Rachel Thompson

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle by Jessica Bell, Melissa Foster, Susan Kaye Quinn, Leigh Talbert Moore, Anne R. Allen, Cindy M. Hogan, Dawn Ius, Michelle Davidson Argyle, Roz Morris @MsBessieBell


Need motivation and inspiration to self-publish, or sign that contract with an interested small press? Have you done all the research you can, but still feel ambivalent about the idea? “Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle” brings you the experiences of 29 indie authors—their passions, their insights, their successes—to help you make the leap into indie publishing.

This is not a how-to guide. This is the best of the indie tradition of experienced authors paying forward what they’ve learned, giving you information to help you on your journey. The personal essays in this book will leave you itching to get your work into the hands of readers and experience, first-hand, all the rewards indie publishing has to offer.

100% of proceeds from “Indiestructible” purchases will be donated to BUILDON.org

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre –  Non-fiction

Rating – G

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Connect with Jessica Bell on FacebookTwitter

Blog http://thealliterativeallomorph.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Interviewing #Fantasy Author Joshua Silverman (The Soul of the World - Legends of Amun Ra #2)

Image of Joshua Silverman

How did you develop your writing?
As uncomplicated as it sounds, I read a lot and I wrote a lot. That’s the only real way to do it.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Mostly historical events or myths.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
I kind of joke that if you can’t write a novel, then you shouldn’t be an author (assuming you want to write for a profession and not a hobby). To me, the writing is the easiest part – it only gets more difficult from there. Getting a publisher is ten times harder than writing your manuscript. Selling your book is ten times harder still. One only needs to go to a used bookstore to see how many authors got published but failed to sell. You don’t see the best books on used bookshelves.
What marketing works for you?
Facebook and conventions. I meet so many people at shows that the face-to-face interaction is invaluable.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I work in the legal services industry. A typical 9-5 desk job.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
My very first job was an umpire for little league baseball. I’ve worked at Subway, in-house sales, telemarketing, door-to-door sales, real estate investment firms, law firms, and accounting firms.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
I’d go back and get a degree in history or philosophy, even though they have little application to the job market (so says a Yahoo! Article I just read on the worst degrees for job opportunities).
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
In the mountains. It’s far enough from civilization where I’m not stressed about traffic or the day-to-day craziness of our lives, but close enough where I wouldn’t feel so disconnected that I’m fifty miles from the nearest grocery store (because I despise cooking).
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
Laptop mostly. I do have an audio recorder for ideas I get while I’m driving.
Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?
I have a few friends in the industry, but the most support I get is from my wife as she has to deal with me talking to my characters in my head or locking myself in a room for 8 hours, refusing to come out because I’m working. It takes a special kind of someone to be married to an author.

The ancient powers lost to Potara have returned. The Brotherhood of the Black Rose rises to bring Thoth into disorder. And, while the Brotherhood reclaims their power, chaos reigns among the survivors. Six individuals have emerged from the aftermath struggling for control over their lives and a divided land. Kem and Shirin, who abolished the five thousand year reign of the Amun Priests, rule from the golden throne of the Oracle’s Chair in the Hall of the Nine. Dio and Axios struggle to piece together a resistance worthy to challenge the ancient magic which resides in the Great Temple of Amun, and Leoros and Atlantia try to remain true to their hearts and their cause despite tragedy.
But when the Book of Breathings is discovered, the path to immortality is revealed. Leoros and Kem race to capture the Soul of the World unaware of the challenges awaiting them. This time, the gods themselves will intervene.
In a tale where boys become men and girls become women, where treachery and deception are around every corner, and where primeval mysticism finds its way back from the grave, victory is reserved for neither the good nor the evil, but the powerful.
Buy Here
Genre – Science fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG-13+
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Author Interview - April Bostic

What inspired you to write your first book?
British actor, Toby Hemingway, and watching the movies, The Notesbook and Meet Joe Black.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Showing the reader what’s happening in the story and not telling them. I don’t think I’ve mastered that skill too well.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
Yes. I applied some of the criticism I received from reviewers for my first novel, and tried not to make the same mistakes with The Howling Heart. So far, the issues people had with my first novel aren’t being repeated this time around.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
No, it’s too difficult for me to continue to write and deliver quality stories.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
I like to be very detailed to help readers imagine what I’m writing, but I’ve found I’m not as fancy and colorful as some other authors. I don’t have an extensive vocabulary, so my writing is pretty simple and clear.
What is your greatest strength as a writer?
Writing believable characters.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I always suffer writer’s block. Sometimes it’s so extreme that I tell myself I’m not going to write anymore. I usually end up writing again later at some point.
Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when she’s given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies, and just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River.
Soon, she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv–wolves descended from 13th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but she never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack.
Now, she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Paranormal Romance
Rating – Adult
More details about the author
Connect with April Bostic on Goodreads

Friday, February 21, 2014

Brian Bloom (Beyond Neanderthal) & How He Developed His Writing @BrianB_Aust #Thriller

What inspired you to write your first book?
I am a slow thinker. I know a lot of words, but I have trouble putting them together out loud and on the fly – especially when I’m under the affluence of incahol. Too often people don’t understand what I’m talking about. Those with big egos think I’m stupid. Humble people think they’re stupid. Neither is true. When the adrenalin is pumping, I tend to gun-sling words from the hip. Sometimes they hit the mark. Mostly they miss. In the mid 1980s, a mate and I were playing a game of snooker and drunkenly arguing about the gold price. I thought it would go up and he thought I was talking nonsense. My six-gun word bullets were obviously missing the target. In a fit of madness, I finally blurted out: “Okay, I’ll tell you what: I’ll write down all my arguments and you can see them as a cohesive whole.”A week later, I took him about 30 pages of explanation.
“Why don’t you turn this into a book?” he asked. So I did. The book was called “Stock Market Magic” and it turned out to be a three volume self published book of around 50 pages a volume.
How did you develop your writing?
I placed an ad for Stock Market Magic in a local financial newspaper and sold enough copies by mail order to pocket a reasonable profit after paying the cost of the ad. In the hope of getting some publicity, I delivered one full copy to the editor of that paper. A few days later I received a phone call:
“I’m moving to become the editor of a new national broadsheet newspaper. I like the way you write. How would you like to write a weekly column for us?”
“What about?” I asked
“Anything you like.”
And so, my writing career commenced as a sideline to my day-job. I wrote a column called “Albert Tells How”. It was ostensibly a report of a conversation between me and a 300 year old Swiss gnome by the name of Albert. N. Sane. I owned a small factory at the time and Friday was the day I had to pay wages. Naturally, on Wednesday nights I couldn’t sleep so I would go to the refrigerator to get a snack. In those days, the refrigerator light didn’t just switch itself on. Personal service was still important. Like the old days when you stepped into an elevator and the operator would ask “which floor?” That’s how I met Albert. He was 3” tall and he was taking a sabbatical in our ‘fridge.
He had done a deal with Westinghouse. In exchange for free board and lodging it was his responsibility to switch the light on and off whenever it was appropriate. Albert and I became friends. Having lived for 300 years he had seen it all. When I had a business problem or I was worried about the economy or about the stock market, he would draw on his vast experience and calm me down. I was always able to pay the wages on the Friday.
More importantly, I came to understand that, for me, writing could be a “do it first and think about it afterwards” kind of activity. Once a week I would sit at the computer – sometimes with no ideas in my head. When that happened, I would shoot word bullets out of my fingers and, eventually, a coherent pattern would emerge. Then, with a bit of iterative editing, I was able to craft a column. Often the final column looked nothing like the original thoughts. That’s when I came to understand how to manage writer’s block.
So you’ve been writing on and off since the 1980s?
Yup. When I emigrated to Australia with the family in 1987 I stopped for a few years, but then I started blogging from about 2002. Eventually, Denise – my loyal and long suffering wife – turned around and asked me why I didn’t do something more challenging, like write another book. In 2005, I took her advice and decided to write a novel. I had no idea where to start, but I knew that the answer would come to me. You’ve heard the expression “wired for sound”? Well I seem to be “wired for inspiration”. In Denise’s language, my third eye is wide open. So I just waited for inspiration. It didn’t take long.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
The ideas just come to me. Most often it happens in the dead of night when my conscious mind is asleep. Of course, they don’t just come out of the black (it’s night time, remember J); I’m usually mulling over a problem in my mind when I’m awake and, if I can’t solve it I just let it go and I wait.
Eventually, one of two things happens: Either I wake up at around 4:00 am with a clear picture of how to proceed, or a book or a person will jump into my life from somewhere – usually in the daytime, when I’m awake – and in the book or in conversation with that person, there will be a clue. For example, with Beyond Neanderthal, my first novel, a friend of Denise’s suggested that I write about Blue Amber. I had never heard of Blue Amber, but I started researching it and then I put pen to paper and, along the way, I found I was writing about humanity’s social evolution – so I changed the name to Beyond Neanderthal. It was a name that just popped into me head in the dead of night after I realised that the original name , “Blue Amber” would not be appropriate.
This type of experience has been happening to me for most of my life. Denise tells me I’m “plugged in”. I first assumed she was talking about the collective unconscious that Carl Jung spoke about. Later, I came to understand that the entire universe is like a giant database of information – something like The Cloud, only much more all encompassing. Religious people might describe it as the mind of God. New Age followers might talk of Akashic Records. It’s a matter of how one perceives things.
In my imagination, I see how it might have been possible for the prophets of old to tap into that database and see the future. I don’t really understand how it works and I can’t “force” it to happen on demand. I’ve come to understand that I should just go with the flow. My best bet is to maximise the potential for my remaining plugged in to the database. I do this by meditating as often as possible – but no more than once a day – and, recently, I have joined the Tai Chi class that Denise teaches. Mostly, I like to be at one with nature, “surrounded by nobody” as our daughter Jenna used to put it when she was a child. When my mind is quiet, the ideas flow. When my mind is cluttered, it tends to go into cruise-control mode.
How did you come up with the title?
With both books, I asked the question of my unconscious mind and the answer manifested in the dead of night. (I’m not kidding). I think that the names of my two books – Beyond Neanderthal and The Last Finesse are spookily representative of the ideas those books are trying to communicate. Denise would argue that they are examples of my being plugged in.

Beyond Neanderthal
There is an energy force in the world—known to the Ancients—that has largely escaped the interest of the modern day world. Why? There are allusions to this energy in the Chinese I-Ching, in the Hebrew Torah, in the Christian Bible, in the Hindu Sanskrit Ramayana and in the Muslim Holy Qur'an. Its force is strongest within the Earth's magnetic triangles.
Near one of these--the Bermuda Triangle--circumstances bring together four very different people. Patrick Gallagher is a mining engineer searching for a viable alternative to fossil fuels; Tara Geoffrey, an airline pilot on holidays in the Caribbean; Yehuda Rosenberg, a physicist preoccupied with ancient history; and Mehmet Kuhl, a minerals broker, a Sufi Muslim with an unusual past. Can they unravel the secrets of the Ancients that may also hold the answer to the future of civilization?
About the Author:
In 1987, Brian and his young family migrated from South Africa to Australia where he was employed in Citicorp’s Venture Capital division. He was expecting that Natural Gas would become the world’s next energy paradigm but, surprisingly, it was slow in coming. He then became conscious of the raw power of self-serving vested interests to trump what – from an ethical perspective – should have been society’s greater interests.
Eventually, in 2005, with encouragement from his long suffering wife, Denise, he decided to do something about what he was witnessing: Beyond Neanderthal was the result; The Last Finesse is the prequel.
The Last Finesse is Brian’s second factional novel. Both were written for the simultaneous entertainment and invigoration of the thinking element of society. It is a prequel to Beyond Neanderthal, which takes a visionary view of humanity’s future, provided we can sublimate our Neanderthal drive to entrench pecking orders in society. The Last Finesse is more “now” oriented. Together, these two books reflect a holistic, right brain/left brain view of the challenges faced by humanity; and how we might meet them. All our problems – including the mountain of debt that casts its shadow over the world’s wallowing economy – are soluble.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
More details about the author
Connect with Brian Bloom on Twitter

Onio by Linell Jeppsen @nelj8

Onio revised (2)

In this modern world of science and high technology, in secret places deep under the ground and in the forest primeval, legends still walk the earth and what we think of as myth and fairy tale are all too real.

Driving home late one night, Melody Carver, bereft and grieving after the death of her mother, sees a strange creature standing on the lonely road. This being will change her world-view forever, and open her eyes to a reality beyond her imagination.

Melody’s chance encounter on that dark and snowy road will mark the beginning of a journey of discovery and wonder that will bring two worlds together in hope and despair.

Can one person bridge the gap between the ancient and the modern, the mundane and the magical?

An urban fantasy filled with adventure, romance, war, heartbreak and triumph!

ONIO! Unlike anything, you have ever read before!

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Fantasy/Romance

Rating – PG13

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Connect with Linell Jeppsen on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://neljeppsen.weebly.com/

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lorhainne Eckhart on Having a Writing Schedule @LEckhart #amwriting #writetip #amreading

Image of Lorhainne Eckhart
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
Eight hours sleep, no less, and I don’t sleep in. I’m a very early riser.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
Yes absolutely. You have to understand your genre first. And then find the readers. Blog tours, ads on relevant sites for your books genre, book blasts, ads on goodreads.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I get outside in nature. I’m fortunate to live in a rural area on the ocean so I have the best of all worlds. I take a walk down at the ocean, I also go for a walk, and my favorite is to curl  with a great book.
Do you have any tips on how writers can relax?
Get outside in the fresh air, in nature everyday. And always find time to exercise, even ten minutes  day  it helps to keep you fresh and relaxed.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I try to write every day, and always in the morning. Unfortunately as of late though I am getting only about five mornings to write.
Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule?
You have to be organized to write. I am a single mother so I really have to organize, and be fiercely protective of my writing time. Every morning I write. I do not schedule meetings, appointments anything in the mornings if it can be helped. And I’ve had to tell people no, do not phone, drop by or anything in the morning, unless it is an emergency. And I try to write ten pages a day in that time, most days I can do it.
Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you?
Yes I have. I have teamed up with an amazing group of authors some formerly traditionally published, and all using the Amazon platform and cross promoting each other. The one thing about our  group, we play to win. Everyone is driven, succcessful, and some amazing authors. Two mentions are Carolyn McCray and Taylor Lee, there are many others behind the scenes as well, but Carolyn and Taylor have been two key authors in my success and have shared so much valuable information to stay at the top of my game.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I always hope that first and foremost that people will enjoy my stories. And for them to feel the emotion and injustice in the story my characters are living. Everyone is going to take something different away, they will either love or hate my characters. But the one thing I want people to feel good.
What color represents your personality the most?
Gold I believe.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
They are essential for authors. You have to learn to make social media your friend. And this a huge area for us authors to reach new readers.

 Lorhainne Eckhart
How do you tell a man there is something wrong with his child?
This is by far one of the best books I have read. Lorhainne Eckhart proved herself yet again  by pulling you in with a heartfelt story and keeping your attention with the passion that fills   the pages. ROMANCE JUNKIES
A Real Tear Jerker: Omg, I loved this book. I stayed up all night trying to finish it. I cried,  My heart broke, I have an 18 year old with autism. This would make a fabulous movie...  Tammy
He wasn't looking to love again. But what he got was a woman who shook his lonely bitter world upside down, and touched him in a way no other woman could.
Emily Nelson, a courageous young mother, ends a loveless, bitter marriage and strikes out on her own. She answers an ad as a cook and live-in caregiver to a three-year-old boy on a local ranch. Ranch owner Brad Friessen hires and moves in Emily and her daughter. But Emily soon discovers something's seriously wrong with the boy, and the reclusive, difficult man who hired her can't see the behavior and how delayed his son is. So Emily researches until she stumbles across what she suspects are the soft signs of autism. Now she must tell him, give him hope, and help him come to terms with this neurological disorder--to take the necessary steps to get his child the help he needs.
As their lives become intertwined, their attraction is unavoidable--a connection sparks between them. But just as they're getting close, Brad's estranged wife, Crystal, returns after abandoning the family two years earlier. Among the shock and confusion is one disturbing question Brad can't shake: How does Crystal know so much of his personal business, the inner working of the ranch, and Emily's relationship with his son?
Crystal must've had a plan, as she somehow gains the upper hand, driving a wedge in the emotional bond forged between Brad, Emily, and the children. The primary focus for care and therapy of three-year-old Trevor is diverted. The lengths to which Crystal will go, the lies, the greed, just to keep what's hers, are nothing short of cold and calculating. Emily's forced out of the house. Brad fights to save his boy, to protect what's his, and struggles over his greatest sacrifice--Emily, and the haunting question: Has he lost her forever?
More Praise for THE FORGOTTEN CHILD...
"Brilliant, there is no other word for it, heart grabbing, heart warming, gut wrenching, well written well researched, wanted to read it over & over again." Amazon Reviewer – Maureen
BLACK RAVEN'S REVIEWS - Ms. Eckhart has crafted a delightful story with engaging  characters, enough drama for a Hallmark movie, and enough unconditional love to last a lifetime.  ~Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!~ 
READERS FAVORITE *5 Star Review A real page turner ~ fast moving plot ~ a must read!
Reviewed by Brenda C. For Readers Favorite
I didn't expect I'd fall for the four main characters as hard as I did, but The Forgotten Child is an amazing book, not just for a romance fan like myself, but for single parents who may or  may not have a child with autism. ~ Reviewer ~ Adria
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Western Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author & the book
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#Author Caroline Kennedy Tells Us About Her Family @StephenWardBook #Scandal #Espionage

I come from a sprawling family with relatives scattered throughout the world, in the US, the Philippines, Croatia, Colombia, Switzerland, the UK and Costa Rica. So I guess I was born to travel.  I certainly get itchy feet if I am too long in one place.  The “rootless one”, my siblings call me. Thus I have lived and worked in Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Croatia, Azerbaijan, the US, Canada and Costa Rica. One of my sisters is a very successful interior designer. And one of my brothers has been a music editor for film and is now an up and coming photographer. I have a nephew who is an accomplished actor, having starred in films such as “Lady Jane”, “The Princess Bride” and “Glory”. And my son is a film and Web Series producer. I have two precious grandchildren aged 2 and 6 months who live in the US so I spend a few months every year in Los Angeles.
I would say, without hesitation, that it is my compassion. Compassion can seen as a strength but it can also be viewed as a weakness. I have lived and worked with refugees, indigenous people and people with disabilities In different parts of the world and have really loved the work. But I do find my energies depleted as I tend to absorb all the tragic personal stories that are a natural part of my humanitarian work.  I do give a lot of myself to others but the problem is, according to my three children, I don’t know when or how to stop. This is something I am trying to learn.
I would have to say I am most proud of this book, “How the English Establishment Framed Stephen Ward” and the original book I researched and wrote in 1987 on Stephen Ward, “An Affair of State”. Between the two of them they have taken 5 years out of my life. When, through my detailed research, I came to the realization that Stephen Ward had been framed and that he was innocent it almost became a mission for me to prove it with hard evidence. And I believe I have done so. I am very proud of two facts: the first, that Andrew Lloyd-Weber believes my argument and has produced a musical about how Stephen Ward was framed. And secondly, a highly respected Human Rights lawyer has now taken up the case, based on our book, to refer Ward’s conviction to the Court of Criminal Appeal to have it overturned. If this happens that would be a huge achievement for me.
I have many favourite authors but I have to cite one here who is also a friend. David Yallop, who has the courage to chase after stories, no matter how dangerous they can be, is the type of investigative author I would like to be. He has researched and written about the murder of a Pope, the secret bank accounts of the Vatican, Carlos the Jackal and other equally risky subjects and put his life in jeopardy every time. He is tenacious, determined and usually very successful. His books including, “In God’s Name”, “To the Ends of the Earth” and “The Day the Laughter Stopped” are a testament to his professionalism in telling a story, no matter what the cost.
To me this question is like, “Why do you breathe?” I write because I feel the urge to write.  Not all the time. But those times when the urge hits me I am incapable of doing anything else. When the words are flowing I can write from early morning until late at night without realizing either the time or that I haven’t eaten the whole day. These are the most exhilarating hours. When I am completely immersed in my words and nothing and no one can distract me. Fortunately these times tend to hit me when I am alone so I don’t neglect or ignore anyone other than myself.
I have worked in Bosnia and Croatia during the war, helping to set up a refugee camp for children and their families from all sides of the conflict. I have worked for an organization for refugees with disabilities, setting up a programme in Azerbaijan for many refugees and IDPs who required surgery for them to lead a less dependent life. I have worked as a journalist, a radio producer, a TV host and a community theatre director. Most of my jobs have brought me more pleasure than money. But that never worried me. I loved my work. And that’s what mattered most to me.
I am an insomniac. Even when I was a teenager and all my friends stayed in bed all day, I only slept 3-4 hours a night. Nothing has changed since then. I feel fortunate if, on the very rare occasion, I get 5 hours sleep. When this happens I feel like a different person altogether. And it has never ceased to annoy me when people tell me: “I need at least 8 hours sleep a night. But you obviously don’t need it!” Let me tell you here and now – I DO need sleep. Most days I feel drained and exhausted before the day has even started which, in my case, can be 4am. Three hours sleep a night is not enough for anyone. I know. It certainly isn’t enough for me. How I would dearly love just once in my life to sleep a full 8 hours.
I have to say I am extremely grateful to the author, David Yallop, and my co-author, Phillip Knightley, both of whom immediately saw the potential of my research about Stephen Ward. It took them no time at all to realize I had proved conclusively that an innocent man had been framed and that Ward’s trial was, possibly, one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in English legal history.

How The English Establishment Framed
"How the English Establishment Framed Stephen Ward" is a major expose of a government cover-up that has lasted half a century. It is a powerful story of sexual compulsion, political malice and ultimate betrayal. A number-one bestseller when it came out in 1987 under its original title, "An Affair of State", the book reveals never-before-heard testimony that has been uncovered by the authors in the years since the scandal broke. Using startling new evidence, including Ward’s own unpublished memoirs and hundreds of interviews with many who, conscience-stricken, have now spoken out for the first time, this important account rips through a half-century cover-up in order to show exactly why the government, the police forces, the Judiciary and the security forces decided to frame Stephen Ward. 
Stephen Ward is now the subject of an upcoming Andrew Lloyd-Weber musical and this book offers a wider perspective on its complex, central character as well as a broader insight into one of the greatest scandals of the past 100 years. As the authors’ research reveals, Ward’s “trial of the century” was caused by an unprecedented corruption of justice and political malice which resulted in an innocent man becoming a scapegoat for those who could not bear to lose power. This is an epic tale of sex, lies, and governmental abuse whose aftermath almost brought down the government and shook the American, British, and Soviet espionage worlds to their core. With its surprising revelations and meticulous research, Ward’s complete story can finally be told.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Politics, Espionage, Scandal
Rating – PG-16
More details about the author
Connect with Caroline Kennedy on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

David Litwack Says "Writers are Star Stuff" @DavidLitwack #Fiction #Fantasy #TBR

Image of David Litwack

What’s the reason for your life? Have you figured out your reason for being here yet?
There’s a quote I’m using at the start of my fourth novel. It’s from the TV Sci-fi series, Babylon 5, spoken by Delenn to the ship commander: ““Then I will tell you a great secret, Captain, perhaps the greatest of all time. The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up this station, and the nebula outside—that burn inside the stars themselves. We are star stuff. We are the Universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out.”
I don’t know much, but I believe that writers write because they’re star stuff, the universe trying to figure itself out.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
There’s no question that historically, major publishers have produced some bad books and some great books have languished on the slush pile. Today, those forgotten books have a path to publication, whether it’s Indie or self-publishing. But there a problem—now the whole slush pile is being published. I’d hope author’s would police themselves better, take the time to do those extra rewrites and edits. But while the gatekeepers of the old order were imperfect, they still served a purpose. Today we need new gatekeepers, a way to let readers distinguish between the wheat and the chaff. This will likely take years to sort itself out. Book bloggers may be a big part of the solution.
Do you know your neighbors?
Where we live now, absolutely. Growing up in the city, not so much.
When you get free time on the internet or you go to the library – what do you want to read about?
A lot of my internet or “library” time is spent on research for my books. But oftentimes, I’ll get lost following links to related information, which can stimulate new ideas. If I just want to browse as a way of relaxing, I usually check out sports. I’m a big Red Sox and Patriots fan.
Do you find the time to read?
Besides loving to read, I don’t know how you can be a writer without reading a lot. I always have a book on the Kindle app on my smart phone and I’ll break it out while waiting for a doctor’s appointment or anytime I have a few minutes to spare. I’m not quite as dedicated as Stephen King, who I’ve seen on TV at Fenway Park, reading between pitches at a Red Sox game.
Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.
The Blind Assassin. I have a love/hate relationship with Margaret Atwood. I love her writing and learn so much from it. But she can be a bit preachy and occasionally insert herself too much into the story.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I wish I had the energy to write twice as much a day.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
Albert Einstein: “Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one.” In a way, this is the justification for fiction.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
I founded two successful software companies and raised two sons. I’ve hopefully been a good husband, father and friend. But going back to writing at a time in my life when I could have just relaxed and played golf-- and then publishing two, soon to be three novels—that’s something I never expected to be able to do.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
The urge to write first struck me when I was sixteen working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the wild night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by the northern lights—the only time I’ve ever seen them. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean, who encouraged me to write an article each night for the next day’s issue. In any case, I was hooked.
What was the hardest part about writing Along the Watchtower?
I struggled to find the balance between Freddie’s waking world and the fantasy world of his dreams. Ultimately, this is a real world, wounded warrior’s story. The fantasy world is an alter consciousness, a place where Freddie can go to confront the demons he’s unable to face in reality. I was always tempted when in Azeroth to write a classic fantasy. But there’s no classic ending that’s appropriate to Freddie’s story. His war trauma never ends. His triumph is finding a way to accept what happened and move on with his life.
How long have you been writing?
Seven years and all my adult life, with lots of time off in between.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
I had a great playwriting professor in College, John Matthews. He was the first one to emphasize that writing was more craft than art. He beat into me that drama is conflict with something at stake, the bigger the stakes, the higher the drama.
Who designed the cover?
My publisher designed the cover for There Comes a prophet based on my suggestion. The scene between Nathaniel and Orah in the observatory has always been one of my favorites, the moment when they make their fateful decision. It also seemed like the most visual.
I worked with a wonderful artist for Along the Watchtower (Ida Jansen of AmygdalaDesign - http://www.amygdaladesign.net/). I wanted a split cover that reflected Freddie’s dual worlds. The artists came up with the surreal castle right away. It took a few iterations to get the wounded warrior just right. We finally ended up with the rumpled fatigues, with the medals and a crutch under one arm but with no face showing.
Who is your publisher?
Double Dragon Publishing.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I write speculative fiction, which gives me a lot of leeway in terms of genre. Why speculative fiction?
I’ve always been suspicious about reality. Is what we believe merely a reflection of how we’ve been raised and what we’ve been taught? Anyone who has traveled knows other cultures see the world differently. And anyone who has spent extended time in a hospital or war zone has learned the hard way that one’s sense of reality can be easily fragmented. We conveniently construct a world view that suits us—at least until something challenges it.
Our sense of reality in many ways defines how we live, but it’s constantly evolving. That’s the writer’s job—to challenge our view of reality and enable the potential for change. I try to invent new worlds and show how characters cope within them. By telling what they saw and how they felt, I hope to change the readers perception of reality and therefore how they perceive themselves. Ultimately, that has the potential to change how we behave.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I believe the purpose of a novel is to tell the character’s story, not deliver a message. If anything, my job is to raise questions, not to answer them. However, I hope Along the Watchtower will help highlight a very real problem in our society—the plight of veterans recovering from both the physical and mental trauma of war.

WINNER: Readers' Favorite Book 2013 Bronze Award Winner, Drama Category -Fiction
A Tragic Warrior Lost in Two Worlds...
The war in Iraq ended for Lieutenant Freddie Williams when an IED explosion left his mind and body shattered. Once he was a skilled gamer and expert in virtual warfare. Now he's a broken warrior, emerging from a medically induced coma to discover he's inhabiting two separate realities. The first is his waking world of pain, family trials, and remorse--and slow rehabilitation through the tender care of Becky, his physical therapist. The second is a dark fantasy realm of quests, demons, and magic that Freddie enters when he sleeps.
In his dreams he is Frederick, Prince of Stormwind, who must make sense of his horrific visions in order to save his embattled kingdom from the monstrous Horde. His only solace awaits him in the royal gardens, where the gentle words of the beautiful gardener, Rebecca, calm the storms in his soul. While in the conscious world, the severely wounded vet faces a strangely similar and equally perilous mission--a journey along a dark road haunted by demons of guilt and memory--and letting patient, loving Becky into his damaged and shuttered heart may be his only way back from Hell.
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Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG
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