Tag Archives: Magical Realism

Author Interview: ‘The Unity Game’ and ‘The Woman Behind the Waterfall’ by Leonora Meriel

 

“The Unity Game” is science fiction with philosophy

About the Book:

WHAT IF THE EARTH YOU KNEW WAS JUST THE BEGINNING?

A New York banker is descending into madness.

A being from an advanced civilization is racing to stay alive.

A dead man must unlock the secrets of an unknown dimension to save his loved ones.

From the visions of Socrates in ancient Athens, to the birth of free will aboard a spaceship headed to Earth, The Unity Game tells a story of hope and redemption in a universe more ingenious and surprising than you ever thought possible.

Metaphysical thriller and interstellar mystery, this is a ‘complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’ from an exciting and original new voice in fiction.

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Reviews for The Unity Game

“A complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel.” ~~ Kirkus Reviews

“Elegantly written, expertly crafted and a moving message. I found this book very hard to put down. Moving and poignant.” ~~ Lilly, Amazon US reviewer

“An engrossing, unique, and totally bizarre tale! I could not stop reading it once I started. Such a beautiful take on the afterlife, and its connection to those still living. A unity game, indeed!”~~ Brenna, Goodreads reviewer

 

☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•

 

“The Woman Behind the Waterfall” is literary fiction and magical realism

About the Book:

Heartbreak and transformation in the beauty of a Ukrainian village.

For seven-year old Angela, happiness is exploring the lush countryside around her home in western Ukraine. Her wild imagination takes her into birds and flowers, and into the waters of the river.

All that changes when, one morning, she sees her mother crying. As she tries to find out why, she is drawn on an extraordinary journey into the secrets of her family, and her mother’s fateful choices.

Can Angela lead her mother back to happiness before her innocence is destroyed by the shadows of a dark past?

Beautiful, poetic and richly sensory, this is a tale that will haunt and lift its readers.

 

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Reviews for The Woman Behind the Waterfall

“Readers looking for a classic tale of love and loss will be rewarded with an intoxicating world” ~~ Kirkus Reviews

“The language is lyrical and poetic and, in places, begs to be read repeatedly for the sheer joy of it… A literary work of art.” ~~ Fiona Adams, The Richmond Magazine

“Rich and poetic in detail, it is an often dreamy, oneiric narrative rooted in an exaltation of nature… A lovely novel.” ~~ IndieReader

 

☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•

 

Author Interview:

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

I’m the author of two novels: The Woman Behind the Waterfall, which is magical realism and The Unity Game, which is speculative science fiction. I am originally from London but I have spent most of my life living abroad, in New York, Barcelona, Kyiv and other cities. I studied literature, but spent several years working on Wall Street and then founding and running my own business before I decided to write full time. Now, writing is my top priority.

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

The time is always the morning – as early as possible, but the place can vary. If there is no one at home, then I write in my office or living room. However, if there are people wandering around, I’ll have to go out to a café. I’ll always choose a corner seat where I can observe the room, and one with loud enough music so I can’t hear other peoples’ conversations.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I have a very creative mind and I am almost always turning several ideas round in my imagination at one time. I suppose it comes from being utterly fascinated with everything – with the planet Earth that we live on, with the mysteries of everything we don’t yet know, with the universe around us. I love to discover and delve into new areas. There are so many extraordinary things happening in the world at any one time, and so many stories to be told that should be known about. As a writer, it’s amazing to have the power to combine ideas and stories and “what if” scenarios endlessly in books. So, I’d say the ideas come from a combination of my insatiable curiosity, my vast fascination with everything around us, and a creative mind that likes to play with pieces of information and arrange them in interesting patterns.

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 start off with many different ideas in my head, and I simply try writing about all of them. Some story threads fizzle out after a few thousand words and I understand that I didn’t have a very deep interest in the themes behind them. Others expand until a novel starts coming into shape. I often then integrate the smaller ideas as themes into the larger works. A novel has to have a question or a theme so burning, that it will carry you through up to five or even ten years of your life, and thousands of words.

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

When I started writing my novels I had no preconceptions of genre. I set out with passions and ideas and let the books emerge from these. It was only when reviews started referring to my work as “Magical Realism” that I accepted this for my first novel; with my second novel there were extraplanetary elements, so it clearly touched on Science Fiction. With the hindsight of two novels, I now understand that I write literary fiction and speculative fiction, however I would never like to set out with a fixed idea of what my novel will be. It’s a journey and an adventure to create and I would not limit this in any way.

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

David, the main character of The Unity Game, is an intense and driven New York investment banker, whose world starts slipping away when he has some alien experiences. Christian Bale would be perfect for this, as he self-destructs so brilliantly. There is also an ethereal, non-sexual, highly evolved alien that Cate Blanchett would suit perfectly. She is mesmerisingly beautiful so the lack of action wouldn’t be a problem. The third character is an after-life guide for my London barrister who dies in the first scene, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather show me around the after-life than Tom Hanks.

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

I read as much as I possibly can – probably a book a week on average. I love literary fiction the most, but I’ve started to read more science fiction as well, and I try to keep a balance of at least one non-fiction book per ten fictions. Authors I love start from literary classics such as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, to current writers such as David Mitchell and Michael Cunningham and Eleanor Catton. I particularly love surrealism and great writing that heads in a strange direction, such as Haruki Murakami and Aimee Bender.

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

I’m coming to the end of American Rust by Philipp Meyer. It’s his debut and it’s absolutely phenomenal writing – huge and beautiful and devastating. I love reading debuts of talented writers because I know just how much they put into a debut – all of their dreams and ideas and passion. It’s also exciting to see the beginning of a writer’s career and imagine where they might go from there.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

That’s a really difficult question! I would have to choose 3 that I return to again and again. The first is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Its themes and language and beauty haunt me. The second is Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. When Michael Cunningham published his personal interpretation of this in The Hours, which also became a favourite. For my third, I would choose Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore as it constantly inspires me to be bold in my ideas, expression of motivations and language. It reminds me that in writing, everything is possible.

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

You must take yourself as seriously as possible if you want to write professionally. If you are a short story writer, then set aside an hour each day to write those short stories. If you dream about a novel, then set aside an hour for the novel – more if you can. Take a writing course; subscribe to a writing magazine; enter competitions. There are infinite ways to become a successful writer, but they all involve hours and hours at a desk – writing.

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

I am very accessible to readers. I am happy to have direct e-mails at leonora@leonorameriel.com or alternatively I am on Facebook – www.facebook.com/leonoramerielwriter and also Twitter – @leonora_meriel and my website is www.leonorameriel.com. I have a lot of readers contacting me and it is one of the best things about being a writer – after years of creating something in solitude, suddenly you can talk with people who have read and loved your work. It’s very special.

Direct links:

Website: www.leonorameriel.com

Blog: www.leonorameriel.com/blog

Facebook: www.facebook.com/leonoramerielwriter

Twitter: @leonora_meriel

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/15852447.Leonora_Meriel

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Leonora-Meriel/e/B01LYU9KTO

 

About the Author:

Leonora Meriel grew up in London and studied literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Queen’s University in Canada. She worked at the United Nations in New York, and then for a multinational law firm.

In 2003 she moved from New York to Kyiv, where she founded and managed Ukraine’s largest Internet company. She studied at Kyiv Mohyla Business School and earned an MBA, which included a study trip around China and Taiwan, and climbing to the top of Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak and part of the Carpathian Mountains. She also served as President of the International Women’s Club of Kyiv, a major local charity.

During her years in Ukraine, she learned to speak Ukrainian and Russian, witnessed two revolutions and got to know an extraordinary country at a key period of its development.

In 2008, she decided to return to her dream of being a writer, and to dedicate her career to literature. In 2011, she completed The Woman Behind the Waterfall, set in a village in western Ukraine. While her first novel was with a London agent, Leonora completed her second novel The Unity Game, set in New York City and on a distant planet.

Leonora currently lives in Barcelona and London and has two children. She is working on her third novel.

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Author Interview: ‘Mr Either/Or’ by Aaron Poochigian

About the Book:

Aaron Poochigian’s Mr. Either/Or is an ingenious debut, a verse novel melding American mythology, noir thriller, and classical epic into gritty rhythms, foreboding overtones, and groovy jams surrounding the reader in a surreal atmosphere. Imagine Byron’s Don Juan on a high-stakes romp through a Raymond Chandler novel. Think Hamlet in Manhattan with a license to kill.

Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published in 2009. The Cosmic Purr, a book of original poetry, was published in 2012.

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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?

In high-school I was all about music—my band, musical theory, songwriting—but as soon as I took a poetry class in college, the rhythms and sounds of language re-focused my creative impulses. I had a sort of religious experience during my Freshman year. I was reading the opening lines of Vergil’s Aeneid in Latin—Arma virumqute cano. . . Though I didn’t know the language, I was so moved that the sky became brighter and everything became clear: I should learn the Classical Languages and spend the rest of my life writing poetry. That’s what I have done. No regrets. I guess I’m lucky in that I never had a phase when I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.

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

I write best in the morning at my favorite coffee shop. My mind is at its loosest and most open. The sentences arise on their own without any effort on my part. Writing full-time, I often have to push through afternoon doldrums with lots of caffeine and sugar. Sometimes evenings are productive for me as well but, ah, what would I do without those fertile mornings?

Yes, the words come easy sometimes but, of course, they often do not. Here’s some advice for writers—if you are committed, make yourself do it, even if you aren’t in the mood. Treat writing as an obligation, like any other job. You have to put your hours in. Breakthroughs can happen at any time, even during the dull, slow afternoon hours—don’t lose your chance to have one.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

A good question. Where do my ideas come from? Out of my curious mind and out of all that I have read, yes, those and out of daily experiences—the doppler sound of traffic passing in front of my house, the sheen the barista’s mop leaves on the floor at the coffee shop, out of the crazy junk in my backyard and backlot, out of the many, many places I have lived. You’ve got these lines from Yeats’ “The Circus Animals’ Desertion” running through my head:

A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder’s gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.

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?

When writing poetry, I usually let the poem crystallize around phrases and rhythms I have put in a word.doc. I just play around until something happens. “Mr. Either/Or,” however, is narrative, so I took the time to story-board the entire plot. I then created one word.doc for each plot event and allowed myself to go crazy creatively in each file, so long as I also narrated that one plot event. I then fitted all the files together into the whole narrative and polished the transitions. That way, I found I was able to get the story told while still giving myself freedom for creativity.

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

“Mr. Either/Or” brings together all of my great loves—epic poetry, genre fiction (noir and thriller), action films and Americana. I really don’t know what to call it—sometimes I call it a thriller, sometimes urban fantasy, sometimes an epic poem. I guess I see “Mr. Either/Or” as reviving the genre of the verse adventure-story (à la Homer’s Odyssey and Byron’s Don Juan). It alternates between free-rhymed iambic pentameter and the pounding alliterative verse of Beowulf, so that the poetic rhythms cue the action like the soundtrack to a film. Yes, the book has its own soundtrack built in.

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

For the hero, “you,” Zach Berzinski superspy, Chris Pratt, who plays Star-Lord in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, would be perfect. I would love to see Lynn Chen from “Saving Face” playing the heroine Li-ling Levine. And, oh, for the old spy “handler,” Zero Zero One, please, please give me Jonathan Lithgow.

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

I do spend more time writing than reading nowadays. I’m trying to break myself of my habit of simply re-reading my favorite poets and writers—W.B. Yeats, W.H. Auden, Raymond Chandler, P.G. Wodehouse. I find myself returning to their books as if they were so many Bibles to guide my career.

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

This week I am reading “Portnoy’s Complaint” by Philip Roth and a poetry collection by Adrianne Rich. I would be reading the new Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child (love that series) but I am cheap and thus waiting for it to come out in paperback.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My favorite novel is Thomas Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49.” It was another major model for “Mr. Either/Or.” It taught me that the needs of the plot need not restrict wild creativity. The writer should never be merely telling the story—he/she should do that, of course, and do it well but always at the same time be enjoying him/herself creatively. Pynchon’s novel is a mad whirlwind of a thing, a boundless conspiracy theory. I highly recommend it.

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

I’m afraid that I won’t be able to give anything more than boilerplate advice: craft, craft, craft. Work, work, work. Force yourself to know boring subjects like grammar backwards and forwards, so well, in fact, that you don’t have to think about them any longer. The time you spend early on studying grammar, for example, will pay off down the line, I promise, by making you a clearer and more efficient writer. Preachy, boring advice, I know, but it’s sincere as Hell.

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

I’m big on Facebook—I have 5,000 friends and quite a few people following me. Facebook has been very good at fostering literary communities at the local and national levels. It’s also a good place to learn about events such as readings and giveaways. I have even gotten in the habit of posting my most topical new poems on Facebook—my profile page has become its own literary venue.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/aaron.poochigian

Website: www.mreitheror.com

About the Author:

Aaron Poochigian earned a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Minnesota in 2006 and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Columbia University in 2016. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published by Penguin Classics in 2009, and a translation of Apollonius’ Jason and the Argonauts was released October 2014. For this work in translation he was awarded a 2010-2011 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Cosmic Purr, (Able Muse Press), a book of original poetry was published in 2012, and many of the poems in it collectively won the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan Prize. Poochigian’s work has appeared in such journals as The GuardianPoems Out Loud and POETRY.

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Author Interview: ‘Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three’ by Parker Sinclair

About the Book:

One would think the sassy, sexy hybrid Earthen Protector and Healer Alex Conner deserves some downtime after all she’s been through. But no. Instead, she finds herself trapped by the king of the Fae, and he’s not letting her go until he gets what he wants.As alternate realities tangle her in confusion and bring her close to forgetting who she is and everyone she loves, will she unwittingly give the king what he craves?

If she does escape, will she ever pick up where she left off with her sexy Adonis Ryan? And can she control the new power she never knew she could wield—one over life and death itself—or will she be entangled in a realm whose ruler is hell-bent on entrapping her and someone she holds dear, forever?

Only is the third book in the Alex Conner Chronicles, an Urban Adult Fantasy/Magical Realism Series with magic, heart, sensuality, & mystery

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Purchase Links:

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Author Interview:

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

My name is Parker Sinclair, and I have woven a fascinating web in my life so far. I’ll never trade my childhood full of backpacking and hiking around the United States; my love and pursuit of science and psychology where I studied marine mammals; a stint in party planning, my master’s in counseling; and now I’m a published author.

I’ve always been a writer, and I have stories from grade school still hidden away in my plastic bin (aka treasure chest) along with research papers, short stories, poetry, and a variety of book ideas. I think the summers camping, meeting new people, creating our fun through games, plays, reading countless books, and telling stories around campfires have aged like a fine wine in my memory. The stories are now pouring out of me!

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

I used to write at night after the kiddos fell asleep and just late enough to get a good 4-5 hours of sleep before I had to be at my counseling job at a local high school. I’ve been a night owl most of my life, but that was becoming dangerous for my mental health. Now that I’ve taken the leap to focus on my dream, I have slowly adjusted to daytime writing. My word count and imagination are usually at their best with a Marvel movie in the background or outside on my porch listening to nothing but the wind, birds, and the occasional dog barking.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I’ve always loved reading, writing, and movies. The genres I am most drawn to are fantasy and Sci-fi. I spent a lot of time, and false starts, coming up with the Alex Conner series. I wanted a heroine who was both a powerful yet who also had her weaknesses and those moments when you just get frustrated with her. That’s life, that’s real, and it’s what I love about one of my favorite shows ever, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now my YA novel, Eve of the Exceptionals (epic fantasy) came about with my hope to write a book to read to my kiddos, to bring around to the schools, and from my love for the classic fairy tales and fantasy quests like The Princess Bride.

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?

My first two books, Trust and Truth, had the most planning. Trust had a full outline, but it also took on a life of its own at times. Truth had an immediate plot, but the side stories and twist that came to be were off the cuff and organic. Forbidden was purely on the go as well as Eve of the Exceptionals. Only was lightly planned out, but I went off script and new chapters and ideas found their way into the novel.

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

My books cross over into many genres such as: Urban Adult Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Magical Realism, Suspense, & Epic Fantasy. My dad mainly read fantasy/sci-fi so our library was full of covers with dragons, glowing blue swords, and scantily clad women with pointy ears. At that time, the books I read were mainly by men, but now my own bookshelf is full of excellent female writers as well.

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

This is such a fun question, and I’ve enlisted the help of some of my biggest fans to help answer it.

Alex: I’m thinking the lead in Ex Machina who is now in the new Tomb Raider movie, Alicia Vikander.

Sandra: Scarlett Johansson without a doubt! She’s a bombshell and plays both funny and compelling characters at the same time.

Ryan: Jason Momoa: Tall, dark, and handsome. Need I say more?

Logan: If I could have Tom Hardy as Logan I would be in awe! He’s a stellar actor, and nice to look at 😉

Justin: Ryan Gosling. He’d be great as the “safe” boyfriend who goes dark.

Valant: This one is tricky. Who to play the Demon? Bill Skarsgard perhaps or Taron Egerton.

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

I used to binge read constantly, but then my own stories were churning in my head, which made it hard to read for a while. I have slowly been jumping back in for enjoyment and research. I want to continue to get better and reading helps me do just that.

When I was young, my first favorite author was Terry Brooks. I love the Harry Potter Novels and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. As I got older and got my hands on adult urban fantasy novels, they truly sparked my interest. Those books helped to solidify my idea for my main character, Alex, and that my story was acceptable—more than acceptable. My faves are Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Kelley Armstrong, & Cecy Robson. I’m also enjoying beta reading for other indie authors, and I’ve found such joy in helping my fellow writers in this capacity.

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

I am reading Kim Harrison’s The Turn & Across the Veil by Lisa Kessler.

9: What is your favorite book and why?

Running with the Demon by Terry Brooks. It was one of his first with a female lead, she was a young runner as I was, she did the impossible, and I felt I could as well. I have to also toss in The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s a large book and full of science and magic, and while I was trying to create my book, I didn’t seem to realize at the time that, duh, I could put my science and psychology education into each book. I thanked him for that over Facebook. It meant that much to my artistic craft.

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

I’ve been volunteering quite a bit in my local schools and I have met some remarkable students in middle and high school for the last few months. There truly are some talented, budding authors in those schools. I told them just to write, free flow it, and not to worry about the perfect word or the perfect description at first. They just get the bones of the story down. That’s good advice for writers of all ages!

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

I have a bunch of them! Thank you for giving me an opportunity to interview!

Webpage: www.parkersinclair.net

Blog: www.parkersinclair.net/blog

Purchase my books: www.parkersinclair.net/buy-a-good-book

Newsletter: www.parkersinclair.net/contact

FB group page: www.facebook.com/groups/236408996753314

Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/ParkerSinclairbooks

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Parker-Sinclair/e/B00Q33GTQM

Instagram: @ParkerSinclairauthor

Twitter: @Parker_Sinclair

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/9860680.Parker_Sinclair

Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCWQE3qvMyB5DEZ9wwdz8rOQ

 

About the Author:

Parker Sinclair gives credit to the development of her imagination and passion for writing to multiple childhood destinations lacking indoor plumbing. While attending college, Ms. Sinclair studied biological sciences and psychology, specifically animal behavior, but her love has forever been to write. Since 2007, Ms. Sinclair has called Virginia Beach home where she is a licensed professional school counselor and a full-time writer, and finds time to write late into the night after her kiddos and in many cases, her husband are fast asleep.

Previous Books from Parker Sinclair:

Trust: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book One

Truth: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two

Forbidden: An Alex Conner Chronicles Novella

Eve of the Exceptionals

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