Category: writers

An Interview With Writer Patrick Adams

My Pics Selfies Portraits (1)

 

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.

 

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An Interview With Self-Help Author Ms. Joe Bacon

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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.

An Interview With Author A.J. Wright 

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A.J. Wright  is the author of Extraterrestrial Love and Lusting for Lei; here is a link to the Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Extraterrestrial-Love-Different-J-Wright-ebook/dp/B01NBFWW7S/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&qid=1497332536&ref_=sxts_1&sr=1

 

Q: What is Extraterrestrial Love about?

 

A: It is about a young girl, named Seyai, who came to earth with her parents to find her one true love. They are aliens, that originate from a planet, named Oceana. This planet survives and thrives on love. Everyone on the planet travels at a very young age, to earth to find there one true love.

 

Q: What gave you the idea for the story?

 

A: I was 19 years old at the time, taking a medical coding and billing course. I was in the classroom, at my cubicle, on my computer and some of my classmates were talking about this new song that they loved. I couldn’t hear it clearly because they were playing it from a mp3 player. It wasn’t very loud, but from what little I did hear, the song reminded me of a fairy tale. I knew the singer as Katy Perry so when I went home that day, I was able to look up the song and hear it for myself. I fell in love with the song immediately. The words felt so incredible and powerful. The song just made me imagine and fantasize about this young, teen girl who is just too beautiful, too precious and too innocent for earth that she must be an alien, from a beautiful planet. I also thought about this powerful cosmic type of love that could overcome anything and everything, thus, Extraterrestrial Love: A different world was born.

 

Q:  What makes Seyai Narvez a competing heroine?

 

A: The fact that she is strong, never gives up on anything and believes in the most powerful force in the universe, which is love. Her courage, determination, strength and even her beauty all come from love. The love she feels, the love she has, the love she is made and born from and the love she would die for.

 

Q: What gave you the idea for Lusting for Lei?

 

A: Lusting for Lei, is very dear to me. Not a lot of people I think would find a gorgeous, Korean male running away to Europe with a young wife and son and then falling in love with a beautiful, French prince an everyday gay, romance story. The thing is I was watching a suspense, thriller Korean movie with my boyfriend. The movie is called “Memories of Murder” It is a very disturbing movie, but one of the actors was very beautiful to me. Not many times I saw a young, Korean male that was gorgeous. He was so gorgeous I thought of a male find him gorgeous as well. I thought he could be considered gay. That is when I started brainstorming the part of a French Prince I do not know where that came from it just pop into my head and I really wanted to write a short, gay erotic book and after I had the visualization in my head on what my main characters would look like I just started typing away.

 

Q: What themes does the book examine?

 

A: With Lusting for Lei, obviously I wanted it to be very passionate and sensual, so erotica was one of the main themes. However, I didn’t want that to be the main focus or all that was in the book. I want my readers to also truly feel the love, between the two main characters. Some people I have spoken with have told me they don’t believe two men can truly be in love and it is just about the sex when it is two guys, but I don’t believe in that. Love knows no boundaries in that aspect. I have always believed that two, mature men can be in love and have a healthy, beautiful relationship just as a man and woman can. Real true love is another main theme my book examines.

 

Q: Who are some of your writing influences and how can we see those influences in your work?

 

A: J.K. Rowling has always been an influence to me because of her amazing story about her life and how she created a legacy that will live on forever. I think all authors strive for that success. I admire Zane a lot. She and J.K. Rowling are the main reasons why I fell in love with reading and through that I also discovered that I love writing as well. Zane is very bold and creative in her writing. I love how she communicates with her fans. I love and started reading erotica books because of her. The imagination she has and her charisma in her writing is mesmerizing to me. I love Stephen King. There are so many questions I wish I could ask him about his genius mind. He is brilliant and a master piece to admire as an author. I don’t use any of my influences in my own work because I being unique and making my own rules in writing will always be my main goal as an author.

 

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

 

A: I am a customer service agent. I work from home. A lot would assume, that because I work from home I would have a lot of time to write, but that is not true. When your an adult and you have bills and things to worry about it is hard to find time for yourself. I always make time to slip into my writing, imagination world. I just wish I had more time to do so. Hopefully, I will only have to write to make money one day, but I will always write because it is apart of my soul.

 

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

 

A: Publicizing your book is hard, especially when your not well known. Your not sure what promotion techniques will work and what company is actually real or not. It is also hard to predict what readers are looking for and you need a budget plan. When I tell people about promoting my book they tell me not to waste my money. I admit sometimes it is just not worth it with some companies, but other times with legit companies it is really profitable. After all how are people going to know about your book if your don’t promote it. I have to say the best company I have used so far is “Books Butterfly” Still I have to work harder on getting my books out there.

 

Q: What are the advantages of disadvantages of publishing on Amazon?

 

A: Advantages are everyone knows about Amazon, millions visit the site everyday and it is worldwide. Amazon does offer a lot to authors who want to self publish. Disadvantages are so many books are on that site it makes it hard for one book to stand out, unless your in the top #100 and that is hard.

 

Q:  To what character from literature would you most like to introduce Seyai?
A: Of course I would want Seyai to meet Harry Potter. I think he would have a crush on her. Katniss Evergreen and Seyai would be close friends, though Katniss would make it difficult at first.

 

 

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 J.J. Hemmestad

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J.J. Hemmestad is the author of Visions of a Dream; here is a link to her website:

 

http://jhemmestad.wixsite.com/justine-j-hemmestad

 

Q: What is Visions of a Dream about?

A: My story begins after Alexander the Great is king and as he takes his army to conquer the Persian King Darius III in Asia Minor in order to liberate the people from his oppressive rule.While there, he begins a spiritual journey that takes him through the universe of his mind, and answers as well as questions are revealed to him through his closest, most intense relationships (one with his closest officer Hephastion, and one with a Persian girl named Baphomet, who is fictional). He was inclusive of all people, and immersed himself in each culture he liberated, dressing like them, worshiping their god in their temples, and allowing them the freedom to retain their beliefs. He believed that each religion ultimately worshiped the same god. The end rift with his Army came when they insisted on spreading the Macedonian/Greek culture and were offended that he adapted to other cultures; and they mutinied.

 

Q: What made you interested in Alexander the Great?

A: I watched an A&E Biography about Alexander in the 90’s and I found his perseverance and persistence so familiar that I began to research him (especially through Arrian). In one of his battles he was hacked on the head with a cleaver that split his helmet in two, but he persisted.

 

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

A: Writing was and is therapy for me. In 1990 (I was 19) my car was hit by a city bus – I sustained a severe brain injury, was in a coma, paralyzed, and the doctors thought that I would never recover. Within months I was walking again though and my husband and I eventually had seven kids (when the doctors told us we wouldn’t be able to). Reading was especially hard for me to learn again. In addition to my injuries I had severe PTSD and writing helped me cope. I used to have several stories going at one time, but my Alexander the Great story was the one I gained the most from. After my TBI I was essentially personality-less and the traits that I admired in someone I found myself adapting, which was the case with Alexander.

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

A: I’m a mother of seven kids, so I had to write through any turmoil and amount of noise. I learned to have intense focus, which was also something that was not supposed to have been possible with my severe brain injury. Sometimes I got up very early in the morning to write, too. Now three of my kids are adults and I only have four at home and I have a good routine I stick with. I’m also on disability due to my brain injury and my husband works full time.

 

Q: Who are some of your favorite characters from literature?

A: My ultimate favorite characters are Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights because they have to fight through so much and though their love gets warped in the end, it extends beyond death. I also love Frankenstein by Mary Shelley because people freak out so much when they see the creature and he’s banished, which is therapeutic to read because I felt very much like that after my accident.

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

A: I’ve hired a publicist, who has gotten many interviews; it’s a new thing for me but I’m very glad I did it. I was interviewed last year by a newspaper for my novella, Truth be Told, and I found that publicity is the most effective tool to gain readers.

 

Q: What made you chose Turtle Shell Publishing?

A: I spent 20 years writing, but only a few years trying to get published (split into different time periods), and I often felt belittled or taken advantage of by the publishing world. I knew I wanted to have a small publishing home which was run by a woman, which is exactly what I found with Turtle Shell Publishing. I can also talk to her about how exactly I would like my books to appear and my oldest son Bradley Hemmestad has the freedom to create the cover art for my books (Truth be Told was also published through Turtle Shell, formally Faith by Grace Publishing).

 

Q: What makes your writing style unique?

A: I write what I feel, from my heart, and I write in the sense of the story that I’m telling, so my writing styles shift because I want to be faithful to the characters and the story itself.

 

Q: What is the oddest piece of advice anyone has given you about writing?

A: No one has ever really given me advice because I’ve been writing on my own, not connected to people who may otherwise advise me. But I’ve taken many writing courses through the Iowa Writer’s Workshop (I’ve earned a BLS from The University of Iowa and am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Literature through Northern Arizona University), and what I’ve learned about writing has been invaluable.

 

Q:  If Alexander The Great could meet Donald Trump, what advice do you think he would give him?

A: Great question! I think Alexander would give the advice that he lived himself, which is that sincere, pure interest in a culture other than your own overcomes any fear of that culture. Also, he would advise Trump to think less about his pride and how favorably he’s seen as a leader and find his center (the source of his inspiration), and let that be his guide. Alexander knew his spiritual core and was willing to learn even greater wisdom than what he thought he had. He was never stagnant in his beliefs, but he was always evolving.

 

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 Todd Tavolazzi

Todd Head Shot

Todd Tavolazzi is the author of, Looking Into the Sun; here is a link to his Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Looking-into-Sun-Syrian-Conflict-ebook/dp/B01BG9O22A

Q:  What is Looking Into the Sun about?

A: It is a novel that follows a freelance war reporter and a young Hollywood movie star, researching his next role, into Syria to rescue Syrian children from a besieged Syrian town.

Q:  What is your personal connection to the story?

A: As a military strategic planner, I was tasked with studying the Syrian conflict in 2013. Through open source reporting, both print and video, I found that there was much more going on there than was being reported in the mainstream media. One of the reasons was that the Syrian government had kicked out all of the journalists. But there were still a small group of dedicated journalists, both amateur and professional, who would smuggle themselves across the border of Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey into Syria to report on what was going on.

I saw video reporting from brave reporters from many news agencies, but several from Vice News were harrowing and compelling. They showed a snapshot in a 15-20 minute blocks of what civilians were enduring inside Syria. The biggest shock I discovered was the atrocities not only against civilians, but against children. There were heartbreaking videos of wounded and dying children – suffering every day from the conflict.

I had two small children at home at the time and it made me angry that this sort of situation was not given more global attention. So, I decided that I would formulate a story based on the things I had discovered from those brave journalists and use the story as a vehicle to raise awareness and hopefully funds for charity organizations to help Syrian children.

Q: What makes Angus Conn worth reading about?

A: I created the Angus Conn character from a few different journalist personalities, both men and women, who have a deep connection with the region and are professional war correspondents. The thing that made this type of character interesting to me – and what I wanted to convey in the story – was not only this type of journalist’s dedication – but a sense that there is nothing else these types of people can do in their lives. They were born with a deep desire to find the truth and do everything they can to expose it and make more sense of the world. I also wanted Angus to be desperate that his efforts were not amounting to much – but he pushes on and continues his work, but eventually must decide whether he is going to go against his journalistic principles of “report the story, don’t be the story.” He decides he can no longer stand by and just report…he decides that if he has to “be the story” to save Syrian children from this conflict, then that is what he will do…along with his movie star companion. I thought that would be a compelling story that I’d like to read or see on a movie screen. Hopefully, others feel the same way.

Q: Who inspired the character of Jake Westin?

A: Jake, like Angus, is more of a stereotypical idea of a privileged Hollywood socialite. He’s not really based on any one real person in the world – just the embodiment of typical nihilistic, ignorant youth. And I mean ignorant in the most literal sense – because before I studied the conflict in Syria in depth, I was also ignorant of what was going on there. I needed a character that represented the classic ignorant person who is eventually shown the truth and comes to terms with it in his own way – and, I believe, is formed into a more enlightened and caring person on the other end of the experience.

Q: You are in the Navy; do security clearances and such limit you in terms of what you can write about?

A: My book is a novel and the stories, experiences, information, and impressions that congealed in my brain to form the story all came from unclassified material. I had no knowledge of any classified information or operations that dealt with Syria as I was writing. I purposefully made the story centered on humanitarian issues to get at the heart of what matters most there, the unnecessary violence against civilians, and particularly children.

Q:  You are donating proceeds from the book to Save the Children; what made you pick that organization?

A: I wanted to tell the story to raise awareness and more importantly, stimulate action. I wanted people to be know about the situation, get mad, and then take action. For most people, the action part of it is limited. So, I wanted to make the point that even a little bit helps. Even a small donation to a charity that helps Syrian kids or refugee families helps. So, my publisher (Pandamoon Publishing in Austin, Texas) agreed to donate 10% of all profit to Save the Children. To date, I have donated all of my author royalties from the book to Save the Children and will continue to do so. I also had great support from a local book store in Norfolk, VA (The Book Exchange) where they initiated a charity book sale and donated all funds from their book sales (over $1900) to Save the Children for Syrian kids.

I chose Save the Children because they have one of the highest percentages of their revenue go to children’s programs (89%). I wanted to make sure that the money that was raised for Syrian children actually benefitted them and did not go mostly to an organization’s salaries.

Q: Who are some of your writing influences and how can we see that in your work?

A: I have always enjoyed reading Tom Clancy, Frederick Forsythe, John LeCarre, and Robert Ludlum. But I know I can’t write like them. I wanted my writing to be quicker, to the point, and exciting. I enjoy writing dialogue and keeping the chapters short, something I appreciate as a reader (sometimes I don’t have time to get through a twenty or thirty page chapter – my chapters run about 5-8 pages to keep the story nimble and fast). I also try to keep the loose, fresh, and compact styles of Chuck Palahniuk and Ernest Hemingway in my mind as I write – not to emulate them – but to appreciate them and think how I can keep my writing a bit lighter, fearless, and less bogged down.

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

A: I have done a few podcast and local radio interviews, I did several book signings in my local area when the book was published in February 2016, and my publisher has been relentlessly promoting on Facebook and Twitter along with all of their other fabulous titles. I also try to drive people to my blog site (www.toddtavolazzi.com) where I have a few blog posts on why I wrote the book (to help Syrian kids) and who I am (a Navy pilot who got mad about the world situation and wrote a book to try and help). But both the physical book and e-book are available on Amazon.

Q: How did you get your book optioned for a film?

A: As I wrote the novel, I had always seen the story very clearly in my head as a movie. The novel is not structured like a film, but the scenes were very vivid for me as I wrote (probably due to all the video I had watched as I researched the topic). When the book was published, I set out to write a screenplay adapted from the novel. It took me about a month to hammer it into shape (which meant cutting a lot of things out, re-arranging a few important scenes for pacing, creating a few new scenes to show character development, and killing lots of darlings). But in the end, I had a script just short of 120 pages and I shopped it around via query letter to a lot of managers, agents, and producers with very little response (no surprise there). I also posted it on InkTip and noticed that an independent producer downloaded the logline and synopsis. I researched a bit about him, waited a few weeks to follow up and finally contacted him via e-mail. He mentioned that he was, indeed, interested in the premise and asked to read it.

Two short months of pulling my hair out waiting for the verdict, he asked to option it for film. The producer is Eric J. Adams from Sleeperwave Films – he produces award winning features with a conscience. My material was right up his alley and he understood exactly where I wanted to go with the material right away. He too agreed to donate a portion of backend profits to a charity organization.

Recently, we found an award-winning Egyptian director interested in directing the film. We also found a Syrian actor named Mohab Alshocough who is in a refugee camp in Greece. I have a few extraordinary souls, humanitarian volunteers helping refugees in Greece, helping me get our script to him to read. We want him to know that we haven’t forgotten about the Syrian people and we want him to help us tell their story through our film. We hope it will raise his spirits and give him hope in a desperate time.

We are now looking for funding for the film. We believe that this universal type of story will resonate with everyone – but for now – I need it to resonate with investors so we can make it and share it with the movie going public.

I have another novel about 3/4 complete but have put it on hold to write screenplays for a while. I have written three other feature-length screenplays with varying levels of interest from producers and managers (a few are on InkTip now…hint…hint). So, it’s an exciting time for me to be honing my craft (I was recently offered an opportunity from an independent production company to adapt a novel for them…it’s very flattering to have people take notice of my work and hope to keep the momentum going). I’m going to keep writing things that compel me and work to get that passion and emotion on the page through character and story.

Q:  If you could have any actor in Hollywood accompany you on a mission who would it be and why?

A: That’s easy…Clint Eastwood…Pale Rider, the Man with No Name, the Outlaw Josey Wales, Gunny Highway, and Dirty Harry all rolled into one…no question…Clint Eastwood.

That’s my frivolous answer…I believe that people like George Clooney (well known for his compassion for this cause – and other worthy causes like Darfur) and Jennifer Garner (already an Ambassador for Save the Children) embody the mind and heart of the compassion I’m trying to foster with this book and film project.

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 Drew Glick

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Drew Glick is the author of the upcoming novel, The WheelHouse; here is a link to the book’s Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/WheelHouse-True-Story-about-Dogs

 

 

Q: What is The WheelHouse about?

 

A: In order to describe what the novel [The WheelHouse] is about a reader must first know what is a Wheelhouse? A Wheelhouse is a metaphorical term that is used to describe the human mind, or psyche rather. Think of it in terms as you would Yin and Yang. Being that the human brain is divided into two hemispheres the ideology of Yin and Yang is the most logical way to define how our brains function; one side is light and the other is dark. Essential the novel [The WheelHouse] a constant struggle against light and dark wherein the character must be aware of his choices before he makes them so that he can predict what, if any impact his choices will have on his reality. Sounds like science fiction, right? The shocking truth is that the novel is a true story which depicts a man who struggles to understand his humanity only to learn what it means to human through his two dogs, Sasha and Gabbie…and, yes, that man would be me.

 

Q: What gave you the idea for the book?

 

A: The idea for the book started off simply enough as a short novella about a “boy and his dogs.” However, as I began to write it I concluded that I wanted to write a meaningful and heartfelt novel that would not only pay tribute to my beloved dogs, Sasha and Gabbie but immortalize them as well.

Q: What makes your characters worth reading about?

A: Well, for starters Drew is the sweetest asshole you will ever meet…and he is also one of the strongest people you will ever have the pleasure to know. However, let’s not forget that Drew would not be Drew if not for his two dogs, Sasha and Gabbie. It is because of their strength, love and loyalty that Drew was able to overcome incredible hardships such as: suicidal thoughts and tendencies, crippling depression and paranoia, constant disappointment, sickness, and, even, homelessness.

 

Q: Your biography says that you are full time as a red carpet camera operator and video editor . For what company do you work?

 

A: Yes, I work primarily for Watson Headquarters and The French Reporter. I have been with the company since December 2015. However, I will begin a full time position this summer with AfterBuzz.tv. Though, when I’m not on the red carpet I spend much of my time editing and designing titles and graphics for OMGossip.tv and other organizations as well. I am also a contributing writer for Downtown Weekly LA, and head writer for the fashion magazine, Compulsive.

 

Q: How did you get the job in the first place?

 

A: Getting the job as a red carpet camera operator (and video editor) was much harder then it may sound. I had to network, network, network! Actually, let me re-phrase that – getting the job was relatively straight forward but keeping the job was a whole other story. Filming red carpet is not like filming a scene for a movie or even a commercial. It is an incredibly fast paced environment where media is constantly fighting to get the shot of their favorite celebrity and by the time its over you just want to go home and sleep. Sadly, you can’t sleep because you have a twelve hour turn around time to get the piece up; no piece, no pay. However, with that being said it is also a fun and exciting job that lets me meet and mingle with some of Hollywood’s elite A-Listers.

 

Q:  Why do you think Hell is such a popular setting for books?

 

A:  Never forget what Keanu Reeves said in the movie, The Devil’s Advocate, “I’d rather rule in Hell then serve in Heaven.” I think Hell is intriguing, even empowering…but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I find the Devil attractive. In fact, I think the Devil is a total prick. Though, in many regards I agree that experiencing Hell can make a person mentally indestructible, not physically, of course (no one is Superman). I used to think that all those horrible events (like those I speak about in the novel) were punishment of some sort wherein I was being forced pay for my sins. It wasn’t until recently that I concluded that those events were in fact mere obstacles which God had put before me to make me stronger; to be a leader, a poet, and an inspiration (as many people have called me)…and don’t forget the old saying that goes, “God works in mysterious ways.” I think that to some degree I experienced Hell so that I may better understand God and what it is I meant to do while on this earth.

Q: What other kinds of writing do you do?

 

A: My published works range from sci-fi, fantasy, suspense and self help. I also recently started a personal blog where I write primarily about topics which relate directly to the entertainment industry as a whole. Occasionally, I publish “how-to” articles on video editing where I cover novice, intermediate and elite techniques and tricks such as Rotoscoping, Advanced Green Screen Tutorials, Color Correction and more. Periodically, I will also take time to write a short article about life, love and the pursuit of happiness (which can be found exclusively on my blog as well). I guess you could say I’m still trying to find my “niche.”

 

 

 

Q:  How do you go about selecting cover art?

 

A: The cover art for The WheelHouse was hand drawn by a good friend of mine, Eric Hunn. Both Eric and I wanted to convey an image of a man who is one with his thoughts; who knows who he is and who knows his purpose. To accomplish this we decided to recreate the iconic image of the bronzed sculpture known as, The Thinker (by Auguste Rodin). We felt that by re-creating an image depicting a modern day “thinker” we were able to capture the true ideology of the WheelHouse.

 

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

 

A:  Well, currently the book is only available for “advance” purchase (it will be available worldwide April 7th, 2017). However, so far the book has been mentioned in a number of well known magazines which are distributed around the globe, and has been dubbed, “a must read!” In April of 2017 I will be speaking on LA Talk Radio to answer questions about the book and to further promote the idea of The WheelHouse. 

Q: If you had to go to Hell for some reason, who would you take as your guide? Please assume that Virgil is all booked up.

 

A: Let me start by saying that I have been to Hell many times throughout the course of my life. As I guide I am the best man for the job! Yet, if I had to choose someone to be my guide I would have to say Ronnie James Dio. Call it what you will but I love his music!

 

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 John Kildemm

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John Kildemm is a writer for the Eric Andre show and the author of the autobiographical book series, Hey Doorman; here is a link to his link to his Amazon page:

Q: When did you know you were a writer?

 

A: I knew I was a writer once I got into my major of electrical engineering in college. I disliked it so much that I actually started to read books again, which this sent me on a path of writing, in particular comedy. My mother would say that I was a writer before 5th grade, as all of my montessori teachers thought that I would grow up to be a writer based on all of my advanced reading (Stephen Hawking, Ian Fleming, Stephen King, Dean Koontz) and the fact that I used to write stories all of the time. These stories were some amalgamation of James Bond, sci-fi, and Kung-Fu as those were my biggest influences at that time. These are still major influences to this day, just add in Tarantino, Scorsese, Coen Brothers, David Fincher and Lynch, Spike Jonze and Lee, Jim Jarmusch and Bong Joon-ho.

Q: How did you come to be a bouncer?

 

A:  I became a bouncer due to two factors. (1) I am 6’3″, 200lbs, black, and look like I can whoop your ass. (2) A comedian buddy of mine introduced me to another comedy buddy of his in LA who worked as a bouncer. And that bouncer wanted some nights off, so he offered me some of his shifts. In other words, it was my physical appearance in combination with a lazy man that began my all too long career as a bouncer. Which is how at least two thirds of people get their jobs, right?

Q:  Is it true that they tell you not to let people in based on race, age and looks?

 

A:  It is true that at certain night spots in LA there are unwritten rules on who to let in which are based on beauty, race, age etc. I actually know a couple bouncers who work at those places. But for myself, I have never worked at one of those places. That being said, pretty women are ushered in at almost all costs, while a guy slipping a bouncer money will get you in just as quickly. The tricky part comes when pretty women are there with their male friends or boyfriends, because once we are near capacity a single penis will send your group to the back of the line. This is when, in my case, you need to have a witty/smart pretty woman to talk your group past the line. Because there is almost nothing a guy can say to me to get his group in, that isn’t sponsored by Jackson, Grant and/or Franklin.

 

Q: Did you ever actually have to rough anybody up, or do you just look intimidating?

 

A: Ninety-nine percent of the time I do not have to rough anybody up. Primarily because I work in West Hollywood, where there’s a bunch of models and actors. In other words, people who really need their faces intact and are generally of average human height and below average human weight. The few times I have hit someone it was more than called for. One time a guy was assaulting a woman. Another time a drunk guy was pummeling a small patron. Another time a guy intentionally knocked my book (Art Linson’s What Just Happened?) out of my hand so I had to strike him. If you don’t know that book, it has Robert De Niro on the cover. And no one fucks with De Niro, despite his poor movie choices the last decade.

Q:  Who was your most memorable drunk?

 

A: My most memorable drunk is a tough one, as there are too many to count. Plus I chronicle the best of the best in each volume of my ebook series, Hey Doorman. So I will go with the one that occurred when I wasn’t even working. It was at our company Holiday Party. A company employee got so drunk that he attacked the manager on duty that night for no reason and proceeded to pummel him until the barback stopped him. I saw this unfold on video the following day. The funny part was that the guy who attacked the manager had no recollection of what he did. He even showed up to work the next day, only to be informed that he was fired and formal charges were being filed against him.

Q: Why are people so fascinated with Hollywood nightlife, isn’t a drunk a drunk?

 

A:  Drunks are drunks are drunks. This is true. But people are fascinated by anything Hollywood (I.E. Los Angeles), because of what Hollywood represents: The American dream. Coming from nothing and rising to the top of everything. You can make an argument that, the actor, is the top spot in American culture. Our current president became pop culture famous from TV and former president Ronald Reagan was a b-movie actor. These two men became the most powerful men in the world and they weren’t even good actors. Imagine what a Meryl Streep or Denzel Washington could do? On the other side of this Hollywood coin, you have the greatest falls America has ever seen. Look no further than OJ Simpson. His meteoric fall was something that the nation, nor world, could look away from (so much so that his trial gave birth to an entire TV network). This immensely watchable dichotomy is why people are forever fascinated by Hollywood.

 

Q: How did you become a writer for the Eric Andre show?

 

A: I became a writer for The Eric Andre Show through my standup comedy connections. I have been performing standup for over 10 years, beginning in Chicago, where I met and became friends with Hannibal Buress. He and I share a similar comedic perspective and he thought I would be a good fit for Eric’s show, so he forwarded some sketches I wrote to Eric. Eric liked them and brought me into his writers room for Season 4, which I could not be more proud of as I have so much respect and admiration for his show. Since then I have also become friends with Eric, who by the way, has hands down the coolest birthday parties that I have ever been to. But due to a Non Disclosure Agreement I can not say any more (wink).

 

Q: What would surprise us about Eric?

 

A: Nothing would surprise me about Eric as I have known him for a while. But what would surprise some people is how diligent and un-crazy he is in the writers room. Eric is a good boss and writing partner. He is nurturing, kind, and open to creativity. Period. Just a good creative dude, who may or may not whip his penis out.

 

Q: Do you think the shock value of the show will ever wear thin or do you think you can keep taking it to new levels?

 

A:  I don’t think The Eric Andre Show’s shock value will ever wear thin, primarily due to Eric. He would rather walk away than not keep taking things to another thoroughly crazy level. Secondly, the format of the show doesn’t allow things to get comfortable as it has a running time of about 11 minutes. If the show was 30 minutes or if Eric was not so hands on, I would feel differently.

Q: Who do you think would win in a fight, Eric Andre or Lauren Conrad?

 

A: Lauren Conrad versus Eric Andre… Hmmm… While I am 100% sure that Eric can win the fight, I also know he is business savvy. Meaning he knows that the real money is in the rematch or rematches. So while Eric would not throw the first fight, he would most certainly exploit it for all that it is worth. There would be a lot of Vaseline and he would most certainly show up naked or at least wearing a banana hammock with Lauren’s face on it. He would then proceed to push the boundries of sex (without being pornographic; he needs the reruns to play on television), drug use, and violence. In the end, Lauren would be declared the winner. But the real winner would be the viewers.

 

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