Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eric S Brown Stops By for an Update

"Zombie King" Eric S. Brown stopped by Page Readers to let us know what's been going on with all of his work.

Eric S. Brown is one of my favorite zombie authors. If he's writing the story, I know it's going to be so much more than just a tale of zombies and the "usual."  His love of his subject is obvious not only in his writing, but when he's talking about it too.

Two big things are happening with Eric.  Simon & Schuster will be releasing "War of the Worlds; Blood, Guts and Zombies," December 14th.  This will be Eric's first mass marketed work, so he's excited to have his work being taken to the world market like this.

His second bit of exciting news is about his book "Bigfoot War."  He calls this book his "baby" and through a virtuous twist of fate, the book has a good chance of being pitched as a movie. Two things you can do to help Eric's dream of having this story made into a movie - first, buy the book!  And second, after you read it, be sure to go back and give your review of the story. 

He's got quite a few stories out there that are part of anthologies, so if you're looking for a good short story or two, either google or search for Eric S. Brown on Amazon and you'll find the long list of Erics' short stories.

He also gave us a hint of exciting news - he couldn't go in to detail but it sounds like another dream of his is about to come true - his story being made into a comic book version.  He promised to keep Page Readers posted on those developments.

Congratulation Eric on your continued success.  I'm looking forward to seeing your name on the big screen!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blog Interview with Natasha Bennet

War of the Soulites is available on Amazon

Author Natasha Bennett stopped by to talk about her latest work, War of the Soulites.

Welcome Natasha!  Start us off by telling us a little about yourself.

Hi Nanci, and thank you for having me on Page Readers! To answer your questions, I have lived in Victoria, B.C for most of my life. I wanted to be a writer ever since I was a child, and I love to write fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Currently I have two books published by Lyrical Press, and I hope to have a career as a novelist. In my spare time I am also a certified web designer.

When/how did this story come to you?

I had originally planned to write a fantasy series, but I was watching a lot of science fiction at the time, and I noticed a lot of ideas not explored. The idea of a dysfunctional crew and a corrupt government controlling Earth really appealed to me. War of the Soulites was created from not one, but several ideas. The first book was published in 2009, and the second was published this year.

Do you have a favorite character?

I think my favorite has to to be Marcus Collingway, the first officer on board the Vigilant. He is a character with quite a few problems, and as the reader realizes what they are, it really reflects what's wrong with the universe, and humanity as a whole.

My second favorite character is Renolds Osirus. In the series he has spent most of his life as an accountant, and was recently promoted to Captain. He is inexperienced and usually makes the wrong choices.

What was your favorite part of this story?

In my second book, I have a scene involving space cannibals, and that was a joy to write. Also, in the second book I had more of a chance to describe Earth, and it was a great to provide my version of a futuristic world.

How long did it take you to write it?

The first one took me two years, but that was really on and off. The second took me six months. The third will likely take me a little longer to do, as there is more material to cover.

What was it like “shopping” the book to agents/publisher?

Very difficult. I spent six months trying to find an agent, and afterwards I tried a publisher instead. I did some research, and Lyrical Press had a great reputation. I submitted my manuscript, and it was accepted a couple of weeks later.

How do you like working with (Publisher)Lyrical Press?

They are a very fair publisher and are always prompt with answering questions. It is not easy for any publisher to be successful, and I am happy to say that Lyrical Press has been doing very well.

What do you like best about being an author/Writer?

My favorite part of being a writer is the interaction I have with other people-readers, writers, aspiring writers. In my spare time, I like to help others become published as well through message boards and critique groups.

Do you have any projects in the works, something new coming out? When?

Right now I am working on War of the Soulites 3, but I also have several upcoming projects I am writing as well. One of them is a fantasy series, and another is a novella with a new spin on a zombie apocalypse.

Do you have any other publicity events coming in the future? (other radio interviews, guest blogs, book signings…)

On August 30th, I am participating in a 7-day blog with Novelspot, describing my life as a writer. All my upcoming interviews will be announced on my blog-http://www.tashabennett.blogspot.com./

What do you do when you are not writing? (Family, other work…)

Right now I am planning for a wedding that will take place next year. In my spare time I like to watch horror movies. I also host interviews and reviews on my blog.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Marjorie McKinnon author of "Repair Your Life"

Author and wonder woman Marjorie McKinnon joined me on Page Readers to discuss her book "REPAIR Your Life: A Program for Recovery from Incest & Childhood Sexual Abuse."

