Tag Archives: Adult Historical

Stevie Turner interviews @RonovanWrites

I am pleased to feature an interview with Ronovan Writes, who has kindly invited me here to submit articles for LitWorldInterviews.  I am a self-published author, who enjoys interviewing other authors and people connected with writing.

Ronovan

As well as being an author with a debut novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, coming out in February 2016, Ronovan also provides invaluable resources for Indie authors here on  LitWorldInterviews.com

I also admire Ronovan because, like me,  he is trying to turn a health issue into something positive.

1.  You tell me that you were born of migrant fruit pickers.  How old were you before your parents settled in one place?  Where do you call home now?

As best as I can tell, it was about the time of Kindergarten. I recall taking naps on those floor nap mats each day and swinging in swings to dangerous heights, at least they were high in my mind. Today people would see that as neglect by playground attendants. I somehow survived until recent years somewhat unscathed.

Now I live in a University town near Atlanta, GA.

2.  What did you learn from such a diverse group of students at the ‘Alternative School’ when you taught them History?

All people are the same if given a chance. A number of students were there because the court system forced them to be there. Some teachers treated them as though they couldn’t be trusted. I told the entire class from the beginning that I didn’t care what they did before coming in the door, as long as they treated me good, I didn’t have a problem with them. It worked out fine. I never had a problem with any of them.

3.  You say you were too honest to sell life insurance.  What was so bad about the job that you stopped doing it?

There were a number of reasons. Even though I was a top seller I was having to work hard and doing it the honest way, which there is no problem with that. The problem came when my health started taking over. I didn’t know it at the time but I had for a number of years been showing signs of Fibromyalgia and multiple herniated discs throughout my spine, including my neck. The pain of driving hundreds of miles a day, during the worst economy we’ve had in decades, combined with seeing how so many previous agents had cheated some of these people, finally became too much.

4.  Do you still teach, or are you a full-time writer now?

I’m a full-time writer now. Two years ago I fell in my home from a migraine. I became dizzy and as I fell my head hit three to four times before I hit the floor. There have been problems from that since. I don’t look at it with regret, I am taking the time I have and probably shouldn’t have and turning it into something positive.

5.  You are fortunate in being able to write about any subject.  What is your debut novel about?  How long did it take you to write it?

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is a Historical Adventure based around 1706.  The main character is Gabriel Wallace, a Captain in the Royal Navy who is court-martialed on charges brought mostly out of scorn by the friends of a dead Admiral. Wallace discovers other goings on about the Admiral and his friends and sets out to correct the wrongs against himself and others by taking his previous ship and crew and becoming a pirate of sorts. I say of sorts because his actions are more a war against the ships belonging to a list of men.

Amber Wake

Wallace is a character that is very important in the future lives of two of the main characters in the Ivory Shepard Pirate Tales series by PS Bartlett.

The story is written more about the character of a person than so much about what people might think of as the chauvinistic swashbuckler adventure, sex romp. That’s not my style. The main character has some historical bases in real people, and actions you see are believable. And Wallace is not a woman chaser. He has a mission and he has the men who have volunteered to stick with him to make sure are taken care of.

I probably wrote the initial draft and then second draft in maybe six weeks or less. I have a lot of time and when I’m worked up about a project I tend to become a bit obsessed. Then PS Bartlett took over and put her touches to it, mostly in giving it the language fitting her series. Language such as pirate speak and the like, as well as certain verbiage I am prone not to use but may be likely in certain settings. Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling isn’t the usual pirate adventure with profanity flying left and right, though. The main characters are educated and accustomed to speaking in certain circles and use certain words when situations bring them forth. She also used her experience through the writing of several books to make certain things flow well. We then would go back and forth with the drafts from that point to catch what each other missed. It’s amazing what eyes miss in the middle of things.

