Friday, March 20, 2015

Interview with YA novel Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul by Marcus Dino

This Friday interview is with humorous and inspirational YA author Marcus Dino. He’s telling us about Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul and other things.

During the tour, Marcus will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a lucky winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Welcome, Marcus. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Who am I who puts thoughts into the head of the eccentric struggling actress/waitress pounding the pavements of Hollywood who calls herself 'Fifi Larouche,' heroine of 'Fifi Anything Goes in the Double Os', 'Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul,' and 'Diary of a Mad Gen Yer?'

I grew up a lover of the great American novel reading books such as The Grapes of Warth, Jaws, and The Godfather. I've also a lover of old Hollywood movies. Somehow the combination of being a lover of great fiction and being a Hollywood movie buff inspired me to create Cheryl 'Fifi' Larouche, Hollywood actress who endures one crazy adventure after another.

I have also had a varied professional life outside of writing, starting out as an electrical engineer working for several large Aerospace companies to teaching math for many years at Los Angeles area middle schools. My teaching career helped me understand what Fifi needs to go through as an actress as the two professions require similar traits,

I also have masters degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Education and am a graduate of Chapman University. I am semi-retired and currently live in Santa Maria California.

Please tell us about your current release.
“Fullfill your destiny Fifi, as you wander through the Wilderness.” Goth her spirit guide tells her. What is 21st century actress/heroine Cheryl 'Fifi' Larouche's destiny? Is it her burning desire to be the greatest actress Hollywood has ever seen despite getting rejected from audition after another and her father constantly telling he didn't spend 'a quarter of a million dollars to send her to a top liberal arts college to be a waitress?” Is it Fifi's destiny as her spirit guides Goth and Au tell her that life is all about 'spiritual growth not being rich and famous' despite the fact Fifi can't stand than an actress with one tenth her talent land a role she knows she is more qualified for? 

Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul is the third in my 'Fifi' trilogy series after Hollywood novel Fifi and top ten Amazon bestseller in it's category anthology Diary of a Mad Gen Yer, dealing with Fifi's wild and wacky adventures. Like Diary, Evolved Soul is a humorous anthology of short stories, blogs, and poems but Evolved Soul also introduces the power of 'Twitte'r with Fifi's silly tweets' and good practical spiritual adice from Goth and Au, thus the name of the title Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul. Evolved Soul is partially meant to be entertaining YA fantasy with such eccentric off the wall characters not only Fifi and her college professor father Charles, but also a 200 year old English ghost called 'The 200 Year Old Great Writer' and Fifi's best friend Alocki, a brilliant science professsor whom Fifi says is an extraterrestrial from another star system and her equally brilliant but absent minded 'extraterrestrial' partner Helos. It is also a partially a 'spiritual book' with the advice that Au and Goth give. Of course Au and Goth are involved with many of Fifi's silly adventures.

What inspired you to write this book?
What inspired me to write a tweet in Fifi's 'silly tweets' 'Sometimes I just feel like a whole mess of cells that grew a mutated in the 20th and 21st century ..You know like a human petri dish...' or 'I used to see a shrink but now that I am in LA I see....a psychic.'

The inspiration to write Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul is just 'sponataneous creativity.' The reader immediately feels and identifies not only with her eccentricity and humor but also the real life struggles that Fifi goes through. Living in Los Angeles and getting a feel for the Hollywood scene I want the reader to get a bird eye's view of not only a Hollywood actress's career is like but what life is like living in LA. After writing Fifi I wanted to do something different in my approach to Fifi's characterization and decided to write 2 anthologies as oppose to sequel/prequel novels in Diary of a Mad Gen Yer and Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul. The silly poems, the silly tweets, the silly blogs all give the reader a fresh new perspective on who Fifi Larouche is as much and in my opinion more in depth than any novel would, There is also the added inspiration advice from Goth and Au that adds a creative advice to Evolved Soul.

Special excerpt:
(Excerpt from 'A Midsummer Night's Silliness')

This is a night when strange demons and vampires arrive to doth try to steal the soul of the innocent…Tonight oh Neptune after the party we shall call the Royal Apothecary who will doth conduct a potient out of bat wings and garlic and the tongues of TV talk show hosts and politicians and other vile and smelly things…And whoever I praytell drinks of this potient will scare off all evil souls and who ever drinks of this potient will be strong as anyone who drinketh such foul and smelly stuff would have to be strong…and crazy…Now.. Come my good king and my subjects let us now go to the party at the palace to intake in wine and merriment….

(Image of Ghost from Hamlet appears)


What noblest of misfortunes that hath cursed my son Hamlet partakes thou fair Queen? I praytell that I shalt make amends for my son to be of assistance to thee…My son Hamlet at times hath not believed in me…I praytell thou noblest of Queens believe in me as I was once King Denmark…


I hath no misfortune oh Ghost of the King of Denmark…I praytell that thou may get into the minds of casting directors of good theater and good movies and good TV shows of which there are so few in 2012 and convince them of my acting abilities…Now Ghost of the King of Denmark a place where they doth are well known for changing men into women and women into men I doth praytell thou join us at the palace for an evening of wine, song, and merriment….

What exciting story are you working on next?
Obviously after writing three books dealing with Fifi's life my next project perhaps will be a screenplay. I'm also looking at converting Diary of a Mad Gen Yer from e book to print, finally I am hopefully entertaining a lot of Fifi's 'followers' on Twitter and Facebook. I try to do at least 2 or 3 tweets a day. Anything that's newsworthy and you can bet your bottom line 'Fifi' will be talking about it. Finally as you can see from the spiritual advice part from Goth and Au I have been interested in spiritually and my book may be a fiction or nonfiction book with a spirituality theme. Of course if it's fiction there is a good chance 'Fifi; will again be involved.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer when I was in elementary school and had to write 'book reports.' I think as an elementary school student so many moons ago I liked English actually better than Math. Later on in high school I got more interested in Math, I wish to mentioned I bombed my Verbal SAT and took 'Bonehead English' in college. Writing is a skill, just like teaching, that is squired with time.

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 sure wish I has the luxury to write full time. I still have to work part time to pay the bills, but that's why you can see my last 2 books are anthologies. Even if I wrote full time I have to hand it to authors Stephen King or Dean Koontz, I just do not have the imagination or stamina to write a full length novel. I did it once and that's enough. I get my ideas from say my wild and crazy dreams which inspired Fifi's 'silly dreams,' from people I meet, and believe it or not when I'm driving at night or places that I go to such as the supermarket. Where I don't get many ideas is sitting in front of my laptop. Believe it or not listening to classic rock while I'm driving or on my smart phone while I'm working out really stirs my imagination.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Writing Fifi's 'silly tweets' on my smart phone, I absolutely love Twitter. In my new screenplay Fifi tells Jerry her agent as she is struggling to make it as an actress she will has started writing the next Great American Novel while driving 60 mph in her truck on the Hollywood Fwy using her smart phone writing app. Of course when I tweet on my smart phone I make sure that I'm parked

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A doctor, a scientist, an actor, later in college which I know is not a child but you are still 'growing up,' a geologist, a mathematician, and engineer, which I became. As you can see I switched majors. And yes I wanted to be a writer as a kid. Marcus Dino as a named I penned as a kid and wanted to be a great science fiction writer as I loved reading Asimov and Bradbury. I have no idea why that name came to me, just sounds so noble. Obviously like most people I did not have an exact profession as a kid. Ironically I never considered being a teacher until I landed a teaching job as a mid-career and stuck with it.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
The one thing I have enjoyed throughout my life is entertainment. When I read or write fiction or watch a movie or even a TV show (and there are so few entertaining TV shows today), or go to a play, I want to be entertained. This is what I have tried to do in the character of Fifi Larouche. I have tried to make her the most entertaining character I possibly can.


Evolved Soul can be purchased through major online bookstores such as Amazon and Smashwords

You can find me on Facebook and Twitter (over 7,500 followers) username: Fifilarouche

Thanks, Marcus!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview.

Unknown said...

I liked the excerpt!

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed the interview.

Haley Scully said...

I really liked the interview. It was very interesting.

Mai T. said...

A very intriguing excerpt!

Nikolina said...

Enjoyed reading the interview, thank you!

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed the interview.