Month: October 2016

An Interview With Photographer Nicholas Makhonuk

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Nicholas Makhonuk is a photographer; here is a link to his website:
nickmphoto.com

 

 

Q:  What made you interested in photography?

 

A: Photography peaked my interest once the iPhone 4 was out.

I was about 17 at the time and Instagram had also been released. The mixture of exploring new places and being inspired to use my phone as a camera had it really easy to start photographing.

 

Q:  What kind of training have you had?

 

A: All my training has been through on the field, youtube or learning from a few other photographers on the job.

 

Q:  What kinds of things do you like to photograph?

 

A: I enjoy city scapes and landscape for personal photography. Street photography can be fun also. As far as clients and events I prefer to photograph weddings because of the many emotions that go with it.

 

Q: What do you hope to express through your work?

 

A: I hope to capture beautiful images and moments naturally. I want to make sure when you get your images you say wow I remember exactly that moment like it just happened.

 

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

 

A:  I do photography full time.

 

Q: Who are some of your influences?

 

A: I am influenced by conversations, the places I visit and the books I read.

 

Q:  What have you done to promote yourself?

 

A: My promotion has just been the typical online marketing :facebook, instagram etc.

 

Q:  What do you like about living in San Francisco?

 

A: I am no longer in the bay area but in Los Angeles. I moved here because of the huge media industry and great weather 🙂

 

Q:  What would you change about it?
A: I would make Los Angeles have less traffic. Uber pool is a bit of a start for this problem.

 

 

Q: What is the oddest thing you have ever photographed?

 

A: I photograph odd times often. Often there is a silly expression that I capture and think if only this person knew how they look like. and then they do:)

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

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An Interview With Writer John Ramaine

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John Ramaine is the author of the novel, “A long Time Ago”; here is a link to the Amazon page:

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Long-Time-Ago-Dreams-Sometimes/dp/1469948907/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?ie=UTF8&keywords=john%20ramaine&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&qid=1475582735&ref_=mp_s_a_1_1&sr=1-1#

 

 

Q: What is A Long Time Ago about?

 

A: The essential premise is plainly expressed in this axiom, ‘What if the mistakes you’ve made could be erased creating a path for you to fulfill your destiny’?  This question crosses many lines and is capped with a ‘what if I’ or ‘if only’.  Many books and stories have been penned using this idea.  The way I went about making it my own was through the influence of films and the iconic images they leave in the human psyche.  I used the paradigm of time travel to convey a personal story, using the film industry as a backdrop.

 

Q: What made you want to write about time travel?

 

A: Time travel allows us to fulfill our deepest desire in having personal involvement with a particular period, setting or era long since gone.  It’s also an interesting way of correcting your mistakes while retaining the memory of why you made the mistakes and how you never want to repeat them.  But as in any time travel story, just because you correct a mistake doesn’t mean that the alteration doesn’t have its own set of problems.  Probabilities and dimensions come into play.  It’s discovered in A LONG TIME AGO that mistakes are a part of who we are and how we’ve become who we’ve become.  It allows the reader to travel with the writer and experience the unexpected that comes about in trying to work out what happens in fixing the very thing that led you to the time machine in the first place.  And if you try to fix the mistake, do you still find the time machine and try to correct the mistake that essentially never happened?  It can play with your mind a little.

 

Q: What would you say the theme of the book is?

 

A: When you open the cover of the book, there is a caption written at the bottom of the first page; ‘Dreams never die, they just sometimes get put on hold.’  Every dream and desire we have as individuals is plainly attainable through our imagination.  But just because you get a dream or a vision to create something or be someone, it doesn’t automatically fall onto your lap.  It may take time…years even, to reach a glimmer of what you see inside of yourself.  You face delays and setbacks that are constantly screaming at you to give up and that it’s never going to happen.  But the impediments along your path are maturing you in ways that nothing ever can.  Time permits the lesson of patience and experience.  Nick Webb, the main character in A LONG TIME AGO goes through this on a constant level.  Numerous setbacks and personal problems are the theme of life for every character ever written.  It’s how they come out of it that’s worth the price of admission.   And also, after the dedication, I added a page long quote that icon, James Dean said during his struggling days as an actor.  It is a very satisfying passage and lends largely to the theme of the novel.

 

Q: Who inspired the character of Nick Webb?