Here’s a link to the first chapter of Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling on Ronovan’s new author site: http://ronovanhester.com/2015/12/28/my-debut-novel-amber-wakes-gabriel-falling-it-all-begins-here-chapter-one/

6.  Do you prefer to write novels, short stories, or blogs?

I prefer to write novels. Researching to develop a world and characters is something I enjoy a great deal. Writing short stories on various blogs helped me discover the voice and even certain genre I like or for which I have an affinity.

7.  What is the most difficult genre for you to write in?

I’m not a horror writer. I can do it, and have, but it’s not my thing. Nor is anything that involves the harming of women or children.

8.  Which genre do you prefer to read?  Who is your favourite author?

It’s difficult to narrow it down to one. I’ve found I don’t enjoy fantasy and science fiction as much as I once did. Contemporary Literature and also Historical Fiction based from the 1950s back to perhaps the late 1800s are things I like at the moment. I enjoy the style of Clive Cussler for his research and detail, John Gardner for his realism and historical writing in the Secret Generations and Herbie Kruger books, and recently a new author named Claire Fullerton has me hooked on Contemporary Literature with her Dancing to an Irish Reel.

9.  You founded Lit  World Interviews https://litworldinterviews.com/ to help promote authors and provide advice about writing and publishing etc.  Do you prefer to interview authors of your own choosing, or are you happy to interview any author who contacts the site?

There is a bit of selection process. For those who have something prepared I’m happy to publish it. For interviews I conduct myself I prefer to read the book of the author first and then conduct an interview, if I like the book. I don’t like every book I read and I don’t publish a review of those without permission of the author first. In fact, I include on the submission form a question about reviews that would be below a 3. I have no desire to hurt a career with my opinion. Opinions can be subject to so many influences. One may be having a bad week and the book, normally a great read, ends up being a low score. If the review is good, then I normally suggest an interview.

10.  Have you ever sought out any alternative therapies for your fibromyalgia?

I haven’t sought any as of yet, although I do look at my nutrition to see what different foods do to the body. I was diagnosed with Fibro two years ago, so right now my doctor is attempting to get things in hand so I can perhaps do other things that will help.

11.  How did you ‘lose part of your world in a mind-jarring way’ in 2013?

In the aforementioned fall in my home, I ended up with a Grade 3 Concussion. That’s the type of concussion you hear about quarterbacks in NFL Football in the USA suffering from, and soldiers who are too close to explosions. As a result of the concussion I ended up with retrograde amnesia. Pretty much any person I knew prior to the fall, other than my son, I lost memory of. I had to learn to write again; I would even switch hands in the middle of a sentence and write just as well with either. I was writing because I lost the ability to speak for over a month.

The amnesia is still there but I am able to find my way to anywhere I need to go, although I don’t drive any longer. But I’m better than a GPS if it’s someplace I’ve already been. I also have the learned, education things, other than math. My math skills all but disappeared.

12.  How do you cope with not being able to sleep properly?  Are you permanently tired?

Yes, I’m pretty much always tired. What I do is get myself involved in whatever I am doing and ignore the tired factor. That is unless it’s the Chronic Fatigue thing kicking in. But everything combined makes writing not bad, although the memory thing can be a problem at times. It’s a pain to write ten chapters and one morning wake up and not remember any of it. Then I have to read it all over again, and my notes, and try to pick up from there. Normally it’s if I sleep too long that I have the memory issue, too long meaning more than four hours at a time. And if it’s a deep sleep, even four hours could be too much.

13.  Like you, I also like to sit in the shade and listen to the birds.  We have a robin that comes into our garden every day and sits on the same branch.  Do you ever think about whether the souls of deceased loved ones can be reincarnated, possibly returning to us in animal or bird form?

No. I’m not a believer of reincarnation. I don’t make fun of others who do though. Everyone has a right to believe as they wish, as long as it doesn’t encroach on or harm others. When I sit and enjoy nature, I think of the beauty of it all and how so many people fly past and miss it. I try to teach my son to enjoy those one of a kind moments like a sunrise that has those pinks and orange colors that will never be like any other sunrise.

