What Could’ve Been

I try to forget about moments, you saw me at home;

Forget about the fights and the nights you claimed my soul. 

All of those moments, I ran out of breath;

Now I see you running, out on the rest. 

You drove me wild, from the very first day;

You sent me flying high, now you throw me away. 

Do you think it mattered that you decided to call? 

Why not come face me, where you scared of the fall?

We could’ve had forever, we could’ve chased down our dreams;

But time is lost, along with me. 

I hope you’re happy with tasting my tears;

Wishing you could find a way back through wasted years. 

I hope you feel my hands dance upon your skin;

I hope they feel like fire and you never feel again. 

I want you burning, from the inside out.

The way I’ve felt since your winds threw me about. 

Let it take over and settle in your spine. 

I hope you remember, you could’ve been mine. 

Author Kyra Dune; Dragons, Elves and an Original Hero

There are books that just get you right from the start. It takes you on an adventure that you never want to end. That is how I felt when I read DragonStar by Kyra Dune. I was lucky enough to meet Kyra through Facebook. As Indie Authors, we try to stick together and support one another. She has invited me to be a guest in her online book release, interviewed me as well and is really a friend to all Indie Authors. He blog is fully of reviews, giveaways and interviews! With her charming personality and amazing book I knew that I had to have her on my blog in return. 

DragonStar 

DragonStar

            DragonStar

Dagen is a thief and a good one, at least in his humble opinion. But he has more in mind for his future than picking pockets, and when he comes across the haul of a lifetime, he finally sees a way to impress the boss of his crew, maybe even enough to be made partner.
But things don’t go the way Dagen had planned and soon he finds himself on the run with a sack full of stolen jewels, and more, for unknown to him, one of those jewels is the fabled Dragonstar, created in times long past by a powerful sorcerer.
The plan is to head for the port city of Braack, but the Dragonstar has other ideas. From the secret city of thieves, to the ruins of a castle, to the last stronghold of the elves, Dagen’s whole life is flipped upside down by visions, haunts, strange beasts, and the looming possibility that one day he just might have to kill a god.

My Review

More people should read this book! How do you take your Fantasy? Do you like mystery, fearsome creatures and dark overlords? If so then you will love DragonStar. Dagen, the main character, is a thief with a heart of gold, though he doesn’t know it, and in search of acceptance in a tough world. From a young age he in thrust into the life of thief so that is all he knows. That is until his biggest heist puts him on a journey toward his destiny. Once the DragonStar is in his hands then there is no turning back. He and his best friend, if a thief can have a best friend, Halbert, are joined by the Elf, Shadel, the wise Marsida, the young Jes and the tough, beautiful girl, Cassia as they make their way to the Black Mountain to stop an evil so ancient and so powerful that he might not come back alive.
There is action, magic, past lives and love worthy dying for. It was an excellent read and I can’t wait to read the follow up to this great series. I would suggest 16 and old as there is a bit of language, but it doesn’t overtake the book. There seems to be a lot of back story to these characters, especially Jes, that needs to be explored and I can’t wait to learn more about them. Kyra Dune has amazed me with this book; I’m officially a fan!

 

Kyra’s Interview

Author Kyra Dune

                     Author Kyra Dune

 

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

When I was nine years old, my schoolteacher would give us an allotted time to finish our assignments. If we finished early, we could sit quietly at our desks and do something else. I usually had no trouble finishing early (unless the subject was math) so I would read. One day, I finished my book and didn’t have another, so I got out my notebook and started scribbling down a daydream of mine. From that moment forward I knew I was born to write.

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

No outlines. I tried that once, but it didn’t work for me. I do better just writing the story down and then worrying about cleaning it up in rewrites. I prefer to write on the computer, it’s quicker and my handwriting isn’t that great, hahha.  

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

Stephen King. Though my books are not quite like his, I admire the honesty and fearlessness of his writing, and also his characters are great. They leap right off the page. Dean Koontz. Hardly anybody can pull you into a scene and make you feel you’re really there the way he can. Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman. They wrote fabulous quest type fantasy. Also, I blame them for my obsession with dragons. :)   J.K. Rowling. She did such an amazing job in creating a wonderfully diverse set of characters and showing that love can conquer anything.

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

Yes, I actually can’t write in silence. I like a wide range of music, based on a song by song basis. Everything from classic rock to modern country.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

Read, play X-box, exercise, take walks, watch music videos on youtube, watch movies, bowl (occasionally), play mini golf. And I recently tried laser tag for the first time and I love it. It’s like being inside a video game.

Who created your amazing cover art?

The artwork for my traditionally published novels was taken care of by the publishers, but I did the covers for my self-published works myself. I like to make cover art almost as much as I like to write. I’ve even done covers for other authors.

Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

I have worked with a couple of great editors. Nikki Andrews and Ashley O’Neil. These ladies are wonderful to work with.

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

Stephen King. My favorite writer since I was twelve. J.K. Rowling would be a close second.

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

Good characters are the cornerstone for any novel. I don’t have to like them, but I do have feel something for them. Flat, uninteresting characters are the number one thing to turn me away from a book.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

It depends. I hate to put a book down without finishing it, but I have come across a couple I just couldn’t see wasting the time on.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I read mostly fantasy, just about any subgenre. But I also occasionally read some light science fiction or horror.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

To me, there is nothing like holding an actual book in your hands. I love everything about them. The way they look, the way they feel, the way the smell. Okay, that didn’t sound so weird in my head. Anyway, I finally gave in and got a Kindle. It’s not the same kind of experience, but I must admit it’s nice to have hundreds of books packed away in one neat little device which fits so easily into my purse. I still read print books too, though.

Favorite movie?

Labyrinth

Favorite TV show?

 Buffy The Vampire Slayer

 If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

 Pepperoni pizza. Yum.

 Have a sweet tooth?

Doesn’t everybody? :) I love Oreos. I love them by themselves, and when they’re tucked away in other sweets like ice cream or cake. And since I love Oreos, I also love and anything cookies n’ cream, which is basically Oreos turned into other things like candy bars.

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

 Breaking Benjamin. Rascal Flatts. Pink. Hinder. Carrie Underwood. Kelly Clarkson. Bon Jovi. Rihanna. Evanescence. Linkin Park. Three Days Grace. Imagine Dragons. Pentatonix. Pat Benatar. I’ll stop now, because this list could get ridiculously long otherwise.

What is your dream vacation?

I would love to tour Europe and see all the old castles.

Contact Information:

Blog: http://theshadowportal.blogspot.com/

DragStar: http://www.amazon.com/Dragonstar-Kyra-Dune-ebook/dp/B00EPQT0DI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409278291&sr=1-1&keywords=Dragonstar+Kyra+Dune 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kyra-Dune/e/B00A5WOHGQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

TDT August Newsletter

If you’ve signed up for mailing list then you’ve already been privy to my recent announcements. However, for those of you who are inundated with emails (I understand) you can see what’s happening here on my blog. 

TDT Newsletter Aug 2014

TDT Newsletter Aug 2014

Eden’s Scarecrow; Angels, Demons and Hired Killers

Do you ever have those days where you randomly snoop around Facebook seeing what you’re friends have been Liking? Yeah…me neither… Well, I have many author and reader friends and always look up books and authors they are either reading or talking about. That’s how I stumbled across a page titled Eden’s Scarecrow. The cover picture looked interesting enough for me to want to know more about this author and his book. I mean, who was this guy that wrote about a ruthless murderer who, after being struck by lightening and horribly burned, can now see angels and demons? What was goes on inside the mind of a man who also threw in a terrible, violence-inducing virus in the mix? I had to know more! So, sit back, relax and get to know Jeremiah Sanchez.

Jeremiah Sanchez

Jeremiah Sanchez

 

Jeremiah Sanchez is a small town author who grew up in Berthoud, Colorado. Being raised in an artistic family that surrounded him with painters, writers, actors and singers, he’s always been encouraged to express his creativity and enjoy the beauty in all things around him. Also being raised in open minded Christianity, all things God related and philosophically challenging have been familiar topics. Ever since he was little, he was obsessed with writing and expressing his thoughts through poetry, short stories and songs. Between them and his drawings, angels and demons have been ever constant themes. Then, at the age of nineteen, the entire ‘Eden’s Scarecrow’ story hit him during a night shift at Walmart. Ever since then, aside from his day job as a personal trainer, his entire life has been dedicated to bringing the series to life!

Eden's Scarecrow

Eden’s Scarecrow

 

Paul is a heinous murderer. Hired by a local drug lord, he kills in cold blood, exacting lethal retribution on indebted narcotics scum. Any innocence in his path, he considers collateral damage. One night, after an exceptionally ruthless bloodbath, Paul gets struck by lightning. In addition to being burnt so badly that he’s left unrecognizable, he’s suddenly forced the terrifying ability to be able to physically see the angels and demons influencing humanity. They’re not ghosts or hallucinations. They’re vivid and real…very real. With the unbearable truth and horror of reality staring him in the face, he has no choice but to deal with the wretched evil that has consumed and controlled him his entire life, and maybe…maybe save his soul from eternal damnation. With the help of his newly acquainted guardian angel, Barney, he will face the trials of hungry demons. Paul must deal with the consequences for his past and try to become someone, not only worth forgiving, but worth saving. In addition to his own inner tribulations, Paul must also uncover the truth behind a growing epidemic. The city of Eden is falling ill to what is being dismissed as simply a bad virus. The eyes of the infected are glazing over. Violent outbursts with animalistic growling are plaguing the populous. Authorities and doctors are baffled. The uninfected are terrified. But as the virus grows and the conditions worsen, only Paul can see the infection for what it really is. Real Eyes, the first installment of the Eden’s Scarecrow trilogy, brings readers along for a gruesomely supernatural ride. It will make you question what lurking shadows surround you, and ultimately, what unseen angels or demons might be whispering in your ear right now.

