An Interview With Mr. Romantic

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Mr. Romantic is a voice over artist who offers recordings of romantic stories; here is a link to his website:

http://mrromantic.ca/ 

 

Q:  What is Mr. Romantic?

 

A: Mr. Romantic is a man who wants to make every woman feel beautiful, sexy and special.

 

Q: What gave you the idea for the business?

 

A:  The idea came to me in 1996, when I produced and voiced my first audio CD called The Bubble Bath, where we sold over 30,000 copies.  I was the first male phone sex operator in Canada and then had a article written about me called Press Play for Sexual Fantasy, of how a voice can fuel that fantasy.  It was written by Valerie Gibson, who has been seen on Dr. Phil and is now the author of Cougar.

 

Q: What kind of stories do you offer?

 

A: My first romantic story was The Bubble Bath and next will be Massage and Dinner, The Picnic, and The Beach to name a few.

 

Q: How much does it cost?

 

A:  Retail for the Bubble Bath Cd is $12.95, downloads $5.95 and our Mr. Romantic Caps are $13.95.

 

Q: What demographic do you target?

 

A: Presently we are in the Canadian Market, and have many discussions with the US Market and once we record in foreign languages we will target the European Market.

 

Q: What have you done to promote yourself?

 

 

 

A: Currently we have a web site www.mrromantic.ca, facebook group, twitter@mrromantc and instagram mrromantic10.  We also have a radio podcast show, An Evening with Mr. Romance on blog talk radio.  It airs Sunday nights at 8 pm EST where this Sunday night Valerie Gibson will be our guest host, author of Cougar and Later Dater, who wrote my article, Press Play for Sexual Fantasy.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect running your brand?

 

 

A: Currently I am an Executive in the Vape Industry.  I am the type of man who has never looked at the clock until my job is done.  So to answer your question, it doesn’t affect me.

 

Q: What is the oddest question anyone has ever asked you about romance?

 

 

A: That is an amazing question, and I enjoyed answering all of your questions honestly.  To answer this question, I would have to say,

that I have been asked how do you know when someone is a great kisser or a great lover?  Since everyone is different in their own way.

 

Q: What qualifies you to be an expert in romance?

 

 

A:   I love women.  I feel it is very important to treat a lady like a lady in and out of the bedroom.  I have been all over the world and have experienced love in many cultures.  I believe every woman is desirable in their own way

 

Q: What celebrity do you think has the sexiest voice?

 

 

A:  There is no doubt in my mind that the celebrities that have had the sexiest voices and unfortunatey are no longer with us are the one and only Mr. Barry White and Mr. Luther Vandross.

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

 

An Interview With Writer Christine Roundy

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Christine Roundy coauthored the book, A Time to Speak with Timothy Becker; here is a link to the book’s Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Time-Speak-secret-finally-light-ebook/dp/B01ILDYWJW#nav-subnav

 

Q: What is, A Time to Speak about?

 

A: A Time to Speak is about the sexual abuse of fifteen year old Timothy Becker by his parish priest.  Not only does the book cover this eight month part of his life, it builds on his story about his adoption at one month old.  Timothy also faces other challenges in his youth.  He was born with a club foot and developed epilepsy in kindergarten, an illness that put him on phenobarbital until he was nearly sixteen.  It is also his story of suppression – shoving all his horrific memories into the nether regions of his mind.  But his suppression brings out multiple personalities, anger issues, and a will to survive when all his memories surge back some twenty-seven years later.  A Time to Speak marks his healing as he finally comes to terms with the challenges of his life.

 

Q:  How did you meet Timothy?

 

A: I met Timothy thru my husband.  Mac drives for a transportation company and has picked up Timothy on several occasions and taken him to Park City, Utah where he works.  Tim has spoken of his abuse on these taxi rides and my husband wondered if I was interested in doing an interview with him.  I have written other biographies for people and I have written many fiction stories, two which have been published.

 

Q: What interested you about his story?

 

A: I was interested in Tim’s story because I believe that the perpetrators of any child abuse and molestations must pay the consequences for such vile behavior!  Our little ones are put in a no win situation.  Rarely does a child tell anyone what is happening to them.  They are threatened not to tell.  They are told that bad things will happen to their families and to them.  In many cases it does.  Nevertheless, it causes untold trauma to children of any age that they cannot comprehend it all.  The trauma is ongoing.

 

Q: There have been a lot of books and films about abusive priests recently. What makes this story unique?