14.  You are a true Southern Gentleman.  Health willing, I would like to visit New Orleans in 2017 for the Mardi Gras.  Have you any advice for me if I do go there?

Go with someone, go everywhere with that someone, and don’t get into a state in which you lose your head about you. You’ll have a great time as long as you do the buddy system and stay to the main areas during the night events.

15.  You state that you love to learn about other places and their customs.  If money and time were no object, where in the world would you like to visit?

I’ve come to enjoy the idea of visiting the Orient lately. I have a book idea and it would be nice to go through all the countries, visit the ancient locations, experience the food, and hear how the people speak.

16.  How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve in the South?

There are the usual fireworks shows around, and staying up till midnight. There’s no alcohol in the house, so it’s sparkling grape juice at most. Sometimes with the way the weather is here, there might be a barbeque/cookout. As I’m writing this, it’s in the 70s, and it’s almost New Year’s Eve. There are also moments we are all wondering if the tornado will bypass us this time or go right through out town.

17.  What is your favourite piece of music?

Anything from Sgt. Pepper by the Beatles is a hit with me. I enjoy them so much I even taught a lesson about the Paul is Dead idea.

18.  What do you think the world will be like for future generations?

Things won’t change as much as people think. We have past theories of the future to look at and realize how slow things do change. It’s becoming scarier though. There is too much political correctness and not enough people doing things to fix the world right now for the world’s own good. And I believe the world is losing its sense of humor where a joke can’t be told without offending someone.

19.  Can you tap dance or do the cha-cha?

Nooooo. Well I don’t think so. I can get my groove on to amuse my son. Being a teen in the 80s you don’t have any shame when it comes to dancing, and you realize everything is dancing.

20.  Which three possessions would you rush to save in a fire?

Other than human lives: 1) My Laptop with all my work on it, 2) My Captain America #100, and 3) The Archaeological Study Bible my youth group gave me as a gift when I handed the reins over to the new Youth Pastor I helped select.

Thank you Ronovan, for agreeing to answer my 20 questions.  Below you can find links to Ronovan’s new author site and other social media.  If any authors or publishers reading this would also like to be interviewed, please contact me on my website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk with some information about yourself, just as Ronovan did.

——————————————————————————————————
Brand New Author Site: http://ronovanhester.com/
Blog: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RonovanWrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ronovan-Writes-630347477034132/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20596002-ronovan-hester
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RonovanWrites

Judas: Hero Misunderstood Q&A @JERoyle

 

judas-hero-misunderstood-jason-royle

“We all have to some degree “Judas” within us. [Jason Royle] provides a perspective I have never considered. I highly recommend this book.”~Amazon Review

RW: Jason, first of all, what is the title of your book and in one sentence tell me why I should read this book.

JASON: Judas: Hero Misunderstood. There’s more to Judas’ story than meets the eye.Jason Royle

RW: This isn’t the first book with a different take on the man Judas from the Bible. I can see what makes it a bit unique from other works but in your own words what makes your book different?

JASON: It’s entertaining! For those who haven’t read the book, my answer probably sounds like a copout. But go trudge through some of the others and you will see. What you will get is in depth Greek analysis and excruciating exegesis. In comparison, mine is an entertainment for the main course and a little food for thought for dessert. Or, as one my friends put it: a parody with possibility.       

RW: I think entertaining is a good word to use. It’s not a preachy seminary required reading type of thing. And you get it and it stays with you because of it. Now, why Judas, why did you decide to share this particular story with the world?

JASON: Because I root for the underdog. Before ordained ministry I was a Social Worker. I guess it’s in my blood. I have always had a tendency to root for the little guy; to help those unable to help themselves. What bigger underdog is there than Judas?

RW: He definitely would be considered an underdog for sure. How did you go about developing the way you tell the story? I mean, you don’t do it in a first century sort of way.

