1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. What inspired you to become a writer?
I was inspired to become a writer through comedy. I have been a standup comedian for over a decade and even as a kid, standup was one of the few professions that I could actually respect. Which, despite a fear of talking in front of people, allowed me to pursue standup comedy.
2) What was your biggest inspiration for writing this book?
The biggest inspiration for writing this book, Hey Doorman VIII, was the election of Donald Trump. Which if one reads the book will easily identify as the inspiration. As I saw, and continue to see, a lot Trump’s attributes (arrogance, thin-skinned, xenophobic, misogynistic etc.) in the intoxicated and not intoxicated patrons of the establishments I work at. The number two inspiration was having time in between other projects (and not being hired to write on a tv writing staff, but that’s a story for another day about being black in Hollywood).
3) What theme or message do you hope readers identify with when reading your book.
In all of my non-fiction titles, which Hey Doorman is, there is no overall message or theme, besides being entertaining and funny in my signature brand of comedy. Which is honest, simple and wrapped in a Tarantino/Palahniuk/Chappelle darkness. In my fiction titles, the overall message often follows one of my favorite lines (albeit modified) from the Matrix trilogy: “Everything that has a beginning has an end. I see the end coming. I see the darkness spreading. I see death. And there is nothing that stands in its way.”
4) What social media site has been the most helpful in gaining a readership?
I’m not sure there is a social media site that has been most helpful in me gaining readership. Each one that I’ve used in the past, Facebook and Twitter, have there own benefits. But neither seems to have outweighed the other. If anything, the best way to gain readership without a big financial push, is word of mouth. So in that way, Facebook and Twitter are about equal in my estimation. But I just joined Instagram, so we’ll see what happens there.
5) What advice would you give to anyone who wants to pursue a writing career or is a beginning author?
My biggest advice to aspiring authors, is the same advice that Too $hort gives to aspiring rappers: “Don’t stop rapping.” In other words keep writing.
6) Any future writing projects in the works?
I do have a few projects currently in the works, but the one which I am most proud of is my directorial debut titled: HUMOR. The short film will be released October 30th on Vimeo On Demand and is available now for pre-order. This is the film’s trailer: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/humorashortfilm
You Can Follow John P. Kildemm At The Links Below!
Interview with James Gianetti
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I am a graduate of Montclair State University and have a background in education. Since I was twelve, I always had an interest in it and constantly worked on improving it throughout the years. When I was young, I’d pick up books and think about how daunting it would be to put all those thoughts, ideas, and characters into countless pages. Back then it seemed impractical and somewhat unachievable, now, it’s what gets me up in the morning. My motivation and passion stems from the notion of being able to create something from nothing or to write something that isn’t out there in the world yet.
2) What inspired you to write The Town of Jasper?
The inspiration to write Jasper came from breaking down and evaluating other stories. I didn’t want to necessarily follow a blueprint of other novels so I asked myself, “how can I write a story that appeals to all types of observers?” So I started studying and checking out television shows that were working well at the time like “The Leftovers” and “True Detective”. The challenge was balancing the new with the traditional, meaning, how can I tell a story that competes with a night of someone’s favorite show and pay enough tribute to the traditional reader’s market? Since I wrote it on spec, one of the benefits was not being confined to telling the story in a specific way. So I broke the story down and ensured that I was touching upon elements and themes that people flock to while also making sure I was creating something authentic and my own.
3) What was the process like creating protagonists Jack Sutherland and Richard Morrissey?
When you have two dominant male figures like them in a story, you have to make sure there is a conflict or relationship of some kind between them. Initially, their arcs were completely different and the story just didn’t work the way I had it. I spent a long time deconstructing their arcs and transformations and the challenge was making it compelling enough where the reader would be hooked and actually care about their journeys. I took a step back and tried analyzing the effectiveness of the story from a difference spectrum. I wanted the foundation of the story to be driven by irony, so that is when I decided to have their arcs occur in parallel, though not necessarily in the same location. The story shifts between the two of them with the unwritten opening always being “Meanwhile, Richard is doing this or “Meanwhile, Sutherland is doing that”.
4) What theme or message do you hope readers will get from your novel?
There are countless themes in the book both significant and diminutive. Self worth and community are at the forefront, with elements of love, trust, truthfulness, politics, disabilities, etc. I welcome readers to scrutinize over some of the themes or nod/shake their head in recognition of some of the ones that are more implicit.
5) Which do you find more fulfilling when writing: creating plot or creating characters.
I think it all depends on what kind of story I want to tell. With Jasper, I had this idea of a town and a unique atrocity. It isn’t necessarily “post-apocalyptic” it’s more “present-apocalyptic” and before I wrote characters, I needed to nail down and drive home on the environment, the scenario, and the landscapes of the town. Once I had the appealing and unique setting, I began to write characters that would be suited or unsuited for such an incident.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
I knew throughout the process of writing it that I wanted the experience for the reader to be visual. Going back to my approach to writing a novel tailored to the status quo of exploring stories, I wanted readers to visualize it in addition to reading it. Instagram has been an incredible tool that has allowed me to reach a wide array of readers and people interested in following the story and characters. I have and continue to release teaser images of events or characters within the book along with dialogue. The reception has been very positive thus far.
7) What’s one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Do not embark on writing a novel unless you truly want to write it. Don’t write a story just for the sake of writing a story. The process can take years, so make sure you are completely certain you want to explore your story and characters.
8) What are you future plans after the release of The Town of Jasper? Any other novels or stories in the works?
I have written a few short stories that I will start to send out to journals. One of them is going to be showcased on “The Short Story Machine” podcast from Paul Alves. I feel like I have scratched my short story itch for now. I have been toying with some concepts and directions for another installment to Jasper, however, I am also very much open to writing an entirely new story.
Interview with Clayton Graham
1) Tell us a little bit about how you got into writing.
I have written intermittently for many years and always loved Science Fiction. As retirement approached I thought that would be a good time to get serious!
It’s our connection with the rest of the universe which fascinates me. Science Fiction has been with me since I was a teenager, escaping to new worlds in the cobbled back streets of Stockport, England, where I grew up as a child. Halcyon days, when education and school milk were free, and summers were real summers. I treasured the ‘old school’ science fiction written by authors such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham – well before many were made into films.
2) What was the inspiration behind Milijun?
I wanted Milijun to explore how humanity would react when faced with an intelligence it cannot understand? It’s a good question, for it may happen someday. We are not currently prepared, of course, we are light years away from understanding how we should behave in such a circumstance.
Milijun challenges our mindsets through the eyes of a mother and son, and as such is perhaps more powerful and meaningful than if that challenge was through the eyes of the United Nations or the President of the United States.
I trust the book is about more than an alien incursion into the Australian outback. The story challenges the reader to contemplate our place in the universe, or multiverses (as we are now led to believe may be a possibility).
3) What was it like to fuse the science fiction drama with the complex theme of spirituality?
In a word, fascinating. Humans have always searched for the meaning of life. The idea that, like humans, intelligent alien life will more than likely have a spiritual side is worthy of consideration. We have developed our spirituality through thousands of years. We are growing closer to understanding it, and where our place is in the universe. An advanced alien society will have progressed much further – for example, maybe they will have proven the existence of the afterlife, or maybe they will have entered other dimensions. Anything is possible – we should not deride anything even if it’s outside our comfort zone.
4) What is more important to you when writing: developing plot or creating characters?
Because I love Science Fiction, the plot intrigues me most. And I love plots which interlink with the paranormal or the supernatural [which can be the natural we have yet to discover]. Dialogue is driven by the characters and is probably the easiest to compile – I just let it flow as I believe it would in real life, bearing in mind the people and events involved.
Scene description I spend a lot of time on, and is probably the area which is revised the most.
5) What social media site has been the most helpful for reaching your audience?
To be honest there is not that much out there beyond the obvious players. My primary focus has been on Facebook and I am just starting on Google Plus. Currently I do not do Twitter but I do rely on Book Bloggers and several Book ‘Clubs’. If anyone knows of any efficient media they are more than welcome to contact me at my website.
6) If you were to come face to face with one character in Milijun, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would choose Laura Sinclair – an ordinary mother, really – until she encounters mysterious events!
The novel explores the relationship between a mother and son. How far can it be stretched before the links break? How far would a mother go to save her son? Would she be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, or undertake actions she would never have deemed possible prior to the alien incursion?
Based on that, I would ask Laura two questions. What are her true feelings towards Major General Sebastian Ord? What does she think she is escaping to?
Knowing Laura, the answers would not be simple!
7) What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?
We can start with the obvious one – read your genre. Don’t start to write before reading, that’s like running before you can walk. If you have done your reading, and you have the urge to write, just write and see what comes out. Never throw anything away – a lot easier now with the advent of computers.
Also keep a pencil and pad on your bedside table. Quite often you will wake up with an idea, a thought, maybe just a sentence or phrase, or even a piece of dialogue. Scribble it down, file it somewhere safe.
Also don’t release your book too soon. Check out marketing options and maybe get some reviews, but don’t be a slave to them.
8) What are your future plans/upcoming projects?
I am working on ‘Saving Paludis’ at the moment, which is set in the year 3898 AD, some one hundred and forty light years from Earth. This story is totally different to MILIJUN, but with the same elements of action, technology and the paranormal. It also includes some romance.
It explores the links between an alien culture and mankind, interplanetary economics, military force and power. It also asks the question: what happens when a culture concentrates on a single purpose-driven technology over a period of hundreds of years?
Web Site: http://claytongraham.com.au/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/claytongrahamauthor/
Authors Show Radio Interview: http://claytongraham.com.au/authors-show-interview/
YouTube Trailer: https://youtu.be/d_0Na9Zu8JE
SALES AND REVIEW LINKS:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository [Australia]:
Interview with Author K. Hanson
1) Tell us about the inspiration behind The Azrael Initiative.
I’ve always enjoyed the books of Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, and other thriller writers. I love the idea of writing books that tackle modern issues, so I wanted to start a series of books that does just that. The Azrael Initiative is also about taking a normal person and turning her into someone who would willingly head into dangerous situations, such as being dropped into Syria to fight ISIS. As the series progresses, the events of this first book will prepare her for new dangers.
2) Why do you think it was important to tackle such a complex subject like terrorism and specifically the threat of ISIS?
I appreciate books that challenge me and make me want to learn more about a topic. I wanted to use The Azrael Initiative as an opportunity to challenge the reader to think about terrorism and ISIS from the perspective of someone who is on the ground and in the fight. I also wanted to highlight the fact that just as many Muslims are victims of their hateful acts as non-Muslims are. I hope that The Azrael Initiative inspires readers to pick up a nonfiction book or two on the topic of terrorism to learn more.
3) What made you want to get into the world of writing?
What got me into writing was actually me desire to make my own video games. For a long time, I’ve had story ideas for games floating around in my head. Unfortunately, to make those games the way that I want to, I would need to hire more people to help me, and that requires money. Eventually, I realized that while I couldn’t make games alone, I could write the stories myself. From the moment I made that realization, I studied some books on novel writing, outlined my first story, and got into hammering out the rough draft.
4) What social media sites have been the most helpful with developing your readership?
For me, I think Facebook has been the most helpful, though I’m still working improving my Twitter game and learning how to use Goodreads effectively.
5) What matters most to you when writing: developing plot or creating characters?
I actually give equal weight to developing an engaging plot and creating interesting characters. An exciting journey is important, but I also need someone memorable to go on that journey. There also needs to be an internal journey that matches the external events in the story. Story events should change characters and what they learn should be on display with how they act.
6) What are your future/upcoming plans? Any plans to continue with the Kayla Falk series?
Right now, I’m working on editing the first novel in a fantasy series. This book is titled Storm Raven and features a pirate captain who stumbles into magical abilities. Once I’m done editing that book and while I’m waiting for beta readers to get through Storm Raven, I plan on starting the second book in the Kayla Falk series, which will focus on the issue of human trafficking within the United States.
Red Death by Jeff Altabef Book Review
Fantasy and Dystopian genres blend together beautifully in author Jeff Altabef’s novel, Red Death. Exploring the impact of religion on various
groups of people and the dangers of how it dictates their lives, Red Death delves into the lives of several young people throughout this
deadly world, with various tribes and Kingdoms conflicting with one another and the mysteries of this world waiting to be unlocked by one
courageous hero. Here is the synopsis:
Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient
sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close. They must
keep Eden a secret if they are to survive.
Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained and dedicated Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother discovers a cure to
the plague, her world is turned upside down. The discovery is a miracle, yet miracles are dangerous in Eden.
The corrupt, all-powerful High Priest brands Aaliss and her brother Wilky as traitors, forcing them to run. They seek refuge in the last
place Aaliss thought she’d ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden, and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval
world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders who are only a few years older than her.
Aaliss yearns to return home to Eden, but she must protect Wilky at all costs. And when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the
Soulless, she questions everything she once believed, everything the Priests had taught her about those who live outside Eden—they are
forever cursed, savage, soulless.
Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens
to tear apart the Soulless world? Or… might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?
This was an incredibly well written novel. The dark dystopian world is so vividly described that you can visualize the characters in your
mind. The action and plot of this incredible book took this reader on a roller coaster of emotions and created a world that can easily
pass for a dystopian version of our own. The themes of this novel have never been more true than in this day and age, from the dark side of
power in religion, to the judgement we often have for anyone who isn’t a part of our own culture, to the true meaning of family and how
a person can find family in the most unlikely of places.
It was refreshing to see the gender roles reversed from the “traditional” book styles, where a man is the hardened warrior and the female
needs rescuing or needs to be taught how to fight. Aaliss is a seasoned warrior, and the male lead of this novel that fans will meet must
seek her help for a quest, and must use her skills in order to learn and survive. It shows a welcome trend of strong female characters that
may be flawed but still become the epic hero of the story and prove that they don’t need a man to save them. It helps to break down the
gender stereotypes of our world and showcases that a person’s gender doesn’t define a hero, but rather their actions.
This is a beautifully dark world that has been created by Jeff Altabef, and is a promising first novel in a brand new series. This new world
promises to bring deadly threats to Aaliss and the rest of the people she befriends in this novel, and shows that the world she knows is
going to change drastically. Filled with twists and turns, characters we love and characters we love to hate, this is a fantastic read that
every dystopian and Fantasy reader must check out, so make sure you pick up your copies of Red Death today!