Lit World Interview Week In Review Apr. 6-10.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

I Love Anger the truth by @isaacdrowe The interview.

I read the book and asked the questions. It’s the real thing form the real guy. Isaac doesn’t sugar coat life in order to make things pretty for people wanting to find a way to a better place. You have to go through ugly to get out of ugly.

FEATURES

Publishing Your First Book on Amazon for New Indies by @JoRobinson176 by Jo Robinson

Great advice for formatting your book for Amazon. Seriously. There are some things you likely didn’t think of. She even includes images to help walk you through the steps.

Paid book promotions and other ideas to sell your book. The feedback. by Olga Núñez Miret

Olga got feedback from authors about where to and how to promote your book. If you missed it, it’s a MUST READ.

 

New Site: AuthorsSupportingAuthor by Ronovan

I just created a new site last week, more details soon. This is a sister site to LWI. ASA is just as the name says, Authors Supporting Authors.

A Diary of Writing Wisdom (and other nonsense) by Jason Royle

New Team Member, Jason Royle brings us his first article. It’s published under my name only because he had an emergency he had to take care of. Fortunately he had emailed me the article and the image to use. Nice responses for our new kid on the block. His wife took his picture, just so you know. And picked out his clothes to wear. Make sure to check out his profile in the Black Box on the left with the white text.

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Sword of Air by RJ Madigan by Florence Thum

We were asked to review this YA book, primarily because of its new format. It’s a multi-touch iBook. Not only did Florence review the book, but her children tried it as well. Read the results. (Too bad I couldn’t make it work for me, but I knew Florence would have an i Something. Well actually her son did. Hey, we get the job done, right?)

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

Make some noise with a Thunderclap. For me and @PSBartlett

Our very own PS Bartlett has a book coming on Tuesday, April 14. The Thunderclap is for the 21st. Read the article to find out where I come into the picture. It’s free to help her out. Go do it. NOW! Oh, and she’s gone Indie, in case any of you hadn’t heard.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Hear the author of Order of Seven @beth_teliho with @MandiCLBT

A great find this week. Many of you probably know Beth Teliho, well go listen to her. And you get to hear how to say her name the RIGHT way.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

It’s Monday, so Olga has a Book Review, likely out by the time you read this. On Mondahy I have a great post from our very popular Guest Author Wendy Janes. It is the first of three that will be put out the second Monday of each month starting this month. I’ve heard that Florence has a Book Review for us. You know Jo likely has something great coming up on Thursday. As for me? You never know  what I might do, but expect a formal introduction of our new Team Member Jason Royle, and further details about https://authorssupportingauthors.wordpress.com/. I can say this, our first go at getting some results worked.

Be on the look out for interviews coming from the other LWI team members. That’s right, due to illness and recovery time being indeterminate I’ve had to step back a little in some areas. If you haven’t wanted to approach me for an interview, you now might approach another person you might be more comfortable with. Also, with my amnesia and short term memory problems I’m having difficulties keeping some things straight. I love this site, but it’s not my site, it’s every author’s site.

Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new. Share this post with your friends.

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Reunion of the Heart Q&A with @ElaineJeremiah

RW: For those that read my Week In Review when it came out, they know the answer to this, however for everyone else and just because I love the name of it, where are you from?

ElaineELAINE: Bristol, UK.

RW: That is very British sounding and knowing something about you, I want to ask who are your favorite authors?

ELAINE: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Philippa Gregory, Nicholas Evans and many more!

RW: I see a theme here; British, romance. Should I go ahead and ask what book you would like to have written that’s not yours?

ELAINE: Oh I think it’d have to be ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. It’s just such an amazing book, it’s my favourite and I love it. If I could have written it, I’d be so proud!

RW: Knew it. We’re totally British here. Let’s see your favorite word?

ELAINE: Ooh that’s a hard question as I have so many. But a couple of favourites are ‘whimsical’ and ‘mellifluous’.  

RW: YES! And for the final one of the British home run, um, not sure what the British equivalent of a home run would be but what is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

ELAINE: When I’m having my evening meal I like Ernest and Julio Gallo Summer Red wine, which is very sweet and fruity. The rest of the time I drink tea and coffee, though not too late as it keeps me awake.

RW: Okay, the Gallo sort of threw a curve in there but I’ll give you the home run, barely, with the tea. Now why Romance? Why did you write in that genre this go round?

ELAINE: If I’m honest I’m sort of experimenting with genres at the moment. Right now I’m writing romance – but that may well change. I feel a bit as though I haven’t quite found my genre yet, but I’m getting there.

RW: What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

ELAINE: My book’s name is Reunion of the Heart. I was originally going to call it simply Reunion but thankfully remembered to do a search on Amazon for that name and there was already a book by that name. I was unsure what to call it but a couple of writer friends (who don’t know each other) suggested I call it Reunion of the Heart so I did. And I’m glad I did – I think it’s a great name for a book and quite memorable.

RW: I do too, I might need to use it one day. And that really is the first time I think someone has explained the actual way a name was chosen as opposed to the book’s influence on it. Now tell us about Reunion of the Heart.

ELAINE: It’s a romance about a young woman called Anna who’s persuaded by her best friend Melissa to go to their secondary school reunion (secondary school here in the UK is for 11 to 16 yr olds). She was very unhappy there and is reluctant to go. When she does she meets the boy Will – now a man – who bullied her there and made her life hell. But he’s very different from how she remembers. Going to the reunion sets in motion a chain of events which mean that Anna’s life will never be the same again.

RW: Did your own school reunion inspire the book or was it an idea that came to you?

ELAINE: I just thought it was a really interesting idea for a story to have someone return to their old school for a reunion, how it would affect them and the idea of it changing their lives – ultimately for the better. To me it’s always been a fascinating concept of revisiting your past through a school reunion, seeing people you haven’t seen for years and just how you respond to that. What will you think of them and what will they think of you?

RW: Tell us about Anna and Will and what you think will them connect to readers.

ELAINE: Anna is the main protagonist. She’s a successful author but at the same time she’s quite a shy person. I think readers will connect to her because she’s not ‘in your face’, she’s unsure and uncertain of herself and so that makes her quite human. But now that she’s an adult she finds it easier to stick up for herself – like throwing her boyfriend out at the beginning because he was cheating on her. That makes her appealing I think.

Will is different – he spends most of the story trying to atone for the appalling way he treated Anna at school. Nowadays he’s kind and caring and so I think that will be appealing to readers. He has a lot of remorse for what took place in the past and wants to make amends.

RW: Who would play Anna and Will in a movie?

ELAINE: Ooh that’s a hard one! Maybe Natalie Portman could play Anna and Theo James (who was in the recent Divergent film) could play Will.

Ronovan has now drifted off to Natalie Portman land. You may get some tea and rejoin the interview momentarily.

RW: Natali, Um, I mean Elaine, what message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

ELAINE: That sometimes it’s best just to let go of the past and bad things that happened so that you can move forward with your life and not be bitter forever.

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

ELAINE: That’s another hard one. It’s difficult to say really, but I think maybe I realised that my writing is improving all the time and I just need to keep persevering with it.

RW: I think that was an excellent answer. Now, describe your book in one word.

ELAINE: Reconciliation.

RW: I know this isn’t your first tea party, so what other books do you have to share with us and can you tell us a little about them?

ELAINE: My first novel is called The Inheritance and it’s the story of two sisters living in Cornwall (the most south westerly part of the UK which is very rural) on their father’s farm. They’re very different from each other and they don’t get on. When the younger sister, Emma, demands her inheritance early from their father, the older sister, Kate, is incensed. What follows next is the story of Emma and Kate and how Emma’s new life in London, partying all the time and spending loads of money, is not all she thought it would be. Kate’s life changes too and she begins to question what’s important to her. Kate too finds that life will never be the same again.

RW: And what are you working on right now?

ELAINE: Right now I’m working on another romance called Teaching Mr Leavis. Set 20 years ago, it’s about a newly qualified teacher, called Rebecca, who’s just beginning her first job in a secondary school (11 to 16 yr olds) in the UK. She’s having problems with a parent, Jonathan Leavis, who’s giving her a rough time. Sparks fly between them and for a while Rebecca can’t stand him. She also has to put up with demanding parents and friends who can’t understand why she’s so stressed.

RW: Hmm, another Romance. Interesting. What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

ELAINE: I don’t often have an ‘about to explode point’ but when I’m fed up with writing I like to watch a bit of TV – preferably a good drama series. Otherwise I’ll try reading a book.

RW: I really need to rephrase that question. Everyone thinks I actually mean like an exploding point when I ask. So when you are fed up with writing lately what book are you reading?

ELAINE: I’m reading 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. I’m sure you probably know about it already, as there was a hugely successful film made of it a year ago. But in case you don’t, it’s the true story, written by the man to whom it happened, about a free-born African American, living in the north of the US, who was kidnapped and spirited away and forced to become a slave for 12 years. It’s an amazing book and I would highly recommend it; it’s just such an incredible story.

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

ELAINE: No I don’t have an agent. I think if I did have one I would like them to be open-minded about what I write and also able to negotiate on my behalf for a decent contract that wouldn’t leave me worse off than if I’d just stuck with self-publishing! I hope that I would be able to bring an open-minded approach to the relationship myself, to be open to suggestion and not take offence too easily if suggestions were made as to how I could improve.

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

ELAINE: I think to just keep persevering. Don’t expect overnight success – it most likely won’t happen!

Oh wow, that is like the most honest answer I have ever had ever. I’m back in a Natalie moment here. You guys check out the links to follow Elaine for a moment and then I’ll be right back. Maybe.

To connect to Elaine Jeremiah:

www.elainejeremiah.co.uk

Elaine on Google+
Elaine on Tumblr
Elaine on Facebook

RW: Okay, I’m back again. Now let’s look at Elaine’s books and the way to purchase them. Then you can all skedaddle if you like. But make sure you either Reblog this interview to help Elaine out or Tweet it, Facebook it or whatever else it you can. We here at LWI do all we do so authors have web presence. Thus, spread the interview around so Elaine is mentioned a lot.

TheInheritanceRotH-Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Elaine%20Jeremiah&search-alias=books&sort=relevancerank

For Amazon

And

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Elaine%20Jeremiah&search-alias=books-uk&sort=relevancerank

For Amazon UK

 

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Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 23-27.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Tower’s Alchemist Q&A Alesha L. Escobar @The_GrayTower

I reviewed her book last week, now here is the interview. Coffee, Tacos, bribery? Is she into espionage herself like her character? Does she have some kind of magical powers over the men in her life? Find out.

 

If Only Interview with Author @NormaBudden

 

I reviewed Norma’s book not long ago and it was a very personal one. Her book hit me deep for various reasons. Now I have a very in depth interview of how the book came to be. Well worth the read.

FEATURES

Make the Back Cover of your Paper Book Work for You Jo Robinson

It’s the part we hate to do but it’s the part that makes the reader want to buy it. Jo gives you a bit more information than that, of course. I mean it is Jo, right?

Erotica: Sex Sells. Ronovan Writes

Read my first editorial here on LitWorldInterviews with Ronovan Writes. With the recent release of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey I took a look at the Erotica genre to see what it’s all about. I found some information that was surprising and in all honesty some that made me rethink a lot of things. As my first editorial here, let me know your feedback in the comments of the editorial.

BOOK REVIEWS

‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka’ by Hans Hirschi Olga Núñez Miret

A surprise for me in reading the review. Not because it was so well done. I have to say Olga’s review really was very well put together and written. Very impressive. She really put something into this one. A subject worth reading about.

“IF ONLY” @NORMABUDDEN  Colleen Chesebro

You get the female take on the book I reviewed before. Plus Norma was one of the interviews this week. I like the idea of getting a man’s view and a woman’s view of a book. I think it allows for a well rounded way of looking at it.

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

New Release Crazy On You by @JanelleKahele & @jduncwriter Five Star #MustRead

J. Kahele has been interviewed here on LWI and in truth, she’s one of the most intelligent women I’ve had the honor of questioning. I honestly wish I had been able to read a book before asking her questions. I think this may just be the book I give a try. Brand new release. Buy it and help make it a hit.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Author @MichaelPhelps3 talks about David Janssen & more with @YouAreTheExpert OnBlogTalkRadio

LitWorldInterviews author Michael Phelps was interviewed by our friend Annette Rochelle Aben on her show Tell Me A Story. I’ve been interviewed by her as well thus I tuned in for this one. Get the voice behind the interviews I did, the voice of David Janssen non-Hollywood friend. The man he trusted with everything.

Finds-The 10 REAL Reasons Your Book Was Rejected: A Big 5 Editor Tells All by @RuthHarrisBooks

A Web Find this week. Truth, humor, and a whole lot more. Some you know and some you never thought of.

#MentalFloss 43 Words Invented by Authors 

A Word Nerd Web Find this week. I HAD to share here on LWI.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

On Monday we have Olga talking about Canva and I have an interview with Elaine Jeremiah from the UK who writes about . . . come back and find out. We have a Book Review by Florence on Adultery by Paulo Coelho. I never ask Jo what she’s doing. I like to be surprised along with everyone else. As for me and anything else? I will be primarily sticking to interviews, book reviews, and an editorial every now and then along with web finds, unless I just really feel moved to share some type of feature article with you that I think will be of benefit.

Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new. Share this post with your friends.

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Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 16-20.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Owl Interview with the Owl Lady herself @VivDrewa

If you are around WordPress blog world then you now Viv. She speaks about three books she has out, one about her Grandfather who escaped Poland.