 

A: This being my first novel was originally birthed from a screenplay.  And like anything that’s first, it’s born from you.  Every experience the character feels and goes through is in some way my own.  Broken dreams and disappointments that cascade on Nick are merely a reflection of myself, save for the heightened sense of his environment.  Nick has a strong moral background and impression of what’s good and what’s evil.  He is also a movie guy who has an appreciation for the cinematic arts and hates to see it succumb to the banal influence of social media and the demographic pie chart.  Nick is a man who knows he has a destiny to fulfill.  He is a man of principle and like myself, a dreamer with purpose.  When I read the book and the description of Nick, I see myself.  Anyone who knows me wouldn’t be able to separate the two.

 

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

 

A: In addition to writing, I am also an actor.  I was just hired to play Banquo in Frog and Peach’s Main Stage production of Macbeth here in New York City.  It’s wonderful but doesn’t pay squat.  Like any creative person trying to break through, I have had numerous jobs in my journey to help make ends meet.  Anything from census taker, theater usher, dog walker, furniture mover, vacuum cleaner salesman, flower shop delivery boy, ice cream scooper, envelope stuffer and pen salesman to name a few.  I’ve also done film industry jobs working as a production assistant, first AD, casting assistant, hand model and photo double to name some.  As of last week, I worked as a greeter.  All of these jobs keep me hungry in pursuit of success in my field.  They don’t require a heavy mental strain, which allows me to concentrate on more important matters.  The experience of meeting new people in these positions adds a myriad of characters and circumstances that feed the writer in me.  It’s all cataloged quite well.  But mostly, and I would be remiss in not mentioning that it is my wife Julie who is the main breadwinner.  Her indissoluble spirit of faith in me, as an actor and writer keeps her doing what she does in helping me get to where I need to go…for now.

 

Q: What sort of educational background do you have?

 

A: I never took a novel writing class but I did take various seminars along the way on screenwriting.  I attended the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU for a year before dropping out but that was for film productions mostly.  A LONG TIME AGO was born from a screenplay I wrote.  In a way I was very pleased that it didn’t get produced.  Despite a wonderful stage presentation and some interest from film producers, it just didn’t get off the ground.  But I could not, for the life of me, let the story go.  It was too personal and important to just die on the shelf.  The story needed to be expanded but I had no idea how to do that.  One day, while taking a walk, I was presented with a choice.  My heart spoke very clearly, ‘Write the novel.’  I had an epiphany.  This was the answer in taking the story to places that a screenplay could not go, while at the same time reaching deep into the character’s motives and intentions.  I knew a screenplay could only skim the surface.  It made all the sense in the world but the problem was that I’ve never written anything like this.  I had no idea how to start.  Through Julie’s encouragement I simply jumped into the process, mistakes and all.  I began writing A LONG TIME AGO, using the screenplay as a template.

 

Q: What are some of the writing influences and how is this evidenced in your book?

 

A: The voice in the book is my own.  During the process of writing, I would read out sections to Julie to get her reaction.  She noticed a gist of Mickey Spillane in the narrative, the way things were being set up and resolved.  I really appreciated that since I read a few of Spillane’s books, which obviously seeped into my subconscious.  I also thoroughly enjoyed reading Vonnegut, so he may have gotten in there as well.  I would say that my main influence is the movies.  Filmmakers tell the story through pictures.  As writers, we tell our story through words.  When people read our stuff, they have to see it.  It has to be visual.  This is the link to the imagination, taking the reader where the writer wants them to go.  I do believe that this is my gift as a writer, in that I describe everything to a visual term.  I take you there, making the story all the more enjoyable.

 

Q: What are some of the things you have done to promote your book?

 

A: First of all, the book is a self-published work on Amazon.  I never ran it through an editor nor did I take it to publishers.  I never really saw it beyond my ability to self-publish and just put it out there.  A LONG TIME AGO is a near diary of my life, not to the events that surround the main character but his emotions and the sacred oaths he takes in pursuing the high road.  My intention was to get this novel on the record.  It was a challenge I’m glad I reached.  There are also particular intricacies that I wanted secured in my name, which includes a high level of science acumen regarding the time traveling device.  Should the book ever get optioned, I will have secured the actual idea.  In the meanwhile, like everyone else, I created A LONG TIME AGO Facebook page that is accessible for view.  Every once in a while I will promote my book on my regular Facebook wall.  The first couple of years I did receive residual checks, although that’s kind of dried up now.  I also read the favorable reviews on the Amazon site, which are amazing.  In the years since its availability, I have had many friends who expressed interest in reading it.  In return I simply asked for an honest review.  Good or bad.  Yet, I have not received any reviews from the people who said they bought it.  The book does run a tad over six hundred pages, so there is a commitment to it, but because it involves films, science, romance and action, I was counting on reaching the better nature of my colleagues.  I’m still waiting.  I do have grander plans for the book; I’m just not able to articulate them now.

