Tag Archives: new books

Interview with Cindy Burkart Maynard, Author of Finding the Way

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Cindy Burkart Maynard, author of Finding the Way.

Please enjoy!

Best!

Interview:

  1. What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

Cindy Burkart Maynard   Tucson, Arizona

  1. What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

“Finding the Way”   It is historical fiction

  1. What is the book about? 

Set in 1250 in the Basque Pyrenees of northeastern Spain, it’s the story of a young Basque girl, caught in the personal and cultural friction between traditional folkways and Christianity. Her devastating personal tragedy propels her to undertake a quest along the Camino de Santiago. So far I’d characterize it as a cross between an action/adventure novel and a Canterbury Tales. https://www.cindymaynard.net/

  1. Where did you come up with the idea?

In 2017 I walked the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage route across northern Spain. In 2017 over 200,000 people walked the Camino, a number equal to those who walked In 1250 AD. I wondered what it would it have been like to walk this path in 1250.  After a year of research and reading I set pen to paper. Finding the Way is my answer to that question.

  1. How long did it take you to write it?

It took about 2 years months to write.

  1. Did you learn anything from the project?

It’s historical fiction, so I learned a lot from my research. I learned a lot from walking the Camino. I learned more about honing my writing skills. So I learned a lot, both personally and professionally

  1. Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

I have a website: HOME | Writer/Author (cindyburkartmaynard.com)

I do not have a book video

  1. Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? 

I have only one tip, from a friend who wrote a book in a month for NaNoWriMo. We are all very busy, but it’s amazing what you can get done in two hours. Just squeeze an hour or two into your schedule five or six day per week. Take time off once in a while to recharge your batteries.

  1. What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

I love historical fiction above all else. But I read and/or listen to anything I think is well written.  I don’t read romance, fantasy, erotica, cowboy-and-indian style westerns,

  1. What is your favorite book of all time and why? 

No fair! I can’t begin to remember or compare all the wonderful books I’ve read. In the last few years my favorite is “Where the Crawdads Sing,” Delia Owenss

  1. Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

I have two cats, George and Gracie. They keep me amused. And my husband, Bob. Does he count?  😊

  1. Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

I own a kindle. I love it. I can take many books with me wherever I go, and it fits in my purse. I do still love the feel and smell of a real print book

____

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Interview with Marin Darmonkow, Author of The Epic of Gabriel and Jibreel

Good morning!

I’m pleased to bring you this interview today with Marin Darmonkow, author of The Epic of Gabriel and Jibreel!

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

Marin; I am a children’s book creator living in Canada.

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

My latest book is titled The Epic of Gabriel and Jibreel, which is going to be launched this month (December 2020). It is the fourth title in the 2GETHER book collection so, like all my other works, it is a children’s picture book. 

3) What is the book about?

It is a poignant story about two young boys — one a refugee and the other a youngster from a wealthy suburb – who meet under unexpected circumstances, become best friends and form an unyielding bond. As unforeseen as their adventure is, so is the finale of the epic — sending a powerful and thought-provoking message to young and adult readers alike.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

Although I have always been a ‘glass-half-full’ person, I learned at an early age that life is not fair. We all often hear about but quickly forget statistics concerning millions of displaced people in the world. This thought helped me envision how the two extremes, the haves, and the have-nots, can find a common ground and possibly connect on a deeper level. After all, we are all in the same boat called Earth.

5) How long did it take you to write it?

Although I do not report my ‘billable hours’ to anybody but myself, I highly respect the time since I am responsible not only for writing the story but for creating the illustrations, working on the book layout, selecting the soundtrack, searching  for voice-over artists, producing the book trailers, recording the audio version, updating the author’s website, etc. For this reason, it is hard for me to determine the exact time it took me to write it in this rather elaborate process.  

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

Yes, absolutely: I have the propensity to employ a fairytale element for younger readers so they can digest, with some ease, the surprises which life may offer. At the same time, with many other elements in the book, I tend to engage the attention and the interest of parents/adults.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

My website’s domain name is Fontreal.com. I also maintain a blog on Goodreads — this way, I am part of a community of avid readers and book connoisseurs. All my books, including this one, come with book videos available on my website as well as on YouTube and on Goodreads.

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? 

