Author Spotlight – Raymond Walker

Hello, please introduce yourself.

Hi, My name is Raymond Walker and I am a writer. I write under a few aliases as well as my own name so some of you may know me as “Ray T Walker”, Maeve O’Connell, Robert Anderson, June Rutherford and Elijah Plane but most of my books are written under my own name; Raymond Walker.

1. When did you start writing?

I started writing, way back in the mists of time, the seventies, little more than a child, I was raised on a farm in the middle of nowhere and there was little to do other than work study and read. A village lay close by; Peninver (Pro peneever) and it was there I attended school. As is the case with most writers they were raised a reader. I started reading for myself at a rather young age but no more so than many others. I was no savant, rather just a young boy with little other to do than read.
I remember reading Alan Garner’s, “Weirdstone of Brisingammen, Jack London’s “Call of the wild” and White Fang” My very first of the, sagas, “Njals saga”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Watership down” when I was barely into double figures.

I started writing in my teens but most of the tales told were not worthy of notice. A country boy from a farm in the middle of nowhere, I had to travel across the country to College and ended up in the capital. Beautiful, filled with history, the site of the new renaissance, the Athens of the North, I was only Fifteen when I picked up sticks and headed east. University took up some time, but I think that I learned more from the people and streets of Edinburgh than I did from my tutors. I was studying Polymer Process Technology under some of the luminaries of the age but the ancient hoariness, the Gothic spires and dreadful history of Scotland’s capital seeped into my lonely country bones. Already imbued with a taste for the “Horror” story, the dark and unusual, the environment, the dark wynds, the overwhelming mystery, could not help but fuel my taste for the macabre.

I qualified with no problem but was disappointed with the course even as I was studying it. Science was never to be for me I thought at the time.
Whilst in Edinburgh I found “The Science Fiction bookshop” and met some cool people and through them I started working for the magazine “Uncanny Tales” part time, whilst still studying Polymer process technology and later, Mechanical engineering.

My first published story “A Shiver” appeared in “Astounding stories, Amazing Tales” and “Wondrous Tales” in 1980. In 82’ “Nut Brown Eyes” was published as a novella and serialized in “Uncanny Tales”. A version of the same tale appeared later in the noted mystery magazine; “Tales of mystery and imagination”. I wrote for many mag’s at the time and was regularly published but only earned a little. Married, and then with children I put writing aside and looked to earn a living and so entered the business world. The less said about that the better.

2. What motivates you to write?

I have very little motivation to write. I enjoy the creation of something new and original but have not the impetus of those wishing to “make it” or “write the great novel” rather I just like telling a good tale that others appreciate. Generally I write because it is in my nature to do so. (be glad of a short answer) The idea sits in my head, it hatches and I try to write it. Sometimes that is easily done, at others it is a dreadful misery and I do not get it right.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I am never drawn to genres, I always think; that is to my detriment. My very first novel, as you may expect, was a tale of the unexpected. “Nut Brown Eyes” a narrative tale set around the wild woods of Northern Scotland. My Second “My Peculiar Guinevere” a fantastical historical piece done in snippets of each of the characters lives. I have written historical fact, historical fiction, fantasy, contemporary romance, faerie tales, generic fantasy, Ghost stories, Science fiction, horror and even political comment over the years. Genre matters little to me. I always think that a good story will be a good story wither it is of birds in the sky or dragons in the mist. I have never found a genre I do not enjoy reading in.

There are some genres I prefer more than others, as Is the case with all readers but I have read fantasy that has fascinated me, Erotica, that has aroused me, Science fiction that sent me in deep stasis, thinking, others that have bid me soar.
Crime fiction that has assaulted my senses, Philosophy that has made me understand a little more of what I am and so on. I shall pause there, I may be assaulting your senses and ability to be bothered listening to me for much longer. Lol- but I have much more to say. I shall just finish his by saying that there is little difference between Hard Sci-fi and a bodice ripper. The good writer will tell the tale well no matter what it is; the bad……..

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Many of my peers have ambitions. once I also had the same dream, the great writer, the bestseller, the Nobel prize (lol), writing the perfect novel. To be honest, I am aware of my abilities, I am a good writer (not great) many enjoy my tales, and hopefully always will. I look to make each one better than the one before. I sell a few books here and there. I no longer look forward to the bestseller, the great book. I keep writing because it is now a habit like smoking or drinking, it courses through my blood and I suspect that it will until my blood and internal organs are replaced with formaldehyde. Something that I suspect will happen in the not too distant future.