 

Q: Why do you think old Hollywood fascinates people?

 

A: The movies of our past and I include anything before 1980, left indelible impressions that have found their place in our vernacular.  Images of Bogie, Marilyn, Wayne, Liz, Brando and Cagney, et al, exist in our subconscious.  They live and breathe in our movements.  We quote them, enact them and watch them repeatedly.  Books rarely do this and television never.  Movies built our myths.  They are the foundation of our dreams.  They are handed down generation after generation because they still speak to us.  We don’t judge or ever get weary of them.  Also, the movies exhibited a tone of class and elegance.  This is surely lacking in today’s cinematic culture, which distributes soon forgotten and rarely quoted content.  Actors don’t carry the same impact that the old actors emanated.  This is an ongoing mention in A LONG TIME AGO, a sort of personal frustration on my end.  Also, old Hollywood appears remote and otherworldly, as seen through the prism of its current state.  It’s unattainable.  The character of Nick Webb goes back there and finds a spirit of renewal.  This is the reader’s opportunity to go with him and feel refreshed.

 

Q: If you had a time machine what would you change in the history of film?

 

A: Great question and it is answered in the book.  The character of Nick Webb is rebuffed in going back through a documentary to change history.  I hope this doesn’t give away too much.  I will share that the most recognized film in history is the Zapruder film, which documented the assassination of JFK.  Like Nick Webb, I would eagerly figure out the most accessible way to stop the assassination.  And I would do it over and over again until I got it right.  But part of the problem comes back to alternate dimensions and outcomes.  Are things meant to be?  Can we really correct the past?  In A LONG TIME AGO, the movies play a big role in answering that question.  But this very dilemma is presented in the book and for anyone interested in the assassination; it is a fascinating approach to an event that we, in our imagination, still try to solve.

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 Ilanna Sharon Mandel

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Ilanna Sharon Mandel is the author of The Bridge of Haunted Souls; here is a link to her website:

https://www.amazon.ca/Bridge-Haunted-Ilanna-Sharon-Mandel-ebook/dp/B01BAXHM6A

 

Q: What is The Bridge of Haunted Souls about?

A: The Bridge of Haunted Souls is an action-adventure in magical realism inspired by Jewish mysticism and a belief in the enduring need to hope for an afterlife. It’s a novel that explores the importance of friendship and loyalty, especially for young teens. In the story, Tamar is contacted by her young cousin Gabriella who recently died in an accident. Tamar and her two friends Rachel and Diana brave an adventure through an ancient cemetery, and the bridge between the world of the living and the afterlife. Their guide is Bruria, the Guardian of Souls. The three friends learn the terrible truth about what happened to Gabrielle and how she plans to re-enter the world of the living, so that Tamar will take her place in the world of the dead.

 

Q: What experiences in your life inspired you to write the book?

 

A: I have been writing practically my entire life. I published my first poem when I was 16 and never looked back. It has been my dream to publish novels. I recall being a young girl in Regina, Saskatchewan, when the famous writer W.O. Mitchell (Who Has Seen the Wind) came to our school and gave a reading. I was transfixed. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a writer. This novel in particular was inspired by my own childhood experiences with my friends when we found an ancient gravestone out on the prairies. We concocted an entire story for the gravestone, although we never did learn the truth about it.

 

Q: What makes Tamar an interesting character?

 

A: To me Tamar is interesting because she’s not a caricature of someone; she’s a full person. She is smart, adventurous, funny and kind, but she also worries and always feels she has to be in charge. Tamar finds it hard to hold back; she’s always interested in moving forwards. From her parents, who are archaeologists, she gained a love for adventure. But, she has an incredibly open mind, and so although the wonders of the afterlife are revealed to her, she’s ready to see them. Tamar is also a loyal friend and is always watching out for Rachel and Diana. Ultimately, her sense of responsibility and love for Gabrielle set her off on the adventure to begin with. So, she’s very brave, but in many ways also a regular teenage girl.

