AJ Brown Explores the Darker Side of Humanity

Welcome to our weekly feature,

The E-Pub 

 Information from both the author’s and the reader’s points of view concerning the publishing frontier known as e-publishing.

If darker stories attract you, this week’s author AJ Brown won’t disappoint! On his website “Type AJ Negative,” AJ has categories such as “The Donor Center” and “The Blood Bank,” which only hint at what you’ll find within.  So, check under the bed and lock your doors, then grab a cup of coffee or pour yourself a cold brew — beverages are always on the house — pull up a chair, and see if you’re brave enough to take a walk “Along the Splintered Path”  — the name of AJ’s latest horror collection!

AJ, at what age did you first realize you wanted to write books and how/when did you first share this ambition with “the world”? I’m a late bloomer.  I hated writing in school—I wasn’t very good at it.  I’ve looked at some of the papers I wrote from back then and they make me want to vomit.

I guess it was in 2003—at the age of 33—when my wife, Cate, said I should try and get something published, that I thought about actually putting my work out to the world.

 Who in your life and what authors you read had the most influence over your decision to write? My wife has had the most influence on me—she never lets me quit, even when I’m frustrated and want to.  As far as writers go, Stephen King, Iain Banks, Roald Dahl.  For someone who writes darker things, I’ve never been a fan of Lovecraft or Barker, though I enjoyed Poe.

What influence, if any, has your career choice had on your choice of writing subjects? None at all.  Funny thing is my career choices and the jobs I’ve had have had very little bearing on anything I’ve ever written.

Your most-recently published book is a collection of short stories called “Along the Splintered Path.” Please tell us about these stories – what are they about and why you grouped them together. There are three stories in ATSP and they are all, essentially paths chosen and the results from doing so.

‘Phillip’s Story’ is really two stories in one and is about a homeless man who comes into some money and what he does with it.  It’s also about two brothers who choose to do something and the end result is how Phillip comes into the previously mentioned money.

‘‘Round These Bones’ is about a guy who tries to rekindle his marriage only to have his wife ask for a divorce.  Heartbroken and angry, he leaves their cabin in the woods and… well, I guess you could say driving fast in the mountains is always a bad decision.

‘The Woodshed’ is a story that hits close to home for me.  It’s based on something my father told me when I was 14.  It’s raw abuse and just how much can one kid take before he snaps.  But there’s more to it than just that.  The kid’s brother is a head case and the only way to deal with it, is to go home and face the demons of the past.

These stories fit together and progress from bad to really bad to uh oh, someone’s in trouble.  If you look at life, the way it is in reality, everything you do is a decision and each one you make leads you down a different path, than if you would have made a different decision.  Some of those paths can be as smooth as silk, while others are quite splintered.

To say that you’re a “prolific writer” of short stories is, we believe, a bit of an understatement. How many short stories have you published and what appeals to you about short stories as opposed to novels? Stories published:  176.  Just a handful.  I’ve written nearly 900 stories in the last ten years or so.

What’s appealing about the short story is that they can be however long I want them to be and I don’t have to try and write a novel.  Really, I don’t.  I’ve had four short stories turn into novels by the time I was done with them.  For me, the short story has become kind of a lost art.  So many folks write all action in their short stories.  They forget to develop characters and scenes.  And I understand that.  We live in a ‘Fast food’ society where we want everything quickly and we don’t want to wait for it.  What I would like to do is change that mentality.  I want people to enjoy the short story again.

Think about how poorly short story collections do, even at Amazon.  I want to change that.  I want folks to love the short story again, like they did back when newspapers and magazines actually published them.

Do you have any other collections underway and what can you tell us about them — can you share some hints? Yes, I do.  Southern Bones is in the works as we speak.  The stories—13 of them—have been chosen and are out at a couple of readers right now.  The cover art is being worked on and I have a tentative release date, which hopefully will be in August.  The name tells everything.  All the stories have some sort of southern tone to them, some a little more than others and they’re all dark, but honestly, I can’t say they are all horror, or really if any of them are horror, per say.  The stories range from an overzealous religious man who thinks he is a god to tornadoes to baseball to prophets and even a story about a man who hears the devil screaming and pretty much everything in between.

Oh, and there will be a teaser at the end of Southern Bones for an upcoming novel.  You’ll want to check it out.

Most, if not all, of your short stories appear to be in the horror genre. Is there another genre you’d like to try and what attracts you about that genre? I’ve dabbled in other genres, humor and fantasy and even a little bit of lit-fiction, but I’ve always been attracted to the darker side of humanity.  Not that I’m all that dark of a person, but it’s hard to scare someone.  It’s hard to make someone laugh as well.  For me, it’s not about scaring folks so much as it is about making them feel the characters.  Sometimes I succeed.  Other times, not so much.  

If you could pick another author’s character and use him or her as a character in a novel, who would that be and in what type of setting would you write about him or her? Oh wow, what a question.  You have me scratching my head here.

Hmm… I think I would choose Edward Cullen or whatever his name is from that Twilight series my wife loves.  And I would put him in something involving, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.  Just saying.

You poll your readers and ask them to list five words that best describe your writing. What top five words do they list? I should try that.  Thanks for the idea.

