Month: April 2015

An Interview With Writer Glen Lorenzana


Glen Lorenzana is the author of Angels of War: And the Last Priest; here is a link to his Amazon page:
Q:  What is Angels of War: And the Last Priest about?

A: Angels of War: And the Last Priest is a trilogy based on the brotherhood of fallen angels. They bond with the archangels in order to repent for their sins and be forgiven, in hopes to prevent their doom from a war that is destined for them.

Q:  What inspired you to write it?

A: As a teenager I began involving myself with the wrong crowd. As years passed, I saw many of my friends die from different circumstances. In that time, I started having religious doubts and not knowing where my beliefs stood. I began to write about the friends I lost during those years (some are still alive); how they lived their lives and how they became who they were. I infused their stories with related stories of angels to make it into a fantasy story.

Q:  What makes Jake Dubois a character worth reading about?

A: Although Jake Dubois is only one of the main characters, he is placed as an ordinary man in a world of demons, angels and the unknown phenomenon transpiring in his city. Jake is a man of courage, who is not afraid of getting involved with the danger and powers of the unknown that can easily kill him.

Q:  Who are some of your literary influences?

A: My literary influences are “It” and “Pet Cemetery” by Stephen King because they are great horror stories; “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S.Lewis because they are amazing fantasy novels. They prove that, with imagination and involving religious beliefs, you can make any audience curious about what lies after death. They influenced me greatly to express my imagination into stories.

Q:  Why do you think religious fiction is so popular?

A: The same way vampires, zombies and superheroes have been depicted in different ways and are popular with all ages, I thought it was time to introduce a new version of characters (like angels) that have been known through centuries, and also portray them through a new storyline. Angels can do what monsters and heroes do even more than you expect.

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

I have a 9-5 job in Manhattan, where I have plenty of time to write at my desk. I have a part time job on the weekends as a bartender, where I enjoy meeting many inspiring people. They tell me their experiences in life and influenced me to write even more.

Q:  What other kinds of writing do you do?

A: I like to write horror and fiction mythology, which is already in the works.

Q:  What have you done to publicize your book?

A: I promote it through Facebook, to my customers at both jobs and am handing out cards with the link to, where the book is currently available. We have a book launch party in the works that will align with the release of the paperback edition, as well as ramping up the social media activity on other social media sites.

Q:  What are you working on now?

A: I am currently proofreading the third and final book of Angels of War. I have also started writing a new trilogy based on Greek mythology centered around a boy who learns the ways of the mythical Gods while in search for his mother.

Q:  If you could meet any character from literature, who would it be and why?

A: I would have to say the fallen angel Samyaza from Angels of War: And the Last Priest. His character reminds me so much of a childhood friend and, though he is not the greatest character to get along with, he does not give up on his friends and family. He is always there to protect them no matter how much hate is directed toward him.

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 Radio Host Harry Johal

carry on

Harry Johal hosts the radio show Carry on Harry; here is a link to his website:


Q:  What inspired you to start your show?

A: Several reasons to that where should i begin from. And its a passion first to talk to people and get to know more about them. Especially what excites me is to

understand what is story behind them being so successful in field.  Right information coming from people who have dedicated their life in one particular field . All these year they had been doing research to get to the core of the solutions for problems that people face. I also choose to be a talk show host because we always love talking and knowing people. Its my LOVE to do talk Shows and to fall in love has no reasons. My mission is to help people succeed in life though learning from others. I make sure all my shows has something for my audience to feel inspired about and learn something.

Q:  What kind of professional background do you have?
A: I founded in year 2003 Indian brand of Online Radio Station BalleBalleRadio which is now 13 Years running in operations and has been serving cinema and entertainment industry.

I had been doing Indian celebrity shows with Indian film fraternity and Asian Artists in UK music Industry. To know me more do pay a visit to  www.CarryonHarry.Com and www.BalleBalleRadio.Com www.BalleBalleRadio.Co.Uk

Q:  What was the most challenging interview you have ever done?

A: Every Interview is a Challenge because every interview has a chance to fail, if it does not meet expectation of Audience, Guest and host. The biggest challenge on CarryOnHarry Talk show I face is to meet these expectations. I depend a lot on my Guests Communication skills and storytelling. I majority of time do not keep set questions for myself. I keep a few facts about guest in mind, his work before i go on the show in my studio. I depend on my listening
skills. I am the first Audience member on my show. I listen to my guest as a curious audience member who is given a license to ask with excitement and  Curiosity in mind. Dealing with celebrity mood , Availability time to connect , Last minute issues , Developing a rapport / Chemistry right from the first Question are some of the challenges that  are part and parcel. Sometimes some guests take time to open up as the talk shows are done via Phone Call and you are connecting to guest for first time so  it really becomes challenge in that way. I had some great experiences and had been able to solve the issues right on the spot with 99% success i would say

Q:  What do you look for in an interview subject?

A: Personality Introduction, Content Introduction, What benefit will it give to my audience ? What will my audience learn from guest talks ? These are basic things I keep in mind at planning the format of talk show. I have done shows with cinema, music , writing celebrities to successful business men , Experts  of fields and those aspects i keep in mind without sounding that we are selling something to audience. Maximum effort is to not sound as an interview but  talks by two individuals aboutsubject matter as viewpoints.

Q:  You hosted a 2015 New Year’s Party, how did you go about putting it together?
A: Touch of Personalized attention to make the attendees feel they are wanted for the occasion. Material Management and other things can be taken care of byprofessionals.
Q:  What do most American’s not understand about Singapore?
A: Its more than a Tourist hub of Asia. Its a community of people who work together in unity. They live with a sentiment of support for a fellow citizen. They
hold love for country through constructive efforts in building the nation as dreamt by Father of Nation Mr Lee Kuan Yew , who passed away recently.

