Author Interview: A.R. Marshall

Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present:

A.R. Marshall

Aaron is a children’s book author who has had a love of storytelling since childhood. In his Amazon.com author bio, he writes: 

“…no matter what a particular day holds, I want to be a little more heroic when the sun sets.” 

I love the quote and what a great lesson to teach the little ones. 

Without further adieu, here is Mr. A.R. Marshall.

BB&B: I loved Story Keeping: The Night I Became a Hero. It’s a quick, fun read for both kids and adults. What made you decide to write this story in the children’s genre?

A.R.: Great question. I’m really just a big kid at heart, so the genre is a perfect fit. I also think children’s books are a great way to wrestle with big ideas – like courage, or fear. They provide a safe context for experiencing light suspense, humor, relational conflict, etc. I know for our kids, children’s books often catalyze great conversations about stuff that matters.

BB&B: The story is engrossing and got me immediately thinking about some of my favorites like Neverending Story and of course the music vid from A-ha, Take on me. I have to ask – were either of these an inspiration? If not, what was your inspiration?

A.R.: Thanks! I don’t think either of those was an influence, but I did love the Neverending story as a kid. As a kid, I loved choose-your-own-adventure books, and I think the Story Keeping Series plays around with that idea. I hope the nostalgia resonates with adult readers. I also love Lewis’ Narnia books, so moving characters in and out of other story-worlds feels familiar.

BB&B: You managed to successfully pull off combining first person perspective and third person narrative, did you find it difficult to switch between two different story-telling techniques?

A.R.: Thanks, I did. When I started sketching The Night I Became A Hero, our oldest son was gobbling 1st person, journal-styled stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, or Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja. At the same time, our daughter was devouring Magic Treehouse Books. I enjoyed drafting the 1st person opening, but as the story took on its own life, I realized the “in-book” sections would need to be read by grandpa. I enjoyed tackling the challenge – and it proved more difficult to facilitate in the audio version than text.

BB&B: What do your kiddos think about the Story Keepers? Do they give you ideas for the next adventure?

A.R.: The kids love it, and they are my first beta-readers. They don’t offer enough criticism, but they let me know what’s working – is this scene scary? Is that scene funny – I just have to watch them read, ask good questions, and make adjustments. I am always pestering them for lists of things they want to read about, and they are always pestering me to finish the next book.

BB&B: What’s next for Riles, Sissie, Finn, and Grandpa?

A.R.: Great question. In their second adventure, The Night We Met A Dragon, the kids visit a medieval kingdom to unravel a mystery. Along the way, they learn more about Story Keeping, grandpa, and their parents. In adventures three and four (both slated for release this year) the kids dive into more nostalgia – helping an archeologist protect an Egyptian tomb and then battling sea sickness as scallywags on the most dangerous pirate ship to ever sail the seven seas.

BB&B: Do you have any tips for moms and dads on how they can encourage their kids to read?

A.R.: I guess read? At our house, reading is contagious. The more we read, the more they see us reading. The more we read to our kids, the more they want to read on their own. Our biggest challenge is carving time to read regularly with our kids – life has so many distractions, especially at this stage of family life, being intentional as a parent is exhausting.

BB&B: Thank you so much for spending time with Books, Blogs, and Bits. Any last words for your fans?

A.R.: Of course, thanks for inviting me. I am so grateful to my readers. Thanks for picking up the books, and for sharing in the adventures. If you ever have any questions, please reach out. I love connecting with readers. If you haven’t already, jump on my website and collect your free audiobook at www.armarshall.com

Thank you Aaron!

Be sure to check out Aaron’s website and stay up to date on the Story Keeping adventures. Click here to visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Release Alert!!

Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present:

Kai Bertrand’s

ENFORCER

 

Description

It started with death, mine. It went downhill from there.

My name is Cain. I’m an Enforcer. I’ve been given the power

to suggest someone commit suicide. If the circumstances are

right, it happens. The purpose of this power is to combat demons.

 

They’re taking over our town. People are being possessed

and trapped in their own bodies with no way out. As an

Enforcer I give them one last chance to rid themselves of the

demon controlling them. The separation process is…messy.

 

I hate being an Enforcer. I could refuse to do it but it means,

I’ll have to stand by and watch my friends and neighbors

become victims, or worse, killers.

 

My twin brother Ari tells me I’ll get used to it. That’s easy for

him to say, he’s Death. I’m a smartass with a deadly power.

What were they thinking?

 

In the war between Good and Evil, my brother and I are in

the middle. Both Heaven and Hell have plans for us. We are

so screwed.

 

BBB: I was so taken by the description, I started saying to myself, ‘I’m going to get this book’. Cain not only sounds cool, but I’m intrigued about the type of trouble a smartass with deadly powers can get into.

But first, I wanted to do something fun. So, I asked Kai, ‘if Cain were to go to a club, what would he drink and what type of playlist would he be rocking to?’

Kai: Cain prefers beer and always keeps some in the fridge, probably something like Guinness.

If he were going to go harder, he would go for scotch or bourbon. No mixed drinks for this guy.

The music in the background in the bar he frequents is from the 50’s and 60’s.

Here are some of the songs in the Jukebox:

Who’s Sorry Now – Connie Francis

Since I Don’t Have You – The Skyliners

Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino

Diana – Paul Anka

Love me Tender – Elvis Presley

Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

BBB: Yup, I’m sold! He got me at Love Me Tender. ((swooooon)). 

To further tickle your taste buds, here’s a short excerpt from ENFORCER

Ari had just reminded me that when I woke up after the accident, an angel stood at the foot of my hospital bed. He was glowing, he was beautiful. I just about peed myself. He had long dark hair and bright blue eyes. He was big, solid. He was wearing a white robe so I couldn’t see his body, but his forearms were like stone. He looked like one of those guys you see on the cover of romance novels.

“Hello Cain, I’m Michael. You and your brother have been chosen,” he said. His voice played in my ear like music.

“For what?” I croaked. His voice was music; mine was like a tin can being scraped out with a spoon.

“We have need of you. As you’re aware, the battle between good and evil has been waged for millennia. The angels are busier than ever fighting the dark. We’ve chosen another human to perform a vital function. Your brother has taken on the sacred duty of Death.”

“He did what?” I asked.

“Your brother has agreed to help others pass to the other side; he has agreed to become an agent of Death.”

“How hard did he hit his head? Or how hard did I hit mine? This is crazy,” I said rubbing my eyes thinking I must have been hallucinating.

“I’m telling you this because your brother will maintain his life as it’s always been. He’s been granted special powers that allow him to answer the call of anyone dying that he’s assigned to escort. He is one of many people who have the power to relieve suffering and pain by helping people to pass over.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“You and your brother are linked, when he escorts a soul to the other side, you’ll feel it. We want you to be prepared. The passage through is cold, but spirits can’t feel it, neither can Ari because of his abilities, but you will. I thought it fair to warn you.”