My humble advice to fellow authors is: Write the book you want to read. I also want to remind them what Albert Camus said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself”. If you believe he was right, please keep on writing. As for recommending certain professionals, I seldom provide such as selection criteria are deeply personal.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

I am a literary omnivore. I find genres to be a construct and often serve as superfluous frames some authors try to squeeze their works into.

I welcome new and unknown authors. Concerning a review of their work, I am definitely interested, though at the moment my time is preoccupied with many creative projects. 

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?

It is impossible to pick up only one. 

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

When our children were growing, we had many pets in the house – an elegant black cat, numerous hamsters, and an iguana. Currently, I am a pet-less individual.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

Apart from a well-equipped desktop computer, I am rather indifferent to other electronic tools.

_____

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Interview with Amelia Marriette, Author of Walking into Alchemy – The Transformative Power of Nature

Hello,

Today I’m very pleased to bring you this interview with Amelia Marriette, author of Walking into Alchemy – The Transformative Power of Nature.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or
country if not in the US)?

My name is Amelia Marriette and although I am British I
live in a small town called Bad Sankt Leonhard in
Southern Austria.

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
Walking into Alchemy: The Transformative Power of
Nature is a Non-fiction book: a memoir, a story about
relocation, love and finding one’s path in life. It has
passages about nature and the landscape. It includes
some Shakespeare and a bit of Art History too. 

3) What is the book about?
The central theme of the book is my personal journey
following redundancy, financial problems, depression and
ill health and my fortunate relocation to Austria. The
book has three other main areas of interest: a love story;
a nature story and a book about art, culture and the
wider world. The love story is one concerning my
chance encounter with my now partner Katie which led
to our relocation to her home town in Austria. I was
surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Carinthian
region, and my love of nature was rekindled. I sought repair and rejuvenation through the completion of fifty-
two, thirteen-mile walks in the span of one calendar
year. This act of repetitive walking enabled me to study
the changing seasons and explore the flora and fauna
of the area; I was able to return myself to health by
considering and reconsidering personal experiences,
emotions, ideas and memories. I also returned to my love
of photography. As the weeks passed, I began to find my
sense of place and my new path in life. I realised that I
was walking into alchemy, mining for gold as I went. It
was then, as a former curator and Shakespeare scholar
that I began to see connections everywhere, and I was able
to invest my walks with meaning from paintings,
musical passages and lines of verse.
I hope that my book Walking into Alchemy will inspire
readers to find their own paths in life, wherever that
might take them.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I came up with the idea after I had completed my first few
walks; it was going to be a blog, but I believe in the
written word and the power of printed books. I also
wanted to work on something over a period of time,
editing and polishing it and include images. I approached
the project without a clear idea of the outcome – which
was deliberate on my part; I wanted literally to take
the idea for a walk and allow my ideas to ferment and
develop.

5) How long did it take you to write it?
It took me exactly a year to walk fifty-two walks in fifty-
two weeks and a further two years to write the book –
much longer than I expected. I also completed one extra
walk and included it at the end of the book to give the
book a sense of closure.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I learnt so much! I learnt a great deal about the changing
of the seasons, especially in a climate that is much colder
than I am used to. I learnt about local customs and met
local people I otherwise would never have met. I learnt
that as an author “taking one’s story for a walk” really
does open up new and unexpected possibilities. I also
learnt to be calmer, more content and happier with
myself. At the beginning of my journey I found it hard to
recognise beauty in life, by the end of the year I was
looking for and finding beauty in both the minute and the
epic – mining for gold as I went. I also can now appreciate
that there is such a thing as a nature cure.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a
book video?

I have a website – (I am also a playwright, radio
presenter and a Shakespeare lecturer):
http://www.ameliamarriette.com

I also have a blog and I blog about once a month on
average.
http://www.ameliamarriette.com/blog

I am currently recording a series of four Zoom talks about
my book. I think that using how technology is helping
authors and I am embracing this idea. I also provide more
information about why I wrote my book and expand on
some of my themes.
My latest Zoom Blog about my book, and authors and how
Zoom can technology is helping to bring new audiences.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6da9wDRkQpY&t=45s

Here is the link to the first YouTube video about my book
using the images that I took on the walk.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEUnw4n5Heg

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors?
How about any great editors?
 
