Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Dangerous Marriage by William W. Blunt Book Feature


Title: A Dangerous Marriage
Author: William Blunt
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 332
Genre: Fiction
Format: Ebook/Paperback
 Purchase at AMAZON

 In A Dangerous Marriage, Julia Davenport’s social life has drifted into a backwater. Then she meets Peter Medea at a business reception in New York City. She is drawn by his aura of power and erotic magnetism and is lured into a hasty marriage. By indulging her compelling emotional and physical needs she finds immediate gratification, but at a devastating cost. Her romantic adventure turns out to be fraught with conflict and betrayal. And she becomes unwittingly involved in her husband’s shady business transactions, forcing her into unwanted intimacy with the sinister man who masterminds these schemes. She finds support in friendships with a victim of his fraudulent machinations, and others. She is nurtured and encouraged by a man who emerges from her past. But Julia alone must overcome the threats to her self-esteem, happiness, and well-being, which are the destructive consequences of her earlier surrender to passion.

Readers say this about A Dangerous Marriage –
Wow, what a page turner! Compelling and sexy, with the added intrigue of the nasty part of the financial world. Great story. —Constance Fulenwider A Dangerous Marriage is extremely well written. The characterization is great – the reader comes to know the characters really well. I didn’t want it to end. —Natalie Lee I loved A Dangerous Marriage. I really was glued to the plot and felt totally involved with the characters. It is written with great sensitivity and the story line moves along compellingly. This is a terrific novel! —Judy Bross In A Dangerous Marriage, twenty-six-year-old Julia Davenport’s social life has drifted into a backwater. Then she meets Peter Medea at a business reception in New York City that she’s attending as a favor for a friend. She is drawn by Peter Medea’s aura of power, apparent financial success, and erotic magnetism and is lured into a hasty marriage. By indulging her compelling emotional and physical needs she finds immediate gratification, but at a devastating cost. Her romantic adventure turns out to be fraught with conflict and betrayal. And she becomes unwittingly involved in her husband’s shady business transactions, forcing her into unwanted intimacy with Marco “Denny” DiNiro, the sinister man who masterminds these schemes. She finds support in friendships with a victim of DiNiro’s fraudulent machinations, and others. She is nurtured and encouraged by Danny Johnson, who has emerged from her past. But it is Julia alone who must overcome the threats to her self-esteem, happiness, and well-being, which are the destructive consequences of her earlier surrender to passion.

  amazon  

  William W. Blunt graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School. He interrupted his corporate legal practice in New York City to serve in Washington, D.C., as Assistant Secretary of Commerce. Today he lives with his wife, Balirm in Irving, Texas. This is his first novel.

William is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins December 8 and ends on December 19.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 22.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Interview with Imam Omar Hazim, author of Islam in the Heartland of America

  Islam in the Heartland of America Title: Islam in the Heartland of America
  Genre: Religion/Spirituality
  Author: Imam Omar Hazim
  Publisher: Xlibris
  EBook: 279 pages
  Release Date: January 28, 2011
  ISBN: 978-1-45685-798-1

 "The purpose of this book is to inform and educate the general public of how Islam is taught in a mosque in the heartland of America. It includes the Friday khutbah (sermons) by Imam Omar Hazim and several other Imams (Spiritual Leaders). The hope is to help to clarify some of the misconceptions and distortions about the religion of Islam. In addition to the sermons, there will be articles from other publications, excerpts of sermons and photos. Included also is information about the diversity among the Muslim population in the Heartland of America. This book is very timely, as Islam has been reported as being the fasting growing religion in the World. For anyone who ever thought about or wondered what is taught in the Friday services at a Mosque, this book is a must read for them."  

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Xlibris


Question1- Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?  After the horrific events of 09/11/2001, I thought it would be important for me to make a contribution in writing to the world about Islam.
Question2- What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it? My biggest challenge was myself, my own procrastinations.
Question3- Do you plan subsequent books? I am always writing, I may write another book in the future.
Question4- When and why did you begin writing? I started writing this book in 2002. My first writing was a sermon in the late 70’s. The purpose of this book is to inform and educate the general public of how Islam is taught in a Mosque.
Question5- What is your greatest strength as an author? A strong desire to educate the general public.
Question6- Did writing this book teach you anything? Yes, when you teach you also learn.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Guest Post by Australian SF Author Greg Byrne

Sitting at the keyboard produces a certain way of thinking for me. The keys are there, my fingers are there, and my muscular desire is to make the two work together. When I’m at the keyboard, I think like a writer, a producer of words, sentences and stories. It’s almost like being in that chair at that desk in front of that screen starts that muscular memory of writing. It’s hard to escape.

However, one of my favourite parts of writing is the time spent away from the keyboard. The story is still in my head so I remember what characters are doing and what their particular goals and problems are at that particular point in the story. However, I’m not at the keyboard. I’m somewhere else: walking in the local park, doing the dishes, driving, running, showering, sitting on the train. In these situations, without the story in front of me, demanding me to think like a maker of words, the making machine drops down to Idle and all the thoughts bound up in time and logic and orderly sequence with it. In its place, another curious mental device spins up to speed. This is the what if engine. Freed of the need to create, it ponders, muses and hypothesizes instead. What if character A was a child instead of an adult? What if character C had the ability to fly? What if swords had memories? What if character G couldn’t remember anything without a picture or words to remind him?

At this time, at least for me, it’s really critical to do three things. Firstly, I need to get all these rather drifting, insubstantial what if thoughts onto paper as quickly and in as much detail as possible. They float away otherwise. Secondly, I must not look at the story until that first process is done or I get caught up in the real story and it overpowers the new thoughts and images. Thirdly, accept everything and reject nothing. Strangely, wonderfully and often serendipitously, these mental images and tastes and colours are often representations of what the book wants at some point in the future. Even though they may not mean anything or connect logically now, the chances are that they will in the future. Then, when all these ponderings are written down, they become real, which means they are not going to drift away, so I am then able to leave them to percolate, marinate and filter into the real story.

It sounds cliché, but the story often develops a will and direction of its own. It knows where it wants to go, and these what if thoughts are often unconscious expressions of the story planting its own seeds in my mind. Even if this doesn’t work, the freeing up of the what if engine is a liberating one and good for the writing and creative process.

Is all of this true, or is this just some metaphysical ramblings? For Nine Planets, my debut, I was astonished at how this above process produced some of the most surprising parts of the novel. For my other three (as yet unpublished) novels, I’ve been aware of the same process as well.


Central to everything is the idea of wild, extravagant untrammeled creativity. Be afraid of no idea. Think wide and free.

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ABOUT THE BOOK
In the world of despair, Father Nick’s Day is the only hope…
Peter Blackwell wakes from a coma into a world he doesn’t recognize. Without memory or identity, all he has are nine random images. Nine planets. Eight he can see, although he does not understand them, but the impenetrable ninth is the secret that two opposing and hidden brotherhoods have been seeking for nearly two millennia. Pursued, betrayed, Blackwell has twelve days to unlock his Ninth Planet and prevent terminal worldwide suicide. And his only ally is a manic assassin sent to extract the secret and kill him.
NINE PLANETS is a debut Christmas-themed science fiction thriller from an Australian author.
Find out more on AMAZON.
gregABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Byrne is an English teacher, grammar consultant, and lecturer. He enjoys exploring places, ideas, history, languages and science, dinners with friends, watching his family grow, and living life’s great adventure. His next projects are a young adult thriller with a twist, developing a grammar teaching system for schools, and writing a grammar text for ESL students. He lives in Perth, Western Australia, with his beloved wife and family and an overweight British Blue.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Interview with L. Nicole Murray, author of AUTUMN'S CHILD






L. Nicole Murray is a creative writer by passion, training, and profession. She is a Columbia College graduate with a degree in Fiction Writing and Marketing. Nicole’s dual Gemini personality helps her pursue creative writing as a personal profession. Nicole explores the creative landscape of the mind to craft fiction out of real emotion. She currently writes short stories, novels, poems, and screen plays. Autumn’s Child is her first novel.

Social Links:


About the Book:

"I am hurting. Fractured in places stitches can't heal." Autumn’s Child tells the desperate story of Layla, as a young and naive twelve year-old girl. Over ten critical years, her life quickly changes like the colors of the trees in autumn. The accidental death of her parents forces her to abandon her religious, middle-class lifestyle. She moves to the inner city of Chicago with her grandmother and aunt, her only living relatives. Layla tries to approach her new life with optimism, but the perfections of her past life haunt her tormented journey. After coming to grips with the reality over the years that her only aunt despises her, Layla soon discovers that she may secretly hold the keys to helping her aunt’s diminishing health in her hands. Layla’s faith and sanity are continuously tested as she matures throughout each season of her life. She stumbles through her new found reality while learning how to play the distinct set of cards she’s been dealt. Layla’s neighbor and best friend, Shay, helps guide her from adolescence into adulthood. Autumn’s Child chronicles a life on the opposite side of the coin; where friendships grow out of tragedy, and the pressure of a marginalized life weighs heavily on pure souls. Layla must make many compromising decisions, all while perpetually asking the reader, What would you do?

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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?

A: Autumn’s Child started from a short story about the main character Layla. After writing the short I felt as if there was more to tell or more that wanted to know about her. How she felt, where her life was headed and I felt compelled to continue writing until I developed a personal connection and sense of discovery with Layla. Her life began to unfold for me as I wrote it, just as it unfolds for the reader as they read it. Actually, before I knew it I was a150 pages in and completely absorbed in Layla’s life. I actually felt a sense of accountability for her future.


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?

A: If you think about writing an entire novel you may be faced with a sense of anxiety or self-doubt. But if you begin by telling a story and enjoying the story that you discover on the journey of storytelling than you will find that it’s not actually difficult. 

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

A: I self-published which has been an interesting journey but one that I appreciate.

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

A: The publishing industry in general has been a surprised. As a creative you create but when you self-publish you wear so many different hats that at times you can miss being just a creative. 


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

A: I am working on another novel about a young lady that is on a quest to craft the perfect genealogy by any means necessary. I am also writing and focused on film and TV projects with my creative partner. I am currently writing the screen play for Autumn’s Child.

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

A: Anywhere with good content. I don’t have a favorite blog or website. The beauty of the digital space is that you are drawn to what inspires you. Some days I’m drawn to works of fiction, other inspirational works and some days I’m simply looking to learn more in my creative field.

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

A:That life will take you on various different directions and paths as you live. You can choose to deal with the cards you were dealt and take the lessons and grow from it or you can use your cards as an excuse for what you insecurely feel you can’t do. Either way your destiny is all your own. Circumstance is merely a condition that you can choose to dwell in or overcome, the choice is yours.
  

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

A: Autumn’s Child on Amazon or WWW.LNMcreative.com.  When Autumn sets in and the leaves on the trees have fallen to their end, there and only than is where you will find my sins. Autumn’s child will spring again… 

Autumn’s Child Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM1HsapHNDc






Saturday, December 13, 2014

BuzzFeed Announces 17 Best YA Book Covers 2014

I think over the years people have become enamored with YA book covers.  When the YA genre popped on the book scene a few years ago, it was the covers that attracted me to these books.  And the great covers are still coming in.  BuzzFeed has announced their top picks for best YA book covers for 2014.  Of the ones they chose, these are my favorites. 



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Interview with WJ Gunning, author of 'Redemption Towers'

W J Gunning lives on Australia's Gold Coast where as an artist and  survivor of three separate breast cancers she aspires to live sustainably.

Redemption Towers her second published novel was written on the  Gold Coast in the nineties as W J recovered from breast cancer.

The lust for life in the naughty, colorful and flawed characters of Redemption Towers empowered the author as she regained her own health.

At this time WJ  was a young school teacher recovering from breast cancer treatment and wondering if she would be given back my teaching position.

She found her characters lust for life and ability to adjust to the knocks life dealt them rejuvenating. With her own health and  economic future uncertain her tough, resilient characters redemption  gave her strength.

When it was finally confirmed she would not be given back her  teaching position she was able to bounce back in new directions with a resilience equal to that of her characters. 

You can visit her website at http://wjgunningbooks.blogspot.com.au/.

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?

In the early nineties I lived on Australia's Gold Coast.  I was a young teacher, with a new mortgage recovering from breast cancer treatment and waiting to see if I could return to teaching. My life was in limbo.  Where I was living was Australia's flamboyant playground with a media dominated by the lives and actions of its top players. One day a small newspaper article about a  financial scam caught my focus and the seed for Redemption Towers was planted.

I sat down to create my story and the characters emerged.   

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?

Writing this book was a total joy. I had a concept for a plot but my writing is character driven. Once I established my characters I loved my time with them till my work reached a satisfactory resolution. These characters were tough, resilient, very naughty and often funny. I loved each day at my computer writing  and working out a way to find their redemption. My tips for other writers would be write with characters you enjoy. You will be spending many days discovering these people and their actions and you will need to be somewhere that you and hopefully also the reader will both enjoy and find ultimately uplifting.

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

I self-published as it allows control of all aspects of the process. A learning curve but an exciting one.

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

I found the company with whom I self-published so helpful and was surprised what a great result was achieved using their software.

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

I have published  Contrite Hearts another novel I wrote ten years before  Redemption Towers. My friends keep asking me to write about how I regained my  health after three separate breast cancers. I do aspire to live sustainably now and am looking at how I can share the transition to  a sustainable lifestyle.. 

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

I have been working on my manuscript for so long will have to find some new hang outs.

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

My message with this book is that we can all find redemption. The characters in Redemption Towers seem so irredeemable with their glossy veneers but underneath  all is not what it seems and the resolution of their inner pain creates the plot. These  characters were all survivors at a time I was feeling particularly vulnerable. Their strength became my own..
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?
I
Yes I encourage all to write. When I began putting pen to paper I never envisaged the insights or strengths it would bring.  Already several readers have opened up about closed parts of their life after reading the many valleys of my characters. Once a door is opened light comes in and healing starts. You never know when you begin to write who is meant to read your words.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Interview with T.W. Fendley, author of The Labyrinth of Time - Win a $25 Gift Card!

The Labyrinth of Time Title: The Labyrinth of Time
Author: T.W. Fendley
Publisher: Silent Partner Publishing
Pages: 226
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Can Jade restore the Firestone’s powers before the First Men return to judge humanity? 


 Spending spring break in Peru with her grandmother isn’t sixteen-year-old Jade’s idea of fun. She’d much rather be with her friends at Lake of the Ozarks. Then she meets Felix, a museum director’s son. Jade discovers only she and Felix can telepathically access messages left on engraved stones in the age of dinosaurs. Following the ancient stones’ guidance, they enter the Labyrinth of Time and–with a shapeshifting dog’s help–seek a red crystal called the Firestone. But time is running out before the First Men return on the night of the second blue moon.   

For More Information

TW Fendley T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults. She began writing fiction full-time in 2007 after working twenty-five years in journalism and corporate communications. In October 2011, L&L Dreamspell LLC published her debut historical fantasy novel for adults, Zero Time. She fell in love with ancient American cultures while researching story ideas at the 1997 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Since then, she’s trekked to archeological sites in the Yucatan, Peru and American Southwest.

When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through remote viewing and shamanism. She currently lives near St. Louis with her artist husband and his pet fish. Her latest book is the young adult fantasy, The Labyrinth of Time.

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       Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, T.W. Fendley.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: Storytelling has always been a part of my life. I have fond memories of my sister and me jumping on our twin beds when we were supposed to be asleep, taking turns making up a story, one scene at a time. “Pretend I knew something, but you didn’t know I knew.” Sound familiar?
In middle school (we called it junior high then), I won a national youth essay contest about tuberculosis that featured my first imagined character, Timothy B. (T.B.) Mouse.
I started writing fiction for publication in the mid-1990s while living in New Orleans. In 1997, I fell in love with ancient American cultures while researching story ideas at the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Since then, I’ve trekked to archeological sites in the Yucatan, Peru and American Southwest. You’ll often find references to Inca, Aztec and Maya history, culture and mythology in my stories.
I began writing fiction full-time in 2007. My first sale was a short story, Solar Lullaby, in the 2010 Dreamspell Sci Fi Vol 1 ebook.

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

A: The Labyrinth of Time was inspired by my visit in 2008 to a tiny museum about two hundred miles south of Lima, Peru. The founder of the Library of Stone Books of Ica believed the engraved black river rocks he collected contained messages left for us by people who lived in the time of dinosaurs. Many consider the Stones of Ica to be a hoax, as you’ll quickly find if you do an online search. If that’s the case, kudos to the enterprising farmer who shared his fiction by engraving the story on more than eleven thousand stones.

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

A: When you’re writing a fantasy that includes aliens with comet spaceships, you need to make it seem plausible to readers. The first step was making it real to myself, which wasn’t hard to do. For instance, a comet spaceship like the one the First Men use in the book became less of a fantasy on Nov. 12, 2014, when the European Space Agency made a historic soft-landing of its Philae probe on a comet. Similarly, emerging technology is focused using stones to store information. Already a DVD made out of stone can store data for up to ten thousand years. By 2015, Hitachi predicts it will be able to preserve information for hundreds of millions of years on laser-encoded slabs of quartz glass. 

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: Under the Media tab on my website--www.twfendley.com—I have pages with photos, several versions of my bio, links to media releases, and reviews. http://twfendley.com/media/


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: So far, public appearances to promote my book have included a talk at a book festival (Lit in the Lou), book signings and occasional podcasts with Write Pack Radio. My next event is a book signing at 11 a.m., Dec. 13, at 6 North Café in Ballwin, Mo. Young adult authors Cole Gibsen and Brad R. Cook, and children’s author/illustrator Jennifer Stolzer will join me there. We’re calling it “Steampunk, samurai and a mystical Peruvian dog.” After the holidays, I plan to schedule other events, particularly to promote the audiobook release.

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

A: I would love to find the right agent to represent my work to the Big Five publishers. While I’m seeking that person, I think it’s important to continue providing my readers stories in various formats—ebook, audiobook, and print.

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: While the ebook was available for preorder on Amazon and Smashwords in September and October, I sought reviews via Net Galley and offered giveaways on Goodreads and Library Thing. I also partnered with Pump Up Your Books for a blog tour scheduled soon after the Nov. 7 launch of The Labyrinth of Time, and with Books Go Social for social media marketing to a global audience. I placed ads in December book industry catalogs via PW Select and Ingram-Sparks’ Advance, as well as Author’s Den book ads, in hopes of sparking librarians’ interest.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: I’m finishing the first draft of a science fiction novel called Moonblood--a retelling of the Adam and Eve story set in the near future.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, T.W. Fendley.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Thanks so much for this opportunity! My author’s website is www.twfendley.com and my blog is The Writers’ Lens (www.thewriterslens.com). The Labyrinth of Time is available online from most major and indie booksellers, including:
Amazon  (print, ebook & audio Dec 2014)
Smashwords (ebook)
Apple iBooks (ebook)
Also, I love libraries, and many will order my books if they get patron requests.

T.W. is giving away two $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins November 17 and ends on December 12.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 15.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Interview with Barry Tutor, author of Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To

ABOUT NEVER GIVING UP & NEVER WANTING TO

Like most, I knew about Alzheimer’s disease. It causes old people to forget. When my relationship with this disease began, it highlighted how little I knew. Following my widowed mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I researched this disease to gain insight about my new role as her caregiver and decision maker. What I learned and experienced during her affliction still left me somewhat unprepared for what was yet to come. Sixteen months following my mother’s diagnosis, my dear wife and best friend was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Though now I was familiar with this silent killer, my wife’s diagnosis set into motion many changes and challenges in our lives. Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every sixty-eight seconds. Currently, Alzheimer’s is the only disease in the top-ten causes of death that is on the increase and has no means of prevention and no possible cure. Given these facts, support for those afflicted relies on increasing levels of caregiving as the disease progresses. Let me explain something about this “old folk’s disease.” Alzheimer’s affects more than just parents and grandparents. It is also the disease of siblings, spouses, and children. Alzheimer’s forces many families to decide between home versus institutional care. An estimated fifteen million caregivers provide some level of care to the Alzheimer’s victims still living at home. No matter what level of care you are providing, the importance of preparation is paramount. Arming yourself with knowledge begins that preparation process. I was unprepared for the roller-coaster ride my life became as the sole caregiver for two Alzheimer’s victims. To meet their varied challenges, I adapted and developed multiple techniques for targeted personalized care. If only I knew then what I know now. By sharing my knowledge and experience, I hope to better prepare you for your caregiving journey.

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Trafford Publishing

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

In my book Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To I write about my 44 year old mother as she stood steadfastly by my father as he lay dying from a brain tumor. In the six months he was at the local hospital, after each workday she would spend as much time she could at his side. When my grandfather was at the Veterans Administration hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina dying from cancer, my grandmother would close the little mom-and-pop restaurant she owned and operated so she could go to visit him nearly every day. This trip was about one hour each way which for a little old lady was quite a journey. My family has always risen to the occasion and has stood by the sick and dying without hesitation.

When and why did you begin writing?

My writing career began back in the 1970s when I was a Logistics Specialist for various government contracting organizations. My writing was of a technical nature about various Navy systems and subsystems. Some writing efforts were just paragraphs where others were multiple chapters to be included in presentations, manuals and training materials. In the late 1980s until the mid-1990s I was the sole proprietor of a business that supported small businesses developing a wide variety of written materials including business plans, advertising copy and general presentations. Additionally this business supported individuals in writing/editing resumes, writing letters of complaint to corporations, editing op-ed pieces and editing graduate student’s dissertations. I did not start writing my “Great American Novel” until about 2010 when I began putting the pieces of Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To together.

What do you consider the most challenging thing about writing?

The most challenging thing about writing for me was identifying my audience. I was told early in my writing career to write to the lowest common denominator. I thought long and hard on who my audience was to be. Since my audience will most likely be the “average person on the street” I endeavored to write to the person that may only be high school educated. I don’t mean to sound like an elitist snob, but people with money tend to be better educated and, quite frankly, will likely be able to afford a professional caregiver or institutionalization. The second most challenging thing about writing for me was just finding the time to do it. If you read my book, you will find that I have a major set of responsibilities with caregiving and handling the duties of homeownership which puts a crimp in writing efforts.

Do you intend to make writing a career?

There currently resides on my computer several pages of rough notes for the follow-on book to Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To as there will be an obvious change in the principals of the book, and hopefully there will be improvements to report in the search for better treatments or a cure. For those who have read the book and have gotten to know my wife, Lynne, and our struggle with this disease, I feel that they will want to know how things progressed until the end. I don’t know if after this second the book if I would continue writing or not. I do enjoy it, but I don’t know if I am a one subject expert willing to beat back the competition with additional neurologic disease offerings.

Have you developed a specific writing style?

I don’t have a specific writing style. If I were to put a name to it, I would call it conversational or casual. But as it says in my book I am not a writer – I am a storyteller. I believe the importance of clearly conveying the message outweighs the importance of the style.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote comes from the movie My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys. “Just trying to get by without shoving.” 

ABOUT BARRY TUTOR

As a lifetime problem-solver, I faced the challenges of caring for my two AD victims by researching the disease and developing caregiving skills to assure their comfort and care.

Interview with Tom Stacey, author of 'Exile'



Tom Stacey is an English author of the fantasy novel, Exile. Tom was born in Essex, England, and has lived there his whole life. He began writing at school, often taking responsibility for penning the class plays, or writing sketches with his friends. While attending university to read history, Tom developed his writing by creating several short stories, some of which would later become to basis for his debut novel, Exile.

Tom self-published Exile in summer 2014 and is currently working on the sequel as well as another unrelated novel. He earns a living as a video producer in London in the day and writes at night, a bit like a really underwhelming superhero.
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About the Book:



On the fringes of the Verian Empire, two small boys stumble upon a strange altar, buried in the heart of a mountain. There they awaken a horror unseen for generations, that will descend upon the realm of men while it is at its weakest. For Veria is a nation at war with itself, only recently recovered from a bloody rebellion, and the time of heroes has passed. The empire is in a state of chaos, and while its ruler, the Empron Illis, rids the land of his remaining enemies, unseen forces are gathering at the borders. However all eyes are turned inwards. The Empron is not a well man, and there are whispers among the common folk that his advisors are spies; demons that only wear the flesh of men.

Yet there is hope...

In the distant mountains, a forester who has buried his past learns that he has not been forgotten, and that his crimes have sought him out at last. But he is no simple woodsman. He is Beccorban the Helhammer, Scourge, Burner and the Death of Nations, and his fury is a terrible thing.

For when all the heroes are gone, Veria will turn to those it has forgotten, before all is lost.

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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?

I was writing short stories while I was at university, largely for my own amusement, and I realized that some of them could fit in the same world. I toyed with placing them next to each other and then the story started to fall into place. Exile was a story that grew in the telling in a manner of speaking. E. L. Doctorow said that writing is like driving at night in fog. You know where you’re heading but can only see as far as the headlights will allow, and that’s very much how my process went with Exile.

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?

It was difficult on a number of levels. Trying to craft a story that can hold people over more than a hundred-thousand words is a huge task and can be very daunting at times. Any writer will know how scary a blank page can look, but once you get going, you realize it’s not so bad. I like the process of writing; I like how words drop into your mind before they flow onto the page. It’s very therapeutic. I did have moments of panic: I discarded and re-wrote the last third at one point, but know now that it was the right decision. To any other writers I would stress the importance of planning. It’s all very romantic to believe you can do what Tolkien did and sit down at a desk and write a masterpiece organically, but it’s not going to happen. Tolkien was the kind of man that would write thousands of words and then decide there was something he did not like and start again. Plan what happens, whether it revolves around a key scene or even a sentence and then work outwards. You are a spider spinning a web and you have to know where your anchor points are before you start building it. However, don’t be afraid to deviate if you must. The plan is a guideline but it is not the final thing, so if your intuition leads you elsewhere, follow it. You can always change it later.

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

I am self-published. I had several encouraging but ultimately unsuccessful responses from literary agents, so I chose to publish through Amazon’s KDP and then FeedaRead for the paperback copies. At this stage, I just want people to read my book. I want to make it as available as I can.

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

People’s responses have surprised me the most. I wasn’t expecting the kind words I’ve had or the support I’ve received from absolute strangers. It’s really quite amazing what a community of readers and writers there is online. Self-publishing is a lot of work but I feel it’s worth it. I’ve learned a lot, that’s for sure.

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

I am currently working on the sequel to Exile (title pending) and an unrelated thriller novel tentatively called Flotsam. I tend to flit between the two at the moment, so I couldn’t say when they’d be finished — sometime in the next year or so, hopefully.

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

I am a keen redditor and am often on r/selfpublish. I am also on Goodreads. It’s a site I only learned about once I had published Exile but I would recommend it to anybody wanting to speak to their readers and build a network.

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

I don’t think I’m really trying to get a message across. I don’t believe you can sit down and write a decent story while actively thinking about themes and the like. That’s construction, not creation. Rather, I just wanted to tell a good story, something that makes people think and feel and want to read on. Any kind of message would be very subjective anyway. I’ve read books that meant a lot to me, but they might mean nothing to someone else. If people pick things up from my story then that’s great, but it’s not anything I have actively thought about.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I would like to thank you right back for having me. I hope you enjoy Exile!