Tag Archives: Smashwords

#Book #Review of Counterpart by @HSchussman.

Counterpart by H. Schussman4_stars_goldI’ve reviewed H. Schussman’s work here before. It  was El Tiburon and I gave it 4 stars. You can even read the interview I did with her by clicking here.That was her second book. Now I’ve read her first novel which you can get on Smashwords in any format you like.

Her first book is Counterpart. In this outing we get to meet Schussman’s characters CIA Agent/Travel Agent SEAN MCGEE and Doctor JANET “SPORT” WARRICK. The book starts off with Sport picking up a friend at work in a jewelry store when a robbery takes place. She foils one of the bad guys who doesn’t see her at first. Then the owner shoves a box into her hands and tells her to get it to Sean McGee. A chase ensues by the main bad guy but Sport gets away. I’m not spoiling it for you. If she were caught there wouldn’t be much of a story, now would there?

The story itself is very good. Great pace, if I had started this book during the morning after breakfast I would likely have finished it before bed. There are details about Sacramento that hint at first hand experience. Also other travel experiences that are obviously pulled from the author’s own extensive travel life. Trust me, she knows about the Americas, north, south, and central.

Once Sean and Sport meet up it is one thrill ride after another with CIA agents, FBI agents, Secret Service, and more. Even the California Highway Patrol gets involved. And don’t get me started on the Club Med moments.

My favorite character is Sport. She comes by the name for good reasons, which are revealed in the book, so I won’t tell you here. She isn’t a short girl to mess around with, even though Sean really wants to. Both find there is an unexpected attraction that neither really knows what to do with, what with a CIA agents life style and a young doctor’s not being all that great for starting a relationship. The question is, do both survive the whole thing to make it to a relationship at all?

Fast paced, guns, chases, assassinations, bad guys, Russian doubles, political look-a-likes. This one has it all. Oh, and there is even some kissing involved. I had to mention it for the tough guys reading this. We can’t even get a good shoot ’em up book without kissing thrown in. (Just kidding. I wrote a romance.)

This one is good for all types of readers. Enjoy it. It’s only $1.99 at Smashwords right now. I will say that there are some editing moments that were missed, but they don’t take away from the reading experience. (I edit books so I pick them up.) Get the book, then check out El Tiburon on Amazon.

Click the images to go and check out the books. And follow her on twitter @HSchussman for her latest happenings.

Counterpart by H. SchussmanEl Tiburon by H. Schussman

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Fun with Filing

It’s a good idea to keep your virtual filing cabinets in good condition. Rather than having to search through a mile and a half of documents for a document whose title you forgot a year ago, create specific files and folders for specific things, and then make an effort to use them.

When you’re writing your first book you are blissfully innocent of the pitfalls that could await you when the time comes for editing, formatting, and loading onto the various sales sites. Many writers still hit the tab key for indents, and whack the carriage return button to create as much white space as they’d like to see on their title page. While this is fine for the paperback version of your book, it’s going to get promptly spat out of the Smashwords meatgrinder, and the tabs could cause some really terrible things to happen to your MOBI file. So it’s a great idea to be a little pedantic when you’ve written THE END at the close of your tale. It’s a good idea to hit a happy medium, and have a different file for each publishing format, but also not to keep every single old manuscript file “just in case”. Here are a couple of tips to retain a little bit of sanity when the time comes to launch your baby into the world.

Create a master folder for each book, and then create sub-folders within that folder. Keep your original manuscript as simple as possible. Just type it. Don’t fiddle with formatting at all. Don’t use tabs. Be gentle with the carriage returns. Just type it. Just type it. Just… You get the idea. Don’t use one manuscript to format across all publishing platforms. Trying to format a MOBI file from an already formatted CreateSpace file is a bad idea, although the other way around is not as much of a headache. The problem with Word is that it likes to assume what you’d like, based on what you’ve been doing, and Auto formatting can cause lots of glitches in an eBook, especially when you start getting into using a whole lot of different styles. Save yourself lots of future headaches and keep your master manuscript nice and pristine in its own folder. From there Save As new manuscripts for your eBook, Smashwords, and paperback formats, and work on each individually and from scratch. By trying to “save time” and simply trying to convert and then re-convert the same manuscript, you’re guaranteed at least one large headache, and sometimes the only way around such glitches is to completely wipe all formatting and start from scratch – not a fabulous way to go.

It can seem a bit tedious in future to have to visit each folder and manually update a typo found, but it’s worth it. Also remember to delete old files, and to add the latest date to the name of your most recent manuscript file. For instance “XYZ for Kindle 9 15 2016” as a file name will ensure that you don’t accidentally load your pre-proofed copy on to Amazon, a thing that happens very easily when you’ve saved every incarnation of your book file using different names, and believing that you would most definitely remember the most recent.