I say wonder woman and once you hear Marjorie's story you will understand.  At an early age she was raped by her own father.  After suffering years of abuse she finally ran away from home only to find herself in a deadly cycle of abusive relationships.  Only after years of self discovery and relying on her own desire to overcome her past has she at last found peace.

It was during her years of trying to find that peace that she developed her own recovery system.  REPAIR is actually an acronym for her program = Recognition, Entry, Process, Awareness, Insight and Rhythm. 

Also out of all that tragedy, Marjorie has reached out to other victims by establishing The Lamplighters organization.  With over 90 chapters world wide, Marjorie is able to touch the lives of so many, helping them find the way out of their own dark circumstances.

People like Marjorie amaze me.  She turned a horrible experience into something good.  Even more, she's taking that good and working miracles in other people's lives. 

Yes, she gets a wonder woman award from me!

Visit Marjorie and The Lamplighters at http://www.lamplighters.org/

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

T.P. Jones discusses "The Gamble" on Page Readers

Tom P. Jones joined me today to discuss book two "The Gamble" of the trilogy series, "The Loss of Certainty."

This author did something different to research this series.  He went to live in Iowa so that he could immerse himself in the real day-to-day lives of the people who lived there.  In his book, he names his fictional Iowa city, Jackson, but in real life he was spending time in Dubuque working in jobs and watching others from all walks of life.

When T.P. originally began to think of this story, he thought it would be just one book.  But as the words found their way to paper, he realized he had so much more than just one story.  And in reality, The Gamble is more than just one story.  It's really a weaving of many stories and how they are all tied together.

The Gamble is no short read.  When it arrived on my desk, I thought, "Wow.  This is going to take awhile."  But once I started reading it, I was hooked.  Tom has a definite way with words, characters and scenes that kept me turning the pages.  I finished it in 5 days, which I believe to be some kind of record for me!

The final book in the series, "River Rising" is due out in September and will tie everything together.  The series, 18 years in the making, is sure to entertain.

Visit the official website at www.thelossofcertainty.com

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Arthur Torsone discusses "Herb Trader" on Page Readers

Marijuana smuggler turned author, Arthur Torsone visited Page Readers to discuss his book "Herb Trader."

"Herb Trader" is the true life story of Arthur Torsone, a self-described "regular guy" who finds himself caught up in the illegal global market of marijuana smuggling. 

Brought into the underworld by what he considered to be an opportunity of a lifetime - a way to make a lot of money in a short period of time - one pay day and he was hooked. 

Arthur spent the next several years traveling to isolated corners of the planet, dealing with people he couldn't trust, living in conditions that were far below a 5 star rating.  His story will open your eyes to the gritty reality of drug trafficking.

It wasn't until after he had retired from the business when he was drawn back into it by people he had trusted for years when the real trouble started.  Caught in a cat and mouse game, being used as a pawn in a game between the super-powers of the world, Art was kidnapped and help prisoner in a Cambodian prison. 

After months of captivity, he was released only to be kidnapped again just hours later.  It was then that Art decided it was time to begin writing his story, if only for his daughters to know what became of their father.

This is quite a story, and an equally interesting interview with Arthur.  Visit the office Herb Trader website at http://herbtraderbook.com to learn more.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"The True Nature of Tarot," by Diane Wing, M.A.

Anyone who practices, or wants to learn the tarot will enjoy reading “The True Nature of Tarot”.

Written in an easy to understand and enjoyable to read format, Diane shares with the reader her knowledge and inner wisdom gained through years of experience and experiences of being a tarot reader.

Given the nature of the subject I was intrigued. Yes, I own a deck of tarot cards, and yes, every once in awhile I pull them out to seek an answer. Or two.

But the little book that came with cards, while it describes the cards and their meanings nicely, what is lacks is what Diane’s book offers; the permission and guidance to listen to your inner voice more as you perform a reading.

Diane also speaks to the tarot reader from a professional standpoint. For those of you who offer readings to groups or individuals either for fun or as a business, Diane explains processes that help make the experience as pleasant and insightful as possible for both the reader and the seeker.

I enjoyed the book. It made me pull out my tarot deck and take a closer look at each card, letting the meaning of each one speak to me. I think the next time I ask a question of the cards, with Diane’s book as a reference; I will be able to gather much more information.

