Tag Archives: Thriller

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: ‘Hidden in the Dark’ by RaShell Lashbrook

About the Book:

After enduring a lifetime of abuse at the hands of the man that vowed to cherish her, Genny Carter knows only the role of the victim. More focused on avoiding punishment than the wellbeing of her three daughters, she ignored the terror inflicted on them by their father during their childhood. She kept his secrets. Now, in her sixties, Genny has had enough. She needs her daughters to help her escape. Can she count on them?

Lilly has tried for decades since leaving that little Texas farmhouse to erase the unspeakable things that were done to her. After snagging a wealthy man, she reinvents herself into a polished member of San Antonio’s old-money society. Can she keep up this façade, or will the secrets she hides cause her to lose everything?

Always Daddy’s favorite, thirty-five-year-old Randi tries to bury her shame in a mountain of sex and drugs. Estranged from her parents for nearly ten years, the news of Mother’s leaving forces her to face old wounds. Will she survive?

Much younger than her sisters, Raine was left to deal with Daddy’s horrific abuse after the others left. Shanti, free of a conscience, was conjured to help protect little Raine by whatever means necessary. Raine’s mother and father are back in the picture, and Shanti is on a rampage.

Every family has secrets. Some are worth dying for.

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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?

Because my parents threw our television away when I was two years old, I spent my childhood devouring books. I knew that I wanted to write someday but until my forties, I didn’t feel that I had anything to write about. I went through some personal challenges in my early forties. Writing became a fantastic outlet for me to vent my frustrations. In 2012, I created a DIY blog. Around the same time frame, I began writing my first novel. Although it took me longer to complete than I anticipated, writing the novel was an exercise in absolute joy (and at times, frustration).

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

I have a little corner by the window in our dining room that is cozy and bright. I love being able to see outside, and the natural light is perfect. Writing in the early morning tends to be best for me, before I’ve had a chance to wake up all the way. But, through the years, I’ve written whenever, and wherever I can.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

The seeds of ideas come from my life, or something that I’ve heard on the news. Most often, though, the ideas feel inspired by some unknown source that’s gifted to me.

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?

With my first book, Hidden in the Dark, I didn’t have any sort of plan. I felt as if the characters were showing me their stories. I would sit down and wait for the words to come. The book that I’m currently writing is a prequel, so I do have a loose plan. I still don’t know the details until I write them. I feel more like a detective, uncovering the truths as I go. I can’t imagine that I would ever create an outline, although I did create a character profile.

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

I would classify my books as psychological thrillers/suspense. While they are heavy on family drama and conflict, there are enough twists and turns that they fall into the suspense/thriller genre. I’ve always loved stories that keep me on the edge of my seat, or push the limit in some way. I rarely like reading stories that wrap up neatly into a big happy, fluffy ending.

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

That’s a difficult one. I think Diane Lane would be perfect for the character of Genny. Although she isn’t old enough to play the part in the end of the story, I believe she could play the part of the older Genny with a great makeup crew. Young Genny would need to be a lookalike (perhaps Diane Lane’s daughter).

Lillian should be played by Katherine Heigl. Miranda (Randi) would be perfectly portrayed by Rachel McAdams. I think casting Raine would be the most fun. She has multiple personalities, the most prominent being Serenity (her sexual side) and Shanti (her murderous, dark personality). She is much younger than her sisters, so I think Dakota Johnson would be perfect. She has a cool beauty about her and I think she could switch through the personalities easily. Their monster of a father, Randall, should be played by Jack Conley.

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

I don’t read for enjoyment as much as I used to, especially not while writing. Hands down, my favorite authors are Anne Rice and Stephen King. I do love so many others that it would be impossible to list.

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

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Wizard of Oz. As a Kansas girl, it was practically required reading. I completely identified with Dorothy. I will never forget the magical feeling of escaping to Oz through that story.

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

Write. Write even if it’s bad writing (it will be at first). Don’t think about it. Just do it. I spent many years thinking about it. I regret not doing sooner. Be open to everything, don’t get too caught up in the advice, until you are marketing your book. Then you should pay attention to those who have gone before you.

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

Facebook and Instagram. I am a Facebooker at heart, but my children have encouraged me to use Instagram. I do tweet, but my Twitter account is severely underdeveloped. And of course, my website is a great place to learn more about me and my work.

Website: www.rashelllashbrook.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RaShellLashbrook

Twitter: @poppyjuiceblog

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rashelllashbrook

 

About the Author:

RaShell Danette Lashbrook was born in Wellington, Kansas, the eldest daughter of Lyle and Marcia Pope Lashbrook. Her parents threw the television away when she was just two years old, so she spent her childhood in Mulvane, Kansas reading, exploring, biting her nails, and picking her nose.Her deep love of reading always fueled a small flame of desire to write, but it wasn’t until 2012 that she began to practice the craft of throwing words onto paper and rearranging them repeatedly.

She is blessed to share her life with her first love, her six magnificent children and their friends, parents (including an awesome stepdad) that anyone would be envious of, Andee (her best friend since the eighth grade), the best siblings in the whole world, a crazy Australian Shepard, a psychotic Siberian Husky, and a “top-shelf” circle of extended family and friends.

RaShell’s fascination with many different subjects has served her well in her writing. She prefers to think of her dabbling as “research”. Her lasting passions have been organic gardening, music, cooking, murder, mysteries, aliens, and people with mental disorders.

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Book Review: ‘Power: The Shadows’ by J.J. Angel

Title: Power: The Shadows (Volume 1)

Published: 24th April 2017

Author: J.J. Angel

Twitter: @powerthenovel

Synopsis:

A supernatural entity descends upon the unsuspecting community of Nura, Nevada with a voracious appetite and when a string of disappearances occur, local law enforcement officers are left to investigate. What lies waiting for them is something deadlier than they could ever fathom. Mankind’s only hope rests within the hands of two friends who are caught in the crossfire of a supernatural war and their youth. When they acquire strange paranormal abilities, the terror becomes apparent and they soon learn that it will be up to them to save the world from utter destruction. However, the enemy is getting stronger and hungrier and our protagonists will have their work cut out for them. Can they survive long enough to save Earth, or will humanity face a chilling and dark end?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about Sci-fi. Took me a little while to get into but once it gets going it starts getting really interesting.

So we start off planet somewhere in the galaxy on another planet where the inhabitants are being exterminated. Monsters and darkness are coming and only one can escape. Light seems to be a way to fight the darkness and soon us on Earth are going to need to know this to fight back.

Back on Earth, or just outside it, a group of astronauts working for S.E.T.E are trying to fix a satellite when something attacks them – well the one outside that is. This is where the story takes a bit of a twist as we start to follow the ‘something’ back to Earth and see just how it evolves with what it comes into contact with. Side note: you do not want to come into contact with it. If seen run away as fast as possible and hope it hasn’t seen you first or you are pretty much fucked. A creepy feeling from that point on with whatever this ‘thing’ is. You know it is bad news but you aren’t completely sure what it is. So I can safely say that Nura is definitely a place I will not be travelling to as all who go there seem to have a bit of a bad fate. Even for the ones that go there to try and help in some way.

S.E.T.E is an interesting corporation that knows more than they are letting on. The cops are clearly in the dark about what’s really happening but might be able to shed some light if they keep digging. But its Amare and Rupert who are about to start a journey where their lives will most definitely be put in extreme danger. But with the help of Ya’asha they might just be able to save not just themselves but the planet. Seems darkness is coming and claiming all and everything it sees.

Interesting read that, once its going a bit, will keep you guessing as to what might happen next right up till the end. A few corrections needed throughout but hopefully will be sorted shortly.  Intriguing to see where it goes from there with the two boys new powers coming stronger. Looks like they will need them for what’s to come.


3 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Her Last Breath’ by J.A. Schneider

Published: 21st October 2016

Publisher: RGS Media

Author: J.A. Schneider

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JASchneiderAuthor

Twitter: @JoyceSchneider1

 

Synopsis:

A chilling psychological thriller about a woman caught between two men…Mari Gill wakes to horror in a strange apartment next to a murdered man, and can’t remember the night before. Accused of murder, she feels torn between her husband, a successful defense attorney, and a mysterious, kind man who wants to help. Can she trust either of them – or even her friends? Detective Kerri Blasco battles her police bosses believing Mari is innocent…but is she?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about a detective. Couldn’t wait to read this one, as I loved Fear Dreams so much. Wanted to see what case Kerri would get next and how she would take on the challenge that would no doubt come with it. Trust her vibes people, they are never wrong.

So Mari wakes up in a strange bed with a dead man next to her, knife in his chest and has no recollection of how she got there or who the guy is. Talk about a shock to the system. The danger with shock quite like that for her is that it brings on one hell of an asthmatic attack. So shocked about what she sees, and about the fact she’s not sure how much longer she can breath, she jumps from the bed knocks over a lamp and crawls through broken glass to get to her bag. Hidden under a desk she gets her inhaler but the pressure is too much and it falls from her hands. It’s a good thing that Jay was on hand then. On the cusp of almost stopping breathing altogether Jay crashes through the door to save her life. Let’s see how fast you can fall for a hero shall we. All I can say about him is that it’s a good job he saw the whole scene as a set up from the start. Though who the person behind it was is something else entirely. Good job she has a defence lawyer for a husband then isn’t it. Well they are on a trial break at the moment but with the craziness coming their way I’m thinking it’s going to be permanent.

When Detectives Kerri Blasco and Alex Brand get to the scene you can see they have very different ideas to start with about what they are seeing. Alex is very much in the mind of thinking that the woman waking up next to the dead guy is more than likely the one that killed him, but Kerri isn’t so sure. Nothing about the scene makes sense and the longer she looks at it and Mari the more convinced she is of it. Her main issue being that Mari is meant to have stab this guy and then decided to take a nap by the side of him. Umm… I don’t think so. Her boss however isn’t too happy about not having an open and shut case. Only after her begging a bit does he give her a day to walk through the evidence more to see what really happened. He really should listen to her vibes more as they are very rarely wrong. They have a high profile case with the press hounding them; they really don’t want another bad mark or a lawsuit on the department. Especially when Mari has her big shot defence lawyer husband on the case. A day to crack a case that just brings up more clues than answers and still may or may not point the finger squarely at Mari. Couldn’t be too hard could it?

Seems Joaquin Ivanovic, the dead guy, was a fashion up and coming photographer with a bit of a mean streak with the models he worked with. He may have had it coming but from who and why. Mari’s friend Jenna and her boyfriend Rob you just get a very weird vibe from right from the start. The more they are mention the more you might think they are involved but then something else comes to light and the focus draws to someone new. You have many players each with a plausible reason but who is the one really pulling the strings. It’s a great way to keep you guessing to the end to see how it will all play out.

A psychological thriller at its best, Joyce really knows how to write a good gripping story. You should definitely check out her books.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Release Blitz: ‘Feel.it’ by Ian Wingrove

Title: Feel.it (Tom Barlow Detective Series Book 2)

Release Date: 24th March 2017

Author: Ian Wingrove

Genre: Thriller

 

Blurb:

 

Roxanne Payne is the star of The Tournament, a game show that allows its audience of millions to feel what the contestants feel. Only Roxanne doesn’t feel much since the teenage trauma of her mother’s suicide, which is what makes her the Queen of Pain. Retired Met police detective, Tom Barlow, is hired to keep her alive when death threats turn real, and in the process Roxanne becomes his deadly obsession. But is he really willing to risk everything to keep her alive? Set in a dystopian near future, Tom Barlow’s life is split apart as he tracks killers, protects the woman he loves and re-discovers the man he used to be. Across eighteen days – in a parallel story to the one depicted in Dead Poor – Tom’s life becomes entwined with that of Alexandria (Lex) de Montford, in a world of deceit, double-cross and death. Is she angel or demon? Is Tom all that he pretends to be? ‘And will Roxanne find freedom or death as she approaches the final show?

 

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10 print copies on Goodreads giveaway (for UK readers) ends 29th March  http://bit.ly/2nVmSlt

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: UKUS 

 

Also available:

Blurb:

Private detective Tom Barlow has been tasked with making a documentary about the Met Police’s investigation of a serial killer; a deadly sniper intent on murdering the poor. As Barlow races to identify the killer before they can strike again, he comes to realise that he’s involved in something far more dangerous than he’d imagined. Forced to dodge bullets, fight robotic spider assassins and make deals with killers, Barlow goes up against the Met’s top brass in his determination to expose the truth. But one year later, split loyalties have enabled a cover up, and when the investigation leads to a gruesome torture shed with two corpses, it’s Tom Barlow who finds himself the prime suspect.

Set in a dystopian England in the near future, Tom Barlow’s life is shattered as he tracks killers, protects a woman he’s in love with and re-discovers the man he used to be. Two books cover the same 18 hectic days. In Dead Poor Barlow is forced to revisit those frenetic days from a year before as his suppressed report into the serial killings finally surfaces, and in Feel.it, he risks everything to get close to mega-star, Roxanne Payne, a woman he’s obsessed with. In both books, Barlow finds his future unexpectedly entwined with that of Alexandria (Lex) de Montford, who is having her own problems with deceit, double-cross and death. Tom discovers that she is both angel and demon. She discovers what a psychotic, blackmailing bastard he really is.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK / US 

 

About the Author:

I was born in 1961 (Battersea, London) and had a wonderful childhood growing up on a very nice council estate. For fifteen years, I worked for the greens on the London Assembly as senior press officer, researcher and (for 1 year) business manager for the deputy Mayor. I have now moved to Norwich and do freelance communications work for Baroness Jones and the Clean Air Campaign. I self-published my first novel, called Dead Poor, in 2016 and Feel.it this year. My father was a sheet-metal worker, trade unionist, and amateur boxer. My mother was an office administrator who is now at the pinnacle of a large family tree consisting of 3 children, 14 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. My extended family is one of the things I love, but here are some more. I love writing fiction, playing football, my kids (aged 3, 4 and 20), my gorgeous wife, our wonderful planet, festivals, music while I work, the NHS. Things I’m not keen on drive-by shootings, cuts to services and privatisation, lawless roads, Thatcher, powerful people and corporations who abuse the world. Things that make me cry None of the above; however, I‘m a sucker for tragic romances. Things I enjoy discovering new things, cycling, great films and TV series, remembering good stuff, hanging out with the kids, all that amazing live culture that goes on in theatres, clubs and small venues, being on the side of the underdog, good food, drink and friends. Things I’ve done to earn money delivering laundry, cleaning, decorating, running a clothes stall, owner driver/courier, local trade union official, factory work, library assistant. Things that excite me the prospect of editing and publishing the next novel

 

Author Links:

Website: www.ianwingrove1961.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/IanWingroveWriter

Twitter: @Iwin1961

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/14824260.Ian_Wingrove

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