JASON: Ron, believe it or not, my inspiration actually came from a home bible study encounter in Indian Trail, NC about fifteen years ago. John (a good friend of mine) and I were talking about the lesson which included the text in John’s gospel where it says, “Satan entered into him,” (referring to Judas). That’s when John said to me, “It doesn’t seem fair, does it?” I have been pondering that comment ever since. The story developed by asking the right question: How do I turn the dining room table without scratching the wood floor? Do I just pick it up, turn it around and slam it down, or move it subtly, gently, so not to wake up the kids but still get the job done.

“I would like to commend [Jason Royle] on a book well written and extremely interesting.
It was short and to the point (60 pages). I read it in less than an hour….definitely my type of book. I look forward to reading it again…probably 30-45 minutes of pure enjoyment this time. There is much food for thought in this short story. I am not a biblical scholar, so I can’t say for sure if any other writer has portrayed Judas as a hero. For me it was very original.
I have a suggestion for [Jason Royle]. Don’t stop with Judas. Write about some other biblical characters. I’m sure many of them were misunderstood just like Judas.”~Amazon Review 

RW: Tell us why you particularly are the one to tell this story.

JASON: If you’re asking about credentials, my Bachelor’s is in Social Work and my Master’s and Doctorate are in Theology.

RW: I like to see people’s answer to that without my being specific about it. It gives me an idea of them and how they think. Jason, who is Jason Royle?

JASON: Jason is a student of life, just like everyone else.

RW: What is Jason Royle?

JASON: Jason is someone who tries. In fact, that’s what I want on my tombstone someday, “He tried.” It leaves a lot of room for interpretation, I know, but stagnation is worse.

RW: I get it. Try is all we’re asked to do. Excellent idea. What’s been the reaction to your take on the story of Judas?

JASON: I have heard from young readers and older readers; liberal minded and conservative prone; college students and Sunday school teachers. All have had a similar reaction: surprised. Surprised because it wasn’t what they expected, in a good way. Reading it was enjoyable. They learned something while being entertained at the same time.

“The book makes a credible appeal to reconsider how we view Judas today, whether Satan made him betray Jesus, or if he was just the unfortunate disciple destined to commit an act that would cause his name to be reviled through the ages. The author promised that the book would not be a complex theological analysis of Judas and his actions, and I found that to be true. It was easy, interesting reading.”~Amazon Review

RW: Why do you think the story of Judas is one that, well, that I see as one not really talked about so much other than his one act that night? Virtually every part of the New Testament is looked at from so many angles and discussed but when it comes to Judas, not so much.

JASON: Good point there, Ron, virtually every character of the Bible has been put on the operating table to be examined and reexamined—except Judas. As for why he is not talked about, the reasons are many. From a pure literary standpoint, the Bible is written in the form of a comedy. Not the ha-ha-he-he funny category, but a U shaped story, a comic plot that descends into potential tragedy and then rises to a happy ending. Judas is commonly viewed as an obstacle in Jesus’ story. But was he really an obstacle? Instead of thinking of him as an obstacle, in my book I take the approach that the story had to have a happy ending, therefore Judas is an assistant to rather than a deterrent of, the ending God desires.  

From a psychological standpoint, we are faced with altering our theological decisions; the one’s we’ve made up in our minds; the one’s the majority agree with; the one’s our friends and parents told us were true. To reconfigure our longstanding theological constructs we have to do something we don’t like to do: move out of our theological comfort zone.

RW: That sounds similar to some thoughts I have about traditions as opposed to actual Biblical truths. Very good points. Tell us about where you grew up and how if in any way that helped shape the way you look at the world and perhaps the Bible.

JASON: Well, Ron, my father was a preacher. I’m a PK, as the saying goes (preacher’s kid), born and raised in southern Illinois. My parents helped shape my theology and my outlook on life, as do all parents. When I went away to college in KY at the age of twenty, that’s when my theology was reshaped; it became mine for the first time.    