 

A: Tim’s story is unique in a few ways.  First, those on his board of review within the Catholic Diocese which he attended, treated him as if he were a liar and mentally incompetent, stipulating that fifteen therapy sessions was charity only, and they hoped he got better.  Second, He had the courage to put his name out publicly.  Where other abuse victims were speaking out anonymously or giving only their initials, Timothy gave his whole name, and named his abuser.  Newspapers across the nation picked up the story and it stayed in the headlines for a while.

 

Q: Do you use people’s real names in the book?

 

A: Tim and I debated this question.  Of course we asked permission from friends and family members if we could use their names and they opted for privacy.  Consequently, we decided that the only real name we’d use would be Tim’s.  By means of public interest we could legally put in the name of his abuser, but we chose to change that name also.  Who really knows how this story will end in the future?

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?

 

A: I am a secretary by day and a writer by night.  I work for my local school district in the Youth in Custody Department.  I collect data and school records for incoming students that are in State’s Custody.  We are concerned with the education of each student, whether they be five or eighteen, we make sure they are placed in the most productive environment.  This job has not yet influenced my writing in any way.  We can only see what may happen as the years go by.

 

Q: What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

 

A: I think the most difficult thing about writing this book was when I fell very ill for about two months last winter and I had to stop working on it.  It is a disconcerting topic.  I think also that by reading it over and over again I became desensitized and I began to wonder if it was worth my time.  Of course it was, and I don’t regret any time I spent on this book or this topic.  These are stories that need to be told. These are horrors that need to be spoken about, and these are people who need a listening ear.

 

Q: What is your writing process?

 

A: My writing process?  Hum!  Mostly I dream my stories.  I’d say my writing process is very haphazard.  I jot things down. I type myself e-mails and add them in later.  I’ll sit for hours composing right on my PC. Sometimes only a pen and paper are the right things to use.  I think about my stories a lot!  Many times I get my ending before the beginning.  When I know the outcome, then I can figure out where to begin.  Sometimes I’ll have a beginning waiting many years before I ever get back to it.

 

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

 

A: I have my own website where I offer my novels.  roundycorner.wix.com/mysite  Of course they are on Amazon.com.  I offer free giveaways on Goodreads.  I’m on Twitter and Facebook.  I do book signings and have one coming up at Hunter Library on September 10, 2016 in West Valley, Utah.  I have also engaged the services of Word Slinger which is where you found me.  Thanks.

 

 

Q: Do you think the fact that the book is explicit may turn some people off from reading it?

 

A: Yes!  I’ve had four people unfriend me on Facebook because of it.  I have friends that have encouraged me to write it and haven’t purchased the book.  I have friends tell me that they will never read it because it has some explicit scenes.  That doesn’t bother me.  Even though I worked hard to treat Tim’s experiences with respect and dignity, I know this subject is not for everyone.  It’s a shame, though, when people hide their heads in the sand because they don’t like something.  That’s the time to stand up and do something about it!  As a Romantic fiction novelist, I do not write explicit sex scenes in my stories.  Sexual tension, yes!  Garbage, no!  Just sayin’.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

 

An Interview With Writer Warren Pete

 Warren Pete Profile Picture 4.2016

Warren Pete is the author of The Shrinkage Situation; here is a link to his website:

https://www.amazon.com/Shrinkage-Situation-Novel-Warren-Pete-ebook/dp/B01HLGCYPE/

Q: What is The Shrinkage Situation about?

A: After a hometown grocery store’s puzzling acquisition by a pioneering eCommerce conglomerate, one man becomes suspicious when the grocery store’s best employees – including himself – are fired.

Grant Taylor loves just two things in the entire world: bacon and his job marking receipts at Mesford Mart, the local family-owned grocery store he has worked at for 22 years. However, Grant’s idyllic existence comes crashing down when Not Evil Worldwide (NEW), the largest technology company in the world, acquires Mesford Mart. NEW’s insistence on technical innovation and analytics is a complete 180 from Grant’s old-fashioned values of hard work and excellent customer service. The culture clash peaks when NEW’s analytics technology names Grant as a key reason for the store’s loss of inventory and he is promptly fired.

Aided by his friend Ravina, a sexual harassment lawyer who is equal parts lewd and successful, Grant embarks on a quest to win back his job and prove his innocence. While investigating, Grant is forced to navigate the job market for the first time in two decades, and is aghast with a job market full of high-tech automation, hipster-owned juice bars, and entry-level jobs requiring a doctorate degree.

Initially viewing his firing as an honest mistake, Grant’s investigation unveils that NEW’s ulterior motives are much more ominous.

The Shrinkage Situation is a comedic novel that mixes humor and thought provocation. And answers the serious questions:

Who are the losers in a world of technological progress?

Why are hipsters so mean?
Is digital social networking tearing us apart?
Is there anything bacon doesn’t taste good with?

 

Q: What experiences did you draw from when writing it?

A: My experiences working in the tech sector played a key influence in The Shrinkage Situation. I wanted to write about the impact technology has on the lives we lead today. With every technical breakthrough or exciting free app or service there is a sacrifice made in the human experience or the right to privacy.

Q: Who is your intended audience?

A: While the rise of technology is a major theme of The Shrinkage Situation, my intention was to write a novel for everyone, not just the tech savvy, for we all are affected by these innovations that are integrated within our lives. While The Shrinkage Situationtackles several of today’s universal issues, I wanted to make it first and foremost an entertaining, funny, and original novel that could be enjoyed by a wide range of readers.

 

Q: What makes Grant worth reading about?

A: Grant represents a generation of Americans who were raised on the value of hard work and loyalty but now find themselves in an unrecognizable world where such closely-held values are no longer a priority. Just like Grant, millions of working and middle class workers are being forced out of their jobs due to the rise of global competition, technological advancement, and the ever-growing need to please shareholders and meet the bottom line. Regardless of income bracket or profession, we all are forced to confront the perils of technology, globalization, and the basic threat of being left behind in the rapidly changing times.

Q: What one book has influenced you the most as a writer?

A: Jennifer Government by Max Barry did wonders for me. I stumbled across his satirical bestseller in high school right when I was starting to commit more time to writing. His novel showed me that you can write with purpose without being so heavy-handed that you suck all the fun away from the reader. Although Jennifer Government was hilarious and endlessly entertaining, Barry clearly portrayed his stance on the dangers of consumerism.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?

A: I work full-time as a product manager and data marketing director for a mobile analytics startup. A significant part of my job is to keep up with, or define, the cutting edge of technology and to stay informed on how other technology companies utilize big data collected from their users. On a daily basis, I am immersed in both the benefits and threats that technology poses to today’s society.

Q: What is your process for writing a book?

A: Creative writing is my outlet for exploring key issues that are affecting the world today. As soon as I find or decide upon an issue I want to focus on, I just start writing freestyle to drum up ideas for characters, plot twists, and themes. Given my significant passion and hands-on involvement with the subject matter, very little outside research was needed for The Shrinkage Situation.

From a handful of freestyle writing sessions, I cobbled together a loose outline, and began writing the novel from there. While this led to some inefficiencies and a decent amount of rewriting, I don’t regret my improvisational approach since it allowed for the story to grow well beyond the original scope. The Shrinkage Situation actually started off as a short story, but I kept thinking of more and more to add, and had so much fun writing that it soon expanded to a full novel.

 

Q: Do you belong to a writers group or do you fly solo?

A: Outside of requesting intermittent feedback through various online communities, I don’t partake in any formal feedback groups currently. That being said, I do see the value in such programs and will probably look into joining such groups for my next project.

Q: How do you overcome writer’s block?

A: Spending the vast majority of my days working in a business setting lets me passively think about my writing projects and lets me refresh between writing sessions. In the rare cases where I may have writer’s block, I’ll take a few days to flesh out another potential story idea or dedicate more time to other creative mediums such as poetry or playing guitar. Alternating my creative outlet, whether through a different story or an entirely different artistic format, helps me take a mental breather from my current main project while still keeping my creativity running. I’ve found that often when I am least thinking of it, I’ll discover a creative breakthrough.

Q: What is Grant’s secret dream job?

A: Receipt checker. Since his first day on the job, he never considered another profession. All he cares about is dedicating his life and improving upon his craft.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview With Writer Shawn Walker

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Shawn Walker is the author of No One Is Invincible; here is a link to the books Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=no+one+is+invincible

 

 

Q: What is No One Is Invincible about?

A: “No One is Invincible” is about a 16 year boy named John, who runs away from a domestic violence filled home and finds himself alone on the streets… That is, until he finds solace in a charismatic, 6 year old, little girl (nick)named Candy, who, having faced a similar plight, recently ran away from the local orphanage. He eventually finds himself taking on the big brother role to her. Together they face extreme hunger, horrid winter weather, and apathy and inhumanity amongst the people. Starving and at deaths door, their saving grace happens when they run into a local beat up building called “Mom’s Coffee Shop.” Inside they meet a mysterious old woman who everybody just calls “Mom.” Nobody knows her real name, but her calm demeanor and sweet personality welcomes them in and she tries to feed or take care of them when she can. She’s expecting a business inspector soon, so even her supply of help is limited. The three misfit friends seem to take the world by storm, until a painful epidemic known as cancer quickly becomes the focal point of our story to one of the beloved characters…

Q: What life experiences did you draw from when writing it?

