Spotlight on Scott Cairns – Interview with Author of ‘Silver’

Scott Cairns is a new author that was recommended by Yvvette Edwards when I interviewed her a while ago. This is a tremendous recommendation, let me tell you.

His debut novel, ‘Silver’ has made it through to the quarter finals (final 500 of 10000) of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award this week.

So, let’s learn more about him and his work!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Scott CAuthor Shotairns and I am a self published author from Wokingham. I am married with one daughter. My first novel, ‘Silver’ was published with Createspace in August 2012 and has been shortlisted for the Historical Novel Society Award and is currently one of the quarter final entrants for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013.  I have also written some short stories for teenagers (‘Hogwash & Hooey’) and compiled two further anthologies of Drama Games and Seventeenth Century Comedy Plays.. The book has some high profile fans including Yvette Edwards, Booker Shortlisted author of ‘A Cupboard Full of Coats’. I chose to self publish after receiving some rather positive but narrow minded reviews from agents. ‘Silver’ centres on the story of a transgendered man (Avery Silver) in Victorian England and how, when his secret is revealed, it devastates but does not destroy his family and reputation. One or two agents where of the opinion that, having read ‘Trumper’ by Jackie Kay, there could not be room for another novel dealing with a transgendered character. By this token, is there no room for Andrea Levy’s ‘The Long Song’ because slavery has already been written about, if ‘Schindlers Ark’ is the pinnacle of Holocaust writing then why did John Boyne write ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas‘? At first, this feedback got me down and I shelved my manuscript but I decided to take the plunge last year and self publish because I really felt that the story of Avery is one that deserved an audience. Inspired by a true story of a Tammany Hall politician who, it was revealed on his death bed in 1901, had been ‘masquerading’ as a woman, the plot is tantalising and the era allows the reader some distance to really see a different side to what is a very contemporary issue.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I can remember and always dreamed of being able to call myself a novelist. ‘Silver’ is my first completed novel but I have many projects on the go and am currently completing Book 2.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

The very first story I recall writing was in my junior school for a lovely teacher called Mrs Hallett, it was a fantasy story about an island which had a gauntlet of exciting areas which needed to be surmounted before a glorious prize could be claimed. I was really pleased with it and she was too. It won an award and she tried to get me to send it off to someone but I never did. I was embarrassed about my illustrations!

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourself?

Try as I might, I cannot write without a soft covered, lined, large Moleskine notebook. I have a collection of over fifty notebooks in various shapes, sizes, covers and papers but I just prefer a Moleskine. This is eccentric as I type all of my work but need a notepad to keep track of family trees, character notes and images I collect to inspire me.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

I heard from a reader who chose ‘Silver’ as her Book Club read. The all-female group met in February this year and they all dressed as men to discuss the book. As well as enjoying the book and being very complementary about the writing, I was thrilled to hear that the book had sparked a debate about heritage, gender, sexuality and identity – all key themes from the book. I really felt as if they had got it.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

To my chagrin, I haven’t read any independent authors recently. I have been chairing two book clubs and have been reading traditionally published novels. My favourite has been by ‘The Visitation’ by Jenny Erpenbeck, a german writer whose work has been translated recently so I am unsure of the publisher. The book’s central character is a house and the novel follows the lives of its various occupants whilst within the house’s four walls. Its a chilling and compelling piece of work that touches on the horror of Nazi germany from an entirely new angle. This was a book which I jealously admired and learned from.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

I am a huge fan of Sarah Waters, Margarat Atwood and Alice Walker and they are a source of great inspiration to many writers. Most of my favourite novels are written by women. I don’t know why this is but they seem to feel more real somehow. My mum, my wife, my Nanna and my daughter are my own network of support and inspiration, all of whom are immensely proud of my modest achievements and encourage me daily to get on with the next project. I secretly think that they want ‘Silver’ to be made into a film so they can go to the premiere. Who would play Avery? Someone like Jude Law, I think.

Do you have a WIP (Work in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I am working on a very contemporary novel at the moment. It is a thriller and that is a huge departure for me as I much prefer the historical novel; both  to read and to write. The central character is a hoarder and I have found it fascinating to research why people become compelled to hoard on such a scale that it becomes an obsession; a dangerous one for my character…!