That was how I found out my brother was Death.

~o~

Click the link for

ENFORCER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a new author crush :)

I published my very first book in 2012 and I cannot believe that it’s been four years since my journey began. In that time, I wish I could say that I’ve made great strides toward bestseller status, but truth be told, it feels like I’m still only a few steps away from the starting line.

Ugh! What the poop have you been doing all these years, you might ask?

Well, I haven’t been completely holed up in a proverbial cave — only somewhat 🙂 Let me explain.

  • I have an incredibly stressful day job. I used to enjoy this job a very long time ago. Today, having this job is a necessity to support my household. I’m not going to belabor my agonies about my day job because that’s not the point. The thing is that at the end of the day, I’m wiped.
  • While I read books and buy self-publishing and marketing courses, I can’t seem to implement the lessons successfully. (I actually consider myself a pretty smart person, but this… this makes me feel like a complete idiot!)
  • Admittedly and with some embarrassment, I confess I have “shiny ball syndrome.” You know when the latest and greatest becomes your new toy and you forget about the old one? That’s me. I’m like this fat little bee going from flower to flower to collect what I need. But unlike the bumblebee who will actually do something useful with the pollen she collects, I just keep fluttering about until I’m so exhausted I just drop out of the sky, land in mud, and die.
  • In all my past endeavors, whether that be school or the jobs I’ve had, I’ve always achieved success. I was the good student, the good worker. I knew exactly, what I had to do. There was a path and I just had to follow it. I got A’s and I got the promotions and pay increases. School and work came very easily for me. I was successful with very little effort. This same level of achievement has not been happening for me in self-publishing. It’s been incredibly frustrating and makes me want to quit all the time.
  • I am afraid. Since self-publishing, I’ve realized that I’m fearful of everything — success, failure, criticism… When you fear everything, it becomes easier to be unknown. Being unknown is “safe.”
  • I could go on and on, but what it all comes down to is that I HAVE BEEN MY OWN WORST ENEMY! I’ve “failed” because of me. Have I been duped? Sure. I’ve spent good money on stupid products. I was upset about it then, but when I look back… I’m grateful for the consequence. Why? Because, I wouldn’t have fallen prey, if I hadn’t been looking for an easy way. I was an easy target. (So, buyer beware out there.)

Being an Indie and a self-published author is NOT EASY. It takes work, dedication, and patience. Since dipping my toes in self-publishing, I have taken the greatest journey of my life. While I feel like Sisyphus and his giant boulder right now, I have a feeling things are about to change.

If you are thinking about going into self-publishing, be prepared to work. There will be many days you will want to cry, pull your hair out, or make the next pint of ice-cream your new best friend. Be prepared that your passion for words will keep you up at night. Be prepared that self-publishing is a journey and there are no short-cuts. Finally, be prepared, that each time you write a book, you change for the better as a person.

Hang with me, I’m almost done… hahaha!

Why the post title? Because I have been re-evaluating why I’m doing this.

In my four years of chasing the shiny-ball and getting in my own way, I have forgotten and have completely gotten away from why I went into self-publishing in the first place.

In the last few years, the only time when self-publishing has been fun is when I’m actually writing or when I’m getting ideas and I start thinking about how far I could take a story or a concept. But because of my other responsibilities, there has been little time for the craft itself and I’ve been sad about that…

Then today, I came across an old podcast between Tom Corson-Knowles and Hugh Howey and I literally had to stop what I was doing and just listen. The interview was awesome and it reminded me of why I went into self-publishing! I love writing. Bottom line, our success as writers and authors lies within the pages we craft.

Maybe I haven’t been a complete failure. I have been writing in these four years and the fact that my books are not known now, doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way forever.

HUGH HOWEY, you are officially my new author crush. You have brought things in perspective for me when I needed it most. 

 

Publishing-Profits-Podcast-Cover-Image1If you want to listen to the interview with Hugh Howey, click here. I recommend you listen 🙂 it’s so good and it may give you a new perspective like it did with me.

I’ve only been able to listen to a few of the Publishing Profits podcasts, and Hugh Howey’s was one of the firsts, but for the ones I’ve heard, they’ve all been great and I’ve learned something valuable from each of them.

FYI–I’m not an affiliate of Publishing Profits. I just like sharing great content when I find it.

 

Author Interview with Nanea Knott

Books, Blogs, & Bits is proud to present:

Nanea Knott

Knott_HawaiianCoverNanea was born and raised in Hawaii and has gravitated to the paranormal and supernatural since childhood. An avid reader, she spent a lot of time devouring books on Hawaiian legends which are filled with supernatural creatures. The progression from reading to writing was natural and instead of just reading legends, in her own way, she now writes them.She has a unique perspective on creating characters and making the impossible, believable. Her bachelor’s degree in Psychology fuels the need to make the impractical, logical.  Above all, she believes, life isn’t life without humor and her writing reflects her quirky sense of it. When she’s not writing, she’s working, reading, singing, and if there’s time, she sleeps.

Let’s start the interview, I can’t wait!

BB&B: Your bio says that you were born and raised in Hawaii, and have since moved to Seattle. I love both of these areas. Can you tell us a little bit about both of your homes?

Nanea: Hawaii is and will always be home. I was blessed with having the sun on my face and a gentle breeze in my hair for most of my life. Some of my most cherished memories were of being at the beach just enjoying the sand and sea. Being a Native Hawaiian, preserving my culture became important to me and even more so when I left.

I moved to Seattle because there were places to see, people to meet, and new experiences to be had. If I wanted those things, I needed to get off the rock in the middle of the ocean. A friend of mine lived in Seattle and asked if I wanted to visit. I told him I would stay for two weeks. I haven’t left yet. It’s been over 15 years.

Seattle is fun, and quirky. There’s a troll under one of the bridges and The Summer Solstice Parade with the Naked Bicyclists are an annual favorite. I like it because the thing that Hawaii and Seattle have in common is diversity. I enjoy learning about and participating in cultural activities from all cultures. Being from Hawaii taught me to appreciate the differences in others and Seattle does the same.

BB&B: When did you start writing and when did first realize you wanted to be a published author?

Nanea: I started writing in high school. It was the typical angsty teenage poetic drivel. I still have some of my early writings and the last time I saw them I laughed remembering how serious it all was back then. Perspective is an interesting thing. In 2007, a friend of mine decided to publish and I was introduced to print on demand. In 2008, I published my first book. I’ve been plugging away at it since then. To date I have 1 non-fiction, 7 novels and 1 short story published under different names and genres.

BB&B: What sparked your interest in paranormal/supernatural characters?

Nanea: Anything can happen in the paranormal. Imagination can create anything at anytime and it can change the way someone looks at life. Supernatural characters require us to accept other explanations for how people are meant to be, act like, and look. I love the paranormal for its tendency to challenge me to suspend belief if only for a short while.

BB&B: What would you say is your favorite paranormal/supernatural creature? Why?

Nanea: I have always liked vampires. They are powerful icons of confidence and passion wiling to risk it all for the chance to rise again. They live for the moment knowing that something as simple as a single ray of sunlight could destroy them. Despite years of life, and many deaths, in a lot of ways, they are still just like the humans they feed on. They are also usually dang sexy.

BB&B: I recently read I’ll Never Forget You the prequel to your Sex Demon Series. Can you tell us what Nanea Knott coverinspired this story?

Nanea: I actually wrote the prequel after I wrote Remember Me which is Book 1 in the series. Celeste played a role in the overarching story line in book 1 and I wanted to give my readers some history as to why she had done what she did.

The idea of writing about sex demons was actually inspired by the TV show Lost Girl. I liked the idea of succubi and incubi living among humans, but I wanted to focus on how they lived life in every day human terms. I also wanted my characters to find something most demons didn’t, their mates.

BB&B: Celeste, the female lead in I’ll Never Forget You has a great determination about her. Is she modeled after anyone you know? Who inspired Celeste for you?

Nanea: I don’t know anyone that stubborn. LOL. Actually in some ways she is my opposite. I sometimes lack faith about the things in my life. Celeste on the other hand lives on faith. She believes with her heart and soul that it’s her responsibility to help Tanner. She‘s driven by the belief that he is her mate and she’s going to save him, no matter what it takes.

BB&B: What about Tanner, Celeste’s love? How did you come up with his character? I’m kinda hoping you’ll leave him in Hell, but at the same time, I feel like there’s something more going on there. Hmmm? Can you reveal anything?

Nanea: I like Tanner, not much is known about him because I wanted to focus on Celeste for the time being. She is a human with a succubus sister. She is also intense in her emotional makeup. Her mate, in his own way, had to match her fierceness of spirit. Tanner is that man. They are committed to their beliefs, even when they know there are consequences. When their story is revealed, readers will see why they’re meant to be together.

This is what is so great about being an Indie writer. I can change my mind. I’ve been toying with the idea of expanding the prequel to a novella and close the story for them. When I wrote it, I planned for a full book later in the series. I haven’t decided which I want to do yet, maybe I’ll let the readers decide.

There is a lot more to come with Tanner and Celeste. As far as revealing anything? Tanner’s in Hell, and he’s made the decision to stay until something happens and he needs to get out. All of the books feature young demons, but there are older demons, hundreds of years old, still walking the earth. Tanner and Celeste’s story is tied to one of the old ones.

BB&B: Looking ahead to the next book, can you give us a hint of what to expect? No spoilers please.

Nanea: The next book is Unforgettable. It features Shelly Graham a gorgeous succubus who gets into a car accident and Dr. Kevin Nettle, the sexy blond doctor who saves her life. Kevin is offered a job by one of his patients, and after he makes a bad decision, he’s thinking of accepting. Shelly gets out of the hospital, but something is wrong, and she ends up back there. Kevin cares for her again, but she’s a target, and now that Kevin is involved with her, so is he.

BB&B: Can you tell us about any future projects or WIPs?

Mating SeasonCoverNanea: The Sex Demon Series has at least 6 more books in the works. Most of them are in the first draft stage. I have different series and next on my list is to release another novel in the BBW Bear shifter series to go with the first book, Mating Season. After that I will probably release another Sex Demon series book, I expect it will be done after the first of the year.

BB&B: Any last words for your fans?

Nanea: I want them to know I appreciate them for being willing to try a new author. I write books I like to read and I love being able to share them. Thanks for sharing them with me.


BB&B: Thank you for spending some time with us, Nanea! Best wishes on all your future endeavors and visit again soon!

**~~**

Nanea Knott cover

OVERVIEW: Sex, Lies and Betrayal. Celeste’s whole life seems to be about those three things. Her sister is a succubus, but Celeste is human. She knows that finding a mate is something most sex demons never do, but she’s found hers. She’s in love with an incubus, and she knows Tanner is her mate, but no one believes her, not even Tanner.

When reports of unthinkable crimes surface, Tanner is accused, and she begs for his life. She gets her wish, but there is a price. Tanner is being sent to where she will never see him again.

She vows to get him released. She doesn’t see how until she meets someone that is considered an enemy. He gives her hope of saving Tanner, but she must make a choice. How far will she go to save her mate?

 

I’ll Never Forget You is part of the erotic paranormal romance Sex Demon Series by Nanea Knott. 

You can grab your FREE copy of I’ll Never Forget You at these awesome e-book retailers listed below:

Amazon.com

Nook (BN)

Kobo

Want to connect with Nanea? You can find her here:

Nanea Knott 

Facebook

Check out my sidebar for a link to my Goodreads review of I’ll Never Forget You, or just click here 🙂

Author Interview — C.D. Gorri

Books, Blogs, & Bits

is proud to present:

C.D. Gorri!!

~ ~

BB& B: Christine, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Christine: I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Montclair State University. I attended Catholic school from grades K-12 and photo 1am the youngest of six daughters born to Italian immigrant parents.

I currently live in my home state of New Jersey with my husband, my children, and my dog.

It has always been my dream to be an author and I am proud to say I am currently writing a teen/YA paranormal fiction series. My eBooks, Wolf Moon: A Grazi Kelly Novel, and Hunter Moon are both available online.

BB & B: I thought the story was very well done and I’ve read a lot of paranormal, but I have to admit most of my reading has been in the Adult genre. I’m curious why you chose to go with Young Adult?

Christine: I chose to write Young Adult lit for a number of reasons, the one that comes to mind first is I am a huge fan of YA books. I love the whole coming of age story line that sort of goes hand in hand with YA fiction. When you start with a character who is a child or a teen there is so much room for growth on a personal level and in the story line that the possibilities are endless. It just made sense to me that if I wanted to write a supernatural story this is where I should start.

Also, I’m a mom. I wanted to write something my children could read and identify with a little bit. My ten year old is my biggest reader and I didn’t want to write anything that I would have to tell her she couldn’t see until she was much older. It also gave me a built in test group for my ideas! LOL

WolfMoon2 (1)BB & B: Wolf Moon is your first novel. How long was this story brewing inside of you before you began to write it? How long before you decided to publish?

Christine: I have always wanted to write. Grazi, my main character, has been whispering in my head for years. It finally took a very long and cold winter last year for me to come back to a short story I had written about her (about ten thousand words) and turn it into a short novel.

The night I published Wolf Moon on Smashwords I was completely giddy with excitement. I was only looking to see how it would work and I was honestly thinking about waiting a month or so to do it, but then bam, one click later and it was done. I haven’t looked back since.

BB & B: I got a chuckle a few times reading about Maria Graziana’s school experience in a Catholic School. I went to one too and it certainly brought back some memories. Can you tell us what inspired you to pick this setting for Grazi’s character?

Christine: Well, it is a small world indeed! I am a Catholic schoolgirl myself and I wanted to use some of my own experiences in my book. There is something universally true in all schools I think, from the linoleum to the weird teachers and stuffy principal that we can all identify with. It is also an environment that doesn’t see much light in the world of fiction and I thought, why not? My kids go to Catholic school, wouldn’t it be cool to write about something I know and they know and share it with the world?

Also there is Grazi herself. She was raised by her Catholic grandmother and it just made sense for her character to have grown up going to Church and attending Catholic school. The same Catholic school her mother attended and where she met her future husband, Grazi’s father. I guess I could argue if they hadn’t gone there, they never would have met, and the story would not have been possible.

BB & B: Can you give us your favorite scene or quote from Wolf Moon and what inspired this particular scene/quote?

Christine: That is almost like asking me to pick my favorite child! LOL Seriously though, I don’t think I have a favorite scene or quote. I love all of my characters, yes, even the bad ones! I would have to say I am a big fan of Grazi’s and am rooting for her all the way! But the deeper into the series I go the more the other characters surprise me and I am sure they will surprise you too. Grazi is not the only one I feel deeply connected too. Ronan, Angela, and even Julianna have some growing to do in books 2 and 3 and without giving anything away I can tell you they are just fascinating to write.

BB & B: I am truly curious what lies ahead for Grazi. Without giving away any spoilers, can you give us a little sneak peek into the next book?

HunterMoon (2)Christine: In Hunter Moon, book 2, we pick up right where book 1 leaves off. Grazi knows she is a Werewolf and becomes aware that there are things that go bump in the night. Things that seem to want her dead. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery, learning more about her heritage and her parents’ lives and deaths. She makes new friends and her relationships take surprising turns. Grazi’s character also learns that not everything is as black and white as the Hounds make it. In fact, she will help them realize what they have been ignoring for years. Demons are stirring and they want the world.

I am currently working on Rebel Moon, book 3, in it, Grazi must learn and decide for herself who to trust. She learns more about her role in the upcoming battle for dominion over the world and she must decide how and if she will fight. In her personal life things are getting complicated and Grazi comes to see that love comes with a responsibility that she had never realized. Darkness comes for her in the shape of a boy-faced demon and Grazi must resist him in order to find the strength she needs to continue the fight. In the end she will find that when she has her friends by her side she is stronger than ever.

BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the future?

Christine: I am planning at least two more books in Grazi’s series as well as a possible spin off series. I am just fascinated by Grazi’s universe and have plans to expand and build upon it.

BB & B: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Christine: Yes. Write. Don’t stop writing. When you think you are finished, write some more! It is easy to say I will start tomorrow, but don’t wait. There is never extra time or enough time. Just write wherever and whenever you can. And for those who ask you what your real job is just remember this is a real job. If you treat it as such you will get it done. Good luck and never give up.

BB & B: Any last words you’d like to share about Wolf Moon or the series?

Christine: I just want to say thank you for hosting me here and thank all of you for taking the time to read this! And if you are looking for something with a little fang and a little fur to read, give Grazi a try. I think you’ll like her.

Be sure and look for me, C.D. Gorri, author of the Grazi Kelly Novel Series.

WolfMoon2 (1)

Thanks and happy reading!
“del mare alla stella,
~C.D. Gorri

If you’d like to find out more about CD Gorri and her fantastic new series, be sure to click the links below:

CD’s Website

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Instagram

Goodreads

All of CD’s books can be found at your major ebook retailers like:  Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Google Play, Itunes, Kobo and more.

Amazon links:

Author Interview — Tara Ellis

Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present:

Tara Ellis!!

taraellisAuthor Tara Ellis lives in a small town in beautiful Washington State in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys the quiet lifestyle with her husband, two teenage kids, and several dogs. Having been a firefighter/EMT, and working in the medical field for many years, she now teaches CPR and concentrates on family, photography and writing young adult novels.

BB & B: Can you tell us a little bit about what inspires you and how those inspirations led to crafting your novel, Bloodline: Forgotten Origins Trilogy Book 1?

Tara: This is actually a hard question. I remember when I first decided to become a writer. I was eight years old, and had just typed out my first short story on our old typewriter. I was already an avid reader, and the feeling I had when I created my own world was exhilarating… and it still is.

When it comes to what inspired me to write Bloodline, I would have to say first,bloodline_TaraEllis that it’s my longtime love for science fiction. It’s something I’ve always turned to when I have a need to escape for a little while. In the year or so leading up to the creation of Bloodline, I had been getting more into conspiracy theories and ancient alien/Egyptian tales. Not that I necessarily believed any of it, I just got a kick out of reading about it. Stuff like that makes you wonder, and perhaps broaden your perspective of the world around you.

I had read The Hunger Games a year before, and my daughter was fourteen, so these influenced my choice to try first person POV, and to keep it a clean read. It was important to me that my daughter be able to read it, without causing any embarrassment.

I’m a stickler for a good story. I spent much more time thinking about and researching the plot lines than I did writing it.

BB & B: What made you choose Egypt and an Egyptian lineage for your characters’ bloodline?

Tara: How could I resist? I knew I wanted to tie in an ancient virus from the past to the present, and I wanted the main character to be unique. I started with Alex. Making her half Egyptian took care of both needs. I didn’t know how much that was going to matter though, until I got quite a ways into the outline. It just all came together and gave me chills!

BB & B: I happen to be watching Ancient Aliens the same time I was reading your book. Call it synchronicity, but the topic was about global pandemics having an alien origin. Needless to say, the impact between your book and the TV show made me totally paranoid. Given your medical background and the obvious research you’ve done about ancient meteor impacts and theories, what do you think the chances are, that something similar could actually happen in our real world?

Tara: Don’t you just love it when stuff like that happens? I think my husband thought I was a bit…odd when I started writing these books. I don’t think he bought into the whole idea until I had completed Heritage and started getting back some good reviews. Then, he happened to be watching what was probably the same show that you’re talking about. It came out a good year or more after I had published Bloodline. He called me into the room and told me to watch it, seeming a bit surprised at some of the similar themes. I just grinned.

I think it is VERY possible. Here, I’ll add to your paranoia. Read this article: http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/05/world/europe/siberia-giant-virus-discovered/

It’s about the giant Pithovirus that was recently discovered in Sibera. Notice the publication date of March, 2014….almost a year after Bloodline’s original release date. They suspect this bugger is about 30,000 years old, and this is what scientist have to say (from the above article)

“…The discovery of Pithovirus shows how incomplete our understanding of microscopic biodiversity is when it comes to exploring new environments…”

And the potentially bad news: “…the reemergence of other viruses is no longer the domain of science fiction”

~France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

How about that? Now, they’re not claiming this giant virus came in a meteorite, but here is an article from Time magazine in 2011, where they talk about a published paper that discusses the possibility:

http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2057461,00.html

Some people believe it…some do not. I say….what if?  🙂

BB & B: Without giving away any spoilers, can you give us your favorite scene or favorite quote from Bloodline? Why is this your favorite?

Tara: Towards the end, there is a climactic scene where Alex comes to terms with some things. It’s funny you asked for this, because there was a recent review posted on Goodreads, where the reader chose this scene and quote to use in their review…and it’s my favorite, too.

“But what the creators of the virus don’t understand is the human desire to fight for our freedom and our value of life. To simply be alive, isn’t enough…I finally realize that our greatest gift, and weapon, is love. I mean, who can ever win against something as powerful as that?”

~ Alex (Bloodline: Forgotten Origins Trilogy, Book 1)

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It’s one of my favorite scenes in Bloodline, and my favorite quote, because I think that it’s at this point where the reader realizes how invested they are in both Alex and the story. That they both matter to them. At least, that’s my hope. As the author, that’s what it meant to me. I already liked my story and all of the characters, but at that point…I felt that tug, so that I knew I was invested. I had to see Alex through to the end of her story, and that meant writing the next two books.

BB & B: Bloodline is the first book in the Forgotten Origins Trilogy. Can you give us a snippet of what’s next for Alex in Books 2 and 3?

Tara: I have a confession. As much as I love Bloodline, I think that I grew as a writer, so I believe Heritage is a better book. Bloodline was the first full-length novel I ever published and I did and still do, have a lot of growing to do.

heritageHeritage is a bigger story. It’s 20,000 words longer than Bloodline and I do quite a bit more character development. This is where the dystopian setting starts, and I guarantee you that there are some twists in the plot that you will NOT see coming! Alex has some new, even bigger challenges and personal obstacles to overcome. Just as I grew as a writer…her character grew, too.

Descent is my favorite book of the three. At 95,000 words, it’s truly an epic tale. There are more characters, storyline developments, war, and death. The Forgotten Origins Trilogy isn’t your typical Young Adult story. I feel very strongly about that. It doesn’t hinge on a love interest (although there is one), but on a back-story that’s so intricately woven, that even though you don’t see it coming…it all makes such perfect sense at the end that you feel like you just got of a good roller-coaster!

BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the future?

Tara: I tend to be a bit ambitious. So although I kept saying that I was taking descentsome time off from everything when I was done with Descent, I already have my next adventure started. After some research, auditions, and feedback from other authors…I have decided to record my own audiobooks! I’ve done some theatre and so this type of thing isn’t new to me, but I’m excited about it. To really bring Alex to life and literally tell her story myself…how cool is that?

I’m starting with a MG story I wrote last year. Yes, I also have a middle grade mystery series started. The first one is called: The Mystery of Hollow Inn. It’s only 24,000 words long and I already have the first three chapters narrated. I figure I can learn all of the ropes with this book, so I’ll be ready to produce a good product for the trilogy. Be on the lookout for them!

After that, I plan to write another edition in the mystery series, but I honestly don’t know if I can stay away from the Forgotten Origins. It might just succeed in calling me back. 😉

BB & B: Do you have any last words you’d like to share with your fans?

Tara: I just want to say thank you to everyone who has given my story a chance. There are literally hundreds of thousands of self-published books every year. My hope is that my characters and plot are unique enough to stand out. But you know what? As a writer, I already feel successful. I felt successful when my kids first finished reading the draft on Bloodline, after not being able to put it down. I’ve already entertained my family and friends, and because of the amazing opportunity that self-publishing creates, and blogs like yours have given me…strangers have stepped into my world and gotten lost for a little while. That makes it all worth it!

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Thank you Tara for spending time with Books, Blogs, and Bits! Best wishes to you and your continued success.

If you’d like to find out more about Tara and her work, click on the links below for more info:

Amazon Author Page

Tara’s Website

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Trilogy Page

Goodreads

Tara’s books are available at Amazon.com.

 

 

Author Interview — Heaven Lyanne Flores

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HEAVEN LYANNE FLORES!!

10636243_860975823954956_3290758886484938541_nHeaven Lyanne Flores was born in Los Angeles, raised in Las Vegas, and now resides in sunny San Diego with her family.

She is currently going to school to become a nurse but loves to spend her free time reading and writing while also managing the book blog, Indie Authors, Books & More. She also loves anything Disney princess related and has an unhealthy obsession with zombies.

Let’s find out more about this young talent 🙂

BB & B: Tell us a little more about yourself. I know that in addition to becoming a published author, you are also a blogger with a steady and growing community. That’s an awesome accomplishment. Can you tell us about your blog and why you decided to create it?

Heaven Lyanne: Well, I am eighteen years old and a recent graduate of Chula Vista High School. I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA but lived most of my life in Las Vegas. It wasn’t until I moved to San Diego three years ago that I found my passion for writing but I have always been an avid reader. I am currently attending college to become a nurse. Hopefully one day I can be a full time writer and a volunteer nurse at a free clinic.

My blog is called Indie Authors, Books & More. I created [the blog] when I was fifteen just after I got swept into this indie world. I saw how much it meant for authors to get word of their books out to others and I thought I would try my hand at helping out. Never did I think it would be where it is now. I just love to know I helped someone get their book discovered and for someone else to fall in love with a new book they wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

BB & B: Your love of words is evident. Where does that come from?

Heaven Lyanne: I have always loved to read. It’s something that I have done for as long as I can remember. I was always the girl people could count on to have a book with her. I think it all started when I first moved to Las Vegas when I was around seven or eight. My elementary school library was like my home away from home. Everyone would find me there with a book in hand.

BB & B: What inspires you to write and how did those inspirations lead you to create your first novel, Anastasia?Anastasia Cover

Heaven Lyanne: I have always been a dreamer. Every time I go somewhere I am thinking of the perfect story to go with the setting I am in. I’m not going to lie it usually involves zombies.

When I entered middle school my English teacher had us always write little mini stories. I just loved that assignment and soon found myself writing outside of class whenever I could. My friends always said they enjoyed my stories but I would never write more than two or three pages of one story before I had to start writing something else that popped into my mind, which is why I had to force myself to stay with Anastasia and not start writing something new.

BB & B: What is Anastasia about and why is it special to you?

Heaven Lyanne: Anastasia is a story about a girl named Anastasia (go figure). She and her family are witches. They moved to this planet called Bolton where all supernatural creatures originate from. When she gets there she soon realizes her whole life has been a lie. Now she is the only person alive who can fulfill a prophecy and bring peace back to Bolton, but she isn’t so sure if she has it in her to do what everyone is telling her she has to.

Anastasia’s story has always been with me. I would always be thinking of it and after a while I begun to write it when I would get bored in class. It is so special to me because this is a story I have had roaming around in my head for years. I never thought I would finish it and getting to actually publish it is the best feeling in the world.

BB & B: Without giving away any spoilers, can you give us your favorite scene or quote from Anastasia and why.

Heaven Lyanne:
This quote is spoken by Anastasia to one of my favorite characters, Yelson. This is my favorite because it speaks the truth about life. It tells you that nothing is set in stone. I have read so many books where the good guy always wins and gets his happily ever after. This quote lets you know that anything is possible. It could end with a happily ever after or it could be that the bad guy wins.

“We have to think realistically Yelson. This isn’t some fairytale where you know the good guys will win. This is real life. Life where the bad guys have constantly won. There is always a chance one of us won’t make it.”

~Anastasia

BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the future?

Heaven Lyanne: Oh I have so many different writings currently in progress! Along with finishing the Bolton series I have planned and begun writing books about aliens, zombies, werewolves, assassins, and more witches. Also I am a part of a paranormal anthology coming out in June so they can be sure to look out for that.

BB & B: Any last words for your fans?

Heaven Lyanne: Just that I cannot wait for everyone to get the chance to read Anastasia. It literally has been in the works for years and to be having the chance for people to read it is unbelievable. I hope everyone enjoys the world I’ve created.

BB & B: Thank you so much for spending time with us Heaven Lyanne! Best wishes to you and all your future success!

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If you’d like more information on Heaven Lyanne, please go check out her Facebook pages by clicking the links below:

Author Page

Indie Authors, Books, and More

Anastasia is going live OCTOBER 1st! Let’s help spread the word and give this book a good boost!

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Author Interview–Claudette Alexander

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is proud to present:

Claudette Alexander

5cc2f0359b3078c005b26086103f8ac6Claudette Alexander was born in St. Lucia and has been living in Toronto for the past 40 years. Retired, her past experiences involve work in accounting and as a union activists.

Ms. Alexander has been battling chronic kidney failure for the last 10 years and currently volunteers, leading workshops on living healthy with chronic health conditions.

Her memoir SUNRISE FROM AN ICY HEART is about her transformational journey into womanhood, her search for a special kind of love, the tears and joys of motherhood, and her fight to remain among the land of the living.

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BB & B: What inspired you to write your book? CLAUDETTE ALEXANDER ECOVER small

Claudette: My children. I had a strong desire to let them know the life their mother lived. And also a desire to let people who live with a chronic condition to know that they can still live a happy life

BB & B: What was the hardest thing about writing this book? Can you explain why?

Claudette: Trying to remember people, places and names

BB & B: If there is one lesson, one message, or any one thing you can share with your readers, what would that be?

Claudette: When a son is raised by a loving single mother, it is her business to show him how to treat a woman, especially when there is no father around for him to emulate. It is essential that he thinks positively about her so that when a woman gets him as a life partner, she will truly appreciate the work his mother put in making him a loving man.

BB & B: What do you love best about being an author?

Claudette: Having the ability to make my words sparkle on paper.

BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the future?

Claudette: Currently I lead workshops on living a healthy life with chronic conditions and I intend to continue through workshops and my blog.

BB & B: Do you have any tips for new writers?

Claudette: It is essential to read about the business you are embarking on. There are plenty books and plenty authors writing about their road maps.

Pink RoseIf you’d like to learn more about Claudette, her workshops, and the continuing lessons she lovingly shares with her community; please click on any of the links below:

 

Claudette Alexander’s website

Facebook

Book Trailer

Purchase links for SUNRISE FROM AN ICY HEART

Amazon

Amazon.UK

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Author Interview–Richelle E. Goodrich

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is proud to present:

Richelle E. Goodrich!!

Richelle E. Goodrich lives in Washington with her husband and three boys somewhere in a compromise between country and city living. She has two BA degrees and possesses a wide range of interests in the creative arts.

Untitled-1 copyHer love for writing emerged later in life, first manifesting itself through children’s books geared at entertaining her boys. ‘Eena, The Dawn and Rescue‘ and ‘Eena, The Return of a Queen‘ (the beginning adventures in the Harrowbethian Saga) are Richelle’s first novel-length achievements.

This author will tell you that the greatest thrill of writing is to hear what readers have to say about the characters living within her enchanted pages.

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BB & B: I love this quote of yours, “Courage to me is doing something daring, no matter how afraid, insecure, intimidated, alone, unworthy, incapable, ridiculed or whatever other paralyzing emotion you might feel. Courage is taking action…..no matter what. So you’re afraid? Be afraid. Be scared silly to the point you’re trembling and nauseous, but do it anyway!” (Smile Anyway)

Can you tell us about this quote and what brought out these words of encouragement?

Richelle: Yes, I certainly can.  For the most part my quotes have been inspired by personal experiences and some unpleasant trials.  At times, however, they’ve resulted from a keen fascination for observing and evaluating human behavior.  I like to ‘people watch’, perhaps because I never cease to be amazed by the actions of others.  Smile Anyway FINAL COVER smallest

The quote you mention regarding courage came to me when I was facing a difficult challenge that resulted in taking a stand for what I heartily wanted despite strenuous opposition.  I’m no super hero, I’ll admit.  I cringe at the mere mention of anxiety, fear, and confrontation.  But I’ve learned that courage isn’t reserved for the brave and daring only.  Courage means taking action, period.  And even a timid personality can do that—albeit trembling the entire time.    

BB & B: I love fantasy and magic in my books and you definitely capture these elements so beautifully in your stories.  What inspires you when in the creation of your characters and the world they live in?

Richelle: I’m a daydreamer to the very core.  There are a thousand stories swirling in my head constantly, sort of like an inner library where I slip a book off the shelf almost daily for the purpose of entertaining an untiring brain.

If only I could write—had the time to write—all the adventures and fantasies that play on my mental view screen.  I have my favorites memorized, and I tweak their stories often, hoping someday to jot them down on paper.  I’ve always been this way, passing the time in another world, pretending to be some extraordinary character.  I have to laugh because I actually wrote a quote inspired by this truth:

 “I live in two unique worlds, traveling between both with just the opening or closing of my eyes.”

~Richelle E. Goodrich 

 That’s me.  What inspires these stories—the characters and the worlds they come from?  Well….what doesn’t inspire them?  In other words, just about anything can act as inspiration for me, depending upon what I’m thinking about at the moment.  A mangled tree once inspired an entire book, including the type of life that dominated a fantasy world.  A touching scene from a movie Dandelions Cover smallwas what sparked the idea for my book, ‘Dandelions’. 

Art seems to be a strong stimulation when it comes to sparking stories in my imagination.  I believe that’s because art is so highly interpretive, which means I must draw on my own creativity to evaluate it.  And once the creativity starts to flow, quite frankly there’s no stopping what develops from it.

BB & B: To what extent do your characters remind you of yourself or someone you know?

Richelle: I’m smiling at this question.  I am a firm believer that there is absolutely a portion of the personality of a writer in the main character(s) he/she creates.  My characters are not exactly as I am, but they most certainly do possess solid elements of ‘me-ness’ in them.  They must, because it’s me imagining how they would react and respond and reply to presented stimuli.  And all I have to go on is what exists within my experience; experience that has made me, me.   

BB & B: If you had to pick just one story or one character of yours.  Which or who would it be and why?

Richelle: Hmmmm.  Pick one for what purpose?  Do you want the character that entertains me the most?  Or the one I most relate to?  Or the one that I enjoyed creating most?  Okay, let’s see…

The character that entertains me most is probably Kira the Mishmorat from my stories in the Harrowbethian Saga or ‘Eena’ books.  Kira’s personality is nervy, edgy, and spirited—traits I normally repress.  She speaks at will, behavesEena1 cover boldly, is a striking beauty and an alluring nymph.  I love how she is.

The character that I most relate to would be Annabelle Fancher in ‘Dandelions’.  Not because I have ever experienced the abusive life she unfortunately endures, but because she and I both are dreamers and avid people watchers.  Despite Annabelle’s youth, she makes very astute observations about her peers and many adults.

The character I most enjoyed creating would be Eena, hands down.  That’s because she is me.  I am her.  At least that’s the way I always imagined it when I use to daydream about Eena and her other-world adventures as a high school student bored to death in class.

BB & B: Here’s another quote from Smile Anyway, “A daily dose of daydreaming heals the heart, soothes the soul, and strengthens the imagination.” I just love your quotes.  They’re inspiring and full of wisdom.  I can see that you are about positivity and living up to your true calling and not giving up. 

Can you share with us your tips for staying positive and keeping on course?  I think this can be especially challenging for those of us in the creative field.

Richelle: There are three things that help fuel my drive to succeed.  The first is an easy and simple habit; I do at least one thing daily to get me nearer to my goal.  On a busy day, that might mean writing just one sentence in a developing EENA 3 COVER FINAL smallest copymanuscript.  On a lazy day I might read for research purposes or scribble out an entry on my author blog.  The point is that I not allow myself to become stagnant.  Doing nothing achieves nothing, therefore I take at least one step toward my goal every day, despite how tiny the step.

 Next, I’ve come to realize that where dreams are concerned I have only two choices—give up or keep going.  If I were to give up, that would translate into sheer failure, and I do NOT want to fail.  Therefore, I’ve no other choice but to keep going, to keep striving towards those dreams.

The last habit I rely upon most heavily.  I pray.  I explain to my Heavenly Father what I wish to achieve, and I ask Him for inspiration, guidance, and His hand in making it possible.  And I believe assuredly that He can and will help me.

BB & B: Do you have any works in progress?  What can fans expect from you in the near future?

Richelle: Yes, as a matter of fact; I’m excited about this one!  I’ve begun a new YA book staring a genius boy-gifted girl duo.  They’re coerced by an old Mayan priest into opposing phantom villains who must be stopped at all costs or else…  (Wait a minute.  I probably shouldn’t give the entire story away.)  Anyhow, I hope to have this work completed by the end of the year. 

BB & B: Do you have any closing words you’d like to share?

Richelle: Sure, how about a quote to inspire?  This one is from my recently released book, ‘Smile Anyway’: 

 “Never give up. 
It’s like breathing—once you quit, your flame dies letting total darkness extinguish every last gasp of hope. You can’t do that. You must continue taking in even the shallowest of breaths, continue putting forth even the smallest of efforts to sustain your dreams. Don’t ever, ever, ever give up.” 
 Richelle E. Goodrich

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Thank you Richelle for your time!  Beautiful words indeed!

To get to know more about Richelle and her great works, please visit the links below:

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Richelle’s Websites:

 

Author Interview–Paul Howard

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is proud to present:

Paul Howard!!

“I am an author, screenwriter and film maker, my screen credits include the cult classic “Night Terror” (1990) and the soon to be released “Hunt for the paul howardDesert Apeman” in collaboration with M.L. Behrman.

 I published my first novel: “The Galley“(2012) and its’ short story extract: “The Unthinkable (The Great Fire of Rome)“(2012). My newest books are “Timelines: The Beethoven Incident“(2013) and the first installment of “The Palindrome Chronicles”: the short story “We Were Here!”(2013) In October, my newest book; “Phoenix Part One: Spooks” was published.

 After spending my early years in the Midwest, I migrated to Southern California where I received most of my education. There is an old saying: “You can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.” I think that’s true in my case. Although I’ve lived in L.A. most of my life, the simple ways of Southern Illinois are still close to my heart. I love the opportunities to get away to the quiet of the deserts and countryside. It helps me think. My joys in life are playing the guitar and spending time with my grandchildren, (as well as writing!).

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BB & B: You are a very diversified gentleman—author, screenwriter, film maker, and guitar player.  What triggered your passion for the creative arts?

Paul: I think it was a combination of things throughout my life. My mother was an accomplished pianist; some of my earliest memories are of sitting under the piano as a toddler listening to her play. I grew up in a house full of books; my brothers and I were allowed to read any of them that we wanted.

By the time I was three I was drawing on the walls of our house. Our dining room had a barnyard scene with a giant pig over the table. I think I was two when I drew that. It burned through every time my father tried to paint it out. By my early teens, my desire to create took on the nature of a yearning, at first I was drawn to music and studied it in college.

Then, one night I found myself sitting in the front row of the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, watching Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. I immediately got myself a camera and film making textbooks. It was like all of the fine arts wrapped in one: music, literature, painting, sculpting, and drama all at once. I love all aspects of film making, but the business just wasn’t for me.

After completing my first feature, I found myself turning down every project that was offered to me after that over the next several years. I turned more and more to writing, first screenplays and teleplays, and ultimately books, where I could speak in my own language and tell the kinds of stories that really interested me.

I love the guitar; it makes me feel so good when I play it. Nothing gives a sense of pleasure and reward better than a musical instrument. Playing electric guitar was always a childhood dream. When I picked it up and started playing at the age of 50, I discovered that it was even better than I imagined it would be. If I had picked one up at the age of 15, who knows how different my life would have been?

BB & B: Your latest work was just released in October 2013.  Spooks is set in the year 2127 to a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.  Can you tell us a little bit more about Spooks.  I’m intrigued about “ecto-infused.” Can you share with us how Spooks Cover3 copyyou came up with the concept.

Paul: The core concept of Spooks and the entire Phoenix Saga, is resurrection on different levels, first as the individual, but eventually of humanity as a whole. I’m not speaking spiritually, but sociologically.

The ecto-infusion process is a technical way of regenerating the recent dead using their own tissues as a template for the “ecto-being”. There is no magic or religious basis for it, thus keeping the storyline in the realm of pure science fiction.

I have always wanted to write a detective story with sci-fi overtones, this is my shot at it. As for the inspiration, ideas like this just pop into my head. I am always developing new material in my day-to-day activities. This idea just appealed to me so I developed it.

The biggest problem with most of my writing is that it doesn’t fit into any of the standard genre molds, which makes my books very hard to market. Spooks is still trying to find its audience, if people knew what it was, I think they would really go for it. It takes patience to write, it takes even more to find a readership for your work. 

BB & B: Spooks, is the first book to the Phoenix Saga, can you give us a sneak peek at what’s to come as the saga continues?

Paul: Should I? Here goes: as I stated before, the central theme of Phoenix is resurrection.

 The seed for the second book has already been planted in the first one. When it becomes apparent that they have an infused homicidal maniac running loose, Sam suggests that the U.S. should be chipping its criminals with GPS trackers. By the second book, which takes place a generation later, this becomes the standard practice. In fact, everyone on Earth is chipped. Almost everyone, anyway. Those who aren’t, are invisible in society; the LAPD, (who are now almost exclusively Spooks), find they are back to using old investigative methods to deal with such a person.

 The third book is based on the development of new chips, which are enhanced to educate through “Direct Memory Implantation”. Within a decade, everybody under the age of ten has the brain of an Einstein. But they are still caught up in a moronic culture, ruled by greed and power. The Spooks of the LAPD are now dealing with a generation of Superminds who still have the emotional responses of young children, and the powerful people who feel the growing threat of their presence.

BB & B: What inspires your stories and your characters?  

Paul: This not a cop out: everything I see, everybody I meet, every note of music I hear. The role of music in my inspiration is huge. My first book, The timelinesGalley was inspired mostly by Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade. My second book, The Beethoven Incident drew its feel from The Eroica Symphony and band music from the mid-nineteenth century. Go figure.

Maybe there’s something wrong with my head, but I’m enjoying it. I draw my characters from the people all around me. Not as individuals, but as personalities. I let my characters develop on their own as much as possible. I try to not to interfere with their motivations. If they can’t surprise me, they are not real enough. I don’t write characters, I try to write people who could exist outside of my muse. It seems to work for me; so far none of my critics have ever suggested that my characters don’t play.

BB & B: To what extent do your characters remind you of yourself or someone you know?

Paul: All of my characters are extensions of me to one degree or another. I think that is true for many authors, whether Shakespeare or Genet. The diversity of who they are is drawn from others that we know or meet, and are built on empathy.

I always ask myself: “What would it be like to be in your shoes?” I try to internalize the answer to that as honestly as possible. I think the best authors do that, too. You really can’t write good characters without a high degree of empathy and self-honesty. I love all of my characters; I love all the people I meet, even if I can’t stand to be around them. I feel sorry for those who can feel hate or alienation; it must be a very lonely world for them.

 BB & B: If you could put together a dream project, what would that be and why?

 Paul:Uncivil Nation” If there is one Great Truth of human existence, it is this: “Man is a genius race trapped in a moronic culture by self-centered idiots.”

The most humbling experience of my life is to look into the face of a six month-old child. There is all the unbridled potential and optimism that Man is capable of achieving. Turn on your television or internet and look at the continuous effort to process that potential out of him or her.

Why are we obsessed with celebrity culture? It has absolutely nothing to offer us but lowered self-esteem. The only stars in our lives are the people we are close to. Sit in a room full of people and observe the isolation imposed by the new phones which keep us distracted from our lives and each other. Why is this happening? The answers are out there, but god help the person who expresses it. I can only imagine what Hugo or Dickens would be writing about today.

If I had the time or resources, I would undertake such a project, but it would also take more than that. Vonnegut wrote about these things and couched them as humor, if he hadn’t, his books would have been unpalatable, and he would have been silenced. We nail those who try to find our better angels to crosses.

BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the near future?

Paul: Now that I have published three series novels, I am going to service those. The next book is going to be the follow-up in the Timelines Series, followed by “Galley II: The Fall of Nero”. I have also resumed work on a fourth galleyseries: The Palindrome Chronicles, but it will have to wait for the other three series to develop. My plan is to issue new installments of past series, along with a completely new book, at least once a year. Goodness knows where I will find the time, my hands are so full.

BB & B: Do you have any closing words you’d like to share?

Paul: Wow! Yes there are. After spending over a year in the self-published e-book environment, there are one or two points I would like to make.

First of all, the vast majority of you who are reading this are self-published authors. That is my first point. While the e-book market is growing rapidly, the actual marketing and discussion tools on the web are being used by the authors themselves, not the reading audience. We have become a cloistered group like the Free Masons; writing for the consumption and approbation of our colleagues instead of our readers.

While I admire and support you all, I am not interested in doing that. I am interested in the guy with the Kindle sitting on the commuter train on the way home from work. Am I entertaining him? Based on my numbers, I am reaching that audience. But he doesn’t write reviews. I have known many people who are avid readers, not one of them writes reviews. When I look at most e-book reviews, including my own, I see authors, not readers commenting on each other’s work. Most of them of them, to be frank, are terrible at it.

How many times do I see, “I have an obligation to tell the audience what they’re getting.”? An e-book costs less than a hamburger these days, we have no such obligation to ourselves, or each other. People are burning over four bucks on a gallon of gas! Get real. I never review a book I don’t like, if I see errors or typos, I contact the author personally and give them my report. I review on content, not style or grammar; I have no wish to do injury to the efforts of another author, and neither should any of the rest of us. If you read an e-book and feel like doing it, you should ask yourself why. I see typos in books that are over two thousand years old. The only reason I bring this up is because the reviews on e- books are marketing tools: raw numbers on a book page.

The real reviews are in the book stats. I am getting very high loan numbers on KDP. About one loan for every three sold. That is a reader review that matters. They are passing my books around to their friends! I’m not getting rich, but I’m showing thousands of readers a good time. Which leads me to my second point: I am very encouraged by the quality of the novels that are being self-published! Over the past year, I only encountered one that was unreadable, one that was badly written to the extent of distraction, and over a hundred that were actually worth reading.

There are some really good authors out there! I am constantly reading comments from authors who are worried about bad product giving self-publishing a bad name. Based on my experience, that is not a problem to worry about. I think that the overwhelming majority of those who can bring a book to completion are also capable of writing a decent book in the process, and the majority of what I have seen is consistent with that. If you have a finished book online, the odds are that it is pretty good, and you have good reason to believe in it.

This is wonderful Paul! Thank you for sharing your time with us and best wishes on all your future endeavors.

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