A: This book has a completely candid take on cancer, the process one goes through, and even the irritability one has after going through chemo/radiation. See, end of 2014-2015 was a hard year lived in. Not 1, not 2, but 3 people I really love and genuinely care about got different forms of cancer, one being my 3 year old little nephew who was diagnosed with acute lymphoma leukemia type b. All of this was an indecent reminder of what I went through in 2000, losing my dad to cancer. Sadly, my hippie friend died, and I had to be the pallbearer at his funeral… Good news is my nephew is in remission, who the story is loosely based on. I would like to be a thorn in the side of this epidemic and donate money in the fight against cancer based off of the accolades of this book.

Q: What makes John worth reading about?

A: His dynamic personality. You never know when he’s going to go on a rant about something he feels is morally corrupt in this world. He’s all about transparency. He is candid to a fault, but has a deeply caring/empathetic heart.

Q:  What do you think is the one thing John doesn’t want anyone to know?

A: That he’s infallible. Though he is quite modest, he doesn’t want Candy or Mom to know that he sometimes could use a little help. He’s very independent, so he doesn’t like to accept help.

Q:  In what kind of atmosphere do you like to write?

A: I like to write in places that foster nostalgia. I wrote a big part of this book in my Dad’s old shop he used to spend A LOT of time working in when he was alive. I felt more connected to him, like I was trying to harness his story and his love into this novel.

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?

A: I work at the Dollar Tree, which helps immensely with a lot of the opinions in this novel and has an obvious influence on the writing. I learned there is a lot apathy and petty animosities that exist is this world.  Unfortunately, a lot of these problems stir and saturate because of the power card the, “My way or the highway”, way of thinking. I believe if you don’t want problems you should educate people in your opinions/wants, NOT dictate them.

Q:  Have you ever tried a writer’s group and what did you think?

A: No. I made really high grades in English and literally half of my senior English class was failing, whereas I had an A. This class was trying to take it to college English level and I loved the challenge. (Though I didn’t want to admit it then.) I always had a propensity for writing, but I believe that no one, and I mean NO ONE should ever tell you how to write. Just immerse yourself in reading and English, but NEVER let anyone tell you how to write. Don’t let some pretentious person poison the waters of creativity, I think

Q:  What do you think you can tell your readers about cancer that has not already been said?

A: It not as much what I can tell them that’s anything new as much as it is a sense empathy. There is a big lack of understanding/communication in this world that I feel it’s time for a realistic view. I want to give that since of understanding and empathy to not only people who have personally battled cancer, but to the family, friends, and loved ones who have had to watch their loved one suffer… I have spent much time in hospitals and sat there in that chair watching them deteriorate… I want people to know I care.

Q:  What have you done to promote your book?

A: Unfortunately, my mom and I only have one car to get back in forth to our jobs and promotion. I have a video and also a radio interview on the Page Publishing website. I have sent books off to reviewers, hit hard with a social media campaign, and whatever else this poor fella could do!

Q:  What character from classic literature does John remind you of?

A: John has the realistic, working class aesthetic of say a lot of Mark Twain literature. That, and a Johnny Rotten esque personality, and you’ve got yourself a character!

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

 

An Interview With Writer Tantra Bensko

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Tantra Bensko is the author of the book Glossolalia; here is a link to the website:

 

http://flameflower.wix.com/glossolalia-suspense

 

Q: What is Glossolalia about?

 

A: Nancy can only keep a job at her uncle Geoff’s pesticide company, because she has amnesiac fugues, and she’s addicted to the drugs he gives her to stave off strange visions, which present themselves almost like surreal memories. When she sees a crime happening at the company, she has the choice to risk her job and life in order to turn him in. But there’s a catch. A big one.

Her pursuit of a waste truck carrying away a poison legally deemed too toxic to dump leads her to a world of political intrigue, occult practices, shocking revelations, and her own involvement in layer after layer of a conspiracy.

It’s about the need to become authentic, and the power of determined individuals to transform themselves and the world. The series is about the heroism of recognizing, resisting, and exposing social engineering.

 

Q: What inspired you to write it?

