Tag: most influential entertainment bloggers

An Interview With Author Shawn Rohrbach

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Shawn Rohrbach  is the author of the novel “Rogue Scion”; here is a link to his website:

 

http://www.shawnrohrbach.com/

 

Q:  What is “Rogue Scion” about?

 

A: A young man, Peter, who is tired of the wealth surrounding him in one of the richest families in the country conspires with an MIT computer science drop out, Melyssa, to take down the computing systems supporting the New York Stock Exchange.  She is bright enough and he has inside connections to get her into the server rooms that they almost succeed.  My character Grady Marcs, however, is a bit brighter and stops the process, but not before Peter’s family pays to eliminate Melyssa for trying to destroy their money and hide their son Peter from the law.  No one should doubt the power the 1% have.

Q: What inspired you to write it?

A: I worked for a very wealthy family, part of the 1% for sure, as their general business manager.  While the family I worked for were generous, fair, supportive and in every way good people, the people they had to deal with were not.  I wanted to work through the idea that one of their own would go rogue on them and try to take them out financially.

 

Q:  What kind of research did you do?

 

A: My research for this have been pretty much life long as an MBA graduate, finance manager, general manager of several businesses and now as an Information technology consultant.  This story has been developing for the past thirty years in my daily work.

 

Q: What interests you about the Catholic Church?

 

A: I was a life long Catholic until my late 20’s and even earned my BA in medieval Philosophy in a Catholic seminary.  The priest in the book who serves as the hit man for a very wealthy German family is a fictional character based on several priests I have known.  None of them were murderers but they had a penchant for glorifying the violence they felt was righteous violence, such as the murder of abortion doctors.  Some of these priests even saw the gulf wars and the war in Afghanistan as holy wars to curtail the spread of the Muslim religion.

Q: What makes Grady Marcs worth reading about?

A: Grady is not a perfect person, but he works hard to do the right thing.  If he comes off as a hero, he would not want anyone to say that.  He just has skills, as a former Ranger and then as a computer programmer, that enable him to break down and thwart certain types of crimes others might not be able to.   His imperfections and his quiet commitment to do the right thing, not necessarily the righteous thing as defined by some church, makes him an interesting study.

Q: What is your writing process?

A: Roque Scion took over two years to write as I work slowly through each chapter to make sure it is a building block toward the end.  I am not a novelist who must have an ending where all the loose ends are tied up and the hero goes home for dinner.  Life is not that way.  There are plenty of loose ends, unfulfilled promises and that wort of thing and that gives life fabric. I hand write a general story line for the novel and then hand write ideas for the first five or so chapters, and then type them out.  Once I have those first chapters I read them over several times and work out any kinks, then move on to five or six more chapters, and repeat the editing process.  By the time I have 200 or m ore pages, I have a pretty good idea on how I want to end it.  Using the motorhome toward the end of the novel was written long before the famous television program ‘Breaking Bad’ but people who read those parts claim I borrowed the idea of a motorhome from that and that is not the case. I just like from the beginning the idea a super wealthy kid who could afford any home he wanted chose to live in a motorhome.  For me, a novel is much like the houses my father built/  Once the house is framed with windows, roofing, siding, doors and those basics that is 25% of the work. For me, even when I have slowly written thirty chapters and I have and ending, I still have so much editing to do to get it where I like it.

Q: Of all the day jobs you have ever had in your life, which one has had the greatest impact on your writing?

A: As General Manager for the family I worked for.  I met and worked with people from every economic and social strata. I even had to monitor the cleaning of a two hundred thousand gallon community septic tank with a city official to get an occupancy permit.  I ate lunch with billionaires as I tried to put financing together for projects.  It was the experience of being around everyt type of person one could imagine that informed my character development.

Q: What kind of educational background do you have?

A: I have a BA in Medieval Philosophy from a Catholic seminary, a year of Systematic Theology in the same seminary, most of my MBA in Information Systems and I completed my MFA in Writing at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

Q: What is the strangest thing any critic has ever said about your writing?

A: When reading my book “Open Your Heart with Bicycling…” one anonymous critic said all my references to food distracted her/him and took her/him off their diet.

Q: If you could let Grady assist any famous detective from literature with a mystery, who would it be and with what mystery would he assist this detective?

A: I would have him assist Smile in John LeCarres “Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy”.  He would be on the inside in Communist East Berlin to catch the mole.

 

 

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

An Interview With Writer Christine Roundy

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Christine Roundy coauthored the book, A Time to Speak with Timothy Becker; here is a link to the book’s Amazon page:

 

 

Q: What is, A Time to Speak about?

 

A: A Time to Speak is about the sexual abuse of fifteen year old Timothy Becker by his parish priest.  Not only does the book cover this eight month part of his life, it builds on his story about his adoption at one month old.  Timothy also faces other challenges in his youth.  He was born with a club foot and developed epilepsy in kindergarten, an illness that put him on phenobarbital until he was nearly sixteen.  It is also his story of suppression – shoving all his horrific memories into the nether regions of his mind.  But his suppression brings out multiple personalities, anger issues, and a will to survive when all his memories surge back some twenty-seven years later.  A Time to Speak marks his healing as he finally comes to terms with the challenges of his life.

 

Q:  How did you meet Timothy?

 

A: I met Timothy thru my husband.  Mac drives for a transportation company and has picked up Timothy on several occasions and taken him to Park City, Utah where he works.  Tim has spoken of his abuse on these taxi rides and my husband wondered if I was interested in doing an interview with him.  I have written other biographies for people and I have written many fiction stories, two which have been published.

 

Q: What interested you about his story?

 

A: I was interested in Tim’s story because I believe that the perpetrators of any child abuse and molestations must pay the consequences for such vile behavior!  Our little ones are put in a no win situation.  Rarely does a child tell anyone what is happening to them.  They are threatened not to tell.  They are told that bad things will happen to their families and to them.  In many cases it does.  Nevertheless, it causes untold trauma to children of any age that they cannot comprehend it all.  The trauma is ongoing.

 

Q: There have been a lot of books and films about abusive priests recently. What makes this story unique?

 

A: Tim’s story is unique in a few ways.  First, those on his board of review within the Catholic Diocese which he attended, treated him as if he were a liar and mentally incompetent, stipulating that fifteen therapy sessions was charity only, and they hoped he got better.  Second, He had the courage to put his name out publicly.  Where other abuse victims were speaking out anonymously or giving only their initials, Timothy gave his whole name, and named his abuser.  Newspapers across the nation picked up the story and it stayed in the headlines for a while.

 

Q: Do you use people’s real names in the book?

 

A: Tim and I debated this question.  Of course we asked permission from friends and family members if we could use their names and they opted for privacy.  Consequently, we decided that the only real name we’d use would be Tim’s.  By means of public interest we could legally put in the name of his abuser, but we chose to change that name also.  Who really knows how this story will end in the future?

 

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

 

A: I am a secretary by day and a writer by night.  I work for my local school district in the Youth in Custody Department.  I collect data and school records for incoming students that are in State’s Custody.  We are concerned with the education of each student, whether they be five or eighteen, we make sure they are placed in the most productive environment.  This job has not yet influenced my writing in any way.  We can only see what may happen as the years go by.

 

Q: What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

 

A: I think the most difficult thing about writing this book was when I fell very ill for about two months last winter and I had to stop working on it.  It is a disconcerting topic.  I think also that by reading it over and over again I became desensitized and I began to wonder if it was worth my time.  Of course it was, and I don’t regret any time I spent on this book or this topic.  These are stories that need to be told. These are horrors that need to be spoken about, and these are people who need a listening ear.

 

Q: What is your writing process?

 

A: My writing process?  Hum!  Mostly I dream my stories.  I’d say my writing process is very haphazard.  I jot things down. I type myself e-mails and add them in later.  I’ll sit for hours composing right on my PC. Sometimes only a pen and paper are the right things to use.  I think about my stories a lot!  Many times I get my ending before the beginning.  When I know the outcome, then I can figure out where to begin.  Sometimes I’ll have a beginning waiting many years before I ever get back to it.

 

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

 

A: I have my own website where I offer my novels.  roundycorner.wix.com/mysite  Of course they are on Amazon.com.  I offer free giveaways on Goodreads.  I’m on Twitter and Facebook.  I do book signings and have one coming up at Hunter Library on September 10, 2016 in West Valley, Utah.  I have also engaged the services of Word Slinger which is where you found me.  Thanks.

 

 

Q: Do you think the fact that the book is explicit may turn some people off from reading it?

 

A: Yes!  I’ve had four people unfriend me on Facebook because of it.  I have friends that have encouraged me to write it and haven’t purchased the book.  I have friends tell me that they will never read it because it has some explicit scenes.  That doesn’t bother me.  Even though I worked hard to treat Tim’s experiences with respect and dignity, I know this subject is not for everyone.  It’s a shame, though, when people hide their heads in the sand because they don’t like something.  That’s the time to stand up and do something about it!  As a Romantic fiction novelist, I do not write explicit sex scenes in my stories.  Sexual tension, yes!  Garbage, no!  Just sayin’.

 

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

 

An Interview With Writer Warren Pete

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Warren Pete is the author of The Shrinkage Situation; here is a link to his website:

https://www.amazon.com/Shrinkage-Situation-Novel-Warren-Pete-ebook/dp/B01HLGCYPE/

Q: What is The Shrinkage Situation about?

A: After a hometown grocery store’s puzzling acquisition by a pioneering eCommerce conglomerate, one man becomes suspicious when the grocery store’s best employees – including himself – are fired.

Grant Taylor loves just two things in the entire world: bacon and his job marking receipts at Mesford Mart, the local family-owned grocery store he has worked at for 22 years. However, Grant’s idyllic existence comes crashing down when Not Evil Worldwide (NEW), the largest technology company in the world, acquires Mesford Mart. NEW’s insistence on technical innovation and analytics is a complete 180 from Grant’s old-fashioned values of hard work and excellent customer service. The culture clash peaks when NEW’s analytics technology names Grant as a key reason for the store’s loss of inventory and he is promptly fired.

Aided by his friend Ravina, a sexual harassment lawyer who is equal parts lewd and successful, Grant embarks on a quest to win back his job and prove his innocence. While investigating, Grant is forced to navigate the job market for the first time in two decades, and is aghast with a job market full of high-tech automation, hipster-owned juice bars, and entry-level jobs requiring a doctorate degree.

Initially viewing his firing as an honest mistake, Grant’s investigation unveils that NEW’s ulterior motives are much more ominous.

The Shrinkage Situation is a comedic novel that mixes humor and thought provocation. And answers the serious questions:

Who are the losers in a world of technological progress?

Why are hipsters so mean?
Is digital social networking tearing us apart?
Is there anything bacon doesn’t taste good with?

 

Q: What experiences did you draw from when writing it?

A: My experiences working in the tech sector played a key influence in The Shrinkage Situation. I wanted to write about the impact technology has on the lives we lead today. With every technical breakthrough or exciting free app or service there is a sacrifice made in the human experience or the right to privacy.

Q: Who is your intended audience?

A: While the rise of technology is a major theme of The Shrinkage Situation, my intention was to write a novel for everyone, not just the tech savvy, for we all are affected by these innovations that are integrated within our lives. While The Shrinkage Situationtackles several of today’s universal issues, I wanted to make it first and foremost an entertaining, funny, and original novel that could be enjoyed by a wide range of readers.

 

Q: What makes Grant worth reading about?

A: Grant represents a generation of Americans who were raised on the value of hard work and loyalty but now find themselves in an unrecognizable world where such closely-held values are no longer a priority. Just like Grant, millions of working and middle class workers are being forced out of their jobs due to the rise of global competition, technological advancement, and the ever-growing need to please shareholders and meet the bottom line. Regardless of income bracket or profession, we all are forced to confront the perils of technology, globalization, and the basic threat of being left behind in the rapidly changing times.

Q: What one book has influenced you the most as a writer?

A: Jennifer Government by Max Barry did wonders for me. I stumbled across his satirical bestseller in high school right when I was starting to commit more time to writing. His novel showed me that you can write with purpose without being so heavy-handed that you suck all the fun away from the reader. Although Jennifer Government was hilarious and endlessly entertaining, Barry clearly portrayed his stance on the dangers of consumerism.

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

A: I work full-time as a product manager and data marketing director for a mobile analytics startup. A significant part of my job is to keep up with, or define, the cutting edge of technology and to stay informed on how other technology companies utilize big data collected from their users. On a daily basis, I am immersed in both the benefits and threats that technology poses to today’s society.

Q: What is your process for writing a book?

A: Creative writing is my outlet for exploring key issues that are affecting the world today. As soon as I find or decide upon an issue I want to focus on, I just start writing freestyle to drum up ideas for characters, plot twists, and themes. Given my significant passion and hands-on involvement with the subject matter, very little outside research was needed for The Shrinkage Situation.

From a handful of freestyle writing sessions, I cobbled together a loose outline, and began writing the novel from there. While this led to some inefficiencies and a decent amount of rewriting, I don’t regret my improvisational approach since it allowed for the story to grow well beyond the original scope. The Shrinkage Situation actually started off as a short story, but I kept thinking of more and more to add, and had so much fun writing that it soon expanded to a full novel.

 

Q: Do you belong to a writers group or do you fly solo?

A: Outside of requesting intermittent feedback through various online communities, I don’t partake in any formal feedback groups currently. That being said, I do see the value in such programs and will probably look into joining such groups for my next project.

Q: How do you overcome writer’s block?

A: Spending the vast majority of my days working in a business setting lets me passively think about my writing projects and lets me refresh between writing sessions. In the rare cases where I may have writer’s block, I’ll take a few days to flesh out another potential story idea or dedicate more time to other creative mediums such as poetry or playing guitar. Alternating my creative outlet, whether through a different story or an entirely different artistic format, helps me take a mental breather from my current main project while still keeping my creativity running. I’ve found that often when I am least thinking of it, I’ll discover a creative breakthrough.

Q: What is Grant’s secret dream job?

A: Receipt checker. Since his first day on the job, he never considered another profession. All he cares about is dedicating his life and improving upon his craft.

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

An Interview With Writer S.M.W. Claw

 

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S.M.W. Claw is the author of Goggles Gone Strong; here is a link to her website:

http://www.smwclaw.com/

Q: What is Goggles Gone Strong about?

 

A: Goggles Gone Strong is about 11-year-old Calypso Blue, who finds herself on a strange island with a strange family, wearing an absurd pair of goggles. She has to save the dad from a giant saltwater crocodile, the mom from a sacrificial ritual, herself from mauling by the evil guy’s vicious tigers (oh, and a shark!) before she can figure out those danged goggles and nab the treasure to bring it home.

 

Q: What inspired you to write it?

 

A: I came to writing a book a little bit differently than most, I think. I’ve never aspired to be a writer, but I have always been a voracious reader–cereal boxes, junk mail, calculus textbooks… anything!

 

I had to give up my novel reading habit when I started having kids. The problem was I’d stay up until 4 AM trying to finish the story and wake up as the Wicked Witch of the West (not exactly the mother or wife of anyone’s dreams). My nighttime routine had gradually devolved to me reading Facebook and design and political blogs to unwind.

 

Eventually it occurred to me that I’d been spending every evening for a couple of years in this way and I had nothing to show for it. I wasn’t a better person. I wasn’t better friends with anyone. I had no new talents or skills.

 

What if I used that time to do something productive? Something that could potentially stand the test of time? Something I could hand off to my kids and grandkids?

 

I decided to try and write a book. It took me three years, but I did it!

 

Q: What sets it apart from other children’s books?

 

A: This is great question. Thank you, Eliza.

  • Goggles Gone Strong has a very unique setting on a somewhat magical tropical island.
  • It has a large cast of characters from all over the world populating the beach.
  • Calypso Blue speaks Latin–when it comes to spiders’ binomials.
  • Delicious exotic and tropical foods are mentioned often.
  • Calypso finds herself thrown into a large family and interacting with people of all ages–from baby to ancient.
  • The baby can swim ahead of a shark, throw a grappling hook, grip to the wall and fly. The ancient can too.
  • The Blues are saved from a springing cobra by the well-timed introduction of a beloved plastic doll. Thunk.
  • I can’t think of a single other book where the main characters wear safety goggles.
  • A mysterious man in a filmstrip interacts with the Blues and transfers gifts to them.
  • The Blue’s Hideout is powered entirely by lava–lava pulsing through piping hot tubes in the ceiling.

Is that enough yet?

 

Q: What makes Calypso series worthy?

 

A: Actually, Calypso is not the main character for the entire series. There are a bunch of children in her group and each book in the series will be told from another child’s point of view.

 

The next book, True Tuesday, is from Reggie Blue’s point of view. He’s a bit of a know-it-all and a hothead, so things are off to a bad start from the very beginning.

 

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

 

A: I am a mother. I like to think I understand children’s characters and motivations pretty well.

 

Q:  What is your strangest work story?

 

A: I don’t know if this is the strangest story, but it’s the most memorable to me because I felt so badly about it. In college I worked on the grounds crew at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT (The place most Mormon missionaries go for a few weeks to learn the ropes.)

 

I held the coveted position of “sprinkler girl,” which meant I didn’t have to do the grunt work of mowing or weeding. I got to ride around the grounds on a four-wheeler inspecting and repairing the sprinkler systems.

 

At the time there was also a construction crew on the grounds installing new water lines. They would dig giant holes in lawns outside dormitories and I’d have to turn the sprinkler system off in that area, then water the dying grass around the holes manually.

 

I was a pretty unmistakable figure on the grounds, roaring my four-wheeler through the throngs of white-shirted missionaries, and the construction crew was always very friendly to me, waving and smiling, until one day when I pulled up to their largest hole yet. It could’ve swallowed a nose-diving truck. And next to it was a large patch of nearly dead lawn.

 

They jokingly told me I could only water the lawn if I made very sure to not get any water in the hole–they were going to work in there next. And I laughed, because there was no way I was going to get water in the hole–I knew how to set up a simple pulsating sprinkler, and I’d watered next to their holes dozens of times already. I set the sprinkler’s back towards the hole, carefully set the boundaries to not be anywhere even close to approaching it, watched it carefully through several rotations and then left.

 

And you guessed it. When I roared up a few hours later, the entire construction crew was glaring at me. The sprinkler had broken, wasn’t rotating at all and was spraying water backwards, straight into the hole, which was now full of water.

 

That construction crew turned their backs whenever I passed and never smiled at me again. I had to deal with that for several weeks before they they left, but now that I’ve had time to think about it… if a dry hole was so important to them, why didn’t one of them just walk over and turn the sprinkler around as soon as water started hitting the hole?? Or just turn the danged thing off???

 

I’ll never know. Anyways, that felt good to get off my chest. Thanks!

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

 

A: Hmmm, I’ve done press releases, interviews, a giveaway, and posted links on Reddit and SlickDeals to my free eBook. I think the SlickDeals link has given me the most obvious bump in downloads.

 

Q:  What would you like to tell other writers about self-publishing?

 

A: It’s surprisingly fun. Maybe it’s just because I’m a very independent person, but I love being in charge of what I do and when. I hate people breathing down my neck about deadlines. That’s half the reason I never went to grad school. Oh, and quit my desk job before I even had kids.

 

And really, what do you have to lose?

 

Q: What were some of your favorite books as a child?

 

A:I loved The Chronicles of Narnia. I read the entire series every summer. I also read one of The Three Investigators every week. (Maybe someday I’ll have a child named Jupiter.) I also read Joan Aiken short stories, and adored Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle–where is that woman when I need her?!

 

For years I listed The Fragile Flag by Jane Langton as her favorite book ever. (And don’t forget The Diamond in the Window or The Swing in the Summer House!)

 

Harry Potter wasn’t around until I was in college, but I’ve read all the books many, many times.

 

But most importantly, since I was 9 years old I’ve read every day from The Book of Mormon. Back then, I understood very little of what was going on, but it made me feel awesome!

 

Q: What trends in literature annoy you?

 

A: I don’t know if this is a literary trend, but I’m kind of annoyed with the books I see today that have an awesome premise and a sizzling first few chapters, but peter out quickly until they barely limp over the finish line. And then the next book in the series is a watered down version of the same.

 

I understand why this is and I have no good solutions, but I like a book that when I get to the end makes me want to stand up and say, “Hooray! Hooray for this!!”

 

And then start it all over again.

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 Lofn Dabria

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Lofn Dabria is the author of, Love Me Like a Waterfall; here is a link to the Amazon page:

 

 

Q:  What is Love Me Like a Waterfall,” about?

 

A:  Love me like a waterfall is an inspirational story about a broken heart, adventure, redemption, and the courage to love again with a hint of mysticism through water. Mattie, our young heroine, has a long-term relationship with a rock star named Donald. Their relationship keeps clashing due to his career. Donald invites Mattie to a party and she is shocked when he introduces her as a songwriter and not his girlfriend. Brokenhearted she leaves him. A few months later, Donald comes back to Mattie after getting a phone call from her friend. He begs for her to come back to him but she decides it is best to move on. She takes a vacation to Brazil and meets a mysterious exotic man who turns her world upside down. They build a friendship and Mattie desires to take it to the next level but she remembers her checkered past. She parts ways with the exotic stranger and returns home refreshed and filled with more wisdom. By a chance of serendipity, she bumps into a man she saw back in Brazil who took her fancy for a moment. They have a strange encounter, meet again in water, and she realizes she can have the courage to be loved like a waterfall. Like a lotus love blooms and wilts with time but it can be reborn. And just like a waterfall it comes back full stream to the source of one’s heart never closing out.

 

Q:  What makes Mattie an character worth reading about?

 

A: What makes her worth reading is her relatability and being the woman that we all are in any given relationship. She learns through her own mistakes and sees what kind of love she wants.

 

Q:  What is the meaning of the title?

 

A:  The meaning of the title is how one would look at themselves. How does water flow and would define yourself to your natural element? Water never fades or flows in different directions unless the course of action does so. The title is a representation of my love for water and looking at love how it flows all the way around full circle.

 

Q:  How is it different from other erotic books?

 

A: This is different from other erotic books because the elements in the story define the characters and the hope of reaching one another is key.

 

Q: Who are some of your writing influences?

 

A: My writing influences when writing this book is Melody Gardot and Sade. I looked at their music and also the way they perceive through their emotional sway. I pictured that to see if I could do that to by bringing these characters to life.

 

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

 

A: I work in sales and marketing. I am around people all the time. Looking at different people all the time gives me new stories and incentive to see the world a little more differently when walking in their shoes.

 

Q:  What have you done to promote your writing?

 

A: I have been doing some PR for my book and campaign on social media to promote it out there.

 

Q:  What inspires you to write?

 

A: What inspires to me write is the imagination of what other stories I can come up with. I have been writing since I was a small child. I never think, I just do and what inspires me is the thrill of the written and oral word. It is hard to say what inspires me when all things can inspire me.

 

Q:  What do you think is the difference between good erotica and bad erotica?

 

A: The difference to me is a plot that what makes a good erotica versus bad erotica. The plot, characters and setting of the story really matter.

 

Q:  If you could go to a rock concert with any character from literature who would it be?

 

A: I would go with probably would go with moody Spock. I think he would be interesting to go with because his reaction would be the best.

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 The Behrg

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The Behrg is the author of the story “The Girl Who Couldn’t Come Up With an Original Title,” and the book Housebroken; here is a link to his website:

 

http://www.thebehrg.com/

 

Q:  What is “The Girl Who Couldn’t Come Up With an Original Title,” about.

 

A: “The Girl Who Couldn’t Come Up With an Original Title” was spawned from a comment a blogger friend of mine made on Twitter regarding the sheer number of books coming out with “The Girl” in them. Girl on a Train, Girl in the Ice, Girl on Fire, the list goes on and on, and I thought wouldn’t it be great to poke fun at that trend by also taking part in it? Yet I didn’t want the story to be merely a satire. When I started writing it, without knowing where it was going, it led me to a very dark place. Ultimately the story is about life and death, and the short distance between.

 

Q:  What makes “The Girl” an interesting character?

 

A: I think “The Girl” is interesting because she’s so relatable. We all have trying times in our lives and can identify with those who are down. She takes the tumble a little further than most, however, and we’re able to follow her journey into this realm known as “The Lines,” which parallels her own attempts at suicide. Like I said, it’s definitely a dark story.

 

Q:  What is Housebroken about?

 

A: Housebroken is a novel about a seemingly ordinary family who is held hostage in their own home. But unlike most kidnapping / home invasion tales, these kidnappers want only to observe the family. They create rules that are almost impossible not to break, and the consequences for both action and inaction are quite terrifying. There are plenty of twists and turns as the narrative unfolds, revealing secrets not only from the kidnappers, but the very family they’ve decided to target.

 

Q:  What inspired you to write the story?

 

A: The idea for this story came after a recent move with my family. A guy showed up at our door selling magazine subscriptions, but there was just something off about him. After he left I had the creepiest feeling that he had been there for something other than his purported purpose. It got the wheels turning. I started working on the novel the very next day.

 

Q:  Why do you think stories about kidnapping interest people so much?

 

A: Kidnapping stories are different than your typical horror or thriller driven tales. In the latter, we find surreal monsters or serial killers that, while possible, most likely will never cross our paths. Kidnapping is different because it doesn’t require the supernatural or supreme coincidences; it could happen to anyone at any time, thus it becomes a universal fear. Kidnapping stories are also about ordinary people fighting back against untold horrors, and that’s something we can all relate to, in one way or another.

 

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

 

A: My day job revolves around sales, in one form or another. I’ve sold everything from knives to marketing services to credit insurance to trucks. I’ve always known that to pursue my goals of writing I would need to have something to support a family, and sales has enabled me to pursue my passions in my off-time. The funny thing about being in sales is that I’m so reluctant to sell myself or my writing. I have no problem slinging a product for a company but have a difficult time telling people about my work or asking someone to buy something I’ve created myself.

 

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

 

A: There are so many, it’s difficult to narrow this one down. Stephen King is an obvious influence, but rather than the horror elements of his stories I’m more taken in by his development of character. I read a wide array of genres, so I would have to include Orson Scott Card, Blake Crouch, Ralph Ellison, Gregg Hurwitz, Michael Connelly, Michael Crichton, and Peter Straub. These are all authors who inspire me with their words, craft, and understanding of story.

 

Q:  What trends in literature annoy you?

 

A: I love this question! I do agree w/ my blogger friend about the trend with “Girl” in the title, though it’s only the latest in a long slew of popular trends. I find it funny that when a book breaks big everyone scrambles to try to be the same thing as that book, rather than attempting to innovate, which is typically the reason for the original book’s success in the first place. I try not to follow trends and instead write stories I would want to read with characters that fascinate me.

 

Q:  You say you worked as a child actor and appeared on the Twilight Zone. Which episode were you in?

 

A: I worked quite a bit for over ten years as a child actor and have no idea how my parents did it, to be honest! The Twilight Zone episode I was in is one called “The Elevator.” I played a “Young Will” in a flashback scene and was able to practice screaming for awhile. J

 

Q:  If one of your characters could come work for you as your personal assistant, who would you pick ?

 

A: Most of my characters are fabulously flawed, with dark sides that make this question particularly difficult. I suppose I might choose one of the protagonists in my Creation Series, Faye Moanna, solely because she’s a person who gets things done. She wouldn’t care about hurting my feelings but would probably push me to do the marketing things I consistently put off.

 

 

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