 

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I have never suffered from writers block, I cannot imagine anyone so afflicted. I have a large ring bound book into which I place ideas for new books, new stories, short or long, That book is not only filled but there are many other sheets of paper, folded and added with outlines and Ideas I will not live long enough to tell. It does not really matter wither your struggle is writing the next tale or deciding which tale to write next. Just get on with it. Others may disagree. The big thing is telling what tale you wish others to read. As often you will get this wrong. I know I have, Often.

Those that I wish others to read, may one day be written but I suspect that I will complete few of them, and perhaps not even the ones that I wish to before my demise.
Each day I come up with ideas for new books, still untold. Some I will write, others will die with me. I hope however, to tell many more tales over the years remaining to me.

6.  What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

To new Authors I would offer only two pieces of advice; Learn your trade.

Write short pieces first, write for newspapers, magazines, periodicals and even business papers. With a little ability and a great deal of reading even the most mundane of us can become great writers.

The Second piece of advice, I know, Seems to contradict the first. Spend time writing your best work, let the world pass by and do not rush. Wait for the right words at the right time. When those words are not coming, write something else. On Facebook, an article, a newspaper story, for the printed press, a column, a contradictory piece, a short tale for a magazine. It is difficult to make your living as a writer. You need to be hard-working, capable and clever. Of Course your cool novel may suddenly make you rich but In my experience it rarely does. So you spread yourself and work and if willing to put the effort in and talented enough (and I am not that good) you make a living.
Then you have the time to wait and see if people like your books.
Some will. Some will not. No book is wonderful to everyone.

7.  Please, tell us about your work. 

I enjoy writing, even when it is difficult and you review what you have just produced and decide that it is terrible, unworthy of what you imagined when you set out to write whatever, whichever tale you imagined.
Yet the opposite also applies.
I recently started putting together a collection of tales and realized that it was a little short. So I thought to add a tale from a little read book to complete the collection. This tale I found delightful, well written and approaching wondrous. So I know that I can produce a great work.

Thank you very much for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here. Please come back anytime!


Connect with Raymond:

Main author site; www.raytwalker.com

The new Novel website; http://sheweptblacktears.yolasite.com/

Another author site; http://www.raytwalker.wixsite.com/raymond-walker

Online Presence for the Wondrous Tales and Mercurial Tales magazines (under construction though visible); www.mercurialtales.com
For Horror tales only go to; http://raynayday.weebly.com
For Fantasy Tales only go to; http://raymondwalker.weebly.com
To read my blog go to; http://www.raytwalker.wixsite.com/stories

Amazon Authors page go to; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raymond-Walker/e/B002CB59VA/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

E-mail; raytwalker@googlemail.com


Raymond’s books:

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Author Spotlight – Ann Simas

  1. When did you start writing?

Believe it or not, I started writing my first book on a typewriter a long time ago. Talk about a slow process! That manuscript is still on the shelf in typewritten form. Sometimes, I think about going through it and finally getting it in digital format, but I have so many other books in the queue to write, it stays on the back burner. In the early-to-mid-90s, I wrote three more books on my new computer. I sold my first book, a novella, to Harlequin/Worldwide in 1993 and it was published in 1994. During all those years, I had a family at home and worked fulltime, so I didn’t have consistent writing time until 2012, when I no longer had a day job. At that time, I had several books in various stages of completion, so I tackled them one-by-one, beginning with Chloe’s Spirit.

2. What motivates you to write?

Back in the days when you could have a screensaver on your monitor, mine said, “Writing is an uncontrollable obsession.” For me, it really is. My mind never shuts down, so I suppose you could say that contributes to my need to write. I love writing and I feel compelled to put down the words that will make the books. I have dozens of ideas for books that I still haven’t gotten to. At the moment, I have 29 books in print, 1 novella, and 1 short-story collection, and those only scratch the surface of what I hope to write before I no longer can!