A: I feel empathy for people who have gone through trauma induced by US intelligence agencies. I also feel empathy for the agents, and sometimes, they are one and the same.

 

 

Q:  What makes Nancy a sympathetic character?

A: She cares about the environment and wants to do the right thing, though she struggles, like many people, with being forced to take a job that bothers her conscience.

 

 

Q:  Are the characters in the book based on real people?

A: They aren’t portrayals of specific individuals but they’re influenced greatly by reality: the globe-trotting politically connected evangelist, the businessman with a conflict of interest, a president of a country trying to get off the dollar standard, the manipulative handler, the YouTube activist. The pills Nancy takes illegally are called Jolly Wests. That’s a nod to the famous MKULTRA doctor of that name.

 

 

Q: You teach fiction writing on several different websites. How did you get your first teaching jobs?

 

A: Part of getting an MA involved teaching in labs, which I’d already done in high school, so I was well prepared to teach at FSU while studying. I then simply applied to Memphis State and taught years there before teaching at Iowa while I got my MFA. I was happy to be offered the teaching jobs while studying and to accepted to the application to the instructorship in Tennessee. It was a simple process to be accepted everyplace I applied, possibly largely because the people hiring me liked reading my publications, and maybe were also impressed by the number of them.

I never wanted my path to be academic straight though, partly because that wouldn’t let me live a varied enough life to write deeply in the way I want. It was a long time before I applied to online teaching jobs and again, I think I was originally accepted partly because of the quality of my writing and my reputation in the Innovative Fiction scene as well as the classes I proposed in experimental fiction, which was not being taught much. I think I helped raise awareness of that style a bit through my popular resource website about it. I then very quickly expanded to also teach other forms.

 

 

Q:  What are some of the most memorable questions students have asked you?

A:
In a 10 weeks fiction writing class: “I dont rely no Enlish. Can you maeke all the editos at all my assignments for I learn English?” (I did.)

 

“Do you mind if I announce to the class that the story I wrote in the last class with you just won an award?”

 

 

Q: What are some of the qualifications for your job?

 

A: MA in English from FSU and MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop. Getting my early teaching jobs rested partially on my good grades throughout school, publications, reference letters from impressed professionals, and the quality of my writing. Having those jobs in tow and letters from pleased superiors, I could apply to the online schools. Being a consistent teacher students got a lot out propelled me forward from job to job, as well as continuing to be published and do a lot online to promote literary awareness.

I live the kind of life expected of a writing instructor to obtain and keep a job: participating in panels such as at the &Now Festival of Writing, winning honors here and there, guest editing a magazine and putting out my own magazine as well as a resource site about experimental fiction and publishing people’s chapbooks, doing readings locally and at conferences. I continued to get work out to the public, with hundreds of short stories as well as other genres in magazines and anthologies.

My love for helping students prioritize their passion for writing I think is an important qualification for actually teaching, though. I’m patient, encouraging, friendly, and can appreciate a wide variety of genres: I studied them all to be prepared for anything a student might write. I’m sincerely thrilled by their stories and progress.

Q:  What kind of music do you listen to when you write?

 

A: I don’t. I pay attention to the rhythms of the words and make that musical instead. It’s subtle and I wouldn’t want to override it. I get up and dance regularly when writing fiction, to silence. I hear the music in my head of the plot arc, how the audience should feel at a certain moment. I act out the characters, scenes, the mood of what comes next.

 

 

Q:  What has been the most effective thing you have done to promote your book?
A: I have a Facebook author page, and I took out ads to attract people with interests related to the book, such as Conspiracy Fiction, Barry Eisler, Psychological Thriller Novel. I wrote a guest post about how the rise of indie publishing and movie production allows for a new paradigm of spy novels that flip the old default good guy – US intelligence VS bad guy formula. I posted about it on the author page and then boosted it. No one sees posts on pages now unless you do that.

225 people liked the post as they saw it scroll through their news feed. I then invited them to like the page, and those who did are perfect for my book. In any case, they read the information with links I included about the historical facts about the CIA, and that’s an end in itself. I cover many of the topics in my blog as well. Promoting the book is finding people intrigued by the series and also fostering awareness about a reality that’s important to address, whether the people buy any of The Agents of the Nevermind or not.

 

 

Q: If this country turns into a dystopia would you want drugs to anesthetize you or would you stay sober and fight?

A: I wouldn’t take drugs. I completely avoid pain killers as it is, and I’ve been in a lot of pain in my life. Pain is there for a reason. I listen to it rather than ingest a chemical with lasting side effects. Still, if I’m stuck under a truck that’s run out of the last of the gasoline, and I’m flailing around, yeah, if you don’t mind, a little morphine over heah.

Also, are you saying it’s not a dystopia now?

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

 

 

An Interview With Author Kamlesh Thakur

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Kamlesh Thakur is the author of A Middle Class Dream; here is a link to his website:

 

 

 

http://www.kamleshthakur.com/

 

Q: What is A Middle Class Dream about?

 

A: AMCD (A Middle Class Dream) is a story of little boy who was born in India, discovering and nurturing his uniqueness, finding his purpose in life who challenges and breaks through numerous rhymes, reasons and sometimes superstitious beliefs of a highly discriminatory society filled with inequality in every walk of life.

 

It provides a comprehensive perspective of the many highly diverse cultures that coexist in the world’s largest democracy. It highlights the struggles this kid had to go through, the obstacles he had to overcome before becoming successful. It highlights the feeling of satisfaction in sharing the tools of success discovered, the skills and values learned so others may benefit and apply it in their own ways to replicate this process of success.

 

The message of AMCD is “no matter who you are, where you come from, or where you’ve been – as long as you have a vision of your life, a purpose to strive for, you will achieve anything you desire and some more

 

 

 

 

Q: What caste does Krish belong to and where is that caste raked in the social structure?

 

A: Krish is a blue blooded “Rajput” – the warrior caste (also known as the Kshatriyas). Ancestors of this caste were royalty (kings & queens) that have fought numerous historic wars. The Hindu scriptures have all documented Lord Rama as a Kshatriya.

 

After the British (East India Company) rule for decades many palaces, their history and heritage were forfeited under the doctrine of lapse policy. Since independence the popularity and prominence of this caste diminished and is today one of the many hundreds of caste’s.

 

 

Q: What is the overall theme of the book?

 

A: Victory in any endeavor of life belongs to those that believe in it the most, that believe in it the longest. We have to be the change we want to see, and we already have everything we need. So, we need to do what we can, wherever we are with whatever we have, because what we have is indeed plenty. And oh, be content, but never be satisfied.

 

 

Q: What makes Krish worth reading about?

 

A: If you want to experience extreme cultural diversity (cultural, educational, customs etc.) as if you were there in flesh – you would find this to be a worthy read.

 

Q: What do you think motivates the Sweetie character?

 

A: This is one character that is not motivated by anything of her own. If anything came close, it was the need to conform to societies whims and fancies, dictates. This included parents, siblings and oh, how can I forget – the dreaded CASTE barrier. Outer suggestions ruled and shaped her life, her destiny was written by others – as is for many million women (and men).

 

Changes are taking place, but at a snail’s pace, and for a country with 1.4 billion people, how quick will the changes take place is anybody’s guess.

 

Q: What sort of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing (again you do not have to name your employer, just the industry)?

 

A: I am a Software Program Manager, and have worked for some of the biggest technology brand names in the business. I enjoy what I do in my day job as well. In the first 10 years of my job career, I’ve had the opportunity to travel and experience numerous places, cultures and cuisine. I love interacting with people from all over the world. Through my interactions I found that though we’re different in how we look, our basic human needs, wants, desires are more of less the same.

 

Our perspectives are different, and that partially became the reason for me to look inside of me, to discover what I had learned, and how I could share that with the world.

 

 

Q: What is the biggest misconception Americans have about India?

 

A: This is an interesting question. There are a few that I’m aware of. First, it’s not all snake charmers and elephants (though that’s a small part of life in certain pockets of the country)

 

Everyone is Poor: This is one of the biggest & common myth. Just look at the amount of money spent at any Indian wedding and it’ll change this perspective. It’s one of the richest countries on earth (still is). The issue there is “in-equal distribution of wealth”. For this reason, you’ll find some of the world’s richest and the poorest of poor live next to each other in the same city (Mumbai is a classic example of it).

 

Very recently, a temple vault was opened which revealed tons of solid / pure gold. Its worth was estimated to be in billions of dollars. That was just 1, there are many more vaults in just 1 city. It was estimated (per local news) that two other vaults if opened will make at least $ 1 Trillion available in gold.

 

There are dozens more spread throughout the country – kept secret. You do the math (it’s in trillions of dollars – that’s certain). Check this link out.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2015/11/13/a-one-trillion-dollar-hidden-treasure-chamber-is-discovered-at-indias-sree-padmanabhaswam-temple/#3779190421eb

 

Indians don’t speak “Indian” – There are about 2500 or more languages (not dialects, but languages), none of them are called “Indian”. That said, Hindi, English are the most commonly spoken throughout the country.

Everyone is Hindu – Though the vast majority of the population is Hindu, minorities, such as Christians, Jain, Buddhist, Muslims, Sikh, Zoroastrianism make up for more than 20% of the country’s population.

Everyone is Vegetarian – Untrue, though roughly 50% of the people are vegetarians, the rest are not.

 

 

Q: Who are some of your writing influences?

 

A: Brendon Burchard is one of my favorite writers. I also like Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins and Wallace Wattles

 

Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?

 

A: Ballroom Dancing of Course. When I feel like I’m experiencing a block, I temporarily off the brain, and dance Tango / Waltz or Roomba routine. The music and dance rhythm opens up my neuro-pathways almost immediately or within the next day or so, that most definitely helps me get past the writers’ block.

 

Q: What are you working on now?

 

A: During my spare / free time, I am working on a project for empowering women (it’s called the V2 project).

I also speak to groups (women’s empowerment groups in Asia) for a good cause, groups & institutions related to Leptospirosis (I’ve had that dang thing twice as a teenager). I do this outside of my day job, during holidays / vacations and sometimes weekends.

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

 

An Interview With Writer R.T. Truehall

 Me for Interview

R.T. Truehall is the author of Not Dead; here is a link to her website:

 

http://www.austinmacauley.com/author/truehall-rt

 

Q: What is, Not Dead about?

 

A: Not Dead is—in a nutshell—about vampires.  It centres around two main characters: Ellison and Ulysses.  Ellison is over 800 years old and can control people’s minds.  Ulysses is an idiot and delivers pizza for a living.  Not Dead is the first in a series featuring these two, and in this initial book the reader is taken through the story of how Ulysses becomes a vampire

 

Q: Why a vampire book?

 

A: I like vampires.  I mean, who doesn’t?  But I just got a bit sick of them being so perfect all the dang time.  It’s one or more of the same old chestnuts every vampire story: they get super strong and beautiful, they’re charming and irresistible, they’re always cool and scary.  I got to thinking what would it look like if a vampire was a bumbling fool?  What if they were terrible at being a vampire?  That’s when Ulysses was born.

 

Q:  How is it different from other vampire books?

 

A: Well, for a start, when one becomes a vampire, it takes time.  It’s not an instantaneous thing; it’s like a creeping disease.  Also, there is no guarantee the new vampire will be any stronger whatsoever, and they can’t suddenly fly, or run ridiculously fast.  They don’t have fangs and they don’t all hunt.  They don’t burst into flames in the sun, they’re not allergic to silver and holy water will only make them soggy and irritated.

 

Q:  What makes Ulysses worth reading about?

 

A: Ulysses is worth reading about because he’s you and me.  He’s not a Hollywood stereotype.  He’s a completely average guy: not particularly good-looking, not particularly smart, not particularly talented at anything, actually.  He’s clumsy, easily distracted and lazy: pretty much the polar opposite of what one would expect a vampire to be.  Ulysses is what happens when the average Joe is given immortality, and doesn’t have even the slightest inkling of what he wants to do with it.

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

 

A: Well, I published through Austin Macauley, so they do their thing.  I figure every little bit helps, though, so I’ve been working to boost my Instagram and Twitter presence also.  I recently ran a giveaway competition on Goodreads, and Austin Macauley were gracious enough to foot the bill for the prizes, which was awesome.  I have an author facebook page as well.  I’ve also been reaching out to Instagram and Twitter book enthusiasts and offering them a copy in exchange for a review.

 

Q: You are a Peer Support Worker in the mental health sector. What does your job entail?

 

A: A Peer Support Worker (also known as a Lived Experience Worker) is someone with a lived experience pertaining to the field in which they work.  So, for me, that means I support people with mental illness in their recovery, sort-of as the embodiment of what they can achieve.  It doesn’t mean they have to aspire to be anything like me, or model their recovery like mine; everyone’s is different.  My job is to show them that you can slip down to the depths of despair, but that there is always hope for a way back out.  I’m very passionate about fighting (and eventually eliminating) the stigma surrounding mental illness.

 

Q: How did you end up getting the job?

 

A: Actually, a friend recommended it to me.  I’d not heard of Peer Support Work before, so I had to Google it.  I was like ‘I can make a LIVING out of my mental illness?!?  Where so I sign?!?’  So, I applied for the job, knocked their socks off with my charisma and enthusiasm, and the rest was history.  Sadly, a lot of people still don’t really know how to utilise the skill set of a Peer Worker properly, but the industry is slowly getting there.

