Category: writers

An Interview With Writer M.T. Bass

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M.T. Bass is the author of Murder by Munchausen; here is a link to his website:

 

http://www.mtbass.net/

 

Q: What is Murder by Munchausen about?

 

A: Technology run amuck—but what’s new about that, right? Well, in the near future, artificial intelligence and robotics have converged. Siri, Alexa and Cortana are not just voices in pods that sit on the coffee table eavesdropping on your life and fetching stuff from the Internet. They have extremely human like bodies – in fact, they are called synthetic humanoids, synthoids for short – and act as “Personal Services Assistants” to free us from dirty jobs and menial chores out in “meatspace.” Of course, mankind being mankind, there are those among us who hijack that technology for ill intent and profit, turning synthoids into contract killers. The police unit that tracks down the hackers and repos the murderous ‘bots is the Artificial Crimes Unit.

 

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

 

A: It’s never just one thing with me. Zombie stories being done to death – so to speak – gave me pause to ponder what other incarnate form evil could take. At the same time, guys like Elon Musk and Bill Gates are warning us that artificial intelligence will be the end of life as we know it. Suddenly, I had a vision in my head of the police take down of an android assassin which opens the book. And from there the story started writing itself. The first two installments of the opening trilogy are done.  Murder by Munchausen came out in April of this year and number two, The Darknet, will be released February 2, 2018.  I’m working on the “compelling conclusion” now.

 

Q: There have been a lot of novels based on Jack the Ripper; what makes your book different?

 

A: I’m not trying to retell the story of Jack the Ripper so much as I am using it to tell my story. Spoiler alert – Jack might not be the only serial killer involved in the series.

 

Q: What makes Jake worth reading about?

 

A: Jake is a good cop, but not a do-gooder. His willingness to bend the rules to save his partner Maddie’s career got him reassigned—in his mind, exiled—to the Artificial Crimes Unit. So he’s not a techno-wiz, but just a regular guy stuck in a strange new world and trying to make the best of it.

 

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

 

A: I’m a self-employed sales rep for electro-mechanical component manufacturers who sell into the aerospace, medical and industrial automation markets.  It doesn’t so much influence my writing as it feeds the beast by getting me out from behind my desk and into the real world with lots of impressions of people, places and (yawn) corporate drama. At one point, I managed twenty-five states and five Canadian provinces.  I got a lot of writing done sitting in a United Airlines aluminum tube at thirty-five thousand feet on my way from here to there and back again.

 

 

Q: What is the biggest difference between your books and those of Philip K. Dick?

 

A: I might be admitting blasphemy, but I’ve not read Philip K. Dick. I may have seen the original  Blade Runner when it came out, but it’s a far faded memory. Once I got into writing the Munchausen series, I didn’t want to bring similar stories into my head.  There’s probably more Elmore Leonard or Michael Connelly in the books than the usual Sci-Fi suspects.

 

Q: What kind of formal training have you had?

 

A: I was an English major and a Philosophy major at Ohio Wesleyan University. My focus of study in the English Department was creative writing under novelist and poet Robert Flanagan (http://www.robertflanagan.com).  My senior thesis for my Philosophy major was on the metaphysical aspects of language – like why Eskimos have so many more words for snow than anybody else.  After I got out of school, I just wrote and wrote and wrote and kept writing to this day.

 

With regards to self-publishing, though, my first job out of college was supervising the Text Editing Center at the phone company where we prepared all of the internal manuals and technical documentation for publication.  It was a lot of typesetting and formatting, which has definitely come in handy in pushing my books out into the world.

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

 

A: The second installment of the opening trilogy for the series, The Darknet, is being released February 2, 2018.  I’ve discounted the eBook fifty percent for pre-orders and I’ve priced Murder by Munchausen at $.99 for readers.  I’m promoting those deals in as many places as I can.  If the Bookbubbas smile kindly on me, the first book will be free for a limited time in January.

 

Q: What is the worst advice anyone has given you about writing?

 

A: “Write what people want to read.” Every time I tried that, it was crap and I hated what I wrote. So, how could I expect a reader to like it?

 

Q: If you could program an android to kill someone, who would it be and why?

 

A: “I hereby invoke and refuse to waive all of the following rights and privileges afforded to me by the United States Constitution. I invoke and refuse to waive my 5th Amendment right to Remain Silent. I invoke and refuse to waive my 6th Amendment right to an attorney of my choice. I invoke and refuse to waive my 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If I am not presently under arrest, or under investigatory detention, please allow me to leave.”

 

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 Alexander M Zoltai

Alexander M Zoltai

 

 

Alexander M Zoltai is the author of the novel, Notes From an Alien; here is a link to his website:

 

https://nfaa.wordpress.com/

 

Q: What is Notes From an Alien about?

A: Notes is the history of an alien family and the role they play in their worlds’ struggles to attain lasting peace and tranquility. It’s also about the final stages of a 500 year war between two planets that are in sharp contrast with each other; one a drippingly greedy Corporate world; one a completely superstitious Religious world. It’s also about a third planet that is, in its structure and function an Alien Being. So, there’s the ending of war, the beginning of peace, and the interaction of a number of different aliens. Ultimately, Notes is about what people can stand, how long they can stand it, and what they’d really rather have…

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

A: Well, I actually tried to write it four different times over an eleven year period—each time was a different way to deal with the major themes of corporate greed, religious fanaticism, justice, and peace. The first three attempts died of swift stillbirths; number four turned into the novel. My deeper desires for writing the book were all tied up in how people relate to each other—the power-grabbing types, the overly-passive types, the rational types, and the mad-as-a-hatter types—how they interact and what might be necessary for them to achieve some form of unity…

Q: What makes Sena a character worth writing about?

A: Well, her ancestors—who appear in the story well ahead of her—are part of what makes Sena a worthy character. The other thing is she’s my “co-author”. She wrote the Prologue for the novel and she gives folks the option to believe she’s real, or not… Within the confines of the book’s reality she’s the character who reaches out—in “electro-mental” ways—with us folks on Earth. The connection to Earth is my way of letting readers know, for sure, that what’s happened in their worlds clearly applies in our world…

Q: What made you interested in interviewing authors?

A: My blog’s primarily about writing; but, also about reading and publishing. I began the interviews because some of my early readers left such interesting comments on posts that I thought they deserved a spotlight post, so other readers could get to know them and their way of working. After the first five or so, I began to range wider—folks I’d met on Twitter, people I’d blogged about, friends I’d made in the Virtual World I visit every evening… I have, as of right now, 84 interviews—people with many books to their credit, many not yet published, many struggling with how to best publish, a few who seem to have figured it all out—the whole enterprise is totally fascinating…

Q: Who was your most memorable interview subject?

A: That has to be Jane Watson. There are two interviews now and I’m hoping to have a third, soon. The best way to indicate why I think her interviews are memorable is to quote just a few of her comments — On why she writes: “To find out, to access an inner world, to explore the possibilities of an image (because I think am a very visual writer), to process my experience.” — On her source of inspiration: “I find inspiration everywhere. Someone once said that a writer’s own life experience is like the piece of grit in an oyster, which the writer’s art and skill then transforms into a completely different and wonderful pearl.” — On what blocks many writers: “It’s my experience that many writers have a wonderful story that they could tell but they go out of their way NOT to tell that story. I believe this is because we are often fearful of recognising our own true authentic self that the story contains; i.e., we are fearful of accessing our own Inner Worlds.”

Q: Who are some of your writing influences and how is this evidenced in your writing?

A: My main “writing influence” comes from C. J. Cherry, Hugo award winner of over 60 Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels. This is “evidenced” in my writing by the way the experience of reading her has bolstered my commitment to write—not “like” her; but with the same devoted attention to character, theme, and plot she exhibits. Also, reading her helped set my mind free of the many misconceptions about writing that the Internet “Experts” poison minds with—she showed me how to write from “vistas” that aren’t derived from what other people are doing. Then, there are John C. Gardner, Robert Heinlein, and Ursula K. Le Guin. They “influence” me by the integrity and passion they exhibit in their work; which, I hope, is noticeable in my own work…

Q: What is the most successful thing you have done to promote your book?

A: Stopping the production of the print version through FastPencil (which stopped the book’s appearance on Amazon {except for a very few copies that are selling for exorbitant prices—prices set by God-knows-who…}) and publishing it on Smashwords for free; which is in concert with making it freely available on my blog and on Wattpad. Then, tweeting about it, in amongst all my other tweets that are about interesting Writerly things…

Q: What kind of formal training have you had?

A: I assume the “training” is about writing? If so, my training (which is “formal” to me but probably not others) is a life-time of reading everything I could get my hands on; plus, years of actually sitting down at the computer and writing, every day…

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

A: My day job is writing; and, it influences my writing because writing, if pursued faithfully and regularly, will always positively influence one’s writing; but, I live on a small military pension…

Q: If you had a close encounter with an alien, what questions would you ask him or her?

A: Well, I feel like I’ve had a “close encounter” with an alien in my novel; but, that’s another story… A “real” alien? Hmmm… Assuming we could communicate, I would have to ask them for any advice they could share about writing. Then, I’d want to know their opinions on what could help Earth attain lasting peace and tranquillity. Then, ask if I could have a ride in their spaceship…

 

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 Tony Jerris

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Tony Jerris is the author of Marilyn Monroe: My Little Secret; here is a link to the books Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Monroe-My-Little-Secret/dp/1475101406

 

Q: What made you want to write about Marilyn Monroe?

 

A: As a former New Yorker, I’ve always had a fascination with “all things Hollywood.” Actually, one of my first term papers in college was on the conspiracy theory surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s death and the Kennedy’s. So, when I was introduced to Jane Lawrence, who started Marilyn Monroe’s first fan club, I thought, “Okay, this is kismet.” I always found Marilyn to be groundbreaking in so many ways, including one of the few actresses of her time to start her own production company.

 

Q: How is your book different from other stories about Ms. Monroe?

 

A: The story of Marilyn Monroe has been told many, many times and from many different angles. This is not what “Marilyn Monroe: My Little Secret” is about. The book is twofold, in the sense, that it’s a human interest story about two kids from the same orphanage, thirteen years apart, who would become friends, and grow to love each other. When Marilyn died, it took a failed marriage, and many years for Jane to come to terms with her feelings for Marilyn, their relationship, and the big question about Jane’s own sexuality. The book also debunks the Marilyn that the public knew, you know; unpredictable, flighty, talented, ambitious and naughty. Instead, “Jane’s Marilyn” is soft, attentive, gentle, fiercely protective, and loving. That was the Marilyn Jane wanted people to meet, her Marilyn. The Marilyn who used to call her “my little secret.”

 

Q: What makes Jane an interesting narrator?

 

A: I think it’s important to first say how I met Jane Lawrence. I was introduced to her to assess her collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and help her get it on eBay because she needed money to buy a new pacemaker. In the first few weeks of our relationship we spent a lot of time sifting through various items, with me guessing what they might go for. Jane had what Sotheby’s or Christie’s would characterize as a “collection” because it was so extensive. Some of the stuff, through years of neglect, wasn’t in the best of shape, jammed into boxes or what-have-you, but some of Jane’s items were pristine and, perhaps, priceless. She also had the most bizarre collection of little odds and ends of Marilyn discards: tissues, napkins (with lipstick and not), notes, matchbooks, and other such dreck that had real value because of the provenance. And as we took our journey through this detritus of memory, I was treated to all of the stories that went with it. Memory can be cruel, but for Jane her recall was spot on, and as her story poured forth about her Marilyn, I began to visualize her story in a bigger context. She always wanted to tell her relationship with Marilyn, only never trusted anyone to tell it “her way.” So, who better to have as a narrator than Jane.

 

Q: What kind of research did you do for the book?

 

A: A lot! You know, one of the biggest challenges I faced when writing “Marilyn Monroe: My Little Secret” was to never second guess myself as I delved into the life of probably the most celebrated of all actresses. But I’m only human and, at times, feared how some people might react to the book, especially the diehard Marilyn fans. I knew what I was up against, and knew I had to verify everything Jane told me so they wouldn’t tar-and-feather me! (Upon the book’s release, I did receive a few death threats from a couple of “those fans.”)  Jane struggled with her sexuality growing up, and claims how Marilyn taught her “how to make love to a woman.” But that is not the core of the story. These two women had a special bond for ten years, and I have hours of audio-tape with Jane telling her story, and contacted those – who were still living – to verify what she said, including actress Polly Bergen, Patrick Miller, who headed FOX’s archive department, archivists at RKO, just to name a few.

 

Q: Several actresses have played Marilyn in plays, movies and biopics; who do you think did the best job?

 

A: I think we can all agree that there’s only one Marilyn, but Michelle Williams did a decent job playing her in “My Week With Marilyn.” There was also a 1980 TV movie titled “Marilyn: The Untold Story” starring Catherine Hicks. I thought Hicks did an amazing portrayal of Marilyn. I also think Charlize Theron would be a perfect choice to play Marilyn.

 

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

 

A: I’ve been lucky enough to be a work-for-hire on a couple films, which are finally going into production, and also a ghostwriter for a couple stand-up comics. I did start my own catering company a few years back called called Mangia, Mangia! That means Eat, Eat! in Italian. Growing up, my family owned an Italian restaurant in Upstate New York, where my mother was the head chef. Over the years, I’ve been mastering her recipes, which includes her homemade bread dough recipe. In my spare time, I’m working on a cookbook called “If You Can Make Bread, You Can Make Dough!”  Mama’s words, so you can’t steal it! I’m also the in-house caterer for AMIA’s (Association of Moving Image Archivists) annual events at The Mary Pickford Building. I’ve always said, if I wasn’t a writer, I’d be the Next Food Network Star! As far as how this influences my writing, I believe you write what you know from experience. I’ve drawn upon a lot of my “survival jobs” to create characters that represent “me.” Especially the early years when I bartended, waited tables, or worked as the “dreaded telemarketer!” But I never followed a pitch, and actually developed a loyal client base who looked forward to my calls, which is rare for a telemarketer!

 

Q: What was the most surprising thing you learned in the course of your research?

 

A: One of the most surprising things I learned over the course of my research was, “Old age can be cruel.” It’s actually a chapter in the book, where Marilyn tells Jane how hard it is for a woman in Hollywood to find work as she gets older, and Marilyn was only 36 upon her timely death. The same held true for Jane. I would discover that Jane, at 61 years old, had few friends and lived a guarded life. She had learned that in Hollywood many people will befriend you for what they think they can get from you or what you can do for them. There’s a real cynicism that informs many relationships in this town. Jane knew that all too well, and while she knew a lot of people, they were mostly just acquaintances and not true friends you could confide in or lean on when things got tough, especially as she got older. In other words, she was very lonely, but when I entered her life, she had a new reason for living.

 

Q: There has been a lot of talk about sexual harassment in the news recently. Do you think being a woman in Hollywood is better, worse or basically the same as it was in the 1950s?

 

A: I think sexual harassment in Hollywood back in the 1950s is similar to today – for both sexes – only, nowadays with Social media, it’s like a flood gate for both genders to spill their stories of sexual harassment to entertainment and cable shows. It’s like everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and have their fifteen minutes of fame. Back in the ‘50s, stars didn’t reveal these things in fear of being blacklisted.

 

 

Q: Why do you think Marilyn is still interesting to so many people?

 

A: Marilyn is still so interesting to many people because she was one of the cultural linchpins between the simpler, naïve world of the first half of the 20th century, and the loss of innocence in the second half. She wasn’t as “shocking” as some celebrities of today, as she was a breath of fresh air with a naughty streak. There’s a mystery about both her personal life and death that people will always find intriguing.

 

Q: What is your personal theory about Marilyn’s death?

A: I’ve always had my suspicions that there may have been a cover-up surrounding her death, however, after what Jane’s told me, I tend to believe that Marilyn accidentally overdosed. Jane said Marilyn used to break capsules of Nembutal (a short-acting barbiturate) into her champagne because it would digest in her bloodstream quicker. Leading up to her death, Marilyn was very lonely and in a fragile state. She had just purchased her first home in Brentwood (which I had the privilege of actually going through), and had a lot of time to think. She was fired from “Something’s Got To Give” and wasn’t sure what the future held for her because she had a reputation of not being reliable. The four special tiles in the walkway leading to her front door might have foreshadowed things to come. They read: Cursum Perficio. It’s Latin for, “My journey ends here.”

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 Chris Minnick

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Chris Minnick is the author of Ferment; here is a link to his website:

http://ferment.chrisminnick.com/

 

Q: What is Ferment about?

 

A: Ferment is about a guy who grows up in the circus, and then spends his adult life running away from it.

 

Q:  What made you want to write about carnival life?

 

A: I spend about 5 years writing the first chapter about a depressed and scared guy who drinks too much. Then I got over myself and decided to just have fun with it and write a novel. The first thing that came into my mind was a fireside scene I had a dream about that involved dwarfs. I just took off from there.

 

Q: You decided not to do any research for this book; what was the reason for your decision?

 

A: I wrote the book in short bursts every morning right after waking up. Many of the chapters are based on dreams or whatever I happened to be thinking about at the time — eating, showering, going to the bathroom — these things are all featured prominently in the book because these are the things that go on early in the morning. It wasn’t so much a decision to not do any research as it was a decision to not slow down my writing to think about what I was doing. Once I had a few hundred pages written, I went back and spent several months editing it, rearranging it, and chopping out the lame parts. But, when I was editing, I liked how it was coming together and how you just didn’t know whether to believe the narrator or not. It added a level of depth to the book that I never intended, but that I’ll happily accept when it falls onto my lap.

 

Q: Your biography says you have been compared to Kurt Vonnegut and Charles Bukowski; who compared you to these authors and what was the basis of the comparison?

 

A: My sister’s husband’s mother was the first to make these comparisons. I thought it was cool that I could say that I’ve “been compared to” Vonnegut and Bukowski and that it doesn’t really mean anything positive or negative to have been “compared to” something, so I ran with it. I’ve certainly been influenced by both, and I think they are good points of reference for anyone who might be wondering if they’ll like my writing. But I would never go so far as to claim that I’m in the same universe as either. I haven’t been compared to John Steinbeck yet, but while I was writing this book, I was reading nothing else and I became pretty obsessed with his writing.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and does it help or hinder your creative efforts?

 

A: I make a living by teaching computer programming and writing computer books. Until 3 years ago, I ran a website development company. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked for myself (I haven’t had a boss) for the last 20 years, but it wasn’t until the last 3 years that I really figured out how to not be a jerk to myself all the time and to let myself have creative efforts that weren’t related to my money-making efforts. Writing computer books has taught me to be disciplined with my writing time and to stick with it and finish big projects. But, lately, I have to travel pretty often to teach and that throws me out of my writing routine. So, I’d have to say that my day job both enables my creative efforts and hinders them.

 

Q: How would you describe your creative process?

 

A: The only way I can get anything done is by making it into something that I do habitually and that I feel superstitious about not doing. Once I convince myself that if I don’t finish writing 3 page every morning someone I love will get sick, I’m unstoppable. It’s messed up, but that’s my process. If I’m writing, things come out and I enjoy the process. But, sticking to it and doing it every day takes extraordinary efforts.

 

Q: What is the best and worst advice any instructor has ever given you about writing?

 

A: Best advice: You can’t edit what doesn’t exist. This wasn’t actually an instructor, I think it’s from Stephan King’s book ‘On Writing’.

Worst advice: Wait until you’re older and you understand life better before you write a novel. I spent a lot of years waiting and I eventually figured out that I’d never know anything. I wish someone would have told me that would happen.

 

Q: What trends in literature annoy you?

 

A: I wouldn’t say that I’m annoyed by anything, but I generally don’t like magic or supernatural things or rare diseases or overly sappy stories. I’d like to see a trend towards people ignoring trends, but that’s probably not going to happen!

 

Q: What are some of the things you have done to promote yourself as a writer?

 

A: Lately, I’ve been reverse shoplifting. I bring my book into bookstores and put it on the shelf in the appropriate place. I don’t know how effective of a promotional technique this is, or what would happen if someone tried to buy it, but it makes me feel like I’m doing something to be seen by more people.

 

Q: In what ways is Los Angeles like a circus?
A: I haven’t spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, actually, so I can’t speak to it too much except to say that the old saying about the grass is always greener applies everywhere you go. Any sort of job or lifestyle — whether as a clown or an actor or an electrician — can get to be a routine that you need to run away from. Running away to the circus used to be the ultimate escape hatch dreamed of by kids growing up in small towns everywhere. Running away to California replaced the circus dream at some point. But, for people who grew up in the circus or in show business in L.A. — where do they go when they can’t stand their environment? Do they dream of having a quiet desk job or a stable family? This is the main idea that Ferment tries to explore. The book is also a lot of fun — like the circus should be, but probably really isn’t all the time.

 

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 Stuart Canterbury 

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Stuart Canterbury is the author of Turning Blue a novel which takes readers behind the scenes of x-rated movie production; here is a link to the books Amazon page:

https://www.amazon.com/Stuart-Canterbury/e/B00K5JN008

 

 

Q: When did you know you were a writer?

 

A: I started as a writer, then became a director, then became a producer.

 

Q: What made you interested in writing about the porn industry?

 

A: Much of what is written about the porn industry is lurid, sensational or dark, with evil pornographers coercing innocent victims.  But this has not been my experience.  People in the industry are warm and colorful, with families and interesting lives, and most of what goes on behind the scenes is fascinating and  hilarious.  Many people have asked me what it is really like, so I decided to write this novel.

 

Q: What sets Tiffany apart from other fictional porn stars?

 

A: Of course, I try to avoid stereotypes because there are as many kinds of porn stars as there are kinds of people.  Tiffany is a hell-to-handle diva, but the other stars depicted in the book have different personalities.  Ginger Vitus is emotional, and sensitive, Traci is an easy-going professional.  Tiffany is the most fun to write.

 

Q: What kind of research did you do for the book?

 

A: Much of the book is taken from personal experience or witness, but it is all fictionalized so that I can actually tell the truth.

 

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

 

A: I have a background in English Literature, so I have a love for the classics.  I particularly like Dickens so the larger than life characters and the stylistic voice are deliberate choices.  The idea was to take the formal and humorous tone that  Dickens uses and lay it over a contemporary setting in the x-rated industry of Los Angeles to make it funny.

 

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

 

 

A: I am a well-established, award-winning producer and director of adult movies, so this book is the ultimate insider’s view.

 

Q:  What is your strangest LA story?

 

A: What is always strange about LA is how one encounters movie stars and celebrities just going about their business.  But because you are so used to seeing them as characters on the screen, it often feels like you yourself have now migrated into the fictional world.  You cannot help associating them with their performances.  I suppose the same is true of x-rated stars, one of whom once complained to me that her fans think she wakes up in stilettos.

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

 

 

A: I have done interviews, mostly on radio and the web, and we had a very successful signing and reading at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, where the book was their number one bestseller.  There has been a lot of word of mouth, especially inside the industry.  It was covered by all the industry press.

 

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of self publishing a book?

 

A: Self-publishing is the vogue these days, so it does not have the stigma it used to, and you get to keep all the profits.

 

Q: What books to you think Hugh Hefner will read in the after life?

 

A: Penthouse and Hustler.

 

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 Patrick Adams

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Patrick Adams is the author of the children’s book, Lisa Goes To series; here is a link to his website:

http://www.patrickadamsbooks.com/

 

 

Q: What made you want to write?

 

A: The writing bug didn’t hit me until a few years ago, but the genesis of it took place on a beach in French Polynesia.  In 2012, I was on a cruise around the islands there on Paul Gauguin Cruise Lines.  I traveled by myself, so I had a lot of time alone with my own thoughts.  I was laying on a beach on a little island there called Motu Mahana.  I was taking in the scenery.  I really loved it there.  All of a sudden, a story started to form in my head.  It was powerful…..it was like i could feel the book writing itself in my mind.  It was so powerful that I had to grab a piece of paper where i could find one and get something to write with.  I wrote down the story and started to even outline chapters.  When I was done, I folded up the paper and put it away.

 

For the next two years, I occasionally looked at that paper and thought more about the chapters.  I never seemed to have the time or focus to write it though.  That is, until 2014, when I quit my job and took a 4 month sabbatical where I traveled the world.  My primary goal on that sabbatical was to write this book.  Not only did I do that, which I have finally submitted that book for developmental edit, but I also conceived a children’s book series based on travel.  On that 4 month sabbatical, in my mind, I became a writer.

 

Q: Why children’s books?

 

A: I fell in love with two things about the children’s book series I had conceived.  First, the stars of the book were to be my own kids.  I would have a lot of fun writing stories and bringing their real personalities to life.  Second, it had a travel theme.  One of my biggest passions in life is traveling and seeing different places in the world.  Even though I had written a novel, I decided to push forward with this concept first.  It was something special for my kids, and that drove me more to bring it to life.

 

Q: What is Lisa Goes to England about?

 

A: Lisa Goes to England is the debut adventure of Holly, Daniel and Jonathan along with Holly’s magical stuffed animal, Lisa.  Lisa is magical because she can come to life and transform herself into any animal or object.  The kids are visiting England and planning to see a lot of amazing sites.  Lisa turns into a flying horse and she and Holly go to meet the Queen at her castle.  Daniel and Jonathan head off to see Stonehenge.  Jonathan, the rambunctious one, causes an incident and Stonehenge that require Holly and Lisa to come to the rescue.  The book is meant to entertain and educate kids about England and have an adventure to remember.

 

Q: What separates Lisa from other children’s book heroines?

 

A: Lisa is a very magical entity in a modern and real world setting, and in addition to all the amazing powers she has, she’s also a companion and protector for Holly.  Many children loved their stuffed animals, and in some cases treat them like a real person.  I decided to take that a step further and create not only a powerful and noble character in Lisa, but have her always be the one who saves the day.  I’m hoping that relationship between children and their stuffed animals resonates when they read about Lisa.

 

Q: You have a very responsible job as a AVP of Strategic Implementations for a mortgage company. What does your job entail?

 

A: I run a Project Management Office (PMO) in my company which is responsible currently for all of the project management, process management, business analysis, training, systems administration, data reporting and quality assurance.  We are there to support the front line staff who are helping borrowers through their mortgage loans and to ensure that all systems are working and that we are constantly making our process better.  I manage a team of 6 people that help make all of this happen.

 

Q: How do you make time for writing?

 

A: I take advantage of free time when I have it and the motivation strikes.  I have become quite a user of the Notes app on my iPhone.  That has become my tool to capture ideas if they hit me during the day or during a time that I’m unable to sit down and write.  Writing children’s books is much different than writing a long novel in that you can keep the story text simpler but spend more time imagining the illustrations to go along with it, which are the heart and soul of the books.  Because of that, I’m still able to be as prolific as I want in preparing my children’s books even though I have a full time job.

 

I did write another full book of travel stories from throughout my lifetime, which I was able to do in my free time while still working.  After a lot of thought, I will probably turn that into a blog series about travel.  I’m hoping to roll that out in the coming months.

 

Q: What inspired you to start a blog about epilepsy?

 

A: My daughter, Rhythm, was diagnosed with a form of Epilepsy called Infantile Spasms when she was 7 months old.  Infantile Spasms not only causes seizures, but impact the development of a child.  This has been very true in Rhythm’s case.  Rhythm was in the Philippines when she was diagnosed.  The doctors over there put her on several medications, which simply drained the life out of her and made her nearly a vegetable.  At that time, my fiance (now my wife) and I had made connections with other parents through Facebook groups whose children were experiencing similar conditions.  We started to learn of other options that people had tried, including cannabis oil, that had positive effects on their children.  On the other hand, we also learned of children who weren’t making it, sometimes due to the disease and other times due to the pharmaceuticals they were taking for it.

 

When Rhythm arrived here in the US, we had weaned her off pharmas and were set to try a form of legal CBD Oil made from hemp called Haleigh’s Hope.  This was considered a supplement and is quite different than medical marijuana which is still being debated in states across the country. It did contain cannabinoids, the element of cannabis that has shown to be effective in stopping seizures.  Within a week of taking Haleigh’s Hope, Rhythm’s seizures stopped.  She went from over 100 per day to zero for awhile.  She still had remnants of the Infantile Spasms though, and as we worked with the dosage and added multi-vitamins, the seizures have completely stopped now for the last two months.

 

I started writing this blog so that the many families out there who are dealing with this same thing know Rhythm’s story and it may give them options they had never considered.  It also helps us to learn what has worked for them.

 

Q: What do most people misunderstand about epilepsy?

 

A: People who aren’t close to someone who has epilepsy, be it a friend or family member, may think of the seizure as being a convulsion that someone has that they quickly recover from.  But there are many forms of epilepsy that are insidious, and that includes Infantile Spasms.  In a way, it re-sets the brain every time it happens and wipes away what a child has learned on a daily basis.  Not only that, but it stunts their ability to learn anything new.  Rhythm’s seizures stopped two months ago and she is 2 years old now.  She still can not sit up, crawl, walk, talk or even keep sustained eye contact.  This will be a long haul for Rhythm to learn all of these things many parents take for granted.  It will take years of therapy, and ultimately her body will have to teach her brain, instead of the other way around.

 

Q: What trends in children’s fiction annoy you?

 

A: The one trend for me is probably the attached stigma to self-publishers, which I am.  I think the phrase “Independent Author” is not a bad thing at all, but even I have run up against some rejection of being accepted into book stores, partnering with foundations or doing shows at schools or other venues because I’m not working with a reputable publisher.  I have nothing against publishing companies, and had strongly considered shopping my Lisa Goes To series around to several of them.  But there is a rigidity to some places that can really give your book a strong opportunity to succeed, and even though the book could be amazing in its own right, it’s rejected without a look because it’s self-published.  Books should be reviewed and considered based on their content, not their publisher.

 

My company, Patrick Adams Books, LLC, which I publish my books through, has recently opened up to clients.  I’ve taken my experience and knowledge of self-publishing and really want to help others bring their vision to life.  We will be publishing our first children’s book not authored by me in late September or early October.  My promise to the other Independent Authors is complete control over their books, copyright in their name and ownership of all illustrations and images.  It leaves all of the decision making in their hands, and I feel happy to have helped guide them through the process.

 

Q:  If Lisa spent the day at your office, what kind of adventures would she have?

 

A: Lisa would join me in meetings for the first few hours.  Then she’d come to life while sitting in my office, bored from the meetings, and whisper in my ear – “Hey……do you want me to turn into an airplane and take you somewhere fun?”  I would think about it for a second, and then say, “Yes.  Yes I do.”  And off we would go!  She’d have me back in time for my next meeting though.

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 Self-Help Author Ms. Joe Bacon

mjb

Ms. Joe Bacon is the author of 30 Things That Scare Women About Themselves! Here is a link to the books Amazon page:

https://goo.gl/at202K

 

Q: What inspired you to write, 30 Things That Scare Women About Themselves!

 

A:  I was inspired by the conversations that continued to surround me by women. I was constantly thinking oh they are like me or it is always someone in worse off shape so be grateful and see the positive in life.

 

Q:  What qualifies you to write a self-help book?

 

A: I think anyone who pays attention to life can write a self help book, especially with so many air heads walking around staring in the clouds or their smart devices. They do tend to make people dumber.

 

Q: What kind of research did you do for the book?

 

A: At first, I didn’t know that this book would develop, but in trying to write another book, I started to look at all of the topics, saw the potential & began to interview women from all walks of life.

 

Q: What are a few examples of the kind of things that scare women about themselves?

 

A: Having your child molested and not know how to help them thru it. Finding out your spouse cheated on you. Having your child hate you. Failing at your goals. being confused about your sexuality.

 

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

 

A: I manage the office of a tech company in San Francisco, CA. & flip houses in the US.

 

Q: What are some self help books that have helped you?

 

A: Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Secret, and almost any book by Tony Robbins. I love him.

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

 

A: Interviews, social media, and beating the pavement so I can speak to people.

 

Q: What other kinds of writing do you do?

 

A:  Real life issues like PPD , abuse, or family issues.

 

Q: How can you tell a good self-help book from a bad one?

 

A:  I feel that every book is different, so if it helps you then it is a good book for you.

 

Q: What scares you about yourself?

 

A:  I am scared of failure and having my child not like me. I didn’t like my bio-logical mom and I fear that will happen with my son and I. I find myself trying to exceed with what ever he wants or needs of me. We have a great relationship now and I hope it doesnt change.

 

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