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

That’s easy as I only have one novel so ‘Silver’ it is!

Silver_Cover_for_Kindle

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

I have a huge soft spot for Elizabeth Greenwood. She is feisty, hedonistic and, in some ways, quite a charmless creature but she was the easiest character to write. Her dialogue crackles with a fiery quick wit that I am jealous of and she was a pleasure to write. I have often heard writers who say that sometimes characters write themselves or that they find their stories going in directions they had not imagined and I wondered how this could happen. Well, this happened to me every time I sat down to write Elizabeth.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

 I love Facebook and find it hard to ‘disconnect’. It is a horrible distraction sometimes and one that writers can ill afford. I do tweet but find it hard to find the point to Twitter.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

This has been an uphill learning curve but an essential one. As a self-published author, there is no marketing department to do this part of the job for you. If you want your book  to be read, then you have to promote it. It’s not terribly British to place yourself on a platform and give people reasons why you think they should spend money on your work. It doesn’t come naturally to me but I am learning about the art of Self Promotion all the time.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

‘Silver’ is available from Amazon in Paperback or in eBook format for Kindle.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Silver-ebook/dp/B008X9P37A

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silver-Scott-Cairns/dp/1479132284/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363367303&sr=8-1

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Scott! Wishing you the best of luck with the Amazon Breakthrough Novel!!

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for the next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on John Nardizzi – Interview with Author of ‘Telegraph Hill’

John Nardizzi is not only an author who writes about investigators; he is a Private Investigator himself! How cool is that?

He’s also a lawyer, and uses his experience to write. His debut novel, Telegraph Hill, has been receiving great reviews, and is definitely added to my (huge) TBR! 🙂

So, let’s learn more about him!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Photo on 2012-08-30 at 09.58Pleasure to be a part of your site Renata. I grew up in Boston and lived in San Francisco for a decade. It was in California that I started working as a private investigator and getting more serious about writing. For my crime novel Telegraph Hill, I based a lot of my characters on people I met while working as a PI: witnesses, cops, hookers, street people. While I was in law school, I represented people from a rough part of San Francisco called the Tenderloin, and spent a lot of time in this edgy colorful part of the city. Some of my research involved drinks, or ended up with me buying drinks at these old dive bars and talking to street dudes.

In California, I started to get published–poetry, short fiction and even a short film about some of my homeless clients. After law school, I started working for a well known detective agency in San Francisco. I got re-interested in reading some of the classic PI novels — Raymond Chandler and Robert Parker especially– and wanted to bring some of my real-life experiences to a novel.

A few agents were very high on Telegraph Hill but wanted me to slant it in a certain way. One suggested I make the protagonist an amateur. Which is ironic, of course, given I am a real PI–what was I going to do, write about a dentist who is a part-time sleuth? Then I came across a new publishing venture at www.libboo.com. They offered a great new platform for selling books and published an eBook version of Telegraph Hill. A talented artist named Aldren did the cover.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was 15 or so. Songs, poems, little biographical sketches of people. I was asked to write a biography of my soccer teammates and I would insert things like “led league in scoring and outstanding arrest warrants” and later I’d get calls from the guy, “Where
did that come from!” Just like to let off steam. Later I got more serious with it.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Yeah, it is buried in a box in my attic somewhere. I wrote a story about a piano and a young kid who dreams of being a musician. He becomes possessed by the music he plays. Twilight Zone stuff, I love that show.

 Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourself?