 

Q: What has been your most frustrating work experience?

 

A: The most frustrating thing when working in Mental Health is when you come across people who are full of potential, but they can’t see it.  As a worker, you can have all the strategies in the world in your tool kit, but all you can do is show people how to use them.  Sometimes, they do, and you can guide them through the process, and they develop skills to better deal with their mental illness.  Sometimes, they won’t try.  Those are the days it’s hard to go home and feel like you’ve made a difference.  But, as they say, you can lead a horse to water, but ain’t nobody gunna make that beast drink.

 

Q: What trends in literature do you like?

 

A: I’m really loving the bookish trend on Instagram.  I was afraid that as the technological realm grew, people would be steadily less interested in physical books, until they were just a quaint memory.  But there are so many users who are absolutely mad for books!  They take these beautiful photos, post them and thousands of people love them!  It gives me hope for the future.

 

Q:  If a vampire came to you to be treated for his addiction to garlic, what would you do to help him?

 

A: Hm.  Very interesting question… let’s imagine that this vampire is from a realm where garlic is harmful to him, but he loves it like a smoker loves that first ciggie in the morning.  Let’s say his name is Logan.  It would go something like this:

 

I was sitting on my chaise lounge with—as my Scottish friend would put it—my legs ‘in a basket’, sipping a too-hot black coffee, wincing each time.  I heard the crunch of gravel as someone approached my front door, though there was a frantic, scattered quality to it and a hunched figure lurched past the window onto my porch.  I put my coffee down as my visitor hammered on the door.

‘It’s open.’

He threw the door open, but remained on the porch.  He was red as a beet, and blistered.  He hunkered under a blanket, clutching it, white-knuckled.

‘Well?  You just gunna stand there?  Waddaya want?’

‘You have to invite me in.’  His eyes darted.

‘No I don’t, and you know it.’

‘Yeah’ he shifted from foot to foot, ‘but I like the tradition.’

‘Are you kidding me?’

‘No… please… invite me in.’

‘Ugh.  Fine.’  I waved my hand in a grandiose gesture across my living room.  ‘You are cordially invited to entre my home, mister vampire.’

He sprang in, slammed the door and leaned against it, eyes closed, panting.  I picked up my coffee again and took a sip; it burnt my lip.  ‘What’s your name?’

‘Logan.  Can we close the blinds please?’

‘Stay there.’  I got up, closed the blinds, fished a towel out of the linen closet and spread it on the couch.  ‘Sit on that.  I don’t want any blisters oozing on my couch.’

He grunted, shuffled over to the towel and sat.  He studied the floor.

‘Well?  What is it?  I’m busy.’

‘I need help… your help… please.’

‘With what?’

‘…Garlic.’

‘Garlic?’

‘Yeah…’ he looked up, ‘I can’t stop… I love it.’

I felt my face scrunch up in distaste.  ‘You serious?’

‘Yes.’

‘How long have you been a vampire?’

‘Eight months’

‘Why can’t you stop eating it?’

‘I’m Italian.  My Mother cooks everything with it.’

‘You should be trying to wean yourself off human food, Logan.  Surely you know that.’

‘I know, but she’ll be so sad if I stop eating her food.’

I rubbed my forehead and let out a long sigh.  ‘Do you only eat it when she cooks it?’

‘…no…’

‘Why?’

He sat up straight, looked at me and let the blanket fall from his shoulders.  He was covered in blisters, and most of his head was bald, featuring new and old scabs, amongst sparse clumps of hair.

‘Because it reminds me of my old life.  I’m lonely.’  His eyes were a dull shade of green-grey, and he began to cry as I watched him.

‘Logan, you do know that garlic makes you so much more susceptible to sunlight, and it hinders your immune system.  It’s going to take ages for those blisters to properly heal if you keep eating it, and going in the sun.

‘I know.’

‘Where is your maker?’

‘He dumped me.’

‘Why?’

‘Because I’m useless.’

I sighed.  I was just getting used to living on my own, and enjoying my space.  ‘You need to detox, Logan.  Away from your Mother.’

‘I live with her.’

‘Not anymore.  Down the hall, first door on the right.  There’s a bed, and clean clothes in the cupboard.  Towels are in the linen cupboard in the hallway.  Have a cool shower, get dressed and then we can chat.  You’ll be ok.’

‘For real?’

‘For real.’

Why are you helping me?’

‘Cos someone helped me.  Now get in that shower, you reek of garlic.’

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.