Let’s see: Dark. Graphic. Inviting. Casual (I love that word when referring to writing). Emotional.  

Are you a dog person or cat person and what kind of canine or feline assistance with your writing do you receive, if any? Both, but for now we have only a cat, who occasionally hops onto my desk while I am working.  She likes to chase the ‘mouse’ on the screen.  That’s about all the help I get from her.

You’re admitted to heaven and you decide to throw a dinner party to celebrate your arrival.  What five people, living or dead, are on your guest list? This is an interesting question.  I’m a religious person, and not too long ago reaffirmed my faith in God.  The first of these people would be Jesus.  I would be in His house, after all.  The other four would be my grandfather, my dad, my wife, Stephen King and Jim Morrison.  Wow, can you imagine the story ideas that could come from that dinner?

Where can you and your books be found – please share your links.

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Along-the-Splintered-Path-ebook/dp/B006SCJGI6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top”>

Website: http://typeajnegative.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AJBrown36?sk=wall

AJ Brown Author Biography: Somewhere in the south sits a tired man at a tired computer.  His fingers are nubs, worn down from years of tap-tapping on a keyboard (one that’s been replaced a baker’s dozen amount of times).  His back is hunched and his eyes are rimmed pink, the whites riddled with red squiggly lines.  On his shoulder is a little dude who constantly whispers in his ear, ‘hey write this.’  And he listens.

This is life for A.J. Brown.  One day, when the little dude is no longer whispering, A.J. may get some sleep.  Until then, he pens stories in hopes of making the little man go away.

You can find his short story collection, Along the Splintered Path, at Amazon.

The E-Pub PUB appreciates AJ taking time from dripping more blood on his keyboard to share his darker side with us! 


Posted in Authors, E-Pub PUB, E-publishing, E-readers, Horror, Publishing, Short Stories, Social Media, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Sail Away with this Author on Finn’s Ship!

Welcome to our weekly feature,

The E-Pub 

 Information from both the author’s and the reader’s points of view concerning the publishing frontier known as e-publishing.

Award-winning author Serena Schreiber has worn many hats — from owner of a boat-charter company to teacher to author, wife, and mother. Her book Finn’s Ship is an adventure that cleverly combines mystery, history, and travel. So, grab a cup of coffee or pour yourself a cold brew — beverages are always on the house — pull up a chair, and all aboard for Finn’s Ship!

Serena, at what age did you first realize you wanted to write books and how/when did you first share this ambition with “the world”? I’ve always enjoyed writing — letters, web content, research papers, and journal entries for my son to read about the dad who died when he was eleven months old. But the idea to write a book happened three years ago. I was looking for something to do after I closed my boat charter company. What if I wrote an adventure story starring my son, in which he learns about his father? Finn’s Ship was published during August 2011.

 Who in your life and what authors you read had the most influence over your decision to write? I devour all kinds of fiction – as a younger person, that included Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, JRR Tolkien, James Michener, Stephen King — a broad spectrum. More recently, the Harry Potter series captivated me. I thought if I could create something even half as good as that, it would be worth doing.

What influence has your career choice had on your choice of writing subjects – or vice versa? When I finished my MBA, I moved with my boyfriend, whom I later married, to Germany. Living there for seven years, I saw how children don’t seem to grow up as quickly there as they do here, yet they enjoy more freedom and responsibility– riding by bike or public transportation to school, playing in the neighborhood unsupervised and expected to be home by dark, entertaining themselves, etc. Now I live and work teaching children in the U.S. I love it here, but Finn traveling with friends around Germany reflects that mentality.

What was your inspiration for “Finn’s Ship” and can you tell us a bit about the book? The main character of Finn is based on my son who was born in Germany.  

Before leaving on his annual visit to family in Germany, fourteen-year-old Finn receives a travel journal penned by his deceased father. Within its pages, he discovers the mystery of his inheritance with ties to Hitler’s Nazi party. Finn rides skateboards, trains, and a cruise ship on the quest to find his fortune, facing mixed feelings about his heritage and encountering a few celebrities along the way.

You use both English and German in Finn’s Ship. Is your book available to German readers? Yes, it is available at http://www.amazon.de and at Saint George’s English Bookshop in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin. No German language edition has been published. Yet.

Are there any further adventures in store for Finn? Give us a clue, please! Finn’s Car, Book 2 of the Finn’s Travels series, is currently in development. Finn and classmates, now in the high school engineering program, develop a hybrid electric go-kart to race at the Monaco Grand Prix. Finn’s Rocket will follow.

You are writing for a middle grade (ages 9-14, or tween) audience. Are there other middle grade authors you admire and what is it about their writing that you like? I’m a huge fan of JK Rowling’s work, which began as a middle grade series when Harry Potter was eleven years old. However, the magical world and characters she created captivated audiences young and old. I’ve tried to create detail-rich settings in Europe that kids would want to visit, eluding bad guys on skateboard, if not a broom.

 Do you think that the YA generation prefers e-readers or paper books and why is that? Young people consume content onscreen. Textbooks are online alongside social media. Palm Beach County (FL) high school students are required to do at least one virtual (online) course to graduate. Using an e-reader is a natural extension. Besides, the technology is fascinating.