Eccentric–me? Everyone else around here is weird. 2 things I guess I have been told: I eat weird stuff like red cabbage, and pasta for breakfast. And I listen to music obsessively, the same album for 5-6 straight months in the car. Let It Bleed by the Stones was on there in 2012 almost exclusively.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

That certain passages in Telegraph Hill have images that are startling and memorable. I like to hear that since I come at fiction from writing
poetry — trying to boil down the writing to hard, spare imagery. A lot of readers say they have a terrific view of San Francisco through the eyes of the characters. So I appreciate comments like that.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

Yes, Thomas Davidson wrote a great thriller with awesome old school rock n’ roll references, it’s called The Museum of Sudden Disappearances. If you like creative language and humor and classic rock music, I definitely recommend it.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

Reading J.R.R Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings was a huge discovery for me as a young kid. Tolkien really lit the fire for me. And my parents always had books all over the house. They encouraged me to read and write, always took us to the library to get books. We were expected to read and be challenged. TV was limited, and while I resented it then, I appreciate that now.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I have 10 chapters done on a sequel to Telegraph Hill. I also have an agent reading chapters for a non-fiction book about some of the cases I have investigated, some big murder cases, cases involving con artists –basically what it is like to work as a PI. I started in this industry working for a flamboyant PI in California who said things like “No one leaves this firm, they either get fired or die.” So it was that kind of place. A weird corner of the legal profession that readers will get to see.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

Telegraph Hill is my first full length novel so that would be it. I wanted to take some chances in the telling of a detective story, use language like Don DeLillo does in Libra, a novel filled with poetic riffs from a possessed mind. I stay true to the genre but readers are telling me the writing took them to a new places in San Francisco. Especially when the investigator Ray Infantino does interviews with witnesses.

Final_Cover_JPEG

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

I would say the investigator Ray Infantino, since it is his journey. But my heart goes with his lover Dominique. She reminds me of a lot of the strong women in my family and ones I have met in my life. She has the star qualities–heart and intelligence and character.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I always appreciate anyone who takes time to write or email. Twitter is a blast, and perfect for quick jabs and comments. Don’t really do anything anymore on Facebook, irritating company with no sense of privacy.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

Libboo has been a great discovery. They took my novel, got it to eBook form and created a space where readers can discover it. Aside from that, marketing is a lot of work and you have to be a part of it. No one does it for you, even at the big publishing houses. You gotta get the word out and jump the train as it steams on by.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Book sales (Kindle, Nook, iPad etc): https://www.libboo.com/read/telegraph-hill/johnnardizzii

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorPI

Author Site: http://www.johnnardizzi.com/

Thank you for the answers, John. I’m sure we will be reading and hearing about Investigator Ray Infantino for a long time. 

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for the next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on Yvvette Edwards – Interview with Author of ‘A Cupboard Full of Coats’

I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am with this interview. Today I have the privilege of interviewing a new author, whose debut was one of the best novels I’ve ever read.

As you can read on my 5-star review of her book, I really loved it. Besides being an amazing author, Yvvette is also a great person, who even let me use one of the many beautiful sentences of ‘A Cupboard Full of Coats’ as an epigraph for ‘My Sore Hush-a-Bye’.

That’s why I’m so proud to present you this interview.

So, let’s learn more about her!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

My family are from Montserrat in the Caribbean.  I was born in England and grew up in Hackney, East London.  My first novel, A Cupboard Full of Coats, was published in April 2011. I started writing A Cupboard Full of Coats during the year that followed my 39th birthday, which was probably the most introspective year of my life.  The idea evolved from a true life scenario and had been knocking around inside my head for a couple of decades before I finally got moving with it. It took about eight months to come up with a first draft, and another year to edit it.  Then about a year to find an agent, and maybe eight months for her to find my publisher, Oneworld Publications.  My novel embraces my cultural background and the lives of people I’ve grown up with. It is steeped in realism, and explores a number of meaty issues, like domestic violence, single parenthood, jealousy and love.  I think I write about things that trouble me, and the writing process is cathartic, so I don’t necessarily understand things more when I’ve finished writing about them, but I feel better, and for me, that’s enough.

How long have you been writing?

I have always loved both reading and writing.  Perhaps because when I was growing up my family didn’t have much money, and certainly not lots of money to spend on toys, I spent my childhood in libraries, and through books I went on adventures, often visiting parts of the world I could not have travelled to otherwise.  Through books I have lived a thousand lives in addition to this current life that now finds me writing myself.  For me, reading and writing are flip sides of the same coin and I have done both as far back as I can remember.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I can’t remember the first story I ever wrote, but I do remember that my first ‘major’ work was a biography of the life of Elvis Presley, which I wrote in 1977 in the days following his death.  For large periods of the writing, I could hear my mum and my aunts crying in the background!  I don’t have a copy of it, but I really wish I did.  It was just over 30 pages long and I can vividly remember the feeling of accomplishment I had when it was finished.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourself?