My friend, who is also a writer, began the editing process
for me with great tact and kindness. Later, my editor at
Mereo Books, a small publisher in Cirencester, very kindly
made helpful suggestions or pointed out errors again very
gently. We all need editors, but I believe that we also
need to protect ourselves from having our confidence
shattered. I also think that it’s vital that an editor respects
and retains the authorial voice.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading
new authors and reviewing their work?

I like biographies, books about trees and nature. Anything
Shakespeare related – modern re-workings of
Shakespeare’s plays for example: Ewan’s Nutshell, Jane
Smiley, A Thousand Acres) and I also loved Headlong by
Michael Frayn – any book that looks at paintings in a
tangential and new way appeals to me and Frayn is also
an excellent comic writer.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
My favourite book of all time is the Complete Memoirs of
George Sherston – George Sherston is the pen-name of
Siegfried Sassoon. I first read The Memoirs of A Fox-
Hunting Man, followed by The Memoirs of an Infantry
Officer when I was in my twenties. I am against fox
hunting, and I am a pacifist, yet both these books opened
up worlds to me which I then inhabited, roamed about in
and explored. My mind was expanded and opened. I didn’t
change my views, but I did understand much more and
could see both issues from another point of view.  

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
My partner and I have a pet snail called Brian who lives in
the garden; we put a dab of nail varnish on his shell and
he has been hanging around for over two years – I think
he likes us! We see him once or twice a year – he is no

trouble. We have several hedgehogs, but we rarely see
them.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device?
If so, what kind and how do you like it?

I am so old school when it comes to books! I spend a
great deal of time at my laptop and in my study, so I like
to take a book and be away from technology. Maybe one
day I will buy a Kindle – because I do like e-books as I
like to search for words and ideas and the search facility is
great for that!

_____

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Interview with A.D. Britten, Author of A Soul Unbroken

Good morning,

Today’s interview is with A.D. Britten, author of A Soul Unbroken – A Journey.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
    My author name is A.D. Britten, short for Ashley Dane Britten.  I live in Maryland.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
   The title of the book I just completed is A Soul Unbroken: A Journey.  It is modern, realistic GLBT fiction with inspirational themes.
3) What is the book about?
An extended synopsis is below:
Joey Christopher has never had an easy life. After being forced to leave home, he moves in with his best friend and later boyfriend, Allen.  Unbeknownst to him, Allen, who has had his own life difficulties, is a part-time sex worker.  Although initially reticent, Joey starts to do the same thing for financial reasons and out of a warped sense of loyalty to Allen.  Several years go by, and life has started to take a turn for the worse.  Being introduced to drugs by a client, Allen becomes a violent addict and ultimately starts selling drugs.  Even though he becomes unbearable at times, Joey remains loyal to him, but things change when Allen is arrested during a drug bust.  Then Joey finds himself homeless again.  Now with no friends to give him a place to stay this time, he turns to his last resort: entering a homeless shelter. It’s here where he meets Mrs. Winston, the kindly older woman who runs the shelter.  She takes a particular, almost maternal, interest in him and his well-being.  Although, Joey is not a very open person he does accept her friendship and realizes that just talking to her makes him feel better. She’s like the mother he never had. The seeds of hope she plants during their casual talks help give him what no one else ever has-a sense of importance.
As time goes by, Joey notices that Mrs. Winston seems to get tired easily during their walks.  He later learns that she has terminal cancer.  Before passing away, she tells him that she learned through one of their conversations, that one of Joey’s clients had been her late husband.  Joey is stunned to learn this and is upset that he had unknowingly hurt someone who has been so kind to him.  But Mrs. Winston insists that she has no ill-feelings toward him.  She understands that he hustled because he was poor, had no one else to rely on for money, and that he came from a very bad home.  In her will she leaves him some money (Mrs. Winston is wealthy), which shocks him and he initially does not do much of anything with it.  He has been saving his own money from hustling in order to buy a new apartment for him and Allen to live in after Allen is released from jail, which takes place after a year.  When Allen returns home, they initially have a happy reunion.  But soon it’s clear that Allen is still a violent addict.  After one of the worst fights they have ever had, Allen leaves and Joey is effectively on his own.  After learning that a close friend of his has just been diagnosed with HIV, he starts to seriously think about making some changes and leaving hustling behind him.  Joey has always liked to read, and so he puts in an application to a small, antique and religious book shop.  The owner is an older, conservative man but through the influence of his daughter who is openly gay, he hires Joey who stays there for several years as things gradually get much better with many new friends as well as a new boyfriend, later husband, and new life.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
    It’s rather unusual how the story got started.  The story is set in central Indiana, which is where I am from. It was a good place to grow up, but it can be rather conservative.  Several years ago when there were some demographic changes taking place, some people claimed that male prostitution that had started to take place in the area.  Whatever was going on was probably only affecting a few neighborhoods in one section of the city, but some people spoke about the problem in the news.  Well around the same time, there was a local news story about a guy who engaged in that sort of thing.  I guess it was rather striking how people assumed that something was not taking place in the area, when it actually was.
    I should point out that this is not a biography of anyone. The story is completely fictitious.  But that was where the story got started.  Additionally, the story was a way for me to write about different issues.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
   I initially wrote it in about 6 months.  I updated the book last year and that took about another 4 months.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
     Yes, there are some organizations that help homeless gay youth, but, several years ago when I initially wrote the story there did not seem to be many.
     I have also learned that many people have an issue with the main themes of the story, which is not a surprise.  Many people, especially more traditional Christians/religious people, are uncomfortable with GLBT issues so the story, although it is supposed to be inspirational, does not resonate with some people.
     Lastly, even though it has been over ten years since I initially wrote it, I have yet to see another fiction book like this.  I think that is a good and a bad thing.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

