Category Archives: Author Interview

Author Interview: ‘The Gloaming, Rise of the Stealth Vampire Elder’ by ML Worthingham

About the Book:

In the aftermath of the mass slaughter of vampires in eighteenth century Europe Valentin tries to keep the fragile covenant not to kill mortals intact through a strategy of abundance. Working from the shadows as vampire elders rule the three nests of modern day Amsterdam, he attempts to manage the finances of the continental vampires while mentoring the newly turned American Steve.After dealing with a vampire hunter in Amsterdam, Valentin, Karolina, and Steve travel to the primal vampire nest in tunnels beneath the Mother of Cities to attend the annual council of elders ruled by Lord Makru. Things go horribly wrong though when a newly turned American girl on summer break tells a mortal everything about the vampires, but fails to feed on him, spurring yet another descendant of vampire hunters into action.

Karolina’s plans to start throwing feeding parties on unsuspecting mortals again after two and half centuries are put on hold as unrest in the four London nests spills over to Amsterdam, resulting in violence and the true death for some. When she and Viona finally start throwing feeding parties at the mansion in Amsterdam and the palace in the Mother of Cities another summer concludes with shocking developments and heart breaking loss.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I grew up in Mill Valley, California and as a teenager wrote several short stories. For a number of years work got in the way, so I didn’t write. A few years ago, I started reading more fiction again, and writing. The Gloaming is my first completed novel.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I do most of my writing in the evening and at night. I can write almost anywhere, but I do need some quiet so I can concentrate. I started the Gloaming in my hotel in Amsterdam.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

It’s a combination of stuff I just make up and life experiences.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Before I start the book, I have about one third of the story in notes – the plot, main characters and the ending. I typically have some pages already written, but don’t always know where they will go in the story. From there I start writing from page one, fleshing out the story, adding new characters, and new obstacles I hadn’t thought about. This part of the process yields interesting new characters and situations. The final third is outlining, connecting chapters, longer term wants, obstacles, and resolution scenarios to the final chapter. The final chapter typically is in rough form before I connect it to the rest of the story. Finally, there are the rewrites, about five to seven, in which I connect characters and situations more fully to events later in the story and flesh some characters out.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

This is my first completed novel and it’s best described as urban fantasy. I think over the last few years I was influenced the most by George RR Martin’s “Song of Fire and Ice” series, so fantasy seemed like the best place to start. Also, I had been thinking about the vampire myth for a few years so it fit right into that.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I’m not sure I have a dream cast, but the main characters would have to be from Europe since that’s where the majority of the story takes place. Karolina especially would need to be Czech.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

As I mentioned right now it’s Martin, recently reread all of the Game of Thrones books. I have been reading Layton Green’s Dominic Grey series. Also, lately some Hemingway. Longer term John Steinbeck has always been one of my favorites.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I just finished “The Sun Also Rises” which I had never read. Also, I’ve been doing some research on Druids so “Druids A Very Short Introduction” by Barry Cunliffe. I’ve come to the conclusion we really just don’t know much about the ancient Druids.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I would have to say Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. He does such a great job describing the locations and characters.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Write. I know that sounds obvious, but just keep writing. It doesn’t have to be toward a finished project. It can go nowhere, but write. You should read the books out there on fiction, but be careful you don’t fall into trying to follow a formula. It’s about the story above all, let the characters and their situations write the story. The other thing is to read as much fiction as possible. Understand why you like or don’t like what your reading, and apply what you have learned.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mlworthingham

Twitter: @mlworthingham

 

About the Author:

ML Worthingham is a dark fantasy writer and author of The Gloaming. He began thinking about the first book during a trip with friends to Amsterdam in the spring of 2002. Originating out of his dissatisfaction with the current artistic imaginings of the vampire myth he envisioned a dark alternate reality interlacing known history with the unique violent history of the continental vampires of Europe. Work on the first book The Gloaming, Rise of the Stealth Vampire Elder began in Amsterdam during the summer of 2014.

ML Worthingham grew up in Mill Valley, California where he started writing fiction as a teenager; spent time traveling all over the US for work, in Europe mostly for pleasure, and currently lives in Silicon Valley. When he isn’t writing or delivering innovative new technology he can be found traveling the world, mountain biking, or just getting another cup of coffee.

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Author Interview: ‘South of Main Street’ by Robert Gately

About the Book:

Henry Wolff regularly climbs out of his upstairs bedroom window. The neighbors think it strange that a grown man enjoys a Tarzan like swing from the roof, but then again, they all think Henry is a little strange. Recently widowed, Henry is an emotionally challenged father being sued by his daughter for financial control of the estate. Henry must prove he is normal – not an easy thing to do when you are not. Henry is different, not quite normal, not quite special. Rumors explaining his behavior run from PTSD in Vietnam to losing his son to SIDS. But Henry has a special gift. In a town divided by the have and have-nots, Henry alone can inspire and touch even the most jaded lost soul. But when tragedy strikes, can he unite his own family?

“A dynamic book set in small town Pennsylvania which explores the intangible ties that form a family, a community and the influence that one man can make crossing social and economic lines. Readers will fall in love with Henry.”

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I guess I’d have to journey back to 5th grade to explain to you why writing is such a big part of my life. We had to read a book and write a synopsis if as a task my fifth-grade teacher gave us. These ‘book reports’ would then be graded as if it were a ‘contest’. Winner-take-all. That’s when I discovered the flap — a brief outline from the publisher, those beautifully written words that perfectly captured the emotions and the essence of the story. For a 5th grade boy trying desperately to rise from the sleepy world of his imagination, I did a despicable thing. I used the flap in writing the synopsis, paraphrasing as best as a fifth grader could, and submitted the paper into the contest. As fate would have it, I won the competition. I was embarrassed, humbled at receiving an award I didn’t deserve. That day was the beginning of my writing career where a little flame burned in my soul to be able to express myself with some degree of grace where I would never have to rely on someone else’s words to express how ‘I’ felt. That desire turned into something else. I learned later it was called passion. I was going to be a writer.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Time: the morning is when I did my creative writing, and in the afternoon is when the logical part of my brain kicked in when I do my editing. Place: usually, I do my writing in my computer room, but I really can step out of reality and write anywhere.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Who knows. They could come from a dream, watching a movie, or a sound-bite at a barbeque. I might generate a whole story-line in one sitting. The real issue is when they come they don’t leave until I pay homage to the character or the story. It may take a single day, or a lifetime.

My most recent book came from watching a movie (Being There) where the main character captured my imagination 30 years ago. The hero of my story just wouldn’t leave me along and I wrote a novel and a screenplay to keep my sanity. Another story I ‘saw’ (The Longest Yard’) became an inspiration for writing a similar story, only it was basketball, not football. Other stories came from slug lines, sound-bites and certain experiences I had in life that just sat in my brain and wouldn’t leave me alone until I flushed them out. Actually, one non-fiction book (Fillossofee: Messages from a Grandfather) I wrote came from the desire to inspire my progeny. With social networking, I felt they weren’t getting the mental nourishment I got from history, the sciences, or philosophical thinking, not that I’m anything special, but my grand-daughter being billed for 13,000 text messages was what inspired that book.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I sometimes have a plan. But,  like the story that came from a dream, it was laid out for me and I just followed my intuition. I knew why I was laughing when I woke up, but I just couldn’t explain it in 5 minutes without sounding ridiculous. Interestingly, that writing project was written in a month, which I’m forever editing, and it won 11 writing contests. It became my showcase writing project for everything that was to follow: stage plays, novels or screenplays; even non-fiction works.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

That dream project was my only comedy. And my latest book started out as a comedy when I saw “Being There” with Peter Sellers, the movie, that is. The book was written by Jerzy Kosinski. I never read that. The important point here is that the character in the movie morphed into my character in the book and he took hold of me and wouldn’t let go until I finished the book. That project lasted for over ten years. What a journey that was! I’m forever grateful.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Wow! That’s a loaded question if I ever heard one. Since there are 12 characters that our hero affects in the most wonderful of ways, I’ll just address the main character, our hero, which is a male who is 55ish. Not that all my stories center on male characters. I co-wrote a stage play whose four lead characters are female. For my latest book, however, my favorite actors are a bit older than the hero, so I’m forced to think of thespians today who can fit the role. Maybe a made-up Leonardo DiCaprio. Same holds true for Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I read a lot (online stuff), but not too much for novels. However, I’m forever remembering the classics written by Joseph Heller, Philip Roth, Charles Dickens, and the like.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Just one: Godless, by Ann Coulter.

9: What is your favorite book and why?

Wow! That’s an impossible question, so I’m going to have to go with that book I read in 5th grade, whose name I forget. It put me on a journey that I’m still following.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Make sure you have the passion to write, and that you’re NOT doing it for the money or fame. One will enrich your being and the other two will cause you to lose you hair.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Probably … Goodreads or Facebook.

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1672362.Robert_Gately

Facebook: www.facebook.com/robert.gately.5

 

About the Author:

In 1998 Robert gave up a lucrative career with a large telecommunications company to write full time. Since then, he wrote 8 screenplays, two stage plays, and a novel. He has won grand prize or first place in several competitions, not the least of which are First Place in comedy in FADE IN Magazine, Telluride Indiefest, Woods Hole Festival, Split-Screen, Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute, plus more. In all Robert has placed in over 90 competitions such as Chesterfield, Writer’s Network, Cinestory, Writer’s Digest, New Play Project (Backdoor Theatre), Festival of New Plays (Stage 3 Theatre), plus much more. Robert has also been acting for the past few years. His most notable acting credit was the lead in FRAME which won top drama, short film category, in the 2002 Houston Worldfest – the same award Speilberg won in 1972 for AMBLIN. Robert has settled into a home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with his wife Lois.

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Author Interview: ‘The Dating Diet’ by Daralyse Lyons

About the Book:

What if you found yourself climbing out of a bedroom window, naked, in the middle of the afternoon, to avoid being caught in bed with your married lover? Would you have second thoughts about dating?

After Shayla Ross discovers that yet another potential “Mr. Right” is, in fact, incredibly wrong for her, she decides to go on a diet. No. She’s not going to forgo her much-loved, sinfully-delicious girl scout cookies or her (admittedly too frequent) trips to McDonalds. Shayla is going on a dating diet.

An incredibly hapless and infinitely loveable heroine, elementary school teacher Shayla Ross decides to take her summer vacation from teaching as a period of self-discovery. Much to the chagrin of her meddling mother, Shayla sets out to find herself and, in the process, bumbles into a series of successive funny and heartwarming interpersonal interactions that will have readers falling in love with her.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

 

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’ve been writing since I was 5 years old.  Actually, I used to get in trouble for staying up late, under the covers, reading and writing well past my bedtime.  If my mom didn’t find me, and make me turn out the light, I’d fall asleep the next morning eating breakfast.  There’s a picture of me somewhere doing a nosedive into my Shredded Wheat.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Not too long ago, I joined a co-working space where I go almost every day to write.  I love it there.  It’s so much easier to focus than at home.  Plus, it’s not so lonely.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

A million places.  On the fiction side, I can be inspired by something I see or hear or a real life situation or emotion.  Sometimes, I’ll wake up from a dream with an idea.  On the nonfiction side, it’s easier to get an initial idea because I’m writing about real events and people.  What’s hard about that though is that, if it’s not all tying, neatly, together, I can’t just make stuff up to fill in the gaps.  So it’s all easy in some ways, challenging in others.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Oh, I’ve learned the hard way to plan.  When I don’t have a loose but flexible idea of where I’m going, I can write myself into dead ends and tangents like no one else.  I think having an outline is priceless.  That said, even now, I occasionally don’t follow my own advice, and I end up paying for it.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write across the spectrum – everything from adult literary fiction to chick lit, to mystery, to romance, to memoir.  I just love putting pen to paper.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Right now, I’m working on a memoir so that’d be really hard to cast.  Of course, I’d want someone amazing and iconic to play myself, but that’s just ego.  In reality, I think I’d be better off going with an unknown.  That way, she could be the perfect mix of train wreck and endearing with no celebrity gossip carnage trailing behind her.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I’m a voracious reader.  And I’m addicted to Audiobooks.  It’s hard to choose favorites because there are just so many exceptional authors out there, but I’m on a memoir-binge at the moment and have been completely engrossed by Kevin Hart, Dan Harris, and Anna Kendrick.  A book I reread every few years is Summer Sisters by Judy Blume.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Oops. I think I anticipated this question.  I’m still mid memoir-binge.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Summer Sisters because it reveals just how complicated love can be.  I’m working on a sequel to my first memoir right now and it deals with the intricacies of my relationship between me and my sister, Tyla.  I love her so much, and, yet, there’s envy there too at times.  I didn’t understand that it was possible to love someone and have them love you and break each other’s hearts until I read Blume’s book.  In many ways, it opened my eyes and is an inspiration for what I’m writing about now.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Don’t think.  Do.  I know it sounds simplistic, but the only person who can keep you from being a writer is yourself.  And the only thing that distinguishes a writer from a non-writer are words on the page (or screen, or tablet, or whatever).  I’ve learned that so much of writing is just getting my butt in a chair and doing the work.  Don’t worry about being good or who’s going to want to hear what you have to say.  And don’t try to edit and write at the same time.  Just come up with a plan you can stick to for devoting time to the craft and then make your writing time sacred.  It’s like having a date with creativity.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Thanks for asking! I’d love to connect with your readers.

All my books are available on my Amazon page www.amazon.com/Daralyse-Lyons

And my website is www.daralyonsauthor.com.

There are links to my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts there.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Dara-Lyons

Twitter: @daralyonsauthor

Instagram: www.instagram.com/daralyonsauthor

 

About the Author:

Writing isn’t so much what I do.  It’s who I am.  Ever since I was five years old, I knew I wanted to tell stories for a living.  I have a tendency to fall in love with characters and a somewhat (by which I mean extremely) fanatical need to put their lives down on paper.

I write Young Adult fiction because I am still seventeen at heart and because I remember what it felt like to pick up a book and see myself in its characters.  Some of the books which influenced me as a teenager include Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, and all the Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal.  I hope that my readers can see themselves in my characters and get lost in my fictional stories and the very real emotions that drive them.

A few fun facts about me…  I am an adrenaline junkie who loves skydiving, rollercoasters, and parasailing.  As a certified yoga instructor, I try to find peace in movement and I meditate (almost) every day.  I live in the quaint Mount Airy section of Philadelphia.  And at least once a week I do comedy improv (think Who’s Line is it Anyway?) and laugh at the utter ridiculousness of make believe.

Other books by Daralyse:

The Lost Daughter (Nov, 2008)

The Emotional Yoga Experience:Use Your Body to Heal Your Mind (June, 2014)

Confessions of a Straight Gay Woman (Sept, 2014)

Christmas Treasures (Nov, 2014)

Santa’s Answer (Nov, 2014)

Dunkin and Donuts (Feb, 2015)

The Lesbian Love Diaries (June, 2015)

Attorney’s Alibi (Nov, 2015)

Family Ties: Thicker than Water; Does it Hurt?; Like Mother, Like Daughter; My Forever Friend (June, 2016)

Yoga Cocaine (Nov, 2016)

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Author Interview: ‘Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender’ by Kenneth Harris

About the Book:

The City of Springdale is facing rising crime due to an economic setback. There are not enough first responders to help those in need or each other.

This is why 10-year old Jeff Morgan secretly creates a malfunctioning gadget suit to protect his mother, a police officer, and his father, a firefighter from the menace scientist Glue Dude and his squad of misfits seeking to terrorize the city. Can Jeff handle his defected suit in not only saving his parents but also stopping his nemesis Glue Dude from activating a secret weapon intended to destroy humanity?

In this humorous action-adventure chapter-book containing vivid illustrations, each chapter has an interesting stand alone story leading eventually to the final climax where Jeff not only learns of his true purpose but also must make a big decision he never expected in the never-ending battle against crime.

Jeff’s efforts in the struggle to use his gadgets to succeed is aligned to how anyone with positive values can eventually triumph over obstacles. This book is an ideal for children. Life is a rollar coaster ride. With determination and persistence, dreams can be fulfilled.

Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender relates to children as heroes and the journey to make a difference in the lives of others during tough times.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

My nourishment for literacy started as far back when I was 7 years old when the topic of comic book superheroes dominated my discussions with my three brothers. My father was a big Superman fan since he was a child and enjoyed reading comic books as a pastime like many baby boomers of his time. I guess it’s fair to say he passed on his likings of superheroes to his sons. Every Saturday, my brothers and I used our allowance money to go to the comic book store to purchase magazines of our favourite superheroes. Throughout a decade, we all probably owned a total of over a thousand comic books. This art is what propelled me to read. Reading eventually resulted in my desire to write my own stories of superheroes.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Currently, I am fortunate to work a split shift during the day for a health and human services agency. This gap of a few hours between provides me room to indulge in creative writing. I find no better setting than this period to work in my home office where I am afforded an opportunity to be an innovator in the thought process of drafting a story.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

The roots of some of my ideas grow from dreams. For example, few of them consisted of me flying over a country landscape. I assumed I was some type of superhero with loose screws and bolts raining down from my weird suit. I remember having this dream as a child and occasionally it returned during adulthood. It gave me the idea for my recent children’s chapter book, “Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender.” Other times, ideas materialize from hearing people in conversation. A simple word or express of feelings in the workplace or at the store can trigger an idea for a potential story.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I am a plotter. What that means is I have to know exactly where my story is going before I start the manuscript. I develop the characters with people I know personally or real-life actors. Afterwards, I develop 3 acts. The beginning, middle, and end. Separate obstacles for the protagonist fill those acts. I must know the ending in detail. All of this is the skeleton of my story. On a separate word file, I proceed with the verbal exchanges of the characters. After all is said and done, I go through this procedure again and again until the story structure satisfies me. Of course, some elements of this are deleted and new ideas enter the picture. It’s a long but fulfilling process that better prepares me for the writing journey when I began the actual manuscript.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

My books are primarily for children with the emphasis of superheroes and action-adventure. I find such genres a great way to draw children into reading. The comic book formula is upon the education publishing market. Today, respectable industries like ABDO publishing has many titles featuring Spiderman, Iron Man, the Avengers, and so much more. When I was a kid, I don’t recall having access to these types of educational supplements. In my youth, I actually thought this was unfair considering America’s love affair with comic books. It was widely accepted during the Great Depression and World War 2. Now the availability of these superhero titles in the educational market propelled me to indulge in my own quest in writing and publishing my own heroes for this area.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Anyone who reads my book, “Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender” and saw reruns of the sitcom Family Matters, would immediately see comparisons with the Steve Urkel character as Jeff Morgan. I made Jeff slightly more mature. Family Matters had a fine cast of characters. If a movie was being developed based on Jet Set Jeff, and I had a role in casting, I probably would look to cast Jeff parents like the ones on the show. I found the actors strong, funny, and symbolic of the American dream.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

Aside from studying the history of comics, I read a lot of fiction. As a teen, I enjoyed Walter Mosely’s Ezekiel Rawls mysteries. “Devil in a Blue Dress” stands out as a story that keeps the reader in suspense until the final chapter.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Right now I am immersing in Maurice Horn’s “The World Encyclopedia of Comics”. This book is nearly a thousand pages and just as old as me and I can’t put it down. It’s full of comic history. I like comic history. It won’t be easy to put it down anytime soon.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

As I can’t seem to put down Maurice Horn’s “The World Encyclopedia of Comics” I guess for now this is my favourite book until something better comes along.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Write what you are passionate about.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

I like to connect with my fans and talk with them about comics! I like to engage a big group of people on the subject of comic books and how it shaped and molded our existence in the literary world. Please visit my website at kforpartnership.wixsite.com/educ and let’s engage in educating each other on this wonderful art form. You can also learn more about me on my Amazon author platform at www.amazon.com/author/harriskenneth.

About the Author:

As contributing writer of a news magazine and a writer of action-adventure children chapter books featuring heroes, I have had a life long passion for the history of comic strips, comic book superheroes, and their creators.

As a substitute teacher, elementary school paraprofessional, and preschool teacher, I realized some educational markets like ABDO publishing, created supplements about super-heroes and made them available for elementary schools. Spider-Man. The Hulk. Captain America. The Avengers. So many of these figures are accepted and used as a tool for a theme or lesson in the classroom.

Naturally, since I have had a strong interest in comic books and the creation of it all, I felt I had a duty to not only write about my own hero creations, but also to develop a platform for others who have a passion for the history of comic strips and their creators. It’s a fascinating subject and I learn something new each time I study the topic.

Adults will never get tired of comics and graphic novels. There always have been a great appreciation for this art form.

That’s why I decided to create a new monthly newsletter titled, “Superhero Sandwich.” This is a great way to share some facts about the golden age of comics and to invite readers to share their thoughts, knowledge, or opinions.

Aside from that, the themes in my fiction and nonfiction action-adventure books can go along with the lessons children learn in school or summer camps and help mold cognitive development; especially in the field of English language arts.

My mission is to get the message out there about comic heroes and their creators and use their stories to share and reflect during a time when comics were falsely considered only, “kids stuff.” I like to connect with readers who have this passion for comics and the hard-working people behind the scenes who made it all work.

Check out my website at kforpartnership.wixsite.com/educ and subscribe to my FREE monthly newsletter. Let us talk about the history of comics. We can learn somethings from each other. Check out a podcast of my storytelling technique from a public competition at www.tinyurl.com/kluxvjm. I’m sure you will enjoy it!

Electrifying the appetite for comic history!

Email: kforpartnership@gmail.com

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Author Interview: ‘Beautiful Mess’ by John Herrick

About the Book:

A fallen star. Four Los Angeles misfits. And the Marilyn Monroe you only thought you knew.

Del Corwyn is an aging relic. An actor who advanced from errand boy to Academy Award nominee, Del kept company with the elite of Hollywood’s golden era and shared a close friendship with Marilyn Monroe. Today, however, he faces bankruptcy.

Humiliated, Del is forced to downgrade his lifestyle, sell the home he’s long cherished, and fade into a history of forgotten legends—unless he can revive his career. All he needs is one last chance. While searching through memorabilia from his beloved past, Del rediscovers a mysterious envelope, dated 1962, containing an original screenplay by Marilyn Monroe—and proof that she named him its legal guardian.

Del surges to the top of Hollywood’s A-list overnight. But the opportunity to reclaim his fame and fortune brings a choice: Is Del willing to sacrifice newfound love, self-respect and his most cherished friendship to achieve his greatest dream?

A story of warmth, humor and honesty, Beautiful Mess follows one man’s journey toward love and relevance where he least expects it—and proves coming-of-age isn’t just for the young.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

 

 

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into writing?

Thanks for letting me stop by the Reading Nook! I have a strange background blend of IT work, marketing, project management, writing commercial copy for radio, and songwriting. But I wouldn’t trade any of them. Each of those experiences come into play for me as a writer.

As far as what got me into writing, I was 8 years old. I had finished a class assignment, looked over at the kid next to me, and saw her drawing pictures and writing underneath them. When I asked about it, she said she was writing a story. It looked like fun, so I tried it—and fell in love with it. I became a writer that day.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I’ve learned to adapt, as long as I establish a routine. Currently, my favorite, most productive time is early morning. I head to a nearby Starbucks and start my book work before sunrise, while the place is desolate. I get to watch the sunrise every day.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Most of my stories come from “What if” questions. Have you ever read a news story, then considered one detail and asked yourself, “What if X happened instead of Y?” or “What if that person had run 10 minutes earlier or later?” What seems like an insignificant detail might change the entire way that news story played out. I love to identify little things we take for granted, amplify them, and watch the consequences unfold.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Oh, I need a road map, for sure! In fact, it’s the key to my finishing a project. That’s where my IT work proved critical years ago. It forced me to develop self-discipline and to think ahead, anticipating and removing barriers before I start writing. In most cases, before writing the first draft, I’ll write a detailed sketch of the story. It ends up at 50-100 handwritten pages—I’m trying to shift to keyboard so I can copy and paste! So it’s a miniature version of the novel, but it gets my thinking out of the way. I’ll even lift some dialogue blocks from it verbatim. That sketch is where the creativity takes place for me. Then the first draft is less about creativity, and more like a series of putting it together at the keyboard, brick by brick, until it’s done. Sometimes I’ll develop a high-level outline before the sketch, sometimes not.

For anyone who wants to see some of the thinking behind it, you can check my website at www.johnherrick.net. You can also find a portion of my sketch as bonus material in the back of Beautiful Mess.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I’ve thought a lot about that lately. Technically, my books are mainstream, commercial fiction, complete with plots and subplots. They tend to have crossover appeal to different genres. But they end up character-driven more than plot-driven, so I might classify some of my past work, such as Between These Walls, as literary fiction.

Beautiful Mess is a romantic comedy, pure commercial fiction. In film terms, I’d call it a cross between Love Actually and films by Nancy Meyers (The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, etc.).

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I love when people ask that question! Here’s my Beautiful Mess dream cast:

  • Del – Craig T. Nelson (Hands down!)
  • Nora – Emma Stone
  • Tristan – Hunter Parrish or Dev Patel
  • Felicia – Jessica Lange
  • Marilyn Monroe – Hmmm… I’d almost pick an unknown actress and give her an “And Introducing…” tag.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

Yes, I’m an avid reader. My favorite authors are John Grisham, Joseph Finder, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. If I can count screenwriters as authors, I’d include Cameron Crowe and Nancy Meyers, because their work has influenced mine and makes me want to write. I read a range of genres, but my favorite is suspense (legal, political, corporate). I also read a lot of nonfiction—politics, biographies (politicians, actors/recording artists, media CEOs like Clive Davis), and American history (sorry, I’m biased there!).

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer by Scott Eyman. I’m also at different stages of:

  • The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson
  • The Trouble with Scarlett – Martin Turnbull
  • The Choice – Bob Woodward

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Great Gatsby is my favorite novel. I read the book in school, but it’s hard to enjoy required reading when you’re under pressure to remember details for quizzes and tests. I rediscovered that book as an adult and still revisit it every so many years. For such a short novel, Fitzgerald filled it with layers. The characters, the symbolism…the book is so rich and complex. But I have to say, the Bible is my favorite book of all time—I always find something new in verses I’ve read countless times, and it changes my heart.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Never give up. Nothing goes to waste. Your experiences will come into play and help establish your approach and perspective.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Take your pick! Here’s the rundown:

Website: www.johnherrick.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/johnherrickbooks

Twitter: @johnherrick

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/2121201.John_Herrick

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/johnherrick

Thanks again for the opportunity to chat!

About the Author:

When he decided to become a novelist, John Herrick did not expect to invest the next twenty years in what would seem a grueling, disconnected process.

A native of St. Louis, Herrick fell in love with writing fiction at eight years old, and by eleven, his goal shifted from short stories to a novel–and turning a hobby into a career. Challenged with a constant flow of fresh ideas and lack of patience to complete such long-term projects, he merged the written word with another love: music. Herrick spent fifteen years developing his songwriting and lent several songs to benefit recordings by nonprofit entities.

While he gained ghostwriting and voice-over experience for print, radio and the Internet, Herrick spent nearly a decade in the information technology arena. To his surprise, through technical work he acquired analytical and project-management skills that would help shape his personal writing process. His project work included software development and support for the media and fund-development arenas.

While he worked behind a desk at a nonprofit organization, Herrick struggled with the need to write. Armed with a concept that had burned within him for three years, he chipped away for an hour or two each evening until he completed the manuscript for his first novel, THE LANDING, which became a semifinalist in the inaugural Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. In response to reader requests, The Landing hit bookshelves in 2012.

Herrick’s other work includes FROM THE DEAD, BETWEEN THESE WALLS, HIT AND RUN, and BEAUTIFUL MESS. His nonfiction title 8 REASONS YOUR LIFE MATTERS became a #1 Amazon bestseller.

When he is not writing, he loves reading and long drives on the interstate. He is a sucker for 1990s music.

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