I have an obsession with trees.  One of my favourite fantasies is reading a book beneath an Indian bean tree.  I have favourite trees in different places I’ve visited, and books filled with pictures of them.  Weeping willows fill me with sadness.  Laburnum and cherry trees in flower make my heart sing.  The colour of autumn leaves simply takes my breath away.  Because of trees, autumn is my favourite time of the year.  The second (riveting!) eccentricity is that I’m an eavesdropper.  I love listening to fragments of conversations, as I pass people, while on buses or trains, one-sided discussions people have on their mobile phones.  And I am as enthusiastic about listening to what is said as what has not been said, the gaps and holes.  In fact, I think I enjoy the spaces in conversations more than the conversations themselves.  I like to think of it as healthy curiosity, (as opposed to me being nosey!)

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

I have been asked if my novel is a true story because the characters and events seemed so real.  That is always music to my ears.  It is not a true story, but I feel I have accomplished what I set out to when readers find my work so authentic they believe it must be autobiographical.  I was also deeply moved to have been asked if one of my sentences could be used as an epigraph for another writer’s work.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

I haven’t read many books by independent authors, though I have a few in my ‘to read’ pile, that I’m hoping to get to soon.  However I had the privilege of reading Silver by Scott Cairns a few months ago, and I strongly recommend it.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

If it were a single author, it would be the magnificent Toni Morrison, who blew me away when I was about twenty with The Bluest Eye.  Despite my having read thousands of books by that point in my life, I had never read anything like it.  It was so honest, and deep, and eloquently written, (some of her sentences read like poetry, so lyrical), not to mention that it was the first book I’d ever read with a purely black cast and it was written by a black woman.  I think that was the first time I actually truly considered the possibility that I could perhaps one day be a writer myself.

My mum has always supported me in my writing endeavours, as have my husband, and my close friends and family.  I consider it great fortune to have them in my life.

Do you have a WIP (Work in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I do.  I have another fabulous female protagonist on the cards, who is trying to find her way through some weighty emotional issues.  I’ve not been able to carve out, (and defend to the death!) my designated writing times over the last couple of months, which means my progress is much slower than I’m happy with, but it’s headed in the right direction, and I’m in love with it.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

This is an easy question to answer as I have only had one book published, it’s A Cupboard Full of Coats!

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

I love Lemon.  He is my favourite of every character I’ve ever created.  He’s so stylish and flawed and honest and funny and disgraceful.  And I had a lot of fun with his speech, idiosyncratic and humorous and blunt to a fault.  He was a genuine pleasure to craft, so vibrant.  I would love to have met him.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I’m a bit of a late-comer to social media, but it is brilliant that through mediums like Facebook and Twitter, I can interact with people who have read my book in parts of the world so far away, that if it wasn’t for these forums, I wouldn’t have the chance to correspond with them at all.  I think I am more of a happy tweeter than a Facebooker – if there is such a word!  Having said that, you can have more of a chat on Facebook.  Plus I’m an over-writer most of the time which means that on Twitter, I often end up spending more time trying to reduce my tweets to less than 140 characters than it takes me to write the tweet in the first place.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

I am very lucky to have had my book published by Oneworld Publications, who have done much of the marketing on my behalf.  I am also lucky that my book is judged on its content and not my marketing skills, which I’m not convinced are particularly good.  I have to do some marketing myself.  It is hard work, and requires me to regularly step outside of my comfort zones.  But I love talking to readers (and writers!) about my book, which is very fortunate.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Twitter – www.twitter.com/YvvetteEdwards

Facebook – www.facebook.com/YvvetteEdwards

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A-Cupboard-Full-Coats-ebook/dp/B005F37X7K

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Cupboard-Full-Coats-ebook/dp/B005F37X7K

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Yvvette! I know how busy you are, so I really appreciate that. Now please, don’t let me interrupt you anymore. Go back to your WIP, because I can’t wait to read your next masterpiece!! 🙂

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for the next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on Marlin Williams – Interview with Author of ‘The Attic Piranhas’

He’s the author of some greatly reviewed mysteries. He says he writes for his readers’ enjoyment, and it’s clear that he’s doing it pretty well so far.

With his wife as a supporter and editor, Marlin Williams has a winner team.

So, let’s learn more about him!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Marlin Williams. I’ve lived in Southeast Texas all of my life except for a brief time in Austin. I loved the artistic community and creative mind-set of that city. I’m currently living in a small country town and the slow pace allows for ample writing time. I began my writing career as a freelance writer for online publications about health and fitness. In 2011, I expanded to writing fiction short stories for Hubpages and decided to enter the Hubpages Patron of the Arts Contest. My short story, The Agency, won the overall Grand Prize. One aspect of winning the contest was to have Smashwords format and publish the short story for ebook distribution on their site. They not only published The Agency, but they agreed to format and publish my novel, The Attic Piranhas. My writing career has now become my primary focus. At this time, I have gone exclusively with Amazon and have self published the novel and two short stories.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing fiction for most of my life. I had almost given up on getting my writing out there until self publishing opened up a whole new avenue.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Yes, I was six years old. The title was, John and the Haunted Well. I folded a piece of notebook paper in half, drew a well and a spooky looking tree on the outside of the paper and wrote the story on the inside.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

I kept thinking about that and all I could come up with is that I’m so normal that I’m boring.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

The consistent feedback I receive is that the stories hook them and they can’t put the book down until it’s finished. That makes me feel like I’ve done my job as a writer and put something out there that readers enjoy.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

There are so many great Indie authors out there that take their craft seriously and produce some really great works. I’m just now getting to know who they are. One author I enjoyed reading recently is K D George. His novel, Q-A Thriller, was well written and suspenseful.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

In my early years, it was my mother. She encouraged me to write and even bought my first typewriter and a book on how to write novels for Christmas when I was in Junior High. My biggest supporter now is my wife. She not only encourages me, she plays a big part in the writing process by editing my work. She actually takes my writing and turns it into something great. She will never allow any writing to be just okay. It has to be great. If any of you have experienced what a great editor can do then you know what I’m talking about. Editing is where the work starts.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I’m currently working on another novel titled, New Flesh On Old Bones, a thriller suspense and a short story called, Life Form, a science fiction short story.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

My favorite is actually my short story, The Agency. I love old Hollywood and am a fan of Alfred Hitchcock. I used both for my inspiration for this tale.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

My favorite character is Max Fagan from my novel, The Attic Piranhas. Max is a guy that is really down on his luck. He is selfish, self centered and depending on things outside himself for change. His off-the-wall journey was fun to create.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I like Twitter the best because I’m meeting so many wonderful authors there that are working hard to make their dreams come true. They are all an inspiration to me.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

I found it hard to concentrate on writing and do the marketing. It takes a lot of time and effort to bring a book to the top where the readers can find it. I would honestly love to hand that part of to some one that knows what they’re doing in that field.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

You can find me on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0081S2PS8

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Marlin!

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on Amanda Green – Interview with Author of ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’

Spotlight on Alex Hunter – Interview with Author of the Game Over series

There’s some mystery here today, with my guest. As you may see, we don’t have a bio picture, and all I can say is that this person is really sweet and creative. We met on Twitter, and cheered each other to finish our books.

I’m truly happy to present you today to Alex Hunter, and the Game Over series.

So, let’s learn more about Alex!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Alex Hunter. I have always lived in Wales, in the UK and I have always wanted to be a writer.
This is the first time I have finished a book from the first word to THE END.
And it is the best feeling ever – except for maybe holding my finished book in my hands.
I tried to get an agent for a couple of months and had a few come back with a ‘no’ – some don’t even bother with that!
But I found it to be quite a miserable and frustrating process that seems to take forever. I remember being so excited every time I got an email or phone call in case it was an agent getting in touch with a yes. It never was though.
In the meantime I’d stopped writing while I waiting for my ship to come in!
But in March of this year, 2012, I just decided to do it myself! With a little bit of help. I found a local editor and asked a friend who’s a graphic designer to do my covers and my illustrations. And then I got to work!

