also hoped it would play a small part in increasing public awareness of the heinous risks posed by sexual predators.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

The book draws heavily on my working life. Some years have now passed, and that time sometimes feels like a different life; but, with that said, writing the book brought back some memories of real events that were perhaps better left in the past.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Writing some aspects of the book proved cathartic, in that you can control events in books a lot more easily than in real life.

Are there misconceptions that people have about your book?  If so, explain.

I think the vast majority of reviewers understood what I was trying to achieve. I have had to accept, however, that you can’t please everyone. The book addresses an emotive subject, and was always going to engender strong emotions.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I read an eclectic range of books, from historical biographies to modern thrillers. I find books written by people who have experienced extraordinary events particularly interesting.

How long have you been a police officer and child protection social worker? Is there anything you can tell us about that?

About 21 years in total. I finally retired from a post heading up child protection services for the county of Carmarthenshire in Wales.

When did you decide to write this series?

The first book tells the story from the perspective of the offender, his intended victim, and the boy’s family. The sequel tells the story in the words of the perpetrator’s wife, and explores issues of domestic violence and manipulation. It answers some of the questions readers are left with after book one.

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject, that isn’t so?

When I first worked in child protection it was extremely difficult to convince other professionals, let alone the general public, that a significant number of adults, most of whom were male, posed a significant risk to children. This lack of knowledge was one of the reasons men like Jimmy Saville avoided arrest for as long as they did. That’s changed now, and I think the public have a much better awareness of the activities of this group of deviant criminals. That has to be a good thing from a protective perspective.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

While fictional, my books are influenced by real experiences. Readers tell me that that shows in the writing.

Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?

I used to run a Taekwondo club and play squash, but these days it’s yoga, swimming and travel.

Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)

I tend to write until lunchtime, with weekends off; always with music playing.

Are you working on anything presently?

Yes, I’m working on a serial killer thriller, which I hope to finish by September 2016.

What is your writing space like?

I only wish I had one! I write at the dining room table with family life going on around me. Such is life.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA SCI FI AUTHOR JONAS LEE (VIDEO)

Meet YA Sci Fi author Jonas Lee and watch as he reads from A TIME TO REAP, Book one in The Legend of Carter Gabel. Then get to know him as he shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter to win one of two signed paperback of A Time to Reap. The contest is open internationally.

https://youtu.be/DQeyO3-4IaU

Summary: Pemberton Academy is not just a school, it’s a gathering place for the children of the future that are afflicted with Temporal Displacement and Telepathy; in short, time travelers and mind readers who have been diagnosed with this “disease.” The Academy is not all as it seems after an explosion nearly takes one of its classmates, but not before Carter Gabel rescues her by using an unknown symptom related to his described illness. An unsanctioned group called the Program begins taking notice as the two classmates exhibit stronger abilities when they are together. Carter’s sense of reality begins to unwind as he learns more about his estranged father’s involvement with it all.

Carter will have to overcome the past of his father leaving, the present of an unknown adversary hunting him down and a future that seems to change with each decision he makes. He will have to learn who to trust out of the people in his life if he wants to conquer the looming notion that the government may be hunting him down because of his developing abilities.

_________________________________________________________________

AdobeStock_85x100Interview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

Be sure to leave a comment:)

GET TWO FREE EBOOKS – Power of the Heir’s Passion (Prequel) and Blast of the Dragon’s Fury (Book One) in the award-winning Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series are available for free download. Just tell L. R. W. Lee where to send them.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

Al Dixon and The Real Pleasure in Life-#Interview-@PunctuationFace

You are about to enter an interview like you’ve never seen before, so I thought I would give you  a heads up that you aren’t reading typos. What you see is how the author truly writes for the book of discussion. And honestly, there isn’t anything wrong with it. I’ve read his book, written this way, and you don’t even notice anything after a few pages.Al Dixon Image

Meet Al Dixon, who teaches English at The University of Georgia, my alma mater.

Can you explain what nonstandard English is to our readers? Maybe you could use it in your responses if you like.

it basicly means writing however you want, as long as people can understand you. if you wana use capital letters and apostrophes and spell gona “going to,” go for it. but dont act like evrybody else has to do it too. we say we need a writing standard in order to understand eachother, but this is an invented need. standard written english [ or standard rotten, as they call it in the novel ] is much more effectiv at marking people as different based on race, class, and education-level than it is at promoting clarity. this makes sense historicly: in almost all languages and cultures, the development of a written standard coincided with the rise of capitalism.

Okay, give us an example of some things, although you are doing it already.

lets say a student writes “Davids car” or “David car” instead of “David’s car,” or “I seen ” instead of “I saw,” or they use ironic colloquially instead of according to its dictionary definition [ english teachers especialy hate that one. ]  why is this wrong? the car belongs to david. seen and saw mean the same thing. ironic can mean suprizing, because thats how people use it now. whats not to understand?