Critics may have a different view but these are the facts that makes and will make Singapore shine always as First World Country with a progressive mindset.
Q:  What kind of research do you do to prepare for an interview?

A: It depends on guest to guest. However basically collate the authentic facts of work in mind before i go on the show. i try to discover the personality on the show.

Q:  Who are some of your journalistic heroes?
A: I have special regards for every individual in media industry. But i hold special regards for Mr Dale Bhagwagar , for being the man who helped me to do my first talk

show episode with his client from US , who visited India to promote her film in Bollywood. Apart from that every Agency that had shown faith and Interest in bringingover guest on CarryonHarry Talk Show are my heroes.

Q:  What kinds of questions do you feel uncomfortable asking?

A: My questions to Talk Show guest are based on my listening as i said. If my guests needs a scope to further express and expects me to ask him , I will ask no matter I subscribe to his/her thoughts or not. However on editing stage i take in consideration that it does not hurt the audience sentiment and over all image of my brand #CarryOnHarry , as i have an audience from different parts of world and some of them may be conservative in mindset to accept a mentality of a far off society. My audience should not feel uncomfortable in listening.
Q:  If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?
A:I have a mindset like a funnel who thrives on seeing all POSSIBILITIES. I have Plans to feature Top most personalities of every field on my show. If you ever
visit personal files of mine you will find that Posters have already been made for personalities who i want to put on Air. I see dreams with Open Eyes
without any doubts and whoever you think is your Idol You will Have him on #CarryOnHarry Talk Show , its matter of time to show you, make you listen but i Already see them , I already communicate to them in mind talks ,i already listen to talks with them in my mind ears.
if you ask me Why ? My Answer is Why not. Let the world know what makes them great minds. I want my listeners to know them from personality side and not just what they do. I call my media platform an inspired media that inspires people to be an Idol and be a performer. I want young minds to feel motivated to be
Someone in life by learning and listening to them. I want my listeners to follow the Blue Print of Success that previous generation has walked over. CarryonHarry means

….. CARRY ON in life , move ahead , go get it.  I invite you into your future on my wall CarryOnHarry.Com  International Talk Show from Singapore.

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 Actor Nathan Austin


Nathan Austin is an actor who appears in the film The Middle Ground; here is a link to his IMDB Page:

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

A: Ever since I can remember, I have been interested in acting or being someone or something else in an existing world outside of my own reality.

I was born in the 1980’s; some of my earliest memories are from being in my parent’s living room acting like the characters I would watch in cartoons.  He-Man, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Thundercats were all characters that I would play like I was for hours.  I have a sister who is two years younger than me. When she was born even My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, and Barbie became part of my imaginative world.  All of the cartoons that I watched during my childhood always seemed more exciting and enticing than the actual world I lived in.  When I started kindergarten, I remember that I could not wait for recess just so my friends and I could go outside and enter into the imaginative worlds that we loved.

Throughout my life I have never lost the initial love for portraying a character.  As I became older and was allowed to watch television shows and movies outside of cartoons, I became more and more intrigued with characters and storytelling and bringing ideas to life on screen for others to watch.

All of that being said; what interests me more than anything about acting is bringing a character to life that others want to watch.  I love giving others the gift of seeing a character that would otherwise be kept secret inside their own imagination.

Q:  What kind of training have you had?

A: Life.

My training did not follow the traditional “actor” training.

I grew up in a very strict religious home where there were a lot of expectations put upon a person at a very young age.  Not only did I come from a strict religious background, but I also grew up in a financially struggling family.  I was homeschooled, my mother made my clothes or I wore hand me downs, eating out was a rarity, and toys were bought only for birthdays and Christmas.  As I became older and wanted to know more about the world I lived in and what mysteries there were, I was reminded time and again not only by parents but by church leaders that a wandering mind is wrong.  Questions were wrong and learning different methods of expressing ones self was wrong.  In everything that I was told was wrong I felt that there had to be a reason, a reason why everyone around me warned against trying new and radical things.  There was a point in my life where I wanted to “experience” what I was told was wrong but also appease my parents and religious leaders.  I began living different lives.  I was a saint when I had to be and a sinner when I could be.  I was the most respectable and honest person when I needed to be and the most dishonest disrespectful person when I could be.  I was playing to whoever was the audience.  I feel that a lot of people do this at some point in their life, but for me I felt like it could be used for far more than just making the people around me happy.  I realized that I could change my personality and demeanor to convince people of anything.  This realization did not make me want to use that ability for anything other than performing.

I did not attend college after high school.  Instead, I formed my first punk band called 2Weaktonotice.  I had the privilege of recording two cd’s and playing numerous shows from the age of 20 to 25.  The band was the first setting that I was able to put my acting skills to practical use.  I was punk on and off stage until the band ended.  I dove into my role of portraying a punk rocker to the point of getting numerous piercings and a few tattoos.  To me if I was going to sell an image, then I was going to be that image.  Afterwards, it was time to find a new character.

Before college I studied the techniques taught by Konstantin Stanislavski, Lee Stasberg, Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Michael Chekhov, and Tadashi Suzuki.  This was through my own intrigue and research.

I did attend Murray State University in Kentucky at the age of 29 where I received a degree in theater; this is not where I consider that I received my training.

Acting is not the only artistic endeavor that I have pursued. As I said before I was in a band for several years, and I continue to play music now.  I also write and direct when the opportunity arises.  I have knowledge both on and off stage, in front and behind the camera.  Everything that I have done artistically has come from learning on my own in some fashion or another.  With music, I had friends that would show me a few things but for the most part, as with film and acting, when I had an interest in something, I sought out the knowledge of how to do it on my own.  I attribute that to being homeschooled.  I don’t remember exactly when but during my years homeschooling there came a point where my mother would give me my assignments, and I would basically teach myself.  In my mind it was simple, read the directions then do what they said.  It is basically the same way with anything.  What I have not been able to read instructions for in life, I have watched others do.  Paying attention to detail is one of the biggest things with art; the small things make up the big picture.