 

Q: Why do you think people are so fascinated by the afterlife?

 

A: Because it’s the ultimate question in life; what happens after we die. We all want to know. Some people have a deep-rooted belief that when we die, our souls live on, while others believe that death is nothing, and still others don’t know what to believe. It is one of the most enduring issues of our human existence.

 

Q: You work as an instructional designer; what does the job entail?

 

A: As an instructional designer, I do a lot of different things; I write curriculum, training, courses, workshops, create e-learning, interactive learning, and write live action and animation scripts. I have had the opportunity to work for a broad spectrum of clients and a huge range of topics. I focus a lot on the healthcare and education sectors, and am a specialist on disability-related issues.

 

Q: What is the least effective thing you have done to promote your book?

A: I think the least effective thing I have done is announce it on Facebook. People just don’t seem to pay any attention because there is so much going on all the time, the information just gets lost.

 

 

 

Q: What famous writer would you most like to meet?

A: I would love to meet Ursula K. Le Guin. She is truly my idea of a complete writer. Ursula has written in fantasy, science fiction, academia and practical, informative articles. She’s a brilliant woman whose work in science fiction is some of the most seminal writing that exists today. As a writer she brings a strong social conscience to her stories, and always develops deeply complex yet relatable pieces. She is one of the reasons I began writing in science fiction.

 

Q: What is the best advice you have gotten about writing?

 

A: Find your own voice and don’t give up. I believe strongly in these twin principles. It’s imperative as a writer that one doesn’t try to mimic or sound like anyone else. All writers are inspired by others, but don’t try to emulate them. Take the time to find your voice and your stories. Write about the topics and situations that are most meaningful to you. And, don’t give up. I’m in my 60s and publishing my first novel.

 

Q: What are you working on now?

 

A: I’m currently three quarters of the way through my second novel, entitled Prairie’s Edge. The novel is quite a departure from this novel as it’s far more adult in nature, although the protagonist is a 16-year-old girl named Lesley who lives in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada. Lesley copes with a plethora of challenges – her Mom is an alcoholic and has brought a strange, drifter to live with them, and then her dying grandfather comes to stay so he can die with his family around him.  Lesley feels her world closing in on her and only wants to escape the prairies. Her mother ends up in rehab and the drifter named Grant becomes a seminal figure in her life, who helps her to take care of her dying grandfather.

 

Q:  If you could bring anyone back to the land of the living, who would it be and why?

 

A: I would bring back my Mom. We lost her young and it was quite shocking as she died of a brain aneurysm no one knew she had. My father came home to find her in a terrible state and called the ambulance, but she passed away quickly. We were extremely close, and her way of raising me was to tell me stories. Whenever I asked her a question, she invariably had a story to tell me. She was also a talented writer, as was her brother (who won major awards for his poetry). My Mom was writing her own first novel when she died, so sadly, it was never finished.

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 Reality TV Contestant Katie Mills

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Katie Mills appeared on the second season of reality show The Mole; here is a link to one of the episodes:

 

Q: What made you interested in being on The Mole?

 

A:  I watched the first season and was able to immediately tell who the mole was. I thought I can do this. I jokingly said something in class and my students told me I should try out for the show. So I did.

Q: Do you believe you were portrayed fairly?

A:  I think they portrayed me just how I was. A young, emotional woman. It’s interesting to see myself now and think WOW have I grown up so much.
Q: Who got the best edit on the show and who do you think got the worst?

A:  I honestly think everyone was fairly edited. I think it would have been tough to edit anyone badly as we were all so friendly with each other.
Q: How has reality TV changed since you were on it?

A: There’s a lot of bullying on reality tv now. I love Reality TV and I think because I participated in it I will always love it. However, some of the ways women treat each other and talk over each other on shows. That’s not entertainment.
Q: Are you still a school teacher?

A: No. I left teaching a year and a half later. I moved out of Penacook, NH and moved to Maine. I got involved in insurance and I absolutely love it. I have to deal with people like I would deal with students, but it’s now behind a desk instead of in front of a classroom.
Q: Have you ever auditioned for another reality show? No. I wanted to try Amazing Race but that application was way more complicated than the Mole one was.
A: Your IMDB page says you have worked as a crew member on several short films. Are you interested in film or television production yourself? I’m not sure who edited my IMDB page. The crew stuff and short films is not me. I have only been on the Mole. I love film, however. I remember asking production of the Mole if this would get me a SAG card. They just laughed at me.


Q:
Who do you still talk to from the cast and what have they been up to?

A: Facebook makes everything easier now. When one of the producers, Clay Newbill, won an Emmy for Shark Tank – I messaged him to Congratulate him. We all say hello and banter on FB but it’s been 15 years. We grow up and life changes. I think I hear from Bill the most.


Q:
How real is the television show, Unreal? ( It is on Hulu if you haven’t seen it.)

A: I have watched Unreal. Reality tv wasn’t like that when I was on it, but it doesn’t surprise me now if it was that way.
Q: What advice would you have for someone who is considering going on a reality show?

A: Think LONG and HARD about it. In today’s world, everything is available to the populous due to social medial. Luckily, my stint on reality tv was positive, but some of these women who go on other shows to find a suiter or do crazy adventures could be exploitive. I was very lucky that ABC, at the time, was very Disney and Family oriented.

 

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 Derek Thompson

 

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Derek Thompson is the author of The Spy Chaser series; here is a link to his website:

 

http://alongthewritelines.blogspot.com/

 

Q: What inspired you to start your Spy Chaser series?

 

A: When I attended a novel writing summer school a few years ago the main character just arrived in my head. I knew he was a photographer so I asked him why he was doing and why, and followed the thread of my imagination. I saw right away that he worked in surveillance, but I also wanted to know about his personal life. How does someone compartmentalise their work and their relationships, and what happens when the barriers break down?

 

As a fan of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, I chose to create rounded and morally complex characters and then added some snappy dialogue to produce my version of a contemporary British noir. I wanted to write about a different kind of ‘hero’ – the kind that doesn’t have killer martial arts moves, and who isn’t a crack marksman. In that respect, Thomas Bladen is a fairly ordinary person (on the surface!) in extraordinary circumstances. He has a relationship with Miranda and her family, a woman he clearly loves (and who doesn’t take any crap from him!), and almost no relationship with his own family.

 

Usually when you read thrillers and spy stories most if not all of the working dynamics are already established, but I wanted to watch a group of people form a bond, learn to trust one another over time – with a few false starts – and gradually come together as a team. I also wanted to explore what makes someone go into a job where they need to keep other people’s secrets, and hide their own.

 

In the interests of disclosure I should add that while I’m no spy, I did once help someone track down and turn the tables on a blackmailer and I have been a casual victim of gun crime in the past. You draw upon what you know…

 

 

Q: What is the series about?

 

A: In the first book, Standpoint, Thomas Bladen has worked in the UK government’s Surveillance Support Unit for two years, but has kept it hidden from those closest to him. One decision – to withhold some evidence until he can investigate it privately – is the loose thread that steadily unravels his carefully controlled existence.

 

Thomas discovers what his colleague, Karl McNeill, already knows – that parts of the SSU are being used to gather intelligence by the Shadow State: a United States of Europe that no one has voted for, run by industrialists, military figures and politicians. There is also an American strand to the plot and some US characters feature in the series (I lived in the US for a year, a long time ago).

 

Thomas repeatedly has to decide where he stands and whether he can hold the line without crossing it. As the series progresses he learns that the difference between friend and foe can be a matter of expediency. He could walk away at any time, but when did that ever solve anything in his life? Besides, once he knows what’s really going on, he can try to do something about it.

 

 

Q: What makes Thomas Bladen worth reading about?

 

A: I think that’s the hardest question and probably the most important one.

 

One of my favourite lines that’s said to Thomas in Shadow State is by a US government agent. He tells him: “You haven’t come out of a box like most of the people I deal with in the community.”

 

That’s the draw. Thomas Bladen isn’t James Bond or Jason Bourne (both great characters in my opinion). He’s a little down-at-heel but very resourceful and has a strong sense of justice.

 

Naturally, I’m biased, but this review on the Amazon page for Standpoint about sums it up:

This book is an excellent read from cover to cover. The storyline is compelling and the characters are deep with many levels of complexity which indicates that the author has an in depth knowledge of the human psyche. The dialogue is sparkling and witty with amusing one liners sprinkled throughout. The character of Thomas is very ordinary and a little seedy and is somewhat reminiscent of the erstwhile George Smiley. The plot is multi layered with twists and turns at every point and one is never too sure where one is going to end up. All in all, this book is a jolly good read for anyone who enjoys a thriller that will keep them hooked from start to finish.

