Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2019

headshotDr. Randy Overbeck is a writer, educator, researcher and speaker in much demand. During his three plus decades of educational experience, he has performed many of the roles depicted in his writing with responsibilities ranging from coach and yearbook advisor to principal and superintendent. His new ghost story/mystery, Blood on the Chesapeake, will be released on April 10, 2019 by The Wild Rose Press. As the title suggests, the novel is set on the famous Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, home to endless shorelines, incredible sunsets and some of the best sailing in the world. Blood is first in a new series of paranormal mysteries, The Haunted Shores Mysteries. Dr. Overbeck’s first novel, Leave No Child Behind, a thriller about the terrorist takeover of a Midwest high school and one teacher’s stand against the intruders, won the 2011 Silver Award for Thrillers from ReadersFavorite.com. Dr. Overbeck is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and an active member of the literary community. You can follow him on Twitter @OverbeckRandy, friend him on Facebook at Author Randy Overbeck or check out his webpage, www.authorrandyoverbeck.com

Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Blood on the Chesapeake. When did you start writing and what got you into paranormal mystery?

I know this may not be true for all authors, but one thing that has surprised me about the entire writing and publishing process is just how long it takes to get my novel from idea and concept to finished, polished product. When I checked my records, the first drafts of Blood on the Chesapeake date back almost eight years. Of course, the story and the writing has gone through several revisions over that time, including changing the story from a simple cold case murder mystery to a ghost story/mystery. And how did that evolution develop? Like a lot of my “light bulb” ideas, it was inspired by a session at a great writing conference, this time, the Midwest Writers’ Conference.

BloodontheChesapeake_w12700_750What is your book about?

After being dumped by his fiancé, Darrell Henshaw, a young teacher and coach, decides to find new pastures and lands a job on the Chesapeake Bay. He cannot believe his good fortune as Wilshire, a quiet, scenic and charming resort town on the Eastern Shore offers him his dream job—teaching high school history and coaching football and basketball—and a second chance at love. Except no one told him that a student was murdered at the school and that the kid’s ghost haunts the hallways.

You see, Darrell sees ghosts, though he’s not happy about it. His first encounter with the spirit world did not go well and he has the OCD scars to prove it. But, after he’s hounded by the terrifying ghost, he decides to look into the murder, aided by his new love, Erin Caveny. Together, they follow a trail that leads back to the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and even the Klu Klux Klan. Then, after two locals who try to help are murdered and Erin’s life is threatened, Darrell is forced to decide if he’s willing to risk his life—and the life of the woman he loves—to expose the killers of a young man he never knew.

What was your inspiration for it?

Most of my stories have been inspired by the towns I’ve travelled to and the people and places I’ve encountered on my way. When visiting a new area, I’m always been intrigued by the possibilities of unfamiliar places, the “I wonder if” notion. The initial idea for Blood on the Chesapeake actually sprang from a visit to a coastal New England town. The town boasted an old high school with an unusual architectural feature, a faux widow’s walk atop the second floor of the school building—which readers will discover is a critical part of the setting and narrative of Blood on the Chesapeake. Then, when I later journeyed to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, I was overwhelmed by the quiet, scenic beauty of the region, but also intrigued by the duality of the cultures there. Here was a region bearing the hallmarks of a proud New England tradition, but also with roots still very much in the South. (The area was home to famous slave plantations and was split in loyalties during the Civil War.) I thought it’d be interesting to explore that dichotomy in fiction. In this most peaceful and beautiful of settings on the Chesapeake Bay, what if something horrific happened in this small town and they tried to cover it up?

What type of challenges did you face while writing this book?

Any new narrative poses multiple challenges and this novel was no different, but I enjoy meeting challenges, especially the literary variety. One significant challenge was the setting of the story, the when. The tale actually covers two different time periods; most of the narrative occurs during fall, 1998, but the murder actually occurred more than thirty years before that, in the early sixties. To be certain to have the details accurate to each time period—clothes, hairstyles, slang, music, happenings, etc.—was a significant challenge, but one I had fun trying to master all these.

Did your book require a lot of research?

Without a doubt. Although the central focus of the story—high school teaching and coaching—was an area with which I have considerable familiarity, several other parts of the narrative required a good deal of learning and research. Good thing I enjoy that. Here are just a few examples. Since I’m not a native to the Eastern Shore—one reason I made my protagonist, Darrell Henshaw a fish out of water there—I made several trips to the region to make sure I could get the geography, culture, names and details right. Also, like Darrell, I was fairly new to the water, so I had to learn a great deal about sailing on the Bay (and still required help and research to correct some details in the writing there). I had to do considerable research about what happened in a small town after a lynching, so that this critical part of my novel would ring true to life. Finally, since the ghost story is an integral part of the tale—and I don’t pretend to have any particular expertise in the area—I had to learn from those that do, to ensure my “ghost whispering” was credible and fits what is known and accepted in this arena.

What do you do when your muse refuses to collaborate?

That’s not usually not a problem. In fact, what happens more often with me us that the muse throws too much at me. I might be trying to work on one part of the novel, looking for inspiration, and the muse will give me direction on a later part of the story. Or on another different narrative all together. I tend to go with the flow and move to where the muse wants to take me. Usually, it works out and by the time I’m able to get back to where I wanted to be, the muse is gracious enough to give me what I need.

Many writers experience a vague anxiety before they sit down to right. Can you relate to this?

Not really. Since I only have a limited amount of time when I’m actually at the keyboard, ready to advance the story, I almost always have anticipation, rather than anxiety when I’m writing. Usually I have a number of ideas swirling around in my head and I can’t wait to get them down “on paper.” Of course, some anxiety strikes me, like whether I’m getting it right or heading in the right direction, but by now I’ve done enough revising and editing to have faith that I’ll take the time (usually many times) to get it right later and I don’t focus on that concern then. The times I sit down to write for me are freeing, because I’m glad to get the character or the murder or the ghost out of my head and into the computer.

Do you have a writing schedule? Are you disciplined?

Yes and no. When I’m in the groove, I will write pretty much every day, but I’m not a Prussian about it. Most days, I’ll write for two to three hours at a time, usually in the late morning or early afternoon. But some days you might find me at the keyboard for a couple hours in the evening or even in the middle of the night, if my characters won’t let me sleep. One thing I’ve learned is that for me, after a few hours, either my inspiration dries up (or maybe just takes a break) or my writing deteriorates. So I’ve learned to let it go and come back to it. I try to make the writing a regular habit, but I’m realistic about it. Sometimes life intrudes. For several months last year, we were designing and building a new house as well as selling our prior house. During that time, there was little time for writing. I didn’t stress over it, but simply returned to my writing commitment as soon as I could.

What was your publishing process like?

With my first novel, Leave No Child Behind, and with Blood on the Chesapeake, I worked with publishers, a small press with the first and a much larger house with Blood. I know other authors who have had good experience self-publishing, but I’ve chosen not to go that route, at least for these works. Originally, I was hoping to interest a strong agent and through him/her secure a book contract. Although I attracted the attention of a few agents, I was never able to close the deal. Dealing with the small press for the first book worked out quite well for me as they gave me some support and also considerable autonomy. And although my journey with the second publisher is still in its early stages, I had heard and read very good things about The Wild Rose Press and am looking for great things from them as the book moves forward.

How do you celebrate the completion of a book?

I’m not big into rituals, so I’m not sure how to answer this question. What is completion of a book? When the first draft is finished? When the tenth revision is done? When you’ve completed all the work from the feedback from the editor? When you get the contract for the book? When the first copy appears, on the iPad or in your hands? When the first thousand copies are sold? All of those are hallmarks of my journey of writing and I try to savor each one and learn from the experience.

How do you define success? For me, success is when I see my writing—years of imagination, creativity, perseverance, research and just plain hard work—come to fruition and become real, the novel published, the book in readers’ hands, great reviews coming in. And when readers, most of whom I’ve never met, write me to tell me how much they enjoyed my story. Rather than any financial measure, that for me defines success.

What do you love most about the writer’s life?

That’s easy. I write because I love writing, because I feel I have something to say. But nothing in my writing life has brought me more joy than seeing how much my readers LOVE my work. After my first book, Leave No Child Behind, was published, I received scores of emails from readers telling how much they enjoyed it and how it scared them to death. (It was supposed to scare them.) Several years later, I still keep and re-read those emails.

What is your advice for aspiring authors?

Many writers say that writing is a solitary act, just you and the computer. While I can’t argue with that, I need to add that my writing would never have risen above the minimum without help from outside. I’ve participated in several really good writing conferences including Killer Nashville, Midwest Writers’ Conference, Sluethfest and have found these experiences invaluable for “priming the pump” and getting me to think beyond my boundaries. Not to mention all the connections I’ve made with fellow writers. But I have found the greatest asset to my writing has been my regular participation in a really great writing group. These fellow writers have been both kind and cruel to my words, and my writing has improved as a result. My advice to aspiring writers is always to find ways to prime the pump and get a support system. And of course, read. Read a lot.

George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Thoughts?

I have to admit, in my darkest hours, I have shared George’s concern, but not often. I’ll acknowledge that at times my writing does take over and feels very much like an obsession—not unlike the OCD of my character, Darrell—but it’s a compulsion I welcome and relish. At least most of the time when my muse is speaking to me and the words flow.

What’s on the horizon for you?

I’m currently finishing the second installment in the Haunted Shore Mysteries series—tentatively titled Crimson at Cape May, another ghost story/mystery, this time set in the beautiful, historic resort town of Cape May, which also happens to be the most haunted seaport on the eastern coast. The Wild Rose Press already has first rights to the book and I expect this second novel in the series to be released sometime in 2020. Also, a third book in the series is in the planning, this time with nefarious happenings and another mysterious ghost at a sunny resort in the Bahamas. At the same time, I’m working on a standalone mystery about a drug dealer and murderer who preys on middle school students. You could probably say, I’m keeping busy.

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

I’d like to think my new novel can and will appeal to a broad range of readers. One of the early reviewers for the book, best-selling and Edgar award-winning author, William Kent Krueger, made this exact point: “For those who enjoy a mixed bag in the books they read, Randy Overbeck has performed a nifty literary feat. Within a web woven of threads from a number of genres—a bit of romance, a lot of mystery, and a good deal of old-fashioned ghost whispering—he’s written a pretty solid social commentary.” So if you’re looking for a little romance or if you’re on the hunt for a good whodunit or if you’d like to curl up with an old-fashion ghost story or if you just want to be transported to a “setting to die for,” you’ll find all four in Blood on the Chesapeake. And, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

 

Read Full Post »

VickiSF15HeadshotVictoria Landis is a professional writer, editor, and artist. A 16-year member, and former board member, of Mystery Writers of America, she Co-Chaired the SleuthFest Writers Conference from 2015-2018.

She’s taught at SleuthFest, the Authors Academy at Murder on the Beach, and the Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University.

Visit her at www.VictoriaLandis.com

Found out more: https://amzn.to/2HWMs5R

INTERVIEW:

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Jordan. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?

A: Jordan is the story of a young woman from Boca Raton, Florida, who disappears for three years, then surfaces with the ability to heal people by simply touching them. As you can imagine, in today’s viral social media world, word gets out too fast, and an entire world of sick people—whoever can manage it—make their way to South Florida, in hopes of being cured. Is isn’t long before things get out of hand and chaos erupts.

As a little kid, I wanted to do two things. Fly and heal people by touch. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried to concentrate, neither of those ambitions came to fruition. A few years ago, the healing thing came to mind again—not sure what sparked it—and I wondered what would happen if? In today’s viral social media world? Wow.

Q: What do you think makes a good thriller? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

A: Jordan is a bit of a hybrid. Part pure thriller and part magical realism. You need to believe that Jordan can heal people in order to go along with the rest of the story. I think there are two absolute basics. Thrillers are fast-paced. The stakes are high, whether for an individual, a community, or the world. They are not the place for flowery narrative.

JordanFrontCoverFeb12019Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: I’m not a plotter or a pantser. I semi-plot out my stories. I know how I want it to begin, end, and usually something important in the middle. I keep a list of actions and scenes I want to include, but I’m not sure where they’ll wind up. The main thing is to make sure there is no ‘muddle in the middle.’

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

A: I have two protagonists. Jordan Crissman and Petra Simmons. I did a page on both of them before starting and decided I wanted to tell the entire story through Petra’s eyes, much like Nick, Daisy’s cousin, in The Great Gatsby. There’s only Petra’s POV. Jordan returned home apparently stripped of any sense of street smarts, and she needs Petra for that. Petra is wary of publicity and reporters because of the way they hounded her after the death of her child-actress mother. She hates being in the spotlight. She’s a bit jaded and weary at the young age of twenty-nine.

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: Huh. I don’t want to give away too much here, as it’s not clear who that person is until the end. I’ll say there are several people who are interested in controlling a miracle. I like making all my characters human, though, with good and bad traits. What helps is giving them a background story, too, even if it never makes it into the book. Understanding what makes them tick and what they want is the key to making them realistic. Then just put yourself into their heads, and you’ll very quickly figure out how to write them.

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A: Get rid of extra, unnecessary words whenever you can, such as: that, had, had been, was, then, just, still, even, etc. The overall effect of them is they slow everything down.

Describe enough to enable a picture in the reader’s head, but don’t overdo it. We don’t need to know what every character is wearing in every scene. We don’t need to know how the woman’s hair is arranged every day, unless it’s key to the plot.

In the action scenes, keep the sentences short—staccato. Use as few dialogue tags as you can get away with.

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: I know Boca Raton very well, as I lived there for nineteen years. So that helped, of course. I mention the basics when entering a place for the first time in a book. The overall layout, what style the architecture is, whether it’s pristine or a dump, that sort of thing. It also helps set the mood and adds to character building. A choice detail can paint an entire picture in the reader’s mind, so choose that detail wisely. The fictional multi-national conglomerate-owning Teigh brothers are important in Jordan, as is their fabulous estate. I had the characters visit it once and described the basic layout then. When they visited again, it was easy to add details. (Just for fun, there is a map of the estate on the Jordan page of my website.) You can also tuck in a detail or two in the narrative that accompanies a character’s dialogue.

Here’s an example from Jordan:

  “I was lucky enough to get an end unit,” Petra said while inserting her key. “Lots of windows.”

     “It’s beautiful.” The woman wandered around the combined living and dining space, stopping at the wide bay window facing the plaza and its fountain.

That is the first description of Petra’s apartment, where they spend a lot of time. Later, the choice details are added as needed.

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: I knew Jordan’s from the get-go. The theme is how humankind really hasn’t changed for thousands of years. I don’t always know in advance. My first novel, Blinke It Away, evolved as I wrote it, and the theme became the plight of the native Hawaiians and how they were shafted when the United States acquired the islands.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A: No. Editing is essential to making a story sing and stand out more. Otherwise you might have incoherent ‘brain droppings’ (credit to George Carlin there.) The craft and the art, once you learn to self-edit as you go, become one.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: The ability to know what is or is not an interesting story before you start. The ability to listen to and seriously consider the feedback you ask for. And the ability to write in a way that makes the reader not want to put the book down.

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. Thoughts?

A: If you’re studying a subject you love, then you don’t mind homework, right? If you think of your writing/research as drudgery homework, then why on earth are you doing it? Go do something you find engaging and interesting, for heaven’s sake.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A: Writers’ conferences with serious workshops are fantastic. IMHO, SleuthFest is the best for that. Spoiler alert—I did Co-Chair that one for four years. But it’s a small niche conference, meant for writers, not readers or fans. One attendee stopped me in the hall one year and told me he’d learned more about writing at SleuthFest than he had at an invitational course at Oxford.

Writing advice books by Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Hallie Ephron, David Morrell, & Carolyn Wheat.

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: I’ve learned that our egos are our worst enemy. Learn to put it aside. Stop being defensive and listen to those you ask for advice. Caveat: Take your time to learn just who you should ask for advice. This is not a fast business. It’s slow. Take your time. Do it right. You’ll thank yourself later.

Thank you so much for having me here!

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Title: THE BRAVE ART OF MOTHERHOOD
Author: Rachel Marie Martin
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 204
Genre: Self-Help

BOOK BLURB:

Full-time FindingJoy.net blogger, speaker, marketer, podcaster, and single mom of seven, Rachel Marie Martin presents a wake-up call to those of us who have found ourselves stuck in the ‘I’m just a mom’ phase of life.

Yes, this book is about motherhood . . . but really, this book is about finding yourself again and following your passion WHILE being a mom. Inspired by her incredible story, Rachel’s words always come straight from the gut; they are visceral, real and soul searching. She challenges you to find the courage to break cycles, to take off masks and not let fear take control. This book is a balance of tough, “no excuses” ways of approaching life, while allowing breathing room and grace for yourself, for as we all know, life and mothering are not perfect.

After inspiring and conversing with thousands of women, Rachel has surmised there is always a reason to hope, to move forward and a reason to dare doing what you thought was impossible. (Yes, including what you are skeptical of accomplishing right now). She encourages you to say yes to your dreams and stop waiting for “someday” or “one day” or “when something happens”.

Prepare to change the way you think about yourself and your life. This will be a book you read over and over armed with a highlighter in one hand and a journal for introspection in another.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079WLWL9S/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Book Excerpt:

One November day, I stood at my bedroom window watching as a sharp wind stripped the remaining leaves from the trees. Seeing those limbs laid bare, I felt similarly exposed. I realized I’d been lost in my own life, waiting for something to change. But I couldn’t wait any longer.

So I started fighting. Reclaiming the lifeless spaces, unearthing joy in motherhood, and finding hope and purpose. No longer did I hide behind the words “When the kids are grown, I will. . . ”

I changed one thing: my mind.

Now my kids are happier than they have ever been. And so am I.

About the Author:

Rachel Marie Martin believes in the power of the human spirit to overcome, to thrive and to find deep joy and because of that she pours out her heart via these platforms: she is the writer behind the site FindingJoy.net, partner of BloggingConcentrated.com, co-host of the Amplify Podcast, and a featured writer for The Huffington Post. Her top blog post, “Why Being a Mom is Enough” has surpassed 1.9 million Facebook likes and she has had her articles translated into over 25 languages. Her site reaches millions of visitors and has a robust, engaged Facebook community. Her articles have been featured in The Huffington Post, iVillage, The Today Show, Star Tribune, iVillage, Stuff New Zealand, PopSugar, Parents, What to Expect, Mamalode, NBC Parents, Dr. Greene, and many more. Her first book, “The Brave Art of Motherhood”, published by Penguin Random House, was released on October 9, 2018.

She speaks worldwide about a variety of empowering topics ranging from motherhood to social media marketing to website strategy to writing to creating an authentic community. She believes in living each day intentionally and loves working with others to cultivate a vision, realize their potential and see their dreams become a reality.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Read Full Post »

David W. Berner is a memoirist whose personal stories tell all of our stories. His memoirs reflect on our collective relationships and how those experiences link us to the world we share. From stories of fathers and sons, to road trips, travel memoir, pets, and music, David’s books are mirrors of our common human experience.

Storytelling has been a part of David’s life since his days as a young boy, delivering The Pittsburgh Press newspaper. He began telling his own stories and the stories of others as a reporter for numerous radio stations, including freelance work at National Public Radio and more recently for CBS in Chicago.

David’s reporting background has given birth to award-winning memoirs and novels based on his own experiences.

He has been the Writer-in-Residence for the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando, where he was privileged to live and work at the Kerouac House in Orlando for two-and-a-half months. He later was honored with the Writer-in-Residence position at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois.

Website: https://www.davidwberner.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/davidwberner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidWBernerWriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour  (David W. Berner—Writer)

BOOK BLURB:

THE CONSEQUENCE OF STARS is a unique and thoughtful memoir on our eternal search for home. Told in a series of essays on love, loss, travel, music, spirituality, and the joys of solitude, memoirist David W. Berner, reaches deep to discover where he belongs and ultimately where all of us belong.

“Berner gives us both travelogue and memoir in living, breathing depth and color.” — D.S. White, Editor-in-Chief, Longshot Island

“A writer with an enormous sense of humanity.” — San Francisco Review of Books

“Reflective, engaging…Berner’s authentic storytelling takes you with him on his travels through the chapters of his life where in the end, he reveals connections to finding a place to be, his home under the stars.” — Nancy Chadwick, author of Under the Birch Tree

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Adelaide Books

http://www.adelaidebooks.org/consequence_of_stars.html

Interview:

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I am an associate professor in the Communication Department at Columbia College Chicago and I have been a journalist for many years, mainly working in broadcasting, including work for CBS radio and some freelancing for public radio.

When did you start writing?

I was in second grade. Our teacher helped us make paper mache books. We each wrote a story and she helped us produce the actual book. My book was titled The Cyclops. I was fascinated with the ocean when I was kid. I still have that book. My mother saves it. But real writing, in terms of short essays and books, came in my 40s, but I was writing news copy for years as a reporter before that.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Getting published for the first time. It validated my work. But while working on my second book, I was honored with the Writer-in-Residence position at the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando and was allowed to live and work in Kerouac’s old house for three months. That was a marvelous experience. I wrote every day in the same room where Kerouac wrote The Dharma Bums. It was heavenly.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Wow. Hmmm. I assume you mean using that place as a setting in the story? Maybe Spain. Although, I’ve been to Cuba and that would be so interesting to use Havana as a setting. But if you are talking about a great place to write, just write—hmmm—well, you know what? I think it would be Spain again, sitting in a villa on the southern coast somewhere, windows open, breeze dancing with the white curtains, late day sun, glass of wine.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Besides write? Walk my dog. Write music. Play guitar. Go to a long lunch with my wife. But I don’t really consider those things something I would do with “extra time”—that’s just life.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I’ve written essays in my newest book, The Consequence of Stars, that take in many places where I have traveled—Paris, Cuba, The Navajo Nation, just to name some. The book is part travelogue and memoir, so “place” plays a big part. But I think it would be interesting to write a piece about somewhere deeply urban and gritty. I haven’t done that yet.

Back to your present book, THE CONSEQUENCE OF STARS: A MEMOIR, how did you publish it?

It was a query and a submission to Adelaide Books, NY/Lisbon. I had it out to several publishers and Adelaide was the right fit.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I didn’t travel specifically for research, but there is a lot of travel in this book. As I mentioned—Paris, Cuba, The Navajo Nation—but I also write about time in Orlando at the Kerouac house, my hometown—Pittsburgh, Chicago, and a cross-country train trip from Seattle to Chicago.

Why was writing THE CONSEQUENCE OF STARS: A MEMOIR so important to you?

I had this gem of an idea years ago about what “home” meant to me, what it means to all of us. How do we see home? What is it physically and emotionally? How do we find it? Why do we forever seek it? And how do we do that? It fascinated me but it took some time to shape those thoughts into a cohesive theme. Once I did that, it came together in spurts, with me always remembering that the concept of home is forever in flux. This book is not a typical memoir, it is not a self-indulgent work, as some poorly thought out memoirs can be, and hopefully the reader will find it to be a shared experience, a book about me but also about all of us.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

Norman Mailer called writing “the spooky art.” He was right. I have no idea where ideas come from. They just surface, emerge, morph. I am not a planner, I do not outline. I just write and let the characters and the story, or the theme, come to me. It’s as if all of it works itself out through the process of writing. Spooky, right? Like Joan Didion, I believe I write to find out what I’m thinking. She said the same in so many words. It is so true.

Any final words?

I hope those who are not necessarily essay or memoir readers will read THE CONSEQUENCE OF STARS. I do believe it’s a book for all of us, something we all have in common, this concept of home. It’s part of our shared human condition.

 

Read Full Post »

I earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Coral Ridge University and Seminary, as well as an M.A. in Political Science from George Wythe College. My first publication was a short story, TELEPIO 690, which appeared in Sidetrekked Magazine, Issue #48. My other publications are, my first novel (actually a novella), THE WONK DECELERATOR, my second novel, THE LATE, GREAT BENJAMIN BALE, my third novel, RETURN OF THE CRIMSON WITCH and a fourth mini-book, a prequel to the Guild Series, THE DAUGHTER OF GETH, which is available only in ebook. I am currently working on a science fiction/horror novel, THE DARK. One of these days I might even finish it.

Happily, I have a wife and four children and live in Florida.

Website Link: www.johndoody.com

Twitter Link: @johnjosephdoody

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/authorjohnjosephdoody/

 

Inside the Books

Title: THE GUILD SAGA: THE WONK DECELERATOR (Book 1)
Author: John Joseph Doody
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing LLC
Pages: 131
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

BOOK BLURB:

For Earthers dwelling in Guild space, it is a one-hundred year journey back to Earth. An unimaginable voyage, until now.

When Guild commander and crack pilot, Thad Cochran boards the shuttle destined for the casinos of Timmerus, finding a way back to Earth is not on his radar. He wants the five-percent finder’s fee the Guild is offering for a black box held by the lizard-like Yazz. Thad has a dream: With the loot he will get for stealing the Wonk Decelerator, he can buy a ranch on Beta Prime.

But things begin to fall apart for him in the dark caverns of Timmerus, and Thad must reconsider his priorities in life. Has he discovered a cause greater than his dream? Are there actually more important things to life than money and his dream? What about the woman who is waiting for him? What about freedom in the galaxy? And what about his discovery, fashioned by the gnarled hands of a brilliant, old Yazz, that could change everything?

Thad Cochran has a choice to make. He can fulfill his quest, escape with his life and be rich. Or he can fly with the Wonks … one more time.

 

ORDER YOUR COPY BELOW:

https://www.amazon.com/Wonk-Decelerator-Guild-Saga/dp/1937809323/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_3?keywords=john+joseph+doody&qid=1551501377&s=gateway&sr=8-3-fkmrnull

Book Excerpt:

Thad opened his eyes, aware of a sense that the murky sun was dropping on the horizon. He panicked momentarily until he realized he still had a half hour before the prearranged confab with Maggie. 

He headed for the bathroom to change into darker clothes for the journey. The bathroom had Thandimonean stone flooring, golden faucets and a huge commode one nearly needed a ladder to get up on. 

Thad rubbed his face and ran his tongue over his teeth. He might as well clean up while he was in here. He stripped, broke out his toothbrush and was busy about his business when he heard a creaking hinge. 

He stepped out of the bathroom in his skivvies, toothpaste frothing in his mouth. 

“Commander Cochran.” 

He heard the voice, glanced at the open door, but saw no one. 

“Yeph?!” he gurgled, toothpaste spraying everywhere as his voice took on a falsetto tone. 

“I’m up here, silly boy.” 

Thad looked up, and his heart tried to jump out of his gullet. The woman, the one he had seen in the space port 

and had suspected of being a droid, crawled across the ceiling like a spider chasing after a bug. How she managed to cling, upside down, her head twisted a hundred and eighty degrees and looking directly at him, was a repulsive mystery to him. 

Oh, you’re a droid all right! 

He had never seen a Mandroid capable of walking on ceilings. This droid’s techno was impressive and scary. 

“You should go back to your people, Commander Cochran,” she said, as she crawled down the wall, her head twisting again, cracking and popping back to its original position. 

He knew there was no sense in trying to get away, or in trying to fight with this droid. She was too fast, too strong. He had no weapon to use against her, and worst of all, he was in his underwear. 

Thad swallowed his toothpaste. 

Once on the floor, she meandered over to him and, with a critical expression, eyed him from head to toe. She was beautiful, but she smelled of a peculiar blend of perfume and something like burnt rubber. 

“There’s only death waiting for you here on Gar Mega. Go back, Commander, before it’s too late.” 

With that, she walked stiffly from the room, leaving the door open. Thad wasted no time, sprinted to the door, locked it and leaned against the wall, his legs trembling beneath him. 

She’s probably got a key that pops out of her finger or something. I know I locked that.

 

Title: THE GUILD SAGA: THE LATE, GREAT BENJAMIN BALE (Book 2)
Author: John Joseph Doody
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing LLC
Pages: 370
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

BOOK BLURB:

The destinies of two men depend on Maggie Thorn. One is dying and the other is dead…or is he?

 

Captain Maggie Thorn is on a formal Guild mission, supposedly to kidnap the yazz scientist, Gravian Endrenicus, and return him to Thandimone. But she also has a personal score to settle with the lizard-like inhabitants of Timmerus. She intends to make the yazz pay for what they did to Thad Cochran—the one the yazz call the Thieves Guild pilot. The man she loves.

 

Supreme Fleet Commander, Admiral Geoff Grangore knows of only one man who could get Maggie to Timmerus and back while traitorous eyes are watching. That man is an old drunk who lives deep in the Thandimonean wilderness with his pet Eno, Snot. Benjamin Bale is suicidal and cantankerous, and Maggie can’t stand him—at first.

 

Bale is a dead man. At least, that’s what everyone was told. But this dead man has a final mission to perform. The greatest star pilot in the galaxy has a chance to redeem himself and make right a great wrong. A wrong which he can never forgive or forget. A wrong that cost him everything.

 

ORDER YOUR COPY BELOW:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193780948X/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Title: THE GUILD SAGA: RETURN OF THE CRIMSON WITCH (Book 3)
Author: John Joseph Doody
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing LLC
Pages: 407
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

BOOK BLURB:

The Bashtier call Wonk space, Eerindark—The Place of the Dead—and Thad Cochran, the only pilot to go there and live, will soon find out why. The sacrifice of Benjamin Bale brings Thad back from the dead. But is he truly free from the death grip of the Wonks?

A body is discovered behind an apartment wall in a small town on the planet Daggon. With the mystery thrust upon him, Admiral Geoff Grangore must pursue a dangerous quest for the truth—is it somehow connected to The Wonk Decelerator?

 

Dreams and visions are dancing in the heads of the yazz. Something bad is coming to the frontier—a hidden enemy only the Guild traitor, Alexander Hamilton Patho knows.
Patho sends an assassin to Daggon and his conniving gaze is on the M-3 Wonk vessel. It seems civil war is imminent and those who control the power of Wonk travel will rule the known galaxy. Therefore, it must not fall into Patho’s hands.

 

It is time for war, and time for Maggie Thorn to learn the truth about who she really is. It is also time for The Return of the Crimson Witch.

ORDER YOUR COPY BELOW:

https://www.amazon.com/Return-Crimson-Witch-Book-Guild/dp/1942391242/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Interview:

Would you call yourself a born writer?

No. I’ve had to work at it.

What was your inspiration for The Wonk Decelerator?

I saw a murky planet with people who resembled lizards. It became a trilogy.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

There is a thin line between courage and cowardice and also between light and darkness.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

I finished the first one, The Wonk Decelerator in four or five months. The next two, The Late, Great Benjamin Bale and Return of the Crimson Witch I did in about a year each.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I’m focused, but I’m not always disciplined. I write, rewrite then rewrite some more. Many times, I’m unsatisfied with the results. Sometimes I’m happy and excited with the results. I try to stay balanced and professional each day regardless of results.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Trying to balance out the Meganites’ weird love for all things Earther with a serious storyline.

What do you love most about being an author?

Being in the creative flow.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I signed with a small press for all three books, and a prequel, The Daughter of Geth. There was a lot of waiting in between furious bouts of editing. I’m happy I went in this direction because I was able to work with editors. I learned a lot I couldn’t have learned any other way. I learned the process through to the galleys. I think all of that prepared me for the project I’m finishing up now—a supernatural, sci-fi thriller called, The Dark.

Where can we find you on the web?

www.johndoody.com

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

Inside the Book:

Title: Trinities to Enneagrams
Author: Allen David Young
Publisher: XLibrisUS
Genre: Mind, Body, Spirit/Supernatrual
Format: Ebook
As a spiritual tool and system of personality types, the new directions of the enneagram presented in this work give a clear understanding of ourselves and those who are important to us. The trinity forces within the enneagram are explained in ways that can greatly benefit people in the personal, interpersonal, and social spheres of human existence. The creation of enneagram signs is adapted from the twelve astrology signs. While enneagram types describe one’s egocentric personality, enneagram signs are given by the cosmos at birth; they are one of a kind and reveal one’s soul-centered personality. With the addition of nine signs and stages of development through the life cycle, the enneagram becomes a system in motion and reveals more of its insights. With the addition of nine enneagram letter groups from the alphabet, you can understand what the trinity and enneagram says about the personality of your name.



Purchase Here

 

Meet the Author:

Both of my parents moved to Berkeley from Louisiana to Berkeley, California where I was born, raised, and educated from grade school through my degrees along the way were in math, business, education, and consciousness studies. After my first 10-year career as a university professor, I spent the next six years immersed in the study of Jungian Psychology, dream work, clairvoyant development training, and occult tools. For more than three decades I have been self-employed as an intuitive counselor with over 500 clients, and for the past decade I have also served as a Centers for Spiritual Living minister.

Giveaway

Allen is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins April 8 and ends on April 19.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on April 20.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

 

Read Full Post »

“A shadow passed behind a tree, bigger than any animal. He propped himself up against a rock, too exhausted to move any farther, closing his eyes and waiting to die. He could see tomorrow’s headlines declaring his death as a mugging gone wrong.”

–From The Desire Card by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG.

Book Description:

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That’s the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than the clients could ever imagine.

Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live.

After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card.

THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.

Interview:

Welcome, Lee!  Your crime/suspense novel, The Desire Card, sounds thrilling!  Why did you decide to write a whole series around a sinister organization where the actual price of being in the organization is the cost of one’s soul?

Lee: The sinister organization has a motto, Any wish fulfilled for the right price. The book came about when I thought of a character so desperate to attain his wish that he would do anything for it. And of course, some evil company would come up with idea to make money off of desperation.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters in The Desire Card?

Lee: The main character is Harrison Stockton, who works on Wall Street in Mergers & Acquisitions. He has a wife Helene and two kids who he never sees. His goal in glife has been the sole pursuit of money along with drinking and pills. When he finds out his has liver cirrhosis, he assums he can just pay to get to get a new one. But after being placed far down on the donor list, he resorts to more unsavory measures to get a new liver.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Lee: There are a few big twists in the book that the readers will not see coming. One takes place about halfway through. The other about 2/3rds into it and then a final big twist at the end. I like twists so if someone reads a book a second time they can see all the clues that foreshadow the twists. And thrillers must keep readers turning the pages.

Do your novels carry a message or written for pure entertainment?

Lee: I would say entertainment first, message second. I want readers to be transported into another world but also to think. I would say this book is a literary thriller. It is certainly a page-turner, but also about morality. We might think we know our own morals, but in times of desperation, we might not be as ethically sound as we think.

Can you tell us what was it like when you saw your book cover for the first time?

Lee: I just saw it! I absolutely love it. It is ominous and eye-catching. The design team at Fahrenheit Press did a fantastic job getting the feel for the book.

What did you want to become when you were a kid?

Lee: I have always wanted to be a writer. Since I was about six, I was writing stories. I remember one about my dog and a cat staying at a spooky hotel.

Where is your happy place when you are writing? You know – the place where imagination flows and a feel good environment to write your books?

Lee: My happy place is definitely writing in Central Park, which I call my outdoor office. From about April through November, I have a few spots in the park where I bring my laptop and write under a tree. The Desire Card was written during a mild winter where I bundled up and wrote it wearing gloves.

Where is your happy place when you just want to unwind?

Lee: I love the beach and to travel. Traveling is really the only time I take a break from writing. I love Santa Monica beach. I go there a lot.

Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers and fans?

Lee: If you are looking for a fast-paced, high-stakes thriller that will also make you think, The Desire Card is for you. It will also be the first book in a series. The second book Prey No More will be coming out soon. I have finished a draft of the third book and I am working on the fourth book right now, which is an origin story of the sinister organization set in 1978.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: