Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author James Rosenberg June 2021

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I have been a lawyer for over 30 years and love cross examining witnesses attempting to get to the truth.  When in trial, I try to craft a story that resonates with the jury.  At the same time, the other side is trying to build a different narrative that is better for the their client.  Ultimately, the jury gets to decide which reality to believe.

I started writing as a way to relieve stress.  My first foray into writing was telling the story of a small success one of my boys had on the baseball diamond. Seeing him achieve just a little on the field was huge for me and witnessing the significance of the event triggered a flood of emotions that compelled me to write an essay about perseverance.  This story is part of my second novel, The Jersey, which focuses on the relationship between father and son who share in the son’s athletic achievements.

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What inspired you to write your book?

Unclean Hands is a fictional account of a major trial I had a while ago. Without spilling too many details, it centers around a civil lawsuit brought by the widow of a man killed while shopping at a warehouse store. Although the trial is certainly important to the story, I think it’s the characters and how they navigate the emotional toll a trial takes on all participants that is the main thrust of the novel.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Not everything is as it appears.

 What drew you into this particular genre?

I have practiced law for over thirty years and love watching the effect going to trial has on all participants.  The lawyers, judge, jurors and of course the parties all play a central role in a drama that is acted out in public and will have long term effects on everyone who takes part.  Funny aside: The trial in the novel is based on a case I had a few years ago.  The witnesses are based on some of the actual participants in the trial.  Many questions in the novel are taken from the transcript of the actual trial so there is a good amount of verisimilitude to the story. One editor who helped with the story left me notes about how “real” court was different than how I portrayed in the book. She kept saying that “Lawyers don’t talk like that” and how I should “go see an actual trial.”  Well, I’ve been to hundreds of actual trials and the trial in the book is about as realistic of a trial as you will ever read in a novel.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Morgan Askew is not one of the main characters in the book but I find him fascinating.  He has a relatively dull job and a slightly weird relationship with his mom. What I would want to ask him is, “if you had the chance to do it again, would you?”

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Probably Facebook.  I understand it the best and seem to get the best response from readers on it.  I’m trying to get better at twitter and snapchat, but they are a work in progress.  Social media is so important to independent authors and we have to spend so much time each day learning it and more importantly, finding and engaging with readers.  I still have so much to learn about it.

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What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Keep on writing.  Get the first draft done because once you do, the second draft is always better than the first and the third draft is better than the second. Every day you got to put some words on paper because without the words, your stories don’t get told.  You have great stories to tell.  You just have to believe in them.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m still practicing law, but every day am closer to becoming a full time writer.  I am about to restart a novel I have put away for awhile that I think holds a lot of promise.  It involves a parent whose kid kills the president.  Can’t wait to get back to it.

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About the Author

James Rosenberg is a 3rd generation trial attorney with plenty of stories to tell.
Inspired not only by the courtroom stories his father and grandfather used to tell
him when he was a child, but also by the wild adventures he’s encountered through
his own experience as a lawyer. James is fascinated by the intricate, interpersonal
dynamics of every trial he’s endured. Whether it’s the raw emotion on display in
court, the tension in the air that builds until someone wins, or the impact that a
case’s decision has on the parties involved, James is always paying attention and
keeping tabs on what’s happening.

In his debut novel, “Legal Reserves”, James flexes his creative muscle outside of the
courtroom to share his stories, with a fictional twist, through the eyes of archetypes
he knows well.

A native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School and the
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, James has been a trial attorney in Pittsburgh
for almost 30 years. He started writing legal thrillers as a stress reducer and finds
this creative outlet to be a fun and meaningful diversion from his day job.

When he’s not trying cases, he’s either dreaming up his next book idea, spending
time with his wife and three kids, or both.

To contact James email Rosenberg@marcus-shapira.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/RosenbergWrites

Author website:  Jamesrosenbergauthor.com

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Robert Moment

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing? 

I am a Mental Strength Life Coach  and Entrepreneur who specializes in coaching women entrepreneurs on how to overcome imposter syndrome by becoming mentally strong to out think, out position, and out strategize their competition for profitable results , success and happiness in their business and personal lives.  Writing gives me the opportunity to share my business ideas to a worldwide audience. My goal in life has always been to uplift and help people become the best version of themselves. We all are a work in progress. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

I was inspired to write this book because being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint at heart. You have to develop a mentally strong mindset to become an entrepreneur.  This book  has given me the opportunity to share my ideas and experiences being an entrepreneur for over 20 years. Life as an entrepreneur is a life time of continuous learning and growth.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

The two most important messages that I want the reader to take away from this book is to (A) Always believe in yourself no matter what  (B) Never give up on yourself or your dreams.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I have always been an entrepreneur all of my life.  It started with grass cutting, selling Christmas cards,  designing custom t-shirts just to name a few entrepreneur ventures I started and had success with.  And I have had my share of failures along the way as well. Even when I worked in Corporate America for Fortune 500 companies I never lost the entrepreneur drive or desire .

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

The number one habit for first time entrepreneurs is to develop the right mindset for startup success. And the number one skill is to master the art of marketing to sell your product or service to your target audience and market successfully.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

The most helpful social media site to help develop my readership has been LinkedIn Entrepreneur Groups and entrepreneur blog sites.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Starting out as an entrepreneur it is essential to clearly define your target market and research as much information you can to know what they want and need. There are two types of successful businesses (A) Solve a Problem  (B) Serve a Need .

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I am thinking about hosting a Podcast Show for Entrepreneurs and writing a book of being kind.

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About the Author

My Story

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a real passion for personal growth, development and renewal. It’s a journey that’s allowed me to enjoy some amazing experiences, meet many inspirational people, and visit places I never thought possible. But more than that I want to use my own experiences to offer you the chance to live in exactly the same free and open way.

My Goal

As a Spiritual Life Coach I believe that anyone, from any walk of life, can go out there and change the world in their own unique way. It may not always be easy, but it does only become possible when you invest in your inner self and believe that it’s possible. The only problem is knowing how to make it happen so that freedom and spiritual awakening manifest themselves in your life.

My Approach

I specialize in offering Spiritual Life Coaching that’s designed to set you free in a whole host of ways that you could have never imagined. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been connected with your spiritual side your entire life, are a complete skeptic, or you’re anywhere else in between, I want to connect with you and show you what can become possible.

Your Future

Living a spiritual life means different things to different people, and some see that as a problem. I’m different in that I see it as a solution to every potential problem out there as it allows you to define your life in your own terms as you find your voice amongst the noise.

Together we can connect, get to know the real you, and reconnect your authentic self with the inner you. Through my combination of coaching and writing I love nothing more than showing people just like you what becomes possible when you open your eyes to the spiritual side of life.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lifecoachrobertmoment

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Robert McEvilla

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing? 

I started writing late in life. I don’t golf, play tennis, or bowl. Never cared for fishing. I always felt sorry for the bait. And I don’t hunt. Any interest I may have had with guns, I lost it while serving in the army. So, to keep active, I did my best to learn how to write fiction. What compelled me mostly was to write a novel based on my experience during the U.S. intervention in the Dominican Civil War of 1965. As far as I know, there has never been a novel about this footnote in American history depicting the role of American soldiers; an operation that cost the lives of 44 American servicemen, although it is mentioned in a novel by Elmore Leonard. So to my surprise, my book, The Goats of Santo Domingo, was published in 2013 by Wild Child Publishing of Culver City, California.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

I received my inspiration for Fender Head, from a minor character in The Goats of Santo Domingo. I decided to flesh this character out and make him the main protagonist in Fender Head.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

The message I tried to convey in Fender Head, is that people often think they’re getting away with their foolish actions. But those actions are cumulative, and they set themselves up for the eventuality that one small thing could cause their undoing.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I don’t think I started out writing the book with any particular genre in mind. It just developed while I wrote.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

If I ever get the chance to talk to the protagonist in Fender Head over a beer, I’d ask him if he ever had to do it all over again, what would he have done differently? If his answer wasn’t what I thought it would be, then I’d have to write a sequel.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I’m just beginning to use Face Book as a tool to promote my work.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

If I had to do it all over again, I’d would’ve started writing at an early age. So, my advise to anyone who wants to write would be to start at an early age and watch yourself grow as a writer.

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About the Author

Author, Robert McEvilla, is a retired stationary engineer who lives in the backwoods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In his first novel which is based on his  experiences with the 82nd Airborne in the Dominican Republic.  His second novel is a detective mystery.

His short stories have been published in the literary magazine, Down State Story.  Other stories have been published in CWW Publications of Carmel, California; Twin Rivers Press of Ellerton, Florida; and Toxic Evolution Press of Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. The short story, Horseradish, received honorable mention in a Glimmer Train short fiction contest and was published in Story Teller Magazine. Also a short memoir of Robert McEvilla appeared in the October issue of The Good Old 

Days Magazine.

https://authorrobertmcevilla.com/

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Dorit Sasson

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Ever since returning to the States, I wrote all different kinds of articles on the side, but it wasn’t until I realized I needed to tell the story of serving in the Israel Defense Forces and understand what happened to me that I jumped into memoir writing. 

I started out my career as an EFL (English a foreign language) teacher in Israel and since then I’ve pivoted several times. My last pivot was as a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist and copywriter and that happened right after the university where I was teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) let me go. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

With both my memoirs Sand and Steel and Accidental Soldier, there was a burning desire to understand the WHY behind the WHAT. What happened in the IDF led to discovering the real cultural struggle of finding home. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Several: 

How misunderstood Reverse Culture Shock really is and how hard it is for returning Americans like myself it is to find a home. As an Israel expat, my energy is spent understanding longing and straddling two different cultures and this can be an extremely emotional and lonely experience that can make or break a person and a family over time if not addressed well. RCS is very individual, personal and subjective. 

I have 2 passports – American and Israeli but no one ever told me how hard it would be to find a home again on U.S. soil.  Writing the book helped me understand the fluidity of home — in that it’s always changing and evolving so long as we evolve and change and that’s okay. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I could never fictionalize my story without really telling the truth. Memoir is a truth-seeking genre. I needed the power of reflections and takeaways to show how my character grows and develops and ultimately comes full circle at the end. 

5) For those who have never had to move to another country, what would you say was one of the biggest changes you experienced moving back to the United States? What impacted you the most personally after your time serving in Israel?

I’ll just be blunt about this: From experience, not many Americans want to get to know another culture and where a person comes from. We’re a very ego-centered, “me, me, me” culture and this does not serve in bridging cultures and build compassion. With that said, the Jewish community where I live acts a bit differently than my overall experience.  

When I served in the IDF with many foreign recruits, I got a crash course in understanding the psychology of cultures and people. The intimacy and learning. I couldn’t afford to stay anonymous. Israel is a tight-knit country and is like one big family. It’s the size of New Jersey and you’ve got no choice but stay connected to each other for better or worse. In many ways, this inter-connectedness is deeply missing from the American landscape. We don’t do well as a culture when we prefer to stay in our bubbles. 

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Over the years, I’ve floundered between Facebook and Instagram and I feel Instagram helps cater to my message and storytelling. I can capture the emotional essence of what I’m trying to say in an Instagram post. The visual element is also motivating. 

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Quite a bit actually as I can’t help myself. 

Worry more about the craft than marketing. 

Write to that one person. 

Writing is the fun part. Enjoy it as long as it lasts. 

Don’t rush the writing either. You’ve got just one chance to make a good first impression. 

Hire an editor earlier on in the process and/or join a critique group when you’ve fleshed out the story as best as you can.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m currently taking a short story course and writing my way through fiction because I’m tired writing about myself. It’s time to use my imagination to create characters from scratch.  I’m also doing a fair amount of pitching to different outlets to help promote Sand and Steel. 

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About the Author

Dorit Sasson writes for a wide range of print and online publications, including The Huffington Post and The Writer, and speaks at conferences, libraries, and community centers. She is the author of the a featured chapter in Pebbles in the Pond: Transforming the World One Person at a Time, the latest installment of that best-selling series, and. She is the host of the global radio show “Giving Voice to Your Courageous Story.” She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two children.

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Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Kathy Martone

1.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How did you get into writing?

I am a Jungian psychologist, mostly retired.  As such, my specialties have included dream interpretation, shamanic journeys, and women’s spirituality.  I never saw myself as an author and only accidentally found my way into writing.  (However, as a young child, I used to love writing stories especially ones with fantastical themes.)  Once I picked up my author’s pen again, so to speak, I felt compelled to continue and Victorian Songlight was born.

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2.  What inspired you to write your book?

As it says on the cover of my book, Victorian Songlight is based on a true story – my story.  The story of Kate and her love affair with Grandfather, the ghost with the large golden eyes, is loosely based on my own relationship with a disembodied spirit who goes by the same name. It was a relationship that changed my entire life – just as it changed Kate’s life in the book.

3.  What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I think the most important message would be to know that we are all capable of re-imagining ourselves, of stepping into lives that are much bigger and more profound than we could ever imagine, that magic is real.  No matter what our human failings or humble beginnings, we are all spirit beings at our core and thus, we all carry within ourselves Divine Light.

4.  What drew you into this particular genre?

Having a relationship with a spirit or ghost just automatically sets the stage for fantasy.  Beyond that, I have always enjoyed an active imagination and have loved pushing the boundaries of what we call reality.  I have studied shamanism extensively as well, and this spiritual practice easily lends itself to visionary fiction.

5.  If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Well, first of all, most of the characters in my book are based on people I know personally, even though I have changed details and descriptions to hide their identity.  Having said that, I think I would want to ask Grandfather how he feels about the way I portrayed him.  Because he has been, and always will be, the singularly most significant relationship in my life, I would never want to misrepresent him, even in a work of fiction.

6.  What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Gosh, I am not sure how to answer this one.  I am not very savvy with social media and I don’t really know how to determine the extent of social media’s influence on my work.  I do post a lot on Facebook and just a little on Twitter.

7.  What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there? 

I think I would tell aspiring authors that the most important thing is to enjoy what you do.  So if you enjoy writing, you should write, regardless of whether you publish anything.  I would also say that publishing should be an act of joy, not a task. 

8.  What does the future hold in store for you?  Any new books/projects on the horizon?

About the time I published Victorian Songlight, I began another fantasy novel but had to put it down in order to complete the publication process.  And when the pandemic hit, I lost most of my motivation and interest in finishing it.  However, just lately I have picked it up again and I’m looking forward to re-engaging with the process of writing.  I continue to work on art projects as well – pictures of my velvet tapestries whose images are based on my own dreams can be seen on my artist/author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Kathy-Martone-EdD-2166828393535523/The best way to view my art work on my FB page is to scroll down to “Photos” and then click “See All” in the top righthand corner.

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AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Kathy Martone is currently an author and artist living in a small Victorian town in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas.  She and her husband also manage two small BnB’s in their charming turn of the century village.

Before retiring in 2015, Dr. Martone was a Jungian psychologist in private practice specializing in dream work, women’s spirituality and shamanic journeys.  Prior to this, she was the director of a small mental health clinic and then she served as company psychologist for Southwestern Bell Telephone.  She taught classes at Colorado Free University, The Jungian Ministries International, Naropa University, and Iliff School of Theology.  For the past 35 years she has studied with Richmond K. Greene, past chair of the New York Jungian Institute.

The magical world of dreams has fascinated and intrigued Kathy for as long as she can remember. Inspired by a dream in 2005, she began making velvet tapestries imprinted with the image of one of her own dream figures and embellished with ribbons, rhinestones, feathers, glass beads, Swarovski crystals, antique jewelry and semi-precious stones.  As a Jungian psychologist and shamanic practitioner, energy and depth of meaning are very important to her.  So frequently she will accent the tapestries with symbolic objects, such as old pieces of jewelry, the lining from a purse that belonged to her grandmother, or a piece of ribbon she wore as a little girl.  Layering these materials into a meaningful image evokes for her the multi-layered realms of dreams, myth and metaphor.  Like the magical nets of ancient shamans, these colorful tapestries ensnare the features of her dream spirits as they stare back at her from their watery dimensions.  Her work has been displayed in galleries in Denver, Colorado  as well as in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

In 2006 Dr. Martone self published her first book titled, Sacred Wounds: A Love Story.  The book chronicles the author’s relentless quest for self understanding and provides a blueprint for other seekers who are looking for spiritual enlightenment while grappling with painful life experiences.  Written in easy to understand language, the book explains how various spiritual and psychological practices were brought together in an alchemical blend to produce a potion of timeless healing.  Weaving its way through such healing practices as psychotherapy, shamanism, Buddhism, Jungian thought and dream work, the reader is given a clear map for psychological and spiritual change.

http://www.dreamagik.com/

https://a.co/2JRuJI2

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/victorian-songlight-kathy-martone-phd/1134222514;jsessionid=55ACE2AF79811832054FE012FFDB1A27.prodny_store01-atgap14?ean=9781947381162

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51054900-victorian-songlight

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Lee Matthew Goldberg

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’m from New York City and I’ve always been a writer. When I was a kid, I used to create stories about my dog getting into crazy adventure but I really started to write seriously in college and at my MFA program at The New School. My first four novels have been thrillers, but I have a Sci-Fi novel called Orange City and a Young Adult series Runaway Train coming out in 2021.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

Orange City has had a long journey. It was first a short story, then a screenplay, before it became a novel. With each draft, I added more and more science fiction aspects. I think it just took that long to really build the world. My favorite science fiction has parallels to our own world, so the last four years in the United States has really shaped the novel – the idea that we can lose or democracy so easily if those in charge have their own selfish interests at heart.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Like I said, to look at democracy with caution and see how easily it can be stripped away. In Orange City, a terrible war has destroyed the country and a City emerges that will take all the outcasts and felons. They dangle a carrot branch to them in lieu of jail time, but then you are bound to the City forever. I want readers to drawn their conclusions about Orange City, but also understand that while it is a wild imagination, parts of the City have the ability to come true in our own society if we don’t protect it.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at Sci-Fi. Since I write thrillers, I used those thriller elements for this book, but the science fiction aspect did not come easy. They were many drafts needed to build this world.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Probably The Man, since he is the most out there creation. I’d probably ask more about his past, because that will be a part of the second book. If I can get some inside information, maybe I’ll write it faster!

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

A mix, Facebook in some ways, Twitter for new followers, and Instagram for book pics.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Don’t let rejection get you down. Rejection happens to all writers and is necessary to work on your craft and become a better writer. So keep at it!

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Yes! I have a Young Adult series called Runaway Train coming out April 29th about a girl in the 1990s who runs away from home after her sister dies to become a grunge singer and meet her idol Kurt Cobain. Very different from Orange City!

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com

https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG

https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/

https://www.facebook.com/leemgol/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8001634.Lee_Matthew_Goldberg

Orange City (Orange City, #1) by Lee Matthew Goldberg Review

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Shane Wilson

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’m not so sure there is an easy answer to that question. I honestly feel like I’ve always been writing. When I was a kid, my parents bought me a typewriter, and I would use it to practice spelling—asking my mother how to spell the biggest and most complex words my young mind could muster. As she recited the letters, I would peck them out on the clacking keys. I remember writing stories and putting them in those folders with the three tabs down the spine. I would even draw covers and glue them to the front. In short, writing and stories have always been a part of my life, and I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t doing something at least adjacent to writing. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

This second novel, The Smoke in His Eyes, grew out of a thought-experiment inspired by my first novel, A Year Since the Rain. When that first novel was published, I had a real serious bout with imposter syndrome. I became fascinated with the creative impulse. I was asking myself what it is that drives some of us to make art and a smaller group of us to find ways to share that art with as many people as possible. This line of questioning led me to this book and these characters. I explored the different reasons why we create through the different artists in the book. Some of us want financial gain, some of us are in it for the pursuit of craft, some of us just want to make art with no desire to share it with the world. These different worldviews are explored in the novel. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I think I want people to come away from the book with a curiosity about their own creativity. I think we all possess some kind of creative spirit, and as much as the book explores creativity through the lens of visual art and music, I think the exploration of creativity can be applied to any creative process.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I studied magical realism extensively in college. I wrote my master’s thesis on Salman Rushdie’s fiction, and I just spent a large chunk of my life reading those works. I think we tend to absorb the things we consume into our own styles, so when I started writing long-form fiction, it just drifted into the realm of magical realism/ contemporary fantasy. I’m drawn to the unique ways the genre can explore human experience by contrasting realistic characters and settings against the unexplainable. 

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would probably sit with TJ and ask for guitar lessons. I learned to play the guitar while I was writing the book so I could approach something of a genuine description of that experience, but he’s still a better player than me. I could learn a few things from him, for sure.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I think I’ve probably poured more time into Facebook than it’s worth, but it’s so good for promoting events, and live events is really where I’ve been able to develop readership. In terms of straight-up readership growth, though, I’ve probably done the best with Twitter (@thatshanewilson).

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Your book or story or poem or song will never be done until you finish it. If you toy with the idea of writing, and you are no absolutely compelled to do it, you probably shouldn’t. I think of how Rainer Maria Rilke addressed the young poet who wrote him for advice. Essentially, he told the young man that if he could imagine a life wherein he was not writing, then he should not write. In short, artists cannot imagine a life without their art, and if you can, then you should find something else to do with your time. Writing or any other kind of creative work is hard work. It has to be a passion that you pursue in a serious way. So, park your ass in the chair and get to work.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my new album of original music, Of All the Things I’ve Ever Said, I Mean This the Most. It’s from my little acoustic bad, Sequoia Rising, and it’s all singer-songwritery/ folk/ Americana goodness. The songs are personal and thoughtful and reflective, and it’s streaming wherever music streams. I hope people check that out. I’m pretty proud of it. 

Otherwise, it looks like a new novel might be out in 2022, so I’m not saying much about that right now. If anybody wants to keep up with what’s going on with my, I’m all over the socials at @thatshanewilson and my website is http://www.shanewilsonauthor.com.

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About the Author

Born in Alabama and raised in Georgia, Shane is a child of the southeastern United States where he feels simultaneously at-home and out-of-place. He graduated from Valdosta State University in south Georgia with a Masters in English. He taught college English in Georgia for four years before moving to North Carolina in 2013.

No matter the temperature outside, there is always an iced coffee in his hand when he walks into class in the mornings. He tends to chase the day with a whiskey and a re-run of The Office.

Shane has published poetry in Tethered by Letters and the Stonepile Writers’ Anthology, Volume III. He is currently at work on a new novel as well as a collection of short stories based on the mythos of and set in the same town as A Year Since the Rain.

https://www.shanewilsonauthor.com/

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author V.S. Holmes

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’ve always been a storyteller and a story-finder. Growing up in the woods without other kids drove me to constantly search for other’s stories, other’s lives, specifically through fiction and imagination. This progressed naturally into writing and my day job as an archaeologist. It was in university that, after years of research, I first decided to take the plunge and write professionally. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Travelers, the first in my Stars Edge: Nel Bently Books, began as a dual POV between an archaeologist and one of the people whose life she was studying from 13,000 years before. I realized pretty quickly that the latter was not my story to tell, so I flipped it forward and explored what would happen if some of those people were abducted and returned thousands of years later. I also wanted to debunk the racist ideas behind “ancient aliens” theories while still combining science fiction and archaeology. On a larger scale, all of Nel’s stories explore the ideas about how where we come from impacts where we’re going, and decolonizing archaeology and science. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Heretics is the fourth in Nel’s series of adventures, and with this one Nel returns to Earth in an attempt to save her planet from killer sound waves. She’s suddenly straddling the line between coming home and being a fish out of water. It’s the place that made her, but now she no longer fits in the space she left. A lot of my work focuses on how we differ from others’ expectations–and often our own. This is a theme that’s very dear to me as a queer person. On a more intimate level, I hope readers can learn with Nel as she finds the root of her anger, and navigates her complicated relationship with Lin. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Sci-fi and fantasy were the first places I saw characters like me, so I naturally gravitated toward that when I started writing my own work. Speculative fiction for me has always been a place of solace and hope. When we’re creating worlds from the ground up, we’re able to envision a world we want, or a world we’re afraid of ours becoming. Because of this, I can create worlds where I see more people like myself, and fight the battles I can’t fight in our own world.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Oh this is tough! I’d imagine most of them would have some pretty damning comments to make about what I put them through. Ultimately, though, I’d love to have a nice long chat with Phil–Philos, one of the sentient computers rooted in a man’s head held in stasis. I think it would be fascinating to discuss the science and ethics behind becoming a computer. As a trans and disabled person, conversations around body modification, cyborgization, and transhumanism are really fascinating.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Twitter has, hands-down, been the best site for me. Though it does suffer from some of the same algorithmic issues as other social sites, it’s still easier to curate than many others. Through Twitter I’ve found not just an incredible community of fellow SFF authors, but one of the most welcoming places for queer and disabled people, especially since I don’t have access to those communities, or the freedom of being fully out, where we live.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

There’s a lot of writing advice out there, but the process is going to be different for every author, and honestly every project. I think it’s important to try a lot of different things and find what works best for you and what you’re currently working on. One of the pieces I wish I’d realized earlier is finding out who you are as a writer, as a creator, and then doing it on purpose. And not being afraid of that changing. 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

So many projects! I’m currently drafting Fugitives, the fifth of Nel’s books (there will be a total of six) and outlining/drafting my next fantasy series. It takes place within my Blood of Titans world, but follows some new and side characters. 

I’m also working on a complicated, queer, gothic fantasy that might just be the darkest, sexiest, most raw thing I’ve written to date. Regardless, it’s a bit different from most of my other work and I’m enjoying stretching my creative muscles!

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About V. S. HOLMES

V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the BLOOD OF TITANS series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary’s Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015 and a Literary Titan Gold in 2020. Travelers is also included in the Peregrine Moon Lander mission as part of the Writers on the Moon Time Capsule. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.

As a disabled and non-binary human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds. When not writing, they work as a contract archaeologist throughout the northeastern U.S. They live in a Tiny House with their spouse, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and own too many books for such a small abode.

LINKS:

Site: www.vsholmes.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VS_Holmes

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vs_holmes/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/vs-holmes

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/v-s-holmes

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Jennifer Anne Gordon

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Hello! Thanks for having me for the interview. My name is Jennifer Anne Gordon, and up until the pandemic started, I was a professional Ballroom dancer and performer. I live in New Hampshire with my amazing husband and our silly dog. I love travelling and photography, specifically photography of abandoned and haunted places. 

I have always in some way, or another been a writer, even when I was small. I would write short stories and little plays that I would force my mother to act out with me. As I got older, I focused more on poetry as well as publishing an indie comic and I did some freelance journalism as well. 

I always wanted to write a novel, but somewhere along the way I lost confidence. A few years ago, I decided to reclaim that confidence and just try writing a novel, I had no idea how it would go, if it would work but it did. The novel I wrote was called Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent and that went on to win the Kindle Award for Best Horror novel for 2020, as well as became a finalist for several other awards.

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What inspired you to write your book?

There are always stories in my head, they play there like a movie. The real inspiration comes when I can’t hold them in any longer. My latest book “When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk” is the second part to my Victorian Horror series “The Hotel”. It follows the story of Francis who was a supporting character in “From Daylight to Madness”. He, Francis was my inspiration, I felt so strongly about him and knew that there was so much more to him that I could not explore in the first book that I knew I had to tell his story. The character is very much a mystery. He is very enigmatic in the first novel, and “Sleeping Dead” gives the readers a chance to take a very deep dive into his psyche. It reads like 200 pages of poetic nightmare.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I think as a horror writer I want people to see beyond the genre to the emotions that cause “the horror”. In this novel it concentrates on childhood trauma, and grief. I am not sure if it is a message, but I do like to explore grief in my horror. There are people who may not think they like horror, I don’t think that there is anyone who has never experienced grief. So, in many ways, the books are a pleasurable terror as they can act as a love letter to loss. “When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk” is also in many ways a love story, so there is an element f transcendence to the story, and the question of what it means to love someone, what if that person is dead? What if that person you love is a hallucination? Do these things discount it as real love? 

What drew you into this particular genre?

I like to blame it on the fact that I ‘accidentally read” Pet Sematary by Stephen King when I was 10, but I think my fascination with all things “dark” must have started before that. I lived pretty close to a cemetery and the neighborhood kids would play there (there and the power lines). I also think that living in New England must have played a part in it as well. New England is very proud of their ghost stories. There is also the fact that the Salem Witch Trials took place near by and when we were little, we were taken to places like the Witch Museum, or the House of Seven Gables on School trips. There was always something intoxicating about the “what if” behind all of these stories that sent chills down my spine. I always go back to the same words. Pleasurable Terror.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

This is a great question. I think I would have to say I would want to sit down with my character Agnes, who was a supporting character in From Daylight to Madness, as well as When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk (she has a larger role in that book) and ask her specifically about what was going through her mind the “first” time she shot her father. I would love to know what she thought of as she pulled the trigger, and then find out what went through her mind when he lived. (I am referencing a specific thing in the novel From Daylight to Madness, a comment that a character makes about her.) Then after that I guess I would ask her if she has enough story for me to write a book about her … because I keep coming back to her in my head.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

For me it has been Facebook. I know some authors swear by Twitter or Instagram, but for me it’s Facebook. I think it helps that my podcast also streams live on Facebook so it is where I centralize my focus. I do love Instagram though, as a photographer it’s a great place to promote in a visual way.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Don’t let the insecurities in your head convince you that you can’t do something. I would also suggest to people starting out (and even not starting out) to never stop pushing yourself, write in other genres, take classes, experiment with style, write the story you want to write!

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Yes! I have a new novel being released this summer. I believe at the end of June or early July, I will know more soon. It is Literary Fiction with elements of ghost fiction, body horror, and some medical suspense, while still remaining very much a literary novel. It is called Pretty/Ugly.

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About the Author

Jennifer Anne Gordon is a Gothic horror novelist. Her work includes Beautiful, Frightening and Silent (2020) which won the Kindle Award for Best Horror/Suspense for 2020, and From Daylight to Madness (The Hotel book 1), and When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk (The Hotel book 2).

She had a collection of her mixed media artwork published during spring of 2020, entitled Victoriana: mixed media art of Jennifer Gordon

Jennifer is one of the hosts as well as the creator of Vox Vomitus, a video podcast on the Global Authors on the Air Network, as well as the Co-Host of the You Tube Channel “Talk Horror to Me”. She had been a contributor to Ladies of Horror Fiction, as well as Horror Tree.

Jennifer is a pale curly haired ginger, obsessed with horror, ghosts, abandoned buildings, and her dog “Lord Tubby”.

She graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, where she studied Acting. She also studied at the University of New Hampshire with a concentration in Art History and English.

She has made her living as an actress, a magician’s assistant, a “gallerina”, a comic book dealer, a painter, and burlesque performer and for the past 10 years as an award-winning professional ballroom dancer, performer, instructor, and choreographer.

When not scribbling away (ok, typing frantically) she enjoys traveling with her fiancé and dance partner, teaching her dog ridiculous tricks (like ‘give me a kiss’ and ‘what hand is the treat in?’ ok these are not great tricks.) as well as taking photos of abandoned buildings and haunted locations.

She is a leo, so at the end of the day she just thinks about her hair.

https://www.jenniferannegordon.com/