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What happens in Shadow State?

 

A: Thomas Bladen has supported his surveillance partner, Karl McNeill, in the intelligence war against the Shadow State for three years now. But finally they have taken an interest in him.

 

A code word triggers a betrayal, bringing Thomas face to face with a Shadow State operative who can wreck his life. All Thomas has to do is expose a defector and they’ll leave him in peace, but why – and who is the real enemy?

 

Consequences stack up like poker chips. A stakeout becomes a rescue mission; an intervention leads to murder; allies may pose the greatest threat and loyalties are stretched to breaking point. Soon Thomas and Karl are forced into a deadly game, where the only way out is to turn the Shadow State against itself.

 

Shadow State will be available later this year.

Check in with my Author Central page for updates: https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Thompson/e/B0034ORY08

 

 

Q:  How did you become affiliated with Joffe Books?

 

A: It was a combination of preparation, effort, luck and timing!

 

After completing Standpoint I wrote the sequel, Line of Sight, and I mapped out plans for a series. I submitted Standpoint to a few agents, without success. Fortunately, I had subscribed to http://www.writethismoment.com and one week they carried a listing that Joffe Books was open to submissions from new authors. Jasper Joffe was looking for a thriller series and because I had carried on after Standpoint I was able to pitch him the Spy Chaser series. They are primarily an ebook publisher and they’re very good at what they do. So far the series has sold around 15,000 copies and I am exploring how the books could be adapted for television.

 

 

Q: How does your day job with the National Health Service, affect your ability to pursue your writing career?

 

A: It’s a triple edged sword!

 

Firstly, the job gets me out of my own head and into the world. It also pays some of the bills (I work as a part-time freelance writer as well).

 

Secondly, as the job is part-time and local it leaves me space for writing.

 

Thirdly, as the NHS department I work for is involved in mental health it has given me an opportunity to talk with healthcare professionals about psychology, trauma, therapeutic tools, and the human condition. This has helped me understand my characters and their motivations better, and hopefully myself as well.

 

Longer term, my goal is to reduce the office hours and derive more of my income as an author and freelancer.

 

 

Q: What have you done to market your book?

 

A: At the time of writing this, Shadow State hasn’t launched yet. But as far as the previous three books go, I have:

  1. Blogged about them and sought out other places where I can blog.
  2. Set up a Facebook page for my writing: https://www.facebook.com/ProfessionalWriter1/
  3. Set up a Twitter account @DerekWriteLines so I can use a service like Tweetdeck to set up Twitter campaigns.
  4. Set up an Author Central page on Amazon, where people can find out about all my books:

https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Thompson/e/B0034ORY08

  1. Written a press release for my local newspaper.
  2. Taken a guest spot on local radio.
  3. Networked online until my fingers ached.
  4. Continued to engage with readers wherever and however possible.

 

 

Q:  What makes for a good spy thriller?

 

A: I think it’s a combination of intrigue, action and good characterisation. The plot can be down-to-earth or saving the world, as long as the characters live and breathe on the page. I also think good dialogue is key for illustrating character, bringing the plot down to eye level, and creating a sense of reality and perspective that makes us want to return to the author’s world and the people who inhabit it. Authentic voices help readers care, and writers need their readers to care.

 

 

Q: What trends in spy novels annoy you?

 

A: Interesting question. I’d say I’m not a fan of the reset button, where a character starts the next book (sometimes even the next chapter) totally unaffected or changed by the events they’ve witnessed or experienced. I don’t want to see superheroes in spy novels. I prefer characters who can be vulnerable and who sometimes get it wrong. The reader will root for them all the more.

 

 

Q:  If Thomas Bladen got a job in your office at the NHS what job would suit him best?

 

A: Given Thomas’s ability to spot the details other people miss and his talent for finding trouble I’d see him in an investigative role. That could be as a diligent patient advocate, in a meticulous audit capacity, or perhaps as a spy gathering evidence in order to root out malpractice or corruption in the organisation. I’d expect him to follow his own moral code and to challenge any kind of injustice. Consequently, I think it might be a short assignment!

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 Rapper Shug Jackson

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Shug Jackson is a rapper who just released the single Congratulations; here is a link to his YouTube page:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQkcB51t2-y-8JHdkMN9J8Q

 

 

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

 

A: I started writing when I was in the 6th grade and by the next year I new that this is what I wanted to do because I got good at it really fast.

Q: What sets you apart from other rappers?

 

A:  What sets me apart from other rappers is my willingness to touch on topics that most are afraid of touching. My willingness and desire to talk about very serious issues and then talk about finding my Angel. I believe that we all have different emotions and I have no problem expressing all of them.

 

Q: What inspired you to write your single, Congratulations?

 

 A: I was sitting on my couch one day watching the news and they were talking about this child that got killed by a stray bullet. I’ve seen, I’ve known and do know people that have been killed or hit by bullets that wasn’t meant for them and it’s all senseless and needs to stop.

Q: Who are some of your influences?

 

 A:  Some of my influences are Ice Cube, The late Great Eazy E, LL Cool J, Jay Z. I’m a huge old school fan of Rap and also R&B.

Q: How did you go about getting your first recording deal with Def Jam Records?

A:  I got my First Record deal back in 1991 and that came about when I was opening up for DJ Quik, his manager at the time heard me, asked me for a demo and 2 weeks later I signed to Def Jam Records.

 

Q: What is the biggest change you have seen in the music industry in all the years that you have been working?

A:  The biggest change I’ve seen in the industry in all these years is the lack of Great subject matters. Over the years the music has gone from talking about real life stuff, things that hit home and touched the soul, to things that have no substance in my opinion.

Q: You have opened for a lot of big names. What was the most memorable show you ever did and what made it memorable?

A:  My most memorable moment opening for big named acts was my very first show with Eazy E and NWA in my hometown of Tucson Arizona at the skating ring. It sticks with me because that’s the very moment that I learned how to be professional and demand the audiences attention.

Q: What sort of day jobs have you worked in your life and how have they influenced your music?

A:  Day jobs for me has been Roofing, working for the City of Tucson with my father and Plumbing. I’ve learned how to work hard and try to be the best at whatever I do and I carry that same mentality over into my music.

Q: What inspired you to write, It Only Gets Better?

A:  What inspired me to write It Only Gets Better was me knowing that without The woman there is no man. I looking at what women go through everyday and it’s hard, women have the hardest job on the planet and I respect them more than anything.

Q: Who plays you in the movie?

A: In 5 years from now, whatever actor is Hot at that time is two one who plays me in the movie!

 

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 Hip Hop Artist Wavy Lee

wavy

Wavy Lee is a hip hop artist who recently released the single Wavy Nights; here is a link to his Soundcloud page:

 

https://soundcloud.com/wavylee/wavy-lee-wavy-nights
Q:  What kind of musical background do you have?

 
A: I was a Producer since I was 14 and an audio Engineer since I was about 19.

 
Q: What made you want to become a recording artist?

 

 

A: Well I felt that the music that I was hearing on the radio was not as good as the stuff
I was making at home with my equipment so I just kept recording and really became an artist by accident.

 

Q:  Who are some of your musical influences?
A: James Brown, outkast, J. Cole

 

Q: What inspired you to write Wavy Nights?

 
A: I had a girl that worked with me that I used to like she told me she was a gogo dancer at a club. One night I went out and actually seen her at the club and It made me write wavy nights.

 

 

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

 
A: Im in customer service and sales , I dont think it influences my music much but it does influence the way I take care of my music business.

 


Q:
What is your weirdest work story?

 

 
A: I was training a newcomer at work once and she was an older lady. She seemed weird but I never said anything to my bosses. On her first day of training, she defecated on herself. Poop rolled down her leg and made a trail around the store.

 

 

Q: What do you like about the music industry?

 
A: Being able to meet other people with talent that may think just like you, so there is no room for them to call you weird

 

 

Q:  What would you change about it?

 

 
A: The Cookie cutter artist that pop up everyday, I feel like nobody is original these days.

Q:
What’s the story behind the name Wavy Lee?

 

 
A Well I wanted to change my name from Cam DaGreat , I felt like people where trying to be funny when they said it to me . So I wanted something different. I liked the phrase wavy so I just added my Middle name to it and Wavy Lee was born.

 
Q:  Who do you think is the most underrated in hip hop today?
A: Childish Gambino

 

 

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