 

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I’ve been writing ever since I was a little kid. I’d doodle some art and then write short stories to accompany them, so, honestly, it’s been a lifelong passion.

In what genre do you write? Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

My first trilogy is a blend of spiritual and horror. I already have my next series mapped out, and it’s going to be a combination of philosophy and science fiction.

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

My process always begins with a brainstorming session with a close group of friends, who I’ve titled “the parachute minds”. Then, I’ll just plunge into the book on my laptop.

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

I have obvious respect and admiration for the heavy hitters like Stephen King and Dean Koontz but my favorite author since childhood is Frank E. Peretti.

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

For my ‘Eden’s Scarecrow’ trilogy, I’ve researched as many religions, beliefs and superstitions as I can get my hands on. It’s intriguing to see the different deities and things people invest faith into. My primary topic of study has been possession.

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

There are times when music fuels my words, and times when I prefer to submerge myself in silence to allow the purity of the art. When I do listen to music, I don’t have a genre or artist that I’m loyal to. I simply require whatever song it is to be hypnotic and help distract me from any and all surroundings.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

I spend most of my free time in the gym training myself and others. Otherwise, I dabble in many facets of life. I’ve modeled for a few years and am working on breaking into acting as well.

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

Aside from the bizarre phenomena that non-writers will never experience, which is becoming emotionally close to fictional characters you pull out of your head, I’d say the most exciting experience has been noticing the differences in my everyday life that reflect the story. My dreams are filled with parts of my books, which only concretes my relation to them. I’ll catch myself asking myself how so and so would deal with day to day issues or circumstances, constantly putting my own characters in my real life shoes.

Who created your amazing cover art?

The cover art is of my own design. I’ve been an avid artist as long as I’ve been writing and I want to be in control of as much of the process as I can.

Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

I just finished the second installment of the ‘Eden’s Scarecrow’ trilogy, ‘Realize’, which I’ll be releasing soon!

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

I’m going to have to go with a repeat offender here and say Frank E. Peretti. He’s my writing idol.

Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

I have to go with top two, and they’re both very far apart. First is ‘The Oath’ by Frank E. Peretti. It scared the Hell out of me as a kid and then caught my interest as I grew. I love the story and the message that it delivers with a hammer. Secondly, I thoroughly enjoy ‘Fight Club’ by Chuck Palahniuk. Any story that can challenge beliefs and open minds to new possibilities resonates with me.

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

I’m going to have to go selfish here and say mine. I truly think my books would make incredible movies!

As a reader, what about a book turns you away? If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

Any book that takes forever to get interesting or is obviously forced I’ll put down and find something better to invest my time into.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

Once again, if it’s well written and an interesting topic, I’ll read any genre.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

I’m a fan of the old fashioned book-in-hand. I like the physical copy.

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

My favorite movie is a tough toss up between Gladiator, Braveheart and 300. I’m a big action buff.

Favorite TV show?

My favorite TV shows are Game of Thrones, Dexter and I have an enormous soft spot for cartoons.

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My ideal meal to eat for the rest of my life would have to be honey glazed salmon, mashed sweet potatoes and asparagus.

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

My favorite dessert is homemade protein cheesecake.

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again?

I’ve been a die hard Blue October fan for most of my life. They purge my soul, and have the most poetic lyrics I’ve ever heard.

What’s your hidden talent?

Writing has actually been my hidden talent. Most everyone who knows me well thinks I’m primarily a gym junky, but now that the writing passion has fully emerged, it’s been surprising to many.

What is your dream vacation?

I’d like to spend a week in an underwater hotel, watching sharks swim by my window. That’d be exciting!

Contact Information

Author Name:

Jeremiah Sanchez

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/miahhighclub
https://www.facebook.com/edensscarecrowtrilogy

Book Links:

Amazon Print:  http://www.amazon.com/Edens-Scarecrow-Real-Jeremiah-Sanchez/dp/1611023459/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408122625&sr=8-1&keywords=eden%27s+scarecrow
Amazon Kindel: http://www.amazon.com/Edens-Scarecrow-Real-Sanchez-Jeremiah-ebook/dp/B00JPPKYXY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1408668215&sr=1-1&keywords=eden%27s+scarecrow

Sometimes

Sometimes there’s rain,
At times it’ll pour.
Sometimes there’s pain,
I can hear the sounds of war.

Sometimes there’s thunder,
It fills me up inside.
Sometimes there’s a struggle,
Between humbleness and pride.

I can’t tell who’s winning,
Maybe I’ll never know.
I can feel my heart thinning,
And the emptiness grow.

Sometimes there’s fire,
It’s eating me alive.
Sometimes there’s desire,
But the kind that kills with a lie.

Sometimes there’s hunger,
It gnaws at my flesh.
Sometimes there’s surrender,
The kind that steals your last breath.

And I can’t tell if you’re with me,
There’s a loneliness in my soul.
I yearn to be free,
But the darkness tells me no.

I feel like I’m losing,
Like my soul is ice.
I feel like I’m choosing,
To run away with the night.

Yet despite my weakness,
Of giving in to this world;
I feel your hands upon me,
And I’m not so scared anymore.

Sometimes there’s light,
I taste it on my tongue.
Sometimes there’s home,
When there’s no place left to run.

Sometimes there’s quiet,
When the storm rages in my mind.
Sometimes there’s a riot,
But the kind that brings new life.

Author, Dancer, Choreographer…Is There Anything That John Robert Mack Can’t Do?

I met Author John Robert Mack on…wait for it…Facebook! You know that part of the Internet that’s pretty much a black-hole for a creative person. Why? Well because it just sucks you in and before you know it you’ve traveled in time and it’s time to either go to bed, work or you know…feed your kids.

Meeting John was one of the pleasant experiences of that dark and dangerous land of The Web. He’s a true sweetheart and after interviewing him I found that I was smiling. You’ll see why!

John Robert Mack

John Robert Mack

John studied writing in college, published the short story “Jonny Hates Jazz” in a literary journal, wrote a column “Dancing The Rainbow” for two years in the regional Texas dance periodical The Dancer’s Guide and has written and produced five plays (one on commission). His play Talking with Jacob won statewide recognition in Wisconsin and landed John’s face on the cover of three magazines. He produced an adaptation of the Ray Bradbury story, “The Better Part of Wisdom” with the author’s input and blessing. He also self-published (before it was cool and edgy) a book called KEEP BREATHING: Zen and the Art of Social Dance.  Choreographer

For the past twenty years, John as worked as a dance teacher. He has choreographed musicals like West Side Story and Jesus Christ Superstar and helped create and coach the original Radio Disney dance team in San Antonio, TX.

Now, John has moved to Virginia in semi-retirement to focus on his writing. He has taught workshops for the Hampton Roads Writers and is on staff at the Muse writing center in Norfolk, VA. He has a total of twelve completed novel manuscripts, six plays, and ten screenplays. As a dance teacher, he has been featured twice in the international education periodical Quality in Action.

Books by JRM

Books by JRM

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author? When I was about nine years old and first read The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s descriptive writing enthralled me. To me, writing novels was how adults played games of make believe. Then in high school I discovered Kurt Vonnegut, who taught me that “literature” (which you have to say with a snooty accent) could also be vulgar. I was hooked.

 

In what genre do you write? I like the broad term “speculative fiction.” I’ve written sci fi, fantasy, supernatural, horror, paranormal, steampunk, thriller, mystery, adventure, super hero, Arthurian. I love crossing genres and trying to find a fresh spin on genre clichés. I wrote several episodes for an indie sci fi/paranormal internet series that died before it was born. I have written a number of plays actually set in the real world, and a bunch of “inspirational” stuff for dancers, including a column for a Texas dance magazine and several operational manuals for dance studios and teacher training programs.

 

Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to? You know, I’ve tried to write romance a couple of times. I have a friend who edits for a romance press who wanted to publish me, but I just couldn’t get it to work. On the business side, there’s a bit of money to be made in romance and all its various permutations. Maybe I need a writing partner for that?

 

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen? Gonna work backward on this one. I use both paper and computer. I have a tablet for when I need to get away from the house, but there are times I just need to grab a notebook and sit under a tree. To be honest, the more I try to create a professional routine, the less I use notebook and pen. Transcribing always takes longer than cutting and pasting. As for process, I don’t trust outlines for novels. I paid for college as a debate judge and graduated with an English/philosophy major. In an outline, for me, every A needs a B and a C, and that can lead to very predictable stories. I use what I call “sketches.” I brainstorm into the computer with bits of story and snippets of dialog. With all the playwriting I’ve done, scenes often find their shape in dialog. I let myself freestyle the novel this way, following the advice of Alma Katsu: whenever I find myself stuck for the next plot point, I ask myself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen to my character?” I reject that and ask, “What’s even worse?” I reject that, too. When I figure out what’s even worse than that, then I start sketching again. On a side note, a lot of my writing is done in my head on long walks or staring at a tree. Once I have a scene sketched out, I play it over and over in my head until I know exactly how I want it to run, dialog included. Of course, once I actually start writing I often surprise myself.