FEATURES

Time Management for Writers Jo Robinson

Jo gives some great advice about how to manage all those demands on a writer’s time. Remember, these days it’s not just writing we have to worry about. There is so much more and then there is that things called life.

50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts Florence Thum

Florence has read the books and seen the film. After discussing it I asked her to do an article. You’ll find this in our Feature section as well. Florence gives an intelligent and very different take on the subject at hand and I feel it is a must read for all of us. Both men and women.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

“Fireworks” by Aimer Boyz @boyzbooks  Hugh Roberts

Aimer specifically emailed me and asked for Hugh to review this book. Hugh took his time and did it right. Romance and more run through this book and Hugh tells you what he thinks the only way Hugh knows how. I was tempted to ask if I could review the book as well, but Aimer asked for Hugh and who the author asks for is who they get, if possible that is.

The Judas Apocalypse by @DanMcNeil888 Guest Book Reviewer author N.A. Granger

Based on historical facts and a whole lot of imagination Dan McNeil’s The Judas Apocalypse gets Grangered. What do you think she’ll say? When I find the time I will be reviewing this book along with Dan’s other book Can’t Buy Me Love.

February Farmer’s Market by @MLaSarre  Monica LaSarre welcome to our newest member.

Monica’s specialty is with younger readers, as we all know since she wrote Jasper Penzey: International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis. She is starting what I think will be a monthly article about young reader finds from Independent Authors that are in case for February similar in nature or theme to those instantly recognized titles every kid can throw out at us. And I have to say, she did a great job this month. (If you want to get acquainted with Monica you can read my interview with her here. Also you can read her guest feature article How to Get Published: Five Tips No One Ever Told You here.)

50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts Florence Thum

Florence has read the books and seen the film. After discussing it I asked her to do an article. You’ll find this in our Feature section as well. Florence gives an intelligent and very different take on the subject at hand and I feel it is a must read for all of us. Both men and women.

The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower Ronovan

Read this today in preparation for the Interview author Alesha L. Escobar on Monday. I read the book on my own without prompting. At first I was just going to interview Alesha without having read the book but when I saw for one the book was free and then it was historical and had wizards and sort of vampires and Nazis. Well, having been a History teacher and having met and spoken with Jim Butcher at great length at one point early in his career, yes, I talked him into going up to James Marsters who had been doing his audio books for the Dresden Files. GUILTY! Alesha doesn’t know that. She’ll be jelly if she reads this. Oh, and I got his autograph on one of his early Dresden books. Well, there went a post I could have written. No one reads these anyway, so maybe I’ll do it.

As for The Tower’s Alchemist? How did I rate it? Well if you’ve read the review or been on Twitter the past couple of days you know. If not, go find out.

 

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

None that have been thrown in my direction this week. If you are an LWI author, let me know. And if you are an Indie author and want to be mentioned here or have a post created for your book release here on LWI and have it tweeted to all our followers, email me at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com. Yeah, I’m cool like dat. Word. (People say I don’t know how to use Word right. I don’t know but I gonna keep doing it.)

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

You lucked out people. No whatevers from me this week.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

We have Olga with a Book Review. I have a Book Deal announcement from LWI author Sourabh Mukherjee. (His Loves Lost goes FREE starting Monday. Don’t let him know I told you early.) I have an interview with Alesha L. Escobar. But you might know that already. I have an interview with author Norma Budden. She wrote If Only that I reviewed here on LWI. You can click here in preparation of that. She also was the editor for author Michael Phelps’ books David Janssen: Our Conversations. I interviewed Mike and reviewed book 1 of that two book set. I haven’t been able to get to the other one yet. Too many promises made on the schedule, but I’m working on it. I’m sure there will be something from Colleen, I believe a timely Book Review. Jo will more than likely have something Thursday, unless she would like the day off. That’s a hint Jo! You work too hard as it is. And maybe something else from me on the Whatever side of things.

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

lit world interviews

 

Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 9-14.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Godling Chronicles Q&A with Brian D. Anderson.

This guy knows what he is doing. One series out. Another just waiting for the word print, and a sequel to the first series being outlined. This man has you set for years to come.

Silver Lightning Q&A with @AuthorWDarling

Do you believe in magic, or whatever it is? Author and Audio Book Voice specialist Wendy Anne Darling talks about her work.

FEATURES

Protection Jo Robinson

Write for a year, 5, 10, and then the computer virus hits, the lightning strikes. What do you do then? Cry. Yeah. Cry. Well do something before it happens.

The Author’s Role in Representation  by Guest Author Natacha Guyot @NatachaGuyot

A highly intelligent look at the world of writing and what our part in it as authors is when it comes to representation of characters of gender and diversity. All from one of my favorite people and favorite interviews.

BOOK REVIEWS

Ales Haley’s Roots. An Author’s Odyssey by Adam Henig  Olga Núñez Miret

Olga reviews this account of Haley’s life after Root’s aired on TV. As an author and research fiend herself she was looking forward to this one. See what she thought of it.

“OUTSOURCED” by Eric J. Gates @ETHRILLERWRITER Colleen Chesebro

It sounds like an interesting book with some unique twists. Read to see what she thinks though.

 Grá mo Chroí Love Stories from Irish Myth Ali Isaac @aliisaac_ & Jane Dougherty @MJDougherty33 Ronovan

Irish or Scottish? What am I? Who knows? But these short stories tell a tale. Check out the review to see exactly what I thought.

Review of Letters of Note by Shaun Usher @LettersOfNote Florence Thum

This is an anthology of letters from the 17th century to present day written by a myriad of personalities including the likes of Zelda Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein, Mick Jagger and Roald Dahl. Florence is a professor of Law, Attorney, Therapist, and writer. See what her take on this one is.

If Only by @NormaBudden Ronovan

A very personal and somewhat emotional review of a book that hit me in so many ways that I wanted to hide for days and did.

 

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

ROMANCE SHORTS by Sourabh Mukherjee

LWI author Sourabh releases a book of romance for the month of Love.

A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars @NatachaGuyot

Love Star Wars? Love highly intelligent and in depth looks into that universe? Natacha has the book for you that was a long time in the making.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part ONE This was a reblog from our furry friend Chris Graham the Story Reading Ape Blog. I got lazy this week with Two Interviews and Two Book Reviews and Two Book Release Notices.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

Should be an interesting week. Monday I have an interview with one of our author friends Viv Drewa. Olga usually has something for us on Mondays, although I never hold anyone to anything because life does happen. She’s been beyond a rock though. You guys have no idea how dedicated this lady has been. Florence has something timely and special coming up, hopefully by Tuesday at the latest. I do believe I see a Book Review in there from our man Hugh Roberts! You know you’ve all missed his entertaining reviews. Jo will no doubt have something on Thursday. And I will have at least one Book Review this week. And I’ll be reblogging a guest post I did on another site I hope you will all enjoy. It’s getting busy around here. And to think, I’m only supposed to do anything thinky no more than 30 minutes at a time then rest for a few hours. But there are books! And Authors! And stuff! Oh My!

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

lit world interviews

 

Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 2-6.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

Atonement, Tennessee Q&A with @TeaganGeneviene the Southern Voice.

Q&A with the Irish @aliisaac_ & @MJDougherty33 Discussing their latest collaboration.

FEATURES

The benefits of reading. The reader organisation and what are the benefits reading has for you? Olga Núñez Miret

Genre Blending Jo Robinson

Co-Writing With My Best Friend  by Guest Author Wendy Janes @wendyproof

 

BOOK REVIEWS

BOOK REVIEW OF “SILVER LIGHTNING” @AUTHORWDARLING Colleen Chesebro

 

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Hyphens & En Dashes & Em Dashes Oh My.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

I have two Author Interviews this week with one being from Brian D. Anderson of The Godling Chronicles fame and Wendy Anne Darling of Silver Lightning. I see THREE book Reviews coming this week one from Olga on Monday,  Colleen on Tuesday and the other from Florence on Wednesday. Jo always comes through on Thursday. Then you will suffer whatever I come up with on Friday.

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

lit world interviews

 

Lit World Interview Week In Review Jan 26-30.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

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

FEATURES

Text to Speech: Editing Through Listening PS Bartlett

Authenticity and Honesty as an Indie Author Jo Robinson

Most Mortals Need a Proofreader by Guest Author Wendy Janes @wendyproof

 

BOOK REVIEWS

The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell Olga Núñez Miret

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Patience and Integrity-The Secret to Success

LWI Who we are and what we do.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

I have an Author Interview with well at least one interview this week one will be out on Monday with Teagan Geneviene author of Atonement, Tennessee. Wednesday I have Irish authors Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty of Grá mo Chroí‘Love of my Heart’ Love Stories from Irish Myth. I’ve read the book and my review is coming. Olga has a Feature coming out on Monday, another Feature from Guest Author Wendy Janes coming up Wednesday, and you know we will have something great from Jo Robinson on Thursday. And we have Colleen back with a Book Review on Tuesday. A full week of variety.

lit world interviews

 

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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Lit World Interview Week In Review Jan 19-23.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

A very good week here for Lit World Interviews. I believe our focus on quality over quantity is showing.  Our two feature articles this week by Jo Robinson and Guest Author Wendy Janes struck a chord with our Readers and the feedback has been tremendous. Our Book Review Team continues to be strong as well with Olga Núñez Miret. I personally was thrilled to interview Anne JohnstonBrown. 

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

Singer, Actress, Teacher and Author Anne JohnstonBrown Q&A @AJohnstonbrown

FEATURES

Advertising Your Book Jo Robinson

Is My Novel Ready for Proofreading? by Guest Author Wendy Janes @wendyproof

BOOK REVIEWS

Interconnected by Mary Meddlemore/Martie Preller Olga Núñez Miret

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

State of the LWI Address

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

I have an Author Interview with Dan McNeil of The Judas Apocalypse and Can’t Buy me Love on Monday. I know we have another Feature from Guest Author Wendy Janes coming up Wednesday.  And you know we will have something great from Jo Robinson on Thursday.

dan-mcneil-author

 

My Grl by John Howell @HowellWave Interview

my girl coverReviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers’ Favorite – Rating – Five Stars

My GRL by John W. Howell is a fast-paced thriller that shows how your life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. John J. Cannon was looking forward to a long island vacation but instead ended up chasing and hiding from the bad guys. From losing Gerry who he was getting close to calling a friend, to discovering the real truth behind her death, to discovering who Sarah, Gerry’s friend really was. It is a well-written story that kept me glued, page after page. 

 

Anonymous Amazon Customer-Rating 5 star The author John W Howell has constructed his thriller very cleverly and created a truly pleasurable reading experience. I found myself suspecting just about everyone of something and being right only about half the time, which is probably in itself one of the marks of a very good thriller.

john howell author my girl

RW: John, what is your background in writing, what makes you a writer other than your ability to hold a pencil, type a writer or in some other way make words appear on a page?

JOHN: What really makes me a writer is I do it every day. Besides that, I have studied the craft and have written four books now. One published, one at the publisher for release (heaven knows when) and one just completed. The other one? Holding the laundry room door open in a breeze. (yes it is that bad)

RW: Where do you live and that will tell us how big that laundry room book needs to be?

JOHN: I was born in Detroit Michigan but have lived in Illinois, Indiana, Connecticut, Ohio, and California. I currently reside in Texas on a barrier island off the coast of South Texas 

RW: So you write all the time and live on an island. I always ask what an author does to get away from writing when they need a break from it, when it’s just frustrating them for the moment, I think I can guess yours but tell us anyway.

JOHN: I usually don’t take a break from writing. I do take a break from novel writing by doing short stories. When I really need to get away for a few I take a walk on the beach 

RW: Okay now into the real reason people are here. What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

JOHN: The title of the published book is My GRL. I choose the title since the story is about a guy who buys a boat and he names it My GRL.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

JOHN: My GRL is a thriller.

RW: Why do you write thrillers?

JOHN: I find the Thriller genre open enough to allow me to create the kinds of situations that are interesting to the reader while challenging myself to insert the kinds to twists, turns and excitement the reader is looking for.

RW: Tell us a little about My GRL and what inspired the idea.

JOHN: John Cannon is a San Francisco Lawyer who wants to take a leave of absence from the firm. He buys a boat he names My GRL unaware a group of terrorists want to use his boat to destroy a symbol of America’s greatness. His first hint of trouble is when he wakes up in the hospital and learns he was found unconscious next to the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. The only one standing between the terrorists and the successful completion of their mission is John Cannon.

I was on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Lexington which is moored in Corpus Christi. My sister and I were touring the boat since our father had served on her as a naval aviator during World War II. I was struck to see all the armament was no longer in place. This symbol of America’s military might was defenseless to any attack. After leaving the boat, I constructed a story on how to attack the Lexington and then a story on how to prevent such a thing. The story of My GRL fell into place.

RW: Tell us about your John Cannon and also who you envision playing him in a movie.

JOHN: I think I would like to see Bradly Cooper play John. He has the kind of seriousness coupled with humor that is the essence of John’s personality. John J. Cannon is a normal person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. He is a guy who wants to become a charter captain and ends up having to deal with a bunch of pretty bad characters. John is not a superhero nor does he possess secret abilities that allow him to overcome his adversaries. He is slightly OCD and is worried about many of the same things that we all are. He has a dry sense of humor and his legal training allows him to keep a fairly even disposition while things around him become increasingly complex. He loves good food and is especially fond of a Tanqueray martini on the rocks

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

JOHN: The basic message is people with a cause are convinced righteousness is on their side. The terrorists are firmly convinced that because of past offenses, their current plan to kill innocent people is just. So we cannot hope to convince these terrorists to give up their cause simply because we don’t think it is lawful. I would hope anyone reading this book would come away with the feeling that military solutions are not always the way to stop hostilities. It might take a deeper understanding of the motivation of the adversary to successfully come to a peaceful solution.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

JOHN: Intriguing

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

JOHN: The first thing I learned was I could, in fact, finish a book that was readable. Up to this point my efforts were not what I would describe as stellar. The second was I could write about a subject that I knew little about. People who don’t know me think I have been around boats. I really had to research all aspects of the book since none of the hardware and software related items were in my experience profile.

RW: How did you end up with MSP?

JOHN: I did a number of queries and for whatever reason never connected. I then went and did some research on publishers who would accept a first-time author who did not have an agent and found Martin Sisters Publishing

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

JOHN: Too often, authors rush to get a book published with some disastrous results. The author must do the research necessary to find out how they want to be published. If they want to self-publish that carries one set of responsibilities. Traditional publish is another option but does have certain requirements. So my tip is to take the time necessary to determine the path that is right for the person. There is no real right path, but a path chosen that is done in haste could be very disappointing.

RW: When you’re not writing who are you reading?

JOHN: I am reading Allure of the GypsieS by Charles Yallowitz. It is his third story in the Legends of Windemere series. He has actually published five books, but I’m a little behind since my TBR pile gets higher by the day.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

JOHN: I have three current favorites, Charles Yallowitz author of the Legends of Windemere series, Kevin Brennan Author of Yesterday Road and Occasional Soulmates and Andra Watkins author of Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace and To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis.

RW: How do you like to keep hydrated?

JOHN: I love to drink water while working and a margarita after. 

RW: What are you working on right now?

JOHN: I have finished the third book in the John Cannon trilogy and it has a working title of Our Justice. The next book explores the daughter father conflict in a world filled with bad choices. We’ll have to see how it works.

My second book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy is titled His Revenge. It is the story of John’s efforts to bring the terrorist leader to justice with the help of the FBI. The title is a little bit confusing in that we are not sure whose revenge is eventually satisfied Johns or the Terrorist leader? When the book is launched the answer will be apparent to the reader.

RW: What is your favorite word?

JOHN: Impecunious.(poor) I loved the word ever since studying for the GMAT. I used to love to say “In my current state of impecunity ….” I could then beg off anything. 

Acquire My GRL at:
Amazon:  US Canada UK Australia
Barnes and Noble
iBooks
Kobo

Make sure to CONNECT with JOHN at:
My Blog Fiction Favorites
Facebook
Twitter 
LinkedIn
Google+
Authorsdb
Goodreads
Shelfari

Living on an island, writing and walking on a beach? John, you’ll have a visitor soon. Ah, the dream life. And John, I have plenty of door holders so pick that one up, dust it off and get to revising it.

As always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Ron_LWI

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Relating to John’s suggestion about knowing your path and role in traditional and self-publishing, check out Choose Your Publishing Option. Free for ebook or pdf at Smashwords here.

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Five of My Articles I Recommend from this year.

There are a few articles that I’ve put out since LWI was created that I want to share with those of you that might be new to the site. Since it’s the end of the year I thought I would list them here so if one looked interesting then you could go and check it out.

five articles to read

The Author Interview: How, Why, What, Who?

Find out what I see an Author should think of when entering into an interview. This also lets you know what I am looking for from an Author when I interview.

Get Book Sales with your Book Description.

This one didn’t get a lot of views but it should have. One thing Authors need to know is that when a potential buyer is looking for a book, the description is the third thing they see. You need the title and book cover as the first two and then the description to actually MAKE the sale. This is for fiction and Non-Fiction.

How to Write a Book Review.

This is one of the more popular articles I came up with. Everyone that reviews books has a method, or should. This is one way. Ultimately, be honest and informative to the reader and the author. Just don’t tell the story to the reader.

Basics for Linking up with Readers.

This is a strange one perhaps but useful. It has made it impossible for me to get in touch with Authors I want to interview. Now I go through a lot to try to find a way to contact an author, more so than let’s say an agent might who happens upon someone as they are just looking around. And a reader will not try as hard as I do to find you either.

Author Presence: Your Brand Name.

You are a brand name whether you like it or not. What other things can be Brand Names for you? Why should you bother? Go read.

 

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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Q&A with @MichaelPhelps3 of David Janssen-Our Conversations (The Friendship)

I’m an old school movie and actor fan. Give me a classic on DVD and I’ll love you for life. Sorry, I don’t have the Blu-ray thing yet. Imagine my reaction when the man that said “Call me Mike, that’s what my friends call me” showed up. Close friend and confidant of a TV Icon. Co-author of the only authorized and millions selling biogMichael Phelps Authorraphy of the original Fugitive before Harrison Ford ever had his first credit role in film. Yes, “I’m Michael Phelps ‘the writer’, not the young Olympic Champion” as he likes to jest. Reading his books David Janssen-Our Conversations Book 1 and 2 you instantly feel as though you are back in another time walking with him as he reminisces about his friend David Janssen, TV star of so many series from Richard Diamond, Private Detective and The Fugitive, to O’Hara, U.S. Treasury. He was finally convinced to share his conversations with ‘Dave’ as he calls the Icon, now it’s time to have Our Conversation with Mike.

 

RW: Mike, in the Preface to David Janssen-Our Conversations you give exactly how you and David Janssen met at a party where you were working security and how the two of you created this friendship. What thoughts went through your mind about this what I might at first glance call an Odd Couple?

MIKE: Here was this Mega-TV and film star, the same age as my older brother, and here I was, a “nobody”, not involved in the television or movie business . . . why would a celebrity like him even speak twice to someone like me. I learned later that David Janssen was in reality, just an ordinary, ‘down-to-earth’ guy who happened to be a celebrity, but yearned to have friends outside of his ‘work’ and to be treated as a ‘normal’ guy.

RW: When did the actual friendship with David begin?

MIKE: Two weeks after our first meeting he called me and invited me for drinks at The Formformosa cafe at nightosa, a nice little restaurant/bar near the studios where “The Fugitive” was being filmed.  It was 1:15 AM. That is when I learned a routine day for filming the television series may last 14 to 16 hours or longer. Also, that David Janssen always liked to stop (usually at The Formosa) and have a couple of drinks to unwind before going home.

RW: Your second meeting was a call in the middle of the night, a practice that would continue while you were in L.A. David trusted you quickly for a celebrity who valued his privacy. Why do you think it happened like that?

MIKE: I honestly can’t answer that, as I never asked Dave. I can only assume it was the fact I was NOT in the TV or film industry, when we met, I did not look at him in awe. We just had, what I would say was, a casual conversation between two guys at a party. I talked to him as if he were just an ordinary guy. He had an interest in police work and dogs, that helped, I think. Dave had no ego to speak of, and he really liked people and wanted to have friends who liked him for the man he was, not for his fame. He soon learned that whatever we discussed, I would not repeat it, it would not show up in some tabloid or fan magazine. Ellie (Dave’s first wife) mentioned that when we first talked about Dave.

RW: The after-hours drinks didn’t last forever. Mike, how did your long distance phone call friendship begin with David?

MIKE: Soon after meeting Dave, I wanted to leave Los Angeles, and relocate to New York City, as my estranged wife lived in Connecticut. At that time, I had hopes for reconciliation. So a lot was happening in both our lives. That unfolds in Chapter One, and continues throughout the two volumes.

RW: Will you give our readers an example of a story they will see in Our Conversations, something that might surprise them? Okay, maybe not surprise because you want to leave those nuggets of wonder in there for them.

“It was just after 2:30 in the morning when I pulled into his driveway.  It took him a few minutes to open the door.  He used the door as a crutch to raise himself out of the seat and steady his feet on the paved driveway.  As he leaned in and was saying goodnight, the front door of his home opened and I could see Ellie’s silhouette against the interior lighting.
She took one look at Dave and screamed; “DAVID, WHERE IN THE HELL HAVE
YOU BEEN?  YOUR MEETING ENDED HOURS AGO, I CALLED ABBY!”
“Having a drink with my friend, Mike.”  He said in a soft, firm voice. With that I heard the sound of breaking glass, as David seemed to duck his head; I then noticed a dark red liquid running down my passenger window. Ellie had apparently thrown a glass of red wine and smashed it against my window.
As he turned and bent down again to say goodnight. he was smiling. From the car interior lights I saw what appeared to be red wine splashed on his caramel-colored sports jacket and royal blue shirt.
“Sorry about that . . .  see you later.”  He said, surprisingly with a smile.  As he closed the door I could hear Ellie screaming something about him missing a party.” – END of NUGGET. (LOL)

david janssen our conversations review

RW: Mike, if you would, give us an idea of the depth of your relationship with David, and his family, then and now. I want people to realize how close this friendship was. I mean even family members respected it.

MIKE: Aside from Ellie, her daughters Kathy and Diane, the only other member of David’s family I met was his mother Berniece. When Ellie and I were writing her book, we flew Kathy and Diane to Miami and had a very nice dinner at The Jockey Club. Ellie then told Diane she was including Diane’s unwanted pregnancy and subsequent abortion (at age 16) in the book. It hurt Diane deeply, and ruined their visit. Both Kathy and I took Diane’s side and implored, begged Ellie not to include that in her book. Ellie did put it in her book. Her justification being: the secrecy surrounding the trip to Mexico for the abortion, because it would have caused a scandal for David. How she figured that, we’ll never know. I have not seen nor spoken with Diane or Kathy in over twenty years. Diane told me David was planning to divorce Dani a month before his death, which of course he had also told me as well as a few close friends. I can tell you they are both beautiful and talented young ladies.

David Janssen My Fugitive Book CoverRW: The book you mentioned, the memoir by Ellie Janssen, which you co-authored with her, David Janssen-My Fugitive in 1994 has sold millions of copies. What finally persuaded you after all this time to write about your own personal friendship with David Janssen?

MIKE: Since the publishing of DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE many, many of David Janssen’s fans and a few of his close friends who knew of the friendship Dave and I shared urged me to write this book. I wrestled with the thoughts that I would be betraying his trust. A few of my close friends, Moises Raudez, one of my Godsons and CAROL CONNORS convinced me I would be doing him a favor, letting his fans see what a really nice, ordinary guy he was and how he was dealing with personal torments, not seen on the screen. Writing DAVID JANSSEN~Our Conversations was a daunting task and in some ways, cathartic for me.

RW: Knowing of the creative process behind My Fugitive I can see how you needed to put out David’s views as he shared them with you. Mike, I have to say as a former history teacher and having had to learn facts to teach each year, I had repetition to help me remember things. But with something like this, how does one recall all those conversations and facts you have in your book?

MIKE: In the Preface, I noted that I have written Our Conversations as close to verbatim as is humanly possible. I have not exaggerated nor expounded. In the beginning, I sat down at my computer and closed my eyes; thought back to the first time we met. I visualized the scene, and found I could actually HEAR David’s voice. The conversation flowed easily. I recalled every topic we discussed in that roughly forty minutes talk. I recalled meeting Ellie and her words precisely. Going forward, I found no problem recalling our conversations, whether we were meeting in a bar or restaurant, or the countless long-distance phone calls. I NEVER recorded a single conversation with David, nor did I keep a diary.

Initially, I had a problem with the dates and time line. However re-visiting the memories from the beginning, and checking some very old notes, the dates and time fell into place. This was the most difficult because there were periods I did not hear from David for several weeks at a time.

RW: It’s fortunate you were involved with the My Fugitive biography some 20 years ago. How did you organize what we see in the books and were there topics that you decided were off limits?

MIKE: I began with our second meeting, the first we had at The Formosa and the conversations we had at that time and date came to me. There was a lot going on in his life, most notably discord in his marriage, the grueling schedule of making “The Fugitive”.

There were far too many conversations to have included in the two volumes. There were conversations about politics and politicians, Viet Nam, the economy, the Six Day War between Israel and Palestinians that I could have included. I decided to concentrate on our conversations that revolved around his failing marriage, the ups and downs of his career, the women he really loved (and lost), topics I felt would be of green-beretsreal interest to his fans. I included one conversation (which Ellie had also) involving he and John Wayne during the filming of “The Green Berets“, which I felt would interest his fans while showing how Dave always stood up for the ‘underdog’. Other conversations of some of the actors, directors and writers he admired and enjoyed working with. I included very little about his Mother Berniece and other family members. I deliberately left out some conversations we had where he expressed dislike for specific, well known people.

RW: Mike, you told me that the memoir with Ellie Janssen “was the most difficult project I have ever been involved with.” would you explain a little about that?

MIKE: I never had any doubt that Ellie loved David deeply. She still loved him after their divorce and after his death. She never remarried, and there were no other men in her life. However, early in our working together I could see how bitter she remained over their divorce. As she related her recollections of incidents, other people and friends in their lives, I would recall David having mentioned the same, but with a totally different perspective. Ellie made it sound as if David was promiscuous, a “womanizer” and a ‘drunk’. On one occasion, as I was typing on my keyboard, I stopped and made the comment; “Ellie . . . that isn’t what Dave told me.” she erupted into a rage I had never seen. I knew then what Dave had expressed to me on many occasions . . . her temper! I decided then to just keep my mouth shut and write what she dictated; after all, it was HER story.

RW: There are a lot of tell-all sensationalist books out there about ‘friendships’ with David Janssen Our Conversations Book 2 Covercelebrities but there is nothing of that feel in David Janssen-Our Conversations. But with names appearing I imagine some people might have been a little apprehensive when word got out you finally gave in and were writing. Did you feel a need to let any certain persons know ahead of time what you were going to write?

