Tag Archives: blog interview

Interview with Author Chad Miller

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

I’m Chad Miller, I’m originally from Philly and I’m a pharmacist. I live in Delaware with my girlfriend, Natasha. I first got into writing after I started reading for pleasure. The first books I picked up were the Shining and Cat’s Cradle (they’re very different from each other). I was in college at the time, struggling with my classes, got kicked out of the dorms (long story), and my friend, DK, wrote a short story and it blew me away. It was so well crafted, so interesting and it stuck with me. Even though we were interested in different subject matters, this gave me the inspiration to start writing on my own. I sat down and wrote a story, which an adaptation was included in my current book, The Void, and I’ve never stopped writing. That was 25 years ago.

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What inspired you to write your book?

This book, The Void is a culmination of some of my favorite short stories that I have written over the past 25 years. My full-length novel, The Prisoner of Fear, is coming out on October 1st and my publisher (Hear Our Voice) and I wanted to get my name out there pre-release. Before The Void, I’ve had several short stories published in print anthologies and online, but nothing on this scale. Writing is my passion and these 15 tales in The Void show my writing journey.

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

I want some of the themes, morals, and feelings to stick to the reader, much like DK’s story stuck with me so many years ago. I want to elicit emotion, whether it be fear, sadness, or laughter. Most of my writing is dark, but I try to show a human element in my characters, something the reader might be able to relate to, to empathize. I don’t want to give the reader nightmares, I want to cause them sleepless nights as my tales haunt their thoughts 🙂

What drew you into this particular genre?

There is so much potential in horror. Yes, there are the slasher, vampire, zombie, and werewolf books, and there is definitely a need for these, but I tend to go to the more cerebral. I’m not tied down or boxed in relying on historical accuracies or limited to the physical world. The palate is literally wide open. I feel horror taps into human emotion, much like comedy does. You have to set the groundwork and have a low build to reach that crescendo, the high water mark.

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

In my story Always There, I’d like to meet the ghost, Henry Keijman. First, I would love to learn about his journey in the afterlife, as I’m not a believer in ghosts, I think meeting one would blow my mind and I’d have a million questions. What did he see? Is there a concept of time? Also, he was a prisoner in the Holocaust. My Grandmother, Helen, was a Holocaust survivor so this subject matter runs deep with me. Recently I found an hour-long interview with my Grandmother with the Holocaust museum discussing in detail her experiences. I’d love to hear more of Henry’s story and hear how it related and differed from my Grandmother’s.

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

So far, I’d say Facebook. There are so many writer forums and groups that are so helpful and supportive and helped me find several outlets. Now, I’m moving my focus to Goodreads as it is full of readers. I’m, currently learning how to build my base and use this platform to grow my audience. This is all a learning process. Recently, I got into the conversation about the thin line between advertising yourself verse Spamming, and where that line is. I’ve put out a few Facebook ads and most of the feedback was positive, but there are some trolls out there, which is an interesting experience.

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

I’d say two things. Just write. Don’t listen to others, don’t listen to the doubt in your head, just get something down on the page. For me, writing isn’t painting a picture, it’s whittling. Sometimes it’s painful to start, and at first, it looks crude, but as the story gets honed, you can see the art come into view. Secondly, once you think you’re ready to publish, do your research. Whether you self-publish or go traditional (there is no wrong avenue) put in the work to how to be successful in this endeavor. Don’t just put it out there into the ocean and hope to be discovered, hope for a miracle. Odds are without putting in the legwork your work may get lost into the abyss, into the void (he-he, get it?).

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

My new book, The Prisoner of Fear is due out on October 1st, and its follow-up, Paroxysm of Fear will come out a few months later. This is a horror novel set in the late 1800s in Philadelphia and follows John Doyle and Thomas Braham as they investigate mysteries that the authorities deem too mysterious to investigate. There are monsters, insane asylums, and suspense. I’d say it’s a cross between Dracula and Sherlock Holmes. My current work in progress is a series of 3 Novellas, called Cerberus. I’d call it a spaghetti western with all its characters based on Greek mythological Gods. What is currently on my mind is a story based on a loose alliteration on Lizzy Borden. It will be called, Confession, but right now it’s just swimming in my mind.

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About the Author

Chad Miller has a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University and a Pharm D from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He’s a pharmacist and lives in lifeless Delaware with his girlfriend, Natasha and her daughter, Sasha, and his three kids, Killian, Willow, and Halina. His novel, The Prisoner of Fear, is being published by Hear Our Voice and will be out fall of 2022. His short story collection, The Void is available on Amazon now! His short story, The Thorn, is published by Sweety Cat Press and is included in the anthology, Beautiful: In the Eye of the Beholder and is out now available on Amazon. His short story, Guilty Pleasure, is published by ILA magazine and is out now. His story, The Nick was published in The World of Myth Magazine and won the story of the month. His story, Diseased, will be included in the anthology, Movement: Bodies in Motion, and will be out 06/01/2022. His story, Last Victory and the Manicure, will be included in the anthology, Year Four and will be out 01/23.

https://www.facebook.com/chadmillerauthor

The Void

Interview with Author John May

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

Fame and fortune haha. In my spare time, I started writing stories and creating comic strips around the age of ten or eleven. When life wasn’t fun, creative writing was my escape as a child. It was a great outlet for my imagination and a way to express myself untethered from the restriction of my English teachers because not only did I come up with some wild stories, I was also a very creative speller which drove them crazy.

As a teen, I became an avid reader. Believe it or not, I read all of Charles Dickens’s works while riding on a bus to my after-school/weekend job in a restaurant kitchen. But I think it was Hemmingway’s books that really inspired me to write longer stories. I wanted to be that storyteller. It wasn’t however, until the author of the series of books that I was reading to my children died that I began writing. The kids were upset there would be no more books, so I took it upon myself to write something similar for them as a Christmas present. The only problem was that the short story turned into a novel and with my busy schedule as a doctor, it took two years to complete. By then, my older son was “too old” for it. I decided after my youngest grew up, that although I enjoyed writing my children, I really wanted to write for adults.

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What inspired you to write your book?

My family and I experienced the panic and chaos created by the enormous North East blackout of 2003. We were sitting by a campfire completely oblivious until a neighbor approached carrying a shotgun telling us that most of North America was dark. He said it was a Russian cyberattack. My twelve-year-old son couldn’t sleep that night as he was frightened that we were under attack and that enemy soldiers were breaking into the house. That feeling of being in the dark, not knowing the truth was truly terrifying. For the next five days, our part of the world was not functioning – no credit cards – no cash – no ATMs working – the gas pump wouldn’t pump – store shelves were empty – the experience still haunts me and played a large part in motivating me to write Lethal Keystrokes.

In addition, I have always had an interest in technology and computers. In fact, before medical school, I worked as a programmer for IBM. As a physician, I became concerned about the impact of technology on children i.e., too much screen time. But with the intrusion of social media and the ‘internet of everything,’ I feel there is too much connectiveness without true human contact. My biggest concern outside the medical/social sphere is our security – individually and collectively as a nation. There are too many electronic eyes and ears out there. Are they helping and protecting us or making us vulnerable to those who wish harm upon us?

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

I hope that this book causes people, companies, and governments to think about their digital security. We also need to be aware that the voids, created by Western nations in places like Somalia, where there was intervention and then complete withdrawal, are filled by groups that could become terrorist organizations.

What drew you into this particular genre?

To be honest, I was attempting to write a very emotionally charged true-life novel about some of my experiences in cancer and palliative care. It was tough. I needed to step back and ‘reset’. Previously, out of a more academic interest I had researched some of the key political and technological issues key to Lethal Keystrokes. I took that information and started writing something that was pure entertainment, so fast-paced and exciting that you can’t put it down and a total escape from the trials of day-to-day life. Writing it worked wonders for me and I hope that everyone that reads Lethal Keystrokes enjoys immersing themselves in the action. 

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

That is an interesting question. I’m somewhat surprised by my answer. It is not the main antagonist but his sister that I found the most fascinating and challenging character to write, and from the reaction of a few earlier readers, they agree with this choice. She starts out with the same vitriol as her older brother but as she spends more time in Western society, she stops focusing on all its flaws and begins to appreciate the positives, including the opportunities for women. She has to battle through the conflicts between her traditional role that involves support for her brother and her own journey to personal freedom. How does she bridge the chiasm between Islamic culture and her growing acceptance of America’s ideals?

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

Marketing has changed so much. If you aren’t good with social media, you’re doomed so I embraced it despite my misgivings about technology. I do not profess to be an expert but Instagram has been quite useful as well as Twitter. Still, I really don’t like the feeling of anarchy – everyone has their own truth – that exists out there in the digital world. Bottom line:  technology is a tool, not a lifestyle.

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

Write a one-page, beginning-to-end, synopsis of your plot. Stream of consciousness writing is unlikely to be successful. Writing toward a known conclusion ends up moving you farther, faster and easier than just sitting down and pecking away, hoping that it will all fall into place. If you can’t come up with the ending you don’t have an idea worthy of your time and energy. And work it is. A novel is much harder than a short story. Keeping an audience engaged for 300 pages is no easy task. So have a complete idea and be disciplined by writing something every day when possible. 

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

I’m still writing the book about my medical experiences.  I have also started a second book featuring the heroes from ‘Lethal Keystrokes’ as they combat a threat to America of a different nature. Hint: It will use more of my medical knowledge.

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About the Author

John D. May was born in London, Ontario. He has balanced multiple passions over his life, including his work as a biologist, his career as a physician, his volunteer service at medical outreach clinics in Guatemala, singer-songwriting, and storytelling. He has written several songs for well-known Canadian artists and released two CDs, available on iTunes and Spotify under the name Johnny May. His time is divided between his rural farm property near Toronto and the south of France.

https://linktr.ee/JohnnyMay

Interview with Author Jason Kogok

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

I grew up and went to college in Maryland, then shortly after moved to Raleigh, NC. I started in real estate sales and investing in 2002 and really enjoyed the investment side, along with renovating projects. After about a decade of working with clients and investors alike, I realized there was a lack of direct, easy to comprehend and in-person training for novice investors to learn the ropes without being upsold into future programs. I started teaching to give people a trusted, reliable source for investing advice. My teaching progressed into various courses and in doing so, I started writing the content. That was really my first foray into writing. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

As I was teaching, I noticed that everyone learns at different rates and it would be great if I could take all my teachings and turn them into one clean source, such as a book. Over the years, I’ve seen thousands of books written on the subject, so for my book to stand out, or at least be relevant, I knew it had to be something that the novice investor could not only understand, but feel confident in performing my lessons on their own. I was inspired to help the average person build wealth and secure their financial future. I wasn’t interested in selling an unrealistic goal of owning 100 homes or a large apartment complex, but rather simply a few homes owned over the course of a decade or two that could really change the long term trajectory of someone’s finances.

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

There are 2 things I want the reader to get. The first is motivation. Anytime you try something new, especially when it involves using your hard earned money, you have to be motivated. The second is a feeling that investing in real estate really isn’t that tough or complicated. When broken down into smaller, realistic steps, I think people will realize that truly anyone can do this. I want the reader to walk away motivated and then take action!

4) What drew you into this particular genre? 

This is all I know, lol! As a real estate broker, investor and teacher, I wouldn’t be able to write a book on anything else!

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

I’m not a huge social media person, however I do realize it’s place in the marketing world. Facebook has been helpful just because it’s a place where people know me and thus, trust that if I wrote a book, it may be worth a glance. We do marketing on platforms such as Amazon and reaching out to national bloggers and book reviewers, but the book has gained most traction via word of mouth and positive reviews about the book. At the end of the day, if the writing is solid, people will find it; or at least I hope so 🙂

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

Make a plan and understand the self-publishing process. I had to create a pretty solid plan for the flow and content of my book or else I would just be aimlessly writing with no direction. I think that was absolutely critical for me to actually complete the book in an effective way. The other item is understand the self-publishing process. Just like real estate investing, it’s not super complicated and anyone can do it, but you really have to take the time to understand the process or you may burn a lot of money and time unnecessarily. 

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

No new books currently in the works; this one kind of mentally exhausted me. It took 20 years to gather enough information and confidence to write this one, so I may be a few years out before I follow up with another one. In the meantime, I’m continuing my real estate career and continuing to invest in real estate and teach as many people as I can that they can do it too!

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About the Author

Jason started his real estate career over two decades ago as a real estate sales broker and since then has grown his real estate team to the top ranks in North Carolina. He also manages his own real estate portfolio and has had tremendous success with building his rental portfolio, along with ‘fix and flip’ properties along the way.

In addition to real estate, Jason has a passion for teaching, so he combined his extensive real estate and investing knowledge to pursue another chapter in his career. Jason teaches and coaches real estate brokers, novice & intermediate investors, as well as works alongside large individual investors to help scale their portfolios.

Jason lives with his family in Raleigh, NC.

https://www.investorswealtheducation.com/

Interview with Author K.S. Penn

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

This is a story about my life.  Initially, it was not my plan to write and publish this book.  I simply began journaling to aid in my healing and recovery process and upon doing so; it occurred to me the potential benefits of sharing my story with others.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

I wanted to bring awareness to the taboo subject of child-to-parent abuse and possibly making a difference and offering hope to fellow survivors and others.

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

I have two important messages:  (1) It is never too late to make changes in your life; and (2) Unconditional love is not always possible if one’s safety and well-being are at risk.

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

Popular book review sites such as this one, have been very positive and helpful in providing exposure to my book.

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

Do not give up on your dream of writing.  For some it take 6 months and for others it takes 6 years.  Either way, once you have completed and published your book, it is an extremely satisfying experience.

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

I am actually thinking of writing some children’s books- quite the opposite from this book!  I am looking forward to continuing with my publishing career and writing under my own name. 

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Interview with Author Andrew D. Daily

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

I never grew up with an interest in writing, books, or television. Writing always came naturally to me, and I always got A’s on my high school reports despite struggling with ADHD and dyslexia. I loved to play with words and implement them in rap and songwriting. Eventually, I gave up on music because I couldn’t accomplish what I wanted in that artform. It wasn’t until watching television’s Lost and Breaking Bad that I found an interest in writing television. The serialized style of those shows made me aware of what was possible. After studying the craft, I gave it a try. Seventeen scripts and eight years later, I’m now pitching shows to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Max, etc.

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2: What inspired you to write your book?

La Entrada was initially written as a television pilot to get in front of a leading Mexican production company. I believe it was my fourteenth script, and I was frustrated at the time with script after script dying without anything to show for it. I thought this one would be better as a graphic novel and decided to connect with an artist to show my work to friends and family.

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

I hope that readers are inspired to face disappointment with perseverance. Mirna and Carlos have both been overlooked and experienced hope deferred, but they keep chasing their desires. In future books, we will see how that works out for them in unexpected ways.

4: What drew you into this particular genre?

This genre is one that I hadn’t tried to tackle in the past. I wanted to try something new while starting from a grounded place. I’m excited to lean heavier into the genre in the next book as we explore what is beyond the portal. 

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

I’m curious to know more about the pain of Mirna’s younger years. How has her upbringing led her to a relegated position in society? I would also like to ask Loisha what happened to her that she feels the need to maintain loyalty to the President.

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

Instagram has been huge for me. I have a production Instagram where I post all the pages from La Entrada, but my personal account has been most helpful. My friends that I grew up with and former Home Depot co-workers have come through for me. I’m honored by the outpouring of support. Pinterest is also helpful for me to promote the artists that I work with at the same time as my writing.

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

Read, study, and write. I have countless friends who claim they want to be writers but never write. I also have many friends who write but don’t study their craft, and their books or scripts fall flat. You have to know why you are doing what you are doing, regardless of how naturally talented you are.

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

Reality television is my primary form of income currently. I’m about to return to Shark Tank as the primary production manager. I’ll oversee logistics, personnel, and finances for the show. I hope to make some time soon to finish the next La Entrada graphic novel. Also, I have a couple of shows that I’m pitching. I’m looking for a production company to partner with on a political drama and a YA mystery. Who knows where the future will lead? I’m just enjoying the process.

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About the Author

Andrew is a television writer, producer, and production manager living in Los Angeles, CA.

Shark Tank on ABC was his first big break in TV as an art department production assistant. He was quickly spotted for his administrative skills and found mentors in production management, where he climbed the ranks. The unscripted shows he has worked on include Miss Universe, Paradise Hotel, The Voice, and The Grammy’s. He has also worked on several scripted shows, including Blunt Talk, Dr. Ken, and Insecure, as well as digital content when he co-launched The Rock’s YouTube channel as a line producer and writer.

For its three-night live presentation, Andrew co-wrote O Little Town of Bloomington, a Christmas musical that sold out the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, CA.

Before transitioning to full-time writing, he developed his craft by breaking down scripts minute-by-minute and writing over twenty pilots of his own. He created several Graphic Novels, including La Entrada, available through Amazon.

Follow him on Instagram: @dailyman

https://www.hawthorneent.com/

Interview with Author Valeri Stanoevich 

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

I am a former engineer and forensic expert from Bulgaria. I prefer silence and loneliness.

From what I read over the years, I realized that some books are like portals to other worlds, and that these worlds become real when they meet the deep thought of the author and the imagination of the reader. I started writing because I decided I could create my own worlds that I didn’t find in the books I read.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

My book is an attempt to answer the question of whether it is possible to overcome the limitations of existing and creating a new world of dreams comes true. My characters are not looking for excuses but for a path (sometimes wrong) to their own identity.

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

Some of the themes in my book are: change as a path to salvation or destruction, the clash between being and mind, dream as a path to one’s own unknown worlds.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

My great addiction to fairy tales and fields of imagination. I try to reach the limits of my imagination and express the inexpressible.

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

Each of my characters is part of my imagination, but at the same time an independent subject. I would not like to ask them questions. They themselves choose the questions they seek answers to.

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

Any site that broadens their horizons. One of my favorite sites, for example, is the Online Etymology Dictionary.

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

They must first understand what they want. If they want to please the audience — to follow the prevailing fashion in writing. If they think they have a voice of their own that needs to be heard, they should start studying themselves and assess whether they have the strength to endure the inevitable disappointments in their path.

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

It would be a weird story collection about new challenges such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, loss of identity and their collision with a human mind.

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About the Author

Valeri’s is a moody and particularly well written book.  His prose is eloquent and artistic, as he shares his intriguing tales of mystery, melancholy and perhaps macabre.  Despite a wide variety of genres, which seem to range from horror to sci-fi to historical fantasy, there is a common style throughout, and at times, as he moves from one narrative to the next, it becomes a little difficult to discern between them.  That said, each of these little anecdotes is a distinct work of art and character.

He is a gifted author, with a talent for atmosphere.  This collection of short stories is best read of an evening, ideally by candlelight, while fully immersed; in any other setting, the metaphorical and philosophical feel of it may be a touch more difficult to engage.  They deserve no less than to be absorbed and indulged, and to do that you really need to get onto the author’s wavelength, which can best be described on occasion as abstract.  I realized very quickly into the first tale that there was concentration and commitment required to optimize the full experience of this wonderful piece of work. 

https://www.instagram.com/valeristanoevich/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeri-stanoevich-30bbb81b7/

Interview with Author Iris Novak

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

I have always liked writing. It began with essays in the elementary school, continued with writing to at least ten pen pals from the whole world, and I had to do a lot of writing also in the companies for which I worked. In the last twenty years I wrote a lot of textbooks for my students. My memoir is a bit different writing and I must say that I enjoyed it.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

I wished to let my children know how life was when their mother was young. I also wanted to show women that it was possible to join career and family life even in the ex-Yugoslavia where management places were reserved for men who were members of the Communist party. 

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

I hope that readers will understand and support one of the main points, namely campaign against domestic violence. And I also hope that they will struggle to achieve their dreams just as I did although I was a poor and frightened country girl.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I adore reading biographies, autobiographies and memoirs so it was easy to decide that I should write also my own memoir. I am thrilled if I read a full description of somebody’s life and it is not necessary that this person is a celebrity. Everyone’s life is something special and worth reading.

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

Social media are (at present) my weak point. I have recently asked one of my colleagues to help my organize Facebook and I hope that I will soon get used to it. I normally communicate by e-mail and I respond each mail that I receive: info@leila.si

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

Everybody has an interesting story to tell. Do not keep it for yourself, share it with us! Read a lot to get the necessary writing skills and be honest and objective when writing.

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

I would like to describe the second half of my life when I had to struggle with my son’s Crohn’s disease and with Slovenian government to establish a private college. I would also like to write about my pilgrimage Camino de Santiago (walking, about 800 kms). Perhaps I will find time to write one or two biographies of Slovenian women.

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About the Author

The author writes under the pseudonym Iris Novak. She was born in the second half of the twentieth century in Slovenia, the northern part of the then Yugoslavia. She graduated from English and German, acquired her MA in Management and PhD in Librarianship. She worked in the international business, in librarianship, was director of a school for foreign languages and finally established her own business: employment agency and a college. The author lives in Slovenia, is married and has three children. 

Readers can contact her on info@leila.si.

Iris Novak: AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN IN YUGOSLAVIA: 2 excerpts

Chapter 18, excerpt: University

The next morning, I came to the lectures again and many other students, too. The first two hours were cancelled. Then an old teacher began to lecture about old English literature. When he started speaking, my neighbors and I exchanged looks. His pronunciation was so poor, and he spoke English with such a horrible Slavic accent that we could not imagine how he’d become a university teacher. Of course, he had a PhD in English literature, but how did this justify such poor pronunciation? His lectures were boring, and he spoke so quickly that we could not write down his words. When we argued that we could not put down his words, he said that we could study old English literature in the library. The loudest student, the one from Texas, asked if we could borrow or buy one of his books, but he said that there weren’t any. 

“So, we have to take down notes, don’t you think so?”

“You can, if you can’t remember what I say,” and he looked at her as if it was obvious that her intelligence quotient was under average. “But do not write everything, put down just what is essential. Only perfect fools put down every word that the teacher says.”

Some students tried to show that they were intelligent, so they stopped writing, but the majority of us silently admitted that we were simpletons and that we could not differentiate which of the teacher’s words were important, and which were not. All those who did not write notes and learn them by heart failed their exams. Then they borrowed our notes and some managed to pass.

This approach to teaching was the norm in Yugoslavia and has continued at the university level in Slovenia, with few exceptions until now. Even now, many people are not aware that students deserve fair treatment and respect. If one starts to say that teachers should focus upon students, he often hears that only really strict teaching, as was used in the previous century, forms really good professionals. What brainwashing we endured! 

Chapter 50, excerpt: Everything Changed

Our youngest child brought a lot of happiness to our family. Both girls were old enough that they could sometimes take care of him, feed him or change his nappies. Lili was nine, Vali was six and Martin was two. The whole family observed how he started to raise his head, fix his eyes and stare at something for a long time, how he started to crawl and then walk. 

            During his first months, he enjoyed it when Tone held him in his arms, and it made my heart thrill when I watched them. As soon as Martin could sit at the table, we placed him in a special chair as an equal member of the family. 

            Each time I served a meal, my little boy showered me with compliments: “You cook so well, how beautiful, how wonderful you are!” 

            The child gave me more praise in one week than my husband in our whole life. I mentioned that Tone could try to imitate Martin, and Tone started with his old excuses, saying that he was not like other men who flattered women. He always spoke the truth and I should appreciate it, instead of expecting stupid courting behavior that was beneath him.  

“I’m not speaking about courting. What I want to say is that you could sometimes praise me if I am well-dressed or if I cook something good. I do not expect you to bring me flowers.”

“Why should I speak such nonsense? You are certainly well-dressed, because your closet is full of clothes. I just don’t know why you always look as if you were going to a business meeting or to a concert. Other women dress in a sportier way. And I also don’t know why I should praise the food that you prepare. I eat everything, isn’t that enough?” 

Martin interrupted him: “Mum cooks well, the best in the world.”

Tone stared at him: “Well, I wouldn’t believe that some people can flatter women even when they still wear nappies.”

“That’s not flattering – it’s a sign of love. The little creature loves me and tells me that, while you don’t care about me anymore.”

“Oh, come on, don’t speak like that. OK, if you want to, I will from now on start saying that I love you and that you cook well. Tomorrow, in the evening, I will be the first to praise you.”

On the next day, he came to dinner, sat down, placed his spoon beside his plate and tried to invent an appropriate compliment. 

But Martin already stroked my hand and chirped: “What a good cook you are. I love you so much.”

Interview with Author Ethan Avery

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

Hi, I’m Ethan Avery, a Young Adult Fantasy writer, amongst other things, and I’ve been writing for so long now I can’t remember how it all began. Reading and watching my favorite stories as a kid and wanting to create something as imaginative and amazing I’m sure was the start. Fast forward to now and I’ve written so much that it’s hard to keep track of it all. I suppose my love for the art of the craft is what keeps me coming back. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book? 

Sword and Sorcery: Frostfire my debut novel started as an idea about 15 years ago as I, unknowingly at the time in my youth, discovered my love for worldbuilding alongside my good friend Lamont Turner. It was just a bunch of random fantasy stuff at first, that over time was refined into an actual story. Worldbuilding is tricky like that for fantasy writers, it can be easy to delve so deep into lore that you need to make sure you’re staying focused on actually telling a story.  

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

I’m big on the idea of artists not telling people how to view their work. I’m sure that for some people it’ll have a bigger impact for them than others and there’s nothing wrong with that. I believe there’s a story out there for everyone that’ll speak to exactly what they’re going through right now. Sword and Sorcery: Frostfire might be that for someone today. Which is the real treat of being an artist. Someone else might connect with what we’ve done in a way we never expected or imagined, and it might only be that one person. But to me, that’s still more than worth it. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre? 

The books and movies my father passed onto me. He loves stories as much as anyone I’ve ever known and I can’t thank him enough for sharing his passion. Without him, this book would’ve never came to be. 

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

I’d ask them all what they thought of each other. There’d be some clever responses for sure. 

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

Hmm, I’m not actually sure. YouTube maybe? 

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

Stop editing, stop starting over, and just FINISH IT. It will be bad. That’s ok. You can edit it afterwards. But you have to finish it first. 

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

Plenty! I have an upcoming film, then it’s onto writing more books! 

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About the Author

Ethan Avery believes in the power of stories. As a child growing up in Ohio, they gave him a chance to see a bigger world, and to hear what life was like for people that didn’t look like him or believe what he did. And now, years later, he hopes to do the same for others. When he’s not writing novels, directing movies, or wasting other people’s time with his YouTube channel, Ethan plays video games (poorly), basketball (painfully), and D&D (problematically with praiseworthy peers). For more information on Sword and Sorcery and what Ethan’s writing next, please visit www.storiesbyethan.com

Social Media Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22259098.Ethan_Avery

Twitter: https://twitter.com/storiesbyethan

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Lfr4HtLE4fN-T7-EugUaA

Interview with Author Seth Kadish 

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

I’m a working psychologist and author.  My recently published memoir, “Home Boys,” available on Amazon as an e-book or paperback,  is the product of my interest and passion for psychology and writing.  

I began writing in elementary school and later took creative writing courses in high school and college.  I’ve always loved the written word as both author and avid reader.  My writing background includes sketches, novel, nonfiction, play, and screenplay.  I’ve had screenplays optioned and plays produced in New York and Los Angeles.

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What inspired you to write your book?

I’ve been a clinician since the late 1990s, counseling a wide variety of clients ranging from maximum security inmates to celebrities, working folk, foster care kids, and anyone and everyone in between.  But it was my early career work with Probation youth that deeply shaped my thinking and approach as a clinician.  I had a tremendous affinity for these kids.  They really touched my heart.  “Home Boys” is equal parts remembrance, information, and love.

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

One of the themes of “Home Boys” is “Look below the surface.”  A supposedly bad kid may be a traumatized or misunderstood kid.  It’s always worth trying to help him.  Which is not to say that we should excuse or allow criminal behavior, but rather hold out for the possibility that a life can be turned around with structure and guidance.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I am by nature a teacher, and I believed that a memoir would be effective in reaching an audience of early career therapists who would benefit from reading about the successes and missteps of a seasoned clinician.  I thought that a non-clinical audience would be moved by the story of Probation boys struggling to make their way through a difficult world. 

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

I post excerpts of “Home Boys” reviews as well as announcements about the book on Instagram and Facebook.  I recently had fun shooting and posting a humorous video featuring my sister, playing the role of an extremely annoying fan, begging me for a printed a copy of my book.  We’ll likely shoot a few more videos featuring her character.  My hope (or fantasy?) was that the video would go viral.  You can see it at Home Boys – The Price of Fame – YouTube.  

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

It may seem a bit trite or banal, but I think it’s important to write in your own style.  Be yourself.  There is no right or wrong way to write, only your way.  Place a Kurt Vonnegut novel and a Philip Roth novel side by side and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  Two distinguished writers who could not be more stylistically and thematically different.

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

I am co-authoring a nonfiction book, “The Truth About Rehab,” with two colleagues and also plan to re-publish my middle grade novel, “Baymo” (the publishing company went under a few years ago and the rights reverted to me).  It’s the story of a dog who wants to become a man and gets his wish.  

I have several other complete or nearly complete novels and nonfiction works on the shelf.  My goal is to publish them all over the next few years.

A final word:  thanks for reading this interview and much gratitude to Anthony for hosting and posting.  Please look me up on Instagram and Facebook and feel free to write me at drsethck@aol.com.

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About the Author

Seth C. Kadish, Psy.D., Director of Group Therapy at PCH in Mar Vista and former Clinical Director of Milestones Ranch Malibu, was a Staff Psychologist at California State Prison, Los Angeles County, counseling maximum-security inmates.  Prior to that, Dr. Kadish worked with Probation youth at Penny Lane in North Hills, CA where he was named Clinician of the Year 2001.  He is the creator of Pattern Identification and Reduction Therapy™, a clinical approach based on his work in prison, group home, private practice and treatment center and is the author of Pop Your Patterns:  The No-Nonsense Way to Change Your Life.  In addition, Dr. Kadish has been featured in a variety of radio broadcasts, documentaries and television series including Ryan and Tatum:  The O’Neals (Oprah Winfrey Network) and the award-winning documentary, Iceberg Slim.

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