Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Timothy L. Thompson, Living Portals: A Sci-Fi Short Story Collection

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Today we are interviewing Timothy L. Thompson about his science fiction collection of short stories, titled "Living Portals."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been a sci-fi fan as long as I remember, going back to seeing lost in space on TV when I was a kid at 3 to 4 years old.  I am a comic book geek at heart even though I haven’t read any in years. I’ve also been a fun, outdoor adventure guy, I’ve owned boats and dirt bike motorcycles as a kid and as an adult. 

Describe “Living Portals” for people unfamiliar with the collection.
Portals are a reasonably common sci-fi concept that doorways may appear which allow a person or persons to travel space, time and alternate realities in quick order. 

So, this is a collection of eight interrelated portal themed short stories about a scientifically minded adventure seeker named Tom Tedesco.  In fact, due to alternate dimensions and threats to the multiple earths in the portal system, we discover that the world(s) need multiple Tom Tedesco’s to come together in defense.

Who do you think would most appreciate this sci-fi short story collection?
Any good reader from 11 and up that likes a fun adventure story with a sci-fi, mystery backdrop.

One of the unique aspects of your writing is the throwback, 1950s adventure-magazine style to the writing. What attracted to you to this style of writing?
It’s how adventures form in my mind.  I’m always off day dreaming about some wild adventure and now I’m trying to put that into book form.

What do you like about the short story format compared to novels?
We live in a busy world where people don’t always have hours available to pore through a huge novel.  I like that my stories are designed to be readable in one sitting.  You still have a book and more stories if you finish one quickly, but you get a beginning, a middle and an end in each story.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Tom Tedesco.
Tom likes a challenge like living alone in an arctic environment or taking on a race of sub-humanoid species who threaten humans on another earth.  Each version of Tom in the alternate earths has a soulmate on his world and they are usually named Helga Howard.  While he should always find her, he doesn’t know this and so, it doesn’t always work out.  Tom’s scientific and engineering background helps him to grasp the nature of the portal system, but he needs Helga to help him understand the “why” of the portal system.
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Problem-solving and mystery are major components of Tom’s adventures. Did you set out to incorporate this into the stories? Or is it something that evolved naturally?
The problem-solving concept probably comes from my legal background as I was an attorney for 20 plus years.

Are there any sci-fi authors that have influenced your writing style? Do you draw inspiration for your work from outside writing?
Alan Moore, Orson Scott Card, Edgar Rice Burroughs

Yes, the Bible (great stories and truths in there) and the outdoors too.  It’s hard not to marvel at it when you stop and take a look.

In “Living Portals,” you do a great job of making new worlds with unique species come alive for the reader. Is world-building something you’ve always wanted to be a major part of your writing? Or did it evolve alongside your writing career?
No, that just happened when I started into the story.  I didn’t know that would erupt, but it did.

Who was your favorite character to write?
Melanie – from “Swamped” A smart and tough lady who guards the portals in the bayou.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
Churn out good stories and entertain people!

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Sci-fi author Timothy L. Thompson.
How have your readers responded to the collection so far?
It’s too early to tell as we just released it this week, but the early comments are very encouraging.  I had a neighbor who is a non-fiction writer in Christian themed books who chased me down the sidewalk to tell me how much he enjoyed the first two stories he’d read.  I did enjoy that.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Not really, just maybe the tension of waiting for a response from the public.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
Sequels of course!  Maybe a novel along the way too.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your sci-fi short story collection?
I hope they enjoy reading them.  If you have trouble following the multiple Tom Tedesco’s from around the multiple dimensions, here’s a little description that might help: 

An easy way to keep track of them is to think of them as:

1. Super Science Tom (from the Culling); 
2. Slightly older Tom (from Bury the Evidence and a limited role in the Culling); 
3. Single Tom (from Wolf's Blood and from Swamped and a brief appearance in All Wet).  
4. The lead protagonist in All Wet is a Tom Tedesco, but it's intentionally unclear which Tom this is yet and where this story is in his timeline.

An excerpt from "Living Portals":
We’d been gone for three days. We were back in an instant.  Half an arm lay wriggling in a pool of blood on the floor. 
“That was way, way too close!!” Helga screamed.  We both looked down at the severed arm writhing on the hardwood floor beneath us. Then she continued, “Couldn’t you keep him from chasing us in and losing his arm?” 
“I know how to get us through a portal, not how to stop someone who’s chasing us!” I squawked out as my voice cracked. 
Helga started blurting out random phrases, “I can’t look at that . . . did we make it . . . are we safe?” She was dancing pitter pat in little circles on the den floor as she randomly shrieked out each word and phrase. 
“Yes, we made it. We are safe now.” As blood started oozing out of the loose limb on the floor, I tried to flatten my voice to put on a false bravado, “I’ll clean it up.” I wasn’t sure if I was trying to be more reassuring for Helga or for myself as I went to the kitchen to get a black plastic garbage bag, but, “Where will I bury that thing?” and, “How can I destroy it?” kept rolling through my head. 
Helga had stepped out of the den, where we had reentered our home from the portal. As I passed her, I noticed the nice frame she still carried even at 48. Cycling class wasn’t wasted on her. “I’m going to put that arm in the garage, and I can clean up the blood with hydrogen peroxide,” I told her. “But then what . . .” My voice trailed off. 
I walked back into the den, where the cat was still peacefully sleeping on her favorite armchair, not having stirred from our reappearance at all.  
“You’d think after seven days we might get a welcome purr or a rub?” I mused.
Then I awkwardly scooped a still-twitching, severed arm into the thick, black plastic garbage bag from the kitchen.

More Information
Visit the author's website. 

Buy "Living Portals" for Kindle.

Buy "Living Portals" paperback version. 

Buy "Wolf's Blood" for Kindle.

Follow Timothy L. Thompson on Twitter.

Find the author on Facebook. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Stephanie E. Wilson, Coleman, Ph.D., Creating a Masterpiece from a Master Mess

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Today we are interviewing Stephanie E. Wilson, Coleman, Ph.D. about her new self-help book, titled "Creating a Masterpiece from a Master Mess: A 'Prescription' to Create an Amazing Life by Igniting Your Inner Millionaire."

Who do you think would most benefit from reading your book?
Even though the book was written as a result of my traumatic experiences, the book can be of value to anyone wanting to improve their lives.  It’s never too early or too late to examine your life and remove anything that is keeping you from living your best life. 

In your book, you talk about a spiritual breakthrough that led you from being homeless to achieving financial independence. What led you to this spiritual breakthrough that changed your life?
I had spiraled downward to into a place that I had never imagined I would be.  I had a child in college and could not help him or myself.  I found myself in and out of compromising situations for food and a safe place to live.  Every day I would feel worse about who I had become and what I had to do just to survive.  I remember crying out; God, please help me.  Show me how to change my life, and I promise I will never be here again.  

What inspired you to share your story with others?
While I was studying the Course of Miracles, the session would end with how we were using the concepts in our lives.  As I shared my experience, one of the members encouraged me to write about my experiences and how I used the spiritual principles we were studying.  Eventually, a local newspaper asks me to write a weekly column, and people began to contact me to help them use Spiritual Principles to change their lives. 

You talk about how people can ignite their “inner millionaire.” Do you think everyone is capable of this? 
Yes, of course.  Everyone is capable. Success using spiritual principles is unlimited.  Spiritual Principles are not limited by race, age, sex, gender, or any identification markers.  They only require that you are willing to do the work and to continue to work to align your thoughts and actions with the idea that you are a Divine Creation of a Higher Power.  

Did writing the book take you to unexpected places or reveal things you hadn’t thought about before?
Writing this book revealed that I still had some forgiveness work to do.  I was still holding on to some version of “they done me wrong,” and some of the events happened years ago.  I believe that there will always be more work to do.  As the quote says, “perfection is a journey, not the destination.”   

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
I use a variety of processes.  I keep a journal with me and record various ideas and thoughts I have.  I may see a sign or quote I want to explore more in-depth.  As I explore spiritual principles, I take some time to work with the principles to see how my life was changed.  Everything I write about, I have experienced. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
While writing the book, I wanted to share every exercise and every experienced, however, this would create a book the size of War and Peace.  Because I like to give people easy to read bite-size pieces, editing the information is hard for me.  

What do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
I hope the readers learn that it is never too late to change your life, no matter your circumstances.  Everything is connected to what you truly believe about the world around you and about what you believe to be true about yourself.  

How have readers responded to your book so far?
People have been very receptive.  In the book, I talk about talking about the “forgiveness pill,” and many people have reached out to me to tell me that they are taking the forgiveness pill and their lives are changing.  

Are they any authors who have influenced your writing style?
I’m not sure.  I enjoy the difference in the writing styles of other authors.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
I wait for a topic to reveal itself to me.  When a book is ready to be written, I start to get ideas.  At this moment, I’m waiting for wants to be born through me.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
I want others to know that no matter what it is possible to change your life right where you with what you already have.  If I could do it, others can also.  

More Information
Check out the author's website.
Buy the Kindle version of the book on Amazon.
Buy the paperback version of the book on Amazon.
Buy the hardback version of the book on Amazon.
Buy the book on Barnes & Noble.
Visit the author on Facebook.
Follow the author on Twitter.
Visit the author's LinkedIn page.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Thinking ebook formatting? Here are the top interview questions and answers with the leading ebook conversion company.

Today we are talking with Ebookifi, a professional ebook formatting company that provides ebook conversion and formatting services for Kindle, ePub, and many other formats.

Interview with ebook formatting company

Tell us a bit about ebookifi.com and what it offers.

We are a one-stop shop premium ebook formatting company. We started in 2008 and have been helping authors achieve their dreams ever since. Our goal is to help authors and writers get their work in ebook format quickly, affordably and easily! Formatting ebooks and print books is a tricky task that requires a lot of experience to do well. We strive to simplify the process for authors so they can focus on what matters to them – the writing.

We take pride in working alongside authors to accomplish what they want with their writing. Our professional eBook conversion service will help authors of all levels of experience – from multi-published authors to first-time authors – create a beautiful eBook in a fast, affordable manner. Additionally, since we have experience with multiple platforms, our eBooks can be reached by all of the potential audience from Amazon Kindle readers to Apple iBookstore readers to Smashwords readers … and so much more. 

What got you interested in the ebook business?

Electronic books are becoming an increasingly popular publishing method and the industry is growing everyday. Initially recognized for their high-cost efficiency, eBooks continue to gain momentum for their ability to reach a variety of users around the world. It’s the desire to make books easy to read and more professional looking on all platforms. We created Ebookifi because we grew tired of seeing the poor quality of un-optimized eBooks hampering the success and sharing of successful writing. 

What sets you apart from other companies?

Great question! Authors have a lot of options when getting looking at eBook conversion services. There are a number of reasons eBookifi is set apart from the other options. We offer a quick and flawless solution that removes the typical challenges that you would be likely to face on your own or with another company. We offer fast and reliable service, delivering your eBook as soon as possible so you don’t have to wait for your work to get into the hands of the readers. We are also thorough with our process and have a team of experienced people that have the necessary skill and experience to catch every problem. We are also current with the eBook standards, taking an approach to offering the most the most desired, cutting-edge features in a typical eBook. Finally, we offer a collegial, friendly partnership with customers, allowing our customers to feel part of the process and to have no issues with asking us for advice and help about the services that we provide. We standby that by working closely with us, clients partake in a stress-free, easy, professional process when crafting an eBook. 

With people around the world having access to Ebooks, do you offer Multilingual Conversion services?

Absolutely. We offer multilingual conversion services and are actively encouraging our customers to utilize this service more because we understand that different languages allow your content to accessed by a global audiences. At Ebookifi, we are ready and willing to help you with your conversion regardless of the language. Whether you want your eBook conversions in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, or Chinese (and others!), we can help. We cater to  the global nature of today’s eBook readers.

Do you offer cover design or cover services?

Cover services are a big part of our business. One of the most important things about an eBook is its cover. People do judge a book by its cover whether we like it or not! We can help you build attention for your book with professional, attention-grabbing eBook cover designs. We’ll work alongside you to get your eBook the cover it deserves – the cover that will do justice to the content and connect you with the largest readership possible.

For people new to the eBook world, they often wonder about getting a book already in print converted. Is this something you can help with?

We offer state-of-the-art book scanning services! Don’t waste valuable time wrestling with the nightmare of book scanning when you can have our professional team use their expertise to scan your book. The resulting product will be a professional, easy-to-read eBook that will resonate with your readers. We employ the highest professional standards regardless of the print book and are equipped with the experience, skills, and technology to get your print book digital in a quick, efficient manner. 

What do you think are some mistakes that authors making when putting out their first eBook?

The biggest mistake is not getting the proper help. eBook conversion is something that requires skills, experience, and attention to detail. Without the necessary experience, it’s a time-consuming process that yields poor results. Another mistake is not keeping up with the standards of modern eBooks and eBook readers. Without paying attention to the industry, amateur eBook conversion results in an eBook that looks awful on eBook readers and makes reading the eBook an unpleasant experience. Ebookifi.com is here to help authors get a professional eBook out to their readers in an easy, efficient manner.

What is most satisfying about providing ebook formatting services to authors?

By far the most satisfying thing is helping authors get their eBooks, which they have spent hours and hours working on, into the hands of readers who will enjoy their book. There is nothing better than seeing an author connect with his or her readers with a properly formatted eBook.

How do you think the future of ebooks looks like?

The eBook industry is huge and will continue to get bigger and bigger. Readers love the convenience and easy of reading eBooks. It’s just so simple and easy to buy your favorite eBook and get it instantly. As more and more readers adapt eBooks, the eBook market will continue to grow and professional eBook conversion will continue to matter more and more.

What is your pricing like?

Our pricing varies on the size of the project and what the author wants e.g. cover design, book scanning, eBook conversion, etc. We will give you a custom quote based on your desires and the number of pages in your eBook. We’ll provide you with a straightforward, accurate price without hidden fees or added costs. We take pride in being upfront with our clients and giving them the service they deserve at a fair, competitive price.

Createspace seems to be a huge market these days. Do you work with Createspace?

Createspace is a huge part of our business – we offer professional, help to clients with their Createspace accounts. We are efficient with our Createspace work and can offer a turnaround of ten days or less on average. We will provide you with a PDF file that is formatted for Createspace/IngramSpark solutions, making it easy to get your book out there with professional formatting! We ensure that we’ll follow the proper format and tailor the layouts, text sizes, paging styles and font to your Createspace needs. We use state-of-the-art templates to ensure professional, consistent looks to your eBooks!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for speaking with us! It was great to share about the benefits of doing eBook conversion with our company. For anyone interested in our services, feel free to contact us at https://www.ebookifi.com/contact-us/

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Lessons from the Human Body by Julious Fletcher

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Today we are interviewing Julious Fletcher, author of a new self-help book, titled "Lessons from the Human Body." 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a professional dancer, actor and model. I have obtained my BFA in Theatre Performance and I have traveled domestically and internationally, teaching children dance and drama as well as performing.  I have worked with children (ages 3-12) for five years in an educational setting.  I am currently pursing my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Expressive Art Therapy, emphasis in Dance Movement Therapy. I have produced short films entitled “Raped” which is a poetic expression that talks about sexual assault victims and “African Americans in Education,” which is a documentary about African-American educators who discussed today’s issues such as segregation, racism, education, and the importance of Black History month. They are posted on my YouTube channel, OnlyJulious. Overall, I am a down-to-earth and comical man.

Describe the purpose of your book in a few sentences.
It is a holistic book that takes the different human body systems, breaks them down, and analysis them on how they apply to our daily lives.   

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Anyone is in interested in the self-help genre and anyone who desire to heal and grow.
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What inspired you to write a book about the lessons we can learn from the human body?
I would say part of it was because of my degree. One of the sayings in my field is that we should listen to our bodies because it has wisdom in it. I always loved Anatomy and Physiology back in high school; this book helped me combine my Anatomy and Physiology love and my aspiring counseling wisdom together.  

As a society, do you think we are moving closer to or further from being connected with our bodies?
It’s both. Some people are becoming self-aware and becoming connected to themselves and some people are becoming further disconnected from themselves. When people are being connected to themselves, they are being self-full (taking care of themselves in a proper manner); when people are being disconnected, they are being selfish; selfish is a destructive form of self-care. Disconnected people also are focused on superficial things and materialistic things to keep up the appearances, not being the true self. 

One of the topics you talk about in the book is the relationship between the human circulatory system and the human need to distribute life to others. Can you elaborate a bit on this?
Society does not discuss the balance of self-care and sacrifice enough. In that particular chapter, I talk about how we need to be able to contribute or distribute life to others by giving encouraging words, an act of kindness, listening or being there for people during tough times; however, distributing life to someone should not cause you to be in lack. For example, if someone needs $20 and I don’t have $20 to give, I don’t put myself in debt or in the hole to satisfy someone else’s need. This raise up another chapter which discusses boundaries and letting your “No” be “No.” However, if the need is able to be fulfilled such giving a ride or sitting with them as a form of support during a major doctor visit, that’s contributing life. In today’s society, we have focused so much about ourselves, we don’t consider another person. Then, when a person commits suicide, people feel bad because that person was crying out for help and no one heard him or her. That chapter helps us understand proper life contribution and identifying what is true love. 

One of the questions you bring up in the book is whether people are willing to learn the lessons of the human body. What do you think makes some people resistant to learning these lessons?
Lessons are: confronting negative emotions such as fear, denial, shame and guilt; understanding the root of mental illness, which come from trauma and/or historical pathology; confronting the excuses (or lies) we tell ourselves of why we are not being productive in our talents, gifts and skills; identifying healthy/unhealthy relationships and having the strength to leave unhealthy relationships.

What was the most interesting thing you uncovered while doing research for the book?
All of it was fascinating to me; I think the most interesting thing was my personal experience about misalignments. Misalignments are not only the improper adjustment in our backs but we can have a misalignment within our true selves and because we are misaligned within ourselves, then we connect to people, things or organizations that do not connect with our authentic self. It takes a moment of honesty and self-worth to understand our alignments. 

Did writing the book take you to unexpected places or reveal things you hadn’t thought about before?
It really did! It caused me to go within myself for healing as well. While I was writing this book, I became disappointed with someone and later that day, I found out my uncle died. In the midst of my hurt, I knew my uncle would have wanted me to move forward. When I went to work on the book, I was on the section where I talked about dealing with disappointment and grief. So, it helped me heal in certain areas of my life as well. 

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
Once I received the inspiration (or the idea), I draft out an outline of the chapters and topics within the chapters. Then it becomes writing my thoughts and researching on those topics. If I get hit a road block and inspiration is not flowing, then I take a break for however long it takes.  Once I have relaxed, I go back, review and pick up where I left off. If it is still something that is flowing, I move to other section of the book.   

How do you think reading your book will impact people?
It would encourage people change their way of thinking and it would challenge the review any lies that were said to them. It would cause people to come into a place of healing.  

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
Right now, I am in between book projects. I am currently planning and working on some short film scripts. 

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
I want you to read with an open heart and mind. I want you to have an expectation for healing. Most importantly, I want you to trust the process, which means be patient with yourself and take your time. 

More Information
Buy the paperback version of the book
Buy the Kindle version of the book

Friday, February 22, 2019

Tales From The Deep Web (Book One) by Luna Nightshade

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Today we are interviewing Luna Nightshade about her new horror novel, "Tales from the Deep Web," the first book in the Tales from the Deep Web series.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a 20 year old horror author and first time mother. My home is towards southern Florida and I live with my soon to be husband and three dogs. Life has been pretty hectic preparing for the newest addition to my family but I still manage to find the time to write. I am an avid horror movie fan that will watch pretty much any horror movie unless it's considered an exploitation film. 

Describe the plot of your book, "Tales From The Deep Web," in a few sentences.
Tales From The Deep Web is an anthology with multiple interconnecting plot lines. The main plot of the book centers around a satanic cult that uses the deep web to find victims that they can brutalize. It starts with a supposed curse that revolves around a live video feed in which the cult performs rituals that summon demons and even Satan to the Earth. 

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
I believe that horror fans would appreciate this book, especially if they like to read graphic stories about what can happen if you were to ever use the deep web. Other people that might appreciate this book would probably be just your average reader that likes their books to be full of graphic detail. 

What inspired you to write this story?
My soon to be husband actually inspired me to write this book. He had dabbled in writing a few years back and had come up with a deep web story of his own. I read the story and was immediately drawn to the idea of writing stories about how horrifying the deep web can really be. Another source of inspiration for me was the fact that whenever I read stories that people would tell about it, they would assume that deep web and dark web are synonymous when in reality they aren't and I wanted to distinguish the difference between the two. 

Tell us a bit about the protagonist.
There are many protagonists in this book. Each one has a unique story of their own from the deep web. The first two protagonists are just your average teenage boys and as you dive deeper into the book, the age of the remaining protagonists has increased to people in their twenties. 

Who was your favorite character to write?
My favorite character to write had to be the protagonist in chapter four. Her name was Mistress Lily and she was a Dominatrix in the BDSM community that liked to play favorites with the people that would frequently come to her for pleasure. 

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
Honestly, there aren't really any authors that inspired my writing style. I know some people say that Stephen King or Dean Koontz inspired the way that they write their books but, that isn't the case with me.

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?
I actually love the increasing popularity of ebooks. Though some people prefer a printed book, others will continue to read ebooks. Ebooks are becoming vastly superior to the printed version of any book simply because an ebook doesn't age or fall apart like a physical copy. 

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
My goals as a writer for the next ten years is to hit best seller lists and becoming the biggest name in the community of horror authors. I am aiming to become a bigger author than people like Stephen King within the next ten years. Honestly, within ten years, I want people begging me to release a new book so that I have more of a reason to write and publish my work.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
The aspect that I don't like about writing is the random bouts of writers block. It's extremely frustrating, I'm sure that any other authors that would possibly be reading this know just what I am talking about. Writers block puts me behind on my personal deadlines for my works. 

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
To any potential readers out there: I love you all and thank you for your support!

More Information
Buy Tales From The Deep Web on Amazon 
Follow Luna Nightshade on Twitter
Like Luna Nightshade on Facebook