Tag: writers

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.

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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 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.

An Interview With Writer Preston Fassel

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Preston Fassel is the author of Our Lady of the Inferno and an editor at Cinedump.com; here is a link to his Amazon page:

 

 

 

 Q: What is Our Lady of the Inferno about?

 

A: Literally, it’s about the intersecting stories of two different women in 1983 New York: Ginny, a runaway from the Midwest who ends up overseeing the prostitution operation of a Times Square gangster in order to help care for her disabled sister; and Nicolette, a waste management executive who moonlights as a serial killer, kidnapping prostitutes and ritualistically hunting them down in her own dump after hours. At the start of the book, Ginny has sort of become a criminal kingpin in her own right, but the moral compromises she’s made are beginning to take a toll on her, and a series of personal tragedies and professional missteps push her over the edge. Meanwhile, Nicolette is entering her third year as a serial killer, and her ability to isolate her “normal” persona from her “killer” persona is slipping. Nicolette learns about Ginny while scouting for victims one day, and she becomes obsessed with making her the next victim.

 

Thematically, it’s an ode to the 80s movies I grew up watching that had these very vibrant, appealing female characters like Night of the Comet and Modern Girls, and I used that template to explore a wide range of ideas and topics, like PTSD, and retaining your identity after trauma; body image; and gender relations and gender roles.

 

Q:  Who inspired the characters of Ginny and Nicolette?

 

A: Ginny is an amalgamation. Consciously, I started her out as the kind of girl I’d have liked to have dated in high school, mixed with 80s archetypes—I once referred to my original concept as “the valley girl from Hell”— mixed with bits and bobs of several women I’ve known and worked with. Her surname “Kurva,” for example, is a bit of wordplay inspired by something that a filmmaker named Jen Soska once said to me during an interview. As I got deeper into the book I started to steal bits and pieces from my wife. She used to be an inner city high school teacher and I took a lot of Ginny’s interactions with her girls from the way I saw my wife handling her rougher students. My wife’s also very good at convincing people to get things done and I took Ginny’s talent for talking people into doing stuff from her, too. Physically, I modeled her on Andrea Rau’s character Ilona in the film Daughters of Darkness, on whom I had something of a crush in college.

 

Subconsciously, I realized after I’d finished the book, a lot of Ginny’s darker elements had come from me—her drinking, her depression— but so does her fascination with outer space, her scientific background, and her taste in music and movies. I don’t know what it says about me that I made my literary analogue a strong, sexy, 21 year old woman…

 

Nicolette was initially born out of my desire to write a story about a serial killer who thinks they’re the Minotaur. It’s such a scary idea but so many people have tried and failed to do it well. Dexter had like one episode where he was the throwaway killer of the week. The Venture Bros. had an episode where the Monarch thinks he’s the Minotaur, and it’s all played for laughs. American Horror Story had their minotaur die pretty much offscreen after one episode. So much wasted potential. I also wanted to create a frightening female horror villain, and I figured that if Ginny eventually emerges as this feminist ideal—independent, brilliant, ambitious, nurturing—then Nicolette should be the opposite of that. She’s the sort of woman who thinks that all women should conform to her standards, who views women solely through the lens of their sexuality and who sees the world very narrowly, who figuratively and literally cuts down other women to get ahead in the world.

 

 

Q: What makes them worth reading about?

 

A: I tried to make Ginny a real, strong, yet flawed female protagonist, and that isn’t something there’s really a lot of. Writers are still trying to figure out how to do that. They think that “strong woman” means either she just beats a lot of people up, or she makes a lot of sarcastic remarks, or she’s super disaffected. And when a female character is strong she’s 100% strong and when she’s vulnerable she’s 100% vulnerable. They have about as much complexity and depth as an 80s action movie hero, and that’s not interesting. I wanted Ginny to be real and I wanted the reader to fall in love with her. I made her funny, and smart, and vicious and petty and loving and spiteful and strong and weak. She’s the kind of woman that most other women would want as their girlfriend. She’s the kind of woman most guys would want to date.

 

Nicolette is, I think, genuinely terrifying. I tried to make her, to all outward appearances, seem simply shy and withdrawn but otherwise very normal. And inside she’s completely and utterly consumed by hate and also very rapidly losing her mind. Her sections of the book are focalized through her deteriorating mental state, and the things she thinks and sees become more wild and hallucinogenic as the book goes on. At the same time, though, I also put a lot of dark humor into Nicolette’s sections because the more unhinged she becomes the more bizarre her thought processes get. Like there’s a point where she sees a woman at her office wearing the same blouse as her, and she has to look down at herself to make sure that the woman didn’t steal it from her when she wasn’t looking.

 

Q: What interested you about the 1980’s?

 

A: I’ve had a fascination with the 1980s since I was about twelve. I think part of it is that every generation tends to romanticize the era they were born into, either because it’s colored through their fond childhood memories or because there’s a natural tendency to feel like you “just missed out on something”. Another reason is because I grew up in a fairly rural town in Oklahoma called Broken Arrow, and into the late 90s and even the early 2000s it still pretty much was the 1980s there. If you look at my high school yearbooks some of the photos look like outtakes from a John Hughes movie.

 

Then, too, I just grew up on the pop culture of the 1980s, both what I lived through myself and then what was on television growing up, the movies my parents owned, the music on the radio, stuff I’d rent from Hollywood Video and Blockbuster… There was a certain je ne sais quoi about films from the 80s that no other decade has ever produced or been able to reproduce. In a lot of ways I had a great adolescence but in a lot of other ways it was also very traumatic, and in those darker moments the 80s—more specifically its’ pop culture—became an escape for me. A safe place. I saw the 80s as this romantic time full of bright colors and incredible music and the sort of possibility I felt was missing from my own life.

 

Q: You work for an optical magazine and website. How did you come to work in that industry?

 

A: After I graduated college I got a job as an optometric assistant and optician for a Texas State Optical location in Magnolia, Texas. The office subscribed to a magazine called 20/20, and its’ online supplement, The Optician’s Handbook. One day, during downtime, I was reading Optician’s Handbook and came across an article that I thought was just terrible. In addition to it being written very poorly, it also advocated, I felt, lying to patients about certain aspects of their lenses in order to get a sale. So I wrote this super-pissy letter to the editor explaining what I thought was wrong grammatically with the article—I actually copy-and-pasted the text into the email and dissected it line-by-line— and also taking them to task for running it in the first place. I didn’t think anyone would actually read it. Instead I got a letter back from the editor, Mark Mattison-Shupnick, thanking me for bringing it to his attention and saying that they were going to pull the article. Then at the end of the letter he asked if I would be interested in writing for them and inviting me to submit a sample story.

 

In retrospect I really think that it was more backhanded than anything, like, “Oh, you know so much about writing, why don’t you try writing something for us?”  At the time, though, I took it literally and I submitted an article about the history of Pince Nez glasses. I was really surprised when Mark accepted it, and even more surprised when he offered me a consistent, paying job writing monthly articles for them.

 

After about a year of writing for The Optician’s Handbook, I got an email one day from a man named James Spina, the editor of 20/20, the print magazine, who said he was impressed with a piece I’d done on the influence of Mad Men on optical fashion. He said that he wanted to start having me write articles for the print magazine, as well. My first article ran in the late fall of 2013, and I’ve been consistently writing for them ever since. When I entered journalism, James—who used to be a music journalist himself—became a sort of mentor to me, and helped me get my footing in the entertainment writing world and gave me advice on interacting with celebrities.

Q: You are an editor at Cinedump.com. How do you go about procuring writers for your site?

 

A: We don’t really actively pursue anyone. We have an open-door policy that anyone can submit material at any time. Our editor-in-chief, Jessie Hobson, will review it and if he likes it he’ll share it with my assistant editor, Jason Howard, and myself, and if we all like it then we’ll run the article and offer the person a consistent position writing for us. We recently added a fourth writer, Pennie Sublime, with whom I’ve worked at Rue Morgue in the past. I’d really like to see a few more people come on board through 2017 to generate more content for the site.

 

Q: What defines a “Grindhouse” movie?

 

A: Grindhouses were movie theaters on 42nd Street in New York (and more rarely the Tenderloin in San Francisco) that specialized in playing films that couldn’t or wouldn’t be shown anywhere else: really sleazy horror movies, violent kung fu movies, more mainstream pornography, and even some foreign arthouse films that were too sexual or violent for more commercial arthouses of the time. The term “grindhouse” itself comes from the 42nd Street theaters, which tended to run double-and-triple features back to back, continuously “grinding out” films. Over time, “grindhouse movie” became a catchall term for the sort of movies that would be shown at these theaters.

 

Q: What steps did you take to get your book published?

 

A: I sought out small, independent presses and submitted to them. It’s very hard, if not impossible, for a first time writer to get his or her debut novel published by a major press, and it’s just as hard for an unpublished writer to find an agent. My high school writing teacher was P.C. Cast, who’s now well known for the House of Night series, and she was my earliest writing mentor. I remembered that she’d gotten her first novel, Goddess by Mistake, published through a smaller press and built her career from there.

 

On top of that, all the places I submitted were horror and thriller publishers. I always intended OLOTI to be a literary story with horror elements, as opposed to a straight horror story; but there was also enough there in the way of horror, and so much of the story was an homage to 80s horror movies, that I didn’t feel dishonest shopping it around to horror publishers. It’s much easier to get attention from a genre press than one focused on “straight” literary fiction. At the same time, I was also doing book reviews for Rue Morgue and developing contacts in the horror publishing world who could act as advisors or guides.

 

Several horror presses turned down my pitches and query letters; a few asked for the complete manuscript and then ended up passing anyway. I think about a dozen places passed on OLOTI before Fear Front picked it up.

 

Q: What compels a person to write movie reviews?

 

A: There’s a degree of narcissism to it, I guess. The idea that you’ve got unique enough a perspective on a movie, and that you can articulate it in unique enough way, that it warrants you putting it down in print for other people to read. Then, too, I think there’s a sense of ownership of a movie once you’ve critiqued it. Anyone who reads that review is going to be made to see the movie through your eyes. You’re literally changing other people’s perception of a work of art. And when you do that, you are, in some small way, changing the art itself; and there’s a sense that, in doing so, you claim a piece of it for your own.

 

Q: What famous person would you most like to have Nicolette meet at the dump?

 

A: What famous person would I like to have my deranged serial killer hunt down and axe to death… I don’t think there’s an answer that I can give to this question that won’t result in a visit from the FBI.

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 A.C. Greenlee

 acgreenlee-headshot

A.C. Greenlee is the author of Genesis: The Awakening; here is a link to her Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Awakening-Paranormal-Fantasy-Adventure-ebook/dp/B01MFE154P/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Q:  What is Genesis about?

 

A: Genesis is about a young woman who is quite literally a walking anomaly, her relationship with a “grounded” Grim Reaper and their battle to not only save his world, but to keep each other alive. The main character Victoria Bouchard has a super brain and absorbs information like a dry sponge, even supernatural information that makes her quite the dangerous weapon should she fall into the wrong hands. And she does, finding herself at the mercy of the most heinous being to ever walk the earth; the Devil himself.

 

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

 

A: I was heavily influenced by an impromptu visit to the Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca Iowa. Learning about the gruesome murders that took place there and imagining a bunch of supernatural situations definitely played a role in the books creation and is even a major plot point.

 

Q:  What is Victoria’s most unique characteristic?

 

A: Victoria is unique in the way that she’s a multi-faceted character with feminist ideals. She exemplifies the feminist ideology in the way that she’s not afraid to do whatever she wants and deal with the consequences in her own way. She’s outspoken and brash, but still has the capacity to be soft, yielding, and emotional. Victoria is the truest character I’ve ever written because she is literally an amalgamation of every strong, unabashedly brave, woman I’ve ever met.

 

Q: What separates your book from other paranormal fantasies?

 

A: I would like to believe it’s my characters. Anytime I’m interviewed I will often go on and on about the people I create, mostly because they are just that in my mind; people. I want my readers to take away more than a good story when they read my books, I want them to have an experience. Experience the rich, vivid worlds and the vast array of characters that inhabit them. I want you to walk away from my books having made a new best friend or even a book “boyfriend” you’ll never forget.

 

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

 

A: Anne Rice was one of my biggest influences growing up as an aspiring writer. You’ll see traces of her in the fact that my characters take on lives of their own. And they’re often annoying enough that they’ll have you thinking about them months after you’ve already put the book down.

 

Q:  What kind of day job or income source do you have?

 

A: I am a graphic and web designer by day, video game addicted nerd by night.

 

Q:  Do you think it helps or hinders your writing?

 

A: I think it absolutely helps my writing. From making graphics for my books that give visual representation to whatever wacky activity my characters are a part of or sending my readers on virtual treasure hunts through websites I design; it’s just another faucet through which my creativity can flow.

 

Q: What made you interested in writing erotica?

 

A: I was never really interested in it to be honest, but my readers fell in love with my romance scenes and demanded I give it a shot. And it took off. Luckily they believed in me more than I did, otherwise it never would have happened.

 

Q: What trends in the genre do you find annoying?

 

A: The billionaire bad boy and stepbrother trends annoy me. I understand that they’re popular because of the demand, I just personally don’t like them. Don’t get me wrong, fantasy smut is something I think is healthy and wholly support being written and read, it’s just the overtly common tropes that make me itch. I also strive for originality in my writing and what I enjoy reading, even though everything has already been done before, so I tend to stay away from things that are trending.

 

Q:  How exactly does a Grim Reaper get banished from Hell?

 

A: Well, Kaizer was banished from the Guardian Realm, an alternate dimension that is home to others of his kind. Reapers are essentially bureaucrats; everything is executed concisely and is backed up by a crap ton of paperwork. And, when those Reapers step out of line, they face extremely harsh punishments, one of which is “grounding”. They are then sent to earth to live amongst the mortals they reap and atone for their sins. Let’s just say that Kaizer isn’t the most…cooperative Reaper in his realm. He’s prone to disobedience and flat out insubordination, which lands him in hot water just as much as you’d think.

 

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 Jaie Vee

yes

 

Jaie Vee is the author of Getting her to YES; here is a link to the website:
https://www.createspace.com/6653395

 

Q: What is, Getting Her to Yes about?

 

A: THIS BOOK IS EXCLUSIVELY FOR MEN.  This book is exclusively for MATURE men, showing average men how to get ladies or the wife to give SEX. It details a lady’s mind-set, so men are clear why such cheap and simple tactics are effective. It includes erotic sex stories that can excite dominant male, and submissive female emotions. One can preview the first seven pages at eden3000.com/yes.html and see Reader’s Favorite 5-star review at the link attached there.

 

Q: What made you decide to write it?

 

A: I started tinkering with writing about sex many years ago, because I was always helping men I knew “get sex”. Just a few basic “tips” changed their entire sex lives from no sex to lots of sex. Men know so much about a lot, but nearly nothing about female’s motivation for sex, or how to get sex.

 

But I couldn’t write a complete “understanding” till I was in a relationship with a gorgeous talented, self-driven amazing man. He was so wonderful to me each time I came back to him, then fairly quickly removed all MY gifts, leaving just the sex. I’d hint about this and that, but like many females, I couldn’t flat out tell him stuff. I left the last time feeling “used”, though I know he believed he was really trying. Then is when I realized, no matter how smart a man is, men really have no clue what ladies get out of the sex dance. And no woman will ever tell them.

 

As a strong woman, it took me “a lot of guts” to write that females choose the submissive position in sex, and why we ladies biologically have to. I reveal all the secrets we ladies will never tell our man. I had to, because, though those secrets are of short-term benefit to ladies, in the long run, ladies lose because men have not any clue what makes us want sex.

 

Q: What qualifies you as an expert in this area?

 

A: Having never desired children, and never needed a man’s money, company, or help, I got to observe the relationships of others with some emotional distance. And emotional distance is what a lady would need to state some of this stuff.  I got all the attention a lady could want when I worked as a dancer (in states where the men could not touch). Also, as an engineer and inventor, I tend to know stuff others want to learn, so I always get plenty of “feeling needed” attention.

 

My mom just read the first 24 pages and said she’s,  “finding it hard to stop reading.  So far, a very interesting book and I do agree with you.  Good job, I think you have sorted things out pretty well.” I never expected Mom to read it, but that was a great compliment.

 

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it effect your ability to write?

 

A: I run a small business, mostly involving the sales of my top-rated Silent Sleep  Snore Stopper(R) nasal inserts. When on Amazon, the Slim/Avg. size was the 593rd best selling product on all of Amazon. I sell less than that volume now on my eden3000.com website, but I also get friendlier customers, like half of which write me thank you emails.

 

When selling on Amazon, large-nosed men would buy the most popular Slim/Avg. size, then write “doesn’t work” one star reviews. I’d have to convince them to return the insert for the correct LARGER size, then I’d wait the painful weeks for them to change the review. Sometimes they would not return it because it cost so little money, it was not worth their time, so they’d leave the bad review. The issue was more due to the way Amazon set things up, to let the customer stab the seller with a bad review, versus having the customer contact the seller first. Such size issues are important for products like mine.

 

I’ve also spent the last few years renovating two houses, entirely replumbing, rewiring, adding gas, fixing foundations, rebuilding rotted floors, changing walls, etc all myself, using mostly free or used supplies. That gave me lots of time to think and write the most concise and clear book I could, as well as work on other non-physical projects.

 

I take on new odd projects every year. Last year I did a property conversion to business for someone else, which required knowing all the building codes, drafting, and “how to build stuff”. That was great fun.

 

Q:  If your tips don’t work is there a money back guarantee?

 

A: Well, I don’t know how Amazon runs the book end of things, but I have a Twitter account listed in the book, for men to ask me questions, and I will do my best to reply. But, frankly, men know so little about how to get a woman to want sex. Often, only one tip of the hundreds I state will fix a man’s sex life. Simply reading the “why” will help men the most. I write the book in a conversational style with lots of examples from my own life, and those of others I know, so to give some dimension to the tips.

 

Q: Who are some of your writing influences?

 

A: I read mostly just technical and biological stuff, no novels. I learn best by experimenting and tactile work, and searching out those who are willing to give negative feedback.  Like, I found a guy who does reviews, who suggested putting “yes” in the title. What a great tip! I put requests up on Craigslist to read a draft of my book, and got lucky that an editor type guy volunteered to comment on the first 40 pages. Without his advice, my book would not have been something most men would actually listen to. He suggested the conversational style and adding my own stories. Great advice!

 

Q: What makes your book different than other sex tip books?

 

A: That’s easy! Most sex books focus on the PHYSICAL aspects of sex. The physical aspect of sex is what the MAN enjoys. It is the emotional and fantasy part that excites the female. It is a complete reverse thinking than what is out there in books. Some books might say doing chores can help get a lady in the mood. That’s way too boring and abstract for a man to “understand” the “why”.

 

Q:  What are some common mistakes that men make when trying to seduce women?

 

A: I go through most of them in the book, but saying they are “very passionate”, touting their manly sports as a main focus of their free time, and thinking just “being friendly” or “giving her stuff” will move ladies towards sex.

 

Q:  What is the weirdest thing a man has ever said to you when hitting on you? 

 

A: No man has ever said anything “weird” to me. The sickest thing a man ever did was, after my sister divorced my brother-in-law, he actually tried to kiss me at Thanksgiving. Gross.

 

Understand, I most often dress in paint-covered, multi-layered sweats, mostly wear two hats and never wear make-up (but for photos), so men cannot quite define what “I look like naked” to “hit” on me. I also don’t even glance at men as if I am “looking”, cause I’m not “looking”. (“Glancing” is the only thing men are good at spotting). Men instead talk to me as the source of information that I am, especially on construction, code issues, patent writing, etc.

 

I find “being hit on” to feel like someone wants to take a bite out of me, and that is NOT a good feeling. Because I have confidence in my physical appearance, I do not need or desire others to boost my ego by flaunting myself. (That body shot I took of myself this September, when I got in the mood to “make a book”.) The few men that dare hit on me? I give them tips on how to get sex from someone else.

 

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book? 

 

A: YES just got published Nov. 2, 2016, a few days ago. I got a Reader’s Favorite 5 star review, saying my book will “revolutionize the way most men view sex”. I am trying to get a review in a chosen male-oriented magazine. I’ve investigated the politics with the magazine, its owners, and other stuff like how reviews are distributed, publisher’s issues…  I am looking for the loose mortar no one else is targeting in the brick wall that is in front of “getting noticed”.

 

It may come down to want versus NEED. I have two 5-star rated children’s books. No one needs another children’s book. But men really need my YES book. It’s like my Snore Stopper inserts, where I did zero advertising to get to ranking 593 on all of Amazon. Once the word gets out about my YES book, I hope every man on earth reads it.

 

Women might never see anything interesting in my book, because they know this stuff. The problem is, men don’t know ANY of this stuff. Ladies, if you accidentally buy my YES book, PLEASE, give it to your dad or uncle! There is ZERO romance in the book. There is nothing of any value at all for the ladies in my book.

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