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

With the exception of my Christmas Valley Romances, I write cross-genre books: mystery-thriller-suspense with a love story and usually paranormal or supernatural elements. Like most authors, I write what I love to read. I also love doing research, so I look for intriguing and interesting elements to introduce into my stories. With every book I write, I learn something new, and that new knowledge is something I’m able to pass along as part of my story. I want to ensure that my readers keep turning those pages, intrigued and excited about what will happen next.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I have one goal when I write, to entertain readers. Along with that, I want to keep them guessing, and to ensure that they’ll be anxious to move on to one of my other books. I’ve always dreamed of being a published author and I’ve achieved that. As far as where my dreams take me in writing? My imagination has no limits. I can go anywhere and write anything. As long as readers are enjoying my words, being enthralled by them, I’m happy.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block, and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I have to say that I’ve never suffered from writer’s block. That’s not to say that I’m not stumped sometimes about which direction I should take a story, but generally, that works itself out in a day or so. Honestly, I don’t understand writer’s block. I know some writers lament that they have it, but when I’m temporarily stumped, I just keep writing, either on the book I’m working on, or one of the other books I have started. My mom always use to say, “If you don’t get something you want, it’s because something better is coming along.” I feel that applies to writing, too. I no longer plot out an entire book before I start writing. Instead, I know where the book will start and how it will end up, but I’m flexible on all points in between. That said, I’m also flexible on an entirely different ending than I had envisioned in the beginning. For me, this method works, and always for the better.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Best-selling author Cynthia Freeman, who began writing late in her life, once said (and I paraphrase), “Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from the thrill of trying.” If you want to write, write. It’s as simple as that.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

I write three series, Grace Gabbiano Mysteries, Andi Comstock Supernatural Mysteries, and Christmas Valley Romances. My Grace books now number 5, with another to be released in July 2020. The Andi books stand at 4, with a new release scheduled for release in October 2020. The Christmas romances number 8, with two new titles coming out on November 15.

In addition, I have two short series, Chloe’s Spirit and Chloe’s Spirit Afterstories and First Star and First Star Afterstories. Chloe’s Spirit and First Star were both Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalists. I currently have five stand-alone books in print, as well, with another due out in May 2020. One of my stand-alones, Blessed Are the Eagles, was also an RWA Golden Heart Finalist. All my books are available worldwide from Amazon in both ebook and paperback format, and all are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.

Thank you for having you as my guest.


Connect with Ann:

Email: ann@annsimas.com
Website: https://annsimas.com

Social Media Links
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Ann-Simas-Author-410011319127684/
BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ann-simas
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7039844.Ann_Simas
Amazon https://amazon.com/author/annsimas
Twitter https://twitter.com/AnnSimasAuthor


Ann’s books:

Stand-Alones
Blessed Are the Eagles https://amzn.to/1P5cGhh
Loose Ends https://amzn.to/1OFEdoD
Heaven Sent https://amzn.to/1NMbGhw
Black Moon Rising https://amzn.to/2gC316l
Here and Gone https://amzn.to/2Iyylkq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Gabbiano Mysteries
Dressed to Die https://amzn.to/1eRzlAw
Sliced to Die https://amzn.to/1M47iyb
Buried to Die https://amzn.to/2uTsX4I
Quilted to Die https://amzn.to/2JONRgZ
Taken to Die https://amzn.to/2JBDPy0

 

 

 

 

Andi Comstock Supernatural Mysteries
Holy Smoke https://amzn.to/1IL8y5a
Penitence https://amzn.to/1sZGNkx
Angel Babies https://amzn.to/2hFxB53
Hellfire https://amzn.to/2V6zZV6

 

Christmas Valley Romances
Santa’s Helper https://amzn.to/1N3ZLPV
Candy Cane Lane https://amzn.to/2gMkw3Z
Let It Snow https://amzn.to/2fFLONw
FruityCakes https://amzn.to/2yTlB7d
Sleigh Bride https://amzn.to/2zkCy6x
Angels on the Rooftop https://amzn.to/2C6Gazk
Deck the Gnomes https://amzn.to/2LMPMPz
Back-Door Santa https://amzn.to/2NEmgNx
Jingle Bell Clock https://amzn.to/2MF84EO
Reindeer Blitz https://amzn.to/2MFBNNR

Afterstories
Chloe’s Spirit https://amzn.to/1MMjHEB
Chloe’s Spirit Afterstories https://amzn.to/1XoigPS
Second Chance, Foolish Heart
First Star https://amzn.to/1gIPydi
First Star Afterstories https://amzn.to/2kUHuc0
All That Glitters/Starry Night

Short Story Collection
All’s Well https://amzn.to/1JSMgj8

Author Spotlight – Allan Krummenacker

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Allan Krummenacker, and for the record “I am not a number, I am a FREE MAN!” Anyone who gets that reference please give yourself a Gold Star. Also the first 5 people who post where that quote comes from down in the comments section can get a free copy of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” which is being released October 1st.