 

Who are you(r) writing inspirations, famous or not? My friends inspire me. I have been amazingly fortunate to have some of the most amazing friends on the planet, far more than anyone else I know. I consider them my family. These are people for I’d take a bullet for (and end a sentence with a preposition for). My main goal as a writer is to share these amazing relationships with the world. So, when it comes down to it, I guess I’m still playing make believe games with my besties. They just don’t always know it. Bwa ha ha.

 

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)? Ha. Ha ha ha. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha. Oh dear gods. TONS! I’m revising an apocalyptic sci fi novel about the return of Jesus (it’s not what you think). I realized I was doing too much research when I decided to take my King James Bible with me to the coffee shop to study because it was by far the smallest book I had. I’m also working on a steampunk novel set in an alternate history where the Civil War lasted twenty years and the industrial revolution never happened. I took my nephews to the library yesterday and was browsing DVD’s. “Holy crap!” I exclaimed. “This is awesome!” Of course they wanted to know what amazing movie I’d found for us to watch. “It’s a biography of Nicolai Tesla! Oh my God, they have two!!” Sigh. The challenge is taking all that intense research and then rendering it invisible. No one cares but the author, but I like to think that it creates an authenticity the readers sense, even if they don’t know it. Also, I want to make sure I know my crap when I’m interviewed by Jon Stewart. Ha ha.

 

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to? Writing and revising always. Editing not so much. Every novel has a different sound track. A Consequence of Folly favors Mumford and Sons. Third Testament likes Sneaker Pimps. Tango with a Twist worked well with Korean Pop artists like Boa.

 

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun? That’s a funny question. I moved out to Virginia Beach two years ago on a sort of sabbatical from teaching dance to work on my novels. I have an amazing opportunity to live out here rent free, so I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible writing so as not to waste the generosity of the friends who invited me. I’ve gained fifty pounds as a result! So now I’m trying to find more of a balance, getting outside more, hitting the beach, running, swimming and dancing.

 

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career? The phone call I received from Ray Bradbury! I’d adapted his short story “The Better Part of Wisdom” into a stage play and had written to him for permission to produce it. I corresponded with his agent a few times and sent a copy of the play. A few weeks later, the phone rang and this deep voice said, “Hello. This is Ray Bradbury.” He sounded exactly the way he’d introduced his TV show and I looked up at the row of his books lining the shelf in front of me. He liked the adaptation and offered a few suggestions, as well as asking if I’d consider a production with one of his own plays, since the script was a fairly short one. Best. day. ever. Unfortunately, the night of auditions was the worst snowstorm of the decade, so no one showed up. Then my personal life interrupted everything and the production never happened. I’ll always think of it as “the one that got away,” but that phone call was exhilarating.

 

Who created your amazing cover art? Me. Thanks! I do all my own design work, and most of my own photography.

 

Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to? I always need to thank Ryan and Hope Rooyakkers, who let me live here for free and make all this possible. I should also mention my editor Lauran Strait. Woot! Oh, and Rhea Gropper Petit just painted a wonderful portrait for the cover of “Consequence.” Google her and check out her stuff!

Tango with a Twist by John Robert Mack

Tango with a Twist by John Robert Mack

 

Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel. Okay. Brief. Well, the series I’ve just started publishing is the Tango Triptych. The first novel is Tango with a Twist (available for FREE on my website ( http://johnrobertmack.com/?page_id=16) It has dancing, romance, bromance, a gay single dad, witchcraft and a devil bunny rabbit. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Glee. No. Really. Two other projects are racing to be the next published. Third Testament: The Book of John is affectionately known as the “Jesus Clone book” and is being considered by a publisher!!! (So stoked.) It’s an apocalyptic sci fi/paranormal novel set in a future where Jesus makes a comeback, but isn’t what anyone expected. A Consequence of Folly is a steampunk novel where aliens invade Earth to enslave the human race and the only ones who can save the planet are a gay pirate and the First Lady. Hold onto your goggles and pack a clockwork monkey, the dirigible leaves at dawn!

 

Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life? Terry Pratchett. You have no idea. He is the only author I can read again and again. I actually wrote the entire steampunk novel (A Consequence of Folly) just to enter an alternative history contest he sponsored, only to find out I can only enter if I’m a British citizen. Always read the fine print!

 

Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why? How about series? The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. I’ve read all of them at least 3 or 4 times, and I’m not one to do that sort of thing. His language is so interesting that each and every sentence is a joy to read. Many editors claim that the goal of a writer is to keep the narrator/narration as invisible as possible, but Mr. Pratchett proves (to me anyway) that’s just silly. Why write all those words just to keep them inconspicuous? Also, he manages to write fun, fanciful tales while also creating brilliant satire. (By the way, don’t start with book 1 in the series. It took him a couple of novels to really figure out his style. I recommend Equal Rites as a good entry point. Another good place is The Wee Free Men, a recent YA novel in the same universe, but it exists as a standalone.)

 

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone? Books should never be left alone. They get lonely. They deserve all the attention they can get. I like the new trend (especially since The Lord of the Rings) to remain as faithful as possible to the original. Other than my own books (all of which I’d love to see on the big screen or the small) I’d have to say Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling. Forrest Gump the movie should NEVER have been made. The book was brilliant, the movie appalling. Don’t even get me started.

 

As a reader, what about a book turns you away? Bad grammar. Get an editor people! Oh, also getting twenty pages into a novel and A) nothing has happened or B) I already know how it’s going to end.

 

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it? Oh good Lord, put it down and don’t look back. There are too many novels out there who deserve our time and attention to waste it on books that need revision and editing. If you can’t grab me in 20 pages, it’s not worth my time. Isn’t that what we’re all told as writers? Novels by friends are a different story. Those I will trudge through. I often go to the library and grab ten books from the new arrivals section to keep up with what’s getting published. (There’s that research thing again.)  Most of it is crap, and I can’t get through it. Mind you, there are a number of amazingly successful books (Twilight and 50 Shades come to mind) that I forced myself to finish (while cutting myself with razor blades) in my ongoing effort to understand what sells. If you ever figure it out, please tell me. No. Really.

 

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around? I’m a whore. I’ll read any style of writing. I look for characters and relationships. Give me a group of friends battling together (or against one another) to overcome adversity and I’m hooked. Doesn’t matter if “adversity” means an alien horde or paying the rent on time.

 

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both? Both. I’m old enough to love the smell and feel of a good book, but I’ve moved around a lot in the past several years and understand that 1,000 novels are much easier to transport across the country on my e-reader.

 

Random Questions

Favorite movie? Room with a View. Go figure.

 

Favorite TV show? Okay, massive guilty pleasure. Beastmaster. New Zealand scenery, constant eye candy in a loincloth, and the best bromance in TV history. I can’t help myself.

 

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be? Anything with curry.

 

What’s your favorite candy/dessert? Carrot cake with way too much cream cheese frosting.

 

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sneaker Pimps, Peter Gabriel, Debussy, Danny Elfman, Bitter:Sweet, Pink Martini, oh hell, I could go on and on.

What’s your hidden talent? If I tell you, it’s no longer hidden is it?

 

What is your dream vacation? Me and a few close friends on our own private island in the tropics. Naked.

 

Thank you  John for taking the time to join me here on my little ‘ol blog! I really hope all of you enjoyed this funny and fantastic interview! Also, remember to get in contact with John!

 

Do you want to get in contact with John? Well here’s how!

 

Contact Information:

Author Name: John Robert Mack

Blog: http://johnrobertmack.com/?cat=2

Facebook:www.facebook.com/johnrobertmack

Twitter: Twitter shall be the downfall of the American Empire.

Goodreads: I suck. Still making this happen.

Book Links: http://johnrobertmack.com/?page_id=16 FREE!!

Email: john@johnrobertmack.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee Valley Author Event

This past weekend, I had the privilege to attend the Tennessee Valley Author event in Knoxville. I had so much fun. When we arrived in Knoxville Friday, Katja and I were so hungry. So we decided to eat at the Cheesecake Factory again, just like we did in Birmingham. After we ate we ended up going to the mall just next door and walked around for a while. We found out that there was a movie theater in the mall so we stopped by it and took a look. There was a giant camera in there, it was so cool. I loved the theme of the Theater!

Giant Camera in the theater in the mall in knoxvilleIMG_43032759895223 After we got back to the Hotel room we decided to check out the gym downstairs. We worked out for about an hour and worked off the food from the Cheesecake Factory. Took showers and we were ready for bed.

The next morning we woke up ready for the day. When we got to the event, there were already people sitting in chairs outside the door to get in. There were going to be a lot of people there especially since it was only nine o’clock in the morning and it opened at twelve. After Katja and I set up the table we were ready. I walked around and met some of the other authors there and talked with them for a while. At twelve o’clock the doors opened and people swarmed in. We were the very first table when you walked in so we saw everyone. So many people stopped and we sold lots of books.

me sitting at the set up in knoxville for the Tennessee valley author event

For some people this was their first Author Event and they were so excited. One woman walked in, her name was Traci, and she just had the biggest smile on her face. You could tell she was so happy, and luckily I was the first table she came to.
IMG_42999468546223 Later that night we went to the after party and ran into Traci and Liz and ended up sitting with them at a table along with a couple of other people. We had a ball. I was laughing so hard my cheeks started hurting. I am so glad I got to meet these ladies.