Q: What is The Middle Ground about?

A: The Middle Ground is a film about two brothers during the civil war era, Charles (the older brother) and Nathaniel (the younger brother), that grew up in Kentucky.  They had the same father but different mothers.  At about the age of 12 their mothers moving separated the brothers. Charles’s mother moved him South and Nathaniel’s mother moved him North.  They both joined the war, their designated sides.  They found each other on the battlefield.  Charles was injured when Nathaniel found him.  Instead of killing his own brother, Nathaniel chose to rescue him.  They became war deserters and returned to Kentucky where they had grown up.  Charles had a cousin named Lassalle that had stayed in Kentucky because she had inherited her family’s land.  Charles and Nathaniel hid out on Lassalle’s land where trouble found them.  I would say more about the film, but I much rather people watch it for themselves.

What I will say about The Middle Ground is that it was filmed entirely in the beautiful countryside of Kentucky.  All of the actors are from Kentucky, and the music is even by Kentucky musicians. It is a film that was made by the hard work and participation of none other than people who love art and believe in a beautiful idea that should be brought to life.

The Middle Ground is the end result of a group of people who put all of their time, money, and passion into completing a vision.

The Middle Ground is a work by unknown artists who were able to create a piece of art that can now be remembered for years to come.  It is about the history of a state that many know nothing about.  It is a piece of my life that will always be there for others to view.

Q:  What role do you play?

A: I played many roles in The Middle Ground.

As an actor I was Nathaniel, the younger of the two brothers, and I also played Michael, Nathaniel’s son who shows up at the end of the film.

Since this was my first independent film I also worked as a producer, crew, promoter, caterer, casting director, assistant director, gaffer, sound engineer, set designer, and any other job that you can think of that is associated with a film.

Q: What did you do to prepare for the role?

A: Since I grew up in Kentucky, and I was from a poor family most of my preparation had been done throughout my childhood and teenage years.  My character was the type that did not read too much into a situation but just went with things.  He made the best of his circumstances.  The director Dallas Lee Blanton did a very good job of using my own personal journey through life as the cornerstone of my character’s life.

I did add more of a southern accent to my speech for the role of Nathaniel, and I quit wearing shoes of any type during the whole filming of The Middle Ground.  There were days that we would be working for 16 hours and when I finally had a chance to sit down I would look at my feet and see nothing but crimson and black form the dirt and blood.

In the film, there is a journal that a doctor is keeping of old Charles’s stories while Charles is on his death bed.  I spent quite a bit of time writing actual stories from the perspective of both characters.  There is also a whole segment about the necklaces that Nathaniel and Charles have.  I came up with the idea one day while laying on the beach in Long Beach, California.  As soon as I thought of the brothers having necklaces in the film, I made one for myself and one for Dallas. I put mine on and did not take it off until The Middle Ground was finished being filmed.  I still have both of the necklaces.

Q:  What are the elements of a good war film?

A: This depends on what a filmmaker wants their audience to feel.  If it is sympathy, then the director has to create a reason why the viewer would be sympathetic to the winning or losing side.  If the director wants someone to feel excited about a war film there needs to be lots of action shots, explosions, blood, and constant high intense scenes.  If the director wants to persuade an audience to believe that a cause is worth fighting for, then the director has to give the audience a reason to back the cause.  Basically, a good war film is like anything else. It is in the presentation and who your target audience is. Not everyone is going to consider the same things as good.  That is the beauty of independent filmmaking; films can be made for a smaller target audience.  It’s like making films for your friends instead of having to please the entire world.

My own personal opinion of a good war film is one that makes me relate to the characters and makes me feel like I am there.

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

A: I am basically a freelance actor/entertainer/writer/musician/stand-up comedian.  I am fortunate enough to get principal roles in independent films and the occasional background work on bigger budget television shows and movies to not only pay my bills but also make my own films.  At this point in my career, I do not have an agent or manager, every gig that I get is from my own perseverance and hard work.

To be successful in the entertainment industry is no different than being successful in any other industry.  You have to work 24/7 or someone else will.

Q:  What is your oddest Los Angeles Story?

A: When my girlfriend, Angela Yonts, and I moved to California, we had no idea where we were going.  We both knew that we wanted to be close to Hollywood but that was about the extent of what we knew about California.  On July 1st 2013 we rented a Penske truck, loaded it up, and headed west.  That may not seem like a big thing but there is more.  First off when we went to the Penske rental place in Hanson, Kentucky, they did not have the size truck that we had reserved.  Instead, they only had the biggest truck that they rented out.  We also had to have a trailer hooked to the back of it to move Angela’s car.  It was not just Angela and myself that moved to California.  Angela’s mother also moved with us.  This may not seem like a big deal but her mother suffers from early onset dementia.  So we not only moved 2,000 miles from where we grew up, but we also had to move everything we owned and a mentally and physically disabled person.  The trip took us 4 days.  Every night we stayed in a hotel that did not have a parking space big enough for the truck and trailer.  Entering and exiting the truck was also a bit of a conundrum for Angela’s mother due to her disabilities.  Even though we were able to make it all the way across the country without any major mishaps we had yet to get to LA.  Our first night in downtown LA was less than amusing.  We arrived on July 4th.  The hotel that we had reservations with had told us that there would be room for the truck and trailer.  That was less that the case to say the least.  We were told by the hotel clerk to park in a parking lot across from the hotel.  Against our better judgment, we did as we were advised.  The next day when we went to the parking lot, there was a towing company there trying to tow the moving truck.  The lot attendant was furious that such a large truck and trailer was parked in the lot. We eventually got everything straightened out with the lot attendant.  We arranged for the truck to be left at a Penske rental lot for three days while we looked for a place to rent.  Luckily, I had a cousin that had grown up in California, and he suggested we look for a place in Long Beach.  That was the most helpful advice that anyone had given us since our arrival.  We were able to find a place and get moved in before we had to start paying extra for the truck rental.  The craziest part of the story is that while we spent our time in downtown LA we noticed a lot of people everywhere.  The later it got in the day, the more people, it seemed, occupied the streets.  I thought that this was due to the holiday season.  Not the case.  Once we got settled into our place in Long Beach, Angela and I were watching a documentary one night that showed the section of downtown LA that is considered Skid Row.  We had booked a hotel that was one block outside of the Skid Row radius.  Welcome to LA.