In your opinion, if we can understand English however its written, then why the fuss over the details?

whether we realize it or not, educated people enforce language standards for the same reason the wealthy want to eliminate regulation and taxes to create a supposed “free market”–you workd hard to get on top, and you wana stay there. intrestingly, the people who claim not to be able to read the book or who call it distracting or who want to know why i write like that are english teachers, editors, writers, agents–people whose currency is the written word. other people rarely remark on it at all. if pressd, they say they thought it was fun or they stopt noticing it after awhile. so its kind of like reverse-discrimination for literacy.

to me, the real standard of language comes from the people who speak it. we celebrate variety in speech, in song, in film. why not in literture? can you imagine faulting robert johnson for saying “Me and the devil was walkin side-by-side,” instead of “The devil and I were walking…” or the sex pistols for shouting “I wanna destroy” instead of “I want to…” not only would this be preposterous, it would get in the way of artistic and cultural expression. to me, as an artist, its important to make people question why literture lags behind in this area.

also, i am obsessd with how people talk. not so much what they say as how they say it. the slang, the accents, the rhythm of their speech. sometimes they say probably, other times probly.  ‘have to’ and ‘hafta’ are not interchangeable. they mean basicly the same thing, but they are used in difrent contexts. in cases like these, the artificiality of standard language actualy gets in the way of writing.

—–

The Real Pleasure In LifeReading The Real Pleasure in Life, as far as the language and spelling are concerned were not a problems except when the letter x would normally be used, and that was on one occasion out of the entire book. The only thing that got to me at times was the animation of the text and only then when it came to the speed of some of the changes.

awsom! that means a lot coming from a fellow writer. its hard to get the speed of the animations perfect. i did a lot of testing and found zero consensus: people read in radicly difrent ways and at very difrent speeds. i spose the animations are sposeto fuck with you a little bit anyway, keep you from getting too comfterble. so its obviusly not for evrybody.

—–

How long have you been teaching at UGA?

i started at the university of georgia three years ago, but ive been teaching college english for about 15 years. ive taught at 6 difrent colleges, but UGA has the best students. those kids can write. when i went to school there, theyd let anybody in! not so now.

—–

Is nonstandard English something you promote in the classes you are involved with?

not directly, no. i’ll expand on that in a second. but first i’d like to give props to my students: i learnd more about writing from them than they learnd from me, i think. i useto get angry when they made run-on sentences or wrote your instead of you’re, think they were dumb, judge them, which is what we are traind to do as english teachers. but i came to realize that i like it–the slight deformity in the expected sequence of letters and punctuation produces an intresting reaction in my brain. when i was writing the real pleasure in life, i had to unlearn evrything i learnd about writing, and that allowd me to see what my students already knew: nonstandard isnt stupid, its awsom!

but to your question: in the classroom, i make a distinction between writing for school and personal or creative work. when students are in a college english class, they want access to “professional” language so they can advance in their fields. it is my responsibility to make sure they learn it. but at the beginning of the semester, i let them know that standard written english isn’t “real” or “correct” english, its just the english they need to know in order not to be judged negativly by potential employers and other people in positions of power. as a teacher, i need to show them these standards. but as an artist, i dont have to reinforce them. infact, its important not to.

—–

Another part of your book that stands out beyond the non-standard English is the animated text. Where did the idea of the animated text come from?

before i wrote this novel, i always tried to write the way your supposed to write, using difrent literary models like raymond carver or denis johnson or whoever was in best american short stories that year. when i started writing the real pleasure in life, it wasnt like that at all. i was chaneling something outside of myself, and in order to do it justice, i had to forget all the things i knew about writing fiction. early on, i realized the narrator was writing from a difrent place, and in that place you dont worry about language standards or a literary tone, you can spell a word two difrent ways in the same sentence, you can have fight scenes and power moves and projectile vomiting, you can be as absurd as you want! at some point, it occurd to me that this included making the words jump around the page and knock eachother over. luckily i had nothing better to do with the next five years of my life, and i’m friends with some brilliant programers who were generous with their time.

—–

Where did the idea for The Real Pleasure In Life come from? By that I mean the story itself.

it was a waking dream–it just started coming one summer when i fortunately was not teaching. i wrote all the raw material in 5 weeks–hundreds and hundreds of pages which i used only a fraction of. i wrote constantly, 16 hours a day, sometimes more. i couldnt stop. i didnt think at all, i just put down the stories and the voices that were in my head–my friends, athens, burning man, music, philosophy, literture. one of my favrite lines in all of literture is the last sentence of flannery o’connors story ‘a good man is hard to find’:   “Shut up, Bobby Lee,” The Misfit said. “It’s no real pleasure in life.”  i always wanted to write a book about that line, as a way of trying to understand it. but evrytime i tried to write it, it came out false. it was only when i was well into writing this novel that i realized i was actualy doing it. on accident. or out of necessity.