Also, it sometimes takes a lot of encouragement for young readers to pick up a book and read. Do you think that e-publishing is a good way to break down youth’s resistance to reading? We’re right at the beginning of something wonderful. Soon we’ll have author-friendly tools to include interactive technologies enhancing the reading experience. Reading Finn’s Rocket, kids could create an avatar to participate in the adventure.

Is there another genre you’d like to try and what attracts you about that genre? I read a lot of fantasy, taking me away from sometimes hard reality, but I’ve yet to write any. Maybe Finn’s Rocket will take me into science fiction! Another project is a novel for young people exploring faith during grief. If I could help just one person cope with their situation, that’s a worthy endeavor.

You poll your readers and ask them to list five words that best describe your novels. What top five words do they list? My readers use words like ‘awesome.’ Parents report their kids couldn’t put the book down, which I consider the highest praise.

 Are you a dog person or cat person and what kind of canine or feline assistance with your writing do you receive, if any? As I am highly allergic, furry animals assist me by their absence. Our family enjoys pets such as fish, snakes and a turtle named Tank.

You’re admitted to heaven and you decide to throw a dinner party to celebrate your arrival.  What five people, living or dead, are on your guest list? I’m planning an open house. Living or dead should feel free to stop by for beer and bratwurst.

 How do we find you? Please share your links (website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) 

Author website: http://serenaschreiber.com

Kids’ blog: http://finnstravels.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finns-Ship-ebook/dp/B005FXHO9W/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/serena_schreiber

Twitter: https://twitter.com/serenaboats

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/serena.boats

Serena Schreiber, Author Biography: Serena Schreiber’s work first appeared in a collection of student prose and poetry of P.S. 312 Brooklyn, New York (1973). Currently, she works as a teaching artist, curating her students’ work at Blue Planet Writers Room in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Her debut novel, Finn’s Ship, won a Royal Palm Literary Award. Hang out with her Third Thursdays at Howl at the Moon Writers Jam, Port Salerno, Florida.

Serena’s son — the inspiration for Finn’s Ship — 

and her daughter, on a family trip to Deutschland.

The E-Pub PUB enjoyed spending time with author Serena Schreiber for this interview. We wish her continued success with Finn’s Ship and we look forward to the publication of Finn’s Car and Finn’s Rocket!

Posted in Authors, Awards, Books, E-Pub PUB, E-publishing, E-readers, Germany, Kindle, Middle-Grade Books, Nazi Germany, Nook, Publishing, Reading, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

J. P. Catton Re-Imagines Frankenstein!

Welcome to our weekly feature,

The E-Pub 

 Information from both the author’s and the reader’s points of view concerning the publishing frontier known as e-publishing.

Have you ever had a dream with a character so vivid that you just couldn’t forget him or her? Well, that’s what happened to this week’s author J. P. Catton who turned a dream’s character into a re-imagined Frankenstein in his Steampunk Regency novel, “Moonlight, Murder, and Machinery.” So, grab a cup of coffee or pour yourself a cold brew — beverages are always on the house — pull up a chair, and enjoy this journey into the Regency England of Jane Austen’s time.

J. P., at what age did you first realize you wanted to write books and how/when did you first share this ambition with “the world”? Between age 18 and age 25, I shifted from getting top grades in science at high school to top grades in literature, and I decided that I wanted to do something in writing. On entering college, I wanted to go into newspaper journalism, but within a few years, that had changed to a focus upon writing fiction.

Who in your life and what authors you read had the most influence over your decision to write? At high school and University, the writers that shaped my development were Ray Bradbury, John Keats, H. P. Lovecraft, Virginia Woolf, and George Orwell. After Uni, I lived in the English city of Northampton for a few years and met the comic writer Alan Moore, because Northampton is his hometown. It was awe-inspiring. Twenty years on, I still think Alan Moore is an Eldritch Pagan God who has taken human form to walk among us and lead a select few to enlightenment. I am joking, folks, but only a little bit.

What influence, if any, has your career choice had on your choice of writing subjects? It was studying Literature – the Romantic Poets, Victorian novelists, modern novelists –  that got me into writing in the first place. I deliberately went into teaching Literature because a) teaching is traditionally a second career for writers and b) I wanted to give something back, to explain to young people the literature that inspired me could also inspire them.

 You characterize your novel “Moonlight, Murder, and Machinery” as “Steampunk Regency.” Can you explain that for our readers unfamiliar with the genre? Steampunk is a kind of alternative-reality Science Fiction. It plays an intellectual game whereby certain events occur in the Victorian era that cause the time line to diverge, and produce a reality that is similar to ours, but different in bizarre and exotic ways.

Now, please tell us about your novel – what’s it about and from where did you get the idea for it? The Steampunk genre is usually in the late 19th Century, but my novel is set earlier, in the Regency England of Jane Austen’s time, because of a huge Anomalous Event that occurs in 1742.  This leads to the return of the Druids, Bonny Prince Charlie taking the English throne and the Industrial Revolution going in a completely unexpected direction.

But quite aside from this, it’s a love story. And a re-imagining of Frankenstein. With pirates, smugglers and highwaymen added.

The idea came first, many years ago, from an image I saw in a dream. The image was a of masked man wearing a Napoleonic Era military uniform but carrying strangely futuristic weapons, leaping through the stained glass window of an ominous-looking cathedral, smashing it to pieces to reach the girl he loves, who is in dire peril. I started to wonder about who he was and what kind of alternative reality he came from.

You reside in Japan. Does this influence your writing and, if so, how?  Japanese society, history, culture and mythology are fascinating subjects full of unexplored opportunities.

I am currently working on an urban fantasy trilogy named “Sword, Mirror, Jewel,” based on the Three Imperial Treasures of Japan, and featuring creatures from Japanese myths and legends.

Is there another genre you’d like to try and what attracts you about that genre? In the past, I tried writing novels with explicit adult themes, such as cosmic horror and the suspense/mystery/serial killer genre. I’d like to go back and see if those could be rewritten for possible publication.

If you could pick another author’s character and use him or her as a character in a novel, who would that be and in what type of setting would you write about him or her? My fantasy is to take the BBC TV character Bernard Quatermass and do a series called “Young Quatermass”,  where he investigates scientific horrors in World War II Britain.

You poll your readers and ask them to list five words that best describe your writing. What top five words do they list? What! The! Heck! Is! This!

 Are you a dog person or cat person and what kind of canine or feline assistance with your writing do you receive, if any?  I’m a cat person. Definitely. But Tokyo is not the kind of place to raise a cat, so I make do with the cat spirits who whisper things into my ear when I’m asleep.

You’re admitted to heaven and you decide to throw a dinner party to celebrate your arrival.  What five people, living or dead, are on your guest list? Alan Moore, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Andre Breton, Virginia Woolf.

Where can you and your books be found – please share your links.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Moonlight-Murder-Machinery-John-Catton/dp/4990632001/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340114644&sr=8-1&keywords=moonlight+murder+and+machinery

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120779

Author page: http://johnpaulcatton.com/

Publisher page: http://jpcatton-excaliburbooks.blogspot.jp/

J. P. Catton, Author Biography: John Paul Catton is a British writer currently living in Japan. He travelled extensively before settling down in west Tokyo, and is spending his time now writing speculative fiction, supernatural thrillers, retro-punk and urban fantasy for adults of all ages. He is the co-founder of Excalibur Books (with publisher Winston Saint).

The E-Pub PUB thanks J. P. Catton for spending time with us to discuss this fascinating novel. We look forward to his next book and wish him much success with it!

 

Posted in Authors, Books, E-Pub PUB, E-publishing, E-readers, Gothic Romance, Japan, Kindle, Nook, Publishing, Reading, Romance, Steampunk, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Air Cancer Flight 102: C is for …

We visited with Nurse Angel Ann “Witchy Woman” June 12 for our pre-chemo blood draw which went uneventfully, as usual, except for Ann doing the draw in a different room then asking that I go weigh my own self in the blood-draw room and instruct N.A. Carrie to chart my weight. But we won’t mention that😉

I also had the opportunity to offer Ann a shitload lot of sincere thanks for having suggested the one thing that finally helped, the prior week, to rid me of, shall we say, a two-week accumulation a horrible case of … constipation.

I shall spare you, Dear Reader, the awful details, but those of you who either have undergone chemotherapy or who have taken prescribed narcotics for any length of time, will attest to the fact that The Big C really stands for Constipation, not Cancer. This, and other equally-gross things, shall be a topic in my non-fiction Work In Progress (WIP) being written for first-time cancer patients. It falls under that category “Things About Which They Never Told You the Whole Truth.”

My real life friends will attest to the fact that I was incommunicado for about three weeks. They should be grateful. Even my cats knew to stay out of my way. In any case, I was miserable. I had tried everything short of a stick of dynamite and, believe me, that was next! Ann suggested I try Miralax (R). I’d believed that it was just like all the other over-the-counter products available and hadn’t yet tried it. But after Ann’s suggestion, three days later I had the beginnings of a smile on my face again. Needless to say, henceforth I shall put up with almost any shenanigan Ann pulls😉

So, yesterday, June 13 (emphasis on the “13” for those triskaidekaphobics among you) was a chemo day.  After Wonder Doc reviewed my platelets and other blood goodies and pronounced me fit for another boatload of noxious chemicals, I wished him a sincere Happy Vacation and proceeded to the Infusion Suite. They were a-rockin’ and a-rollin’ with a full house again, so I elected to take a chair in the side room which was empty, as I felt a nap coming on.

Gentle Cathy was my assigned N.A. for the afternoon and she graciously waited until I’d finished my lunch before she pulled her cart full of needles over my way and picked a vein. A few squiggles later and it was obvious that the vein wasn’t going to cooperate despite the gallons of water I’d been ingesting. Cathy asked if she was hurting me, to which I responded “Oh, maybe a little.” Well, that was all it took. Cathy removed the needle and decided to choose another vein, on the other arm, even. The needle found its mark swiftly and painlessly, but when N.A. Carrie walked by just then, Cathy said to her, “Oh geeze now she’s going to blog about me.” Carrie just smiled and said, “Yep. You’re in trouble now!”

Needless to say, two little needle sticks are hardly worth a blog post, but when someone expects a post, what’s a writer to do? After all, we’re here to please our readers! So, for the purposes of this post, C is for Constipation … and for Cathy. And Cathy — this post is for you🙂

PS: Ann, I shall be forever grateful, if my thanks on Tuesday weren’t sufficent!

Posted in Air Cancer, Chemotherapy, Constipation, Doctors, Health, Humor, Medical System | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

T. C. Isbell Tells of Double Agents, Espionage, and Revenge!

Welcome to our weekly feature,

The E-Pub 

 Information from both the author’s and the reader’s points of view concerning the publishing frontier known as e-publishing.

Our guest this week is T. C. Isbell, author of “Southern Cross” and its sequel “Icarus Plot” — both exciting, historical novels of double agents, espionage, and revenge — who has a fondness for “all things old” and whose work experiences helped provide insight into details that helped shape his writing. So, grab a cup of coffee or pour yourself a cold brew — beverages are always on the house — pull up a chair, and enjoy! (PS: We just learned that a Kindle download of “Southern Cross” will be free during Father’s Day weekend!)

Tom, at what age did you first realize you wanted to write books and how/when did you first share this ambition with “the world”? I started writing short stories and poems in the tenth grade, which is interesting because at the time I was more into sports than schoolwork. In fact, I spent most of my time in English class staring out the window waiting for the bell to ring so I could go to football practice, basketball practice, or work on my shot put skills. It wasn’t until I retired in 2005 that I began to work on my first historical novel, “Southern Cross.” It just kind of evolved from a deep interest in 1930’s and 1940’s history. Before I knew it, I had a timeline filled with facts, a plot, and ten-thousand words. I’d like to say, “The rest is history.” But it wasn’t that easy. I needed to learn all those pesky little rules I had ignored in English class. Secondly, I had to learn how to not write like an engineer.

Who in your life and what authors you read had the most influence over your decision to write? Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Bloch, Mike Lawson, Kevin O’Brien, Isaac Asimov, Eric Ambler, and Truman Capote.

 What influence did your career choice have on your choice of writing subjects? My career in naval nuclear engineering gave me first-hand knowledge of submarines, both nuclear and diesel powered. For a period of time, while I was in the US Navy, I stood four hour watches on a decommissioned WW2 submarine. The watches were from midnight to four in the morning. I was the only living soul on board. My job was to inform the Watch Office if the submarine started to sink. Being alone on the sub gave me the opportunity to fully explore the submarine. I served six years in the US Navy and worked for twenty-four years as an engineer in a naval shipyard. During my career I was exposed to a many types of naval vessels. My work experiences provided me with an understanding of ships and the military I was able to use when writing “Southern Cross.”

You’ve published short stories, including “Mattie’s Shoes,” that placed in the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition, and “Surf’s Up.” This year saw the publication of your novel “Southern Cross.” Please tell us about “Southern Cross.”  “Southern Cross” is a unique tale of double agents, espionage, and revenge that begins in Hamburg, Germany and ends on a dock in Havana, Cuba less than a year later. German agents Elsa Gable and Chris Schulte grew up together in a Germany ravaged by the Great War. They became inseparable as they matured into more than friends, more than family. They had a bond no one could destroy, at least that’s what Chris believed until the night of December 2, 1938 when a telegram arrived from New York City. Elsa is dead.

 What other books do you have underway and what can you tell us about them? Can you share some hints? “Icarus Plot,” the sequel to my first book, takes place in Panama during 1940. Panama is alive with espionage. The Germans are tying to build an airfield in Brazil and the Japanese want to turn the Panama Canal into a muddy ditch before the end of the year . . . and worst of all, the bureaucrats couldn’t give a damn because there’s money to be made.

The third book in the series is still in the timeline and synopsis stage. It takes place in San Francisco and Hawaii in 1941.

My fourth book, “Last Man,” isn’t part of a series. It takes place in Seattle, Washington in 1956 and 1972. I like starting books with telegrams or newspaper clippings as a hook. Here’s the newspaper clipping –

Thursday, July 5, 1956

WELL KNOWN SEATTLE PLAYBOY AND ENTREPRENEUR, EDDIE GREEN, MURDERED BY RETIRED POLICEMAN

Eddie Green was gunned down last night at ten-thirty in front of his exclusive nightclub, Eddie’s Place. Green was shot six times in the head at close range by retired policeman Mike Bennett. During an ensuing gun battle, Bennett was shot and died at the scene without regaining consciousness.

You have an affinity for old cars and trucks. Have they ever played a part in your writing or do you have plans for them to do so? I like all things old. I collect antiques. I have had an interest in cars since I was a little kid. Mostly I’m what is known as a “hot rodder.” The engineer in me likes to modify just about anything or make something out of nothing. I called on some of my automotive knowledge in “Icarus Plot,” but only to provide period correct detail. Unlike King’s “Christine,” my cars will always be props in the background.

Is there another genre you’d like to try and what attracts you about that genre? Yes, I have an outline for a Sci-fi thriller titled “The Last Alien.” As much as I like history, I like science and projecting what the future and other worlds might be like. In the future anything is possible. Consider Dick Tracy’s wrist radio of the 1940’s or Star Trek’s communicator. Now almost everyone has some form of “communicator.” The future is only limited by our imagination.

If you could pick another author’s character and use him or her as a character in a novel, who would that be and in what type of setting would you write about him or her? That’s easy, Bloch’s Norman Bates. I would make Norman the quiet neighbor in a New York City apartment building. You know, the guy that everyone has glimpsed, but no one really knows much about. There’s all kinds of things that come to mind in that situation.

You poll your readers and ask them to list five words that best describe your writing. What top five words do they list? Enticing, compelling, exciting, captivating, and suspenseful

Are you a dog person or cat person and what kind of canine or feline assistance with your writing do you receive, if any? We have a blind, deaf dog and an aging cat. The dog just lays on the floor and enjoys the heat from the sun. The cat is quite mischievous, but understands when I am working. Both the cat and the dog listen quite well when I read passages from my book out loud.

You’re admitted to heaven and you decide to throw a dinner party to celebrate your arrival.  What five people, living or dead, are on your guest list? Alfred Hitchcock, John F. Kennedy, Mark Twain, Erwin Rommel, and W. C. Fields

Where can you and your books be found – please share your links. Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Cross-T-C-Isbell/dp/098466100X/

“Southern Cross,” as well as two of my short stories, may be found internationally on the various Amazon websites. In addition, “Southern Cross” may be ordered from Barnes & Noble, Alibris, Books-A-Million, Powel’s Books in Portland, or from any independent bookstore (through Indiebound).

My website, Mystery Alley – http://www.MysteryAlley.com

Author Biography, T. C. Isbell: My family moved around when I was young. I’d like to say we were one step ahead of the law, but that wouldn’t be true. Life wasn’t that exciting. I was a service brat. In the sixties we settled in San Diego. I served six years in the US Navy with most of that time spent on the USS Enterprise as a nuclear plant operator. After my discharge, I attended college and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. In the early eighties I moved to Bremerton, Washington and worked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard until I retired in 2005.

Like many authors, I started writing in high school. In the sixties and seventies I wrote short stories and poems influenced by those turbulent times. During the eighties, I wrote articles for The Rodder’s Bulletin, a monthly newspaper for car enthusiasts. Retirement has given me time to pursue my passion for writing. Southern Cross is the first in a series of historical thrillers set in the period just before the United States officially enters World War II.  It is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Icarus Plot, the second book in the series, is a work in progress.

I enjoy painting pictures with words, bringing characters to life, and watching what happens. Sometimes they surprise even me. Authors of fiction are entertainers and I hope readers will be entertained by Southern Cross and my other books.

I am a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and International Thriller Writers (ITW). For information on my works in progress go to my website, MysteryAlley.com.

The E-Pub PUB thanks author T. C. Isbell for taking time out of his schedule to share information about his books and his writing and we wish him success with his upcoming releases! 

Posted in Authors, Books, E-Pub PUB, E-publishing, E-readers, Historical Fiction, Kindle, Mystery, Nook, Publishing, Reading, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Welcome to The Family Zoo!

Welcome to our weekly feature,

The E-Pub 

 Information from both the author’s and the reader’s points of view concerning the publishing frontier known as e-publishing. 

If you think your family is a zoo … how about a family that includes ten children? We’re happy to present to you this week author Carle Sargent, who is, indeed, a father of ten and whose book The Family Zoo, is a delightful way to educate both children and the general public about adoption and what it means to be “family.” So, grab a cup of coffee or pour yourself a cold brew — beverages are always on the house — pull up a chair, and enjoy!

Carle, at what age did you first realize you wanted to write books and how/when did you first share this ambition with “the world”? About 6 years ago while I was starting USAdoption Solutions I had thought about writing a children’s book on adoption.  The concept floated around for a while and I went through several drafts.  I had finished the book and began the search for an illustrator.  Life, running the agency and my 10 children sort of derailed that process and book was placed on the shelf.  For a while I felt like it would never become a reality.  Then last January I was introduced to the brother of a friend of mine, Paul Griffin.  Paul was an artist who had put his dreams of designing on the back burner as well.  We became friends and decided to collaborate on finishing the book I had written.  It was at this time that we shared this ambition with the world.

Who in your life and what authors you read had the most influence over your decision to write? I met a children’s book author Kathy Brodsky who really was a mentor for me.  She was great at encouraging me and assisting me throughout the process.

You’re the Executive Director of USAdoptions, Inc., and an Adoption Coach for GIFT Family Services.  You’re also the father of ten children, seven of whom were adopted from foster care, so it would seem the adoption process has, indeed, been very positive for you. Did you always know you wanted to adopt? The adoption process has been very positive for me.  It has been one of the most amazing and rewarding things I have ever done.  I knew little about adoption until I got to college.  My college roommate was adopted and my girlfriend who I eventually married was adopted.  She had always wanted to adopt and I thought it would be nice to adopt children who had no family.  We decided to have biological children (we had 3) and then to adopt.  Adoption then became one of my passions.

What is the one, best piece of advice you are able to give to prospective adoptive parents? It would be to learn as much about the adoption process possible.  To talk to families that have adopted and get a real clear picture about what it is all about.  You want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly and then take it all in and see if this is something that speaks to you.

So, please tell us a little about your book, The Family Zoo? It tells the story of a panda bear Joy-Ling who is being adopted and moving to a new zoo.  When he arrives he is scared.  The zoo keeper takes him on a journey through the zoo where he meets other animals that were adopted.  At each exhibit they visit, they encounter a different situation.    In the end Joy-Ling is united with his adoptive father.

The book educated children and the public about adoption.   Today, families come in many forms.  The Family Zoo raises awareness on different types of adoption.  Adoption brings people together who ultimately become a “forever family.” The book promotes acceptance, tolerance and understanding about families outside of traditional family models.  This acceptance and awareness carries over to other ares of life for children.  They know that being different can be a gift.

Did you have the idea for writing The Family Zoo before or as a result of your adoption experiences? It was as a result of my adoption experiences.  I have 13 years of adoption experience as an adoptive parent, a social worker, a development director and executive director of an adoption agency.  I have seen adoption from many different views.  I wanted to educate children and create adoption awareness with this book.  All of the adoption stories in this book are inspired by actual adoptions of which I have been a part.

 Writing a book, in and of itself, is time-consuming, to say the least. With a family of your size and with your jobs, how do you find time to write? Once the collaboration with my illustrator began, we were very purposeful and created a process that worked for us.  We both have very busy lives, so we decided that this was going to take as long as it took, but that we were both committed to completing it.  We met about once a month and we would sit down and go over the wording of a page.  We would brainstorm what we wanted together and even changed the story in some cases from this brainstorming.  We would do 4 – 8 pages at a time this way.  Then Paul, the illustrator would do the illustrations one page at a time.  At the end we would review what was done and then do the same process for the next 4 – 8 pages or so.  This process took us about 9 months from beginning till we sent it to the printer.

Now that you’ve written your first book, is there another genre of writing you’d like to try?  For now, I’m staying with children’s books. I have two more children’s books that are works in progress. They both are targeted towards all children but specifically toward foster and adoptive children.  One is on self limiting beliefs and changing them to empowering beliefs.  The other is about living your best life by following your heart and what you are passionate about.

You poll your readers and ask them to list five words that best describe The Family Zoo. What top five words would they list? Educational, fun, entertaining, cute, and special.

Are you more “a dog person” or “a cat person,” and what kind of canine or feline assistance with your writing do you receive, if any? I am a dog person, but I did not receive any assistance that way — this time.

You’re admitted to heaven and you decide to throw a dinner party to celebrate your arrival.  What five people, living or dead, are on your guest list? It would be challenging to only pick 5 people, but I would pick 5 people who have passed away.  My two grandfathers — Grampa Fred and Grampa John — my Grandmother — Grammy Sargent, Ghandi, and Napoleon Hill.

Where can you and The Family Zoo be found on line? Please share your links.  

The Family Zoo book

Carle Sargent, Author Biography: Carle is the Executive Director of USAdoptions, Inc., and an Adoption Coach for GIFT (Growing Intentional Families Together Family Services.  He has thirteen years’ experience in the field of adoptions and is the father of three biological and seven adoptive children. He blogs regular on the GIFT website and joins in GIFT’s message of hope and inspiration for adoptive families — You are not alone! The Family Zoo is Carle’s first book about adoption. 

The E-pub PUB sincerely appreciates Carle’s time with us and we hope that our readers have enjoyed reading about his charming book. We wish Carle much success with future publications about adoption and with all his endeavors related to this very special process of growing families! 

Posted in Adoption, Authors, Books, Children's Books, E-Pub PUB, E-publishing, Foster Care, Parenting, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Meet Author and Publisher Jen Talty

Welcome to our weekly feature,

The E-Pub 

 Information from both the author’s and the reader’s points of view concerning the publishing frontier known as e-publishing.

This weeks guest is not only an author of both fiction and non-fiction books, but she’s also a publisher. Together with NY Times bestselling author Bob Mayer, Jen Talty created Cool Gus Publishing (formerly Who Dares Wins Publishing). We’re certain that you’ll enjoy reading about her books and about her take on the world of e-publishing! So, grab a cup of coffee or pour yourself a cold brew — beverages are always on the house — pull up a chair, and enjoy!

Jen, at what age did you first realize you wanted to write books and how/when did you first share this ambition with “the world”? I didn’t always want to be a writer. It wasn’t until I was in my mid thirties that I sat down and wrote a book. However, I’ve always enjoyed a good story, so it was just a matter of time. I wrote 2 books before I told anyone I was writing.

Who in your life and what authors you read had the most influence over your decision to write? I had been reading a lot of Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts when I decided that I wanted to write a book. I really enjoyed their romances and the way the spun some mystery into the stories. The book Hello, Darkness by Sandra Brown helped shape the type of book I wanted to write.

Together with NY Times bestselling author Bob Mayer, you are the co-creator of Cool Gus Publishing (formerly Who Dares Wins Publishing).  Do you think the availability of a self-publishing option has helped or hurt publishing, in general? The eBook revolution created an opportunity for authors to get their books to their reader. It’s taken out the need for many of the players between the producer of the product and the consumer of the product. In that sense, self-publishing may have hurt traditional publishing in general. But it hasn’t hurt two of the most important people in the publishing process: the writer and the reader.

What are the biggest mistakes you see new authors making when publishing their first books and what advice would you give them? Promoting ineffectively. Promotion is an ongoing process and it is often less about promoting the book and more about building a brand and a community. The book is usually the first interaction a reader has with a writer. The key to having a long career is creating content your readers will care about, so the writing always has to come first. Promotion is simply another way to connect with the reader. There has to be a balance, and the balance needs to be equal from the time the book is released to the time the next book is released.

We always recommend to the self-published author to wait until they have 3 books uploaded before really spending a ton of time and money on promotion. Why? Because when a reader loves a book they do two things. First, they tell everyone they know what a great book it was and second, they go looking for anything else the author has written. Content is your sustainability as an author. Promotion is your discoverablity. You need both, but the focus has to be on the promise you make to your reader.

For the author who is traditionally published we always recommend to find a way to balance meeting your deadlines and finding ways to connect to your readers. You can’t rely on your publisher to do it for you.

You’re an author of dark romance novels but you also have co-written non-fiction books geared toward helping authors to effectively market and promote their careers.  Do you prefer writing fiction or non-fiction and why?

I love writing both.

Is there another genre you’d like to try and what attracts you about that genre? Paranormal and Science Fiction. I watch a lot of TV and Movies that are of the Paranormal or Science Fiction flavor. ET is one of my favorite all times movies. Close Encounters, Alien and Paul are close seconds. I also loved the original Poltergist. And of course, there is the classic Rosemary’s Baby, which is probably considered more horror, but I would love to be able to write something like that. Movie still gives me the creeps. I’m often drawn to films with religious undertones. The Exorcist I have watched at least a dozen times. The Devils Advocate and Constantine are two other movies I really enjoy.

My fascination with the darker side of human nature has led me to many horror type books. I’ve always said I wanted to write the female version of Hannibal.

Please tell us about your latest release and any releases we may look forward to soon. My last re-release is the book In Two Weeks, which is book one in the NY State Trooper series. Of all my books it is the most romantic, though my bad guy is still a pretty bad.

I will be re-releasing book two in the series, Dark Water, this summer. Dark Water takes the secondary character, NY State Trooper Frank Harmon, and gives him his own story. He’s haunted by the death of a young woman he felt he should have been able to save from an abusive husband. Instead, he pulls her lifeless body from the dark waters of Lake George NY. The story picks up when he has a run-in with a young boy on a Jet Ski. When he takes the boy home, he finds out the boy is the son of the women he couldn’t save.

Who are your favorite authors? I have so many. Of course, there is my business partner Bob Mayer. He is one of the best writers I’ve ever met. I love his books.

I also love Lee Child, Laura Benedict, Tim Maleeny, Toni McGee Causie, JT Ellison, Sandra Brown and many others.

If you could pick another author’s character and use him or her as a character in a novel of your own, what character would that be and in what type of setting would you write about him or her? I’d love to write a female Hannibal Lecter, but would also love to have Hannibal in the story. She’d be his creation, but she’d turn on him. Could make for an interesting lunch date….

You poll your readers and ask them to list five words that best describe your novels. What top five words would they list? I’m not sure. I’d like them to think they were edgy, dangerous, thrilling, sexy and romantic.

Are you more “a dog person” or “a cat person,” and what kind of canine or feline assistance with your writing do you receive, if any? I’m a dog person, but currently have no dogs. My DH and youngest son are allergic. But if I were to have a dog I would have a German Shepherd. I’ve had two and they were the best dogs ever!

 You’re admitted to heaven and you decide to throw a dinner party to celebrate your arrival.  What five people, living or dead, are on your guest list? Hmmmm, that’s an interesting question. Since I’m in heaven, I guess I wouldn’t be able to have all those dark and dangerous people I like to study…so I’d have to say I’d invite Joan of Arc, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Annie Oakley, Martha Jefferson and Amelia Earhart.

Where can you and your books be found on line? Please share your links.

 Cool Gus Publishing

Amazon – Kindle Store – Jen Talty

Barnes & Noble – Jen Talty

KoboBooks.com

ibooks

Author Biography, Jen Talty: Jen Talty co-created Cool Gus Publishing with NY Times Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer, and runs the technical side of the company. She is a published romance author, and teaches Creative Writing at various writing conferences across the country.

Jen grew up in Rochester, NY, a city with the highest murder rate per capita in the entire state. With notorious cases such as The Alphabet Murders, The Genesee River Killer (Arthur Shawcross), The Murder of Kali Ann Poulton by Mark Christi, and the case of funeral homes stealing body parts from corpses awaiting cremation, Jen became fascinated by the darker side of human nature. She brings this fascination to her romances, creating dark villains who wreak havoc on the hero and heroine, and producing page-turning suspense.

Jen received a BS degree in Business Education with a concentration in Marketing and Sales from Nazareth College of Rochester.  She taught Business Applications at both the high school level and in Continuing Education.  She was a co-leader of Distributed Education Clubs of America and worked with students in developing marketing, sales and public speaking skills.  After leaving the teaching profession, she worked as a product and sales trainer for various hardware and software companies such as 3Comm, HP and McAfee, and was the regional merchandising representative for Buena Vista Entertainment.

The E-Pub PUB thanks Jen for taking time out of her busy schedule to share with us about her writing and publishing career!

Posted in Authors, Books, E-Pub PUB, E-publishing, E-readers, Kindle, Nook, Romance, Romance Writng, Social Media, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments