Saturday, May 23, 2015

Book Review: April Snow, by Lynn Steward

Title: April Snow
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Lynn Steward
Website: www.LynnSteward.com        
Publisher: Lynn Steward Publishing



As so often happens, a marriage is broken beyond mending, and the partners are in that state of suspension before the divorce. This is where Dana McGarry finds herself as she vacations in one of her favorite cities, London.

Imaginative author, Lynn Steward, creates a realistic world inhabited by characters that walk and talk as if they were live. It is here that Dana tries to understand her rapid decision to end her marriage to her unfaithful, neglectful husband who has shown a preference for his mistress. She also confronts the problems in her career as a buyer for a well-known department store in New York City. She wants to help the store move forward against the competition that seems more progressive in their marketing ideas, but is stymied by her boss who refuses to consider new ideas.

April Snow is a well-written tale, a blend of several characters’ lives that touch upon Dana’s life, sharing joys and sorrows as they live out their parts of the story. A balanced blend of the many emotions that make up the lives of people the reader can easily bond with to share their joys and sorrows, hopes and disappointments, this tales is a showcase for the talents of Lynn Steward, a story that will seem biographical to some and very possible to many.

I’m pleased to recommend April Snow to anyone who enjoys a good tale that lets the reader become one of the characters. Open the first page and step into a world that will seem new and yet familiar, as a visit to a town where one might enjoy living. You will really like meeting these people and find yourself looking forward to future visits with them in future stories by this talented writer.

Enjoy. I sure did.

Anne K. Edwards, guest reviewer
www.annekedwards.com 

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Twist of Fortune Book Excerpt Tour - Excerpt #15



We are thrilled to be hosting Mike Martin and his A Twist of Fortune Book Excerpt Tour today!  The Writer's Life kicks off excerpt #15 and if you follow his tour here, you could win an autographed copy of the first book in the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries series, The Walker on the Cape!  All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below and leave comments on each of his stops for extra entries.  Good luck!

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Title: A Twist of Fortune (Book 4 of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series)
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Booklocker
Pages: 278
Genre: Mystery
Format: Paperback

A Twist of Fortune is the fourth book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series and it continues the adventures of Sgt. Windflower as he tries to solve crime and experience the joy and the sadness of life in a small maritime community. Follow along as he feels the sometimes bitter taste of an east coast winter and the unique culinary delights of this part of the world.

For More Information

  • A Twist of Fortune is available at Amazon.



Excerpt #15:

Windflower sat in his usual corner seat while Moira got his order together. When she came out a few minutes later with his coffee and sandwiches he gave her a hug along with his thanks.
“Sheila called me,” said Moira after Windflower released her from his grasp. “It wasn’t as bad as she thought and they’re now at the hotel in Marystown.”
“I talked to her too.”
“She had to do it, you know.”
Windflower smiled weakly and tipped his hat goodnight. “Close her up, Moira. This is going to be a big one.”
With that, he was soon back in his car and shortly afterwards offering the tray of sandwiches around the detachment lunchroom. It looked like Tizzard was planning to eat the whole kit and caboodle so Windflower packaged up the remnants and put them in the fridge for later.




About the Author

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. The Body on the T was the second book, Beneath the Surface is the third installment and A Twist of Fortune is the newest book in the series.

He is a member of Ottawa Independent Writers, Capital Crime Writers, the Crime Writers of Canada and the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild. 

For More Information


Book Giveaway!

Enter to win an autographed copy of Mike Martin’s The Walker on the Cape: Book 1 of the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries series!  Leave comments on each blog stop for 5 extra entries!


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Interview with R.L. Byrd, author of Black Coffee







Title: Black Coffee
Author: R.L. Byrd
Publisher: R.L. Byrd Publishing
Pages: 304 

There are ALWAYS two sides to every story. In R.L. Byrd's debut novel, Looking for Sweet Love, the Love Forum Divas told their side. 


Now it's the Brothers' turn. . . .

 The Love Forum is back and the relationship dilemmas continue within the infamous Dallas, Texas, urban radio station, K103.5. DK "Love" Niles, the popular Disc Jockey from the DK and Melissa Morning Show, takes over the reins of hosting the new Love Forum called The Brothers Speak, and man, are the Brothas talking. DK, in his pursuit to finding good love himself, discusses relationships from a black man's point of view and enlist the help of the husbands, boyfriends and lovers of the Love Forum Divas. Known as the Brotherhood; DK, Quentin, Miguel, Michael, Donnell, Pastor Levine, Dr. Houston and Brass aim to set the record straight and talk about dating black women, marriage, infidelity, personal struggles, what distinguishes a throw-back from a keeper, and answers the question the radio listeners really want to know: What really went down in their relationships? 

Along the way, the Brothers break the silence on some of the most pressing social issues challenging today's black males: Disproportionate homicide rates, unintentional injuries, suicide, HIV/AIDS, and disparities in employment and graduation rates.If you thought the Love Forum Divas were dealing with issues, you may be surprised at what the brothers have to say about those relationship woes. In the end--when all is said and done--one Diva will be asking, "Am I drinking the right cup of Black Coffee?"
 

For More Information

Black Coffee  is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, R.L. Byrd.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A:  First and foremost, thank you. I’m grateful for this interview with The Writer’s Life. As far as how long I’ve been writing (and a little insight about myself); I’ve been writing ever since I can remember (poems and whatnot since grade school), however, my authorship journey really didn’t start until late 2008.

The backstory to that is that when I was working on my MBA (doing my field residency in Vietnam), the whole overseas experience opened up a new world for me; one where I dropped my conventional beliefs and ways of thinking, to embrace a broader, more accepting way of thinking and belief system. Upon my return to the States, I just so happened to hear a voice on the radio (doing psychic readings for the station’s callers) and said, “Hey, why not.” When I scheduled my appointment with the clairvoyant, she immediately asked me, “Have you been working on something? Something for the last ten years. Writing?” I hesitantly answered, and she told me, “Boy, you’re a writer and you need to write.” And that’s exactly when (and how) my authorship journey began.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Black Coffee is the answer to a voice—the Black male voice—that hasn’t been represented (in my opinion) all too well, if not, well enough. It’s the male answer to my debut novel, Looking for Sweet Love: A story of six women (the Love Forum Divas) who blow up the Dallas radio airwaves with their sassy discussions about life, love, and relationships; told from their (the female) point of view. The relationship dilemmas continue (as there are always two sides to a story) when their husbands, lovers and boyfriends, nine men led by DK “Love” Niles, take center stage in Black Coffee.

Quentin, Miguel, Michael, Donnell, Pastor Levine, Dr. Houston, Brass, Magic and DK—better known as the Brotherhood—aim to set the record straight as they talk about (and live out) dating black women, marriage, infidelity, personal struggles, what distinguishes a throw-back from a keeper, and answer the question the radio listeners really want to know: What really happened in their relationships?

It’s an emotional (and sometimes shocking) story of black men supporting and relying on each other to get through life’s many struggles.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A:  The biggest challenge was the time and effort it took to ensure that all the social issues within the book were accurately documented, portrayed, justified and incorporated in an entertaining way.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A:  Yes, the press kit, containing press release information, author head shots, Black Coffee book excerpts and book covers, and interview information, can be downloaded by typing in the following URL address: www.RichardLeonByrd.com/BlackCoffee_EMK.zip

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: I recently did an extended interview on The Black Author Network (BAN) with Ella Curry. I’m also currently on a blog tour, and my publicist is organizing other traditional media interviews on my behalf. Your readers can check my Facebook page, Author R.L. Byrd, for news about upcoming appearances and interviews.  

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/she is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A:  I don’t have an agent, but I did hire a publicity firm, based in Los Angeles, to help promote my book. 

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A:  Yes. The main push is on social media—Facebook and Twitter, as well as blogs, internet radio, and traditional media. Because my book has a social message that I call Project H.U.S.H., the social media campaign has really taken off. H.U.S.H is an acronym and awareness campaign for the top social challenges faced by African American males—Homicide, Unemployment, Suicide, and HIV/AIDS. We started a little over two months ago and have already built a following of 1,500+ people on Facebook. That number is growing at a rate of around 200 new followers per week.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A:  Yes, The Art of Scandal is a fictional story inspired by true events. The storyline continues the dialogue about female and male relationships (as with the first two books) however; the relationship is focused more on business, rather than romantic relations. In a nutshell, the main characters (Marianne and Kristoff) happen to be friends of over twenty years—they know each other’s families, friends, wants and desires, deepest secrets, and have been supporting each other throughout the duration of their friendship. That is until the day one believes they’ve been betrayed by the other; and plots to get their revenge, stopping at nothing (and destroying everyone in their path) to get it.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, R.L. Byrd.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Black Coffee is available at the major retailers (e.g., Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million and Powell’s) and can be ordered through most of the Indie or independently owned bookstores. Readers can find out about me, my work, and Project HUSH, via my website: www.RichardLeonByrd.com. And I thank you, as well, for allowing me the opportunity to interview with you.


For more information about R.L. Byrd, Black Coffee, and Project H.U.S.H., please connect with him at:

Twitter: @author_rlbyrd


 R.L. Byrd was born in the coastal town of Brunswick, Georgia, in a time where America and the South was growing and evolving. His early upbringing there, would shape his world not only as a person, but as a writer. His passion for writing was delayed by a similar passion for Architecture which he pursued by obtaining a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1992. After many years of carrying stories, characters and images in his mind, R. L. found them revisiting him on a more frequent basis as the years rolled by; and beginning in 2007, it wasn’t a day that went by that the pull to write didn’t lure him back to the pen and paper. Looking for Sweet Love (2010) was his debut novel, followed by the sequelBlack Coffee (2012, reissued in 2014).

He is currently working on his third novel, The Art of Scandal (a story inspired by true events), scheduled to be released soon.

  For More Information
  Connect with R.L. on Twitter and Facebook
  Find out more about R.L. at his website  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Virtual Book Tour Guest: Interview with David T. Pennington, author of 'Peer Through Time'





We welcome David T. Pennington to The Writer's Life today! David grew up in a small northern California town called Paradise, but his home is in San Francisco. While his associate's degree in Peer Through Time is his debut novel.
computer programming has helped pay the bills, his bachelor's degree in psychology has informed his writing. His love of fiction--mainly mysteries, science fiction, and thrillers--is balanced by his fascination with books on futurism, theoretical physics, and cosmology.

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Peer Through Time
Author: David T. Pennington
Publisher: Quantaj Publishing
Pages: 371
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

In 2079, a time travel experiment sends physicist Carmela Akronfleck further back in time than she’d intended. Though she’s still in her small northern California town, the year is 1936 and she must learn to live without the technology she’s come to rely on. Her neurological implants should be dormant, but she receives a cryptic message, periodically accompanied by an audio transmission from the future. It’s the voice of her former psychotherapist, an android named Kass, stating his innocence in a series of murders occurring in 2079.

When Carmela deciphers the code as a hit list, she’s shocked to discover her mother and sister are among the intended targets. Further evidence reveals the killer’s true identity, but the inoperative time portal prevents her from returning to save her family and vindicate Kass.

She considers another option: hunt down the killer’s ancestors and avert his existence without radically changing history. She devises a plan to protect her family, haunted by doubts that she’s becoming the kind of person she’s always loathed—one willing to take another’s life.

For More Information

  • Peer Through Time is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thank you. I’ve always loved time-travel stories. Peer Through Time started with my idea of a woman who, as a little girl, found herself propelled nearly six decades into the future. She grew up consumed with idea of reuniting with her family. Setting the story partially in the future forced me to imagine what that future might be like, which made it fun to write.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest part was revising the book multiple times. One tiny change could have a cascading effect throughout the whole story, which was time-intensive but worth it. Each writer approaches the craft in whatever way works best for them, so my only tip is this: re-read a book you loved, but do so with a critical eye, in order to discover how the author created such a compelling work. Pay close attention to character development, plot pacing, and anything else that might have faded into the background while you were enjoying it the first time.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?
I self-published Peer Through Time, but I didn’t come to that decision quickly or easily. At first I was intimidated by all the work self-publishing entails, but ultimately I found that work enjoyable and a reward in itself.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to format the e-book. I can usually teach myself anything, but after much frustration with e-book formatting, I hired LiberWriter for a small fee. They expertly and quickly did what I was unable to do.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m working on the sequel to Peer Through Time, which I plan to publish some time in 2016.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I keep trying different social media platforms, but I keep returning to Facebook. It’s where most of my family and friends are, at least for now.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Nobody is purely good or purely evil, and many things we think of as polar opposites are joined by a spectrum, along which most of us play out our lives.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you for interviewing me, and to the readers, thank you for reading. I love to hear feedback from my readers, whether it’s positive, negative, or anything in-between. All my contact information is available on my website at http://davidtpennington.com.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Guest post by Joan Schweighard, author of 'The Accidental Art Thief'

I probably don’t take writing as seriously as some people do. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about how good my writing is. Since I write for a living (as well as for pleasure), I have to be sure my writing is as good as I can get it and that each assignment is completed by its deadline. Rather, I mean that I don’t think of writing as some incredible blessing bestowed only on the chosen few.

Tom Clancy died back in 2013 and the radio station I listen to did a little piece about him. I have to admit I never read any of his books, but I did see the film version of The Hunt for Red October and I do know that the initial manuscript for the book was published by Annapolis’ Naval Institute Press—which had never published a novel before—after all the major publishers turned it down. With a little help from President Ronald Reagan, who hosted Clancy in the White House, the book became a hit, and thereafter Clancy was published by traditional publishers. The radio station played a clip of an interview in which Clancy, talking on the subject of writing, said, “You learn to write the same way you learn to play golf. You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired; it’s hard work.”

Clancy was an insurance agent before he became a full-time writer. He wrote The Hunt for Red October while he was still working at his nine-to-five. His rather pedestrian attitude about writing belies the fact that he was a great storyteller. He had the knack. He learned the craft. When all else failed and he couldn’t get attention from the industry big boys, he had the chutzpah to go to the naval academy and get them to publish his book. I don’t know how he got on Reagan’s guest list, but I bet there’s an impressive story behind that too.

The point is Clancy had talent, discipline, balls, and luck. Whether we’ve read him or not, we all know his name. If he had only had talent and discipline, we might not know who he was. He didn’t want to be put on a pedestal because, as he knew, no muse found him on Google Maps and showed up to plant a kiss on his ear.

No muse has been to my house either, or at least not that I know of. I have some talent, a lot of discipline, I’m working on chutzpah, and as for luck, I do everything I can to attract it. I’ve had some small successes to date, and I hope to have more in the future. And in the meantime, I keep on writing. Day after day. Without any regrets.

////////////////////////////////////////////


joan Joan Schweighardt is a former indie publisher who now works as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor. The Accidental Art Thief is her fifth novel.
Connect with Joan on the web:
Find The Accidental Art Thief on Amazon.
About the Book
TitleThe Accidental Art Thief
Genre: General fiction
Author: Joan Schweighardt
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
For a quarter of a century forty-five-year-old Zinc has worked as a caretaker for a wealthy old man, living in a small casita on his ranch in New Mexico. She doesn’t make much money, but she has the old man, her dogs, and gorgeous views of the mountains. She is basically a very content recluse who doesn’t invest much time thinking about what she might do if her circumstances change. So when the old man dies suddenly, and his daughter all but throws her off the property, Zinc is forced to reinvent herself—and quickly.
With a touch of magical realism and a collection of offbeat characters, The Accidental Art Thief explores the thin line between life and death and the universal forces that connect all things.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Interview with Stephen C. Merlino, author of 'The Jack of Souls'






Stephen C. Merlino lives in Seattle, WA, where he writes, plays, and teaches high school English. He lives with the world's most talented and desirable woman, two fabulous children, and three attack chickens.

Growing up in Seattle drove Stephen indoors for eight months of the year. Before the age of video games, that meant he read a lot. At the age of eleven he discovered the stories of J.R.R. Tolkein and fell in love with fantasy.

Summers and rare sunny days he spent with friends in wooded ravines or on the beaches of Puget Sound, building worlds in the sand, and fighting orcs and wizards with driftwood swords.

About the time a fifth reading of The Lord of the Rings failed to deliver the old magic, Stephen attended the University of Washington and fell in love with Chaucer and Shakespeare and all things English. Sadly, the closest he got to England back then was The Unicorn Pub on University Way, which wasn't even run by an Englishman: it was run by a Scot named Angus. Still, he studied there, and as he sampled Angus's weird ales, and devoured the Unicorn's steak & kidney pie (with real offal!), he developed a passion for Scotland, too.

In college, he fell in love with writing, and when a kindly professor said of a story he'd written, "You should get that published!" Stephen took the encouragement literally, and spent the next years trying. The story remains unpublished, but the quest to develop it introduced Stephen to the world of agents (the story ultimately had two), and taught him much of craft and the value of what Jay Lake would call, "psychotic persistence."

Add to that his abiding love of nerds--those who, as Sarah Vowel defines it, "go too far and care too much about a subject"--and you have Stephen Merlino in a nutshell.

Stephen is the 2014 PNWA winner for Fantasy.

He is also the 2014 SWW winner for Fantasy.

His novel, The Jack of Souls is in its fourth month in the top ten on Amazon’s Children’s Fantasy Sword & Sorcery Best Seller list, and among the top three in Coming-of-Age.
For More Information
About the Book:

An outcast rogue named Harric must break a curse laid on his fate or die by his nineteenth birthday. 
      
As his dead-day approaches, nightmares from the spirit world stalk him and tear at his sanity; sorcery
eats at his soul.
      
To survive, he’ll need more than his usual tricks. He’ll need help—and a lot of it—but on the kingdom’s lawless frontier, his only allies are other outcasts. One of these outcasts is Caris, a mysterious, horse-whispering runaway, intent upon becoming the Queen’s first female knight. The other is Sir Willard—ex-immortal, ex-champion, now addicted to pain-killing herbs and banished from the court.
      
With their help, Harric might keep his curse at bay. But for how long?
      
And both companions bring perils and secrets of their own: Caris bears the scars of a troubled past that still hunts her; Willard is at war with the Old Ones, an order of insane immortal knights who once enslaved the kingdom. The Old Ones have returned to murder Willard and seize the throne from his queen. Willard is both on the run from them, and on one final, desperate quest to save her. 
       
Together, Harric and his companions must overcome fanatical armies, murderous sorcerers, and powerful supernatural foes.
       
Alone, Harric must face the temptation of a forbidden magic that could break his curse, but cost him the only woman he’s ever loved.

                                         ***
A tale of magic, mischief, and the triumph of tricksters.

For More Information



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us to the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Stephen King talks about stories beginning the moment he sees a specific character and setting in his mind. He then gives the character a problem, and watches her spring to action to fix the problem. From then on out it’s like following a string through long grass—never sure where it’s going, but pretty sure of the direction. 

That’s the way I experience writing, too. I don’t outline it.

For The Jack of Souls, it began when I imagined a young rogue on the edge of the frontier, making a killing selling grain to pioneers on a land rush.

The image came to me as I led a history tour through the American West. In the days when I was a tour guide, I lived among stories of wilderness and adventure and especially loved tales of gold seekers and the people who supplied them. Few of the gold seekers held on to much gold, but the people who sold them supplies had bags of it! I also admired the pioneers who answered the call of the Homestead Act—that most admirable legislation—that sent thousands west for free land.

So how did The Jack of Souls go from Western inspiration to Fantasy? 

Easy! A great thing about fantasy is you can riff off of a variety of interests and passions and mash them together to create something new. Along with the American West, I have a passion for Shakespeare’s EnglandElizabeth’s England—which I studied in grad school. I dare say the zeitgeists of the American West and Elizabeth’s England have a lot in common; both were periods of thrilling exploration, powerful optimism, and immense national pride—even arrogance. So, why not create a world where a kingdom like Elizabeth’s England has a wild frontier full of magic and mystery and monsters?

And voila! The setting took shape in my mind. I saw a pacifist queen ruling alone, educating the ladies of her court, refusing to marry, and beleaguered by lords who wished to put an end to such nonsense by placing a warlike king on the throne. And I saw her creating a savvy political distraction for these malcontents by opening her frontiers and offering free land to any who would settle it.
Land rush! What lord could resist? 

Which brings us back to the young man selling grain to land rushing pioneers.

I wanted the main character to be a rogue. He wouldn’t be particularly strong, but he’d be extremely clever and living by his wits. I imagined him as a frontier con artist with a heart of gold—that is, a trickster who only targeted corrupt, treasonous or abusive lords. 

Plus, it would be fun if he had a girlfriend who was his muscle. Another interesting female! She would be one of the Queen’s free ladies, intent on becoming a knight. 

At that point I had two of three vital elements of story: Character + Setting, but for a story we still need a Problem. Character + Setting + Problem = Story

So I gave him one. He’s going to die on the following day unless he finds a way to break a curse on his fate.  

Ouch. That got him moving.

And from there it was a just matter of watching him go and following the string through the grass of the world I’d imagined. 

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Yes, it was hard. It is the hardest thing I ever did. I can’t possibly count all the hours of writing, revising, seeking and listening to critique, revising again, repeat, repeat, repeat.

But for me it isn’t work. It’s more like meditation or lucid dreaming. Also, it’s a social connection and fun with other nerds like me. I love writing. I love fantasy. And I have a desire to learn how to do both better.

Advice?

Read a lot. Travel a lot. Learn a lot. And of course, write a lot—even if it’s just writing in a travel journal, dream journal, life journal.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I published with Tortoise Rampant Books, which is me. J

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Yes! How much work it is! It’s fun work, but it is countless hours of seeking artists and formatters, interviewing them, choosing them, corresponding with them back and forth, tweaking things, corresponding some more, learning how to use KDP and Createspace (Amazon’s publishing services), Ingram Spark Publishing (the hardback producer), preparing and running a successful Kickstarter campaign, fulfilling orders, soliciting reviews…the list goes on and on!

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

The second and third books of the trilogy will be out this August and December! J

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Wait. People hang out online? J

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I suppose the book explores two main ideas:

Without individuals who question tradition and create change, civilization stagnates. 

Until women are fully equal, civilization doesn’t have a chance.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

The comedian David Crowe coined a phrase in response to the notion that he must face reality and get a real job: “Veritatum Superate!”

Triumph Over Reality.



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Interview with Seth Mullins, author of The Edge of the Known Trilogy




Title:
What Casts the Shadow
Author: Seth Mullins
Pages: 240
Genre: Metaphysical
Format: Paperback/Kindle

 A troubled young rock musician, a mystic mentor, and a generation of lost souls longing for a new voice to emerge from the wilderness... When an altercation outside of a performance venue nearly proves fatal, Brandon Chane begins to realize how far his life is spinning out of control. His efforts to channel his pain, frustration and thwarted loves into his music may not suffice to save him. Then he meets Saul, a crisis counselor with the soul of an ancient medicine man, and a far-reaching journey of healing - one that may teach him how to steer away from the very edge of the abyss - begins.


  For More Information:
  What Casts the Shadow is available at Amazon. Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

Title: Trust in the Unseen
Author: Seth Mullins
Pages: 234
Genre: Metaphysical
Format: Paperback/Kindle

 "We'd all thrown our fates to the wind, trusting in the unknown - in the Unseen, as our EP so proudly proclaimed - and that leap had thus far landed us in a place where we couldn't even grope our way forward in the dark anymore." Brandon Chane was beginning to realize that discovering his voice was only the first step of the journey. Now he must somehow learn to trust the depths from which it comes, and the unknown horizons that it may sweep him away to, even as every part of his personal world seems to be falling apart.

 For More Information:

  Trust in the Unseen is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

Humanity's Way ForwardTitle: Humanity's Way Forward
Author: Seth Mullins
Pages: 246
Genre: Metaphysical
Format: Paperback/Kindle

 "The echoes of those scars can clearly be heard in Edge of the Known's music. But one can also discern, quite distinctly, that other inexplicable thing that is within us all, the undying flame that transcends our wounds and sufferings..." Brandon Chane had always seen life through the eyes of an outcast, a misfit, a young man at odds with the world and with himself. Now they're calling him a wounded healer; a shamanic Pied Piper for the throngs of alienated youth; a thief of fire. He wonders if he and his band can escape the claims that the world has suddenly laid upon them. But what about the cherished dream that he's struggled so desperately to fulfill, the dream that finally seems to be coming to fruition?"

 For More Information:

 Humanity's Way Forward is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Seth Mullins.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A:  Writing is my way of both exploring my own inner depths and connecting with the world around me. It’s been my biggest passion in life since my teens, so at this point I’ve been pursuing it in one way or another for about twenty-five years. 

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: The Edge of the Known trilogy is told from the viewpoint of Brandon Chane, a young man both wounded and creative gifted. Brandon foresees but one hope for himself: To make his music his life. His partnership with  his closest friend Tommy, a fellow misfit, makes this dream seem nearly attainable. The problem is that the same intense inner forces that fuel his music are threatening to derail his whole life. When he meets his mentor, Saul Mason, a healing journey begins, one that forces him to question the beliefs that he has thus far lived his life by.

I wrote these books out of a lifelong fascination not only with art but also with those who make it and the creative process itself. Why have so many of the people who’ve created great artistic works, throughout our history, also flirted with self-destruction? These books essentially ask the question of whether such a combination is really inevitable; and it poses a vision of the creative life as one of healing rather than destruction.


Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A:  This being a First-Person narrative, Brandon’s voice needed to ring clearly throughout. I wanted to create the impression that you’re sitting in a room with him listening to him relate the rollicking tale of his life. That was challenging for me because, although I strongly relate to him in some ways, in other ways we’re very different. I had to step out of the way and let him speak, and oftentimes express ideas in terms different from the ones I would choose. I also had to work through some personal resistance, because I was occasionally beset with fears that readers would assume that Brandon was me with a name change.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: I use my author site as a central place for my bio, news, book excerpts and a collection of essays that explore themes related to my fiction. http://www.humanityswayforward.com    

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: I’ve been a guest on WGDR at Goddard College and on Blog Talk Radio. I really enjoy the spontaneity of the interview experience and hope to do more in the future.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/she is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: I’ve never had an agent. Whether one is necessary depends upon a writer’s particular goals. Some of the larger publishing houses still only accept agented submissions.  

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: I conducted my own grassroots campaign, but this was after the first book of the series was published. I’ve since learned the importance of building a pre-release buzz.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A:  I’m currently working on the backstory for Saul Mason, Brandon’s mentor. This will probably evolve into another trilogy. Readers will get to follow the trials, bereavements and breakthroughs that finally mold Saul into the inspired teacher that they witness in The Edge of the Known series.

  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Seth Mullins.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: My author site is Humanity’s Way Forward: http://www.humanityswayforward.com
The Edge of the Known Trilogy on Amazon:
What Casts the Shadow? http://amzn.to/1rkhffS
Trust in the Unseen http://amzn.to/UBw3bw

Humanity’s Way Forward http://amzn.to/1CfWtPr

Seth Mullins first conceived of his dream to write novels in his early teens, and this one desire has stayed with him throughout all the other myriad twists and turns of life. His inspirations include methods of inner exploration such as dream-work and shamanism and his experiences as a songwriter and performing musician. He studied creative writing at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico and Lane Community College in Oregon. Seth has lived in Connecticut, New Mexico, Oregon and (currently) Vermont.

For More Information
Visit Seth’s website. Connect with Seth on Twitter.