And more information is exactly what we're seeking when we sit for a tarot card reading.

Visit http://www.forestwitch.com/ for more about Diane and her work.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"70 is the New 40" by Barbara Atkins

Barbara Atkins has delivered to us a new road map into what can be some of the best years of our lives.

At 40 years of age, I was surprised. Yes, surprised that I was 40, but also surprised that I didn't feel 40. Instead I felt 20, only smarter.

I also knew that I wasn't going to be slowing down in any aspect of my life at what has been considered over the hill to many generations.

But as the quality of life has improved, so has the quantity of years we live. It's amazing to hear of people living well over 100. And when you learn of the person’s life, you learn that they had lived a full life, worked many kinds of jobs and raised children, grand kids and great-grand kids. That the day before they died they were out playing cards with friends. Life did not end after 40!

It's been 5 years since my 40th. Today I am busier, healthier and happier than I have ever been in my life. And the future I envision includes building a business, pursuing hobbies and lots of traveling. I expect to keep going for 20, 30 years or more. Retire? What's that?

In “70 is the new 40” Barbara gives us new wisdom that can only come from life experiences. Along with visions of a new future

Barbara’s book struck a chord with me. I am now able to put my aging fears aside and forge full steam ahead. With inspirational people like Barbara Atkins, and her book, “70 is the new 40”, nothing can hold me back from achieving my dreams in my bonus years - here I come!

Visit her website at http://70isthenew40.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Author of Lyrical Press on Page Readers

Lyrical Press, Inc. is a New York based digital-first independent publisher owned by the husband and wife team of Frank and Renee Rocco. Their goal is to provide authors with a reliable and pleasant home for their books and offer readers an eclectic mix of quality titles. Lyrical offers Print On Demand for select titles over 60,000 words.

Lyrical Press is actively seeking erotica, romance and paranormal sub-genres.

Lyrical Press is not accepting screenplays, young adult, inspirational and poetry works. At this time Lyrical Press is closed to self-published and/or previously-published works.

Submissions: submissions@lyricalpress.com

Autum Piper joined me to talk about her latest release "Lone Star Trouble"

Stephanie Beck joined me to discuss her novel "Poppy's Passion" on the day of it's release!

Natasha Bennett joined me from Victoria B.C. to discuss the first two novels of her Trilogy, War of the Soulites

Barton Paul Levenson joined me to talk about his novel "Ella the Vampire".

Annie Nicholas joined me to discuss two book from "The Angler Series", "The Alphas" and "The Omegas".

Susan Palmquist joined me to talk about her romance story "Sleeping with Fairies"

Keith Pyeatt joined me to talk about his latest release "Dark Knowledge"

Joshua Scribner joined me to discuss his book "Mantis Nights"

Graham Storrs joined me all the way from Australia after an around the world Tweet session to discuss his novel "Time Splash"

Sara Townsend joined me on Page Readers to discuss her novel "Suffer the Children"

J.D. Williams joined me on Page Readers to discuss his novel "Time Stream"

Stay Tuned!  We have more Lyrical Press author interviews coming up!

Liz Strange will join us Monday June 7th to discuss her book "My Love Eternal"

Ashley Christman will join us in November to discuss her book "The Witching Hour"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Author and Recovery Expert Holli Kenley shares her book "Breaking Through Betrayal: And Recovering the Peace Within"

Holli Kenley discusses her book "Breaking Through Betrayal: And Recovering the Peace Within," with me on Page Readers.

Through her work as a XXX, Holli started noticing a pattern to the way people death with Betrayal - all kinds of betrayal.  After spending some time researching client cases and seeing if she could pinpoint the circumstances that created the situation and then learn how to deal with those symptoms. 

It sounds complicated, but when Holli explains it, she does it in a way that lets sheds light on a problem we all face at some time in our lives.

Holli offers tailor-made workshops and sessions to help clients through the process of "Breaking Through Betrayal: and Recovering the Peace Within!"  Visit her website for more information.

Gina Holmes author of "Crossing Oceans"

Gina Holmes joined me on Page Readers to talk about her latest novel "Crossing Oceans."