Okay now that I got that out of my system, let’s get down to business. As you already suspect I’m rather silly and full of nonsense, which are great qualities in writing. I was born and raised on Long Island, NY and moved to California in 1985. Here I met my wife, a great set of friends, got into sci-fi and fantasy fandom (including costuming and fanfic writing). I currently reside along the west coast and am working for the county which gives me and my wife the security to pursue writing.

When did you start writing?

I’d done a lot of silly Marx-Brothers style of short fanfics, back when I belonged to a Doctor Who Fan club, and a Star Trek club. But I only really got serious around 2008 when my real estate career started a serious decline thanks to the bubble that led to the Recession. At the time my wife and I were binge-watching the original 1960s Dark Shadows series, which I learned had been partly written “On the fly”. Originally series was slated to end after 6 months but after the vampire Barnabas Collins got introduced the ratings shot through the roof and they were ordered to keep it going. So some of the continuity got messed up along the way. So I started amusing myself with re-writing and correcting some of the issues, but also came up with some original concepts as well. Soon the original ideas got so fleshed out, I realized I’d strayed so from Dark Shadows that I could easily re-populate these original ideas into something new. And thus, the Para-Earths concept was born.

What motivates you to write?

That is a very good question, and I guess the best answer is that I’ve always been writing stories in my head. I wasn’t the most popular kid at school, usually the target for bullies and others who just didn’t understand me. I wasn’t great at sports, which I found out was linked to the fact that I already had Fibromyalgia which meant I got hurt very easily physically and tears were often involved. So I spent a lot of time on my own with my GI Joes and other action figures and created storylines for their adventures. Plus I spent a lot of time inside my own head keeping myself amused as music and tv shows inspired more ideas in my head. I became a very thoughtful child as a result and found I had a better rapport with adults than I did kids my own age because I asked a lot of “grown-up” questions.

What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

Tough question here, I basically write a strange blend of paranormal/science fiction with touches of horror and mystery thrown into the mix. I suspect this comes from my younger years of being fascinated with the classic Universal Studios Horror Monsters and the original Dark Shadows which were my earliest paranormal influences. As for my science fiction fascination I have to credit Dr. Who, the original Twilight Zone, and the original Outer Limits. I found the stories and the worlds they introduced the audience to so fascinating and wondrous. I kept finding myself asking “What if?” questions after each episode, which in turn would get me thinking about story ideas to play with the few friends I had as well as with my toys.

What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

This is going to sound weird but I don’t know if I ever really think seriously about where I’d like all this to go. I mean I just love writing stories and hearing people tell me how much they enjoyed them. Of course I’d love to see some (if not all of them) make to the big screen and be brought to life for millions to see. But then I also tell myself if Hollywood ever comes knocking because they’ve run out of re-makes and re-boots (which I despise immensely) and want original new material, I think I would say “Yes”. Then I’d take the money and go write more stories and try not to pay attention to however they mangle my creation, because I’m not J K Rowling so I’m not going to get creative authority in what they do.

Of course people ask me if I want to be the next J K Rowling or Stephen King, to which I answer “No, because they already exist. I want to be Allan Krummenacker, the guy who gets as popular as they are and make the kind of money they do. Mostly so I can keep telling more stories to fascinate and hopefully inspire others.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Oh yeah! Me and writer’s block are old acquaintances. And more than once I’ve gone search of a jackhammer when he shows up. I even have an idea for a short silent film I may make for YouTube one of these days about dealing with writer’s block. Think along the lines of an old black and white Charlie Chaplin movie.

Anyway, how I deal with it… I’ll take long walks along the beach, into the woods, or just go out and have fun. I know part of my brain will still be mulling over the issue and I might spot something that suddenly gives me a breakthrough. If not, then I’ll start working on another writing project entirely. You have to keep writing, that’s my motto. And sooner or later I’ll either watch or movie or be talking with my wife Helen (another author) who might suggest something I never thought of and then… BAM! Writer’s block is gone and the story is moving on again.

