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.

What’s Hot Offer Submission for Fall. Enjoy 12% off on minimum purchase of $40. Use code: fallreadingscp. Valid until Nov. 30, 2018.

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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5 STAR REVIEWS FOR JACK DAWKINS’!!

5 STAR REVIEWS FOR JACK DAWKINS’!!

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Jack Dawkins, AKA as the Artful Dodger, wants to set the record straight about what happened to him after he was obliged to take up lodgings in Newgate Prison.   Thanks to the genius of Lionel Bart, we all have a lasting image of him skipping away into the sunset, arm in arm with Fagin. Well, the young jackanapes is here to tell you that the truth is very different.

You don’t have to know your way round archaic words, history or the works of Mr. Dickens, because Jack has very kindly provided a Glossary that you can refer to as he relates in his own inimitable fashion, his encounters with an unusually erudite Bow Street Runner, murderous villains, turnkeys, philanthropists, Innkeepers, Owlers, passing strangers-and Miss Lysette Godden, the first human being he has ever loved.  Strangely enough, Jack also reveals that, as he conducts what proves to be a highly dangerous search for his mother and father, he finds his true self.

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I thought you might like to take a look at Jack Dawkins’ ghost-writer.

You can see more of both of us on the You Tube video ‘the spirit of the Artful Dodger’,

in which Jack does the decent thing by returning from ‘Mutton Pie and Porter heaven’ to give me a helping hand.

 

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/

You Dear Sweet Man by Thomas Neviaser Review

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

A fascinating blend of science fiction, fantasy and real world advertising create a unique and exhilarating read in author Thomas Neviaser’s novel You Dear Sweet Man. Here’s the synopsis:

In an attempt to bring his fast food company back to the heights of success it previously enjoyed, a CEO decides to change its image to include a healthy food venue.

The use of a sophisticated, beautiful, adult film model as the centerpiece of the ad and two youthful computer nerds, specializing in holography and animation, leads to a most intriguing and ingenious advertisement ever invented that only responds to vibrations of whatever vehicle on which it is attached; hence, an exciting yet subtle motion to entice viewers to concentrate on the company’s message.

The Ultimate Advertisement!

Of course, there are antagonists who are trying to sabotage the efforts of the company, but these attempts are thwarted through the devious and innocent maneuverings of the computer wizards.

The model’s temper leads to revenge when her suggestions for the ad are repeatedly rejected by the CEO and board members, and she secretly uses her sensuality and paranormal skills to telepathically force the creators of the ad to produce ads to include unhealthy food images such as burgers and fries. She invents an alter-ego to serve as a replacement for herself in these ads; however, there is one component missing. To finalize her ad, there is a need to add a contrasting overweight and unattractive man. To find that person, the alter-ego must leave the ad, become a human image, and succeed in seducing such a man to return to the ad with her.

In the end, she uses his hunger for a burger and fries to coerce him into entering the ad. As he does, he finds himself in an unexpected predicament from which there may be no escape. As a result, she considers the ad complete, falsely believing the ad will exist forever.

This story is like Mad Men and Black Mirror combined into one whirlwind of a show. The story is told from many different angles, from the fast food company desperate to revitalize their business to the overworked average Joe who falls into a fantasy world with the company’s model and the two tech whiz’s who bring the technology to life. The story does a great job of highlighting how easily manipulative ads can be and the way people can get sucked into fantasy worlds when their lives are so full of unexpected and unfulfilling things.

I loved the story itself. It was well written, and did a great job of exploring every aspect of the plot. The characters were sometimes relatable, sometimes annoying and always engaging, just as people in our daily lives are. The added sci-fi and fantasy element to this otherwise drama story was very fun to see unfold.

Overall I loved the story. Author Thomas Neviaser does a phenomenal job of creating an engaging and thoughtful read while entertaining audiences through every page. The story was evenly paced and did a great job of fleshing out it’s roster of characters. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of You Dear Sweet Man today!

Rating: 9/10

Links for my Books:

You Dear Sweet Man: https://www.amazon.com/YOU-DEAR-SWEET-Thomas-Neviaser/dp/0976018527/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498314450&sr=8-1&keywords=thomas+neviaser and  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-dear-sweet-man-thomas-neviaser/1126599897?ean=9780976018520

The Way I See It: A Head-to-Toe Guide to Common Orthopaedic Conditions 

http://www.amazon.com/Way-See-Common-Orthopaedic-Conditions/dp/0976018519/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451428717&sr=8-1&keywords=neviaser

The Comb in the Urinal: And other Perplexities of Life

http://www.combintheurinal.com/

Man’s Unofficial Guide to the Use of His garage:

http://www.mans-garage-guide.com/

Wrecking Balls by Joe Giambrone Review

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

Friends become rivals in the cutthroat world of stand-up comedy in author Joe Giambrone’s Wrecking Balls. Here’s the synopsis:

Set in the world of stand-up comedy, Charleston and Gary are on the verge of comic greatness: broke, wasted, and floundering through life. As Charleston turns 30 he faces an existential crisis. His comedy career in the gutter, he considers leaving the life. That is until Gary pilfers one of his joke ideas. Then it’s comedy Jihad to the death, and there can be only one. 

Reviews: 

“A fun read, J. Giambrone has a talent for edgy humor, emotional baggage and quirky characters.” 

-Tome Tender Book Blog 

“I laughed, cringed, and overall found it a fast and enjoyable read… I’m so happy this book fell into my hands. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good laugh. You won’t be disappointed.” 

-Theresa on Goodreads

Now a fair amount of warning for this book: this is not a book meant for the faint of heart. Geared towards an adult audience, expect a lot of strong language and jokes that some might consider offensive. However one thing that I think is tackled well in this story is what should and shouldn’t be considered inappropriate in our society. There are definitely areas that don’t need to be joked about or made light of, and there are some areas of comedy that come across as abusive or offensive in today’s world. However there are times where our need to find and root out social injustices go too far, and a crude yet simple joke could be twisted into a far more sinister thing than it originally was. This novel explores that a lot yet without making it obvious that it does so.

The novel itself is filled with a great insight into the minds of not only comedians or competitive people in general, but into the minds of those who are so desperate to be remembered that they are willing to do anything to get there. The surprising thing about this book is just how vicious the rivalry gets between the two friends. The author does a great job of mixing the war games between the two comedians with a helpful dose of character development, as we get brief glimpses into aspects of Charleston’s character that a lot of people will be able to identify with. Most notably we witness a man who begins to question the path he put himself on. A man who begins to wonder whether his dreams and all the work he’s put towards said dream are enough to win the day, or if it was all for nothing. We’ve all been in that headspace before, and it’s interesting to see this character wrestle with that kind of mind game while fighting for comedic glory in his professional life.

Overall this was an enjoyable read. A must read for any adult readers out there interested in the behind the scenes aspect of stand up comedy, be prepared for a sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic and often vulgar filled adventure. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Joe Giambrone’s Wrecking Balls today!

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073HQYKHP/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B073HQYKHP&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Joe Giambrone

j.giambrone@live.com

 http://www.joegiambrone.us

Blog:

https://jgiambrone.wordpress.com

@joegiambrone

Interview with Author Brooke Williams

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I’m pretty sure I’ve been writing since birth. Ha! As a child, I used to cut photos out of magazines, glue them to blank paper and write stories about the pictures. But I don’t think I ever thought writing could be a career. Actually, I went in radio after college and spent a decade on the air and in production behind the scenes. When my first daughter was born, I quit my full time job to stay home with her. After a year, I wanted to find something I could do from home around her schedule and I’d always loved to write so that seemed like a good fit. I started writing novels and got into freelance writing and things have steamrolled from there. 
2) What inspired you to write your book?
Reality shows are hilarious to me and I often wonder what they would be like with someone more like me on it. Someone who wouldn’t excel on TV! I like the put characters into situations that make the uncomfortable and watch things unfold. More often than not, they grow as a person and learn their true strength. I wanted to watch confidence grow, but I also wanted laughs so nothing goes right during any competition! 
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3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
That it’s okay to be who you are…whoever that is. Be strong and confident in your body and in your personality because you are who you are for a reason!
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I think sleep deprivation, honestly! After you have kids, things just seem funnier. I got advice from an agent to try the romance genre and I couldn’t go straight romance, it had to be humorous! 
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I think I’d want to talk with Grace, one of the side characters in the book. She’s a little spit fire and has a fascinating military background. I think I’d just want to know more about her, what makes her tick, and what inspires her to be such a strong person.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Facebook because it’s the only one I do much with. 🙂 I do have a twitter account and I use it on occasion, but I can’t begin to understand that realm of social media.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Write because you love it and everything else will fall into place. If you love to write,  you can’t lose because you get something out of it yourself, whether someone else reads it or not!
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
Next year, my youngest daughter will start kindergarten. So I hope to write more fiction at that time. Right now it’s hard with her around part of the week and my full time freelance writing business. But I have so many ideas floating around my head, it’s not even funny! Well, hopefully it will be, if I keep up with romantic comedy… 🙂

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@authorbrookew

Book Blitz: Better Than This by Author Tia Souders

 

Better Than This
By: Tia Souders

Releasing February 13th, 2018
Clean Reads

Blurb

What can keep a dream alive?

 

Before the car accident that changed everything, Samantha Becker was a happy and loved little girl. Ten years later, Sam, now 18, lives under a dark cloud—largely ignored by an alcoholic mother who never recovered from her loss and ruled by an overbearing father who blames Samantha for the family tragedy. And yet, the troubled teenager has a dream that keeps her going, and an extraordinary musical talent that could take her all the way to Julliard…and far beyond.

 

Following her heart, however, means defying her father, who has his own plans for his daughter’s future.  Then, in the wake of another devastating personal catastrophe, her dream is irreparably shattered, and in her pain and anger, Samantha acts out recklessly. But her salvation could come from a most unlikely trio: a handsome college student, a hopeful little boy…and an older neighbor woman whose caring and secrets will change Sam’s world forever.

 

A powerfully moving addition to the ranks of superior YA fiction, Better Than This by Tia Souders joins Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, the novels of John Green, and other prime examples of contemporary teen literature.  Souders tells the heartbreaking, yet ultimately transcendent story of 18-year-old Samantha, whose remarkable musical abilities could be her escape from a family devastated by tragedy and steeped in guilt, sadness, and recrimination. But when a terrible accident seems to destroy her dreams for the future, Sam discovers a new path forward and new hope when she becomes involved with a remarkable young boy and his grandmother, a caring older neighbor who guards a secret that will change the troubled teenager’s life forever.

Cover

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37930697-better-than-this

Buy Links:    Amazon

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078WW6L5X

 

 

Author Info

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Tia Souders is the author of bestselling women’s fiction novel, Waiting On Hope and the upcoming award-winning young adult novel Better Than This (formerly titled Freedom Road). When she isn’t writing, she’s likely renovating their century home. She’s a wine-loving, coffeeholic, with a sweet tooth and resides on a farm in rural Ohio with her husband and children.

 

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | FB Street TeamInstagram

Website:  http://www.tiasouders.com/

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

Facebook Group/Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/359632431141710/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/tia.s.writes/

 

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Excerpt

My mother crashed into the kitchen, knocking over the wine glasses nestled on the hutch. Mumbling something incomprehensible, along with accusations that someone rearranged the furniture, she stumbled and fell. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the raised knife poised again above the apple.

My father said I shifted my hand on the island, distracted by my mother. A totally plausible explanation—if it were true.

My eyes widened as I stared down at the halved fruit, now drenched in my blood. The pain came in startling, pulsing waves until my entire hand felt as though it was engulfed in flames.

My heart threatened to crash through my chest, as I struggled to comprehend what happened. I vaguely recalled screaming in the background. Where it came from, I’m still unsure. Possibly me, or my mother. I barely noticed my father’s panicked voice as it rang in my ears, nor did I feel it when he squeezed the dish towel over my hand.

I don’t recall moving. I don’t remember speaking or moaning in pain. All I remembered is the sight of the blood-stained cloth shifting, noting the missing finger, and thinking This is my fretting hand.

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