Tell us a little bit about yourself.
When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
Hmmm. I didn’t decide to become an author until later in my life. I have always had an interest in reading and can read books extremely quickly. Sometimes too quickly! Often, I’ll go back and read through books I’ve enjoyed 2-3 times. I started writing when I was about 30. Lately, I have moved more towards children’s books. They’re heaps of fun to write, and I love the whole process from writing to publishing.
What inspired you to write this book?
My latest books are The Day My Fart Followed Me To Soccer, The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist, and The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Zoo. They are books 4,5, and 6 in the My Little Fart series. My wife and I try to find ideas for books that parents and children could relate to and help them. The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Zoo has facts about animals, but also tries to throw in a few jokes and laughs along the way.
What drew you into the Children’s Book genre of writing?
I love just writing and having fun. I try to make my children’s books not only fun but also educational. They all try to pass along a message. About looking after your teeth and not being scared of the dentist, to participating as part of a team and helping out your friends.
What social media site has been the most influential to you as far as growing your audience is concerned?
I would have to say blogs. Blogs and other authors who support indie authors just like this site! I think that websites and indie author bloggers help to promote good indie books more than Facebook, Twitter or Instagram ever could.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?
Don’t give up and don’t try to do it alone. Being indie is great, but it’s still important to invest some money or time into your books. They say never judge a book by its cover, but with so many books being published every day, invest some money into your cover. Format your books, have them proofread and put the best possible product out there every time.
What does the future hold in store for you? Any new writing projects on the horizon?
No, we have some ideas for more books, but we just released The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Zoo this week! I’m also writing for an indie book magazine, Indie Authors Monthly! It’s free to download every week and a great resource for all authors.
Ben Jackson Social Media Links
http://www.indiepublishinggroup.com/ Indie Publishing Group
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15144197.Ben_Jackson Goodreads Page
https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Jackson/e/B00S4A4W5C/ Amazon Author Page
https://www.facebook.com/BenandSamAuthors/ Facebook Ben & Sam
https://www.facebook.com/MyLittleFart/ Facebook My Little Fart
Ben Jackson Author Bio
Ben lives in Tasmania, Australia. While working during the week as a Boiler Maker/Welder, specializing in Aluminum Welding, he also writes of a night as a Freelance Writer and Author.
Ben is in a Long-Distance Relationship with his wife Sam, who lives in Canada, she works as a full-time formatting professional, publisher, and author.
Be sure to check out all his books, there is definitely something there for everyone!
As Indie Authors, we rely on our valuable customers to write a review, if you could spare a minute to leave a review of one of our books, we would greatly appreciate it.
He has numerous books in progress so stay tuned for information on those by following this page, connecting with him on Facebook or Goodreads.
Remember, if you enjoyed one of his books, leave a review!
The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist
The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist
Timmy and his best friend the Little Fart are back again in The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist! In this beautifully illustrated children’s book you’ll experience Timmy’s first visit to the dentist, losing a tooth, and a visit from the Tooth Fairy.
No child loves the thought of a visit to the dentist. In The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist, Timmy takes a trip to the dentist with his best, and imaginary, friend the Little Fart. Timmy needs to have a tooth removed and then needs to help to try and explain the Tooth Fairy to the Little Fart.
Whenever the Little Fart is involved, hilarity and mischievousness are sure to follow! The authors decided to publish this book to try and help parents and dentists show that the dentist doesn’t have to be a bad experience. In the end, there is always the reward of receiving a visit by the magical and beautiful Tooth Fairy.
If you enjoy reading funny books with beautiful illustrations and love having your child read along with you, then make sure you grab The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist! Discover and giggle along with Timmy, and the Little Fart on their exciting day at the dentist.
1) Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you became an author.
From a young age, I was fascinated by mysticism; I wanted to know where I came from and where I was going to go when I died. It took getting quite a bit older before I learned to mellow out enough to really appreciate what was right here in front of me – life itself. But the part of me that’s obsessed with the unknown has never gone away and writing became my portal to that place. With writing – and especially writing in genres with elements of supernatural and horror – I get to ask hard questions about life and death, love and hate, right and wrong, about God and Satan and their respective representatives. I get to explore the unknown and imagine what might be out there. For me, that’s the appeal, that’s the reason I do it.
2) What was your inspiration for The Angel Alejandro?
It all started when I saw a guy walking down the street near my house. He wore a pristine suit and shiny black shoes, and had slicked-back black hair and dark glasses. He smoked from a long black cigarette holder and there was something so compelling about him that I turned to the person I was with at the time and said, “There goes my next bad guy.”
I named him Gremory Jones and I made him into a salesman of sin who comes to the small town of Prominence after catching wind that an angel has fallen to earth there.
As for the character of Alejandro, he goes back much further when, many years ago, I had an idea about an angel who loses his memory after crash-landing to earth. I was fascinated by Alejandro because he doesn’t know what he is, doesn’t know who called him forth, and has no idea what he’s capable of. But the story sat for a long time unwritten and untampered with – I couldn’t move it forward until I figured out the missing piece. And that missing piece turned out to be the sin salesman, Gremory Jones. Sometimes it works like that.
3) What theme would you hope the reader would take away from your novel?
Be careful what you wish for – you just might get it.
4) If you could sit down and speak with any of the characters from this book, who would it be and what would you ask them?
That’s a tough question because each of the characters in this book has his or her own story to tell – and most of the characters are in equal parts victims and aggressors. The people in the town of Prominence don’t necessarily realize what they’re getting into when they deal with Gremory Jones. They think they’re trading something inconsequential for something that will make them happy – which Mr. Jones all too eagerly helps convince them of – but it always turns out to be something with a hook and a catch, which I think is relevant to real life. We all want something, and when we finally get it, we’re all a little disillusioned, so I think it would be particularly interesting to talk to some of the characters whose lives were utterly destroyed by their exchange with Mr. Jones.
5) What is the bigger motivation when writing your stories: developing a sound plot or fleshing out well developed and complex characters? I ask because the characters in this story were incredible and really drew me into the story.
I’m very much a character-driven writer, which means it’s all about the characters. I sometimes have an idea of the plot before I decide who the players are, but more often, I have a fully-developed character who wants his or her own story. Either way, nothing moves forward until I have the characters down.
If the plot comes first, then I have to find the right characters for the story which turns into something that reminds me a little of actors auditioning for a role. If the characters come first, then it’s a matter of developing the plot around them. But either way, the characters really have to work for me if the story is going to work.
In my experience, even the most compelling plot loses its juice without characters strong enough to hold it together. And this means all the characters (except the fillers, of course) need to be strong – not just the hero or heroine. Readers want someone to root for, yes, but they want more than that. They also want someone to be frightened of, to swoon over, to love, to hate, to laugh with, and to cry over.
6) What social media tool would you say has helped you build and grow your readership?
Twitter and Facebook have both been great, as well as the horror-themed radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which I co-host with my dear friend and collaborator, Tamara Thorne. Because we’ve interviewed so many amazing and prolific authors, my work has been exposed to a lot of people I couldn’t otherwise reach.
7) What advice would you give to an aspiring authors out there looking to build their own readership?
Each writer’s journey is unique and there is no one answer that applies to all except this: Write. Write and write some more. As for building a readership, my best advice is to write damn good books. People will find them and they’ll tell their friends on and on it goes. But first, you have to know your craft and that comes more from good old-fashioned practice than anything else. You’ll never please everyone all the time, but you can – and must – always release a strong, quality product.
8) Any plans for future books involving these characters? Any new books on the horizon for you?
Because the fictional universe Tamara Thorne and I have developed crosses over from one book to another, there will probably always be some involvement from older characters in newer works. Though I haven’t found the right place for them yet, I’m looking forward to doing more with the electricians, Shawn Barzetti and Bobby Beckstead, who escaped the horrors of The Angel Alejandro by the skin of their skin-tight jeans. Shawn and Bobby made me laugh and I think they’ll be great comic relief when some future book gets a little too dark. Gremory Jones will have his own series in the near future.
As for new books, I recently released a new novel, Sleep Savannah Sleep, which is a paranormal murder mystery set in a town not too far from Prominence. Also, Tamara Thorne and I are working on a vampire novel called Darling Girls, which revisits her book Candle Bay, and my previous novel, The Crimson Corset.
About the Author
Alistair Cross’ debut novel, The Crimson Corset, a vampiric tale of terror and seduction, was an immediate bestseller earning praise from veteran vampire-lit author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and New York Times bestseller, Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series. In 2012, Alistair joined forces with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write – among other things – the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their debut collaboration, The Cliffhouse Haunting, reached the bestseller’s list in its first week of release. They are currently at work on their next solo novels and a new collaborative project.
In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests as Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of HELLRAISER 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore.
Visit Alistair at: http://www.alistaircross.com
- Q) Tell us a little about yourself. How did you find yourself becoming an author? I was born in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire which is in the North of England and have always lived in the area apart from a few years away at University in Manchester which was much fun! I started out with poetry and have written a few other things but never anything in the ‘chick-lit’ category and so this was a new venture for me. I really enjoyed the writing process and so went from there really. It’s quite addictive once you start writing and fulfilling as well. I also like Snooker, comedy and reading.
- Q) How did Jane of Manchester come to be written? What triggered the idea for this novel? The book came into being as I wanted to write something that might have a wide readership and also, I felt like the challenge of seeing if I could write something I felt wasn’t in my comfort zone. Time spent in Manchester years before suddenly seemed like an interesting place to set a novel and I knew I could write about real bars and restaurants and areas in the city to make it authentic.
- Q) What theme or message do you hope readers take away from this novel? I suppose the message would be to not panic in life that others are moving ahead of you and try and keep to your own path and not be swayed. It’s not always easy to do any of this and looking around at others and how they are moving forward can make you insecure as a person and anxious even but you can’t let that beat you. I think I make it clear that family and friends and a sense of community are important as well for a happy life. Try and relax and enjoy life but don’t expect things to always be rosy otherwise, disappointment will find you every time.
- Q) If you could sit and chat with anyone in this story, who would it be and what would you ask them? Maybe I’d talk to Kate, Jane’s sister and ask her why she has to have a superior attitude the whole time! Some people do think themselves better than others, especially if they have a good job like she does- Junior Doctor- and begin to think others are beneath them in some way. They probably don’t mean to be like this but people like Kate do make others feel unworthy sometimes and so I would put her in her place somehow!
- Q) What social media site has been the most helpful building your readership?Facebook is helpful and I have a page- J.G. Dow@homeofjane- which I use to post links to interviews like this and reviews and people check them out and hopefully sometimes buy the book or read it in the kindle library. Bloggers like your good self are also very important not just for reviews but also for giving new authors exposure on their sites, so thanks for that! Twitter is okay but I’m not great at using in effectively.
- Q) When writing a story what is more important to you as an author: developing plot or creating characters? The most important initial thing is to have good characters. You can’t do much if the characters are flat and lifeless so you need to start there really and have a good feel for who they are and treat them very much as if they exist in the real world. Plot is obviously important but depends on the book you are writing and as mine is more character driven, the story is a bit looser than a thriller or some crime novel would be where plot possibly comes before characters slightly.
- Q) What advice would you give to aspiring authors? To aspiring authors I would say it is important to like writing and don’t see it so much as work, but something you like to do. I think if you enjoy it, that will come through in the content of the writing and if you find it a bit tedious, that will show as well.
- Q) What future projects are on the horizon for you? Any future installments in the Jane of Manchester story? I have just recently finished the sequel to Jane of Manchester and will be putting it on Amazon next week sometime probably and will post a link to it on my Facebook page once its out. It furthers Jane’s exploits in the city and hopefully broadens her tale quite considerably as she slowly emerges from her shell and moves forward a bit, albeit at her own pace! That’s it for now really, although I have an unfinished book from ages ago I might try to complete if I can remember where I was up to with it!
Interview with Michael Bernhart1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became an author.
A familiar story: Much like the disgruntled admen of Madison Avenue who labor in the evening over their own redemptive great works of fiction, I started on a novel in the mid-80s as an antidote to a bad professional and life situation. This may work as an escape, but it isn’t a guarantor of good literature. The result – in my case – was a peevish, angry half of a book; the hero is unlikeable – as are all the other characters, come to think of it. Thirty years later I’m still trying to salvage that book.
Capitalizing on one advantage, I’ve enjoyed a singularly rich and diverse (and lucky) life. If I were to peal out the list of places I’ve lived and jobs I’ve held it would come across as boasting. It’s not; it’s gratitude, mixed with wonder. (Dumb luck is important.) The consequence is I can draw on first-hand knowledge of life on five continents and a variety of interesting occupations.
2) What would you say is the best description for your series of books based on Max Brown?
I’ve attached the label ‘philosophical thriller’ to the series. Pretentious? Of course. There is dry/wry wit, which seems to be my forte as a writer, and a travelogue-esque element as the settings are unfamiliar – and interesting – to most readers.
3) What inspired you to create this series and delve into this genre in particular?
Evil. Each book explores a different face. Jane Austen famously said it all comes down to love and money. I disagree; there’s more. As we move up the evolutionary ladder the higher-level species show an increasing propensity for dysfunctional mayhem. Animals fight and kill for survival, either as individuals or as a species. Humans often fight for the sheer hell of it, and to their disadvantage. Why? Paradoxically, the modern religions we’ve created – notably Christianity and Islam – take as their starting point that God is omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. How can a caring, ever-present, and all-powerful deity be supervising a world that’s convulsing with outright wickedness? It doesn’t square.
There’s no easy explanation for that inconsistency (called theodicy in religious debate) but I did feel some mileage might be gotten out of a closer look at the wellsprings of evil. Hence, greed, lust, ideology and acculturation are central fixtures in the novels. No answers, but if I got it right the questions may have been framed a little differently than in other novels.
4) If you could sit down for a drink with any character from your books, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Ronnie the Redoubtable Scot, a favorite of many readers. I didn’t treat Ronnie well at the end.
I’d ask Ronnie why he does what he does. He’s dedicated his life to the dangerous and underappreciated task of clearing landmines. One of those noble souls quietly trying to clean up humanity’s messes. And a wise-ass.
5) What would you say is the biggest challenge you face as an author when it comes to gaining a readership and marketing your book?
That is the biggest challenge. Each and every blessed day 2,700 new novels are pushed out on an indifferent reading public. Some of them must be good, but average sales are 250 copies, many to family, friends and the author him/herself. How do you break out of the pack? I have no idea. Writing is a losing proposition.
The big houses talk airily about quality control, but there’s little evidence they practice it (e.g., James Patterson continues to be published). I’d like to think the truly good and innovative literature is coming from the independents. The better reviewer/bloggers – like this one – provide a guide and filter but the number of their followers is typically small.
Are these counsels of despair? Hell yes. If it weren’t for rampant narcissism no one without a signed deal would write.
6) What advice would you give to any new or aspiring authors out there?
I’d like to tell you to scram; we don’t need more competition. More seriously? Read.
7) Any plans for more books in the Max Brown series or any other books on the horizon?
A very difficult one. One of the fascinating jobs I alluded to above was directing a women’s health program in Jordan. Under the umbrella of women’s health I took a brief run at honor crimes . . . and withdrew from the field, unsuccessful. In the current Max Brown novel his wife has liver cancer which leads them to the ‘red-trade’ of organ harvesting and illegal sales. I tie this to honor crimes where victims are plundered for saleable kidneys, livers, etc. Given these topics, it’s been difficult to keep up the dry/wry wit that has received favorable comment in the past.
This is a picture of the author. Some kind folks at a new age festival captured my aura on their aura-cam. They gushed that it was an exceedingly auspicious aura, and they looked sincere when they said it. At least they didn’t ask for money.
I had the pleasure to speak with author Tom Starita, author of the book “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated”. Check out some of the amazing things he had to share with us.
1) What was your inspiration for Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated?
A) We’re going way back to the weekend before Valentine’s Day in 2013. It was the lowest point of my entire life. I was alone and I had the flu. Not just the flu, like the worst flu in the history of modern medicine. I’m actually in the Weehawken Journal of Medicine because my strain was so rare and severe.
When I finally awoke from a three-day coma late Friday night I was starving. I looked outside my bedroom window and saw eight inches of snow. No big deal. The falling snow looked straight out of a Bob Ross painting and as I gazed out I appreciated the beauty of the situation. I leaned forward to appreciate the beauty even more and saw my car had been buried by the plow.
I would not be going out for food.
No matter, I wasn’t in any condition to drive so I made my way to the kitchen to find a takeout menu. I began dialing the Chinese place on the corner when I noticed the time on my microwave said 11:30pm, thus killing my dream of takeout.
Okay, okay, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not the best of cooks and I’m not in the mood to cook but I was starving so I opened my fridge and found the absence of food. I looked in the freezer and found empty ice cube trays. I opened cabinets and found shadows where boxes once stood. At that moment I realized I had hit rock bottom. I was sick, alone and in danger of starving to death.
I also realized that this would be a great way to start a book! So I dragged my decaying body to the computer and started typing. That’s when Lucas James’ voice appeared crystal clear in my mind and I just kept typing.
2) What would you say is Lucas James biggest driving force in this book?
A) Himself. He has one long term goal, rock n roll immortality and is blind to everything else. That means he has no short term goals other than attaining his one long term goal. That means he lives hour to hour, day to day figuring out how to turn whatever situation he’s in to his advantage.
3) What theme do you hope your book embodies to the readers?
A) That there are shitty people in this world and there’s nothing you can do to change that. Sometimes people fall into the trap of dating someone, or befriending someone who is toxic and will only bring doom and misery into your life. This book is about what happens when you don’t walk away from the doom.
OR if you’re an optimist…
It’s about trying to succeed at life, on your terms. Consequences be damned.
4) What inspired you to become an author?
A) I was seduced by the thought of being paid to make things up. Anyone can be a liar, but a professional liar? That’s something.
5) If you could sit down for a meal or drink with Lucas James, what would you ask him?
A) That’s a great question! First of all I would know in advance that I’m paying. If I wanted to act high and mighty I would ask him if he realizes the damage he causes to the people who care for him? Of course that would lead him to get defensive and the dinner would end right then and there.
If I wanted to shoot the breeze with him I’d ask what’s the first thing he’ll do when he officially becomes a rock god.
6) What social media tool or site has been the most beneficial to building a readership?
A) Facebook has been my best friend. It’s an easy way to connect with people and convince them to like my author page for updates. *cough* @TomStarita* cough
7) What advice would you give to any aspiring writers out there?
A) That you have chosen the hardest path for survival and to have a backup plan. That success is limited and victories are fleeting. But the moment you hold something that you created in your hands is one of the best feelings in life. You’re guaranteed to live forever.
8) What are your future plans? Any new books on the horizon?
A) My current plans are to do anything and everything to introduce Lucas James to the world. After that it’s see where the tide takes me. I have ideas that are percolating around right now but nothing imminent. I think the next goal is to write a script. When I’m on my deathbed I’d love to know that I wrote books, created a cartoon, putzed around a podcast and wrote a movie.
I just want to end this by saying that my sister recently came down with a nasty cough. She went to the doctors and was told that antibiotics wouldn’t work in a situation like this. It’s too far deep into the metacurlis lining of the lungs. Obviously my sister was upset and asked if antibiotics wouldn’t work what would? He placed her chart down on the counter, took a deep breath and removed his glasses.
This made my sister even more nervous.
“Tell me doctor. What can we do?” He looked her dead in the eyes and said,
“Your brother has to make the New York Times Best Seller’s List for his book, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated.”
If you don’t want to buy my book I understand. It might not be for everyone. But think of my poor sister. Coughing. Buy my book for her.
Check out the Review Here!