What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Two words “KEEP WRITING”!

Never stop. Take a rest if you need to, but keep the ideas flowing. Brush up on your grammar skills, take a class in creative writing at a local community college and keep doing it. They say practice makes perfect and its true. Also be ready for criticisms from friends, family and of course others. The words may hurt at first, but don’t let that stop you. Once you put the hurt aside, think about what was said and look over your work. Is there any validity to some of the critiques? Perhaps you need to rework some of the phrasing or how you present the characters or situations. Or, they may all be way off and just weren’t the right audience for your work.

There is so much to writing. Not just creating the story but also finding the right audience for your work is just as important as creating the tale. Learning what criticisms to take on board to improve your work versus those who just didn’t get the idea you were aiming for.

I’d also recommend doing lots of reading of other works in the same genre you’re working in. Study how other authors construct their stories. How did they build tension? How did their characters come across to you? Did they grow or evolve in the course of the story? Do the same thing with shows and movies you watch. Really see what worked or didn’t for you as an audience member and take those lessons on board as you work on your writing. For me, my stories play out as a movie inside my head and I try to basically transfer all the details onto my computer in words to paint the images I’m seeing.

Please, tell us about your work.

With my wife Helen’s help, I’ve created the Para-Earth Series (which is up to 4 books). These tales are reminiscent of the old Twilight Zone and Outer Limits shows. In each book the readers and the characters encounter beings or actually get to visit alternate versions of Earth where evolution took a very different turn because of changes in how those other Earths formed. You might encounter an Earth with 2 moons, or none at all. There’s even been one Earth where the planet has rings like Saturn. But with these changes in the planet’s early development, different life forms evolve. Some can be hostile, some friendly. Others may simply be lost in this reality and want to go home. You never know.

In fact, we’ve had life-forms that readers compared to the creations of HP Lovecraft, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. And there are many more on the way, as well as recurring characters readers have come to adore and are eager to see more of. Which is all to the good in my opinion because this is an open-ended series, not a trilogy or something with a definite end. I much prefer things that can be built upon for years to come.

But the doors between realities don’t just open one way. Occasionally a person from this reality might land up in one of those alternate worlds and come back altered in some way. One of your favorite characters from our series, a certain Union soldier name Nathaniel Eoghan Steward, got blown into one of those alternate Earths. And as you know, he came back to his world just a few days looking the same but is now to all intent and purposes a vampyre, only he’s not undead.

He’s one of my favorite characters to write about because he’s like Doctor Who, living for over 150 years and just experiencing history, making friends, and helping people along the way. With such a long lived character, I get to have him interacting with all kinds of people, both famous and just regular, so there’s an endless supply of stories to write around him. Your readers here can meet him in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” which will be released October 1st of this year. Technically it’s being re-released as it’s been re-classified as the first Young Adult installment of our Para-Earth Series. (Links can be found beneath this interview).

The reason for the re-branding is because many readers felt that it belonged in that genre as most of the story is told by two teenage girls whose lives are deeply affected by Nathan’s presence, and both them and their families become very dear to him.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thanks so much for having me. I really enjoyed it. And to everyone reading this interview I’d going to close it with the words I use at the end of every entry at my blog about writing, keep writing!


Connect with the author:

Blog: https://musingsof2creativeminds.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/akrummenacker

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allan-krummenacker-76994a23/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/akrummenacker/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Allan-Krummenacker-Writer-171432612892924/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000


Allan Krummenacker’s newest book:

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MDO8SLO/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vampyre-blogs-allan-krummenacker/1124855249?ean=2940153799605

AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MDO8SLO

AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MDO8SLO

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/647499

Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-vampyre-blogs-coming-home


 

Author Spotlight – Dayron Maxwell

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I started around 2011 during my freshman year in college.

2. What motivates you to write?

One part is simply catharsis and is to inspire others with my novelty.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write fantasy and coming of age fiction. I chose these two particular genres because I was always captivated by otherworldly elements like spirits and alternate dimensions. I enjoyed psychological development of characters and how they choose their lives in any given social system.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I would like it to eventually become a movie or a series.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

No

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Believe in yourself and never try to be like another writer

7. Please, tell us about your work.

My series is about a young boy named Narvix who undergoes a journey across dimensions to discover his origins and change the fate of his own race forever.

Thank you for being my guest. It was a pleasure to have you here!!


About the author:

Dayron Maxwell is an author who writes fantasy and coming of age books. He is currently working on a series that will span six books. His hobbies include writing, traveling, and occasionally a good movie.
To learn more follow him on his website Dayron Maxwell and on FACEBOOK


Books

World of the Chimera (The Adventure of Narvix Book 2) by Dayron Maxwell

 

The Battle of New York has become a catalyst for many things. The hatred for Narvix, Mia’s alienation from human life, two teenagers a nascent understanding of their father’s goal, and the life of all intertwined with the nature of the Arzos. As Narvix’s power begins to frighten him, He journeys to a city hidden in another planet to learn about his heritage. Yet, what of the lives ultimately affected by him? What of the mothers who holds the corpse of her winged child, horned children praying for a peace muffled by brooks of blood and dying men? What of an old foe who vowed to destroy Narvix and the rest of his family? In the second book, Narvix must prepare for an inevitable conflict by immersing himself in a world shaped by the lives that he has neglected.

ON AMAZON

Those Who Swallowed God (The Adventures of Narvix) by Dayron Maxwell

Life is hard when you got red skin, scimitar-shaped horns, and twitter labels you as a Section 8 archangel. Life is even harder when your psychotherapist dismisses the choir of angels fluttering outside your gate as a form of psychotic depression.
When divine judgment wears a tailored suit and leads an army of winged humans, Narvix’s mundane life of retro PC gaming and afternoon snoozes during fourth-period calculus erupts into a roller coaster of dodging lightning bolts, facing a flaming woman, and preventing genocide from reaching his street address.

On AMAZON

A HUGE Happy Birthday Carl D’Agostino!!

Carl D’Agostino is not only a cartoonist he’s also a man with incomparable humor and a wonderful and considerate friend.

You can find his blog here:

https://carldagostino.wordpress.com

He has also published a book with his work:

I know I made you smile

I’m featuring Carl D’Agostino today because he celebrates his 70th Birthday on June 18, 2019.

Thank you, Carl, for being a great friend, for making us laugh, for being a wonderful human being, for sharing your talent – and just for being a part of our lives!

Author Spotlight – Helen Krummenacker

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. Even as a very small child, I wrote short stories and poems. They were just the sort of thing a child would write, of course, but I kept at it and kept getting more sophisticated. Then, in the 90s, after a couple of years of trying to go professional with it, I ran the numbers on how much it cost to buy paper, use the printer, and post my best works to magazines that paid half a cent per word and decided in disgust that if I couldn’t even break even, I should just write fanfic for my own amusement.

After years of neglecting my writing, my husband, Allan, decided he had some ideas he wanted to turn into a novel. He did the writing, but I helped out with planning, character development, scientific premises, even refining jokes. Still, I was skeptical of what could be done with the book, however good it was, and he researched the markets and changes in publishing deeply. It turned out that traditional publishing houses were starting to charge many authors fees, whereas vanity press had been replaced by the print-on-demand model, making it possible for an author to release a book widely and control their product. As the Para-Earth series, which I’d helped him on, continued, I got more involved in the writing itself.

I was inspired to write my first solo novel very recently. I struggled not to dive into it until I finished my last semester in college and then I went full steam ahead– the book, Forever’s Too Long, is being released less than six months after I started it, and I’m already 17,000 words into the sequel.

2. What motivates you to write?

Most people say write what you know, but I find I thrive when I write what I love. I like wise-cracking detectives, fantasy interacting with the real world, science fiction possibilities, the little frisson of terror when supernatural suspense takes a surprising turn. When I write the kinds of stories I love to read, with characters who I love– or love to hate– then writing is fun and I can hardly wait to fix a scene by getting the turns of phrases just right.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

The Para-Earth stories are paranormal science fiction thrillers. The Forever Detective stories are tough-guy detective/occult mysteries. I love mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy, and combining them intelligently can allow twists to take the reader to unexpected places while keeping the flavor and frame of the foundation genre.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I don’t really want to be famous, but I would love for my characters to be. I dream of seeing Forever’s Too Long made into a movie starring Oscar Isaac and Hayley Atwell. I don’t see myself getting really rich, but a contract for a movie might very well take care of a down payment on a condo around here. But I want a movie mostly so I can share this with the world, and make people smile and think and connect emotionally.
I also have a bit of a more serious goal. The characters I’m writing are often underrepresented, especially in the time frame they are written in. In 1947, my wise-cracking detective is partly Latino. His girlfriend is a divorcee who escaped an abusive marriage. His best friend is a clever autistic man. I want to expand who belongs in an old-fashioned detective story and how people visualize the past.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes! But not on what you’d expect. I do fine with fiction, jumping to a different scene if I need a little bit of freshness while I let something lie fallow a while. But I struggle with things like the About the Author or the back of the book blurb. I decided to let some of the cheekiness I’d given my protagonist/narrator carry over into my biography. I even brought it into my author photo

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Love what you’re doing, or it isn’t worth it. You are going to be researching, writing, editing, marketing; some days you’ll spend hours and not get much done, other times you’ll be productive but have no one around to celebrate it with. You’re going to be writing instead of reading, instead of hanging out at game night… all the other things you like to do, you’ll have to reorganize to have time to write. So believe what you are writing is worth it.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

Forever’s Too Long, my first solo novel is set in New York City in 1947. Rafael Jones is a former police detective, recently released from the U.S. Army and starting his own business as a private investigator. He thinks of himself as a pretty ordinary guy, but Interpol thinks he’s just the man they need to get solid evidence on Russian art smugglers and murderers so they can get cooperation from the local authorities. Between that case and helping his businessman friend try to recover some promising personnel who resigned their jobs to join a cult, he’s off to a good start. What he doesn’t know is that neither case is as simple as it seems, and his investigations take him into conflict with supernatural danger, including an almost legendary historical figure with a dreadful secret.

It’s been compared to Phillip Marlowe, Kolchak: the Night Stalker, Agent Carter, and Harry Dresden. In spite of the scary parts, I think of it as an adventure tale rather than horror, because the story has just as much light– quips, friendship, romance, and kindness– as it has of danger, angst, and darkness.

I’m 17,000 words into the sequel and literally have a dozen Forever Detective novels at least sketched out in notes. I mention it because I know the heartbreak of getting emotionally invested in a series only to have the author turn their attention to something else. But I promise– I’m a fan of Rafael Jones and I won’t stop writing him as long as other people want to read him, too.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you! These are great questions and made it easy to open up.


About Helen:

Helen Krummenacker is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person, so I won’t. I helped create the Para-Earth Series by Allan Krummenacker and Helen Krummenacker. I have a B.S. in Mathematics and hope that writing proofs has helped keep my fiction streamlined and avoid plot holes. Hobbies include gaming (tabletop/roleplaying), dancing, and painting. Health issues limit my activity level, but I manage to work as an accounting technician by day and escape into mystery and adventure genres at night. I’m allergic to garlic and sunlight, but I promise I don’t thirst for blood, just coffee and maybe a bit of bourbon.
Other books I have worked on are The Bridge, The Ship, The Vampyre Blogs: Coming Home, and The Vampyre Blogs: One Day at a Time.

helenkrummenacker@gmail.com


Helen’s Novel: “Forever’s Too Long”

Excerpt:

“Very well.” She shrugged. “You are not making this easy on yourself. Seize him!” I expected to be rushed by the acolytes I’d seen, but four newcomers had joined them. I mentioned the gardeners looked pretty dirty. These four looked worse. I thought one looked like his face had a gangrenous patch. Smelled like it, too. Another was a woman, but although she was young, her eyes were filmed over with cataracts, and her skin was waxen as well as pale. She held a bag in her hands. Newcomer three was also female, and her fingers had lost the flesh covering the tips, revealing bone. The final one didn’t fit the pattern of most of the acolytes. He had a beard, was an older man, and wore regular but ragged clothes. He was bloated and had a pattern of dark veins on his nose.
Of course, this takes longer to describe than I took to notice them and quickly decide the way out wasn’t through the crowd. There was a side door on the left, and I took a side leap, pivoted, ran a couple of steps, and then dropped to the wooden floor in a slide to dodge Gangrene’s attempted tackle. I rose to my feet at the door and spun at the sound of footsteps to kick Vagrant in the gut hard enough to knock him on his tailbone. Fingertips had gotten tripped by one of the dopey acolytes. I couldn’t see Cataracts, though. I turned the door handle, hoping I wasn’t going into a dead end or worse, a closet.
The back of my neck prickled like someone was watching me who I couldn’t see, which was weird because I was still facing the center of the room. I yanked the door open as hard and fast as I could, and heard a thud above me. Cataracts fell to the floor. She’d been lurking over the doorway, somehow. No time to ponder, I spun and ran. There was a hallway with a little stairwell to the left. Upstairs might be good for fighting, but not for flight. Forward would take me back toward the courtyard, closer to the main entrance but also a place to encounter more weirdos. The right door would possibly be an alternate path to the kitchen area, which should be connected to a back way for tradesmen to bring deliveries. You repurpose a flop hotel for a cult; you still have a hotel layout.

Available June 1st, 2019, for all e-books (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, PDF, etc.) and trade paperback!

Reserve your e-book now at:

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonAU:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589

Also, read more about the books and the author at https://www.theforeverdetective.com/. Site includes a book trailer.

 

Author Spotlight – Ann Chiappetta

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?
I began writing as soon as I could read. I drew picture books first, then a diary, and wrote stories with other friends.

2. What motivates you to write?
I am motivated by a creative desire; I used to draw and center my creativity visually. After I lost my sight, I learned to focus on literary creativity.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I am a poet first; however, I write fiction and nonfiction, too. Writing short stories and essays challenge me the most. I am drawn to writing about the human condition and emotions.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
My goal since the printing of my first book in 2016 is to self-publish one book every two years, more frequently, if possible. I am very happy about being able to finally accomplish this goal. When I was younger and struggling with creating good writing, I never thought my words would ever be printed. Over time, as my work was included in journals and other magazines, I realized my dream would come true one day as long as I worked hard enough to achieve it.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
Yes, I sometimes suffer from a form of it. For me, it is more like I have exhausted myself with a piece of writing and just need to set it on the back burner and allow it to percolate. I haven’t ever had a complete paralyzing form of writer’s block, though — I still write email, reviews, and other projects to keep this from happening. The muscle won’t shrink or cramp if it is stretched and used.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
Read, write, then read and write some more. The writing muscle has to be developed over time and the investment of practice will pay off as long as the writer is consistent and purposeful. Only the lucky few actually land a traditional book deal. If you write well, have a great literary support system and dedicate yourself to improving the craft, people will notice and read your work. I save each and every email from folks who have read my books and send a note. This is what I love the most, those sincere and meaningful notes from readers.

Thank you for being my guest, Ann. It was a pleasure having you here.


Connect with Ann:

Email: anniecms64@gmail.com
Website: http://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/
Blog: http://www.thought-wheel.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annie.chiappetta
Twitter: AnnieDungarees


Ann’s Books:

WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS
C 2019 by Ann Chiappetta

Buyer’s link: Amazon

About the Book

In this new collection of poems, essays, and flash fiction, the author once again exhibits her ability to write about both the light and dark sides of life. There are numerous poems and stories about nature: its kindness, cruelty, and wonder. There are frank expressions of the sadness and frustration she felt at the progressive loss of her eyesight and a poem about the social isolation that disability can bring. Other pieces, though, sing of joys as diverse as family closeness, the love of dogs, the delights of scents, and the power of the muse. Just as in her first volume of poetry, Upwelling: Poems (2016), there is no fluff here. To read Ann Chiappetta’s works is to feel them deeply, appreciate them mightily, and remember them forever.

From the Introduction

While it is my hope that all the pieces in this book resonate with my readers, I have my favorites. Some of the poems have been previously published; all reflect what lies within. This volume is accented with a few photographs. As I lose the last vestiges of my vision, bringing a meaningful visual array to this collection seems imperative. Finally, dear reader, I want to share the prose that reflects the way I’ve lived my creative life.

If just one poem or essay resonates with you, I have accomplished the purpose. For a moment, as the eye reads and the brain interprets, the reader slips into the shoes of the writer. This is the true spirit of what it means to be creative, open, to offer the emotions in such a way as to give another person the opportunity to appreciate the writer’s experience with the words of life.

 

Upwelling: Poems (2016)

Buyer’s link: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Your Dog: A Story of Love and Trust (2017)

Buyer’s link: Amazon