—–

Being from Athens myself, the way you describe things is very much dead on. I don’t know the late night scene so much, but I know it goes on and can get wild. I’ve been from one bar to another and then to an apartment more crowded than the bar. How much of the atmosphere of the story is from personal experience and how much from conversations with friends or acquaintances?

almost all of it is true, with only slight exaggerations. all the characters except claire are real people, much of the dialog is taken word-for-word from their mouths. sometimes people think the beginning of the novel, the domestic part which is “realistic,” is based on fact, and the rest of it is my depraved imagination. but the opposit is actualy true. the shit that happens in athens, i couldnt make that up. i hafta make sure my mother understands this before she reads it, because if she thinks all that came from inside my brain, she will be certain she faild as a parent.

—–

What is the meaning of life?

immersing ourselvs in life, the connections we make with eachother and the world. the Misfit was right, its no real pleasure in life. that useto terrify me, but now i see the wisdom in it. only when i learnd to accept this could i move on to the important stuff.

——-

What do you think the reception of the book will be?

i imagine it will mostly be ignored. the kind of people who tend to write reviews or be in charge of magazines orwhatever will be annoyed by it, if they look at it at all. and who can blame them? i’m trying to annoy them! i just hope that it can slowly start to connect with a small group of people who delight in the absurd, in chaos, in the extreme–burning man people, neutral milk hotel fans, people who like south park and would like to read contemporary literture but find most of it too precious or stuffy or intentionally obtuse.

——

How can people get the book?

http://realpleasureinlife.com/  when the book is released, july 15, they can read it online there, or follow the link to download a free copy. we’ll have an iBook for Apple people and an app for evrybody else. you can read it on any device that will run a web browser–phones, laptops, tablets. you dont need any special software, and its totally free. we dont even ask for donations. you cant give us money, even if you want to. its important that the book not get mixd up in commerce because it is not a commercial product.

——-

What are you working on next in regards to books?

i think i am ready to move on from books. over the last few years, ive been learning how to program. 90% of what i write now is code. i wana see what happens when literture escapes the confines of the page or screen and gets out into the world. maybe a haunted house made of your fears, or speech bubbles that come out of your mouth and collide with other peoples words, stories you can steer like a boat, stuff like that. this shuld keep me busy for at least the next decade.

—–

Social Media Connections:

https://www.facebook.com/Real-pleasure-in-life-1614738542187488/

https://twitter.com/imaginarybooks

https://twitter.com/punctuationface

—–

How to reach Al through email:

info@imaginarybooks(dot)com

albertdixon@gmail(dot)com

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA PARANORMAL FANTASY AUTHOR D. NICHOLE KING (VIDEO)

Meet YA Fantasy author D Nichole King and watch as she reads from THE SPIRIT, Book one in The Spirit trilogy. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter to win a signed paperback of The Spirit, book one in The Spirit trilogy by d. Nichole King. The contest is open internationally although an international winner will receive an ebook, rather than the paperback.

https://youtu.be/Aig63vUNta8

Summary: While seventeen year-old Carrie Reese’s parents were working out the details of their divorce, she headed to Villisca, Iowa to stay with her grandparents.

Villisca was home to the infamous Axe Murder House… It’s known to be haunted by the ghosts of the victims and their killer. Carrie doesn’t believe in ghosts, but the moving curtains and red flashes of light in the windows of Lot 310 were starting to give her reason to watch her back.

Then in walked Lucas… Within days, Carrie knew she was in love. But Lucas seemed strange: his hands were cool and hollow, he barely touched his food, and there was sadness behind his brilliant green eyes. Lucas was falling for Carrie but knowing that loving her puts her in grave danger, he reluctantly slips out of her life…. He struggles between staying away and telling Carrie his darkest secret. Unable to stand being apart from her any longer, he decides she must know.

_________________________________________________________________

AdobeStock_85x100Interview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

Be sure to leave a comment:)

GET TWO FREE EBOOKS – Power of the Heir’s Passion (Prequel) and Blast of the Dragon’s Fury (Book One) in the award-winning Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series are available for free download. Just tell L. R. W. Lee where to send them.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR R. K. RYALS (VIDEO)

Meet YA Fantasy author R.K. Ryals and watch as she reads from MARK OF THE MAGE, Book one in the Scribes of Medeisia series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two signed paperbacks of Mark of the Mage. Giveaway is open to domestic & international entrants.

https://youtu.be/R7WIrI5KmwA

Summary: Books never die, but they can be forbidden.

Medeisia is a country in turmoil ruled by a blood thirsty king who has outlawed the use of magic and anything pertaining to knowledge. Magery and scribery are forbidden. All who practice are marked with a tattoo branded onto their wrists, their futures precarious.

Sixteen year-old Drastona Consta-Mayria lives secluded, spending her spare time in the Archives of her father’s manor surrounded by scribes. She wants nothing more than to become one of them, but when the scribes are royally disbanded, she is thrust into a harsh world where the marked must survive or die.

_________________________________________________________________

Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR DANIELLE JENSEN (VIDEO)

Meet YA Fantasy author Danielle Jensen and watch as she reads from STOLEN SONGBIRD, Book one in the Malediction Trilogy. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a signed paperback of any one of the three books in the Malediction Trilogy. Giveaway open to domestic & international entrants.

https://youtu.be/zt1TMA8JMKw

Summary: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
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IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
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Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR JENNA NELSON (VIDEO)

Meet YA Fantasy author Jenna Nelson and watch as she reads from THE SNOW GLOBE, Book one in The Winterhaven Chronicles. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two ebook copies of The Snow Globe. Giveaway open to domestic & international entrants.

https://youtu.be/97YRnYUZhIA

Summary: By day, Sondrine Renfrew works at Cimmerian’s Curio Emporium, her aunt’s apothecary and antique shop in London, 1875. By night, she weaves fire, water, and air into both inanimate objects and living creatures. When a hooded stranger offers Sondrine a snow globe in trade for medicinal herbs, she accepts, enchanted by the castle, forest, and sea encapsulated under the glass. Her enchantment fades, however, when her deceitful aunt betroths her to one of London’s wealthiest men—a complete stranger.

Determined to escape the marriage, Sondrine trades her corset for trousers and decides to run away. With one foot out the door, she falls down a veritable rabbit hole into Winterhaven, the haunting world inside the snow globe. Sondrine soon discovers her arrival in Winterhaven is no accident. There, she meets Shán, a man who broods more than the darkened sky above. Turns out Shán is not to be trusted. Not only is he the man who sold Sondrine the snow globe, he is a bounty hunter employed by the king. The beginnings of a sovereign war have been set in motion and an Immortal queen, one who uses fire as a weapon, is set on destroying Winterhaven. Because of her Elemental gifts, only Sondrine has the means to stop the queen. If Sondrine refuses the king’s request, he will behead her. If she rises to the challenge of killing the Immortal queen, her death is just as imminent. After all, an Immortal queen cannot be killed. Or can she?

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR MICHELLE MADOW – NEW RELEASE!

Welcome back YA Fantasy author Michelle Madow and enjoy the baby shower for her brand new release ELEMENTALS 2: THE BLOOD OF THE HYDRA. Watch as she reads a portion from it, and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a an ebook copy of the book!

https://youtu.be/TK3odcY7m-w

Summary: A demigod who can kill with a touch. It’s an ability that must be kept secret, even from those trusted most.

Finding out that she was a witch was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. No one can know her secret — not even Blake, who she’s had undeniable chemistry with since first moving to town.

Now Nicole, Blake, and the three others with elemental powers must journey abroad to stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. Will they all survive the quest? And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers?

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA DYSTOPIAN & FANTASY AUTHOR ARIA MICHAELS

Meet YA Fantasy/Dystopian author Aria Michaels and watch as she reads from KILLSHOT, Book one in the Icarus series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two ebook copies of Killshot, book one in the Icarus series by Aria Michaels. She may also give away a paperback if there’s lots of entries. She is also reserving the last slot of beta readers for book two in the series that’s releasing June 1st for one lucky winner!!Giveaway open to domestic & international entrants.

https://youtu.be/CVy41oN3GHc

SUMMARY: After the death of their parents, seventeen year old Liv Larson and her younger brother are separated by the foster care system. Her grades slip, her friends drift away, and she gives up on her plans for college. The only thing that matters is keeping the promise to get back to her brother. After months of solitude and anti-social behavior, Liv’s best friend Riley drags her to their high school’s rooftop solar flare party. Despite the beautiful lights dancing in the sky, Liv finds herself captivated by Zander, a mysterious boy with a crooked smile. For a few hours, she allows herself to feel normal again.

That is until what should have been a small flare erupts into a massive solar storm. Cut off from the rest of the world with no sign of rescue, fear and paranoia begin to take their toll on the group. Battle lines are drawn and their ranks are divided. Soon, those left behind must embark on a perilous journey to save one of their own…but, something sinister awaits them in the shadows and it’s undeniably connected to Liv.

Can she keep her promise to reunite with her brother? What are Liv and her friends willing to do to survive? Will their bravery and determination be enough to save them all from a rogue military unit, a terrifying virus, and the things that go bump in the night?

Or was Icarus really the KILLSHOT?

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.