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was about eight. I have probably started more than a hundred books, but never finished any. I was full of good ideas but not so good on the execution.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I remember watching Byker Grove (A UK kid’s programme set in Newcastle about a youth club) and writing my own version. Not very well.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

I bite my own toenails.
And I can turn my eyelids inside out.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

I wrote GAME OVER to help get my son, who is 8, to enjoy reading. When he read it and said it was brilliant that made my day

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

I write more than I read at the moment, trying to spend every moment writing, so my reading has taken a back seat – which is sad because I love to read.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

I have always wanted to write because I have always enjoyed reading. I will read any writer and any genre.
My whole family supports and believes in me, which is great.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

At the moment I am only working on GAME OVER (because I do tend to get distracted easily!). This set of four books is called The Knight’s Castle. The next four will be The Pirate’s Island and then the next will be something about aliens.
Book One is available now, Book Two is ready to go to print, Book Three is about to go to the editors – my awesome editor Chrissie Collier – and Book Four is more than half written.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

My favourite is the first of this series, because it’s the first time I’ve seen a book through from start to finish, through editing and illustrating – thanks to my amazing illustrator and cover artist Jen Rew – to a finished book I can hold in my hand.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

I have two – Sam and Corey because they are named after my sons!

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I’m getting better at it!
Twitter is my favourite. It annoys me that my responses can only be so long, but the help that I have received – like this interview, for example – are priceless. If I ask about reviewers or formatting or marketing someone on there has the answer.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

This is a funny one.
When I dreamed of being a writer I always assumed I would have a traditional publisher and wouldn’t have to think about this, but I am finding that I quite enjoy the challenge of getting my book out there.
At the moment twitter and face book are my friends!
But I have also been invited to speak in schools and plan to ask if I can do the same in libraries.
I have made bumper stickers and posters to place in children’s play centres. I’m trying to think where parents go so that I can attack them with some form of advertising.
It’s the hardest bit of self publishing – and I’m sure others would agree.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Okay so my website is www.gameoverbooks.com and all the info needed is on there!

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/T7CZ7v

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Alex!

(May I say I’m really impressed and a little disturbed by your eccentricities? O.O)

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on David Prosser – Interview with Author of the Barsetshire Diaries series

It’s really a pleasure to have this funny and elegant author here. David Prosser born 1951 worked for many years as a Local Government Officer before taking early retirement due to health problems. Finding it difficult to talk to people as a result of the illness he found himself in the situation of being housebound most of the time. In an effort to prove to himself he still had a value he started The Buthidars which is an all denomination, all color, all creed group determined to better the world by Hugging.

The next step was to remind the world of Edwardian style and beg the designers to recreate it in exchange for clothing that displays too much of next weeks washing. Let’s dress with some dignity!

Often heard are the words, life begins at 40. David is trying to show that life can get a kick-start at 60 too. He chose this age to sit and write his first novel, My Barchester Diary, a fictional look at the life of the gentry.  Currently under consideration is a fourth book, the next in a line of books he hopes will entertain and make him rich !

So, let’s learn more about him!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Hello Renata, thanks for having me. I’m David (M F ) Prosser though I don’t use the initials on my books as there wouldn’t be any space left for the design. I’m the Lord of Bouldnor an hereditary Manorial title lost in the mists of time, well the 1400’s anyway. I was born in Germany when my parents were posted there ( not in the mail of course ) but have lived in North Wales for a long time. My father was Welsh and I consider myself to be so.

My journey as a writer has been short since I only started writing at age 60 after someone asked me how my day had been and I responded in the form of a diary entry that supposedly had her in stitches. She asked for more…….and more……..

This cover was kindly designed by another author and friend http://ililarbel.weebly.com

Book 2 which is also in diary form is a prequel telling of the days between gaining his title and now, when he performed the duties of an unofficial envoy to Her Majesty. I’m afraid I undertook the cover design for the paperback but a kind lady, author Patti Roberts did the design for the ebook. The imaginatively titled ‘More Barsetshire Diary’ is a part sequel to book 1 in which the reader gets up to date with the attempt by the Dreaded Edna to get herself elected as Councillor with Lord David’s help. He also gets volunteered to help raise funds to save the childhood home of Diana The Dowager Duchess of Cheam, or Triple D as he call her, though not to her face.

The Cover for this book and for each of the chapters was a very talented young artist called Sara Japanwalla www.sarajapanwalla.com The cartoons are fantastic.

How long have you been writing?

This morning about 4 hours since I’ve had lots of emails…oops, you mean WRITING. Well, properly since I was 60 which was 2011 but it was about the July I started and couldn’t seem to stop. Though of course I’m sure I remember writing stories for myself when young and some to read my daughter when she was much younger.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I’m afraid not though I’m pretty sure it involved Brer Rabbit. I do remember there was a problem getting the dinosaurs to sit still while I read it.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

What, who’s been talking?????? I suspect that I could be considered eccentric because I tend to wear a lot of waistcoats (vests for my U.S. Cousins) in lots of colours and perhaps also because I like to wear a frock coat as often as possible. Usually black but sometimes brown. I think we’ve lost elegance these days and I’m doing my bit to encourage it back.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

I bought something from ebay which necessitated me sending a message to the seller. He responded with the answer and then tagged on ” Are you the same David Prosser that wrote My Barsetshire Diary. My wife was laughing so much at it I pinched it off her. It was hilarious?” I was amazed that out of the millions of users I’d found the person I sold the book too. (Joking, I have sold more than one and I’m looking for the other person now).

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

That’s really hard as there are so many good ones out there and of course in different genres. But…

Not your run of the mill Romance stories- Collette Scott http://www.collettescott.com/

Christian Paranormal- The G6 Chronicles – Daniel L Carter http://g6chronicles.com

Thrillers. The Tom Gray series – Alan McDermott http://amzn.to/AyDk8S

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

I think pushed into describes it better than inspired, but support was given by Ilil Arbel who continued to convince me it was worthwhile as I sent each new chapter and of course my wonderful wife who laughed in bed every night, even when I gave her the book.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

For a moment then I thought you knew about my secret dungeon. I started the fourth book last August under the working title, More Queen’s Envoy ( no-one’s ever going to say I lack imagination are they?)but my wife was diagnose with terminal cancer that month and I haven’t written since.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

The Queen’s Envoy is favourite because I had fun writing it. I allowed myself to be the poor man’s James Bond who could still solve the problem. It was the side issues where I’m faced with women that made me laugh as I had to confess my naivety.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

Since I’m the main character it would be wrong to say me. But I’m going to anyway because he’s much more stoic than I am and I think I’d like me to be the me that the me there is.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

Gone are the days when I could sit down and interact on Facebook. Since Indie publishers are bound to do their own publicity and promotion I spend an inordinate amount of time tied to my chair and with upward of 300 messages a day I have no time any more for being social. Of course when I’ve made my first million and can relax a bit and hire a secretary perhaps the old times will reappear. If anyone wants to buy a million books to fill a library just get in touch…

How do you feel about marketing your books?

It’s chore, it’s a bind but it’s a necessity if I’m to sell any. Even those people lucky enough to sign with a mainstream publisher these days find it’s not optional.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com

http://www.amazon.com/Lord-David-Prosser/e/B004I7CFTU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1348304316&sr=1-2-ent

http://www.amazon.com/Queens-Envoy-Barsetshire-Diaries-ebook/dp/B0054GP52S/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348304424&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Queen%27s+Envoy

 http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/LordDavid

@davidmprosser

Many thanks for the visit Renata and for letting me ramble on. You’ll show yourself out won’t you. Can I just check your handbag for my silverware. Can’t be too careful these days.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, David! (I told you he was funny! Tell me this interview didn’t put a smile in your face–I dare you! 🙂 You sure need to read his books!)

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on Massimo Marino – Interview with Author of ‘Daimones’

He’s an international gentleman with a scientific background. Massimo Marino spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum. He’s also partner in a new start-up in Geneva for smartphone applications: TAKEALL SA. Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily. But calm down, he swears he’s not a smuggler!

Being a gentleman, of course he plays golf. 🙂

So, let’s learn more about him!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi Renata, thanks for the opportunity to be with you and your readers. I’m Italian, or should I say, Sicilian. Palermo is my home town and I left it in 1986. I now have lived more years abroad than in Italy. Needless to say, I have changed in many and different way than my old friends there.

 I lived in Switzerland, France, and the United States. For work, I used to travel some 500,000 air miles a year. I am a scientist as a background, having spent over 17 years in fundamental research. Most of my writing are academic stuff. I worked for many years at CERN, near Geneva—an international lab for particle physics research—then in the US at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. In 1995 I moved to the private sector, worked with Apple Inc., and then for the World Economic Forum.

Some say I have acquired a multi-faceted personality 😉

How long have you been writing?

Many years, could not count them. Mostly—as I said—academic writing, but since my teen years I have written novelettes and short stories that always ended up in a drawer and then lost. Still in my mind though. Daimones, the first volume of a planned trilogy, is the very first non-fictional work that is published.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I should not say that because I would then be accused of plagiarism, but my first story was about a boy who had been recruited as warden for the human race and ends up as the Earth pilot representative in a power struggle at a galactic level. It was fun but not realistic. Definitely not hard science fiction.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

I played football as a Quarterback for 18 years and then played golf for 18 years. Golf is bound to add to the year count. Football doesn’t have a chance anymore.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

“This story is brilliant. It screams for a sequel”

 


Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

I’d like to recommend my Editor, Rebecca Stroud. I have learned from her a lot. I met her through one of her book, “Zellwood: A Dog Story”, and I discovered what impeccable editing, flow, and drama can do to a story. She has written other books, all with stellar reviews.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

I can’t say it came from someone. There are stories that build up in the mind of any writer, or aspiring one. Sometimes you are able to contain them all your life and no one will ever think of you as a writer. Other times a story breaks free and you can’t but start writing it. It becomes inevitable.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I am working at the sequel of “Daimones”: The story sets the stage for what happens next, and what comes after “Daimones” is complicated.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

The one I am writing at the moment. Why? Because it is the one for which you dream, lose sleep, sweat, scream at, and bleed for.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

All of them are favorite ones, in a sense. But if I had to choose one, I’d say the one for which I have to write about in the future. He or she is in there, waiting to come out, and I am intrigued and fascinated because—my experience—all of my characters come to an independent life and do and say things that surprise me. Sometimes negatively so.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I’m on twitter and I think I will have to go on facebook too. But I am starting to appreciate a lot goodreads. There are lots of readers there and I am meeting lots of writers too. Apart from those, my favourite at the moment are the threads I share with fellow writers at the Amazon threads. Great people, none excluded, and very helpful, too.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

Terrible. I know I am not doing the right things and not doing enough of them, either. Would you like to market my book(s) for me?

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Thank you for this. So, links are:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083IHV5I

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/daimones/id526356367?mt=11

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/162885

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15811231-daimones

and if any reader would like to follow and be followed, I am @MASSIM0MARIN0 on twitter.

Also, my Editor (She has done an amazing job) is Rebecca Stroud, and her page on Amazon is: http://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Stroud/e/B00460RZMQ

Thank you Renata for this pleasant chat with you, and thank you reader who read this through. I write for myself, of course—the story breaking free—but I write for every reader out there. If I can make so that one spends a good time in the world I created, care for the characters that speak through the pages, and is willing to share the emotions and feelings I hope to transmit, I have found gold. There is not a greater reward than a reader who sends a “Thank you” note.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Massimo! It was a pleasure to have you here.

And let me tell you, this sentence is perfect for me too: “(My favorite of my books is) The one I am writing at the moment. Why? Because it is the one for which you dream, lose sleep, sweat, scream at, and bleed for.

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!