RW: Your book isn’t a humdrum read. It combines very elements to tell a somewhat unique story. I say that to not give away anything. Man it’s difficult not giving away things about this book. Looking at your writing, who has influenced you as a writer, in your style, your approach?

JASON: That’s not an easy one, Ron, there are so many. I guess one of my earliest influences would be C. S. Lewis. Not his heady stuff, but his creative stuff like, The Screwtape Letters, The Pilgrim’s Regress and Till We Have Faces.  

RW: Your book Judas: Hero Misunderstood was awarded Indie Book of the day recently. How did that come about and what did it feel like to receive that honor? For a book with such a religious theme, although not what I would call preachy, that is an accomplishment I would think.

JASON: There was no fee involved; I just submitted my book for consideration. When I got the email saying it had been selected it made my day. But what has got me even more excited is that I just found out I am a finalist in a pretty prestigious contest: The Eric Hoffer Award. My book is a finalist for The da Vinci Eye, and still in the running for a category prize.

RW: Very awesome awards there. With that kind of reaction and the reaction from the readers when can we expect the next book from you and what will it be about?

JASON: I have two in the pipeline now in The Misunderstood Series. The next one will be out this spring, Jesus vs. Santa: Christmas Misunderstood, and then in the summer, hopefully, The Rapture Misunderstood. For Jesus vs. Santa I hired and illustrator for a section of cartoon drawings that will be a feature of the book depicting funny comparisons between the two. For example, Jesus stands at the door and knocks vs. Santa just comes on in uninvited is comically illustrated. I like to think of the theme of the book as, “The Far Side” meets “Deepak Chopra.”

RW: We’ve discussed the books and now to the important things, did your wife help pick out the cool frames for your glasses in your Author Bio photo? I mean are you the Judas Hero Misunderstoodfashionista in the family?

JASON: I’ll be turning forty-five next week. Thanks to my wife’s fashionable insights, she is helping me at least look younger.

RW: I knew it! It had to be her! To hip and daring to have been from a guy. Well not necessarily but I just had this feeling. If you’re like me you would be, can I see through them? Cool, I’ll buy them. Describe your writing space for us?

JASON: I live in a 1870s church parsonage in a small town in Lebanon County PA, approximately 20 miles east of Hershey, PA and 20 miles north of Lancaster, PA. Our front porch has two front doors, one for the pastor’s office and one for the house. I use a standing desk and sit behind an antique wooden desk,Jason Royle not in a chair, but on a large Gold’s Gym rubber body ball (to help strengthen my back). On the wall beside my inlaid bookshelf hangs my most treasured diploma: my Kindergarten diploma in a plain black frame.

RW: Wow. I don’t normally use that word in an interview because it’s just not professional but that just sounds like an awesome atmosphere to write in. What is your favorite word? How did it become your favorite word?

JASON: Curiosity. It’s what led me to where I am today. I’ve always been the one to ask, “Why?” when no one else would. I used to drive my professor’s crazy. There’s no harm in asking, my mom would always say. So, I asked… and asked.

RW: Great answer. It’s something I actually live by as well. What do you do to relax and get away from stress, from the stress of a writing session that is just frustrating you?

JASON: I have an old school duct taped punching bag in a spare room upstairs I like to make use of. On a nice day, a round of golf, but that can sometimes just add to the frustration too.  

RW: Oh, man, you are so write about golf. I need to tell you about my father, my following his instructions to the letter, his follow-through and my forehead someday. What is your favorite autobiography and why?

JASON: St. Augustine’s Confessions. In the Confessions there is the young Augustine who struggles with his spiritual plight, and then there is the older Augustine who looks back over his shoulder to discover there was a path all along, he just didn’t see it before. Something I can certainly relate to. If I had to Jason Royleguess, probably something everyone can relate to.

