Thursday, July 27, 2017

Interview with short story writer (and novelist) Bobby Nash

Today’s interview is with short story writer Bobby Nash. We’re chatting about his crime fiction within the anthology MAMA TRIED: Crime Fiction Inspired by Outlaw Country Music.

Bio:
Bobby Nash is an award-winning author of novels, comic books, short stories, novellas, graphic novels, and the occasional screenplay for a number of publishers and production companies. He is a member in good standing of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers.

An award-winning author, Bobby Nash writes novels, comic books, short stories, novellas, graphic novels, and the occasional screenplay for a number of publishers and production companies. He is also a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers.

Bobby was named Best Author in the 2013 Pulp Ark Awards. Rick Ruby, a character co-created by Bobby and author Sean Taylor also snagged a Pulp Ark Award for Best New Pulp Character of 2013. Bobby has also been nominated for the 2014 New Pulp Awards and Pulp Factory Awards for his work. In 2015, Bobby's novel, Alexandra Holzer's Ghost Gal: The Wild Hunt won a Paranormal Literary Award in the 2015 Paranormal Awards.

For more information on Bobby Nash please visit him at www.bobbynash.com.

Welcome, Bobby. What do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
Short stories are great fun. They are a good way to dip your creative toe into a genre that you might not normally write, which is how I wrote a western and a boxing story. Short stories are also useful when I feel experimental. I can try new things in short form and see how they work. It is also a chance to work with some characters I find interesting. Because of short stories I got to write The Green Hornet. That was cool.


Can you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
Writing “Domino Lady” was a big deal for me, although I did not realize it when I did the first one. Back then, I was just telling one story about this pulp character from the 1930’s. Little did I know that I would become so associated with the character as time went on, she’s a character I still write to this day and hope to continue writing into the future.

“Lance Star: Sky Ranger” was where my short story writing career really began. The publisher invited me to write this aviation pulp character and had so much fun with the format that I wrote more short stories. Before Lance Star, I focused on novels and comic books. I still write those, but love doing shorts as well.

What genre are you inspired to write in the most? Why?
I love crime fiction in general, but there are many sub-genres of crime fiction that allow a lot of freedom to play. Superheroes, action, thriller, mystery, suspense, cozy, paranormal, and even sci fi and westerns can all have a crime fiction element to them. The sky is the limit.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently writing a novel for Moonstone Books featuring the classic pulp character, The Avenger. I’m nearing the finish line on that story. The Avenger is a crime fighter who forms Justice, Inc. after his wife and daughter vanish and are killed. The shock causes muscle paralysis, bleaching his skin stark white in the process, and giving him the ability to change his appearance at will, making him perfect for undercover work. After that, I have a Lance Star: Sky Ranger novel to put the finishing touches on and then I’m adapting a comic book series called The Wraith into novel form. Then, it’s on to Alexandra Holzer’s Ghost Gal book 2.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was in high school when the storytelling bug really hit hard. I’d dabbled a bit before that though. I wanted to be a comic book artist so I started writing comic book stories so I would have something to draw. Turns out that I was better at the writing side of things than I was at the art so on the advice of a friend, I focused on the writing and here I am.

How do you research markets for your work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
Check out the publisher’s website, look at what types of books they’ve published to see if your book is what they are looking for, contact some of the authors that they’ve published (easy enough if they are on social media) and ask questions (politely, of course), and check them out on Preditors & Editors. That’s usually a good way to start vetting potential publishers. Also, and this is very important, read their submission guidelines and follow them. That is your first impression with a publisher and/or editor. If you can’t follow instructions there, that can hurt your chances by starting off with a bad impression.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Not sure I have any quirks. Oh, I’m sure I probably have them, but haven’t noticed them for what they really are yet. I try to sit down and write.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was young, it changed from week to week. One week I wanted to be a cop, the next a scientist, an explorer, an astronaut, an artist, an actor, a writer. Sometimes now I don’t know precisely what I want to be when I grow up.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love what I do. Writing is fun. I love creating worlds and characters that I enjoy spending time with and then putting them through hell. Good, clean fun.


Thank you for being here today, Bobby. All the best with your writing!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Interview with paranormal romantic suspense author Barbra E. Ross

Author Barbra E. Ross joins me today to chat about her new paranormal romantic suspense, A Mortal Indiscretion; Author’s Cut.

During her virtual book tour, Barbra will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

Welcome, Barbra. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Michigan and am a nurse by day, lover of fiction at night. 

When people ask me what my book is about, I pause a moment because it is not so simple to describe. It is a vampire romance, I say and then, I pray that doesn’t scare them away. Because what are books really? I believe that books are a way to escape the daily routines of life.

I wanted to take an ordinary man and put him in fantastic situations. To bring a bit of fantasy down to reality. It is a love story at its heart. If I can take the reader on a journey and give them a laugh, cry, or simply bring a smile to their face, then it is all worth it. This story helped me through rough times in my life, and I can only hope it will do the same for the reader.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
This is the first book in a series. It is the story of Justin, a mortal man that happens to fall in love with a woman unlike any other. What he does not know is that she is a vampire. It is the story of their love.

What inspired you to write this book?
I really wanted to create a different kind of vampire romance that gives the readers an experience where they feel as though it is happening before their eyes.


Excerpt from A Mortal Indiscretion; Author’s Cut:
Chapter 7 excerpt.
“Yes Justin. And then, maybe you will go running to that girl. Maybe you should go after her right now. There may still be a chance.”
“No. I don’t run away. That is your thing.”
She sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, naked. She turned her back to me. I looked at her back, so sexy. Shoulders strong and defined. She had her arms across her chest. She knew I was going to ask the questions. I think she was mentally preparing herself for the blows.
“Go ahead Justin. Ask.”
“First of all… You’re not gonna tell me that you have to work in the morning, are you? Because I ain’t falling for that shit anymore,” I said. It just slipped out of my mouth. Like I didn’t have a filter between my brain in my mouth.
“No. I suppose you would not.” She turned to look at me.
“And you are staying here with me, right? I am going to have the pleasure of your company during the day? Right?” I pressed, as I felt my anger rising.
“Yes, I will stay. But I cannot go out with you during the day. You will have to keep the shades drawn. It is just not that simple to explain,” she kept her head down as she spoke these words.
“Fine. I can handle that. Tell me, what exactly would happen if I did open the shades Ambra?”
“I would burn up and die,” she stated, flatly.
“What are you Ambra? Are you ready to tell me to my face now?” I was insistent. “Because I really need to know.”
“I am…” She started and then, she became silent again.
“Say it, dammit! I want to hear you say it to me,” I was really getting pissed.
“I am a monster,” she whispered.
“What? What kind of monster? You tell me God dammit!” I yelled.
“A vampire,” she said it so quietly, keeping her back to me.
“You turn around and say it to my face. You have kept this from me for so long. I want you to look me in the eye! I deserve it!” I grabbed her shoulders as I yelled at her. She turned to me, tears flowing down her cheeks.
“Justin, I am a vampire.”


What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently working on the third installment in the series called Zeus. It is an epic tale, involving time travel with a backdrop in Ancient Greece and Rome.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When readers began to contact me, and tell me how much they enjoyed my story. I did a book signing event at Barnes and Noble with other local authors and a fan came just to meet me. I was very touched.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am a dialysis nurse full time. I write on my days off. It is hard sometimes when I am working overtime. But, I set a schedule and stick to it, writing as much as I can when I have free time.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I really try to bring my characters down to earth, make them believable, as if they were one of us. I think it is important to care about the characters. I have seen many films, and read many books where the story was good, but I just did not care what happened to the characters. I want to feel what they feel or at least understand how they could feel that way. So, when I write, I try to become them, and respond the way they would.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to write and direct films.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I just want to thank them for giving my book a chance. And thank you for the chance to be on your blog.

Links:

Thank you for being a guest on my blog today!

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Interview with romance author Wendy May Andrews

Today’s special guest is Wendy May Andrews who is talking with me about her new Sweet Regency romance, The Reluctant Debutante.

During her virtual book tour, Wendy will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there too!

Bio:
Best-selling author, Wendy May Andrews, has been in love with the written word since she learned to read at the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but it took her some time before she was willing to share her stories with anyone other than her mother.

Wendy can be found with her nose in a book in a cozy corner of downtown Toronto. She is happily married to her own real-life hero, who is also her best friend and favorite travel companion. Being a firm believer that every life experience contributes to the writing process, Wendy is off planning her next trip.

Welcome, Wendy. Please share a little bit about your current release.
The Reluctant Debutante is set in Regency era England, a time period that I love. The earl sees an attractive young woman and is intrigued but immediately finds out that she is his niece’s enemy. His initial reaction is to somehow try to use her in his revenge against her uncle, but he cannot bring himself to do so. They have many obstacles to overcome in order to reach their happily ever after.

What inspired you to write this book?
I love the initial reaction of seeing someone for the first time. I had the idea for the opening of my hero seeing the heroine as she climbed the front stairs to her home. But in this case, there’s the complication of him realizing that she is actually going into the house of his sworn enemy. From that initial kernel of an idea, this story developed. I loved their complicated journey!


Excerpt from The Reluctant Debutante:
chapter 3 – first sparks

Victoria was beginning to feel quite miserable. She was soaked from head to toe, most of her body immersed in the water. Her heavy skirts were feeling like lead weights as they pulled her towards the current. Her boots were slowly sinking into the sludge on the river bottom. And the gorgeous stranger was now looking at her appraisingly.

“Can you reach my hand?”

Victoria felt a shiver slither up her back at the sound of his deep voice as he leaned down for her.

Wishing there were some other way, Victoria looked at him then up and down the river once more. Unfortunately, the riverbanks had not changed in the last few minutes and there was still no way to get up the bank on her own. Turning back to the stranger, she gritted her teeth and stretched out her hand.

Bryghton was struck by the young woman’s beauty. Her remarkable eyes held so much expressive emotion. He could tell she was scared and embarrassed but she had the wit to realize she had little choice if she wished to be rescued from her precarious position. The duke knew that not too much farther downstream the river deepened considerably.

The feel of her cold little hand in his large, warm one sent a strange sensation through him, but he knew this was not the time to be distracted. Despite her slight frame, her soaking clothes were weighing her down considerably, and effort would be required to get her out. In a similar gesture to hers, he too gritted his teeth and yanked on her arm.

With a plop, and after a swift scrabble up the bank, Victoria landed on the edge of the river next to the impeccably dressed, handsome stranger. Blushing again, she offered a shy, hesitant smile as she pushed herself to a seated position.



What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently writing the first book in a new series which I’m very excited about. The entire series was inspired by a historical plaque I saw while I was in England doing research. I’m so excited about it because the possibilities are endless with where I can go with this series which is great because I always have more ideas than time to write them so having a broad range to build a series will be fantastic. Writing the first draft is, for me, the very best aspect of being an author. And I’m actually at the most delicious part of the story, just before my hero is about to become truly heroic. I can’t wait to see how the story turns out! Stay tuned…

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I always loved to read but even though my aunt used to joke about me becoming a writer, I never thought it would be possible. Even after I actually wrote a book I didn’t feel like a “real” writer until the day I received the first shipment of my first book, in hardcover no less. I cried a little bit, I will admit. To see an actual book that I had spent so many hours working on, that was surreal. And then my first writing related workshop. It was the first time I ever met other writers. It felt like I had finally found home. It was so reaffirming! Like I wasn’t alone anymore.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t yet write full-time. I have a day job. I’m a bookkeeper for a small business. I actually love numbers, so I don’t mind my job, but of course, the dream is to be able to quit the day job and focus on writing, no matter how much I like the numbers. Finding time to write that is the age-old question – we all only have 24 hours in the day. The fact that I really love it helps. Everyone finds time for the things they really enjoy. Even if I can only squeeze in a few minutes each day, as long as the story is progressing I can keep it active in my mind. I have never yet been blocked so as soon as I sit at my desk words can flow. I’m fortunate that way.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I love naming characters after people I know. In this story, almost everyone is named after or by friends and family members. My sister-in-law named my hero, Bryghton. It’s an unusual name, I’m not sure where she came up with it. But I love her, so I kept the name ;-) And my hero is wonderful and suits his unique name.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Apparently, I did not have high aspirations. I wanted to be a zamboni driver when I grew up. In case you don’t know, a zamboni is a machine used to resurface the ice at a skating rink. I still think it would be really cool to get to drive the zamboni some day but I’m glad I ended up down a different career path. Although, come to think of it, a zamboni driver would probably have a lot of free time for writing. Maybe I ought to revisit that idea…

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I am an avid reader. I am in love with words. I will even read the cereal box over and over. Traveling is another favorite hobby. And I also enjoy long walks. Living in a vibrant city, I love to walk to the coffee shop or out to dinner. And I absolutely love hearing from readers, so please visit me online at my Website, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Amazonor leave some comments or questions here.

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Interview with writer Larry Kilham

Writer Larry Kilham is here today as part of a virtual book tour for his non-fiction technology book, The Digital Rabbit Hole.

Bio:
Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme. His book website is www.larrykilham.net and he looks forward to hearing from readers at lkilham@gmail.com. Currently, he is writing a novel about free will.

Welcome, Larry. Please tell us about your current release.
The Digital Rabbit Hole reveals that we are becoming captive in the digital universe. The portals are smartphones and the world is the Internet. We immerse ourselves in social media; we learn through packaged feel-good information; and we will leave the hard work to robots and AI. The book details digital media and discusses smartphone addiction problems. It proposes solutions to stimulate creativity and education and to recapture our humanity.

What inspired you to write this book?
With my knowledge of digital information technology, I felt that it was time to give my readers perspective about the digital rabbit hole they are falling into.


Excerpt from The Digital Rabbit Hole:
INTRODUCTION

Let us imagine today’s version of the classic story, Alice in Wonderland. The story might open like this:
     Alice began to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the lawn, and of having nothing to do. Once or twice she peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “when people can see everything in color and sound on their smartphone?”
     She smiled mischievously, grasped her glowing smartphone and began listening to it through her tiny earbuds. Suddenly a white rabbit appeared in a great state of agitation, saying, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” He took a smartphone out of his vest, glanced at it attentively, and said, “Be quick, follow me, or we will miss the tea.” Alice jumped up, and looking for a little adventure, ran after him. The rabbit tapped his smartphone screen, and Alice’s smartphone screen came to life with a live video of some people and creatures sitting around a picnic table having tea.                                                                    
     “Hurry up,” he said, as he disappeared down a hole under a hedge. Alice followed and found herself falling weightlessly, with the walls of the tunnel fading out of view. “Is there a bottom?” she wondered. She was so absorbed by it all that she forgot to be afraid.
In this new world, Cyberland, Alice could find no places to eat, no malls, only some strangers sitting around a picnic table having tea. Then, boom! Alice hit the ground. She struggled to her wobbly feet and scraped her head on the roof of a space with no walls in any direction.
     A button appeared on her smartphone labeled “click here.” Alice clicked without thinking about what could happen next and found herself shrinking. The rabbit appeared again. “You are as tall as me!” Alice cried. “So?” he said. “Hurry, we’re late!”

This Alice in Cyberland scenario is no longer fantasy. More and more people—almost all of the younger generations—are falling down digital rabbit holes. We all make forays into digital places where we find our friends, gather information, make discoveries, or set out on adventures.
     For centuries, social groups, books, libraries, songs, movies, and other media fulfilled those functions, but they were optional behavior. Now we have the Internet, which is not optional. It is a digital rabbit hole we fall into and cannot escape. The doors and windows to this infinite Cyberland are the smartphone.
     There are two basic reasons why this trend is happening and will become pervasive and controlling:

·    Technology – The perpetual digital connection to everything, which can provide us an easy apparent answer, rather than make us devise one of our own.
·    Human nature – We gravitate towards convenience, good enough, emotional feedback, least action and distractions.

     We are creating two knowledge worlds. There is the Knowosphere enveloping the world. It is a collection of all digitized and stored knowledge. The Knowosphere cross-references almost infinite combinations so any piece of knowledge, image or scene is available instantly.
     The other knowledge world is all around us. It is writing on paper, books, movies, television, information stored in computers, and, in general, knowledge stored by traditional means and not in the clouds or Knowosphere. It also includes direct experience and social interaction.
     The trend is to use the Knowosphere whenever possible and to forget about processing and using information via conventional media. At the very least, one can still duplicate, access and store the information and knowledge in the conventional media. Good examples of this today are doctors’ notes and medical records. In the older and more traditional practices, the information would be hand written into medical charts and transcribed to digital files later. Newer and larger practices currently send their patient information directly into digital files.
     There is a need for a new kind of thinking in the face of the recently available mountains of data—data instantly accessed and conveniently packaged like a supermarket consumer product. In order to break loose from a steady diet of packaged information, you must fire up your imagination and embrace new ideas. You should always think critically and search for the truth. From that start, there are new frontiers in education, creativity and understanding of culture.
     In a sense, we are all Alice. In this book, we are all going to discover the possibilities and pitfalls in Cyberland.


What exciting story are you working on next?
A near-future novel, Free Will Odyssey, with the theme of free will immersion via VR to treat drug addiction.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I won a writing prize in high school.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Yes, I write full-time now that I am retired. I write in the morning when the day and my mind are sparkling. In the afternoon, I do book research, take a hike, catch up on sleep.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to experiment with computers in the writing process such as for editing and taking dictation.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An electronic engineer.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Write about what interests you. Unleash your imagination.

Links:


Thanks for being here today, Larry.