Tag Archives: novel

Interview with Boluwatife Oriowo, Author of Letters from Midia

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Boluwatife Oriowo, author of Letters from Midia.

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)?
My name is Boluwatife Oriowo, however in internet circles I can often be found going by the moniker, aesthetic-derelict. I’m a New Jersey based sequential artist, though if you’re curious about where my name is from, I’m Nigerian by birth.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
 
The title of my book is Letters from Midia. It is an all-ages fantasy/adventure graphic novel.
3) What is the book about? 
 
Letters from Midia follows Jason, a young knight of few words and many actions, as he traverses a land of magic and monsters in search of his kingdom’s missing princess, Midia. The two had fallen in love shortly before Midia’s wicked duke uncle and a traitorous court mage kidnapped her in hopes of harvesting her latent magical abilities.

With nothing but a sword, a shield and his trusty steed to help him, the newly knighted Jason fights his way across a myriad of strange environments, savage beasts and magical foes in order to rescue his one true love.

Guiding Jason on his journey are the letters Princess Midia leaves along his path, brief notes left behind as her captors take her across the country side, each one meant to form a trail that may one day reunite the pair.

I’ve heard it be described as the story of the world’s most dangerous long-distance relationship, and I think that’s fairly apt. It is a tale of love, perseverance and the pain of isolation over a period of time.

Letters from Midia is a spin on the age-old tale of the traveling knight, bringing a fresh, new perspective to a familiar plot structure.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I have always been a big fan of video games, especially fantasy or role-playing games. One of my favorite franchises happens to be Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda, which also offers unique spins on familiar fantasy tropes. Letters from Midia’s genesis initially came from me wanting to capture the feeling of my experience playing these games in comic form. The thrill of adventure, the peril of facing a new enemy, the joys of seeing your character get new weapons and the excitement of getting more story progression after conquering a difficult boss battle, are all elements of that experience that I worked to boil into the narrative.

In many ways, Letters from Midia is a bit of a video-game book, though it never outright says it. Attentive readers can and have pointed out the many different ways that I have alluded to this video-game inspiration throughout the story.

As I began to develop the story, I was also heavily invested in the works of French illustrator Moebius and Genndy Tartakovsky’s Samurai Jack cartoon. These creations often featured vast, interesting worlds with larger than life characters, and it was in emulating those artists that I was able to give the world of Letters from Midia a quirky charm.

 
5) How long did it take you to write it?
I initially came up with the idea in January of 2018, but I didn’t have the courage to fully dive into making it until that November. From concept to complete illustration, the book took nine months to complete.

Much of it was made in my free time, in-between jobs and freelance assignments.

 
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
It would be a bit of an understatement to say that I had learned a thing or two making my first graphic novel. Letters from Midia is by far the longest story that I have ever made, clocking in at twice the size of my previous long project.

In making it, I not only handled the writing duties, I penciled, inked, colored and lettered the whole thing too. As a result, I had to do a lot of learning along the way, picking up things on characterization, action choreography, cinematic lighting and coloring as I went on.

It’s also the first story that I have ever colored, and the jump from greyscale to full color was a whole new beast for me. Developing appealing palettes for print was a major challenge.

I feel that, as an author, it is important to have a hand in all aspects of the creation of a book, especially so that you understand all the different parts that go into making the finished product.

 
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
My main website is https://boluoriowo.wixsite.com/oriowoportfolio. I also have a Twitter profile where I share my art and updates on upcoming projects. That can be found @aesderelict.
 
 
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? 
I’m a fairly new author myself, so it might be a bit much to claim any of these are “success” tips. I do have a few main ideas that helped me along the way, though.

My main one is that you should always have an idea about what your story is about. I don’t mean having a basic idea of what the story is, or a list of all the events that happen, but rather what your story is trying to say. What is the feeling that you want your readers to leave the story feeling? What questions do you want to have raised, explored and answered for them throughout your tale? When you think of this, your stories tend to have a grander feel of connectivity and avoid feeling like nothing more than a series of loosely connected events. It makes you think of themes, character actions, scenes and can only lead to a better final product.

As far as cover art, there are two ways to go about it. You either pick a big, marquee moment to place on the front of your book to reel people in. If your protagonist fights a dragon, find a way to put that dragon on the front. If someone is dangling from a cliff, you put that cliff on the front. It’s a nice, simple way to get attention, which is often the only way to ensure that a reader gets invested enough to follow through and read on.

The other way to go about it is to try to create a scene or image that communicates the major themes and characters of your story, without outright spoiling a key scene. I took this approach for Letters from Midia, opting to showcase the central characters of the story while posting a smattering of the different lands Jason explores throughout his quest. A good amount of the excitement from the book comes from the dramatic reveal of new threats, so I didn’t want to spoil anything plot crucial on the front.

Additionally, never go with the first idea for a visual. Writing requires plenty of drafts and creating compelling imagery is no different. It is important to take an iterative, multi-layered approach to developing your book’s visual identity, as this is almost always going to be what potential readers see first.

 
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I usually like to read some form of fantasy, science fiction, mystery or horror story. If it has an element of adventure, I’m all the more interested. I’m always open to reading new authors and giving my own two cents on how I feel, but I’d argue that any review I give would be heavily on the subjective side.
 
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
Tough question. I’ve read a lot, so I can’t quite narrow it down to one. Growing up, I was always a big fan of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events series. They had a sort of dark humor to balance out the creepy atmosphere of the adventures that the main characters went on, and I believe that it was these stories that really made me want to write.

Picking my favorite graphic novel of all time is an even harder choice, often depending on what’s really connected to me recently.

 
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
 
No pets right now. As a kid, I had two pet lovebirds named Crash and Coco. They were very loud and drove my siblings up the wall. Later on, my family would get two dogs named Max and Roxie.

Max was a very shy Chihuahua/ Dachshund/ Yorkshire terrier mix and Roxie was an all-too-energetic Jack Russel. The two sadly passed on while I was working on the book, but I definitely tried to capture their behavior in how I wrote Jason’s horse, Argo.

Why a horse would act like a dog is anyone’s guess, but I thought it added a light-hearted nature to the young knight’s loyal steed.

 
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I don’t have a dedicated electronic reading device, but I do tend to read books through my iPhone. I commute a lot for work, so having something small to read through is often the way to go, for me.
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with Nina Norstrom, Author of Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…Where Does My Self-Love Fall?

Hello,

Below you will find the interview with Nina Norstrom, author of Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…Where Does My Self-Love Fall?

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 Nina Norstrom. Presently, I’m in the state of Georgia.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The title of my latest creation is “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall . . . Where Does My Self-Love Fall?” Subtitle: “A Success Guide to Replace Toxicity with Love"
Genre: There are several genres one can classify this activity guide under. They
include Self-Help / Self-Esteem / Mental and Emotional Healing / Wellness

3) What is the book about?

This Informational/Success Guide is an essential vehicle. It teaches the meaning of self-love and its self-awareness about toxicity. Readers will find it is a self-empowerment tool for an awakening to toxicity and their discovery to self-
worth; self-esteem; self-acceptance; self-confidence; self-reflection; self-love; and
those many other discoveries that enrich one’s path . . . through the journey called “life.” It’s all part of building a bridge that opens the gateway to finding self-love and bringing to light the ugliness in unhealthy relationships. The activities introduce and beautify an array of materials that are insightful, educational, enlightening, fulfilling, enriching, and rewarding. Think of it as a detailed script created to help readers redefine their SELF-DISCOVERIES.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?

Returning my journey of having lived inside a toxic space (for over a decade), I had to redefine my self-worth and those self- discoveries. Initially, when I presented this manuscript to my publisher (at WriteLife Publishing), it was written and developed from the stance of self and with the activities relating to my storybook. Once the publisher read the manuscript, it was her keen insight that brought awareness I wasn’t alone in not recognizing the value of my own self-worth. It was then I revisited the manuscript and revised . . . so it would stand alone. I didn’t want anyone to have to read the storybook in order to work those enriching activities.
5) How long did it take you to write it?

