Month: August 2016

An Interview With Jazz Musician Greg London

greg-london-nola

 

 

Greg London is a jazz trumpeter who runs the website Jazz Trumpet Licks; here is a link to the site:

http://jazztrumpetlicks.com/

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to play jazz?

A: I knew I wanted to play jazz back when I first started playing trumpet. I was a little older than 10 years old when I started. One of my older sisters bought me Louis Armstrong and Chet Baker cassette tapes and I fell in love with the music. I began transcribing the solos mentally so I could play along with Armstrong and Baker. It was a lot of fun!

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: Some of my musical influences include of course a lot of the great jazz musicians out there. I love listening to Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Wynton Marsalis, and Arturo Sandoval to name a few. I love listening to all type of music and I don’t discriminate to only listening to trumpet players.

Q: How did your website come about?

A: How did jazztrumpetlicks.com come about? I first got the idea when I told a fellow Navy Band trumpet player that he should start a blog to help teach trumpet players what he has learned over the years. He wasn’t interested, but that’s when it clicked for me. I got the idea to share the various jazz licks I learned over the years. I guess the idea originally was inspired by a website that has since disappeared off the Internet called trumpetstuff.com. This website used to have all kinds of cool trumpet videos on it. This was before YouTube became the place to go for free entertainment.

I then realized it would be better to invite other musicians to contribute to the website the jazz licks they’ve learned over the years. I currently have over 20 interested jazz musicians, but not too many have taken action yet to contribute videos. I’m even willing to pay them for their time and content. I’m hoping this will change in the future.

Q: What exactly constitutes a jazz lick?

A: A jazz lick is a pattern which fits over a chord change. It can be a single chord, or a pattern like a ii V7 I pattern. There are whole tone type patterns which skip around in 4ths going up or down in whole steps, etc.. Of course there are major and minor licks as well.

Q: How does your work as a web designer fit in with the jazz lifestyle?

 

A: I am a full-time web programmer so I play trumpet for fun now. I will try and get a paid gig here and there, but I really don’t need the money. It’s just fun to play every once in a while. I mean I spend the last 20+ years of my life improving my skills as a trumpet player, I’m not going to let all those hours of practicing go down the drain. In fact, I used to practice 5-12 hours a day at one point in my life. It was all I wanted to do. I now dedicate my life to programming. I love building various web applications whether they are straight up websites, mobile apps, or software applications you install on your computer.

Q:  Is it inspiring or intimidating to play jazz in New Orleans?

A: It is definitely both inspiring and intimidating to play jazz in New Orleans. There are so many talented musicians here most people have never heard of that should have their own albums. I love listening to the play and I’m honored to play along with them when I get the chance.

Q: What is your most memorable performance experience?

A:  My most memorable performance experience would be a performance I did in Vladivostok Russia with the Navy Band back around 2003. The reason why it was so interesting is because of what happened after the gig was over. I and a few other younger guys in the band had Russian girls begging us to marry them. I couldn’t believe it. We also had drinks with the locals. I found out Russians are like Americans. They speak their language and expect you to be able to understand what they are saying. This isn’t 100% true though. Most Russians are bilingual as far as I know.

Q:  What kind of training have you had?

A: I had a trumpet teacher growing up, but was mostly self taught because I didn’t start taking lessons until a few years of practicing. I was going to get a degree in music performance, but realized that probably wasn’t the best degree for me to get. This is why I joined the Navy Band. I could play music and have more time & money to pay for college and decide what I really want to major in. I did attend the School of Music in Little Creek Virginia back in 2000. It was a great school as I wasn’t really into music theory initially.

Q:  What one thing would you change about the jazz scene in New Orleans?

A: I wouldn’t change anything about the jazz scene in NOLA. Music is so random and unique here. I could be walking down Canal Street and hear a brass band playing at any time of the day it seems. I love it here.

Q: If you could travel back in time and play with any famous jazz quartet which one would you pick and why?

A: I would love to go back in time to play with the Max Roach band back when Clifford Brown was in it. There really wouldn’t be a need for me to play since Clifford was a jazz genius. I would just like to have the chance to watch and listen to him perform live.

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 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:

 

 

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.