RW: Nice. I like Just As I Am by Billy Graham for the exact same reasons. What is your favorite beverage and why?

JASON: Coffee. I wouldn’t have made it through college without it, nor had the stamina to stay up into the wee hours in the morning writing this book after our kids go to sleep.

Jason RoyleRW: What is your peaceful place?

JASON: Sitting on the front porch with my wife or one of my kids in the evening watching the Amish go by in their buggies.

RW: I am so jealous of that. History rolling by in the present. Amazing. Yes, the old History teacher in me is geeking a touch here. Jason, what defines you as you?

JASON: Everything and nothing.

 

You can connect with author Jason Royle through Twitter or his blog: www.jasonroyle.net

And Judas: Hero Misunderstood is at Amazon, here.

When Jason contacted me about his book and I saw the story idea I cringed. You see it’s a story I’ve told to youth groups, my son, and others through the years. And I was afraid it would be a poorly done ‘preachy’ piece. But, I went ahead and got the book, I had $.99 left in gift money on my Amazon account, I’m broke now, just so everyone knows. But I bought the book and decided to give it a shot. I read it in one sitting and was happy I did because It does take a different path than what I have seen before. And it makes sense to the point it will stay with you. I look forward to his other Misunderstood books when they come out and I have more money if anyone ever gifts money to me again. Still not certain how or why that happened, but I didn’t complain.

“Firstly, the more you read this book the better this book gets. The first chapter seemed a tad slow, the second chapter got better, by the third chapter I was hooked.”~Amazon Review

Read my Amazon Review here and hopefully click it helped you.

Buy Judas: Hero Misunderstood today.

 

Bio Back of Book Version:

Jason is the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania. A Social Judas Hero MisunderstoodWorker before his call to full-time ministry, Jason received his Doctorate in Ministry from Sewanee: University of the South School of Theology and his Master’s from Johnson University. He and his wife, Heather, have two children (Katelyn and Nate) and one loyal but lazy dog (Rudy).


 

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The Judas Apocalypse & Can’t Buy Me Love Q&A @DanMcNeil888

A lover of history who says his books don’t have a message, they’re entertainment. Honesty. Gotta love that, right? I will repeat that phrase later. Dan McNeil is someone I would hate if he wasn’t such a nice guy. He’s writing the dream I want and am working to achieve. He’s even picking subjects that I’m in to. If I were a betting man, which I’m not, I would bet that some of you buy at least one of his books after reading this interview. I’m still waiting on the autographed Kindle version. Personally signed no less.

RW: What is your favorite word?

DAN: Most of my favourite words are unprintable. I also make up a lot of my own words (usually when I’m driving) but they’re unprintable too. “Cacophony” is pretty cool – I like the hard “c” sounds and it sounds like what it is, in an onomatopoeia-ic kind of way…

RW: And with that answer, Dan, I have no idea where this is going to go, but I imagine it will be entertaining. You gotta love honesty. Let’s jump straight into your books. You have two to share with is. Tell us about The Judas Apocalypse first.

author Dan McNeilDAN: It’s basically an adventure story (about a treasure hunt during World War II), but there are many layers to it (secrets, hidden truths, etc.) The title refers to a hidden truth they ultimately discover. The Judas Apocalypse is the story of an archaeologist with a passion for a long lost religious group known as the Cathars. He gains possession of a Knights Templar document that, when deciphered, could lead him to the fabled Cathar treasure. After he is captured by a group of GI’s just after the Normandy invasion, they all form an alliance to hunt the treasure. However, what they find is not what they believed it would be. It was inspired by a number of things, but the main inspiration would give away too much. I will say though, that there is a definite Indiana Jones/Kelly’s Heroes influence that runs throughout the novel.

“Simply, I enjoy a book that draws me into the story and takes me to a different time and place. This book made me forget I was sitting in my own bed and had to go to work in the morning.
That is what a good book can do for you.
Loved this book!”~Amazon Review

Gerhard Denninger is the protagonist of “The Judas Apocalypse.” He is a dedicated archaeologist whose passion for the history of the Cathars has led him to search for their legendary lost treasure all of his life. I purposely made him an older character because I wanted to avoid the young hero stereotype. He’s made many choices in his life and career that may have been clouded by his passion. I think readers connect to characters like this because they are not perfect and I think more believable.

“I picked up this book as probably one of the millions for whom the genre’s pack leader, Dan Brown, leaves an aching void. I’m delighted to say this story is so much more believable than the Hollywood twaddle we are fed by the other Dan. Dan McNeil is a darn good story teller, and weaves this gripping tale from the Crucifixion itself to the Cathar tragedy of the Middle Ages then with exciting twists and turns through both World Wars.”Amazon Review

RW: So far you’ve got me and I am angry you didn’t offer a copy for me to review. Just kidding, a little, sort of. Okay, the sulking is over with. Tell us about your second book.

DAN: Can’t Buy Me Love,” is about a hapless group of crooks hoping to rob a bank during the Beatles’ Dan McNeil Authorfirst appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in ’64, so I knew it would have to be a Beatles song title. I think “Can’t Buy Me Love” is certainly apropos. It was inspired by something I read in “The Love You Make” by Peter Brown (with Steven Gaines.) In it, Brown references the Beatles’ performance on the Sullivan show in ’64. There is an urban myth that says that in the hour they performed, not one major crime was committed in New York City. In fact, not even a hubcap was stolen (presumably, because everyone was huddled in front of their television sets watching the show.) When I read that, I immediately thought “that would have been a great time to rob a bank” – hence, the plot for the book.

“I read this in 2 days, couldn’t put it down. Absolutely a great story with the a moment in history as a backdrop. I think it would make a great movie. Great job, hope Dan has more stories to tell.”~Amazon Review

Sonny Carter, the protagonist of “Can’t Buy Me Love” is also an older “hero” but it was necessary to make him this way because of his twenty five year incarceration. Like Gerhard Denninger, he’s made some questionable decisions in his life (like trying to rob a bank, for instance). His single mindedness in knocking over the same bank he tried to rob in 1939, and his quest for revenge against the stool pigeon who ratted him out, while not exactly heroic qualities, I think make him, in strange kind of way, a rather fascinating character. The reader essentially pulls for him to be successful.

“With an action driven plot, characterisation often takes second place, but I thought some of the characters here were well drawn and very believable. My favourite was Provenzano the mob boss whose command of English gave Dan McNeil the chance to show that he can also write comedy with the best of them.
And the Beatles? I expected their inclusion in this book to be no more than window dressing. In fact we meet the boys on several occasions, where they are not only characters in their own right, but become an intrinsic part of the plot. If you want to know more, well you’ll just have to invest in a copy of Cant Buy Me Love yourself, won’t you? It really is money well spent.
In short, this is an excellent book which is not only a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable read, but one that deserves to take its place in the library of literature inspired by the Beatles.”~Amazon Review

RW: It’s official, I am one unhappy guy. Not a single book given to me. Sigh. I may have to actually buy them at;

The Judas Apocalypse

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

Can’t Buy Me Love

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

www.shop.pulsepub.net

(Just so people know, I am joking about being upset about no book. I never asked for one. But in truth, they both look great from what I can see of them. He nailed the subject to catch my attention for sure. I know that’s why he picked what he did. Just for me!)

RW: Dan, you have a very unusual path to becoming a novelist. One I can appreciate. Share part of that with our Readers today.Dan McNeil Author Photo

DAN: My cousin and I used to write songs, hoping to strike it big with a #1 hit. Although we seemed to do very well with contests, winning five for five different tunes, the big hit song somehow still eluded us so I decided that I would try my hand at novel writing. Very different beast but just as satisfying creatively.

RW: Where did you write these undiscovered #1 hits?

DAN: I was born in Toronto, Ontario but I’ve made Ottawa my home since 1970.

RW: What does an Ottawan like to quench his thirst with?

DAN: I have a couple – it all depends on my mood. Given the choice, if an exceptional scotch or bourbon came my way, I wouldn’t say no. Alexander Keith’s Pale Ale is my go-to beverage.


 

That one gave me my “search for this” moment for the interview. “Alexander Keith arrives in Nova Scotia from Scotland in 1817 and opens his brewery in 1820.”~From the Alexander Keith’s website.


 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

DAN: My favourite book is “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger and I am a big fan of Jeffery Deaver. I also love Stephen King’s early work.

RW: And what’s on the nightstand for reading at this moment?

DAN: I’m actually helping a fellow writer friend (Jasmine Aziz, author of Sex and Samosas) edit her current manuscript so I’m not actually reading anything at the moment. The last book I read was Jeffery Deaver’s “The Cold Moon.” After I’m done with the manuscript editing, I have about 4 or 5 books to get to.

RW: Writing, editing, and a good deal of time with the social network aspect, I can attest to that, with all of that writing aspect what do you do when you need to step away from it for a bit?

DAN: I used to go to movies all the time, but all that CG stuff they’re making these days really bores me. I prefer the films of the 60’s and 70’s. I also love music (I used to write songs many years ago) so that’s a really big passion of mine.

RW: Since I mentioned the social networking thing, this is how to connect with Dan:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/DanMcNeil888

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/dan.mcneil

Website – http://www.danmcneil.ca/

Blog – http://dmcneil888.wordpress.com/

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

DAN: I really surprised myself with the fact that I was able to write a book. I always thought writing would be a tough gig, and of course it was! After I started, I wasn’t sure that I could even finish it so when I typed the words “The End,” I was both shocked and absolutely pleased with myself. I learned that I could do it and so I wrote a second book.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

DAN: This may sound flippant but make sure the book is as great as it can be. Make sure you rewrite it as many times as necessary and get a copy editor to go through it. I can’t stress that enough.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

DAN: “The Judas Apocalypse” – provocative

“Can’t Buy Me Love” – entertaining

A big thank you to Dan for the interview and giving all of us books to add to our to read lists. Make sure to click and get those books at the links above and watch the Book Trailer for The Judas Apocalypse Book Trailer.

 

much-respect-ronovan

 

 

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BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “If Love Is a Crime: A Christmas Story” @SASSEVN

Mark Sasse If Love Is a Crime A Christmas Story Colleen Chesebro
Title:  If Love Is a Crime: A Christmas Story
Author:  Mark W. Sasse
ASIN:  B00QP03GYQ
http://mwsasse.com/
Pages:  26 pages
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Christmas Fiction

Christmas Eve, 1852 promises to be a night that Beatrice will never forget when a winter storm blows a young, runaway slave to her tiny cabin in the woods.  What results is a story that is a touching, heartfelt reminder of what Christmas is really all about.

Sasse gives a depth of character to Beatrice that makes you feel like you have known her for a long time.  This short story wrapped me in an embrace of comfort and love in just a few pages, while I was cuddled in a cozy quilt on a chilly winter night. I was filled with compassion for the young child, “Emmy,” and so thankful that she was guided to the loving arms of Beatrice, who provided a shelter if ever one was needed. The miracle of Christmas was truly evident that night.

Are you looking for a quick holiday read to put you in the spirit of Christmas?  This story will reaffirm your belief that as long as there is love anything can be overcome.

Ratings:Mark W Sasse Author
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 3/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.0
 
Buy it at:  Amazon
Format & Pricing: 
Kindle:  $.99

For Reviews of more Mark Sasse books and his interview here on LWI, click here.

@sassevn

Review By:
@ColleenChesebro
www.SilverThreading.com

 Colleen_Silver_Threading