Q:  Who are some of your acting influences?

A: I have a big list of acting influences and I have different reasons for each of them.

Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lucille Ball, Bruce Lee, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Christian Bale, Bill Murray, Robin Williams, Heath Ledger, Carroll O’Connor, Kristen Wiig, Sarah Silverman, Pauley Shore, River Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sylvester Stallone, and Jackie Chan to name a few.

Brad Pitt: he is basically the first “hot” guy that I ever came to know through movies.  He was always what women wanted but for me he also was not afraid to put time into his character.  He has played roles that have made him dedicate time.  He is not afraid to transform himself for his role, both mentally and physically.  I love his performances in Fight Club, A River Runs Through It, Meet Joe Black, Troy, Kalifornia, and one role that I will never forget him in is The Dark Side of the Sun.

Edward Norton:  He is another actor that goes the distance to bring a character to life.  His work in Fight Club, American History X, and Primal Fear are unforgettable.

Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Leonardo DiCaprio:  I just love how they dedicated their time to a role and how they will spend time becoming the character.

Sarah Silverman, Kristen Wiig, Pauley Shore, Carroll O’Connor, and Lucille Ball: they knew what comedy was and they were not afraid to take the jokes to a new level.  Or a level that others were not comfortable with.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Arnold is honestly one of the biggest influences on my whole life.  Not just because of film but also because of bodybuilding.  He applied the discipline of bodybuilding to his acting career.  Arnold has been some of the most remembered action characters ever.

Lucille Ball, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Jackie Chan: I can talk about them all at once because they basically taught me the same thing.  Use your props to the fullest.  There are things and objects that we co-exist with.  Objects are useful.  They can make a scene so much more enjoyable.

Bill Murray and Robin Williams:  They have/had a diversity that shines.  Funny or serious, they did it all.

Bruce Lee:  To me, Bruce Lee was not just an influence on me as an actor.  Bruce Lee had an affect on my entire life and who I am today.  Bruce Lee was such a great man; he had a passion, and he showed everyone that when a person dedicates his or her life to something it can be accomplished.  Bruce Lee was as much a motivator as anything.  He had a very positive outlook and a drive to accomplish.  He accomplished whatever he set his mind to.  I saved talking about him until last because according to old sayings that is where he should be.  I can never express the appreciation that I have for Bruce Lee and the knowledge that he has bestowed on my life and me.

Q:  What is the best advice anyone has ever given you about acting?

A: I have never had any good advice given to me about acting.

I have only found this path because of the people that I have watched and read about.  Acting is not a practical application as a life long endeavor where I am from.

The best advice is what I have given myself.  If I can think it then I can do it, no matter what happens be true to myself, and I will be able to accomplish anything.  Nothing and no one can control my destiny.  Only I can.

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 EN McNamara


EN McNamara is the author of The Jamie Keller Mystery Series; here is a link to the Amazon page





Q:  What inspired you to start the Jamie Keller Mystery Series?

A: Reading the book, A Course in Miracles, radically shifted my way of thinking. Change your mind and you’ll change your world. I found it to be true and wished I’d learned the lessons earlier in life. This new way of thinking brought me from the clamorous San Francisco Bay Area to the forests of western Oregon, where I purchased ten acres of property, off-grid, with plans of starting my own lavender farm and business.

In 2004, when we first arrived in Oregon, we got turned on to mushroom hunting. The forest was just outside our door and it was an enjoyable way to make extra money. (Chanterelles can go for as much as eight bucks a pound.)

One afternoon, our new kittens, Schwartz and Isaiah, insisted on accompanying us on the hunt. They were like mini-mountain lions.

As we marveled over their prowess, later that evening, over a glass of vin (perhaps inspired by the wine), I decided to write a story calledThe Chanty Cat Mystery. I excitedly began jotting down my cast of characters (never mind I could hardly spell, and knew nothing about grammar), starting with a fourteen year old protagonist named Jamie Keller, who’s father has just been killed by a roadside bomb. From there the story wrote itself. I later changed the title to Off the Grid, but the cats remain in the story, playing an important role. The first draft took only thirty days to write, but forever to refine and edit.

Without laying it on too thick, I try to incorporate some of life’s lessons, while giving people something fun to read. Many of my fans are not young adults. The dedication to On the Brink is for my hundred year old aunt who’s always asking for the next story.

Q:  What happens in On the Brink?

A: The story starts off on a high note, when Jamie, Jenny and Catherine get their first real paying gig. Excitement wanes as certain realities creep into the picture. All of the Keller siblings are curious about the mysterious someone, Mrs. Keller spends hours on the phone with, and are none too impressed when they meet him. Also, sweet little Jana has fallen in with a bad crowd and finds herself in trouble deep.

Q:  What makes Jamie a character worth reading about?

A: Jamie is a dichotomy, like most of us, which makes her relatable.

She can jump from generous to jealous at the drop of a hat. She’s a thinker and a stinker and a victim of instant karma who’s selfish tendencies tend to smack her in the butt. At times she is master at cloaking her emotions, while other times over-reacting to the point of ridiculousness. She’s curious and mostly honest. Being only fourteen she is creative, expressive, and oft’ times excessive.