     I have an author Facebook page.  A.D. Britten

A.D. Britten

A.D. Britten. 363 likes · 1 talking about this. A.D. Britten is a writer of creative fiction with multicultural …

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
    I would suggest that you should stay true to your vision, but also take constructive criticism in order to become a better writer. If possible, have multiple people read your story and provide feedback.
    Regarding editors, I used a website that had freelance editors.  There are several out there to choose from like Upwork and Indeed.  I had a positive experience posting an ad and getting responses and finally chose someone who quickly replied and also seemed to have a good professional background so that they could provide solid feedback.
    Regarding cover artists, I didn’t use one.  I just chose a free picture from an images site along with stock book design from Amazon publishing.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
     I like to read biographies, historical fiction, and just anything that is an interesting, well-told story.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
    It’s hard to name a favorite book of all time, but there are certain stories that I liked reading such as A Tale of Two Cities, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, and Beowulf.  I know that’s a very eclectic mix. I guess I like reading stories set in the past.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
     No, pets. They are expensive and unless it is a seeing-eye dog, a therapy animal, or an animal used on a farm, I think animals belong outside in their natural habitat.  I know that is not the most popular point of view, but there it is.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
     Yes, a few years ago for Christmas I got a kindle. I like it and have been using it off and on ever since.
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Interview with Dennis A. Smith, Author of How to Commit Suicide (How to Kill off Your Negative Self Image)

Hello,

Today’s interview is How to Commit Suicide by D.A. Smith. (How to kill off your negative self image.)

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

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Interview with Roland Sato Page, Author of Eating the Forbidden Fruit

Hello,

We have another interview today, this time with Roland Sato Page, author of Eating the Forbidden Fruit.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vince

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)? Roland Sato Page and I reside in St. Louis Mo.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
Eating the Forbidden Fruit and it’s a urban crime fiction. Even though the novel is based on true events I chose fiction to protect the privacy of friends and family.
3) What is the book about? It’s loosely based on previous events in my past life including my rise and demise as a St. Louis police officer convicted of federal crimes. My charges stem from my affiliation to childhood associates. Also a person I considered somewhat family.
4) Where did you come up with the idea? I battle depression from time to time therefore I write to maintain my sanity. Something my wife and kids encouraged me to do so i don’t spiral out of control. Effectiveness requires passion so I wrote about situations I have knowledge on. A journey of life is the best topic for me. A story of karma, confession, and redemption. A man’s legacy is important. I want to leave my family with the truth so they don’t make the mistakes I have. Eating the Forbidden Fruit is my true testimony.
5) How long did it take you to write it? Actually only six months and that’s because I wrote journals during my trial. It was a distraction from my woes.
6) Did you learn anything from the project? Definitely we all fall from grace sometimes more than once. How we rebound is what define us. I lost my mother last year I needed to honor her with the completion of my book. Doing the book helped archive all the great memories from my past.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video? Yes all available on my website www.authorrolandpage.com
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? I’m not ready to call myself a author not quite yet. I have to earn that title. I’m a artist and former tattooist. I created my own cover art with the help of Korner Ent.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work? I read all genres. One need to expand their mind. What I said I only like soul food without trying other ethnic dishes. That’s not right. I love to support new authors because they may be the stars of tomorrow.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. It’s a story of bullying, being a outcast, a hero, and the underdog became the hero. I was young so it was the first novel that keep my attention. Besides comics.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Yes a French Mastiff name Hachi.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it? No I don’t have on.

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Interview with Lucy May Lennox, author of The Adventures of Tom Finch, Gentleman

Hello,

Today we have another interview, this time with Lucy May Lennox, author of The Adventures of Tom Finch, Gentleman.

Please enjoy.

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

My name is Lucy May Lennox and I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

The Adventures of Tom Finch, Gentleman, historical fiction

3) What is the book about?

The setting is London, 1735, the early Georgian era. Tom Finch, blind from childhood, works as an assistant conductor in a Covent Garden theater, and as a composer of popular tunes. He doesn’t let his blindness get in the way of living the high life with his low-class friends. If people condescend to him, that’s their problem. Tess Turnbridge is an aspiring opera star who auditions at Tom’s theater. She’s not about to let anything get in the way of her rising career, certainly not a lowly assistant conductor who keeps flirting with her.

This witty, lively novel is a picaresque romp through high and low Georgian society among rakes, rovers, thieving whores and demireps, highway robbers, bigamists, and duelists, bisexual opera divas, castrati, mollies, and cross-dressers, lecherous aristocrats, and headstrong ladies.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

I was frustrated with the stereotypes and clichés about blindness and disability in historical fiction, particularly the 18th century. So often, the plot is about an impossibly wealthy man who is recently blinded, and is angry and bitter, until a self-sacrificing woman comes along and by passively loving him, helps him get over himself. Often the happy ending can only come after his sight is miraculously restored, as if people with disabilities can’t live full, rich lives.

If we look at real history, though, there were blind men who achieved great professional and social success in Georgian London, such as John Fielding, brother of Henry Fielding, and John Stanley, a composer and conductor who was an inspiration for Tom.

I wanted to write something that is the complete opposite of the usual stereotype: a man who has been blind all his life and is already fully independent and capable when the story begins, who doesn’t need a woman to be a nursemaid or carer; people at the fringes of polite society, rather than only the super rich; characters who are gay and bisexual, because they definitely existed back then. And I wanted it to be funny and exuberant. I dislike historical fiction that is grim and dark, or self-serious. It’s frustrating when characters with disabilities only exist to create angst. The 18th century was a peak of satirical, funny writing, and I wanted to reflect that.

5) How long did it take you to write it?

From start to finish it took me ten years! But I wasn’t working consistently the whole time. I wrote the first draft in 2010. In 2013, I published my first novel, Love in Touch, with a small indie press, although I actually wrote that novel second. The press very kindly had a professional editor look over the first draft of Tom Finch, which was tremendously helpful, but then the press went out of business and all the rights reverted back to me. For a while, I tried to get an agent interested but didn’t get anywhere, and I realized I didn’t want to be locked into producing a high volume series or creating a brand. Then I had children so it was many years before I got back to writing seriously. Finally in 2019 I decided to do the major revisions suggested by the editor. It took me almost a year to go through many rounds of revisions, with suggestions by other readers as well.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

I did a lot of research, and I learned so much about the Georgian era. You can read my other blog posts about some of the research I did on disability and homosexuality in the eighteenth century, and about Baroque opera in London.

About the craft of writing in general, I learned how important it is to go through multiple rounds of editing with lots of feedback from different kinds of readers. The first draft was definitely not the best draft.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

Follow me on Goodreads: Lucy May Lennox.

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

Freelance professional editors are expensive but absolutely worth it. It’s also good to be part of an online community of writers who will read your work critically and give more detailed feedback than you might get from a friend.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

I enjoy classics and literary historical fiction, but I also read a lot of comic books and graphic novels.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?

It’s hard to choose just one, but at the top of the list is Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke and the Master and Commander series by Patrick O’Brian. I love historical fiction that feels true to the time period, that is funny and fun to read.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

No, taking care of small children is enough mess and chaos for now.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

I use the Kindle app on an iPad. I love it because it’s so fast and efficient. I almost never buy hard copies of books anymore.

 

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Interview with N.J Kulkarni, Author of The Hawa Mahal Murders

Hello,

Today’s interview is with N.J. Kulkarni, author of The Hawa Mahal Murders.

Please enjoy.

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
I write under the name of N.J Kulkarni and I live in Pune, India.

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
My book is a crime thriller titled “The Hawa Mahal Murders.’

3) What is the book about?
The story focusses on two characters: a troubled housewife trapped in a bad marriage (her second), and a police officer desperate to prove himself but stymied at every step by a crooked boss and a corrupt system. When a series of murders take place in a posh locality in Mumbai, all hell breaks loose, and senior police officers scramble to save the Chief Minister’s son and frame an innocent watchman.

My novel is a psychological thriller and delves deep into the minds of the main characters, including the serial killer, and touches upon societal issues in India, like corruption, the social divide, and women’s issues.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I was inspired by the setting. I used to live in a beautiful but old building in Mumbai. It was out of place amongst its neighbours and that set me thinking. The actual story and characters are from my imagination. It was the setting which triggered the story.

5) How long did it take you to write it?
More than two years.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I had read a lot of detective and mystery novels but when I actually started to write one, I realised how difficult it is to insert clues in the right places so as to keep up the suspense. There was a lot of painstaking detailing work required and constant going back and forth. It was a learning experience for me.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
I have an author website: https://www.nitajatarkulkarni.com/

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors?
I published a book fairly late in my life (I was 60) and there were a lot of doubts along the way. I didn’t think I could actually do it. If I had to say anything to aspiring authors it would be: Believe in yourself.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I like to read crime thrillers and in fact, all genres, including non-fiction. I do love new authors but currently, as I am in the midst of writing two more books, my reading has slowed.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
My three favourite books are Gone with the wind, Wuthering Heights and Anna Karenina.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
No pets! Allergic!

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I use the Kindle app to read both on the ipad and iphone.

 

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Interview with Ajay Nair, Author of Droplets

Hello,

Today we have an interview with Ajay Nair, author of Droplets.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Ajay Nair-  I live in Vancouver, B.C- Canada. I moved from southern part of India from a state called Kerala, otherwise, known as GODS OWN COUNTRY. 
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The latest one which just came out in January 3rd 2020 is a children’s book, titled CUTIE FOX WENT TO TOWN. Great for younger minds aged between 3 to 8 years. This book actually got materialized because of my both sons. They wanted me to write a book for children after my first book DROPLETS came out. I asked them, what should I write about? My younger son came up with the character and its name “Cutie Fox”. We together wrote this book  and story is developed by our effort together. So I am a very proud father.
Now both books are out, I am working on a novel. This I have high expectations on it. Story is happening in India during un-touchablility existed and caste division was practiced. Story of a woman who faced many hardships. Truly a inspirational story for women. I am not sure when I will finish. But it is coming soon this year for sure.
3) What is the book about?
Droplets- It is a memoir. I have to say this, when I moved from India to Canada. I saw how happy kids are here at school. I right away saw, how hard it is for us in India. I felt like telling my story. I had seen and read many news, where kids suicide in India, just by the pressure they get from schooling. The society needs to open their eyes and do something about it. So as a citizen, I felt the need to tell my story. So I did. It will touch our hardships with a pinch of humor. That is why I survived and I am here to tell my story.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
Its my life. So I didn’t have to come up with anything. But starting to write was the huddle, I did not have the confidence. I am told many times, that my writing is not good. OR my way of communication is not what people want to see or hear. I had to overcome that criticism to positivism. That took a while. But I am content.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
One year to finish the book. That is because, I am not a disciplined writer. Also, I do have full time job plus my household responsibilities. I write whenever I feel like. Some days, I don;t write at all even though I had the urge to do so. I am getting better at it now.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
Yes, Life is a journey, one cannot plan or reserve tickets. This is what I learned. You clear your own path. Do not allow others to see only your flaws and fall for it. Move forward with the plan. You will succeed. I never thought, i will be an author. But the hard work today got me where I am. 
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
Yes, I do have a blog site, which you an call as an author website as well.  It is https://onewhohatedbooks.com
Please do follow me if you like to read positive thoughts only. 
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
Those who want to write and become an author. Start writing. Do not hesitate. No point in doing that. If you don’t start, you will never reach the goal. So write, write and write.. That is the only tip I go for you guys.  
I did not use any editors so far. But for the children’s book I used an artist to do illustraions. His name is Melcasipit. He is good and did an amazing work for me.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I will read any thing with a story. I am not too keen on research stuff.  I will love to read new authors book and review them. Recently I did review one book named “The Long Road”. It is posted in my blog. Any one interested, please do approach me. 
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
Ramayan and Mahabharat. Both are hindu mythologies. I am fascinated by the characters and their side stories. It is the most complicated yet very interesting books i have read. I have yet to see a movie come out where all the characters in this books are played. They cannot do it. It is very vast and I believe may be a 10 series movie needs to be made. 
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
I had a dog when I was young. I cannot see them die. So I don’t have one now. 
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
Yes, I do have a kindle. I do like it. But I still like the feel and smell of the book. Kindle may be easy to carry it around. Books are definitely the one I still go for.

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Interview with Sophie Jupillat Posey, Author of The Four Suitors

Hello,

We have a second interview today. It is with Sophie Jupillat Posey, author of The Four Suitors.

Please see it below.

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
I am Sophie Jupillat Posey and I live in Florida.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The Four Suitors. It’s a medieval mystery/romance fantasy for young adults.
3) What is the book about?
It’s about a spoiled brat of a princess who gets roped into being courted by 4 suitors chosen by her parents. She must do so, or she won’t get the crown. There’s an artist, astronomer, philosopher and necromancer. She balks against their teachings. But as she does so, she finds that her kingdom is falling apart. Has been falling apart for a while and it’s accelerating. The newest debacle is the increase of deaths in the peasantry. She needs all of her suitors’ help to uncover who is behind the rising deaths of her citizens.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I came up with the idea after talking with my husband about my adopted mother; who always bragged about how many boyfriends she had when she was younger. Four at a given time to be precise. Suddenly an image of a spoiled princess with 4 suitors came to my mind. From there, I knew I wanted to craft a mystery and a way for the character to redeem herself gradually. The rest filled itself in as I wrote.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
It took 2 years to write and 1 additional year to re-edit.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
This story started as a novella. I was satisfied with it, but felt I could add more. Several months later I did add more and made it a full novel. I learned that writing novels is hard but thrilling; I’d only ever written novellas and short stories up to that point. And that editing is just as important as getting the story down.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
Success tips: my most important tip would to never give up; it’s cliché but it’s true. There will be plenty of inner and outer obstacles you face as a  writer. There are many excuses to give up writing. But it is much more fulfilling to plod on and finish that book. And also to let a project sit for as long as it needs. Too many people are so impatient to publish they skip crucial steps. Time is important, because you can better see errors whether they are grammar ones, or plot holes.
I was fortunate to have my work edited by David Curran, a friend of mine and former journalist. His eagle eyes spotted more than one error others and myself had missed. IndieDesignz made my cover art and I love it. She is my go-to designer.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and paranormal works for young adults or adults.I also sometimes enjoy horror, if it’s more cerebral. Not a fan of gore. I enjoy poetry too but am very picky about which kind. I am open to reading new authors when I have time. I am currently a part-time student, a full-time teacher, a composer and a writer. It’s not something I can do on a regular basis but I’d be willing to do it every so often.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
That’s a really hard question: I have so many. I would say my favorite is Ivanhoe. It made me fall in love with medieval era stories from a very young age. The romance, the adventure, the disenfranchised main character, the strength of the women in the novel, the style… It was all stuff I hoped to one day be able to write, in my own way.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
Currently none. But growing up, my family had 5 cats, 1 dog, 2 turtles and 1 bird. Later on we had 2 ferrets, 2 rabbits and we even fostered 5 raccoons.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
Nope. I borrow my husband’s if he gets a digital story. I’m more of a hardcopy girl. 
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