Even your virtual filing cabinet can become overwhelming. If that’s the case with you, then try and grab a couple of hours to clean it up. Delete all outdated files and manuscripts, and organise the rest, so that whenever you need to update or check on any of your already published works, everything is in place, and you won’t have any sort of disaster lurking and waiting to happen to you. Happy filing fellow scribblers!

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#Interview with H. Schussman of El Tiburon. @RonovanWrites

Today I’m interviewing H. Schussman, author of El Tiburon, an action/thriller due to release on Dec. 31, 2015 and available for pre-order NOW! I’m not wasting time with my words, let’s get to hers.

The first thing I would like to do is ask, why the CIA and an action thriller?

Gee, that’s a hard question. I don’t know why I picked the CIA. It was a toss-up between them and the FBI. I’m glad I chose them though because the CIA has so many covert sub-groups. As for being an action thriller… well, that’s just how Sean and Sport are. Never a dull moment with those two. (I do have a book on the back burner, which is more of a family generational saga, so I have other genres.) I seem to be attracted to the intense fast-paced genre. I write like I’m creating a movie script.

In my review of El Tiburon, I talk about your creation of legitimate El Tiburon by H. Schussmanwomen roles, was there a conscious effort to make certain these woman remained women and not men with women’s names?

It wasn’t a conscious effort, no. Until you pointed it out, I hadn’t realized I was unique that way. I was raised in a police family. When I was in my teens I wanted to be a California Highway Patrolman like my father. I still remember my father telling me that men and women are heroes in different ways, but equally heroic. I guess I let my heroines be women, because they are.

You do hands on research. What does your husband think of a woman that knows how to handle guns and goes into crazy parts of the world?

As I answer this, my husband is at the shooting range. He asked me if H. Schussman, AuthorI wanted go, but I need to stay focused on this book release. I learned to shoot when I was five, and have always enjoyed researching firearms. I will go down to the range, and get brochures and handle guns to make sure I have a good feel for them. As for the traveling, he’s the ring-leader there. You’d be amazed at the crazy places he’s dragged me to. Both times we went to Guatemala, we stayed with local families in their homes for a month each time. We wandered the streets aimlessly looking for wine bars and new friends.

I’ve read that you and Sport McGee would be great buddies, what life experiences of your adulthood are found in Sport’s creation?

I suppose the fact that I work in a hospital as a physical therapist would put me in contact with the ‘Dr. McGees’ of the world. Maybe that’s why I de-glamorize her… make her more human.

I’m not quite as feisty as she is, but I’m not exactly a softy either. Like her, I like to work out and stay fit. As I stated earlier, I was a bit of a rough and tumble teen. My brother and I would physically fight fairly often while growing up, which endowed me with quick reflexes and a mean kidney punch. Her fight scenes are not far from my personal experiences.

On the intellectual level, I guess my mother and my mother-in-law both influenced my view of womanhood. They were both very intelligent and interested in politics and business. All in all, I think Sport would be fun to hang around with. I love her compassion and humor.

From what I can tell, you’re a seat-of-pants writer. You have a basic idea of what you want but the characters take over at some point. Can you give an example of a corner the characters wrote you into that you escaped?

Too many to count! I’m the ultimate scene critic. I can’t tell you how many times I just threw up my hands and said, “Come on you guys! Just kill the dude!” So then, I have to back up and justify why they H. Schussman, Authordidn’t kill off so-and-so while they had the chance. Or I just kill ‘em off myself and make Sport and Sean figure out what to do from there.

Who would you say is the one most influential person from your childhood that has an impact on your writing today? In that question, I mean as in your character development and interest, not so much writing style.

From my childhood, I’d have to say my father, Leo Schussman. He was my hero, but he’s really not any of my characters, oddly enough. I think he had a keen eye for crime. My Mom impacted my insight into character. She was incredibly creative and constantly made up stories. We called her, “Little Miss Adjective.” She would ask us to make up a story about some stranger at a diner to keep us entertained.

I mentioned in my review about the relationships in El Tiburon, are those aspects you were hoping for or side effects of the story itself?

They were natural side effects and often surprised me.

You mention the Guajeros* in El Tiburon, and in fact, they are a central part of it, are there things you are doing now, or ways you know of for people to help them? Also, tell our readers a little about them.

We have a church family in Guatemala City. I choose not to tell you who they are, as it could place them in danger with their government. The people group living inside the Guatemala City garbage dump are called Guajeros, or nicknamed the Cockroaches. Most third world countries have their ‘Guajeros’. This dump has over 11,000 people living there, inside the dump. 6,000 of those are children. At one point many years ago, a magazine article was written about them and their horrible living conditions. The humanitarian groups decried the situation, and the Guatemalan Government shut down all visitation from churches and relief organizations. They also built a wall between the garbage-homes and the garbage, so they could say the people didn’t live in the dump. Now outsiders need permission and an escort to go there.

The ways to help them are limited because of government suppression. One organization helping the Guajeros is http://www.safepassage.org/, A website describing the scenery is http://www.vice.com/read/the-basurero-is-burning-life-at-the-gates-of-hell-in-guatemala-city.

In this book, I allow them to come forth as strong characters, not pathetic wimps. I wanted to let the characteristics of ethics, honesty, and anger come forth in a real way. My desire isn’t to change them, but to allow ourselves to be changed by them.

Counterpart by H. SchussmanHow did you go from e-author to Vinspire Publishing author?

Smashwords is a great platform for getting your name out there. I made the decision to let my first novel, Counterpart (Sean and Sport’s debut), be a financial wash. I felt that having my book read was more important for a long-term career in writing. For that reason, I made it free for several years. I’ve had over 700 downloads, and 42 reviews at Barnes & Noble. I used that success to sell El Tiburon. I shopped around for a publishing company and loved Vinspire’s slogan; ‘Your Travel Guide To Adventure’. I researched the company and felt they would be a good match. I put a few of my reviews with my query and they accepted me. They are using my book to launch a new genre—Ethnic Romance.

I read where you used Operation eBook Drop** for promotion; can you tell us about how that worked for you with book promotion and audience reach?

Operation eBook Drop was proposed by Smashwords to its authors. I liked it because it helped our active duty military. They get books for free from any author who signs up for it. At that time, my book was a couple of bucks. I think it helped with sales. My books have a pretty strong military angle. There is no way for me to know who buys my book, but my blog ( dashingboldadventure.blogspot.com ) had a huge increase in foreign country page views. To this day, it will occasionally have more views outside of the US than inside. I have a strong readership in Russia and the Middle East.

You’ve written two books with these characters, the first being Counterpart, what are you working on now?

Pirates! Sean and Sport take a lesser role to Craig and a new character, Dan. Pirates is about modern day pirating starting off the west coast of Costa Rica and traveling to Italy. Right now, they are misbehaving and I can’t figure out what they’re doing. I may have to take over and rein them in for a tighter read. It looks as though this one is going to be my first non-conspiracy theory book… just good old-fashioned organized crime. But who knows?


One of the things I found surprising about El Tiburon was the story was different to me than what the book cover gave me the impression of. I ended up with a well paced thriller, squarely focused on the mission and not a man-saves-woman-and-then-sex or that chauvinistic vein of thriller.~Ronovan


Ms. Schussman is asking everyone possible to pre-order the book before the release date of December 31. All those orders will show up for that date and help make her book do great on the best seller’s list. (That’s what we all wish readers would do. It’s nice to have the best seller label to attach to a book.)


Connect with H. Schussman:

http://hschussman.blogspot.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430632.H_Schussman



*https://youtu.be/O6SPy9qV1M4

**According to Smashwords, Operation eBook Drop has ended, although you may find articles out there which say to the contrary and do similar things.



About the Reviewer

Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in Valentine’s Day of 2016. He shares his life  through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world led to the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

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@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2015

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “THE FALLEN,” BY AUTHOR @MBARKERSIMPSON

The Fallen

* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which follows. *

  • Title:  The Fallen, Book 1 of the Fractured Series
  • Author: Melissa Barker Simpson
  • File Size: 1684 KB
  • Print Length: 166 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Smashwords Publishing
  • Publication Date: July 30, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B010TZCZPI
  • ISBN-13: 9781310463426
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Genres: Fantasy, Adventure,  Paranormal, Romance

After the Demonic War

Maddison Wood is a Watcher, a mercenary warrior, appointed by the Race Alliance to serve within a specific hunter cell after the Demonic War in which the mortal realm was destroyed. Demons, part of the Fractured, are a group of lost souls who continue to roam the earth and refuse to leave. The Fractured are the ones responsible for the Demonic War. They have one goal and that is to destroy those that belong to the higher realms.

London has lost its appeal and people are afraid to leave the inner confines of the city. Maddison’s responsibilities are to protect and serve the Fallen; guardian angels who have fallen to Earth to prepare for the next insurrection. Maddison Wood is a witch, the first of her kind appointed to such an honor.

An unlikely alliance forms with a Witch, a Hympe, a Guardian Angel, and a Prime

Maddison, along with her side-kick, Donovan, a mercenary warrior Hympe whose gifts are that of an empath, has been assigned a new mission. Donovan is a formidable ally to Maddison’s team. Once he opens up to a connection through his sense of touch he can find out everything they needed to know about an entity. A rare gift, indeed.

Zara, one of the select guardian angels, who also possesses empathic powers, has taken the fall and Maddison and Donovan are sworn to protect her and guide her through her transition. Her soul must be protected at all costs. With the help of Obadiah, a Prime who is a “God” of epic proportions who has also fallen, the group takes on Draco, the leader of the Fractured, and the original lost soul.

Recommendation:

“The Fallen,” is an action-packed journey into a post-apocalyptic alternate reality where angels and demons clash in an age-old battle between good and evil. I was immediately caught up in the lore of the creatures and of the detailed society of the Race Alliance that fought against the tyranny of The Fractured.

I found the battle scenes to be completely realistic and believable. A few times, I think I caught the glint of steel in my eyes from the knife wielding Maddison, as she battled the demons that pursued the group. Having served in the military myself, I could identify with the character of Maddison, portrayed as a strong, confident and capable woman fulfilling her destiny as a soldier. Maddison is full of rich humor and a true delight as a character.

This was my first experience with Melissa Barker-Simpson’s writing. I was not disappointed. She weaves a tale of suspense and intrigue that leaves you wanting more of this story and the characters she has crafted. Subtle hints are left as to the future direction of the story line, spread like breadcrumbs along a path, urging the reader to continue on the mysterious trek with the characters in the hope of winning the war. I look forward to the next book in the Fractured Series because I suspect, there is more excitement lurking in the dark recesses of this author’s mind.

mel-6

 Author, Melissa Barker-Simpson

Character Believability: 4.5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 4.5
Reader Enrichment: 4.5
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.5
About Melissa Barker-Simpson:

I’ve been writing since, well…since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I often look back on those earlier stories, and apart from laughing at the heavy-handed drama, or cringing at my inexperience, I am reminded that I have always lived in other worlds.

My first novel was published in 2008, and I love nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside my head invariably pull me in different directions, so although I try to work on one thing at a time, those who know me would tell you it doesn’t always work!

I have a full-time job which, though does not involve writing per se, incorporates my love of language. As a British Sign Language Interpreter, I get to translate information between two languages which is (mostly) fun.

I have two beautiful daughters who bring me great joy. They also keep me grounded, because otherwise I would have my head in the clouds permanently!

Make certain to connect with Melissa Barker-Simpson through her Twitter @mbarkersimpson

And Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mbarkersimpson

Author website at http://www.mbarkersimpson.co.uk/

Personal blog at https://mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com/

Colleen 10.21.14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Should you Sell eBooks from your Website? @JoRobinson176

Many web owners sell books directly, and sometimes exclusively from their sites, collecting one hundred percent of the price via PayPal. If you publish with Amazon KDP Select, this is obviously not allowed – in fact, if your book is with Select, you are only allowed to distribute the digital books through them, and only the selling of your paper books after ordering them from your POD supplier is considered kosher.

If you’re not with KDP Select you can sell them anywhere you like, so the website option then becomes viable, and a very good idea too. As an independent publisher you get to try a variety of avenues for selling and marketing your books. We all know about Smashwords and all the other sites where you can make your books available to buy. It’s quick work to load them up there – although – not such quick work to get them taken down by the way. I unpublished two of mine from Smashwords months ago, and I’m still trying to get Barnes & Noble to remove them from their site so I can enrol them in Select again.

So there are all these options open to you for spreading your books far and wide, but do consider having one or two for sale directly from you. I’m in the process of getting a couple ready for this very thing. Many of us use WordPress.com. Me, because the thought of hosting my own website terrifies me, but moving to WordPress.org in the future will be necessary because of Google visibility.

You can’t install a PayPal button and sell your books from WordPress.com, although that needn’t be a hindrance. Why not set up your own website with a link to it in your sidebar? Setting one up is only a little work to begin with, and then occasional updates after that. A nicely designed static website is a great thing to have to use for all your future promotions, sales, new releases, and a great way to showcase yourself and all of your books.

A couple of free website hosts are Weebly, and my favourite, Wix. It shouldn’t take you more than a day to get it looking nice and professional. One little tip though – take your time picking your theme and theme fonts, because once you publish and go live you can’t change those. It’s up to you how much you use your website. You have the option of a blog to go with it, which you can use weekly, bi-weekly (or not at all), and share links to pages from there to all your social networking sites regularly, so it needn’t be something that stagnates. Wix has a lot of really lovely, and easy to use features, and setting up your PayPal button is the work of minutes.

Once you’ve got your book written, proofed, and beautifully formatted, convert it to an eBook format (or a selection of formats, such as PDF, Mobi, and ePub) using free downloadable software such as Calibre. Calibre is a great tool for Indie authors to have, with many useful functions other than book conversion – which is a whole lot more words, and best kept for another day. The important thing is how easy it is to use, with step by step instructions, your books will be ready to sell very quickly. Obviously these books will not be protected from customers emailing copies to their friends, but the same applies to every eBook you ever send as a prize or review copy, so that is a thought – the ever present and growing piracy. The customers who do buy it from your website are unlikely to be buddies with each other though, so you probably won’t lose any sales if they do send it on to their grannies and so on, and pirates prefer not to spend a dime at all mostly.

Whether you write something specifically to sell yourself, or experiment with a book you’ve already written that may not be doing so well, it is always an option for the Indie writer. Some authors are making a lot of money this way, especially those in the health and recipe book sector, so if there is a book lurking in you that would help or add value to readers enough for them to buy straight away, rather than taking the time to look for it online, go for it! I personally can vouch for the quick finger of the impulse buyer, and I can’t think of one bought this way so far that I regret buying, and the more you are spread around, the more visible you will be – always a good thing.

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#BookLaunch #Author Christy Sloat with Slumber TODAY! $.99

What happens when a princess murders her prince? This princess doesn’t get tiaras and ballgowns; she gets her own room at Spindle Ridge Asylum.

Christy Sloat has wowed us before with her YA Paranormal Romance, let her do it again with her first Fantasy Duology for teens. Slumber (book one) is a fractured fairy tale that will amaze you until the very last page.

Slumber book cover

Find out more about this book below:

 

Not all princesses get their happily ever after…

They tell me I killed my boyfriend Phillip in cold blood. I stabbed him twenty one times. I’m only seventeen years old, and I am serving life in Spindle Ridge Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

I don’t remember killing him, so it’s really hard to believe I’m capable of murder. In fact I don’t remember anything before I came to Spindle Ridge, not even my boyfriend.

I can only grasp onto my realistic dreams while the madness of the asylum threatens to pull me under.  I dream I’m a beautiful princess and there is an evil faerie named Maleficent who is bent on my destruction. The dreams are the closest thing I have to memories of my life, except they aren’t real.

I’m crazy. I’m not a princess.

They’re the mad illusions of an irrational teenage girl, right?

They’ve assigned me a new doctor, and she says I can trust her, and that she’ll help me see the truth of who I really am.

When she arrived she brought a new patient, Sawyer, who is everything Spindle Ridge isn’t: exciting, mysterious and beautiful. He promises he’s here to rescue me. Trusting either of them frightens me.

Could it be possible that my dreams are more than just the imaginings of a delusional girl? Could they be truth?

 

 

GET THE EBOOK FOR ONLY .99 FOR A LIMITED TIME! 

Amazon US- http://amzn.to/1GwpYi5
Amazon UK- http://amzn.to/1C9ns1W
Amazon CA- http://amzn.to/1HLuw5m
Smashwords- http://bit.ly/1Cauntm
iTunes-http://apple.co/1DaUGQ3

christy sloat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christy Sloat can be stalked by clicking the links below

Website
Instagram
Facebook

 

Christy’s having a release party on her Facebook page for the release. March 16th 

She’d love for you to attend

Slumber Launch Event

 

Blind Marsh @OliverFChase Q&A

oliver_chase_marsh_island.jpgMarsh Island was released November 2013 and is available from Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, publisher AEC Stellar, and me via webpage oliverchase.net. The publisher decided to re-release the novel to coincide with the sequel’s release referenced below.

Blind Marsh sequel and final novel in Hirebomber Crime Series will release December 11, 2014 and oliver_chase_blind__marsh.jpgbe launched on Facebook November 13, 2014. Advanced electronic copies are available now for preorder from Amazon, B&N, and from Smashwords. Paper is available now via AEC Stellar and me via the website oliverchase.net.

 

 

Those in the mood for an armchair adventure won’t be able to put this one down. Oliver Chase’s mystery thriller, “Marsh Island” is a page-turner. Chase writes with a refreshing style in the genre of Sanford and Burke…

The main character is very easy to relate to, although at times he is a bit frustrating. I found myself mentally shouting at him, warning him not to trust people and not to be so gullible. Chase only gives a few moments of the villain’s point of view, but they are extremely intriguing…

Ollie’s comment: Wait for Blind Marsh where the villain confronts Phil. The world demands a life be taken.

Marsh Island is a thriller to its core. It’s twists and turns kept me reading, searching for answers. The storyline kept me turning to the next page, only to become more determined to find the answer. Page after page, Mr. Oliver had my heart racing, and my adrenaline coursing through my body, watching and waiting to see what came next…

 

What to say about my guest today? Things you won’t hear about today are things like “Distinguished Flying Cross” as a Marine Pilot, or 22 years in the FBI on dark missions. No those aren’t things discussed today, nor the hard to understand neighbors of Louisiana. Cajuns perhaps? I’ve worked with a few and have to say, I know a little Cajun French, but there are female readers present, so never mind. What makes today’s guest qualify to write the books mentioned today? As I went through the questions and my guest answered I pictured a relaxed and casual setting as he leaned against his little Grumman Tiger airplane and memories were recalled and excitement rose about the forthcoming book release. Now it’s time for you to feel that same thing as you meet . . .

Author

Oliver Chase

oliver_chase_author

 

RW: You grew up in the military, calling yourself a Military Dependent and not the commonly used Military Brat, for obvious reasons, tell us about that life and how it shaped Oliver Chase?
OLIVER: I grew up on military bases throughout the country from California to North Carolina. What a great place to be a kid – safe, communal, and social. I didn’t miss a thing from a traditional school setting. The friends I made in elementary school usually showed up again in Junior High. High School was a like a reunion of old pals from years gone by with new friends to be made.
We always seemed to know one another, one another’s friend, and best of all, we knew the little girl on roller skates with skinned knees in fourth grade that grew up to be our Homecoming Queen. I’ve read about the meanness in some kid’s life when it came to school. That was not how we grew up in the military.
I was also one of the rare kids whose dad had a short, one-time tour in the civilian world when I was a sophomore and junior in high school – convertibles, drive-in movies, and lovely ladies on roller skates serving shakes at my local hang outs for almost two years. We even had our own Wolfman Jack wannabe that played rock and roll songs, took requests, and spoke with a gravelly voice, just like in the movie. What a great hiatus from the button-down world of the military and just what a “rebellious” teenager needed.
There was a time when I had this teensy-weensy problem with the truth. I can’t tell you in how many versions, George and his cherry tree were explained to me. Of course, I grew up and not only found the value of honesty, but discovered I liked being in groups of honest people. There is no honor amongst thieves or liars, and I like honor.
In all my growing up however, I never lost my yearning to spin a good tale. I think engaging a reader in a fictional story and letting the author speak to his personal beliefs is the height of literary actualization and honesty.

RW: I think it’s somewhat obvious with the adage of ‘write what you know’ why you write about mystery thrillers with a touch of politics and airplanes but I always ask this of my guests, how did you come to writing and why do you write in the genre that you do?
OLIVER: I began by reading historical novels like The Source, Battle Cry, The Right Stuff, Space, Exodus, and Hawaii. I’d spend time in school away from my math and science books just to disappear into the world of James Michener and Leon Uris. My grades didn’t do well until I discovered Pulp Novels like Ray Bradbury, H.P Lovecraft, and Dashiell Hammett. Now I could stick a whole book into the back pocket of my jeans, and read a chapter or a few paragraphs on the bus, between classes, and in study hall…not to mention the occasional all-nighter or until the flashlight batteries gave out. Pulp novels are what I write now. The only difference is that we call them mystery noir. I like mystery thrillers, techno thrillers, and political thrillers. There’s a pattern here, I think.

RW: You told me Marsh Island is a real place in Louisiana, where you reside now, tell us about your Hirebomber Crime Series starring Phil Pfeiffer, your protagonist.
OLIVER: In Marsh Island, Army Ranger Phil Pfeiffer is left for dead in the opening days of the Gulf Wars. He’s found by wandering Iranian tribes people, severely injured and the lone survivor of a secret mission. Phil is released from the Army and decides upon the simpler life of a private investigator skip tracing and catching cheating husbands. Simple that is, until he is hunted by the mob, pursued by a psychotic hit man, and stalked by deep water sharks. He must shadow box a bizarre and dangerous world of false clues and thousand year old prophecies to survive. In the sequel Blind Marsh, Phil agrees to protect the lounge singer we met in the first book from an unpredictable ex-boyfriend and his gangster family. Let the love sparks fly. Struggling with his own demons and disappointments, Phil survives a Wild West shootout and uncovers a plot we knew was brewing in that pesky first book. Phil uncovers the theft of a trillion dollar industry and weighs his own life against that of the killer. He chooses to take both when true evil is disclosed.

RW: I think knowing of your Military and FBI background I read at OliverChase.net where some of what went into your books but what inspired you to actually write them?
OLIVER: Many people have given their lives over our short history to stop tyranny and injustice. I see these individuals as the foundation for our country and our beliefs. The key in my books however is not the involvement of the mass, but individual strong men and women unwilling to compromise their values in a vanilla world of common music, social blandness, and popular thinking. If you believe that singular acts cannot change the flow of history, just look at a generation of strong moms and dedicated fathers that said no to genocide, apartheid, dictators, and even teenage drinking. A single man or a woman can change our world. We can take that to the bank.

RW: Tell us about your main characters and what you think will them connect to readers.
OLIVER: Phil Pfeiffer was described by a reviewer as an everyday man, flawed like many of us, but called upon to test the strength of his beliefs. Our heroine in Blind Marsh made her choices in life, too – some good and some not so good. They set themselves apart by choosing to overcome adversity with character and sometimes, raw guts. Greatness is not just the province of the historical figures; greatness resides in all when we choose.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?
OLIVER: I’d like to believe many of us see ourselves as something other than ants working in the pile. Whether that’s true or not, I like stories about strong people caring for their comrades, delivering lunches to the shut-ins, or teaching kids to swim at the YMCA. We have a potential to make life better for others. Service doesn’t take away from strength but delivers it, and makes us more than just soldiers, laborers, or even ant-queens.

RW: Writers inevitably put something of themselves in their work, what do you discover about yourself when writing?
OLIVER: More than I’m probably willing to admit. My first book was written a couple decades ago and resides in my closet. Sometimes on a cold, uninspired mornings I’ll drag it out and read. I’m always surprised by again meeting the people I used to know– real and imagined. Most are compilations of persons from my past in cramped and scary airplane cockpits, hiding under flimsy roofs during rocket attacks, or with a badge walking the dark streets in a city already several hours asleep. I tell their stories even if they never quite recognize themselves from my words.

RW: Describe your book in one word.
OLIVER: Rollicking

RW: Where can we get your book now?

For paper, Southern Bound Bookstore in Biloxi and Bay Books in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi; Amazon (of course); and B&N by mail.

Contacting me through my webpage oliverchase.net will “net” you a signed copy for same charge as Amazon. As I indicated earlier, I’m between books at the moment and have a little time to connect more personally with a reader.

Electronically, add Smashwords and KOBO to the nationals mentioned above.

One great thing Oliver is doing is his Book Launch for Blind Marsh on his facebook page. It is coming up October 13-15.
Oliver gave us some great answers and I think you can get a full understanding of what went into his books, but now let’s look at bit at what is Oliver Chase. Yes I said what, not who.

“I like modern day thriller mystery writers like Craig Johnson, Tom Clancy, James Lee Burke, and Stephen King. I cut my teeth on James Michener, Herman Wouk, Tom Wolfe, Leon Uris, and Ernest Hemingway. Didn’t we all? Don’t let me forget Lee Harper, Susan Sontag, and Lorraine Hansberry. All very influential in my life and my writing. You know something? I never realized how powerful they were until I cranked out my first book Western Sunrise. All I knew was they told great stories making me regret that I’d turned the last page. I hope readers of Marsh Island and Blind Marsh feel the same way.”
“I like a cup of coffee when it’s cold outside; hot tea (orange pekoe) to follow if I’m still in the mood. In hot weather, I like cold tea in the morning after my workout.”
“When I’m full of ideas, I write. I believed Stephen King when he said write, write, and write. When I’m just full with myself, I run or swim.”

Upcoming from Oliver Chase.

Levant Mirage is waiting the editor’s red pen in November 2014 and will see light in the winter of 2015 as a new release. The novel is twist away from my noir mystery style and is a techno thriller with a threatened dystopian plot. Borne from my days at NASA, Islamic terrorists see and take the opportunity for final Jihad when our country dissolves the Constellation heavy lift rocket program and gives away the technology.

 

In The Joshua Tree, a bright political and personal future beckons Scott McHale, newly elected junior senator from California. Some whisper about a run for the presidency after Scott puts in few years to calm and mature a headstrong and driven personality. When politics conflict between kingmaker and prince however, a rift is irrevocable and a murder results. Survival is in the hands of those Scott loves when the world and the fickle press turn against him. The Joshua Tree will be completed in the Fall of 2015 just in time for the Presidential Election and will be a first draft product of the NaNoWriMo challenge this year. Only do this challenge once, however. There are eleven more months in every year. http://nanowrimonomo.com/

 

I’ve also written a screen treatment of Marsh Island based on Craig Johnson’s successful Walt Longmire model. The publisher will get his first installment in December 2014 after percolating in my desk drawer for a couple of months.

 

RW:I know you don’t have an agent but would be open to one at some point but tell us about AEC Stellar. I’ve had experience with another of your members Shannon A. Thompson of Take Me Tomorrow, and she was a great interview just like you have been.
OLIVER: The group writes in the thriller, YA, paranormal, Sci-Fi, and romance ilk. Inside our limited population, we help with Advanced Readings, reviews, launches, and critiques…and we do occasionally take one another to the woodshed when its warranted. I’ve been there and am better for the experience. Our publisher formulated a unique business model by offering printing and formatting services, editors, and publicists. We choose inside or outside the Community when we want the service. Most importantly, AEC introduced us to each other so that we can learn, grow, and spread our literary wings safely, and where jealousy and ego have no place.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?
OLIVER: 11-22-63 by Stephen King
I’ve read the book twice, and examined the craftsman’s work often. King is a master yarn spinner, and his time travel adventure is one of the best examples of Sci-Fi and Thriller rolled into one. I liked the fantasy in The Stand and The Dome, too. In 11-22-63, King stayed historically close enough and strayed sufficiently in fiction to keep me riveted. Quite a good balancing act and worthy of multiple reads. Hey, Stephen. I taught, too and appreciated your comments on the youthful ineptitude we once brought to class. I just hope the kids survived and didn’t listen to me.

RW: What is your favorite word?
OLIVER: Insipid
Don’t you just love a description of something dull and uninspiring? As a sometime personal provider of insipid first impressions, I like when characters break out and prove others wrong.

 

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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The Absolute Indie

When I first decided to self-publish my books I had no intention of doing every little thing myself. I planned on paying for editing and formatting, and buying my cover designs. I had a rude awakening when I discovered that living in Zimbabwe, as I was at the time, meant that I had no access to PayPal, who sanction that country, and from what I could see back then, that was the only way to pay.

I had page numbers, headers and footers, indents and lots of other fancy bits and pieces in my original manuscript and no clue as to what formatting even meant. Seeing other writer’s beautiful covers all over, my heart sank because I knew that I could never create such things. It was the most frustrating feeling in the world until I discovered a few free resources that meant I could do it all myself. None of these things cost a cent, and every new indie author should at least have a look at them whether they have money to work with or not.

With no money to work with, the first book to download would be Building Your Book for Kindle. The steps shown here are incredibly straightforward and simple, from formatting to cover size. Personally, I copy the first few pages of an already formatted book every time I begin a new one so all I have to do is change the title and front matter and Bob’s your uncle. While you’re downloading that book get Publish on Amazon Kindle with KDP as well.

Mark Coker, of Smashwords fame, has three incredibly useful free ebooks on Amazon. His Smashwords Style Guide will walk you through that old meatgrinder if you decide to publish there, but even if you don’t, there is a wealth of general information as well. Remember that if your book is on KDP Select on Amazon you’re not allowed to publish it elsewhere. And they check. His other two books, Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success and Smashwords Book Marketing Guide are also must reads for new indie authors.

If you want to play around with individual ebook creation before you publish, or even if you just want to create ebooks to give away or sell, download Calibre. It’s very simple to use, and comes with a tutorial that will walk you through the process. With Calibre you can produce anything from epub to Mobi.

And finally that costly, essential item – the cover. Now that I can buy covers for my books I do for some of them, but after the original terrifying learning curve, knowing that if I didn’t make one myself I wouldn’t have one, I now find that I really enjoy making some myself. I have a couple that I’m really proud of coming up soon with new books to be released, and over time I’ve collected a couple of paint programmes and a nice camera to help me get the exact designs I see for the stories behind them. But to begin with, I downloaded the free, watched a LOT of tutorials, and at the end of that I had my covers.

I know that a lot of people swear by Gimp, but I could never get it to install on my computer for some reason, so I downloaded Paint.net instead. It looked like gobbledegook to me and I almost gave up, but after spending not more than about three hours watching tutorials I had a grasp of the basic process. The most important thing to get to grips with there is how to use layers. Then you can play with various effects, brushes and opacity to produce a totally original cover using either your own photos and sketches, or some of the amazing free images to be found online. Always remembering to be one hundred percent sure that they are free to use of course, or you could end up in a bit of infringed copyright hot water.

I’m not saying that you should do it all yourself if you don’t have to, or that doing it all yourself is going to be a doddle. It is hard work, but for the cash-strapped writer it really is doable if you set your mind to it.

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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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