Q:  What life experiences do you draw from in your work?

A: Write about what you know they said. So I did. Sibling dynamics we’re easy, being the fifth out of six kids, and the action takes place on a one-horse, off grid, farm in rural Oregon, which is – let’s say – all familiar. I made Jamie a musician because I know how it feels. And animals, always animals, because I am surrounded by them myself.

I turn to current events for fodder. The Iraq War was raging when I started Off the GridOver the Edge, explores the generational effects of meth. Gay Rights were foremost in the news when I wrote In the Groove, and I used the Drought in the West as an issue in On the Brink.

Under the Weather (expect summer release) revolves around issues of Medical rights/Right to Die and much, much more.

Q:  Who are some of your writing influences?

A: They’ve changed along the way. In high school my sisters and I adored Lenora Mattingly Weber’s WW2 era Beany Malone Series. Currently? Let’s see. . . Ursula Hedgy, Joyce Maynard, and Anne Lamott come to mind, but I admire anyone who dares artistic expression.

I heard a writer interviewed on NPR, who suggested if you find your writing below your standards perhaps you should lower your standards. That statement gave me courage and I wish I could recall the source.

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

A: I’m a lavender farmer with an online product store, Lord and Lady Lavender, so I work from home in the day, out in the yard (weeding, planting, scooping poop) or inside on my website.

A few nights out of the month we play gigs. My partner and I have an acoustic duet, called Moonglow. We play mostly the beautiful old songs from the Hit Parade era, but also Country, Bluegrass, and Rock&Roll. You can find us (moonglow the duet) on YouTube, singingScotch and Soda and a few other hits.

As mentioned, my farm is the backdrop for The Jamie Keller Mystery Series. Jamie is a passionate musician, who experiences all of the highs and lows of the profession. Ouch!

Q:  Why do you think series books are so popular with young people?

A: I think for the same reasons they watch the same movie over and over. Familiarity is comforting.
Q:  What are you working on now?

A: I’m just wrapping up Under the Weather, book five. The story is figured and very close to done. I still have to draw the cover art and deal with the ever tedious task of editing, but I think it will be ready by July.

Q:  What are Lord and Lady Lavender Products?

A: Thanks for asking!

We specialize in lavender gift boxes for men and women; offering soaps, sprays, salts, lip balm, beeswax candles (we have three hives), and love potions. All are hand-crafted on our farm. We’re a small company so it’s more manageable than it sounds. We established in 2004 and grow a bit every year.
Q:  If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would you pick and why?

A: I’d choose The Cat in the Hat, because he’s such an artful trouble maker. I received a set of Dr. Seuss books for my fifth birthday and remember loving them so.

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 Hot Sauce Enthusiast Vic Clinco

vic hot

Vic Clinco is a hot sauce enthusiast who writes for Chile Pepper Magazine; here is a link to his Twitter page:

Q: What started your obsession with hot sauce?

A: I’m glad you used the word obsession because truly, that is what it is. As far back as I can remember, I have always loved spicy food. When I was a kid I can remember my family being in awe on the amount of red pepper flakes I would douse on my meals. Then like so many of us I moved upend cut my teeth on Tabasco. From there I sought out different types of sauces, again based on the wide availability, the Frank’s Red Hot, Crystal, Louisiana, but somewhere in my late high school years it was like a switch went off. I craved hotter and hotter, couldn’t find sauces hot enough and it’s been a quest ever since. This obsession has me scouring the internet for new sauces/company’s, treasure hunting every where I go, and carrying super hot chile powders and hot sauces with me every day.

Q:  What do you think of the Sriracha Sauce craze?

A: It’s crazy right, I think it’s absolutely phenomenal. I am a fan of Sriracha as a whole, now you do know that Sriracha is a style, a type of hot sauce right? So the one brand we almost automatically think of is from Huy Fong. It’s the bright red sauce, signature green lid, and the rooster on the label. But that is just one brand, there are hundreds of Sriracha’s out there, heck even Tabasco, Frank’s and other mainstream and typically Louisiana styled specific company’s have thrown their hat in the Sriracha Ring. It’s awesome! We have major fast food company’s with a huge array of Sriracha menu items, the snack food options have absolutely exploded, clothing items… I can’t be more excited. Anything that adds to and helps bring attention to the hot sauce industry as a whole, I’m all for. Because “I put that @%#& on everything”.

Q:  What are some of your favorite sauces and why?

A: Hands down I am partial to the Caribbean style sauces, I love that they tend to be thicker, pulpier with more pepper solids in them, and are bright with heat and almost explode with flavor. Some great and easy to locate examples are from Marie Sharp’s, Melinda’s and the Tropical Pepper Company. Though I am also a purest, I read the labels and the ingredients. My opinion is the simpler the better, if there a just a ton of ingredients a can’t pronounce, I typically pass, but I’ll collect it and put it on my shelves. I urge people who ask me “what should I get?” or “What’s good?”, get out and try sauces. Most people’s view into the hot sauce world is through their big box major grocery stores, man is that a small window of what is truly out there and available. In 2012 hot sauce production was the 8th fastest growing industry in the U.S. with thousands of small batch, artisan makers all over the country. There is so much incredible sauce made by incredible people its staggering. I tell people to hit the Farmers Markets, the Fresh Markets, the Produce Stands these are the places many of the producers go to sell their products. This way you can try before you buy, talk to the maker and ask questions. Another great outlet is the Hot Shop, the hot sauce and spicy food specific brick and mortar stores, yes a little harder to come by but growing in popularity and typically offer samples/tastings of sauces, you’ll just have to do some research to track one down around you.

Q:  What foods should people use hot sauce on that they don’t?