The rewrite took approximately four months before resubmitting.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

I can say it was a self-discovery experience after having found that self-love (I loss through my journey). Totally, I lost my self-worth. And that was very rewarding, enlightening, and enriching to discover.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?

Yes, I do and it is https://ninanorstrom.com

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

1) Be true to self; 2) Be willing to pump out lots of energy; 3) Keep your journal full of thoughts and ideas; 4) Be a big supporter for those fellow authors out there; 5) Be a reader yourself; and write, write, write, and read, read, read!

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

I love to cuddle up to a good memoir. I enjoy and embrace reading books
that are true to life. These are books that speak to one’s personal journey. Reading
about one’s journey’s can be very interesting and educational. Amazingly, you’ll never know where their walk will lead.
Well, I’m all for supporting any up-and-coming (literary) artist. I just love exposing them on my social sites, as well. As my bio reveals that when not reading or writing, you’ll find me supporting and author at their book event.

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

I can’t say that I’ve particularly favored any one author. In the literary circle, there are way too many great books and authors for the taking. You can’t help but like them all!

 

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with Imran Omer, Author of Entangled Lives

Hello,

I have an additional interview today, this time with Imran Omer, author of Entangled Lives.

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 the same as my real name, which is Imran Omer. I live in Homewood, a suburb of Chicago, IL.

 

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

The title of my novel is Entangled Lives, published by Roundfire, UK. The genre is literary/historical (recent) fiction

 

3) What is the book about?

Entangled Lives depicts lives of madrassha students in Pakistan who were first recruited to fight against Russians, and then became part of the Taliban. These young men were exploited at home and then used by Taliban as a frontline of their aggression against the liberal stronghold of  Afghanistan in the northern part of the country.

 

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

Over the years, whenever I heard about terrorists and the West’s conviction of going after them to the end of the word, I always thought about the lives they lived that led them to commit all those acts of violence. Were they the only ones who as individuals were responsible? Or did those societies have something to contribute to the outcome we have seen on the world stage? I didn’t have to go very far to see the facets of the society in general, and the politics, both domestic and international, contributing to the violence they were committing.

 

 

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

It took me around three years to complete the book.

 

I researched extensively for Entangled Lives to present the historical events in the same way they were depicted in the media. I also wanted to keep intact the timeline of the real events and therefore there were times I had to, sort of, wrap the events of my plot around the actual events. The Taliban’s occupation of Kabul, their attacks on Mazar-e-Sharif, the death of Babrak Karmal, and the rest of the events have been depicted the way they were reported at the time in the media, and in the same order in which they took place.

 

 

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

I have learned a lot about craft. In the process of writing I researched not only the historical facts but also the ways to write my story in the best possible manner.

 

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?

Yes, my sites are:

imranomer.com

imranomer.blog

 

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

Be authentic. Write what you know about, and if you don’t know about what you are writing then research, research, research.

My publisher did all the editing and the cover.

 

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

I prefer to read literary and historical fiction. Yes, I am willing to review new authors.

 

 

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

It is impossible for me to ever forget Poisonwood Bible.

J.M Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, and Barabra Kingsolver  are my favorites. They are the masters of depicting the depth of human emotions.

 

 

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

All Because of Her by Gretta Curran Browne

FINALIST IN ‘READERS’ FAVORITE BOOK AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING FICTION’

Part love story, part thriller, readers will find it hard to resist turning the pages.” — TELEGRAPH

“Great touching story! — All I can say is you better have a box of tissues in close proximity while reading this book. It will tear at your heart strings over and over again, and it’s impossible to put down!

Gretta Curran Browne is one of my favorite authors. Her writing has been consistently good and always keeps me reading non-stop. Never melodramatic, just real and the characters very human as in this particular book.