1405218379059-1

 

Overall the Weekend was so amazing, that night  we ate at Crackle Barrel and headed back to the hotel room. The next morning we ate at The Cheesecake Factory again and actually tried the cheesecake. Then sadly started back to Alabama. I want to thank Kathy Womack for letting us come this year and I hope we will get to come back next year. You did an amazing job putting everything together and you were so nice and perfect for being the host of this event. Awesome Job Kathy! Also I couldn’t have done it without my amazing assistant Katja.

Nexus; Where the Paranormal and Sci-Fi Collide

After reading Brian Weimer’s Paranormal/Sci-Fi (yes you read that correctly) novel, Nexus, I was thrilled that he agreed to be interviewed by me. I was fortunate enough to have met Brian at the Alabama Phoenix Festival in Birmingham back in April. There we learned that we shared many of the same interests and even wrote in similar genres.

After the interview keep reading. I have posted my review of Nexus.

Brian Weimer

Brian Weimer

Brian Weimer is an author, and digital artist from Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from Southeastern Bible College with a degree in theology. Brian has recently released his first novel, Nexus, a supernatural, sci-fi thriller currently available on Amazon.com. He is a regular writer for The Examiner, covering such topics as entertainment, pop culture, health and nutrition, and a range of other topics. He is currently working on his second novel, The Citadel, a horror story, as well as a follow up to Nexus.

Author Questions  

When did you realize you wanted to be an author? 

I knew I wanted to write a book when I was about 14, and although I’ve written a novel, I’m still not sure I’m an author.

What is your writing process? Such as outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen? 

This depends on the project. I used to write everything down on paper, but now, it’s all done on computer. I normally write a story out in short, script form first, then expand it into full novelization. At least, that’s worked for me so far.

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not? 

Not sure if i have any inspirations, as in writers, but just collecting books and visiting so many bookstores over the years has inspired me.

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)? 

For Nexus, it took around ten years from initial conception until completion. Research wise, there wasn’t much required, other than knowing some basics about electronics and police work.

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to? 

I do listen to music while writing. For Nexus, I put together a ‘soundtrack’, compiling various electronic music that reminded me of that world, such as the Halo soundtracks, and would listen to that all that time during the writing process. As for artists, I listen to electronic artists such as BT, Chicane and Andy Hunter.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun? 

For fun, I’m usually working out, shopping, thrifting, watching Dr Who, being lazy or eating.

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

The most exciting experience is just people buying my book, reading it, and hearing positive things about it. Nothing can beat that!

Who created your amazing cover art? 

Well, I actually designed the cover. Conceptually, I knew what I wanted years before the novel was released. Thankfully, i know just enough about photoshop and digital design to be dangerous.

Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

Does my mom count?


Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life? 

Probably Terrance Dicks, who novelized the vast majority of the original Doctor Who stories back in the 70’s and 80’s.

As a reader, what about a book turns you away? 

The main thing that turns me away is having a main character that I can’t relate to, and isn’t interesting.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it? 

It depends on the type of investment I have with it. If the book is written by someone I know, I will likely finish it. Thankfully, the only books I’ve lost interest in so far were written by people I’ve never met.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I like to read a lot of different genres. Outside of sci-fi and horror, i enjoy biographies and non-fiction.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

To me, nothing can beat actually holding a paperback in hand, smelling the paper, and feeling it. I guess I’m old school, and I’m a book collector.


Random Questions

Favorite movie?

So many, but Tron Legacy is up there.

Favorite TV show?

Classic Dr Who, hands down!

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?  

Either Mexican food or pizza. Tough choice.

Have a sweet tooth? What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Homemade ice cream, cookie dough, or the best of both worlds … Cookie dough ice cream!

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one. 

Anberlin, BT, Tangerine Dream, and Skillet … Just to name a few.

What’s your hidden talent? 

I’m pretty good with cutting hair, although that could just be on myself. I’ve been doing it since i was twelve.

What is your dream vacation?

To have 3 months to travel around the country, from east coast to west coast, staying in nice hotels, buying tons of souvenirs, and eating in awesome restaurants. Yep, that about covers it!

~My Review~

Nexus

Nexus

Nexus is an excellent book for new author, Brian Weimer. The story is both supernatural and sci-fi with an original plot, which I truly enjoyed. The characters were well developed, the dialogue was smart and the flow of the story was gripping and smooth.
The three main characters, Josh, Daniel and Nicole, are people from different walks of life who are brought together through fate, tragedy and divine design. Josh is a private investigator that works cases a little outside the norm. Nicole is attacked and nearly killed by a dark entity, the same dark force that Josh is investigating. Daniel is a college student with many supernatural abilities. Together they discover an evil organization is bent on unleashing demonic forces on their city and they must work together to stop them.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys supernatural stories with a dash of Sci-Fi. In addition, this book is laced with Christian elements that I found refreshing and could be read by those of the same faith. It a great debut novel!

Contact Information:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nexus-Brian-Weimer/dp/149602091X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404784138&sr=1-1&keywords=nexus+brian+weimer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8289647.Brian_Weimer

From the mind of Alan Lewis; Steampunk, Pulp and Fantasy

Alan Lewis is the author of Steampunk and Pulp fiction. He was gracious enough to let me interview him. I must say that my questions range from standard to strange so I was thrilled he was willing to participate! Ha! Before we get into the interview, please get to know Alan a bit more.

Author Alan Lewis

Author Alan Lewis

In 1965, an object fell from space, somewhere near Kecksburg, PA. This was the same year that Alan was born. To date, no connection has been made between the two events but that hasn’t stopped the conspiracy theorists from speculating.

D. Alan Lewis is an ‘alleged’ native of Chattanooga, Tennessee who now resides in Nashville with his children. In 2006, Alan took the reins of the NWMG’s Novelist Group where he works with new and aspiring writers, leads writing and publishing workshops, and has worked to publish their 4 anthologies.

Alan’s debut novel, a fantasy murder mystery, The Blood in Snowflake Garden was a finalist for the 2010 Claymore Award. Alan’s other books include, The Lightning Bolts of Zeus from Dark Oak and The Bishop of Port Victoria. He is also editor of 3 anthologies for Dark Oak Press, Luna’s Children: Full Moon Mayhem, Luna’s Children: Stranger Worlds, and Capes & Clockwork.

He also has short stories in a number of anthologies, including Dreams of Steam 4-Gizmos, Black Pulp, Nashville Noir, Beyond the Skyline, Comfort Foods, and Midnight Movie Creature Feature Vol.2.

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always been a storyteller, in one form or fashion. I toyed with the idea of writing when I was in my 20’s and again in my 30’s, but never really got started. There wasn’t any real support from family when I talked about the idea. However, after a divorce in my 41 year, I jumped into writing my first novel and haven’t look back since.

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

The process depends on what I’m writing. The more complex the story, the more I outline. Some short stories are not outlined at all. Everything I write is on my computer. When I start, picture the characters first and piece together their personalities. From there, I start putting the story together.

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

Douglas Adams, author of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ has always been my biggest inspiration. There are plenty of other authors that I’m a fan of, but Adams holds the top spot. Alex Bledsoe would be in the second spot. I met him years back and have been an avid fan since then.

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

Again, it depends on the story. I try to do some degree of research for everything I work on. My story, ‘Anne Bonny’s Revenge’ in Pro Se Press’s ‘Tall Pulp’ required more research then many of my other stories and novels combined.

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

I love listening to movie scores while working. The type of music, a fast or slow-paced work, depends on the scene I’m working on.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

Hiking, canoeing, playing video games, hanging with my kids. All the usual stuff.

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

Exciting? I guess going to various SF&F conventions. My first con was in 1977 and I’m still not used to being a guest. So it is interesting sitting on panels and talking, as well as having folks walking up to you asking for you to sign their books.

Who created your amazing cover art?

Depends on the book. ‘The Blood in Snowflake Garden’ cover is a photo taken by the staff of the original publisher. The cover art for ‘The Lightning Bolts of Zeus’ was printed by the great Mitch Foust. ‘The Bishop of Port Victoria’ cover art was created by Jeffrey Hayes.

Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

Jeffrey Hayes and Mitch Foust are great artist and I’d encourage everyone to check out their work.

Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

Since I started writing and have been going to cons where many great writers hang out, I’ve met many talented folks. But to name a few that I’ve not met yet: Anne Rice, Max Brooks, Jim Butcher, and Dan Brown.

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

Any number of things. Poor writing or editing. An unappealing topic. Flat or uninteresting characters. Huge plot holes.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

It depends on if I know the author. If I do, then I try to finish it.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I am all over the place when it comes to my choices in reading.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

Both

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

Serenity (major Firefly fan) but The Di Vinci Code is a close second.

Favorite TV show?

The Daily Show.

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Godfather’s Pizza

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Sugar-free blackberry cobbler

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Don Fagan, Pink Floyd, Evanescence

What is your dream vacation?

I’ve always wanted to go to London.

 

I can’t thank Alan enough for being a part of my blog! If you want to know more about him and stay in contact, you can do so at one of the following sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-D-Alan-Lewis/141282752579697

Blog: http://www.snowflakegarden.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/D.-Alan-Lewis/e/B006DA9P2U/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_16?qid=1404484795&sr=1-16