A: Um, everything! Have you tried a nice fruit based (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry) hot sauce on ice cream yet? I’m telling you, you are so missing out. Add a few drops of those same fruit based sauces to your pancake or waffle mix. Stir a good Chipotle sauce into your chocolate chip cookie dough before baking, it will give them a cool smokiness and hint of spice. For drink applications try CaJohn’s Frostbite,, it is a clear hot sauce that excels in drinks because it is colorless and flavorless, it just adds heat to whatever you put it in. Seriously it awesome in margaritas, rum punch, manhattans you name. Even protein shakes and energy drinks and awesome spicy addition when you’re juicing. It also adds a zing to pickles, olives and any pickled veggies. Hers a simple recipe you can use as a dip for practically anything from sliced fruit to fried foods and so much more; 1 cup Sriracha, 1cup mayo and 1/2 cup honey… Mix well serve chilled. Garnish with a little ground ginger and maybe some thinly sliced green onion.

Q:  What ingredients are key to a good hot sauce?

A: Just like in any cooking application; good, high quality products in will make the end product good and high quality, any Chef will concur. Your base ingredients can be as simple as chile peppers and vinegar, a little salt and pepper for seasoning and viola! Everything else is up to your tastes and/or your imagination. We are all different right, we all have different tastes, different likes and dislikes, and different heat tolerances. It’s a great time in hot sauce production right now because the popularity, the demand for flavor. Typically garlic, onion, and fruit are the most popular base ingredients, but again, sky’s the limit. I’ve had chocolate, coffee, beer, grapes, bacon, rum, and vodka just to name a few off the top of my head.

Q:  What sort of work do you do?

A: My day job is for US Foods, I am a manager for their Cash and Carry division called CHEF’STORE, it’s a restaurant supply store. But by night I’m a Hot Sauce Rock Star! I write for Chile Pepper Magazine, it’s the largest nationally distributed publication on everything spicy. My article is titled “Sauce & Tell” and it touches base on the history and origins of hot sauce, my travels in the hot sauce trade show circuit, the evolution of my collection, and provides recipes for sauces, dips, condiments and spicy yumminess. I also have the pleasure to work with CaJohn’s Fiery Foods, a spicy food manufacturer out of Columbus, Ohio. My wife and I travel with CaJohn’s to the major hot sauce shows around the country and help in the booth. I actually run a hot sauce challenge, it’s called CaJohn’s Execution Station. What I do is challenge willing victim’s heat tolerance, I start them off the a Ghost Pepper based hot sauce and then walk them up the line through seven more sauces, each one getting progressively hotter and hotter. Yes, I did say I START with the Ghost Pepper! Simple, if the willing victims can endure the pain/heat, not pass out on me, and not throw up on my table, it’s happens, then they win cool swag and my undying admiration.

Q:  What is the rarest bottle of hot sauce you have in your collection?

A: Not to brag, well maybe a little, but I’m fortunate enough to have some really cool and rare pieces in The Collection, I’ve been collecting for 20 years now and have some really exquisite pieces. I have one called Extreme Heat from Hell Fire Hot Sauce, there are only 5 of them in existence now. I have a very valued to me #1 of 10 signed Christmas Adam & Eve set from CaJohn’s, also a #1 of 10 10 oz. signed, wax topped Death from Blair’s & Extreme Foods. I could keep going, there are a lot of rare and hard to find bottles, many low numbered reserves and collectables throughout the room and I’m always looking to add more. I actually adopted a friends collection not to long ago and made a home for some really old bottles, some cool prototypes and unique pieces. Global hot sauce world domination is my goal and I will not deviate from my plan until I see it through.

Q:  How did you get your job at Chile Pepper Magazine?

A: We were introduced at a hot sauce show in Louisiana, some of our friends who are hot sauce makers told them about our collection. Like the proud pappa I am, I whipped out my iPad and showed them pictures of The Collection. Also back in the day I was a hot sauce reviewer for a couple of blogs, with that experience and like any time I get talking about hot sauce, my passion floods through. I also have a trained culinary background, a few years ago I decided I needed a change, I had been in retail with a company for 21 years. I made the decision to attend Culinary School, part of the academic requirements was to do an internship. I did mine with the Four Seasons in Scottsdale Arizona and ended up staying on with them and running the employee dining program, I cooked for the troops. Putting all of this together, joining the Chile Pepper Team seemed to be the perfect fit.


Q:  Are your friends hot sauce fans as well; are there parties?

A: Yes, a lot of them are and whenever anyone comes over the the house, the first discussion or topic is always hot sauce. The room is right when you come in, hard not to pass up. We entertain in there and yes I do host parties and get togethers in it as well… There’s an open invite by the way, just sayin’. I typically make spicy margaritas, put out some chips and cover the table with different sauces from all over the world so we can get our sauce on. I generally have over hundred or so in my pantry and between 30 to 40 in the fridge at all times.  I guess I could also consider my house as a tasting room serving hot sauce flights.

Q:  What is the best hot sauce for a Bloody Mary?

A: In my humble opinion a good Caribbean style Scotch Bonnet or Habanero sauce, I find that there thicker style tends to hold up better in the heavy tomato and spice recipe. Also the natural fruitiness of the Habs give the Bloody Mary a pop. I have found that the thinner heavy vinegar Louisiana style sauce dont hold up as well in making good Bloody’s, they seem to do much better in wing sauce applications. Though with the multitude of sauce options out there, you can take your Bloody Mary in different directions. Say you want to garnish one with bacon, well then I would suggest bacon hot sauce, What if you were looking do to one with a Southwestern flair, then go withHeartbreaking Dawns 1542 a Chocolate Habanero (Referring to the brown/chocolate color of the chile pepper),

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 Aspiring Musician Max Beebe


Max Beebe is an aspiring musician; here is a link to his website:


Q: When did you know you wanted to be a singer?

A: I actually didn’t know I could sing until 2012. I was always into the hip-hop scene and never really branched out until 2012. I fell in love with music once I started recording on my computer. One day I was composing a song and played back my recording and my heart had a sudden rush of warmth and joy, at that moment I knew this is my purpose.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A:  To be completely honest I love all artists who are just themselves. From B.B. King to Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson to Johnny Cash. Everyone knows the struggle of being an artist and all who make a living doing their passion, is an influence to me.

Q: What inspired you to write Break Your Heart?

A: I do everything by ear, I go into the studio and compose the instrumental first and usually start with the chorus. I then just start singing and let my heart guide me to the words and that’s really what happens. So needless to say it was the music I composed that inspired me to write Break Your Heart.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it help or hinder your pursuit of a career in music?

A: I work at a bank and let’s just say the corporate world isn’t for me.

I’ve had a lot of job’s and those experience’s motivate me to the life I want to live.

Q: What has been your greatest triumph as a musician?

A: So far, it was filming my first music video. It took months to finish but finally all the

people that helped me out and myself completed this project and published


Q: What was your biggest let down?

A: I’m pretty self conscious believe it or not and I do struggle with stage fright.

Q: What do you like about the Boston music scene?

A: The diversity it has from all the different genre’s. I grew up in small towns so when you go to Boston or New York you have a lot to choose from.

Q: What would you change about it?

A: It is and always will be about who you know in this world at anything you do. Unfortunately you could be the best singer but if you don’t know anyone that can get you truly exposed then you won’t get too far in this music industry. It’s a popularity contest and I just wish that people judged you on talent not looks.

Q: Who do you think are some underrated artist in music today?

A: Like I said before it’s a popularity contest and there are always going to be under dogs that have the true passion and drive. But the top band who I personally think is the most underrated would be, Blackberry Smoke. They made a classic song called: Shakin’ Hands With the Holy Ghost.

Q: What classic rock song do they play in the movie of your life?

A: Definitely would be Shakin’ Hands With the Holy Ghost. Everything about it screams classic rock so in my opinion you can’t go wrong.

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 Gary Allison

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Gary Allison is the author of the book The Final Round; here is a link to his website:



Q:  What made you start writing in the first place?

A: I’m not sure. I like stories. My family told stories, some good, some bad, some repeated. I wrote as a teenager. It was garbage. Writing was for sissies and I’d be damn if anyone called me a sissy. The teenage years were secret notebooks of cringe inducing plots, incomplete philosophical assaults birthed from a black hearted, greasy teen whose mind was preoccupied with getting laid or lying about getting laid. They were awful years: the pimpled years.

Once eighteen, the writing stopped. I joined the Navy and proceeded to indulge in worldly customs that mainly involved experimental liver endurance tests. I was an iron man. When I wasn’t working at defending this great nation of ours single handedly from the evils of communism and dust bunnies, I was making hazy memories with some of the best people I had ever met or will meet. Those were great years, basement-feeding years, and the type of life experiences that fed the grumpy-gutted muse waiting for me to get off my lazy ass. Those were the pickled years.

Upon a mutually agreed upon honorable discharge, I was still young, newly married and somehow unaware that writing was a worthy pursuit, maybe even an occupation. I enrolled in college, knocked around a bit, landed in some film classes and creative writing classes. The grumpy-gutted muse awakened. He was fat, tired of waiting, and ready to get back in shape. I started writing beyond the assignments, devouring the discipline, the process, the joy of having something to say and having people wanting to read what I wrote. I was lucky. I had a professor that encouraged me, telling me I should publish, that I should keep working at it. I was good. I was damn good. And I enjoyed the hell out of it. Those were the positive years.

I told my wife that I wanted to pursue writing. She was all for it, but I still needed to get a job. So, I worked and I wrote and I continued going to college. I filled boxes with rejection slips. I dropped out of college. I worked. I wrote. I worked more. Those were the punishing years.

I sold my first piece of writing in 2008. It was a screenplay. We are now in the positively punishing pickled years. The pimpled years couldn’t make it. I wouldn’t change a thing, except to publish sooner.

Q:  What is The Final Round About?

A: The Final Round is a non-fiction novel. I know how that sounds. How can a story be non-fiction and a novel? It wasn’t easy. The research lasted a year, involved newspaper articles, blurbs in books, and insight from surviving family members. All resources were vague or incomplete. I pieced together the story, filled the holes with probabilities and imagination that went along with the times and combined some characters. It was no longer a biography, but it wasn’t completely fiction, either. Enter the non-fiction novel, á la In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

The Final Round is based on the true story of 1920s heavyweight boxer Billy Miske. He was the best around and on his way to becoming heavyweight champion of the world, but life had other plans. Billy would give the ultimate sacrifice, carving his name in the stone slabs of boxing history and in the hearts of his family. It’s a good book. You should read it.


Q:  What makes Billy Miske different from other literary boxers?

A: The main thing that makes Billy different is that he was a living and breathing, flesh and blood human being. He was real, with real ambitions, hopes and dreams. He had real struggles, real drama and real disappointments. Billy Miske not only fought hard, but he loved hard. His story is an inspirational one, because it shows that no matter how hard life hits, you can always hit back.

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

A: I work part time in a local government office. It pays well enough for me to work fulltime at writing. I lucked out. The job fell into my lap and I took it. It beats the hell out of freelancing. It’s tough to be a freelance writer in this country. Writing is something that everyone just does. You learn how to write in grade school, for crying out loud, so paying someone to do it seems silly! It’s an underappreciated discipline. That is, until you have to do it. Pennies on the word is a crime against humanity! Most writers need to work day or night jobs. Some aren’t as lucky as me. Bureaucracy is a working writer’s best friend. However, I long for the day when the writing supports itself.

Q:  What are some common mistakes rookie filmmakers maker when it comes to sound?

A: Some may read this and think, “What the hell does he know about filmmaking or sound?” A writer writes, but he also does a thousand other jobs, too. I worked in television and film for about ten years and I still keep a toe dipped in the cesspool.

I was an executive producer for one of the largest sound effects producers in the world, The Detroit Chop Shop. We produced sound effects for television, film, gaming, radio, and anything that wanted noises. I attended many film festivals, screened hundreds of films and talked to many new filmmakers. Most films from new filmmakers and some from veteran filmmakers have glaring sound issues.  I think it was George Lucas that said something like, “Sound is fifty percent of filmmaking.” I may be paraphrasing. So, here are some things filmmakers need to consider when it comes to sound:

Location – If you have a scene on the beach or near a freeway or in a casino or inside a factory or in a dog kennel or anywhere else that has roaring, slamming, zipping, swooshing, crashing, wailing, screeching, barking, or anything loud constantly slamming your eardrums, you are going to ADR that scene. Try to avoid those locations. If it’s in your script then change it. Save yourself the headache.

Experience – It pays to have an experienced sound operator on set. Let me rephrase that. You have to pay to have an experienced sound operator on set. A professional sound operator will save you time and money when it comes to your film. If you skimp, you’ll pay in the end in more ways than one, but mainly in greenbacks. A professional sound operator comes with professional equipment that he or she knows how to use. Budget for one.

Sound editing – Your film editor is not a sound editor. Sound editing is important just as film editing is important. If you don’t edit your sound, it’s a mess.

Mixing – Your film editor is not a sound mixer. Budget for a sound mixer and let him or her do what they know best – mix your film. If you capture the best sound possible on set (see location and experience), the sound mixer’s job will go smoother. If not, well… start cutting more checks and more checks. Save the dough by taking the location and experience advice and save time in the mix.

Foley – Ever watched a film without Foley work? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Music – What your actors are saying is more important than the cool score your composer made for you, or your brother’s original song. Take it easy with the tunes.

That’s it for common mistakes and advice. Next week we’ll cover mic placement… Sorry, I was having flashbacks, back in the bush, green boom operators surrounding me. You’re in the shot! Know your framing!

Q:  Do you think working in sound helps you to make contacts in the film industry that can help you with your writing or do you think that industry professionals tend to pigeonhole you as “the sound guy?”

A: In my case, the answer was yes. I sold my first screenplay to a producer I worked sound for on an earlier film. Networking is natural on a film set. Most people are looking for their next gig; some are looking to move on, climb up the ladder. Working in sound was great for me. There was a lot of downtime, more time for brainstorming, outlining and writing. If anything, you get to work on your voice and style. I was lucky to have a good pitch for a script in a genre the producer was hunting. Timing was everything. I never felt pigeonholed, though. I always considered myself a writer. Working in sound was just like any job for me. I could have been milking goats and I would have still considered myself a writer and not a goat milker, no matter what anybody said. I’ll always be a writer, come hell or high water.

Q:  What inspires you about Detroit?

A: Detroit is a strange city. It’s a mythical city, often talked about, but never actually seen. Most who talk bad about Detroit have never even driven through it. They only know what the media tells them and the media is full of so much shit that they are responsible for eighty-four percent of methane released into the atmosphere according to world-renowned experimental scientist Godfrey Hornsickle of the Hornsickle and Oats Studies in Flatulent Impacts. The media is single handedly burning a hole in the ozone, by god! The damn polar bears are sweating to the oldies because of these bastards! Get those oily mouthpieces off the air!

Detroiters inspire me: the people, especially those that have dug in for the hard battle, for the long war. Time and pressure, rare jewels, veterans willing and able to do whatever it takes, these are Detroiters. No matter the cost, no matter the shit storm, no matter the sneers from outside the city walls, Detroiters are ready for anything and they are survivors. Only optimists are born in Detroit.

Q:  What about it would you change?

A: I would change one thing. It would be nice to have a winning football team. Thank Jesus for hockey.

Q:  Who are some of your literary influences (and why)?

A: Hemingway is my favorite. I love everything he wrote, except one. I hate For Whom the Bell Tolls. But he was a damn fine writer. I love the simplicity of his writing, but I love the rhythm even more. He said he was always trying to break the writing down to its simplest form. I’m not sure he achieved it, but he came close.

Stephen King is another. He isn’t the best writer, but he can spin a tale. King reminds me that story is primary and that all else is secondary. Tell a good story and the reader will forgive your literary mistakes.

Elmore Leonard is another influence. He was a hometown writer and he took writing to a much higher level, especially when it came to dialogue. Of all the writers that I read, I study Leonard. That bastard has a new lesson no matter how many times you read him.

Nelson DeMille is in there, too. He’s another good storyteller, but for me, it’s about communicating wit. DeMille is the master of literary wit. He’s always a fun read.

And finally, there is Mary Shelley. We’re only talking about one book – Frankenstein. Reading it changed my life. That book has so much to offer. It’s filled with drama, horror, despair, joy, love, death, meaning, hope and hopelessness wrapped up into a tiny book, written by a young lady on a bet. Amazing. I think she won.

Q:  What are some of the things you have done to publicize your writing.

A: Short of running naked through the streets and waving my books in the air, I’ve done almost everything. Facebook has been the biggest. I created an author’s page ( That boosted sales considerably. I use Twitter (@gwallison). It’s a good way to stay above water. I’ve done interviews, blogged, had giveaways, sold them from my trunk, and placed ads online. It’s a fulltime job and wears you down, but until I put enough money together to bribe the New York Times Bestseller list, it’s a must do. However, with the novel I’m writing now, I’m going the more traditional route, nailing down an agent and shopping the big boys in New York. Put a little marketing muscle behind the pulp.

Mr. Allison’s portrait was done by Bowen Kline

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