This story covers three generations of a very interesting family dynamic. From WWII and the French resistance to the Vietnam War rock-and-roll era to the early 80’s and 90’s this story is based on the amazing and solid love of two people. The political eras are well covered as their effect on the lives of this couple drives the plot. The beauty of the love story and the deep sadness evoked by circumstances beyond control of the couple is brilliantly written.

Needless to add, I loved this book. And I readily recommend it to readers of romance and historical fiction. It is well worth the read. This is my second time!” — WOODSEVER Amazon Top Contributor: Historical Fiction Books

Wow, Wow, and More Wow!
Absolutely loved, loved, and loved this book! The storyline was outstanding, as it moved along, developing the characters. I felt like I knew each one myself. Many I loved, and a couple I despised. It’s very sad in places, and it turns you around hooraying the next chapter.
Usually, I only give five stars to thrillers with multiple story lines and underground cave systems and treasures. Danger at every turn, always thinking of amazing escape tactics and succeeding. But, this book did it by working on my feelings and emotions. Something new for me, and definitely worth the five stars.
If you’re browsing for a great read that will keep you intrigued for hours, this is the one! Even when I was not reading it, I was thinking about it. It was a part of my life for a couple of enjoyable days. Amazing creation, Gretta Curran Browne. Thank you so much for giving my life pleasure!” — Sylvia Banschbach

Revised edition: Previously published as ‘Ghosts in Sunlight’ but only the title has been changed due to many readers saying the title of “Ghosts” was misleading, and they were initially put off thinking it was “paranormal” which it is not.

 

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Blackbird and the Ghost by Huw Steer

PRAISE FOR ‘THE BLACKBIRD AND THE GHOST’:

“full of imagination… over far too soon” – Beauty In Ruins

★★★★★ – “a real page-turner” – The Voracious Bibliophile

The Boiling Seas are the mariner’s bane – and the adventurer’s delight. The waters may be hot enough to warp wood and boil a hapless swimmer, but their scalding expanse is full of wonders. Strange islands lurk in the steamy mists, and stranger ruins hold ancient secrets, remnants of forgotten empires waiting for the bold… or lying in wait for the unwary.

On the Corpus Isles, gateway to the Boiling Seas, Tal Wenlock, the Blackbird, seeks a fortune of his own. The treasure he pursues could change the world – but he just wants to change a single life, and it’s not his own. To reach it, he’ll descend into the bowels of the earth and take ship on burning waters, brave dark streets and steal forbidden knowledge. He’ll lie, cheat, steal and fight – but he won’t get far alone. The ghosts of Tal’s past dog his every step – and one in particular keeps his knives sharp.

The Blackbird will need help to reach his goal… and he’ll need all his luck to get back home alive.

Hûw Steer is an author, historian and sketch comedian from London. You may have seen him with the UCL Graters at the Edinburgh Fringe, read his theses on ancient Roman science-fiction, or even read one of his short stories. You probably haven’t, but at least you’re reading this.

Hûw has previously been published in ‘Making Monsters’ (The Future Fire, 2018), and the UCL Publisher’s Prize anthologies for 2018 and 2016. This is his first published novel.

You can reach him at huwsteerofficial@gmail.com, and read more of his work at huwsteer.wordpress.com.

 

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Entangled Lives by Imran Omer!

Raza, a poor orphan trapped in the slums of Pakistan, is sent to a strict madrassah where he meets and falls in love with Perveen. They attempt to flee the city to escape their respective fates but fail. Perveen, pregnant, is sent back to her family, and Raza is sent to Afghanistan to fight as a Taliban solider. American journalist, Rachael Brown, travels to Afghanistan to cover the political unrest. When she meets Raza for a brief interview, she sees for the first time the true face of the Taliban: poor and desperate young men with nowhere else to go. As the war unfolds, their paths cross again, and each must decide what they owe the other.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized