Interview with Author Ben Schneider

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

  1. A) I am currently active duty in the Air Force. I have worked for the military 15 years. I am also a cartoonist and a comedian. I discovered many of my jokes work better in literature than they do in cartoons or on stage. In addition, I am a fan of thriller novels, which inspired many ideas in my own stories.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

  1. A) The work of other action/sci-fi authors and films based on such books inspired my novel.

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

  1. A) My book has several messages I hope to give readers. If I were to choose just one, it would be: “Life with a bad attitude is far too difficult.”

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

  1. A) Several things drew me to action/sci-fi, especially James Cameron films.

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

  1. A) I would ask Sonya McCall what she would do if she were the first female president because she is very ethical and tough.

 

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

  1. A) Facebook.

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

  1. A) Make your characters people you would admire and give them strong motives for everything they do.

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

  1. A)Realm Journeyis my first book and is like a cross between Lord of the Rings and Treasure Island. I finished it in 2009, but never tried to get it published. Now that I’ve seen some success with my second novel, Chrome Mountain, I am rewriting Realm Journey with the intend to have it published. Someday, I would like to write a sequel to Chrome Mountain as well as create and publish my 3rd Airman Artless cartoon book.

 

About the Author

 

BIO:  Ben Schneider was born in Oklahoma. In 2003, he earned a B.A. in Graphic Design at Oklahoma University, married his fiancée, and joined the Air Force. Ben and his wife, Suzy, have been stationed in Italy, Okinawa, and Alaska. Aside from writing fiction, Ben’s other interests include drawing cartoons—mainly his Airman Artless comic strips. Chrome Mountain is his debut novel.

To order Chrome Mountain on Kindle or paperback, go here:

https://www.amazon.com/Chrome-Mountain-Ben-Schneider-ebook/dp/B07DMZ86B3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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To see 30+ reviews on Chrome Mountain, go here:

https://www.facebook.com/Chrome-Mountain-281058869320535/

 

Chrome Mountain is also available at the following sites:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40409574-chrome-mountain

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/903483

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chrome-mountain-ben-schneider/1128858008?ean=2940161675625

To message Ben Schneider or see more of his work, go here:

https://airmanartless.com/published-work.html

https://www.facebook.com/ben.schneider.9237

https://www.facebook.com/Quotes-by-Ben-270127620244047/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://www.facebook.com/Airman-Artless-281460331901271/?ref=page_internal

https://twitter.com/pinscratch5

https://www.instagram.com/airmanartless/

https://www.pinterest.com/schneiderben/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlYhC99bDcM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=000QgYUF_20&t=9s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3nWcx0NP4c&t=43s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6_r47K9jN4&t=53s

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Interview with Author P.A. Kane

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

I grew up in a small three bedroom/one bathroom house with my parents and nine siblings in Buffalo, New York. Presently, I live in a suburb of Buffalo with my wife and three college age children, who don’t seem to want to leave.

As far as how I started to write. I went through a pretty aimless period after high school where I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do and was in and out of college.  Finally, in my early twenties I started read in a pretty serious way—stuff like Kerouac, Philip Roth, the poetry of Anne Sexton—which led me to want to give writing a shot. Problem was by the time I was all read up I was in my late twenties and had the pressure of trying to keep a roof over my head and a pretty serious girlfriend, whom I would eventually marry and have children with, so I had to shelve the writing thing. But when the kids got older and needed me less, I started to get up before work (really the middle of the night) make some coffee and write for a few hours. Few years later I have two published novels and a book of essays on the way, plus a million other ideas for books.

 

2) What inspired you to write your book?

Leaving Jackson Wolf was intended to be a novella about Jackson’s friend McDougal. But as I got into it I realized the book was more about Jackson and his relationship with his father which was fraught with so much anger and dysfunction. This compelled me to explore how a fifteen-year-old kid would not only survive the violent dysfunction of his home life, but the possible outcomes on the other side of it. I also wanted to talk about male relationships and tried to portray Jackson and McDougal without all the tough guy underpinnings of traditional male relationships. Both boys are pretty tough, but they aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with each other and to care for each other in a way you don’t see much, but I think healthy. I’m pretty sick of the toxic way guys measure themselves with each other.   

 

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

I would hope when people read this they find value in owning up and being accountable for your life. Jackson makes his share of mistakes, but rather than wallow in his failures, he is persistent and moves forward trying to do better, always trying to find his power. Additionally, the boys love indie music and in dark times not only is it a friend that helps them feel less alone, but it also provides great perspective on life. So I would hope people might look into some of the fifty plus artists mentioned in the book and give them a good listen or just listen to good music in general. I feel sad for people who don’t have music or think good music is Coldplay.

  

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’m not really drawn to a genre. I just wanted to tell a story about two boys trying to make their way through a complicated world. The writing world seems to be genre and series driven, but all I really want to do is write stories about real people in real life situations regardless of their age or whatever.

 

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

Though she wasn’t in the book much I would like to sit with Jackson’s mom and get a update on where she was and what happened to her. Maybe this is a little voyeuristic and creepy, but I also would like to sit off to the side back at The Spot with Jackson and McDougal and just listen to them and talk music and the wonders of the female persuasion with a couple of beers. I’d like to hear the excitement in their voices as they talk about all the possibilities still ahead for them.

  

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

Boy, this social media thing is so overwhelming and so competitive. Too much for the one-man operation I run. I mostly use Facebook and I mostly do a bad job with it. Going forward as I gather more resources I’m going to invest in some outside help.

 

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

Don’t be afraid to start small. With the recent baseball playoffs I was reminded of being in a school lavatory back in the day and some older boys had a transistor radio and were listening to the World Series. From that single image of the boys with the radio in the lavatory I got this pretty cool story Knox, O’Malley, Sheena and The Miracle Mets. From little seeds a tree can grow.

 

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

Presently editing a book of essays that I hope to publish in the spring/summer of 2019.

I have this new charter O’Malley that I’ve been sketching on my blog and a couple chapters of another novel.

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About the Author

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Growing up in a three bed/one bath house with nine siblings in Buffalo, New York was a just the facts, assembly-line type of childhood. However, one day in the late seventies, well into my clamorous teen years, that all changed when my exhausted mom uncharacteristically asked several probing questions about how I was doing, what I wanted of life and how I was going to get there… totally confounding me.  She was supposed to dish out commands and make declarative statements: …take out the trash …don’t come home unless you’re bleeding; …every time you masterbate it’s a hundred-years in purgatory. Not ask me to articulate inward looking, reflective questions about myself. Self-examination and contemplation, was light years beyond my transactional existence.

 Eventually, though, due to a certain amount of aimlessness and failure I did come to consider my mom’s questions and many more of people, time, place and heritage, which have become the basis of the novel “Written In The Stars: The Book Of Molly.” Seen through the eyes of young Molly Shea it is an exploration of the ways and means of 1979 Irish-Catholic, South Buffalo and an evolving girl’s place in that world.

Presently I am one neighborhood removed from South Buffalo in West Seneca, New York where I live with my wife, three college age children and a cat that hates me. I have a State University of New York background in English and I love trade paperbacks, quiet black mornings and The Ramones.

https://www.facebook.com/pakane14220/

https://twitter.com/PAKane14220

http://www.pakane.net/

http://buffalomud.com/

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Interview with Author Bo Wu

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

 

I was born and raised in North Carolina. I’m not really into Astrology, but my sign is Pisces, so that may explain the book about the ocean and all the wonderful creatures who call it home.

 

I fell into the same routine my friends did after graduating university. I joined in the workforce and tried to convince everyone I had “it” figured out as much as they did, but I never really felt like I fit in. It all felt like such a charade at that time.

 

As my friends all started getting married and settling down, I decided to do the opposite. I picked up and moved overseas. I took a TEFL ( Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course in Prague, then ended up in Taiwan. When I left the States, I really started searching for myself and experiencing life. I ended up all over Southeast Asia, tried Europe once more, and gave Mexico a go, as well.

 

I’ve always been praised for my writing, but I never did anything with it. That changed a few years ago when the book popped into my head.

 

 

2) What inspired you to write your book?

 

I came up with the idea in December/January 2015-2016 while meditating. I was going through a difficult time in life. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I was dealing with multiple failed attempts at other ventures, and I was searching, really searching for something.

 

The final scene just popped into my head. That idea caught fire, spread, and Mermaids Are Real became the next venture to focus my energy on. I moved twice so I could put myself in a better position to finish the book. Every decision I made was for the book. It turned into my obsession.

 

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

 

There are several messages in the book. The largest would be ocean conservation.

 

I’ve traveled all over the world. I’ve lived in six different countries. Living someplace really opens your eyes to things. When you’re traveling, you’re jaded by the newness. Having said that, there are certain areas on this planet where people really have no clue about trash and what to do with it. Most of it’s an educational problem. That’s where I want Benji and his pals come in to save the day.

 

My ultimate goal is to be able to use this book as a platform to help raise awareness, to use the characters and scenes as an incentive for people to be more mindful of their actions. I have a feeling there’s going to be a time in the future where the younger generations won’t be able to see or experience these aquatic creatures in real life. That’s a shame.

 

There are some other underlying messages regarding family, success, and life in general, but I’ll refrain from divulging much about those and let the readers discover them on their own.

 

 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

 

I’m a kid at heart. I grew up on Disney movies and Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner Saturday morning cartoons. I think I have a lot to pass on to the next generation, too. I might not have a Ferrari in my garage (I don’t even have a garage), but I’ve seen a lot more and done a lot more than a good majority of people on this planet. I don’t have any children, so this is my way of playing dad. Hopefully, on a much grander scale.

 

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

 

That’d be a tough choice. If I could cheat on that question, which I’m going to do, I’d prefer a town hall-style meeting where I get to talk to all of them. Or maybe a party where they’d all be there, and I’d get to bounce around the room chatting with each one of them at my leisure.

 

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

Goodreads has been good so far. I’ve relied on it the heaviest. I’ve used Facebook sparingly, but I don’t have an author page set up. I’ve been pumping out reviews and news through my personal page which is the only thing I use it for. I told myself when I started out, I wouldn’t get drawn into the whole social media scene.

 

Aside from writing a book people want to read, marketing is the most important. However, I don’t believe I have to be everywhere or everything to everyone. If you’re looking for a place to focus on readers, Goodreads makes the most sense to me.

 

 

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

 

Read. A lot. Figure out what you like, then write a book that you would want to read. After that, get others to help you develop it. Get feedback. A lot. But in the end, remember that you’re the captain of the ship.

 

You can find beta readers on Goodreads, too. That’s something I wish I had done more of. I used a group of friends, family, and their friends and family. If I could go back and do it again, I would have begun using Goodreads much earlier in the process.

 

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

 

The biggest thing I’ve been praised for about the book is the detail. I built such an immersive world with the first book. I have plenty of room to expand on with another. I’ve laid the foundation. Once I slow down with the marketing, and I feel like I’m ready, I’ll dive into the next one. I see myself getting to that point before the end of the year.

 

Extra Info:

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Goodreads Author Profile –

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18267464.Bo_Wu

 

Goodreads Book page –

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40966179-mermaids-are-real?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Amazon Author Profile – https://www.amazon.com/Bo-Wu/e/B07G3C8P1K/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

Amazon Book page –

https://www.amazon.com/Mermaids-Are-Real-Mystiq-Prong-ebook/dp/B07FTMLGQS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1541335981&sr=8-2&keywords=mermaids+are+real

 

Facebook page – (feel free to add me as a friend)

https://www.facebook.com/mebowu

 

Guest Blog Post: The Importance of Classical Literature in Today’s World By Cheryl Carpinello

Today I have the honor of sharing with you the exclusive guest blog post of author Cheryl Carpinello. The author of Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend is here to share why classical literature holds great importance in today’s world. Be sure to check out the review of her novel and her blog tour stop I posted to my website here, and check out her social media sites and book information down below. Enjoy!

GuinevereDawnofLegend

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The Importance of Classical Literature in Today’s World

By Cheryl Carpinello

The world is a far difference place from the Golden Age of Greece in 500 BCE. Surely there is nothing to be gained from reading the stories, poetry, and drama of so long ago. Right? Wrong.

The one constant from the beginning of man’s time on this earth through today and beyond is human nature. Our surroundings and way of life have changed dramatically, but human beings have not. We are still dealing with the same emotions and situations as those who resided in ancient civilizations.

Love, anger, sadness, happiness, pride, despair, hunger, hatred, the need to succeed, the desire to be good and/or better, the frustrations of everyday life. These are just some of what drive our actions and our reactions. We evolve, and our world may get more complicated, but we can’t change those.

What classical literature brings are examples of how others have dealt with similar situations as ours, be that outcome good or bad. It is the Greek tragedies that have had the most impact. These stories by definition have tragic endings. But they also have something else: The Ancient Greeks called it catharsis—a cleansing; a release of emotions like fear, pity, and sadness through the viewing of some type of art. In this case the Greek tragedies.

Antigone by Sophocles deals with rash behavior and hubris (the Greek word for pride) in the two main characters: King Oedipus and his niece Antigone. When Oedipus the King decides that his rule about denying burial to a traitor must be followed for the better of the state, he ends up sentencing his niece and future wife of his son to death when Antigone buries her brother as the gods demanded. Ultimately his action also leads to the death of his son and wife. Even more relevant is the fact that each of the characters are right. Creon is obeying the law of the land; Antigone is obeying the law of the gods. How often we have seen similar situations play out on our streets today.

I mention Sophocles because a company called Theater of War Productions (founded in 2009) is using the plays of Sophocles—particularly Antigone and Ajax—to help veterans adjust to being home, to help First Responders deal with the tragedies they face, and to help communities understand and deal with the conflicts within their own neighborhoods. Some of the projects taken on include War & Mental Health, Domestic Violence, Racism & Social Justice, Police/Community Relations, Addiction & Substance Abuse, Gun Violence, and Caregiving & Death. A full list of the topics and literature used by Theater of War Productions is available on their website.

Antigone in Ferguson was presented in Ferguson, Missouri after the 2014, shooting of Michael Brown, 18, by a police officer. The play achieved what Theater of War Productions founder Bryan Doerries set out to do. In an article in Smithsonian (November 2107), he told readers his productions are not meant to solve problems, but to get conversations started between all involved. He has been so successful that in March 2017, he was appointed as the NYC Public Artist in Residence.

It is often heard that if we don’t study history, then we are bound to repeat the same mistakes over again. I believe the same is true for literature. There is no safer outlet for kids and adults to see the effects decisions can have on a life. Within the pages of Classical Literature, we are able to explore ways to deal with the difficult situations that arise and to get dialogs started.

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About the Author

Author Full Sphinx

Cheryl Carpinello is an author, retired high school English teacher, and Colorado native. Since retiring from teaching, she’s been able to devote her time to writing and traveling. Although she may be away from teaching, she is still a teacher at heart and especially enjoys meeting with kids and talking with them about reading and writing. Cheryl hopes through her books she can inspire young readers and reader’s young-at-heart to read more.

You can find Cheryl at –

Website: http://www.cherylcarpinello.com

Writing Blog:    http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com/

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.carpinello1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ccarpine1/

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Cheryl-Carpinello/e/B002GGGZY6

Twitter Home Page: https://twitter.com/ccarpinello

Linkedin Page:  www.linkedin.com/pub/cheryl-carpinello/25/671/a02

Google URL: https://plus.google.com/110918922081424857545/

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/ccarpine/

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Interview with I.V. Olokita

Here is my exclusive interview with Israel based author I.V. Olokita. Please note that while the novel Reasons to kill God  was translated professionally into English, the author themselves does not speak English regularly and the answers within do not reflect the writing of the novel itself. Enjoy the interview.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
My work mainly deals with managing medical disasters areas, that is, planning a correct response, responding to a harsh event and then Embed social rehabilitation. It is a preoccupation including a lot of contact with people in their most vulnerable situations. This occupation has also led me to witness tough scenes during the past twenty years, some of which will not let go until the day I die. Fortunately, I could function well under pressure and with high mental strength. And one more thing that helped me is the fact I write. Since I remember myself as a child, I write in my notebooks almost everything that happens to me and turns these things into fantastic stories. I always wrote stuff to myself and never attached importance to writing beyond the fact that it was a hobby allowing me to return to a routine very quickly, to explain to myself that I was the only logical thing in an unreasonable situation. About four years ago, a friend asked me if I would like to participate in a novel writing competition. At first, I hesitated but then decided it might be fun. For a month during the nights, I wrote my book in the drafts of the email on my cell phone. Finally, I submitted the manuscript and completely forgot it until I told that it had won the competition. From that moment everything rolled fast, too quickly; The book “Ten Simple Rules” was published and immediately became a best seller. That feeling was great, I thought, “if the audience liked it, he would probably love my other books as well.” And I was right, half a year later my second book came out “Reasons to kill God” and was a fantastic success in Israel. I hurried, couldn’t help myself, and immediately published another book, “Wicked Girl” followed by another one of short stories.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
My inspiration comes from everything I experience. Any look, sound or smell can give me a new idea. Usually, during the day I’m busy at work, so most of the ideas come to me in the few hours of sleep that I manage to sleep at night. When that happens, I wake up immediately and start writing the idea. Once the concept exists, it is a matter of short time before the book is ready. To the very question of inspiration, because my work touches on the most challenging areas of life, which my writing naturally deals with, So, in most of my books, there are at least three layers of content hidden from the reader’s eyes, and he discovers them slowly during reading. My heroes are the most wretched people you can think of, yet the right end written for them is only in the eyes of the beholder. On the other hand, there is nothing in my writing that is self-explanatory; usually, my plots will surprise the reader right up to the last word in the book because, I learned in life and I apply it in my books, understanding is a matter of proportion and depends on our momentary perspective.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
People tend to see only black and white our days. Once upon we had a gray, but it has long gone. We have lost the “middle” of things, the understanding that life is slightly more complicated than absolutes. Out days; There’s good and evil, and that’s it. People forget there’s also a considerable gap between this two, that is the same middle we’ve long lost. My books seek to give the reader a different point of view; where you can read a book about a fleeing Nazi or a dangerous pedophile, and though you know they are the greatest monsters in the universe, yet, you develop a little compassion to call them a human being. Again, everything has a reason or an explanation, and we have to be willing to listen to the other side, to give them a fair trial opportunity and finally decide, for better or for worse.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I don’t have a favorite genre, and anyone who reads all my books can easily see it. I write everything from everything, and usually, it mixes in the books into one piece that has no definition.
Wicked girl
Reasons to kill God, which is the current book that I am going to publish on Amazon, is indeed a historical fiction but it also contains quite a bit of philosophy of life and insights that I expect the reader to confront. It has romance and stories that intersect each other until they create a thriller that draws the reader to enter them, In fact, I began to roll this book at the age of twenty-six after a visit to Poland. The tour in the Nazi extermination camps left me with a strong feeling that I had to do something with all the questions that had accumulated. From that moment to selecting of a literary genre, the road was very short. But if I look at the variety of my work, then I don’t have a favorite style, so is the next book I am about to publish; “Wicked Girl,” it is an abnormal psychological thriller that has caused quite a stir among my readers in Israel.
Reasons to kill God
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
This is a fantastic question because in this book (Reasons to kill God) all the characters are controversial and exciting so my answer will be relatively surprising. I will choose to sit with the most boring character in the book; the respectable judge how has no name. His role appears in the first chapter, and in the last episode and fact he will be the one who will sentence my book hero (at least legally). During the trial, the judge undergoes a problematic journey of agony until for a moment he even decides to show some pity for the Nazi defendant also though it does not make it easy for him for a moment. Ostensibly, there is no particular story behind the judge’s character, except for one exception hinted at the name of the book itself and hence the question I appeal to the judge and anyone who reads the book; Who is this God who should be killed in the book?
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
So far I have published my books only in Israel so that when it comes to advertising abroad, I’m a novice. It’s funny to say it, but I find myself starting from scratch, building a community of readers, contacting people to read the book. Yet I am enjoing every Minute of doing so while i still got time to write. 
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
I’ll start with a question; For whom do you write your words?
Is it for yourself or to an audience that will buy the book in stores.
Separate your need to write words and the marketing efforts of those words. I found writing as the most effective tool (except for my family) to remain sane in the complex world in which we live. Therefore, if I had not written, I don’t know where I would be today and what my mental state would be. On the other hand, the desire that everyone will read what we’ve written and appreciated our work as writers push us to publish our words in all kinds of ways. At first, these are just words that try to break out as a simple post on Facebook or Twitter, then you publish short stories on websites, and finally, you put a book in stores and sell a lot of it (wouldn’t we wish it was so simple). Note that once you put the writing pen on the table and start marketing your words, you are less writer and more of a sells man.
I made this mistake at my beginning as a writer, and from the moment I did so, the writing gradually diminished until it almost disappeared. And if for a moment we go back to the question I asked and the first paragraph of this answer of mine, then this was the moment I understood for whom I write my words.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
If my first book succeeds in Amazon as I predict it will, my readers can expect another six books that are already waiting in the drawer. Three of these books have not yet published (not even in Hebrew) and they excite me primarily because of the variety of their stories and the issues they bring to surface. Together with all of these, I am currently working on writing two more books.
Anyone who wants to be updated is freely invited to visit my Facebook page or to the sites of my first two books to published;
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Wanderlost: Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul by Simon Williams Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Return to the hilarious, sarcastic humor of author Simon Williams with his latest novel, Wanderlost: Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul. Here’s the synopsis:

The Synopsis

Take a FREE shot of Tequila and make some poor choices in your life. 

When was the last time you laughed your f#cking arse off? 

Do you feel bored, listless, and trapped? Want to take off from your life for awhile? Ever tried taking a walk in someone else’s shoes… when their choice of footwear is a pair of flippers? 

Three things in this world are certain. Life can be repetitive and boring. Having more money would solve 99% of our problems. Pissing ourselves laughing will make 99% of our problems not seem quite as bad, while uplifting our spirits as we wait for our lotto numbers to come in. 

Soak in the literary intoxication of the Wanderlost series while you roar with laughter. On the bus, at school, or at work. The next best thing to drinking at work and your boss will never find a bottle. 

The Review

The first in a new series by the author of the nonfiction, humor/memoir series Torn, Wanderlost #1 captures the humor and sarcastic wit of author Simon Williams. Already this series of books has captured my attention, leaving me laughing out loud (literally) as I read the stories the author experienced.

 

From drunken fights about overpriced cab fares in Hong Kong that draws the attention of local police, to issues of personal space from the moment you exit your plane into New Delhi, the author uses humor to make light of otherwise frustrating struggles many travelers endure in the world. Being from another country makes world travel difficult, and only be leaning into the absurd and mind-blowing circumstances of travel can one hope to survive with their sanity intact.

The Verdict

This is a wonderful first book in what promises to be a hilarious, laugh riot of a travel book series. The honesty and personal experience of the author blend well with the sarcasm used by the author throughout the novel. This book showcases the various struggles of going to other nations around the world, as this lone Australian citizen treks the countries of the United States, China and more. If you enjoy funny, well written and quick reads about travel, then author Simon William’s novel Wanderlost: Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul is the book for you. Grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10

https://amzn.to/2IH0RBQ

Interview with Author Scott Semegran

This interview discusses To Squeeze a Prairie Dog: An American Novel by Scott Semegran, which Anthony Avina gave a rating of 10/10 for his book review.

The Interview

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I began writing in earnest literally the day after graduating college with a degree in English way back in 1993. Over the years, I have published poetry, short stories, comic strips, and novels. Novels and short stories are what I have kept at the longest and find the most joy in writing and publishing these days.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
Oh, man. That’s a loaded question. I have a few answers: 1) To be honest, I wrote this story for my wife. Having written quite a bit before that didn’t particularly tickle her fancy, I set out—as a challenge to myself—to create a story that would inspire and affect her deeply. She said I accomplished that so I consider it a success. 2) I wanted to write a novel that was endearing but not saccharine and quirky but not snarky. That was a huge challenge! 3) I wanted to explore the power of friendship amongst a group of people with very different backgrounds and personalities. I felt the current state of the U.S. needed that.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
That camaraderie amongst kind-hearted friends wins the day over evil intentions. I truly believe that.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I have mostly written literary fiction, usually with elements of humor or satire. That’s my jam. I’ve been inspired by Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Charles Bukowski, Michael Chabon, and the like. I hope to have a lasting legacy like these authors.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I would ask Rita to bake me her famous banana bread. Food is the key to my heart. I love food. I love to cook. And I love when my wife cooks for me.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
I feel the following have helped me the most: Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, and Instagram have helped the most with finding new readers. BookBub used to be more of a promotional service but they are now enhancing their site to accommodate reader reviews and book recommendations from authors. Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram are all great, too.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Develop a thick skin. You’ll hear “No” or “This is not for me” a lot for a very long time. But if you stick at it, develop your craft, and continue to put stuff out there, you’ll eventually find your readers if your talent develops. Find someone to help with editing. Seek out reviews and accept constructive criticism. But mostly, listen to your creativity when it beckons.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
My latest novel, To Squeeze a Prairie Dog: An American Novel, will be published February 1, 2019, so I am in promotion mode right now. I will be recording the audiobook version in the coming month, narrated by yours truly. And I have a seedling of an idea for a new story germinating in my brain. I’ll probably start writing that in early 2019.

About the Author

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Scott Semegran lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, four kids, two cats, and a dog. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English. He is a bestselling, award-winning writer and cartoonist. He can also bend metal with his mind and run really fast, if chased by a pack of wolves. His comic strips have appeared in the following newspapers: The Austin Student, The Funny Times, The Austin American-Statesman, Rocky Mountain Bullhorn, Seven Days, The University of Texas at Dallas Mercury, and The North Austin Bee. Books by Scott Semegran include Sammie & Budgie, Boys, The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood, The Spectacular Simon Burchwood, Modicum, Mr. Grieves and more.

https://instagram.com/scott_semegran

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3409317.Scott_Semegran

https://www.twitter.com/scottsemegran

https://www.facebook.com/scottsemegran.writer/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/scott-semegran

https://www.rifflebooks.com/profiles/172809

https://www.amazon.com/author/scottsemegran

And my website:

https://www.scottsemegran.com/