Sunday, May 31, 2015

Timothy Green Beckley, Author of The UFO Repeaters

ufo repeaters, seeing is believing, alien book, et book, ufo book
Today we are interviewing Timothy Green Beckley,  author of "The UFO Repeaters - Seeing Is Believing - The Camera Doesn't Lie." Check out our earlier interview with Beckley about celebrity UFO sightings.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Was raised in a haunted house and had my first of three UFO sightings at the age of ten.

I have edited over 30 newsstand magazines including UFO Universe which was published for 11 Years. I have been on such shows as UFO Hunters, Mysteries In The National Parks/Travel Channel, William Shatner's Weird Or What? Coast to Coast AM. I have my own pod cast Unraveling The Secrets and Mr UFOs Secret Files YouTube channel. Am editor of the print edition of the Conspiracy Journal and am head of Inner Light Publications, with over 200 titles.

Describe your book in a few sentences.
OVER 100 NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED UFO PHOTOS!
ARE THEY THE CHOSEN?

Here are well documented cases of those rare individuals who claim an to have experienced an ongoing series of encounters with UFO occupants – and have the uncanny ability to take remarkable photos of their craft on an ongoing basis. – Some showing the aliens themselves!

“UFO Repeaters: Seeing Is Believing! The Camera Doesn't Lie” offers a wonderful opportunity to see and ponder dozens of new photos taken by a tiny segment of humanity -- those who the UFO occupants have selected to reveal themselves to on a one to one basis over a long period of time.
ufo expert, ufo author, alien expert
Author/UFO expert Timothy Green Beckley

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Fans of the X-Files, Close Encounters, Ancient Aliens, UFO Hunters, and a host of podcasts devoted to UFOs and the Paranormal.

What inspired you to create a book that features photos from UFO repeaters?

I have been listening to their accounts for years and feel that most of these individuals have had credible experiences which the vast majority show no interest in listening to. We offer a  sympathetic ear.

Many of the individuals in your book have the ability to “call down” UFOS. Can you elaborate a bit on this phenomenon?
Uusually it starts with a sighting of a UFO along a dark road and ends with a telepathic message  that they have been "selected" for a close encounter. They are contacted initially and told to go ut and to bring their camera, and it turns out they are able to snap away and capture some of the most remarkable and bizarre sights in the unknown universe.

One of the questions you ask in the book is: Do the aliens keep track of their “Chosen Ones”? Can you explain to readers why it is important to answer this question?

There are certain people who because of genetics or blood type seem to be more responsibe to contacts the aliens who have been appearing in the heavens since the beginning of recorded times. Some of the UFO Repeaters actually claim to be "Walk-Ins" who have taken over the bodies of humans or have been reincarnated here. Its a heady tale, but we need to listen to see what they have to say and examine the photos they have taken -- some are remarkable.

How did you track down the various UFO repeaters featured in the book?

Since I have been writing on this topic since the 1960s, editing magazines on the subject,and appearing in public most of the repeaters find me, I don't have to go out of my way to track them down. For example, Marc Brinkerhoff who lives in NYC I have known for years and he take pictures of UFOs over Central Park and outside his apartment window.

What was the most interesting thing you uncovered while doing research for the book?
I confirmed that this is a world wide phenomena. We have UFO sighters from just about
every country you can name. Some of the best videos were taken by a UFO repeater in Turkey. The UFO coming in from over the coast line has been witnessed by dozens of individuals. Its not a secret any longer!

How do you think reading your book will impact people?

I think it will convince some who are not familiar with the topic that much that it is a legitimate subject for scientific evaluation. Others will just be enticed by some very entertaining -- spacy - tales of the strange and unknown.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
We put out maybe 3 or 4 new titles every month. We have a book on celebrities such as Jackie Gleason, and David Bowie who have undergone UFO sightings and know that we are not alone. People from all walks of life can have such experiences.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?

There are over 100 never before published UFO pictures. We are talking about
nuts and bolts vehicles -- NOT just lights in the sky!

More Information

Timothy Green Beckley, Author of Shirley MacLaine Meets The Pleiadians

shirley maclaine meets the pleiadians, william shatner ufo, john lennon ufo, john lennon alien, may john lennon alien

Today we are interviewing Timothy Green Beckley, author of  "Shirley MacLaine Meets The Pleiadians - UFO Experiences of Celebrities, Rock Stars And The Rich And Famous."

Describe your book in a few sentences.
They may be rich and famous, travel the globe, and have a bevy of Twitter groupies, but when it comes to having encountered "bogies from out of the blue" -- and sometimes even their humanoid occupants -- the A-listers are positively NOT in a class by themselves. They stand alongside the millions of ordinary folks from every walk of life who know that UFOs MUST BE REAL . . . because they have seen them with their own eyes.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Not only those who watch TV shows like Ancient Aliens, UFO Hunters and Hangar 1, but anyone who is into the celebrity culture. Fans of TMZ, Inside Edition, People magazine, who may not be familiar with the fact that UFOs are no laughing matter to a lot of A-Listers, including sports figures, rock and rap stars, presidents, movie actors and actresses.

What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about celebrities and their UFO beliefs?
Some people might think that some celebrities have made up their sightings just to get attention and publicity And yes that would sometimes  be the case. But some of the celebrities I have met like Muhammad Ali have followed the subject for years. In "the champ's" case it is part of his religious beliefs.Most fans of The Honeymooners probably don't realize that Jackie Gleason had a huge occult and UFO library. In fact, he purchased one of the first books I wrote on the subject and it now in the University of Miami with his entire collection of hundreds of books on the paranormal and flying saucers. This book give a first person account of how Gleason says he went with President Nixon one night to an undisclosed location on a military based and was shown the bodies of aliens from the UFO crash at Roswell that were being "kept on ice" to preserve them. We want to know -- where are these bodies now?

Without giving too much away, can you tell us a bit about Shirley Maclaine's UFO beliefs?
Her beliefs are to a large extent based upon her own personal UFO sightings as well as her world travels. She says she has looked up at the night sky and on numerous occasions have seen space ships moving and darting about across the heavens. She thinks that they are intelligently controlled devices that have been visiting her for centuries and that their pilots are friendly and not here to do us any harm. She also had various mystical experiences while in Peru. And here is the kicker -- Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich's had a UFO sighting while staying with Shirley.

tim beckley, robert fripp ufo, king crimson guitarist, robert fripp guitar
From the 1970s -- The author Tim Beckley during a special meditation and skywatch with King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp to try and "bring down" a UFO.
Can you elaborate on the story of William Shatner encountering a UFO in the California desert?
Good old Bill has back tracked on this one. When I met him back stage of Dick Clark's Ten Thousand Dollar pyramid show "Captain Kirk" told me a hair raising story of being in Death Valley when his bike fell over on top of him in the 110 degree heat. Looking up he saw a UFO glittering overhead. He followed the UFO to safety. He told a number of journalists the same story. Now he says he made it up for publicity. Could be -- we all know that Bill manages to get himself into the thick of things -- so why not a UFO sighting? Originally I wrote it up for one of the tabloids. He wasn't given a lie detector test or anything. It was a pop culture type of story. Now he could also think its more fashionable to deny the incident. By the way I was on the last season of William Shatner's Weird or What? program filmed up in Toronto. I had a chance to "get him back," but that story is in the book. 

In the book, you cover David Bowie's involvement with witches and demonic possession, as well as tales of a crashed UFO. Can you tell us a bit about the research you did on this topic?
I first met David when he came to the U.S. on his first tour. Much of the information came from a mutual friend. The late Walli Elmlark called herself "the White Witch of New York." She used to hang out and lecture at our metaphysical center that I ran in Greenwich Village in the 60s and 70s. She knew alot of the rock stars because she worked for a popular music magazine and was very appealing to the eye. As a teenager Bowie had edited a UFO newsletter in the U.K and had numerous sightings. I think he thought they were more time travelers than coming here from outer space. When he got too tied up with drugs he went to Walli who tried to rid his "personal space" of witches and demons he thought was trying to steal his sperm. It's a complex story. It's all in the book. Readers can easily order a copy from Amazon, print or Kindle edition.
What was the most interesting thing you uncovered while doing research for the book?
Well you have to remember that the stories were collected over a period of time. I think the common thread is that UFOs have become such a fixture in pop culture that it's not embarrassing any more to admit that you have seen a UFO even if you are on the A-list. Some of the celebrities are down right serious about this. I have appeared with May Pang several times on radio and tv while she spoke about the night she and John Lennon had their famous UFO sighting over Manhattan. They had just ordered pizza and John was in his birthday suit on the balcony when a multi colored UFO came flying toward them. It's in the book!

How do you think reading your book will impact people?
Make them look up more? Be on the alert for "alien invaders." Or hell...at least be entertained.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
We have a book coming out on how to use an ordinary deck of cards to tell your fortune and to create spells. Its actually put together by psychic Maria D'Andrea and is part of our ongoing Occult Series at Inner Light Publications. Also another book on how to read the minds of others and a couple of conspiracy books.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
It's colorful. Lots of photos of their favorite celebrities. Some real cliff hangers. A conversation piece. Tell your friends. Support our little publishing company that has been publishing books since 1964. That's over fifty years. We must be doing something right!
 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Saskia Heath, Author of Community of Us

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Today we are interviewing Saskia Heath, author of the apocalyptic novel "Community of Us."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an Australian author living in country Victoria on a small farm with my menagerie of animals. After working in the city for ten years I made the move to the country and love it. My writing has time to flourish and I really enjoy the back to basics lifestyle with the nearest shop fifteen minutes drive away.

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.
"Community of Us" starts with Matilda leaving her job and deciding to take a break and go to a self-sustaining community in a beautiful part of Australia.

While she is there a deadly virus breaks out in the cities and starts to spread. The community fights to find a cure and save family and friends.

This community looks to natural healing and metaphysical concepts to treat the crisis, taking a different perspective from your average apocalypse scenarios.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Female sci-fi and fantasy readers, a lot of apocalypse stuff is written by men I wanted to offer a female perspective. I wrote what I wanted to read but couldn’t find.

What inspired you to write a book about humanity’s desperate race for survival at a time when the world is moving in a different direction?
Reading the papers everyday it is hard to stay positive; all the hate, posturing and greed can make me feel hopeless. The fantasy of making change by having to start over is interesting to me.

Tell us about the protagonists, Matilda and Jessie.
Matilda is trained as a Naturopath but can’t make enough money doing that so works at a newspaper and yearns for a simpler life. With a history of being unlucky in love she lives alone and relies on her dog Scout for company. Everything she thinks she knows about herself is about to be turned upside down.

Jessie is a scientist working in a lab feeling lonely and disenchanted, this wasn’t how it was meant to be. He has his mates and his sister Mel but he feels like his life hasn’t really started. Being a bit of an introvert he finds it hard to go out but decides to head to a sustainability course that sounds interesting, he sees Matilda and everything changes.
 
saskia heath, australian author, apocalypse author
Author Saskia Heath

Who was your favorite character to write?
It’s hard to pick favorites but it has to be Matilda, writing is definitely therapy for me and when I was in the flow with Matilda it was a joy to write. Jessie was harder to write which probably made it more satisfying.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
My favorite reads growing up where things like "The Chrysalids" by John Wyndham I love his writing style and "Z for Zachariah" by Robert C. O’Brien both are post-apocalyptic stories and influence me today.

I love Margaret Attwood, "Oryx and Crake" especially but also fantasy including "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter."

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
My first draft still makes me cringe. I have done a lot of work on dialogue and will endlessly be chasing the goal of brilliant dialogue. Work and more work seems to me the only way to evolve, it’s hard to put your finger on what changes but I just have to keep working. 

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?
I love it. I had a few false starts with agents and publishers that I found really frustrating. Publishers take on such a small percentage of writers it makes sense there is plenty of good stuff out there not being published by traditional publishers. So I am all for it.

Do you write with a computer, typewriter, or pen and paper? Why do you use this tool?
I write my manuscripts on a computer. I can type a lot quicker than I can write so it allows me to get things down quickly, as the ideas flow.

Without giving too much away, what can readers expect from the second book in the Eden series?
Well there will be missions out into the wider world to see what is going on outside the Community and to try and assist other survivors, some will be friendly, some won’t. Eden community now has a much larger population after the immediate threat has passed the transition to a function village is not always smooth but that is all I will say for now.


"Community of Us" book blurb:
‘Were we all lost? I wouldn’t believe it, we had to try and survive.’

Lapsed naturopath Matilda dreams of a quieter life, away from the city, while disillusioned scientist Jessie wants to escape his lab and get a girlfriend. Neither of them can envision the catastrophe that lies ahead.

Our journey starts in the moody metropolis of Melbourne travelling to the earthly paradise of northern New South Wales, Australia. How can anything bad happen in such a beautiful place?  Will natures’ power aid or kill us? A thrilling adventure ride as humanity becomes locked in a desperate race for survival. Gaia will have her way. Will it also be our way?

A compulsive read and a ripping start to the series. Community of Us presents a terrifyingly possible future.

More Information
Buy "Community of Us" on Amazon
Like Saskia Heath on Facebook

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bart Hopkins, Author of Like

bart hopkins, social media book, like, like book

Today we are interviewing Bart Hopkins, author of the contemporary fiction novel "Like."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m from a small island off the coast of Texas.  In my teens I surfed every day I could, but I haven’t been on a surfboard in sixteen years.  I read every night.  I prefer movies to television, summer to winter, and soda to alcohol.  I laugh as much as possible every day. I’ve got three awesome kids and my wife is my best friend.  If given a BLT each day for lunch each day until I died, life would be good.  U2, The Beatles, and the Foo Fighters are my favorite bands.  When I’m not writing, I’m an Air Force weather guy, and I’ve been doing that for twenty-one years. 

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Anyone who uses social media!  That’s somewhere north of a billion people, and I think most people can relate to something in this novel.

What inspired you to write a book about the power of social media?
The "Like" journey began in January 2013 when, for reasons unremembered, my wife and I had a series of discussions on the ubiquitous presence of social media.  Those talks were the genesis of this novel.  Later on, we were watching the movie "Crash," and that inspired me to alter the layout of the novel … I love it when characters unwittingly are brought together by a common thread.

The book follows four people and their experience with social media. Can you give us a brief profile of each of the people? 

There’s Greg, a married realtor who tweets, Facebooks, and blogs his way to success.  Paul is a young, good-looking businessman, who stumbles on an old crush while Facebooking.  Martin is a professor and cancer survivor who uses the power of social media for good.  And, Rose uses the Internet for the first time, and looks for someone special from her past.

Relationships will blossom and be tested as the lives of these characters, and others, unwittingly collide with one another.

bart hopkins, social media book, like, like book
Author Bart Hopkins

Do you think society is aware of the power of social media? Why or why not?
People are so smart, but social media is relatively new, so I think we’re only aware of the proverbial tip of this iceberg.  We’re only just discovering the long-term effects on people, relationships, society, business—everything.  Some extreme situations have raised awareness of bullying, sexual predators, and violence that stems from the most negative of our online habits.  What will we learn in the next ten years?  The next twenty years?

Who was your favorite character to write?
Paul brings the creepy factor.  Martin’s a charming older man and genuinely good.  They’re polar opposites, but I loved getting to know both of them, so it’s a tie between Paul and Martin.

How long have you been writing?

I filled journals as a kid, and wrote some short stories after that, but my first serious efforts were in 2001.  So, about fifteen years.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?

My imagination is stronger than ever, and I’m better at my craft.  I study plot elements, character development, literary devices … the things that were ignored or secondary when I was younger.  I think the rule is that we get better at things with more experience, and I mostly follow the rules.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
Thirty books.  I want to write at least thirty books and have a ridiculous amount of fun doing it.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
I mostly enjoy everything, but sometimes the revision process can be a little tiresome if I make a change that causes a series of other changes, that might cause other changes, and I’m forced to hunt them all down.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
I’m toying with two stories right now, each in their infancy.  One is a supernatural thriller related to my short story, Recalculating.  The other is post-apocalyptic fiction … I’ve wanted to give that a shot since I read The Stand in the early 1980s.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Give it a shot, and if you don’t like it, I’ll give you one of my other books, free, and shoot me a line and say hey!


A short excerpt from "Like":
     Greg and Candy had been messaging each other back and forth the past couple of days since she first contacted him.  Through some sort of unspoken understanding, neither of them friend-requested the other, or moved beyond the bounds of Facebook.
     I’m married.  What good can come of this? he wondered, with no small measure of guilt.  He wasn’t sure what he was doing, or what this was all about.  Messaging my high school sweetheart?  I must be out of my mind.  This just can’t end well.
     An eclectic mix of thoughts bounced around his mind, some conflicting, some irrational, rebounding from the inner surfaces of his cranium like little rubber balls in a competitive racquetball match.  You could almost hear the thwock! as they ricocheted around in there, the mental tug-of-war that transpired.  Yet somehow he justified all of his actions, though he simultaneously wondered if they were wrong.

     It’s not like I’m cheating on Claire—it’s just a few messages, he thought.
     Then why don’t you tell her? he replied to himself.
     I knew Candy before I ever knew Claire—it was just a high school thing—she wouldn’t understand, he responded, avoiding his own question.
     She wouldn’t understand because it’s wrong!

     The arguments continued without answers or resolution.  He honestly believed that, while the situation would appear strange, he wasn’t cheating, and that his wife just wouldn’t understand if he told her.
     Heck, he didn’t know if he completely understood it himself, but the communication with his ex seemed driven by three different things.
     For one, part of him was just curious.
     Another part of him wanted to show her how well he had done, sans Candice Graves, with his life.  He was a success, and he wanted her to know that.  He couldn’t identify why that mattered to him, but it did.
     The final part, well, it was a mystery he couldn’t explain even to himself.  An enigma.  It was without explanation, or maybe the explanation was one that he dare not voice or even think.
     He rationalized the situation with an imperfect analogy: if my dog ran away years ago, and went to live with another family, I’d want to know the dog was okay, even if I never petted the dog again.
     He shook his head, snapping back to the here and now of his kitchen.
More Information
Amazon USA: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PE8DKRI 
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00PE8DKRI 
Author web site: http://www.barthopkins.com

John Turi, Author of A Drinker With A Writing Problem / A Wine Lover’s Retrospective

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Today we are interviewing John Turi, author of "A Drinker With A Writing Problem / A Wine Lover’s Retrospective."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Pertaining to wine, I’ve been learning about grapes before I could drink them. I had the chance to work for a famous wine store in Long Beach/Naples, California for many years and I learned just about everything I know about wine from the people who worked there. I go into some detail in the book about Morry’s of Naples. The store closed a few years ago--I do miss that place. For a college kid, it was an entertaining place to work.

Describe your book in a few sentences.
ADWAWP is about a personal adventure with wine; my knowledge, writing, and drinking. There are twelve chapters in the book and each one is about a specific wine. More than just my life in wine, I go into detail about each winery I’m writing about. Some people have classified the book as creative non-fiction. I also did all the photography for the book.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
If you enjoy wine, then you’re already going to like it. If you know nothing about wine, but like having it with dinner, you will enjoy it and possibly even learn something. A friend of mine has the audiobook version and he says he listens to it all the time while he is stuck in traffic. The voice narrator, Steve Carlson, knocked the audio version out of the park. The book is not your boring wine review critique, by any means.
 
john turi, wine critic, wine critic author
Author/wine critic John Turi

What inspired you to put together a book that incorporates all of your best wine writing?
The editor at ConnotationPress.com, where I write a monthly wine article, suggested I get my work out in print format. Ken Robidoux felt more people would find my work in the Food and Wine section on Amazon, since his magazine is 95% literary based. I have a few fiction books I did years ago and this was my first non-fiction work.

One of the things highlighted about your book is that your wine reviews aren’t simply reviews; they’re stories about each specific wine. Why do you take this approach to writing about wine?
I feel the world of wine has taken a turn from old stodgy wine critics--who for thirty years have pontificated on the nuances of a wine and slapped down a rating without giving any emotion to what they’re talking about--to younger, hipper people who grew up reading their parents’ copies of Wine Spectator and wanted more passion, more depth, more human interaction. Coming from a creative writing background, I can’t help but put my crazy life, thoughts, and attitude into the articles. One of my editors is constantly yelling at me, “You can’t say… such and such, they’ll sue you!” I just put it out there and see where it lands. There are some excellent wine bloggers and podcasters who are changing things in the world of wine. It’s great to see them get creative and bring followers along with them who otherwise think wine is for the elite, or something to have with dinner. I have more fun with wineries and likeminded people on Instagram than I do on my own wine blog. Wine is social.

How do you select a wine for review?
I’ve been enjoying wine for over twenty-five years and my personal collection is pretty crazy. Like any obsession, the more you do it, the more you are going to level up to the best. The simplest answer is - I only review the best bottles. Why would I waste my time writing about something I don’t enjoy? Most of my wine is bought at wine auctions, so when I’m scanning the catalog of selections, I always spot something that I feel deserves to be written about; especially, if I have a prior history with the wine or winery.

Can you tell us a bit about the process of writing a wine review, from the first sip to the finished review?
It all starts with a wine, of course. Who do I want to write about this month? Once I’ve picked the winery, I pick the varietal and then the vintage. The year plays a big part. When that is all figured out I start researching everything I can on the history of the winery, the process, the awards, etc. This can take anywhere from one to three weeks. Then I sit down and write my story, incorporating the research, and when all of that is finished, I open the bottle and find it. By “it” I mean everything that has led me to want to open that bottle and taste what I’ve been writing about. From there I’ll give it a rating from 90 -100 (anything less than 90 is not worth my time) and send it off to the editor. Have I ever been disappointed with a wine I’ve done so much research on? In all the years of my writing it has only happened once, but I won’t disclose the winery. My rating, my taste of the wine, is just my opinion.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about wine writing?
That I must live a lavish lifestyle of travelling the world, drinking wine and rubbing elbows with the wine elite. I hear this all the time on Facebook, Instagram, and my blog. The truth is, I purchase every wine I write about-- be it a $25 chardonnay to an $800 Bordeaux. Since I’m a wine writer, I do get to write off my wine expenses, but I enjoy sitting at home with my wife on a Saturday night, making her dinner as we open the bottle I’m reviewing. The problem with that is that I’ve taught her well all these years and she has a better palate than I do at times. It drives me crazy!

How do you think reading your book will impact people?
Sit back on a Sunday afternoon with a glass of your favorite wine and a tray of cheese and crackers, and just dive in. I guarantee you’ll never look at wine the same. I get emails from all over the world, from people that tell me that they enjoy my writing and my passion, and if I’m ever in their country or city to please look them up, because they would love to share a bottle with me and have a good conversation. Those comments I carry with me as I write the next article.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
An old friend told me that he misses the unedited angst in my writing and he would love to see me put a collection of my personal blog in print. Aside from writing about wine, I have a personal blog where I essentially post my private diary. I’m not giving the website; you can Google it. I’ve written about very personal details of my life for the world to read, comment, and laugh about. Hopefully by 2016 that book will be in print and everyone can read about the night I lost my virginity, why I hate my Facebook friends, or why being an artist is the craziest thing someone could want to be.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?

The print version is beautifully designed. It’s in full color and has great quotes and a funny forward by the editor of the magazine I write for. Just recently, the first story in the book won the Millesima award for Fine Wine writing, which I’m very proud of. The book is also available on Kindle and in Audiobook formats. Give it a read while you’re trapped on an airplane for a few hours.


More Information
Buy "A Drinker with a Writing Problem" on Amazon 
Check out John Turi's wine column

ASJ McCormack, Author of The Ultimate Guide To Singing For A Living

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Today we are interviewing ASJ McCormack, author of "The Ultimate Guide To Singing For A Living… All you need to get started with a career on the stage."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in 1978 in Douglas in The Isle of Man, where I spent my early childhood years.  I now live in the beautiful city of Chester.  My passion is predominantly singing, but I also love anything creative involving graphic design, photo/video editing and of course writing.
 
I spent my early teens up to now entertaining the public, singing in venues across the UK and Ireland.  I started out in the local pub & club scene and have gone from solo act to rock bands, duos to the tribute market.  Oh and not forgetting a 16 piece commitments–esque soul band with brass & horn section!
 
I lived and entertained out in Spain for 4 years, eventually leaving to have my family of two children, currently 3 and 5 years old now… The tribute scene is where I am at now, performing two tribute shows to Madonna and Lady Gaga.  Before going into entertainment full time I worked in web design and IT systems for a large pharmaceutical company in Cheshire.  I gave it all up to live the dream; I never was a morning person!

asj mccormack, professional singer, singing author
Author/tribute singer ASJ McCormack

Describe the purpose of your book in a few sentences.
THIS BOOK IS FOR ANYONE WHO CAN SING AND DREAMS OF TURNING THEIR TALENT INTO THEIR CAREER AND ACTUALLY SING FOR A LIVING.  This is not a how to sing book, it’s a 'what you do with it' now you know you can sing book!

In this book I will provide you with the inspiration needed to take the next step to becoming a fabulous fully fledged performer in the competitive world of entertainment.

YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO...

- Discover what kind of singer you are
- The tools of the trade, what equipment you need to get set up
- How to promote your act to the full and create your own bookings as well as through agencies
- The importance of looking after yourself, health and fitness
- How to create your show and develop your persona & stage presence
- Accounts, finances and commissions that you will need to pay
- Artist development, future progression
- Insurance and the legal stuff involved
- And a whole lot more of invaluable information!

You will be given all the tools you need to make a real go of it and to step up to that stage brimming with confidence and the enjoyment that comes with your new vocation. The result is the hugely rewarding part that states “if you do something you love you will never have to work a day in your life”

Whether you want to be a great singer/entertainer, go for the x-factor / the voice, start up as a hobby or even give up your day job – the ultimate goal, this book will tell you all you need to know to kick start your performing career and not look back…

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Anyone looking to become a working singer! If you love karaoke and are really good of course! and want to take it to the next level… Or you are always applying for talent shows such as the x factor or the voice.  Anyone who dreams of making a living doing the thing they love and using their talents!

What inspired you to write a book about becoming a singer in the competitive world of entertainment?
I started writing the bones of this book many years ago… It was after realising how much experience I had built up in the entertainment field that I decided to write this book as there was no help around when I first started out.  No one wants to tell anyone how it’s really done, as people fear there are too many acts on the scene already.  But the cream always rises to the top and in this business, there is room for everyone who wants to give it a go. I passionately want to share what I know about singing for a living…

What do you think are some of the biggest mistakes aspiring performers make that keep them from reaching their dream of performing professionally?
I think too many singers starting out take the wrong advice of others around them that either don’t know enough or know too much and try to mold them into something completely out of their own style that suited them originally.  Some also get pushed into TV reality shows like the x-factor or the voice too early on and if they don’t get through they get their confidence crushed at that crucial time when they need to have 100% self-confidence.

You have a section on persona and stage presence. How important is it for singers to develop this aspect of their art?
In this business self-confidence is paramount.  Even if you don’t feel it before going on stage you have to portray it and make people believe in you and that you know what you are doing!  Stage presence is what will make you stand out above the others, get listened to and be remembered for that moment you entertained...

How much time should singers allocate to researching the financial, legal, contractual aspects, etc of performing prior to pursuing it?
As each booking for a gig is taken, you will need to have a contract or confirmation at least of that booking.  If you are booked through an agent they will deal with this for you but if you take a booking on your own terms direct from a venue you will need to create a document that states your cancellation terms, date of booking, how much the fee is and payment terms i.e. cash on night or payment of deposit up front in advance etc…    

Should all performers get an agent? Or is it possible to be successful without one?
It is not a necessity at all to have an agent, you can do it yourself but you need to put the work in. The bigger venues will use agencies only and other venues so you have to talk your way in and know the right contacts for them to book you direct.

With an agent they have the venues ready and waiting for acts on their books and they can fill your diary up for the year.  The price for this service is the commissions you pay them after each gig.  If you book direct with a venue the full profit is yours.  You are also protected in a sense whilst working for a venue in case of any problems arising, so the more experienced you are the less likely you will need an agent as you will have the experience to deal with any issues.  I work mostly from direct bookings now but still do the odd one for agents. 

How do you think reading your book will impact people?
I think potential acts will see it’s not as difficult as it is deemed to be to get started, to work for yourself in this business and at the same time they will see its more about the business behind the scenes that takes up the time more than the performances! You can spend hours on the motorway then time setting up your gig at the other end just to be singing for an hour and half that evening!  People tend to think you just turn up, get paid, then go home… but there is so much more involved.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
My next writing project is my personal story called ‘becoming just a girl’.  Just a Girl is my stage name.  I started this one 20 years ago!  I always kept diaries of my gigs and scrapbooks to go with it.  I saved everything! It’s a tell all book of how I started singing from a child, my passion for smash hits magazines and all things pop, recording the top 40 on a tape recorder every Sunday, pretending I was Tina turner in the mirror singing into a hairbrush, headphones on! (I was at Wembley then, don’t you know!) while my parents were sleeping next door!  It’s all my experiences on and off the road… Eurovision entry, giving up the day job, singing and living in Spain & later becoming almost famous!  Almost! 

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
My book is everything you will not get told by other professionals or acts in the business… It’s written by someone who had to work everything out from scratch, from day one, with no help advice, contacts or otherwise… If you’re a singer this is the book I wish I had when I started out, I would of paid a small fortune for it haha!!! 


More Information
Buy the Kindle / eBook UK edition 

Buy the paperback UK edition 
Buy the US paperback edition
www.smartlassbooks.com
www.backstagepass.org.uk
https://www.facebook.com/smartlassbooks

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Anthony Roth Bouldin, Author of Tag Along With MoMo and JoJo: You’re IT! Series #3 – THE BULLY

anthony roth bouldin, bullying book, children's book bully

Today we are interviewing Anthony Roth Bouldin, author of  the children's book "Tag Along With MoMo and JoJo: You’re IT! Series #3 – THE BULLY."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Philadelphia on the reality TV show Birth Day in 2002. Not long after, at age 7, I started writing the short stories of MoMo and JoJo on blank copy paper. Even though the pictures were only stick figures at the time, my 2nd grade teacher allowed me to read some of hand made books to the class. One day, my Mom decided to have them published and "Tag Along With MoMo and JoJo: You’re IT!" official book series was born.

Describe the plot of “Tag Along with MoMo and JoJo: You're It!: Series #3: The Bully” in a few sentences.
It begins where series #2 leaves off. MoMo still as the main focus and actually narrating the story. Soon he encounters a not so nice person from his past.

Who do you think would most appreciate this series?

Everyone. Lovable, down to earth characters with big personalities. Lots of humor, sarcasm and smart writing. Don’t let the animation fool you. These books are great for all ages and is sure to leave the reader yearning for more.

What inspired this installment of the series to focus on bullying?

As a child myself, at a very difficult age, I see firsthand how bullying is something that can turn from playful to harmful very quickly. It affects everyone at some point, so I wanted to include this topic in MoMo and JoJo to 1. Expand the depth of the characters and 2. Write something that can be used to open up more discussions about such a sensitive subject.

Tell us a bit about the three main characters, MoMo, JoJo, and Tina Termite.

MoMo is the big brother we all wished we had. He’s popular, cool, calm, great at everything and super athletic. JoJo is more socially awkward, nervous and introverted. He’s more environmentally aware and always striving for knowledge perfection if there is such a thing. Tina Termite is a new character created for this book. She’s sassy, spoiled and loud with a bit of a mean streak. She was created specifically for Series #3 so who knows if she’ll be making any more guest appearances as the books progress. Stay tuned!
anthony roth bouldin, children's book author, book about bullying
Author Anthony Roth Bouldin

One of the unique things about the series is the books are interactive. Can you elaborate on this a bit?
 We want our readers to “Tag Along” as if MoMo and JoJo are their bffs and they were right there in the book. The story may pause to let readers know they can reference something from another book in the series, or point out strange things within the story. The reader is also included on the characters pages in the back of each book. The back cover also offers a variety of questions about the book, and ways to connect, via social media, with the authors and characters of the book. It’s fun from cover to cover.

What’s it like creating a story with two authors? Does it make it easier or harder than writing a story alone?
I created the idea of MoMo and JoJo, but having my Mom as my writing partner helps a lot. We brainstorm and bounce ideas off of each other. Like a puzzle; I may have all of the center pieces connected, but without the frame/end pieces, it’s not a complete picture. She makes sure after all of our ideas, changes, add ons, and piecing together; when finished, it’s an edited, complete book we both can be proud to present to the readers.

What’s the process of getting the series illustrated like?
It’s a long process because we strive to give our readers quality artwork with bright vibrant colors. We have a professional illustrator, but first my partner (Mom) and I both sketch our character ideas. Then the process of picking the right colors and shading for each character. From the scene backgrounds, hair color, facial expression, gestures, posture, etc,. This process could easily be 2-4 months of the total production time which can take up to a year. There is a lot of thought out planning into every detail of these books.

Are there any authors who have influenced your style of storytelling?

Charles Schulz. He was able to make everyone young and old feel connected to his characters. As if we knew them. We read every time as if it is new. We watch every year as if we have never seen it before. Simple. Timeless. Classic. That type of honorable longevity should be a goal of every writer.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

We have in mind where we would like to take the characters, but we may let the readers decide. But what we can say about the next project and the one after that and so on…is that they will only get better and better. 3 books in and this is truly only the beginning of where we want to take these books and these characters.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your series?

Pick up “Tag Along With MoMo and JoJo: You’re IT!” today. Start with Series #1 and join in the fun. If you like to read, think, laugh, and be entertained, you won’t be disappointed. We plan on continuing to bring you quality stories every time.

More Information
www.momoandjojo.com

Anthony Roth Bouldin bibliography
Series 1: Tag Along With MoMo and JoJo: You're IT!: Series #1 JoJo's 1st day of school
Series 2: Tag Along With MoMo and JoJo: You're IT! SERIES #2: MoMo Turns 10
Series 3: Tag Along with MoMo and JoJo: You're It!: Series #3: The Bully

Brandon Zenner, Author of The Experiment of Dreams

experiment of dreams, experiment of dreams book, lucid dreaming book, brandon zenner
As part of The Experiment of Dreams blog tour, I'm happy to share this interview with author Brandon Zenner.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in New Jersey, in  a town named Red Bank. At around age 16, I started getting interested in writing, mostly due to my love of reading. To me, I see writing and reading as the ultimate form of freedom, where I can create whole worlds or get lost in someone else’s. To date, I have one full length novel published and several short stories. A novella and another full length novel are well underway. Outside of writing, I am a career bartender at a local Irish pub, where I have been serving drinks for the past 12 years.

Describe the plot of The Experiment of Dreams in a few sentences.
Okay, a few sentences … After a lifelong career of being a test subject, Benjamin Walker has taken a job on a project named Lucy; a machine that can record dreams in extreme detail. All is finally going well for Ben, until strange dreams of a town named Drapery Falls begin to plague him. The doctors and staff onboard team Lucy are not who they seem, and Ben will have to confront his own ailing mind in order to save his future.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
The most feedback I receive tends to come from people who are interested in lucid dreaming, or have experienced any sort of aura migraine (it’s rare, but people do suffer from it). Besides from that, I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from thriller lovers, as well as people who can appreciate something a little different. I get that a lot, that this book is different from the norm.

What inspired you to write a story about a drug/sleep expert who gets involved with a mysterious project that is not what it seems?
Hmm … that’s a tough one. I’m not exactly sure, to be honest. It might sound cliche, but I got the basic idea for the book from a dream. It was only a skeleton of an idea at first, but once I sat down and started writing, the rest of the plot seemed to fill in on its own. That was the most enjoyable part of the writing process, watching the story play out in my mind. It even surprised me at times.

Have sleep and dreaming always interested you or did you just start looking into them in preparation for this book?
They have always been an interest. As a teenager, I experienced lucid dreaming often, so it was easy for me to describe the feeling and imagery. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t lucid dream as much as I used to, but it does still happen once in a while. I also experience aura migraines, which is a strange and somewhat rare condition. It’s a migraine without much pain, but my vision gets overwhelmed by sparkling colors, and afterwards, it’s nearly impossible to carry a basic thought. When I was young, doctors told me the condition was similar to a stroke, but thankfully, they no longer believe that to be the case.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Benjamin Walker.
Ben is down on his luck, to say the least. He’s a depressed alcoholic, who can not get over the death of his wife for the life of him. He spends his days working a part time job, and works nearly full time doing strange sleep experiments and testing experimental medications. When the job opportunity to work on Lucy  comes around, he is a natural fit. Ben can control his lucid dreaming on a scale rarely seen, which is essential when he is asked to recall certain things in his dreams (artwork, mostly … you’ll see why). Ben’s depression starts to lessen as his life improves, thanks in part to a lovely girl named Sophia who he meets in a Paris airport. But as the project goes on, Ben begins having strange dreams, and then, well … some very strange things begin happing to poor Ben.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
I try not to let other writers influence my style, but I’m sure it’s somewhat unavoidable. The writers who have influenced me the most, as a reader, would have to be: Kurt Vonnegut, Cormac McCarthy, Ken Follett, Charles Bukowski, and Jon Fante. There are more, but that’s a good start.

Do you think your experience with short fiction influenced how you wrote your novel?
Novels have always been my top priority. I wrote a few short stories in my early 20’s, but I have always had longer novel in the works. Particularly, a novel that I am currently finishing up, that I got the idea for when I was 16. The only problem was that I wasn’t a good writer at age 16, and the plot took a long time to fully mature (as did I).

Do you use a computer, typewriter, or pen and paper when writing fiction?
All three. I take a lot of notes on pen and paper before the writing process, but once the story is ready to be written, and my mind is feeling sharp, I use the computer almost exclusively. While I’m writing, I still take some notes, and I like to create timelines, which can make my desk look like it belongs in an insane asylum … depending on who you talk to, I might belong in the asylum with it.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
Right now I’m waiting for my longer novel to be returned from the editor. It’s about 550 pages, and set in a near future dystopian setting. Lot’s of fun things happen, like cannibalism, wars, etc.. I am also waiting for a novella to come back from a beta reader, which is a shorter, about 100 pages, crime fiction. A bit noire. On top of that, I have begun outlining my next novel, but I want be starting until I wrap up a few projects.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Yes! Coming late June, early July, the audio book version will be released! I’m very excited about this, I was fortunate to have received a lot of interest from various narrators, and was able to pick a voice that best fit the project. I will be releasing samples, so sign up on my mailing list to stay informed: http://www.BrandonZenner.com/contact.html


More Information

Buy the book on Amazon
Like Brandon Zenner on Facebook
Follow Brandon Zenner on Twitter
Visit Brandon Zenner's website

Monday, May 25, 2015

Holley Noelle Robison, Author of "The Gift of a Friend."

the gift of a friend, sexual abuse novel, holley noelle robison, ya addiction, young adult alcohol addiction
Today we are interviewing Holley Noelle Robison, author of the teen fiction novel, "The Gift of a Friend."
 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Holley Noelle Robison. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be an author. It started with reading Harry Potter. I remember reading it and thinking, ‘Man, I want to do something like this.’ And that is what I decided to do.

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.

Harper Elias is twelve years old when she becomes a famous popstar. While on tour, she ends up getting sexually abused by a family member. To help cope, Harper ends up getting heavily involved with drugs and alcohol. After almost dying from an overdose, her father pulls her away from that life. When she graduates High school, she goes back to Hollywood and has to navigate it while sober.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

I think the people who would most appreciate this book are survivors of sexual assault, which unfortunately is a lot of people. Anyone who has struggled through addiction would also appreciate this book. I know because I fall into both of those categories.

What inspired you to write a story about a young pop-star who has to negotiate fame, relationships, and drug/alcohol abuse? 

Well, like I said, I started writing this book when I was sixteen and was hiding my own abuse. I was sexually abused when I was 11/12 years old and I didn’t tell anyone until I was eighteen years old. The silence was almost unbearable. It almost killed me. I really want this book to become a voice to the voiceless, because that’s kind of what it was for me while I was writing it. I wasn’t able to speak publicly about my abuse until I was 21 years old. I don’t want anyone to go through what I had to go through. If I can inspire anyone to come clean of a secret that’s killing them inside, sexual abuse or something else, then I am happy.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Harper Elias.
Harper is a very loyal friend. She would die for her friends without a moment of hesitation. Despite her fame, I think she’s an average girl who just wants to prove herself to those around her that she loves.

In the story, Harper returns to Hollywood after graduation, despite having struggled there in the past. What draws her back?

Harper loves being onstage, she likes attention way too much to not be in Hollywood. She stays away until graduation because her father asked her to do so, and she felt like she owed it to him to do that.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
Well JK Rowling has influenced my entire writing career. But to help write this book, I looked through a lot of celebrity memoirs, especially those who have suffered through addiction or abuse. My favorites would have to be Jenny McCarthy, Micheal J. Fox, Rob Lowe, Portia De Rossi, Tina Fey, and Ellen Degeneres.

Who was your favorite character to write?
I loved writing Jack Elias, Harper’s father. I loved it because Jack is the father every girl wants in her life. He loves his daughter more than his own life. Even though he’s perfect in Harper’s eyes, he’s also a horribly flawed individual due to how he was raised in a devote Catholic household.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
I don’t like starting out a story, and I don’t like ending it. The beginning of the story is what draws readers into it, and the ending is what leaves them satisfied. It’s very intimidating.

Have you ever had writer's block?

Yes I have. I just force myself through it. I usually stop working on what I’m writing, and go take a shower or work on another piece of writing. You have to force yourself through it, or you’ll never write again.

Do you write with a computer, typewriter, or pen and paper? Why do you use this tool?
I like pen and paper because it’s nice to feel the story coming to life. But the computer is convenient.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

A sequel entitled ‘The Gift of Forgiveness’

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?

I just hope that you like it. If anyone reading this is suffering in silence, please don’t let the silence kill you. Find someone to talk to. If you need someone, you can talk to me, I am willing to listen.

An excerpt from "Rise":
Harper
    I didn’t open my eyes when I regained consciousness; I just laid there listening to the sounds of what I assumed to be the hospital. I heard the sounds of the florescent lights, and the beeping of the heart monitors. I felt the monitor on my index finger, and the rest of the machines hooked up to my chest. I just sat there listening when I heard someone come into the room.
    “I don’t give a damn what those pathetic excuses for people want Elaine, I am not going to give them a statement,” My father said, anger was overflowing in his voice. This scared me, I’ve never heard my father even raise his voice at my mom.
    “But Jack, they are butchering our daughter out there!” My mother responded I had trouble reading her tone. It was a mixture of anger and worry.
    “Well Elaine, no matter what I say, they will find a way to make Harper out to be a bad person, but you weren’t there Elaine, she literally went psychotic when I touched her. She thought I was Kris, and that I was going to hurt her. I knew something else was going on, and believe me, once I know that Harper is going to be alright, I’m going to march down to Stephanie and Kris’s house and demand an explanation” My father snapped at her.
    I finally opened my eyes, and let out a low groan. I really just wanted them to stop fighting, and I definitely didn’t want to be the cause of their fight.
    “Daddy, what happened?” I groaned slowly trying to turn on my side, but gave up with all the chords attached to me.
    My father came up and sat down on the chair beside the bed. I realized that he was wearing his pajamas.
    “Harper, you overdosed on Vicodin, Alcohol, and heroin,” my father told me, it was then I realized that there were tears streaming down his face.
    I wanted to die at the sight of him. Through everything, my dad has always been there. Through Scarlett, through me partying and ending up in the hospital, he was there, and he’s never asked for anything in return. But through all of this, I’ve never seen him cry until this moment.
    “Harper, I am so sorry, I have been the worse father in the world, I shouldn’t have even let you start this whole Scarlett Valentine thing,” My father let out a sigh that made him seem like he was sixty years old.
    “Daddy No,” I choked back my own tears. Then I slowly brought my hand up and touched his face. “You’re the best dad a girl can ever ask for, please don’t say you’re a bad father,” I begged. “I’m the worse daughter in the whole world,” I added going into full blown tear mode, causing the monitors to go off.
    My father tried to give me a hug, but I quickly pushed them away, I hated it when people touched me. It reminded me too much of Uncle Kris.
    “I’m sorry,” I mumbled looking at his stunned face. “Daddy, you’re right, there is a reason why I use drugs and alcohol,” I nervously began. “Can I… Can I tell you why?” I blushed for how I asked him, like I was five.
    “Honey, you can tell your mother and I anything in the world, there is nothing that you could do that would make us hate you,” my father assured me, I could see that he desperately just wanted to understand the cause of my pain.
    “You don’t hate me for doing drugs, constantly partying, and not listening to a word you guys say?” I was feeling like I was three again, I hated myself, so why wouldn’t they?
    “No,” my mother and father said at the same time.
    “Daddy, I don’t want to say it,” I was feeling myself fighting back going into full blown tear mode again. “I don’t you to be mad and hate Aunt Stephanie,” I mumbled.
    My father got up beside me on the bed and cautiously put his arm around me. I was feeling so much anxiety that I was okay with his touch. “Honey, this is about you and me, and I can tell that whatever happened is killing you, and I really believe that if you just told someone what is going on, you would feel a million times better,” he whispered softly in my ear as he kissed my forehead.
    I looked up at my father. I felt like I was five once again, but this was the good moment. I found myself going back to the moment where I knew no matter what, I could trust my father with anything in the world.
    My father was right. The silence was deathly. But this confession might cause my father to lose the last member of his family that still talked to him. The voice of Uncle Kris began to flood in, and feelings of low self-worth followed.
    I didn’t want to hurt anyone, the news might cause my father to get angry and have a heart attack due to his bad heart. But I knew I couldn’t let my uncle win, he couldn’t control the rest of my life. I figured since I was worried my father would have a heart attack because of the news, the best place to tell him was in a hospital.   
    “Daddy, Uncle Kris has been raping me,” I blurted out before I had a chance to stop myself. I figured this was the only way I was going to get out what I needed to say.
    My father had a moment that was so typical: he paused in utter disbelief, as if he didn’t quite catch what I had said.
    “When did it start?” my father calmly asked, even though I can almost see the news weighing down on his shoulders.
    “About two weeks after the tour started,” I shortly answered. “Do you hate me daddy? Do you hate me for breaking my promise when I tried out for Scarlett?” I started to cry and my father only pulled me into a tighter hug.
    “Shhh! Don’t be silly honey,” My father soothed as he rocked me for comfort. “I meant what I said Harper, I will love you no matter what cause really, you are one of the few things in this world that I have gotten right,” my father whispered his voice always made me calmer. “I will help you get through this, you just have to let me carry some of the burden for you,” he added.
    “I don’t know if I can live through this daddy,” It was the first time I had admitted this fact to myself. I almost had daily thoughts of suicide.
    “Well, keep moving on until you prove yourself wrong,” My father suggested.
My father kept me pulled into a hug until the sounds of our breaths put me to sleep. He’s someone I will always love, was the last thought before I fell asleep.
More Information
Like Holley Noelle Robison on Facebook
Follow Holley Noelle Robison on Twitter
Buy "The Gift of a Friend" on Amazon

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Thorkin Nailsson, Author of The Kuk of Valhalla

kuk of valhalla, thorkin nailsson, norway book, norway parody, norway satire
Today we are interviewing Thorkin Nailsson, author of the satire/parody book "The Kuk of Valhalla | The Autobiographical Sagas of Norway’s Legendary Porn Star, Thorkin Nailsson."

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thorkin Nailsson is the pen name of Craig H. Hellekson. I write under both names depending on the subject matter. When I’m not writing, I’m reading & as of late, combing through my cat’s plush fur for ticks.

Describe the plot of "The Kuk of Valhalla" in a few sentences.
An absolutely fictional account of young Thorkin Nailsson’s youth in the small – and criminally bizarre – Norwegian Village of Gørpeland. During this time in young Thorkin’s life, he struggled with uncommon feelings for his Mor (mother), who worked primarily as the village prostitute. He also struggled with addictions to pornographic magazines and psychedelic mushrooms.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

Readers who enjoy the absurd and don’t take offense too easily…I can’t stress that last part enough. IF that’s you…I’m certain that you’ll be entertained by this relatively short tale.

What inspired you to write a spoof of classic Icelandic/Scandinavian historical sagas?
My idea was to create a pen name to write more racy material. Out of this, I thought it might be fun to create a whole, fully-realized Thorkin Nailsson persona of an old washed up Norwegian Porn Star. In the classic sagas, there are tales of bravery, love, war, and struggle…I wanted to incorporate those themes and style into something absolutely twisted.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Thorkin Nailsson.

Young Thorkin discovers very early that he is an enthusiastic, budding sex-addict, a moron, and a visionary of questionable morality. Without a real father figure around and mother who is selfish, generally drunk, and the village whore, he is left to raise himself. This leads to a huge amount of internal conflict resulting in a conclusion that most typical readers will find a bit revolting and hilarious…it’s those readers that I’m after.

thorkin nailsson, the kuk of valhalla, historical saga
Author Thorkin Nailsson
Humor is obviously a major part of this book. Has humor always been important to you or is it something that you’ve only recently started exploring?
No matter my intention at the outset of a story, my writing always seems to drift toward humor and the absurd. I believe most writers will tell you that the genre chooses you, you don’t chose it. You naturally end up writing what you’re good at. My personal goal is not to recycle the same themes over and over…to be fresh and original…that’s my biggest challenge.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?

In my opinion, no single writer creates a character better than Stephen King, he’s a true master. Making people you care about – that you’re invested in – and that you will follow, no matter what sick thing they may do…to me, that makes for the most compelling read. I don’t write like he does (nobody does), but that’s the lesson I try to remember when I’m creating people in the page…make them real…make your readers care. The one writer I try to ape as much as possible is Douglas Adams. I am failing at it. I love every word he wrote.

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?

I like choices…be it food, music, cars, I like a selection… With the growth of ebooks, I now have many more reading options, not just a selection of what the publishers are willing to distribute, but what the many talented writers who don’t have publishing deal are creating…and let me say, that I’ve read some outstanding books from part-time authors. With that, I think we all have a duty to ensure the best product goes forth and not malign the shaky reputation that self-published writers already face.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Proofreading. I used to edit my own stuff – huge mistake - I now hire a pro to help me get it right.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?

Of course. I think anyone who writes frequently (daily for me) gets blocked up occasionally. For me, the better rested (i.e., not hung over) I am, the more creative I am…it’s bonkers if I try to write still shedding the bad decisions of the previous night…best to just pack it in. If the creativity isn’t there…there’s always editing to do…social media to water…and book promotion endeavors to attend to. I keep busy.

Do you write with a computer, typewriter, or pen and paper? Why do you use this tool?
Nothing quaint or romantic…just my trusty laptop, which is always with me.

Do you plan to write more books featuring Thorkin Nailsson?
My goal was to write 4 or so fictional autobiographical sagas on his life leading from Gørpeland to his eventual exile from Norway and into obscurity. Hopefully, "The Kuk of Valhalla" will be well-received and will spur my desire to become Thorkin sooner rather than later. Thus far, the feedback has been encouraging. As for the Thorkin Nailsson pen name…absolutely! Already working a new one!

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Sure, to you readers with a twisted sense of humor who enjoy a journey into the strange, I encourage you to check out "The Kuk of Valhalla." If not for anything, just to say that you’ve read the first “MockUSaga,” or “SagaSploitation,” book ever written…a genre that “Thorkin” & I created.


An excerpt from "The Kuk of Valhalla": 
"The story of one’s life usually begins in earnest with a tale of fallow fields, closely followed by starvation, misery and a pathetic mud-streaked baby clinging to life grappling for milk from a dry teat. Mine will start essentially the same, with a squirting red, mewling, shitting, and puking little bundle of Thorkin-joy. An infant that in another time would have been drowned or scarified at the Temple of Uppsala and served on a bed of lettuce – or some leafy vegetable other than Kale – to Odin. To my Mor, I write these opening words for you. Your bastard son, who you left hanging naked at the end of a rope on the weakest limb of the Yggdrasil tree. Equally as repressed as the strange fruit hanging from Billy Holiday’s woeful tree. How I managed to fall and rot into the ground as a Hellek’smyth only to rise and make quality Adult Entertainment is a saga worth telling."
More Information
http://craighellekson.com/the-kuk-of-valhalla

Lory La Selva Paduano, Author of Wonderland Series

wonderland series, lory la selva paduano, wonderland sereis book
Today we are interviewing Lory La Selva Paduano, author of "Wonderland Series."
 

Describe the plot of “Wonderland Series” in a few sentences.
 The white Covenant reigns for all eternity in Wonderland. It's the maker of all things good and evil, pure or soiled, damaged or saintly. Adira and her panel fight against insurmountable odds for all that is dear to them, for having ultimate powers and supremacy over all, had their on lookers envious and as always seeking their destruction.

Who is the target audience for “Wonderland Series”?

For the most part, the "Wonderland Series" was a story I began writing when I was 14. It clenches to the likes of readers who love the HBO series 'Game of Thrones' because the similarities are evident. Inspired by George R.R. Martins series, I began my own version at a young age, and continued in adulthood only to find out about him and his wonderful books just years ago. I like to bring realistic scenarios to the fantasy - fiction part, like I do with all my books.

What inspired you to set “Wonderland Series” in medieval times?

I love the old world, I love History, and I believe in some other life time, I may have lived it and being of noble blood myself, finding out through ancestry research, it all makes sense that I would naturally be connected to the era , even that of the 10th and 11th century where my grandfather's ''house name'', was the first name to make it to the nobility status and continued on well into the 21st century. As they say ''We can't hide who we really are'' or ''May History live on!''

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Adira.

Adira is a well poised, young and an inexperienced teenager . She's a heroine, a good role model to young woman today, who are lost or misguided. Adira starts off as peasant girl, and she comes into a role of importance at a tender age, but as the books go on, she matures, and gains wisdom, she's also behind every great achievement Wonderland has ever faced. I'd like to say she is definitely the ''matriarch'' of all the characters, and definitely someone who has progressed through out her existence in Wonderland. She's unbreakable, a true testament to word ''Resilient''.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?

Phiippa Gregory is an author I admire, when it comes to her books, in particular "The White Queen." She's flawless in her executions, her plots are grand, and her writing - divine! She's had some influence on me, and I imagine it's for the mere fact that we have similarities in different areas, when it came to medieval fantasy. I'm usually doing my own thing, and have so, since a young age.

Will fans of your other work find any similarities between your other work and “Wonderland Series”?

When writing Historical – Fantasy or Fiction, there's many elements that are the same. Wonderland has mythical creatures, whereas my fourth book "The High Priestess" or even the fifth book to come this summer 2015, "The Legacy of a Legend" don't hold fantasy at all. The importance of sticking to the genre of Historical – Fiction, hadn't only meant that I wasn't able to branch out in its categories. It's strategically done, but it isn't complicated, not for a seasoned writer like myself, the bottom line...History is always the foundation or undertone if you will, for all my story lines.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

As previously mentioned above, "The Legacy of a Legend" coming this summer, is my fifth and last book for little while. I'm going to take a break and tend to an illness that needs much attention. Nothing serious, but it does impede on my writing and so my therapist and I,  are going to take the time to correct it, so that I may bring my fans and the avid readers out there much more!

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?

Wonderland was initially three books, each holding their own title of Book #1) A quest for the four keys in Wonderland, Book #2) Beyond Wonderland and finally Book #3) We are Legion, We are Wonderland'. These titles still exist, but they are captured in one book for the lover of all things big and continuous. Entitled the "Wonderland Series," the newly ''revamped'' book is also for the readers who never have enough, or for the people who want to purchase a one time package. Book 1, was initially written 26 years ago, by a teenage girl (me) who was lost in this world, and had to face many issues head on, issues that none of my peers around me understood or sympathized with me at the time. In my adulthood, I turned back the hands of time, and fed into my calling and almost three decades later the "Wonderland Series" was published!

Today, the 'Wonderland Series' is always a proud guest of all comiccons, in and around North America, and all my works will be featured this summer in Lafayette, Louisiana on television, a live author interview with a studio audience , for a dedicated show to their community and across America for channel 16 on AOC. Please look for me and my works, read my reviews on any of my books on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble, also take a look at www.BlueInkreviews.com for what the leaders in the reviews industry had to say about the "Wonderland Series" Book 3. Please like my facebook page www.facebook.com/KingCamden, where there, you may also find the future buy links coming the first week of June, 2015. A fantastical story from beginning to end, it's sure to take you on a fast paced journey and an adventure that many have said it merits a place on  the silver screen.

"Wonderland Series" book description:
Action packed with all a gratifying story has to offer! For the reader who seeks danger, love, romances, sex and a cast of intriguing characters with a will of their own, this book is just the ticket. An ingenious approach to demiurgic storytelling, the author holds nothing back, as her daring and inviting plots will make you wish; you were part of the crew and stuck in Wonderland permanently.

More Information

www.facebook.com/KingCamden 
www.lorylaselvapaduano.weebly.com