MIKE: The only person who knew David intimately, that I have discussed the book with is Carol Connors. Funny thing was, when I told her that David truly loved her and using his exact words, she broke into tears and said that Sidney Korshak (a close friend of Dave’s) had told her exactly the same thing.

RW: Mike, what has been a couple of reactions to the book so far?

MIKE: Since the release one gentleman stated; “The book is all about booze, women, lawyers and dogs.” Well, I don’t know what he was expecting . . . but, during the fifteen years I knew David Janssen that is what took up the space in HIS world, as well as HIS work, which the gentleman failed to mention.  Just today, I had a telephone call from Mr. LES LANNOM, who guest starred on “HARRY O” episodes. We have had many conversations, but today he called to tell me had finished reading the books; and I quote: “Mike, you really caught the way David spoke . . . the way he treated people.” David liked Les Lannom; liked working with him, liked him as a friend. Les, who is about my age, looked upon David as a friend and a mentor.

RW: Were there any push backs from people when they heard you were writing Our Conversations? If so, how did you handle those? You seem very professional so I can’t see David Janssen Our Conversations Book 1 coverpeople really concerned with what you would say.

MIKE: There were only a few people who knew I was working on this project. Aside from Carol Connors, just Moises Raudez and a few devoted fans of David’s that I met through “THE-FUGITIVE-VIEWS-AND-REVIEWS” on Yahoo Groups. There are a few that I mention in the Dedication page who were very supportive of me and inspiring me as I worked. It has been a four and one half years journey into the past with my friend, and I hope I did it right. I encountered a few health issues along the way, so my writing was interrupted a couple of times.

RW: Our Conversations have kept me glued while reading. The information you share, the writing, the flat out honesty. I’m not saying this so our readers will go buy the book. I know readers will buy what they want to, but I have to say this: these would be one great holiday gift for a TV/film buff. Have you given thought to writing a movie script based on them?

MIKE: No, I have not even considered this would make a good movie . . . maybe it would, I don’t know. I will say that I believe a movie, perhaps a Made-for-Television Movie about David Janssen’s LIFE would be excellent, and is long overdue. I’ve seen some Biography movies of celebrities on the A & E channel, and most are of celebrities of far lesser importance as to the individual’s contributions to the entertainment industry.

David Janssen Our Conversations Review

RW: Mike, you knew him probably as well as any living person, the inside of him, who would you pick to play David Janssen in that movie?

MIKE: Were such a prospect of a film based on David’s life come to be, were I to have anything to say about it, JON HAMM (“Mad Men” fame) would be the only actor I feel could BE David Janssen. DAVID Jon Hamm Mad MenJANSSEN had a charisma, a magnetic personality that just drew people to him. He was so dedicated to his craft, and it was so important that he performed every single line or every single scene to PERFECTION!  David had an amazing photographic memory. He could and did MEMORIZE an entire one hundred + page script, not only his lines, but the dialogue of every single actor involved. He was not seeking entertainment industry awards, he was just determined to provide his fans with the best he could do, to make certain they were “getting their monies worth.”  There are many Hollywood Stars who have long ago passed away, yet they made such an impact on their fans, they will forever be remembered. David is at the top of the list.

 

To say today has been one of the best for this fan is an understatement. ‘Mike’ is author Michael Phelps, who happened to have been friends with a TV Icon. There is more to Michael Phelps than what you’ve seen so far and more about his friendship with ‘Dave’ as well. Come back for part two tomorrow. You won’t be disappointed. But go ahead and grab his books now.

You can connect with Mike on Twitter

Acquire his books either on his Author site here or at Amazon here.

Read My LWI review of Volume 1 by clicking here. For my Amazon version click here.

David Janssen Our Conversations Book 1 coverDavid Janssen Our Conversations Book 2 Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ravenswood Publishing’s Kitty Honeycutt Q&A @RAVENSWOODPUB

Today I have one of those people as a guest. The mythical thing all authors call . . . Publisher. Do you need an agent? In today’s Lit World and even in the Lit World for years you haven’t HAD to have an agent. Today’s publisher though has nearly 100 authors and not a single agent to be found. The roster is filled with Indie Authors. Discover how the little girl born of the red clay of the state I live in came to be a publisher. Meet . . .

 Publisher&Author

Kitty Honeycutt

Ravenswood Publishing Kitty Honeycutt

RW: Well Kitty, let’s start off with where you are from and where are you now because I am sure there are people that have no idea where the state of red clay is.

KITTY: First of all I’d like to say that I’m very pleased you asked me for this interview it’s exciting and I always love to tell everyone about my path to writing and how it all started. I am currently living in North Carolina, though I was born in LaGrange, Georgia. I’m a country girl at heart, raised in rural Sampson County. I attended Midway High, in Dunn, NC and now live in Raeford.

RW: It’s probably rare for someone to start out as a publisher so how did the pub bug first bite you?

KITTY: I began reviewing books for larger companies in 2011 and first started reviewing Indie writer’s books soon after. One of the first books I reviewed from an Indie author was “Dirty Little Angels” by Chris Tusa, and then moved on to “The Cursed Man” by Keith Rommel. I fell in love with both these stories and a passion for Indie writing began. I sought out other Indie authors and found that a lot of the stories I read were worthy of being published by larger companies though I had no idea why they had not been snapped up long before. I began to be an entrepreneur of the Independent’s and launched a blog dedicated not only to reviewing but hosting interviews and guest posts. I soon gained valuable notoriety in this area and had authors actively seeking my reviews.

RW: And thus Kitty Honeycutt the publisher was born?

KITTY: I began to wonder if I could publish books for a living. I’m a writer as well though I have nothing out yet, my passion took over as an entrepreneur for these authors and I simply haven’t had the time. But, I do intend to soon. I have a book currently in the works. Though, my reason for becoming a publisher was to help put a name behind these wonderful authors in an effort to get them the notoriety they deserved. It has been a wonderful experience and I have helped quite a few. One of my biggest was Brian D. Anderson of “The Godling Chronicles” fame. He came to me with a book barely selling 5 copies a month with his old publisher. After changing his cover art and reworking the editing he began selling hundreds and eventually thousands. With my guidance he became a best seller in no time and remains so still.

I currently work with almost 100 authors on the path to creating more bestsellers. That is my current goal.

RW: What do you see as the role of a publisher for an author who is represented by an agent and one who is not represented by an agent?

KITTY: None of my authors are represented by agents so I have to do most of what an agent would do for them. I work mostly on Internet promotions as a lot of my authors do not have the time to do it all themselves. I give them the ability of having a name behind them as well as a person backing them up and cheering them on. I work hard for all of my authors, sometimes working as much as 24 to 72 hours in a stretch.

A lot of people don’t know what promotion entails, it’s much more than just getting your book to sell, it’s about selling the author as well. Agents have the role of soliciting authors to other publishing companies. This is what gets them in the door. However, with my business, I allow authors to send unsolicited manuscripts. A publisher does more than just soliciting, a publisher is responsible for every aspect of the process. This includes putting the book together, formatting, cover art and getting it out in the public eye. Then the process of promotion begins. A lot of agents don’t delve into the promotions as much as they do the simple soliciting of a book to publishers.

RW: How do you determine attention given to an author, such as if one is suddenly receiving great attention and showing promising sales or publicity, do you have anything in place to notice this and perhaps push that person over the top?

KITTY: As a publisher, having as many authors as I do, I try hard to delegate my time and effort fairly. I can say that if an author is doing well, and especially if they work hard for themselves, I will back them to the greatest extent possible. I do actively push my authors to do well, and to help themselves as much as I try to help them. It’s a partnership, not a one-sided business. My drive is the fact that if I don’t get their books to sell then I’m not only doing them a disservice but myself a disservice as well. The only money I make are from royalties just as they do. This makes it beneficial to us both. I’ll be honest and say that if an author comes to me and they do not show much interest and expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter and done for them, then they are in for a surprise. You must work together as a team, I can’t make you a bestseller and I’ll never lead them to believe that I can. It takes dedication and a lot of hard work on both parts.

RW: What can an Author expect from you when they sign a contract?

KITTY: They can expect that I will work hard for them and do everything in my power to make sure their book is as close to perfect as it can possibly be. I am more interested in quality than quantity and I do not take on every author that submits a manuscript. I only take on, promote and work hard for those I genuinely believe deserve it, the ones that I know will work hard for themselves and are serious about their writing and creative achievement.

RW: I notice that for now you deal with print through Createspace rather than a print distributor is there a business practice philosophy there?

KITTY: We do currently deal with Createspace. The reasons of course are as follows. Firstly, I am a small business, my business is run out of my own home so therefore I do not have a warehouse to store print books for purchase. Also, the fees for a distribution service can be extremely costly. I do not have the financial backing in place to afford those fees, nor do I expect my authors to pay for them. I am not a vanity press, so I do not charge my authors any fees to publish with my company. Right now print-on-demand is our best option as it allows us the benefit of having print books without any overhead cost. I still pay for custom ISBN’s for my authors but at a much more minimal fee than what it costs with a lot of distributor printers, also Createspace now offers expanded distribution for free, so our books go into the very same catalogs that they would go into with Lightning Source or any of the other companies that are distributor based and there is no additional charge. The only downfall to POD printing is the no return policy. We hope in the future this will change in some regard.

RW: Are you the only person that ‘handles’ your author?

Kitty: I most certainly am. I work alone. I do it all, the cover art, the formatting, the promotions, the whole nine yards. I do not have anyone else that works for my authors or for myself. I’m a one woman show and so far, I’ve been told that I do it well and in some cases far better than a lot of larger publishing companies! I’d love to have help, but of course it’s a matter of being able to afford to pay employees and since I’m more an entrepreneur and wish to keep my authors from paying exorbitant fees for everything I do, I’d rather work 24 to 72 hours at a time. I also grew up in a family that has always been go-getters and believed that ‘if you want something done right, it’s better to do it yourself.’ Not to mention if you want something done in a timely manner.

RW: How do you ‘search for talent’ as is mentioned on your site?

KITTY: To be quite honest, Ron, I don’t search at all. All of my authors to this day, have come to me. I have yet to go and actively search for any authors. I don’t believe in going out and soliciting. I feel that if they truly like what they read, and they meet me and like me as a person and they feel they can trust me, they will come aboard and we’ll do a lot of great business together.

RW: So when I finish one of my novels will you sign me up?

KITTY: Of course! Just kidding 😉 But seriously, you’d have to go through the same rigorous trials as all the rest. One thing I try not to do, is take on an author because they are a friend of someone else’s or my own. I won’t take on anything or any work that I don’t truly believe in. But, in all sincerity, something tells me you just may be a talent to be reckoned with! We’ll have to wait and see. J

RW: How many submissions do you get and what happens once that submission hits the email or submission box?

KITTY: I get somewhere between 12 to sometimes 20 submissions a day. The process for submitting is, the author must send a full synopsis or outline of their story. Since I don’t have time to read the entire book before making a decision I like to know what is going to happen to the fullest. I also like for the author to send me at least 3 to 5 chapters of their actual manuscript so I can get a feel for their writing. I do have a lovely woman by the name of Lisanne Cooper that helps with my submissions. She does this out of the kindness of her heart and I trust her implicitly as to her knowledge of what is good and what is not. Lisanne is an editor with Ravenswood as well, and she is amazing. She has edited almost every book we have out and she is very capable of pulling off her ‘specific genre likes’ hat in order to make viable decisions on manuscript selection for publication. I do read the submissions as well and between the two of us we make the right choices for what we feel is best for Ravenswood.

RW: How many do you accept, percentage wise and what makes a good submission to you? (Taking notes.)

KITTY: The amount is hard to say. It really depends on what we find that we feel is worth our time and effort. I have had months that I have not accepted a single submission and some where I’ve accepted 10 or more. Submissions are almost always open, and one thing that I do not do is put deadlines on my authors or myself. With the way I work, I try and get the books out in a timely manner and so far it seems I’m doing well. But I never make promises. It’s just not feasible to do so. I can say that I haven’t let my author’s down yet in regards to release dates. At least I think I haven’t… What makes a good submission first and foremost is if the author can follow directions for submission. What we ask for on the site is exactly what we want. If we get a submission where the author has just typed up a generic query and tossed it at us, forgot to attach the manuscript chapters or synopsis, then we have and usually will pass them by. We don’t like submissions where author’s brag too much. Not to say that they may not be right when they claim to be our next bestseller, but to us boasting is just not necessary. Mainly, we like for you to be professional, and be honest with yourself and us. Send your submissions as asked and you’ll have a fighting chance. J

RW: I notice you have a varied roster of authors and genres, is there something you are looking for, like a wish list of a book subject matter?

KITTY: Horror! I really would love to get more horror this year. I love the genre myself but I don’t have a lot of it at Ravenswood. My favorite horror is the macabre H.P. Lovecraft and Poe. But I would love to get any kind of horror for our Dark Feed Press imprint! I would also love more non-fiction and what I’m really interested in right now is more like the kind of non-fiction that Llewellyn Press puts out. I would love to get some Pagan non-fiction.

RW: Are there genres or subjects you see as perhaps fading in popularity?

KITTY: I feel sometimes that Non-fiction is fading a bit, I also think that Paranormal may be fading some. It seems that fantasy has become more popular lately and as you can see Mythos is one of our largest selections. I’m really hoping to see a comeback for a lot of genres this year, including Science Fiction.

RW: Where do you see the future of publishing headed?

KITTY: With the rise of Independents I honestly think that the larger publishers may have some competition. We are in an age where anyone can publish, and a lot of authors choose to go their own way. Though we do have a well of small presses, including my own and I honestly hope to see them rise more. I feel that there is a vast untapped potential out there and at times I truly feel that the larger publishers either pass them by or simply don’t see the majority of the ‘diamond’s in the ruff’ out there. I’m determined, however, not to pass them up!

RW: What do you say when people mention something to you about how publishers aren’t really necessary in today’s world of books?

KITTY: I’m the first to say that they are wrong. The reason why is clear. It’s easy to publish a book on your own as an author, but it’s not easy to find someone that will back you up, push you to do your best, and genuinely fight for you when you’re being ostracized and getting those reviews that we know often bring you down. I’m that kind of person, and publisher. I will fight for my authors and I treat them like family. If they are being harassed unnecessarily, if they are feeling bad over a bad review, I’m there for them, and I show them how much I care. I work hard for them and I take on the workload they can’t take on themselves because of outside jobs or family life. Of course, family and friends will be there for you too, but a publisher, especially one like me, we know the business, we know how it works, we’re going to help you and put our name and strength behind you, I’m not going to leave you floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean alone. That’s why we’re needed.

RW: How do you handle Authors that might think they should be your star?

KITTY: The same way I’d handle my own kids. That may sound odd to some people but at times you have to remind them that they aren’t the only ones. I have close to 100 authors, and they all get a fair shake from me. I don’t put up with attitudes and I don’t put up with ideas of grandeur. We are all stars, we are all worthy, and no one should take precedence over another no matter how much money they may be bringing in, or how great their books are. We are all a team, we all help one another and that’s just the way it has to be. I’m honest to a fault and I have let authors of mine know before when I think their egos are getting the best of them. I’ll be the first to bring them back down. Just call me the gravity boot!

RW: I know you are an Author as well as publisher, what genres do you write in?

KITTY: Right now, I’m writing a fantasy for young adults and middle graders. But I also write paranormal/supernatural, I have an erotica in the works, I have several historical fiction novels in the works, and I have a few other fantasy novels in mind. My ideas go all over the board.

RW: What is your background in writing?

KITTY: My background in writing is like a lot of my authors. I have never studied writing in school or taken any classes other than those in my business class. I know the difference however, between creative writing and thesis writing and as much as some would like to believe they are… they are NOT the same. I have been writing almost since I was old enough to read. I was making up stories in my mind even before then, trust me, when I was a kid, my parents likely thought I needed to be put in an asylum or I had one of the most creative imaginations ever. I was that kid, when I’d been outside playing in the woods, and I’d come in after being out all day for dinner, they’d ask me where I’d been and my response was something as follows: “I was out riding Bess! We jumped the creek, she walked for a bit and ate some clover then we headed back. My pants are wet because I fell off on the way back over the creek and landed in the water. We had to go on the other side because she lost her horn over there the last time. We got it back though so she’s whole again now.” See… Bess was my unicorn, and we had adventures all the time, the thing was, at that time we didn’t even have a horse, so you can see what I mean about the imagination part. 😉

RW: What are you reading now, both in your own company and outside?

KITTY: Right now I’m finishing Carrie F. Shepherd’s book “Fall from Grace: The Scribing of Ishitar” I’m going to start on “Buan: The Perfect Mortals” by Reece Bridger next, both my authors of course. I do have one book that I intend to start on soon from another author, one of my personal favorites, Lloyd Alexander. I love fantasy!

RW: What’s your favorite word and why?

KITTY: Knight! And not even the reason you’d think! It’s a rather long story but I’ll shorten it as best I can. I pronounce it niggit, and the reason why is my daughter and I were watching Game of Thrones a while back and the Lord Stannis’ daughter was teaching the Onion Knight, how to read. He saw the word ‘knight’ and pronounced it niggit and ever since then I have used it for everything. When I feel I’m about to say a bad word, I say niggit instead. Our cat, Merlin loves to play with my scrunchies and I have started calling them niggits and now I can actually tell him to bring me one and he will… no joke. But he also likes for us to launch them like a rubber band and he’ll fetch them and bring them back. Yes… we have some very strange animals in our house.

Interested in books from Ravenswood Publishing?

Are you an author looking to be published?

If you answered yes to either of those then click here to go to their site.

You can also follow them on Twitter @RAVENSWOODPUB

I want to thank Kitty for joining us today and giving us a little insight into what makes this particular publisher tick. Check out the books by her authors and as always, remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

 

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The Reach of the Banyan Tree @sassevn Mark Sasse Q&A

 

Mark Sasse Author of The Reach of the Banyan Tree Banner ImageColleen Chesesbro, one of our Book Reviewers here at LWI brought author Mark Sasse to my attention after reviewing a book called The Recluse Storyteller (review). I believe her words had the basic meaning of “INTERVIEW THIS MAN!” His writing style blew her away due to its uniqueness. Then she did another review and she was submersed in his descriptions in The Reach of the Banyan Tree (review). With that in mind the first thing I asked Mark Sasse to share with us how he developed his writing style.

Mark W Sasse AuthorOthers have mentioned that I have a unique style, but I really don’t know. I just write from my heart (whatever that means) and see what comes out. I will say that The Recluse Storyteller certainly has a unique structure with the stories inside of stories, but that’s the only novel I’ve written with that kind of structure. I’m humbled that some people like my writing style. I try to keep it simple – try to keep it real. Other than that, I have no idea how I write.

Mark and I discussed how people perhaps over analyze a writing style and then lose something along the way, or those are my words.

This certainly might be true. I purposefully try not to compare myself to others. Actually, if you want to know the truth, I really don’t read anymore. I know that is sacrilegious in most author circles. One of the reasons for this is that I don’t want to be influenced by other styles and ideas. I don’t want to imitate anyone. I just want to be myself and let the words flow. I feel guilty at times that I don’t read. In the past I have read; I was an English major as an undergraduate and read through all the major periods. Hemingway was it for me. But now when I have free time, all I want to do is write. I just try to tell the story that is currently on my heart and hope that it makes sense and can touch someone else. It’s humbling when it does.

 

When I asked Mark specifically about his style that captivated Colleen after reading The Recluse Storyteller, he gave one of the most honest answers I think an author can give.

I just write from my heart (whatever that means) and see what comes out. I will say that The Recluse Storyteller certainly has a unique structure with the stories inside of stories, but that’s the only novel I’ve written with that kind of structure. I’m humbled that some people like my writing style. I try to keep it simple – try to keep it real. Other than that, I have no idea how I write.

The Reach of the Banyan Tree Mark SasseWhen I started getting into Mark’s background and even his present I was surprised. It turned out that this Lit Major in college who was from western Pennsylvania had actually been living in Asia for 20 years, 10 of those in Vietnam. Now he resides on the tropical island of Penang in Malaysia, the country our very own Florence is originally from.  That led us into the book of focus today, The Reach of the Banyan Tree.

My ten years living in Vietnam inspired The Reach of the Banyan Tree. I wanted to paint a picture of what modern day Vietnam is like, wrapped around an engaging story. It was the easiest title I’ve ever come up with. The banyan tree in the story stands as a symbol of the passing of time and how the past keeps reaching into the present.

Penang Port

Being a Historian  I became jealous that Colleen was the one that ended up reviewing The Reach of the Banyan Tree. But I wanted to know the wrapping and the reaching that the banyan tree represented. If you don’t know how a banyan tree comes to exist and grows, you need to look into it and things become clear and Mark’s genius jumps out at you.

The Reach of the Banyan Tree chronicles three generations of American men who have been impacted by Vietnam – one at the tail-end of WWII, one during the Vietnam War, and one in the year 2000 as a humanitarian worker. It’s about the women they love, and the generational ties between families. It’s also my treatise on Vietnamese culture.

Chip is a twenty-something who has run away to Vietnam to get away from the family business. He falls in love with Thuy, a young Vietnamese woman. Each of these characters symbolize family in different ways. Chip begins to learn about his family’s past from his grandfather’s diary when he was in Vietnam at the end of WWII. This learning process helps to even heal the issues he had with his father. Thuy, on the other hand, represents a formal and strict Vietnamese family which values status, loyalty, and obligation over everything else. These two characters are on a remarkable journey through 20th century Vietnam, trying to break the chains of family and culture just to experience a little love.

Mark told me he doesn’t like the labeling of genres but I did get him to share what elements he thought would be used to describe his latest novel to you, and to me as well really.

It is partly all of the following: historical fiction, contemporary romance, contemporary fiction, love story, war and adventure, cross-cultural, literary fiction. I don’t know what it is.

When I asked Mark to describe his book in one word he said ‘Legacy’. Then I asked what what message he thought The Reach of the Banyan Tree gives its readers.

We can’t escape the past. We can run away from it for a time, but its reach is endless. We eventually have to come to grips with who we are. The symbol of the banyan tree is fleshed out well in the novel, teaching us of the bonds of family and history. Those bonds are not easily broken. Some bonds should be preserved, but others need to be carefully removed. But it’s a painful process.

Mark is the definition of write what you know. His books are about where he is, not where he wishes he was or what he wishes he could be. As a drama teacher and a person who does the casting for productions Mark lives in creativity. When some authors escape from writing at times, even reluctantly so, Mark is “always escaping to writing”. His life in drama, that creative eye and mind seeing the world in a different way. In fact that’s how he came to be an author.

I always wanted to write, but I spent twenty years doing hardly any of it. But those twenty years were a period of preparation. I started writing seriously when I began collaborating with a group of high school students on an original play back in 2007. I had so much fun that the collaboration (and production that followed) got me hooked on writing drama. I turned one of our dramas into a novella, Spy Blue, and that gave me the courage to try writing my first novel, Beauty Rising, with I published in December 2012. Since then, I’ve published two more with another on the way. I’m totally hooked.

I haven’t had the honor of reading any of Mark’s work YET but I am already a fan. Here are a few of those things fans like to know.

Since I’m in Malaysia, let me go with Teh Ais – Malaysian sweetened milk ice tea. Completely addictive. (I confirmed with Florence here at LWI and she agrees it is so good.)

Honestly, when I have free time, I write, not read. My reading consists of news, opinions, blogs, and other interesting stuff that catches my eye. I have a lot of interests: politics, economics, tech, culture, life, entertainment, etc … haven’t read any books in a while though.

No representation. I’m a proud indie author! Since I publish independently, my advice is write a quality book. That’s the key. Don’t settle for good enough. Push it and make it the best it can possibly be. Take criticism in stride and learn from it. Then push the book out there. And write another one.

As you know Mark is not just a one book guy, nor is he a novella and two book guy. I asked him about what he’s done and what he’s doing now.

My first novel was Beauty Rising, released in Dec 2012. It’s about a thirty-something going-nowhere man, who is convinced he needs to take his veteran father’s ashes to Vietnam and bury him. As he steps out of his comfort zone, he experiences a soul-awakening and an unlikely love interest. I followed up that novel with my second one, The Recluse Storyteller, in Oct 2013. It’s a fascinating story about a recluse who tells stories to herself about the neighbors she spies on. However, as the recluse begins to have contact with the people of her apartment, those neighbors begin to realize that her stories have something to say about their own lives.

My fourth novel is finished. I just sent it out to some readers for feedback. It’s entitled “A Love Story for a Nation” and is scheduled for release in mid 2015. I’m very excited about this one. I’m also 15,000 words into my fifth novel, set in a fictitious southeast Asian island. Besides that, I just re-wrote a musical script which I’ll be producing with my drama troupe in the spring of 2015. Lots of good stuff ahead!

One thing you will notice is that Mark doesn’t rush his novels. I have to say many Indie Authors push those books out as fast as they can. Mark practices what he preaches about putting out quality. Building up a catalog of books will pay off over time. A catalog of quality books that is. Mark was a great interview. I could feel the effects a culture had on him in his answers and even in his thoughts about writing. He lets the heart lead and he follows. When I get the chance I am going to read this book, and the others if possible. I’m not as avid a reader as I once was because of a concussion I suffered but I do make the effort when I see something special. The Reach of the Banyan Tree is going to be added to that list. Connect with Mark at the places mentioned below, and buy every book he has written.  And once you’ve read a book, you know what to do then . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Writers Blog: www.mwsasse.com Find out what more about Mark that you didn’t read here.

Facebook Page: Author Mark W. Sasse

Twitter: @sassevn

Email: sassevn@yahoo.com

If you clicked the title of Mark’s books you’ve already been to Amazon, if not click the book covers and you’ll be there in seconds. Also you can get them in paperback  at pretty much any retailer.

Spy Blue Mark Sasse AuthorBeauty Rising Mark Sasse AuthorThe Reculse Storyteller Mark Sasse AuthorThe Reach of the Banyan Tree Mark Sasse

 

 

 

 

“In a moving work of sweeping scope, The Reach Of The Banyan Tree explores themes of love versus loyalty, desire verses duty, destiny versus fate, and family versus the individual – illuminating the familial ties that either bind us together or tear us apart.”~Literary R&R

“He weaves his extensive knowledge of Vietnam and the splendor of the countryside into his writing, as he did in ‘Beauty Rising;’ and with such vivid narratives, I could see the story unfolding in my mind. I love the compassion and complexity he puts into his writing. “~Marilou George of Confessions of a Reader

“This romance spans fifty years through three generations of American men whose lives are interwoven through the women they love, their courage to face reality, and the lifetime friendships they forged.  I loved the richness of the characters and the rites of passage into adult-hood that each endured.”~Colleen Chesebro of LitWorldInterviews

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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Special Interview Monday at 9 AM New York Time.

Special Interview on Monday!

Can you guess who it is?

Just look around the site and you will get an idea.

Be back here Monday at 9 AM New York Time.

Indie Authors–Have I got a resource for you!

 

 

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The Dazzling Darkness @PaulaCappa1 Q&A TODAY!

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GOTHIC READERS BOOK CLUB CHOICE AWARD WINNER
★★★★★  Outstanding Fiction “Dazzling sums up Paula Cappa’s paranormal/supernatural novel … an elegance and grace that seduces you.”

BRONZE MEDAL WINNER, Readers’ Favorite Book Award for Supernatural Fiction, 2014 “Beautiful and high standard writing style from start to finish … a superb and classy supernatural novel.” Readers’ Favorite Reviews

“Paula Cappa is a master of the metaphysical mystery genre…an extraordinary and original storyteller of the first rank. Very highly recommended.” Midwest Book Review.  

 

 

I sometimes find an Author that jumps out at me, no, not in a scary way like from around the corner. Instead they jump out at me with words. They capture the imagination, the senses and give that subtle sense of not quite fear but that classic something. Yes, for a writer I am having a difficult time capturing exactly what I mean here. So instead of continuing to describe an Author that captures a classic style in a modern manner, let me introduce you to . . .

 

Author

Paula Cappa

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@paulacappa1    

RW: Where are you from?    
PAULA: Grew up in Connecticut but now live in New York State.

RW: I know you like to discover new authors, but I think one way to give our readers a feel for who you are in style of writing is to let them know who you admire.
PAULA: Writers that I admire greatly are Susan Hill, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tolstoy, Lovecraft, MR James, Poe, Chekhov, Gertrude Atherton, Ann Rice, Daphne du Marier.

RW: With those classic influences of admiration, what in turn brings you to writing, writing fiction, a novel, do what you do?  
PAULA: I began writing fiction in college. Then dabbled in it in my adults years, but it wasn’t until I began writing feature articles for community newspapers in New York and Connecticut that I really dove in. I took a summer writing course at Yale and that motivated me to commit and I went back to fiction. I’ve been writing short stories and novels and will continue to stay in fiction.

RW: I think if would be very unlikely anyone would be surprised that The Dazzling Darkness falls into the supernatural mystery/quiet horror/dark fiction genres. Tell us about your novel.  
PAULA: The Dazzling Darkness is about a family. Their son goes missing and there’s evidence that he was inside a locked cemetery near his house. Supernatural powers prevail as the police and the family struggled to locate the child.

The main character is Antonia Brooke, a mom who owns a local bookshop in Concord MA. This is a story about a lost child and so many moms and dads have that fear. And it’s fear that propels the story. Fear of never finding Henry again and that some supernatural power will be stronger than our earthly powers.

Henry Vaughan (1600s) made the term dazzling darkness famous in his poem, The Night, which I quote at the opening of the novel …His line reads, “A deep but dazzling darkness.” Actually, it was originally coined by Dionysius (500 AD). Dionysius says, “Truth lies hidden in the dazzling darkness.” I found this symbolism for what Henry discovers to be a good representation. The poem emphasizes light can only be seen from the darkness. Essentially Vaughan is telling us that we can see more than just surface reality.

The novel actually developed from a line in one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays in his address called Nature. He wrote … “Even the corpse has its own beauty.” Shocking statement, right? The more I read about Emerson’s personal experiences with death, the more the story began to take shape. Emerson lost his young wife Ellen only a short time after they were married. He buried her in the family vault and a year later, still driven by intense grief, he opened her coffin. What a heart-breaking experience! And then twenty-five years later, after his young son Waldo dies at five-years-old, Emerson opened his coffin as well. These images all connected for me: images of a cemetery, images of a boy named Henry suddenly appeared, coffins opening. The story just unraveled in a very exciting way and Emerson was that foundation.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?
PAULA: That we don’t know everything about this world or what may be on the other side of death.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?
PAULA: Not to close off possibilities to answers.

RW: Describe your book in one word.  
PAULA: Mystical.

 

Paula Cappa is currently is published by Crispin Books in Milwaukee, WI. With:
Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural” is about angels and demons. An artist named Kip Livingston paints her dreams. In one of her dreams is a firehawk. What is a firehawk? Probably not what you think. The thing about the firehawk is that it’s not just in her dreams. The entity breaks through into her waking life. And the firehawk has something shocking to reveal to Kip”.

She also has a short story, “Beyond Castle Frankenstein” about Mary Shelly seeking the ghost of her husband out in Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, an anthology of shorts.

You can get her books at: Amazon.com Barnes & Noble. Smashwords.com. Kobo.com and some local bookstores in Westchester County NY.

What’s out next from Paula?

“A novel about the supernatural powers in music. And some short stories (Just got my short story “Magic of the Loons,” published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Ezine on Amazon.)”

 Now for my off the topic questions to delve into your inner being.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?
PAULA: I’m a tea drinker (love teapots!)

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?
PAULA: Take a nature walk, listen to music or watch reruns of Downton Abbey.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?
PAULA: Pierced Heart by Lynn Shepherd.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?
PAULA: Keep studying and practicing the craft. The goal is to be a professional writer, not just get published.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?
PAULA: I wish I wrote Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black. The best ghost story! Hill is a master at writing atmospheric prose and she can plot very tightly.

RW: What is your favorite word?
PAULA: Please.

 

 

Connect with Paula Cappa:
Blog: paulacappa.wordpress.com 
Offers a free classic short story every week, my own published short stories, book reviews, and a contact me page.
Facebook: Paula Cappa
Twitter: @paulacappa1
Google+: Paula Cappa

 

I think everyone can see how Paula might be able to make you jump just with her words. I want to thank Paula Cappa for this interview. I found her influences interesting in being the classics, those many of us grew up with. Who among us did not read Poe and Hawthorne in Lit class in High School? Anne Rice is a classic of the modern era in her imagery. With those authors firing the synapses in Paula’s brain you just know you are in for an interesting and perhaps sleepless read.

 

Get her books, follower her everywhere and as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

 

Much Respect

Ron_LWI

 

 

Ronovan

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“It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong.” The Convenience of Lies @K_A_Castillo Q&A!

kimberly_castillo_author.jpgI’ve known K.A. Castillo for a little while now. I received her book, and I gave my honest review of it. In fact her’s was one of my very first reviews eve. K.A. Castillo brings realism without caving to the tricks some authors use and gimmick plots. The voice of her main character is real and carries through the book. For those not accustomed to authentic writing, her book would be an interesting read. For those who like the common, everyday gimmicks, get ready to be challenged. Now it’s time to . . .

 

 

Book Description

“It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. All that matters is if you can. If you can do something, what difference does it make?” K.A. Castillo

Based on a true story, The Convenience of Lies is a novel that keeps readers up past midnight with its story of friendship, mystery, crime, sex, and betrayal. Set in a suburban town, this story is told through the eyes of a high school junior, Mackenzie, who describes her crush on a “bad boy,” Ramon and her relationship with her best friend, Kira. During the course of the story, Mackenzie does her best to attract the affections of Ramon while her friendship with Kira evolves. Eventually, the different characters’ property starts getting vandalized and a mystery develops as Mackenzie and Kira try to get to the bottom of who is behind the vandalism.

 

RW: When did you interest in writing begin?

K.A. CASTILLO: I was raised by an English teacher, and so my writing skills have been coached and nourished for as long as I can remember. I have loved writing ever since I learned how to string sentences together, and I’ve kept a diary since kindergarten.

RW: Is The Convenience of Lies your first published piece?

K.A. CASTILLO: The first time my name was published was a letter to the editor for Smithsonian’s October 2011 edition of Muse Magazine. My letter inspired the editors to create a “special edition” Muse Mail page focusing on letters from older readers. In 2006 I was awarded three scholarships valued at over $25,000. For each of these scholarships, the personal statement I wrote was an integral part of my application. Throughout college I studied the process of storytelling, and in 2008 I graduated with honors from California State University Northridge.

RW: Okay, I am very jealous about the Smithsonian thing. That is so amazing. Now, what inspired the story of The Convenience of Lies?

K.A. CASTILLO: The first novel I ever read was Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it inspired me to someday write a book based on my own life. And so, I started keeping a diary with the hopes that someday I would stumble upon a story worth telling. Then, one summer while I was in high school I experienced a lot of drama which I thought could make a good story.

Mackenzie is the main character in this story, and I think that teenagers relate to her because I wrote the first version of The Convenience of Lies ten years ago when I was a teenager. Therefore, I’ve managed to preserve the mannerisms and voice of teenagers in The Convenience of Lies, much like what S.E. Hinton managed to achieve with The Outsiders.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

K.A. CASTILLO: Anyone can fall into an abusive relationship. It is easy to fall prey to what social psychology calls “blaming the victim” and thinking it will never happen to you. However, remember that love is blind, and look out for yourself first.

RW: Describe  The Convenience of Lies in one word.
K.A. CASTILLO: Innocence.

RW: I read some exciting news on your author blog recently about your book and its future, would you share a bit of that with our readers?

K.A. CASTILLO: I started out as a self-published author but was recently approached by Creativia and have now signed a publishing contract with them. You can read all the details on my author site here.

And do go and read it. You can feel the excitement in the story. I am still geeking a little over it.-RW

5 out of 5 Stars-This book was hard to put down and full of useful validating information. As an MFT I have suggested this book to many teenagers and young adults whom have struggled with similar issues, opening up the door for change. The writer gave a sincere portrayal of her struggles , such a difficult feat…..well done to Ms. Castillo I truly appreciate the risk you took in sharing your story.-Brenda Hopley, Amazon Review

People can currently get The Convenience of Lies at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. And of course you must follow Kimberly everywhere, just as I do at:

Facebook: K.A. Castillo-Author   Twitter: @K_A_Castillo Author Blog: K.A. Castillo

 And now for some quirky questions.

RW: What is your favorite thing to drink?

K.A. CASTILLO: It’s hard to pick just one! But I love strawberry limeade.

RW: Strawberry anything is amazing. Through our talks before I know you are in graduate school, but I have to ask, what’s in your stack of books to read right now?

K.A. CASTILLO: I have plenty of textbooks to get through.

RW: Who is your favorite author?

K.A. CASTILLO: J.K. Rowling is my favorite author.

RW: This is a silly question considering who your favorite author is, but I have been surprised before, if you could have written any book that exists, other than your own who’s would it be and why?

K.A. CASTILLO: Harry Potter of course! I’d love to live in J.K. Rowling’s shoes.

RW: In the tradition of Inside the Actors Studio, What is your favorite word and why?

K.A. CASTILLO: Strength. I love what it portrays, and it’s important to always remember to stay strong. At the same time, from a lingual standpoint “strength” is an interesting word because it’s the longest one-syllable word in the English language.

 

First of all, I want to thank K.A. Castillo for the interview. Some day I might ask her which Harry Potter book is her favorite, but I decided not to put her on the spot this time. Just as I wouldn’t ask someone which is their favorite child or year of Mustang. K.A. Castillo’s book The Convenience of Lies may be in the category of Young Adult book but it is for readers older as well. For some it will help them recognize what may be happening in their lives, for others it might even show them what they are doing to others. K.A. Castillo’s book is a classic example of how a book can mean different things to different ages. Just as various ages read Harry Potter and get something from it, so too can people read The Convenience of Lies and take away a new understanding. Read my LWI review of her book here. Now go buy her book in paperback or for Kindle. 

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

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Monica LaSarre Q&A The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis @MLaSarre

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Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective

The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

Monica LaSarre

5 out of 5 Stars-“I literally could not put this book down from beginning to end. This may be the author’s first book, but she writes like an old pro! I especially liked that she wrote from a 9 – 13 year old’s perspective. I got lost in this adventure and that is pretty good for a woman in her 50s reading a children’s book. Greece came alive in my imagination, and the history and geography weaved into the plot was excellent. Kids will be learning without knowing it. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series.”-Amazon

5 out of 5 Stars-“Read this book with my daughter to help her with her reading- such success! We loved it and read it in a weekend! This is a fun exciting read. A BIG thumbs up. Can’t wait to read more and go on more exciting adventures with Jasper!! A must have book, we will have to own this book”-Amazon

“better than Harry Potter”-Pinterest

I like to interview Authors. I think that’s a given considering I created a site for that purpose. Having a 10 year old son of my own, today’s guest has me excited because it’s right up his alley and I am looking forward to reading it and reviewing it. I may even throw in some opinions here on the LitWorldInterview book review from my son, who I call ‘B’ on the internet. If the cover and title of the book today doesn’t tell you why I am so enthusiastic then let me get out of the way so you can meet . . .

 

Monica LaSarre

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RW: Where are you from?

MONICA: I am originally from Houston, TX, but have lived in Colorado for the past 21 years. More specifically, I live in a very rural area, beside a creek, on the side of a mountain. It’s lovely!

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

MONICA: My favorite authors are… wow! This is a tough question. I love authors who make me think (e.g., Dan Brown), make me feel (e.g., Amy Tan, A.S. Byatt) who make me fondly recall reading their works (e.g., Diana Gabaldon, L.M. Montogmery). As a children’s author, I take great inspiration from “Lemony Snicket” (pen name for Daniel Handler) and Donald J. Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown, boy detective. Probably my all time favorites authors though are Daphne du Maurier (best known for her novel Rebecca), a master of suspense, and M.F.K. Fisher, a culinary genius when it comes to weaving fiction and history around food.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

MONICA: My husband tells me I need to drink more water and less coffee, to which I always reply, “Coffee has water in it, doesn’t it?” I drink coffee constantly. It’s my biggest regret in life.

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

MONICA: I’m not the exploding type, actually. I’m pretty calm most of the time. I do find great relief personally in managing stress and angst through Reiki energy therapy and enjoying nature. I have a long dirt-road driveway and often will take a walk to clear my head and get some fresh air. I used to run quite a bit and have completed a couple of marathons, but can’t say that I run a whole lot in the more recent years. Still, it’s something I’ve enjoyed in the past.

RW: What is your favorite word?

MONICA: “Persnickety” It makes me giggle. And, it reminds me of Lemony Snicket, whose books are amongst my favorite in children’s literature, which is always a happy thought.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

MONICA: I spent 13 years working in the field of transfusion medicine and clinical laboratory science (translation: I wore a lab coat and geeked out on test tubes and biology) and one day decided it wasn’t what made me happy anymore. When I considered what did make me happy, I could only conclude one thing: I love words, I love books and I love writing things that people enjoy reading. My background in writing really is pretty minimal: I wrote as a student, grade school up through graduate school, and in my past career I wrote quite a bit in the peer-reviewed scientific journal realm. Now I write fiction as an author, and fiction and non-fiction as a ghostwriter. It comes so naturally to me and so I must conclude I’ve always been a writer, who simply would be unhappy if I stopped being one.

RW: How did you come up with the name for your book?

MONICA: My first published fictional work is entitled, The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis and it is Volume 1 in the series called Jasper Penzey, International Boy Detective. The series is a color-coded one, covering each color of the rainbow + a pot of “gold” at the end, so red was the theme color I wanted to incorporate into the first book of this eight-book series. I wanted a touch point for kids that was color-centered (red in the case of the first book) and that immediately caused them to be intrigued (“What about the Ruby Brooch? What is that?”) As for Jasper Penzey, the main character, his name came to me while I was running a marathon on the Great Wall of China in May of 2013. I had met a fellow runner from Canada who had a son named Jasper and I immediately loved the name. Penzey seemed like a good fit for a last name.

Monica_LeSarre_Great_Wall_China_Marathon.jpgMonica_LaSarre_Great_Wall_China.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

RW: The book is about a boy detective but genre and reading age does your book fall into?

MONICA: This is a middle-reader (ages 6-11) book, in the mystery/detective genre.

RW: Why did you pick the mystery/detective genre for young people to write about?

MONICA: Kids love mysteries. In fact to them, at the young ages of 6-11, the whole world is a mystery. They’re trying to figure out things, which people to trust, what things mean and how they work. I love that inquisitiveness. In fact, in many ways, I’m still a child…always asking why and wondering why things are the way they are. My overarching desire in writing a book for children was to make it re-aloud friendly (so many kids’ books aren’t, unfortunately!) and write it in a way that would teach children about the diversity of cultures, other countries and history in a way that entertained them and wet their appetite to want to explore the world. I chose a mystery format for that, since I think that’s what kids enjoy the most.

RW: Tell us a little about Jasper and his story.

MONICA: Jasper Penzey is 9 and he’s never known his mother. His history professor father never wants to speak of her. One summer, Jasper moves from Louisiana to Greece with his father and on the eve of his move, he finds a note from his mom and an amulet. His move to Greece no longer is just about tagging along with his dad, it’s suddenly about finding his mom and solving a mystery that will change the course of history. He has never traveled before and, like many children, assumes the world is full of people just like him. His eyes are opened to a different way of life in Greece and he cleverly makes observations about the lives and cultures of people different than his norm, all the while being pulled further and further into a mystery involving the location of his mom and the lost civilization of Atlantis. It’s a lot of fun. And it has cookie recipes.

RW: What inspired the story concept and setting?

MONICA: I was able to travel to Santorini, Greece several years ago, to the exact place where this story is set. I remember being so impressed on so many levels with the geography and people of Greece and though it’s been several years since I traveled there, the landscapes and textures of the country have never left me. I wanted to write a story set in a far away land, especially since Jasper is an international detective, and knew I wanted it to take place in an area I fondly recalled. Greece was a sure fit.

RW: Tell us about Jasper and what you think will help readers connect to him.

MONICA: Jasper is precocious, like most 9-year olds. He asks big questions and is observant all the time. I think this is how most children are, at least it’s how my children are. I also think it is good as an adult to aspire to be young at heart and regain the childhood curiosity we lost along the way. Young readers will relate to Jasper because he’s fun loving, adventurous and curious; adult readers will relate to him because they remember being the same way, and perhaps wish to be the same way again.

RW: Who do you see when you think of Jasper in a movie?

MONICA: I picture Jasper looking a bit like a younger version of Dylan Sprayberry, with his spiky brown hair and big eyes. But at the same time, I love leaving the mental picture of my main character up to the reader’s imagination. I’ll never forget how I felt after reading the Twilight series and feeling like the air knocked out of me when Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward, because that’s not at all how I pictured him. And never again could I recall my own imagination’s image of Edward after that.

RW: What message do you think The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis delivers to the reader?

MONICA: There is a universality amongst humans, regardless of what country you are from, and that diversity in cultures and people and history is what keeps life interesting. I hope my book will create in young readers an early understanding of that fact, and spark in them a lifelong curiosity that can only be satisfied by travel and experiencing history through their own eyes in far away lands across the globe.

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

MONICA: I learned a very valuable lesson, actually. It’s interesting because, when I first started writing this book, I was an adult, a responsible mom, trying very hard to write a great kids’ book. Along the way, I learned that the only way I could do that was by putting myself into the mindset of a child. Now, though the book is written and published, I’ve yet to let go of the sheer joy I experience living as an adult who tries always to see the world as a child would. I laugh a lot more, I don’t over complicate things, I enjoy the wonder of each new day and get excited about goofy things right alongside my kids. It’s been an amazing, unforeseen fountain of youth for me, writing this book.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

MONICA: Enthusiastic

RW: Where can we Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis now?

MONICA: It’s available on Amazon in paperback, and for Kindle including Kindle Unlimited. It will also be available through Ingram, catalogued for order by any other online and brick-and-mortar bookstore.

RW: I imagine you are working on book 2 if not already completed it, what about your ghostwriting, anything you can share?

MONICA: At the moment, I’m all about Jasper Penzey, working very hard on his next book in the series, volume 2. I have many exciting books I could share with you that I have ghostwritten for clients around the world, but then I’d be breaking confidentiality. Suffice it to say, there are some really excellent memoirs and fictional works on the publishing horizon that I’ve ghostwritten for others. Shhhh….

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

MONICA: I use Twitter and Facebook most, but also Instagram and LinkedIn. I also respond to all messages left for me through my website and via email. On Facebook, I give away a paperback children’s book every single day to those who follow my page and Like/Share my posts. The Book-A-Day-Giveaway is a big draw for my fans to my Facebook page. Parents, teachers, librarians love it. It’s my way of giving back and increasing the reach of quality children’s literature in the world.

RW: Do you currently have agent representation?

MONICA: I actually agented for myself in seeking a publisher for my work. It never occurred to me to look for an agent, and as luck would have it, I never needed one. Had I looked for one, I would definitely have wanted someone who believed in my book as much as I did. Thankfully, I found that person in my wonderful publisher, Dr. Kitty Bickford of Chalfant Eckert Publishing. A mother, grandmother, educator and advocate for quality children’s literature, she and I see eye-to-eye on how important it is to share Jasper’s story with children of all ages (young and old).

RW: What are your plans for Jasper in the future?

MONICA: I’m working on Volume 2 of the Jasper Penzey series and with 8 books in the series, I have my work cut out for me. When I’m not writing Jasper Penzey’s books, I’m daydreaming about what I want to write next and I’m working very hard on ghostwriting projects for clients (one non-fiction, one fiction, currently).

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

MONICA: I’m reading a book called Mary Anne, by Daphne du Maurier, which I found in a used book store recently and realized I’d never read it. Over the weekend, I devoured Gone Girl in a 36 hour reading marathon. It was THAT GOOD. With my children, I’m happily re-reading a beloved classic, Charlotte’s Web.

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

MONICA: Write a great query letter by doing this: believe in your book because if you don’t, no one else will either; the rest of the query letter is just semantics.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

MONICA: I wish I had written The Game of Thrones series, or Outlander. Epic fiction, the way George R. R. Martin and Diana Gabladon do it, is so beautiful to me. It’s my pie in the sky, the type of work I aspire to be capable of when my writing career is said and done.

 

 

List links to all websites you have and social networks such as Twitter.

Website: www.monicalasarre.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MLaSarre

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monicalasarreauthor

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/mlasarre

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/monica-lasarre/2/aa5/826

First of all, follow Monica LaSarre everywhere you can. Then really first of all, go buy her book! Now after reading about her and her book, do you see why I was excited to share this Author with you? I know not to judge a book by its cover but when I get my hands on the book, I don’t think I will be disappointed considering the creative mind behind it and the publishing behind it. When I do review it, trust me that I will be honest. If I’m not honest then there is no point to having this site.

Now I want to thank Monica for the interview and sharing so much of herself with us. I look forward to continuing a working relationship with her as I do with all Authors who come through LWI. Again, get her book now! You will be in on the beginning of something great!

Like the interview? Like the sounds of the book? The Author? Then let us know with a comment of encouragement.

And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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Q&A Luccia Gray All Hallows at Eyre Hall @LucciaGray

all_hallows_at_eyre_hall_cover.jpgAll Hallows at Eyre Hall

Luccia Gray

“All Hallows is believable and well-written, true to the “voice” of Brontë, and well-researched. In fact, at times I thought Charlotte Brontë was writing this; that is how fabulous a writer Luccia Gray is. This is not to say that she is a copy-cat writer. No, the author understands and “gets” the flavor, feel, and construction of Brontë’s work – an honor to a classic author, and thus, that is how sequels should be written. Bravo!

Luccia Gray is a beautifully descriptive writer. I sensed a need to don my wool cape when she wrote: “ . . . the horizon is grey, the air smells of damp weeds, and the wind is cold and furious . . .” I felt the almost imperceptible warmth on my face when “ . . . the sun . . . was suddenly visible, pale and low on the distant horizon.” Through her descriptions, I was there – right there.”-Susan Marie Molloy (See full review here.)

 

Early into my blogging career I met a lady who was a bit different than the norm I had become accustomed to up to that point. Oddly since meeting her I have begun to meet other very intelligent and classy people. When she showed an interest in my blog it was a thrill for me that such a talent and such a lady had done so. Her style and interest is unique among the people I am familiar with and that adds something to the overall mystique about her. She will disagree about a mystique but then again she would disagree if you said she was a talented writer. Meet . . .

 

Luccia Gray

author_luccia_gray.jpg 

 

 

RW: Where are you from?

LUCCIA: I was born and brought up in London, although I live and work in the south of Spain.

 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

LUCCIA : My favorite authors are like my best friends. I’ve known them for years, and I can’t live without them, so I go back to them time and time again. They are always comforting and helpful whenever I need inspiration or escape. The first is William Shakespeare, because I’ll never tire of rereading his plays, sonnets and long poems. Secondly novels by Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, or Wilkie Collins, are never far from my fingers.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

LUCCIA: During the day tea, coffee and orange juice. In the evenings, white wine on occasions.

RW: What is your favorite word?

LUCCIA: I love words like; enraptured, mesmerized, cherished… because they convey powerful, singular feelings, and they also roll easily off the tongue, and sound wonderful when spoken. So they’re great for reading and speaking!

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

LUCCIA: I’ve been a writer as far back as I can remember. I need to read and write like I need to eat and drink, but I try hard to rationalize the urge to ‘pour out my soul on paper’, and write something worth reading by others.

Academically, I have a degree from London University in modern languages, and a PhD in English language teaching methodology from the University of Cordoba in Spain. I teach English language and literature at the University of Córdoba, and at an Adult Education Centre.

RW: What is the title of your book?

LUCCIA: All Hallows at Eyre Hall

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

LUCCIA: It’s a neo-Victorian gothic romance.

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

LUCCIA: It’s about the personal, social, and emotional challenges Jane Eyre faces in her forties, after a twenty-two year marriage to Edward Rochester.

Jane is coping with the imminent death of her bedridden husband, while Richard Mason has returned from Jamaica, revealing unspeakable secrets once again, and drawing Jane into a complex conspiracy, which threatens everything she holds dear.

RW: What inspired the book?

LUCCIA: Many people ask me this question, and there is no easy answer. The creative process is a mystery, however, I’ll try and verbalize how I came to write my first novel.

I had always wanted to write a novel. I had started many, and even finished one or two, but I was never fully satisfied, because I always seemed to end up writing about myself and my life, and I didn’t want to ‘write as therapy’, at least not so blatantly!

I wanted to write a novel that wasn’t about me or anything related to my life. I purposefully moved as far away as possible from myself physically, temporally, geographically, and emotionally.

Jane Eyre had been one of my favorite novels since adolescence, and when I read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, as an adult in my 30s, many years later, it struck a deep chord, causing an emotional and intellectual earthquake. My perception of Jane Eyre, and even life, changed drastically.

I must add that Victorian literature has always been my preferred reading, but I had never imagined I could write about the 19th read the neo-Victorian novels by A.S. Byatt and Sarah Walters, such as, Possession, and Fingersmith, and I realized that was the type of novel I wanted to write. The seed was sown.

In the last five years, I was asked to lecture on a subject called ‘Postcolonial’ or ‘New’ Literatures in English, at the University of Córdoba, where I live. After an overview of theoretical and ‘Colonial’ aspects in Victorian literature, the next topic I chose to deal with was ‘writing back’ and ‘rewriting’ colonialism by modernist or 20th authors, such as Jean Rhys. So we compared the themes and characters in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. This topic led to more research and brought up lively conversations in class. The seed grew.

It grew so much, I had to get it out of my system and write a novel. A novel that would merge both Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea, taking both their plots and characters as my background, and moving on to write a sequel of the merger I had created in my mind. The catalyst is Annette Mason, Bertha’s daughter. She will bring both women together, a generation after Bertha’s death.

RW: Tell us about your main character and what you think will them connect to readers.

LUCCIA: My novel has multiple narrators, and there are several significant characters, but overall it’s the story of Jane Eyre’s maturity.

Bronte’s Jane Eyre portrayed Jane’s ‘coming of age’, remember she was only 19 when she arrived at Thornfield, and she married Rochester a year later. In my novel Jane grows up, and becomes a mature adult. It could have been called, ‘Jane Eyre Grows up and Gets on With Her Life’, but that wouldn’t be very appealing to readers!

I think my Jane is an adult, not a love-struck teenager. Although in many ways she’s very much a Victorian woman, she is socially conscious, and is especially keen on promoting free and universal education for all children, especially orphans. She is century to a contemporary audience, until I obsessed with her son’s future in Parliament, because she would like him to promote the social change she feels is needed in Britain. She has published a successful novel, and practically runs the estate, as her husband is on his death-bed, and has been bed-ridden for some years.

However, Jane is not perfect, far from it. She is controlling, obsessive, stubborn, and a little scheming (she learnt that from her husband!). Although she is still a young and passionate woman, she will stop at nothing to achieve her goals, even if it means sacrificing her own love, and expecting others to do the same. She is too concerned with social conventions, and in some ways, she has evolved into the woman she would never have wanted to become.

Naturally, she will continue evolving the in sequel, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall.

RW: Who would play your main character in a movie?

LUCCIA: I think I’ve seen all the movies and series based on Jane Eyre. My favourite Jane Eyre is definitely Ruth Wilson in the 2006 BBC miniseries. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780362/  She’s only 32, so she’s a little young to play my Jane, at the moment, but by the time my novel becomes a film or TV series, in a few years, she’ll be the perfect age!

Ruth_Wilson

I was tired of watching weak, school-girlish Jane’s in other versions. I need a more empowered rendering of Jane for my novel.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

LUCCIA: The most powerful message is that a great novel, like Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, allows you, no, begs you to look beyond the surface of a novel and search for the real story. Readers should read between the lines, look for the secondary characters, see beyond the narrative ending, and recreate the novel in their own minds.

Nothing is as it seems.

Reread, reinterpret, and reassess what you read and what you believe.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

LUCCIA: Mind-blowing for readers who are familiar with Jane Eyre, because it challenges what readers thought about Jane Eyre and Rochester, especially if they’ve read the book or seen the film.

Captivating for readers who haven’t read the book or seen the film, because they will enter the fascinating world of Jane Eyre for the first time.

RW: Where can we get your book now?

LUCCIA: At the moment it’s only available on Amazon kindle.

 

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

LUCCIA: I have a blog called Rereading Jane Eyre: Rereading and Rewriting Life and  Literature at www.lucciagray.com

I’m also on twitter: 

I also have a Facebook Page .

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

LUCCIA: I am a one-woman-show at the moment!

I’ve never had an agent, and I’m not even sure what they do. However, as I’m finding the whole publishing business rather daunting, ideally I’d like an agent to handle advertising, deal with financial aspects, legal aspects, liaise with my publisher, and everything else that takes my mind and time away from writing. I’d like to keep control of things like my book cover, the content of my novel, my writing schedule, and my social media.

RW: What are you working on right now?

LUCCIA: I’m writing part two of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, which I hope will be published on Twelfth Night 2015!

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

LUCCIA: I read several books at once. I’m not sure why I do it, but I’ve always done so. When I used to read hard copies, I’d read two or three books at a time, taking up each one according to my mood. Now, I read even more books at a time, because I download them and start them on my Kindle, and continue as I have time, again depending on my mood.

I make a point of rereading the classics continuously. Hardly a week goes by when I don’t reread parts of Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, The Woman in White, and so many more, depending on my mood!

Regarding new books, I’m making a conscious effort now to read mainly contemporary authors, preferable debut and self-published books, or those published with small publishing houses, because they (as I do) need the support to continue creating, and I think that’s where the future of publishing is.

I love thrillers, romance, and historical novels. In the last two weeks or so, I’ve read thrillers like Mad Dog House and Mad Dog Justice by Mark Rubinstein, Cold Blooded by Matt Cairns, and Kiss Me When I’m Dead by Dominic Piper. I’ve also read a Victorian romance by Frances Evesham, An Independent Woman, and I’ve just finished reading a contemporary romantic thriller, Before the Dawn by Georgia Rose, which is the sequel to The First Step.

At the moment I have started The Hollow Man, a thriller by Paul Hollis, a Gothic Horror Romance, by Jane Godman, Echoes in the Darkness, A contemporary Romance, Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler, Cleaver Square, a crime novel by Daniel and Sean Campbell, and Holding Paradise by Fran Clark, a novel about two generations of women from England and the Caribbean

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

LUCCIA: You can write alone, but you can’t publish alone.

Write and rewrite until you’re happy with the final version, get beta readers, and friends to read it, rewrite and correct again with their suggestions. After that, get a professional editor and/or proof reader to go through it again, reread one more time.

When you’re happy with the final version, then format for Kindle, or wherever you’re publishing, get the cover done by a professional, and do all the paperwork involved. Then promote your book on social media, interact with other writers and readers on your blog and twitter, at least. This whole process took me a year, but I have a family and a job, it could take less if you focus 100%, but, it takes a long time.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own who’s would it be and why?

LUCCIA: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

Why? It’s one of those books which become classics because they’re both literary fiction, and mass market fiction.

Although I love Victorian fiction, I’m aware that it isn’t easy to read for contemporary audiences (three volumes, pages of descriptions, too much telling and not showing, etc…) I wouldn’t like to write a book written only for people who read the TLS. I’d like to write a well-crafted book that readers of all ages and interests can read, and I think Rebecca fits the bill. It has romance, passion, unexpected twists and turns, mystery, beautiful settings, enigmatic and authentic characters, and it’s masterfully written with elegant and flowing prose. That’s the type of book I aim to write.

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

LUCCIA: When I get frustrated or stuck while I’m writing, I have many resources to snap out of it! Sometimes it takes hours, and others a day or two.

Sometimes I just need to do something with my hands, such as cooking or gardening, or something physical, such as going for a walk or swimming, while thinking about my novel and the place where I’m stuck.

Other times I sit and reread any of my favorite Victorian authors, that usually gets me back in the mood with new ideas. I don’t fret, because I know it will be all right in the end.

Often I wake up with a solution or idea, because my subconscious has been busy working it out while I was sleeping.

RW: Tell us where everyone can find you.

LUCCIA:

My blog: www.lucciagray.com


Author Facebook

Goodreads author page

Pinterest

 

You may have not read her book yet, but after reading her answers today you can see what I was talking about in my introduction. She knows her subject and she has a heart for it that makes her one unique person to write the story she has. I want to thank Luccia for this interview and I hope to have her again for her next book release. Buy her book, and follow her everywhere.

And remember, when you read a book, write a review on one of the sites where you purchase them.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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Q&A Jon Langione BAT: The Taninger Vampire @VampyreLangione

BAT BAT: The Taninger Vampire

Jon Langione

 

 

I decided it was time for a change and when I ran across my guest today I knew instantly I had found someone I wanted to interview. Not only because of being an author, but also for the life experiences he has been through. The number of books he has put out is impressive. Today we’re going to obviously talk about his interest in vampires and a certain book in particular but I cannot imagine anyone having as varied a catalog as my guest. So let’s meet . . .

Jon Langione

 

RW: Where are you from?

JON: I grew up in the little burg of Hellam, Pennsylvania. But I had a twenty-two year army career and lived all over the world. I am a Viet Nam and Desert Storm veteran. I was a paratrooper and a helicopter pilot, as well as serving in intelligence and air operations. I describe myself as being from Eastern Pennsylvania by way of Brooklyn.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

JON:

Ayn Rand

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Michael Lewis,

and recently, Teresa Hawk

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

JON: Bold K-cup coffee.

RW: What is your escape from writing when you at that about to explode point?

JON: I really don’t have that as I write 11 to 15 pages a day. This is why I can pump out so many books. I have a book go on amazon.com about every four to five weeks. I do watch a lot of evening news.

RW: What is your favorite word?

JON: Counter-productive.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

JON: I started out writing for the Fort Wolters, Texas post newspaper. I have quite a few op-eds under my belt. I wrote for the US Army’s Aviation Digest. I hold the 4th  Estate Award for military writing. I was also a special correspondent to Gannett for the Kosovo operation.

I wrote a book about my wiseguy uncle and my wife suggested we go to print with it. Since then Cathey and I have written in several genres. She designs all the covers.

 

RW: What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

JON: BAT, The Taninger Vampire. I have started a new series known as the BAT Series. Bria Anne Tedesco is the vampire. In the first she is involved with a star chamber making hits on shady brokers and hedge fund managers. The star chamber is called the Taninger Chamber. That book is on the market. I am almost finished with BAT, The Delgado Vampire which takes place in Arizona. The story involves BAT with the drug cartels. The third one in the series is already titled BAT, The Covert Vampire where she gets mixed up with a government agency that uses vampires.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

JON: The Avi Asher Series (II thru VII) and the BAT series are all about vampires.

RW: Why do you write in the genre that you do?

JON: They used to be called Penny Dreadfuls, then Dime Novels, and now Pulp Fiction. I wrote enough finance material and want to have fun with the vampires.

 

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

JON: BAT, The Taninger Vampire is about BAT (Bria Anne Tesdeco) being used on missions to exact retribution against corrupt financiers.

RW: What inspired the book?

JON: I felt after the seven books of the Avi Asher Series it was becoming derivative. So, I went on to a stand-alone series with the main character being BAT and only one character other than her as a carry-over for the next book only.

RW: What inspired the book?

JON: I thought vampire books were a sellable commodity. They are fun to write and you can get as implausible as you wish. I have been inspired by Russell Blake. He wrote ten thrillers before he sold one. He keeps pumping them out, once writing a book in fifteen days. He has sold over 400k to date. I am going to keep writing as I am retired and treat this as a second career. After all vampires never die. And really they are pot-boilers and a fun read. I keep them to 210 to 260 pages.

RW: Tell us about your main characters and what you think will connect them to readers.

JON: In the Avi Asher Series he was a vampire hunter with a PhD and was an Assistant District Attorney. Thus, law enforcement got involved. However, there were some vampires he could not track down and the on-going story allowed the reader to either take the side of the hunter or the vampires.

Vampire Elizabeth

In the BAT Series the people BAT takes out are due for a come-uppance. But, there are hunters out to stop her and her string of partners. BAT is vicious and an arch-criminal.

RW: Who would play your main characters in a movie?

JON:

Avi Asher – Lou Diamond Phillips (Jon went to school with him! I am geeking, dudes.)

BAT – Noomi Rapace or Rooney Mara (both of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ fame)

Lou_Diamond_Phillips KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERARooney_Mara

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the readers?

JON: Just sit back and have a fun read.

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

JON: Not to look at the sales data and keep on keepin’ on.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

JON: Nightfall

RW: Where can we get your book(s) now?

JON: On amazon.com, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble.

RW: What other books do you have to share with us and can you tell us a little about them?

JON:

Canzio: A Sal Luca Gig – The story of a wiseguy with Sal Luca as a Philadelphia reporter.

Santa Is Out There, Christmas Tales From The Edge – twelve holiday short stories written with my wife Cathey that are a little off center.

Helel, the Nephilim, and Beyond – a biblical fiction with Sal Luca back as the reporter; the angel Helel is keynote in the story.

manic mind – written in all lower case with ellipses’ and no other punctuation. It is about my Bi-Polar experiences. And, again, Sal Luca is the reporter. He is fictional, but I gave him author credit as a twist.

Credit Card, A Personal Debt Crisis. This book is taken from by MBA thesis which was written in story form.

Student Loans, Credit Cards, and the National Debt Crisis is a DVD about the subjects of overwhelming debt.

The Avi Asher Series: Deceitful (a political thriller) and the six vampire books of the series: Vampire Elona, Vampire Edvard, Vampire Gothic, Vampire Wiseguy, Vampire Vice, and Vampire Elizabeth.

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

JON: I am on Twitter. I have no plans to go on Facebook. On my twitter site is my website address jonlangione.com. On the website the reader can get a description of the vampire books and see a photo of the cover.

RW: Do, you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

JON: Through my experience with agents I have collected a pile of rejection form letters. So, I decided to go to amazon and Barnes and Noble via Createspace. I price my books and Kindle books very low at what I feel is an equitable price. I self-promote the books via Twitter. As far as what I could do for an agent is meet a deadline.

RW: What are you working on right now?

JON: I am 163 pages into the second of the BAT Series – BAT, The Delgado Vampire.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

JON: ‘Are We Rome’ by Cullen Murphy

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

JON: Go to Createspace.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

JON: ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged has more depth and history for the future than any book written. She captured conservative business and progressive welfare better than anyone. Atlas Shrugged is second in US sales to one book – The Bible.

 

Well, everyone, I told you the man had a varied catalog. Next time believe me. I of course want to thank Jon again for the interview and I must say that his approach to writing his genre is interesting. He seems to have found a genre he is really enthusiastic about. Buy his books, check out his site, follow him on Twitter, and did I mention buy his books? And when you do, make sure to write a review.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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