Talking with Gina was like talking with a dear friend who always has the kindest and inspirational things to say.  She is a writer who has been down a couple of paths before finding her true voice on the page.  Her first attempt at story telling came in the form of suspense novels.  When they weren't picked up by publishers, Gina changed her subject and wrote from her heart.

Which is why Crossing Oceans is such a powerful story.  Set in a small town a young mother, Jenny Lucas has returned and must now face her past, her future and her daughters future without her. Gina gives us characters with a history without creating entire novels around them, and puts them right into present making every scene of the book something to think about.

I wish I could tell you about the ending, but I can't!  Other than to say it was truly one of those stories that breaks your heart and then makes it whole and stronger from the experience.  Have your tissues handy!

Visit her on the web http://www.ginaholmes.com/

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Page Readers talks with Authors of Sonar 4 Publications

Sonar4 Publications publishes Novels, Novellas, Short Story Collections (Collections by one author Only) Anthologies (check anthology submission guidelines) in Ebook Format

Special Print Editions of certain Collections, Novels or Novellas, anthologies

Contests are held here too!

Sign up for updates and current news with our Sonar4 Pubs Forum

Sonar 4 Publications is home to many talented authors.  I've had a fantastic experience getting to know some of them as guests on Page Readers.
Let's start with Shells Walters, Editor-in-Chief at Sonar4, and an author too.  Shells joined me to disucss her two books "Bite This" and "Justice Served", as well as her journey into the Publishing World. Shells has many books available - here is one of them:

Then there was Michael Jodoin who joined me to discuss his story Holy Hell.  Michael has also written screenplays like Love Sucks, a vampire love story, The Legend of Wooly Swamp, loosely based on the Charlie Daniels song of the same name, and The Wolf with the Red Rose, a werewolf tale. In addition he has written a cable pilot entitled Salvation, co-written a zombie/western entitled From the Darkness and a religious horror Lucifers Hero. He is also one of the co-writers of The Dark Macabre. He and his wife Donna have recently formed a production company, MIDO Entertainment and have several projects under way.

And Lori Titus, the Managing Editor for Flashes in the Dark, and Short Story Submissions Editor for Sonar4 Ezine. Her fiction has been included in three anthologies so far. Most recently her stories appeared in Mausoleum Memoirs, and Toe Tags: 21 Spine-Tingling Stories by the Best New Authors in Horror.

Lori joined me to talk about Green Water Lullabys and The Marradith Ryder Series, posted on Flashes in the Dark weekly. For more information, check out her blog.

Dylan Morgan, author of October Rain joined me from across the pond to discuss his book.  Listen to his interview here, and find out more about Dylan and his work at http://www.dylanjmorgan.com/

We have more Sonar4 Publication authors coming up:
Brick Marlin, author of Dark Places of Rest joined me on Friday May 14th . Other books by Brick:

Jason Bicko, author of Alien Inc on June 2nd at 9:30am Pacific.

Mark Walters, author of A Flourish of Damange and other Tales on June 27th at 10am Pacific.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pill Hill Press Authors on Page Readers

Page Readers welcomes the opportunity to work with Publishers to promote their authors.  We've had the honor to interview authors from these fine publishers.

We are a small, independent publisher specializing in horror, suspense, dark fantasy and science fiction. We bought a "haunted house" in 2007 in Western Nebraska and decided to convert part of the old, spooky Victorian into a small press that celebrates speculative fiction.

We are interested in authors new and seasoned, young and old, and anywhere in between.


Pill Hill Press
343 W 4th St
Chadron, NE 69337
Fax: (308) 432-0473

Pill Hill Press Authors who have appeared on Page Readers:

Another great interview today on Page Readers with my guest Martin T. Ingham who shared with us his latest novel, "The Guns of Mars".

Martin is a fantastic story teller, bringing together his talent of writing good technical details and using real scientific data gathered by Nasa to place this story on Mars. He also brings back one of his favorite characters from past stories, Morgan Asher and puts him into yet another fast paced adventure.

Visit the official Martin T. Ingham website to learn more about "The Guns of Mars", and all of Martins work.

Thank you Martin, for joining me on Page Readers!

Eric S Brown is a 35 year old author living in North Carolina with his wife and son. He has been called "The King of the Zombies" by places like Dread Central and was featured in the book Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead as an expert on the genre.Eric joined me on Page Readers to discuss his latest release from Pill Hill Press, How the West Went to Hell.  He writes an ongoing column on the world of comic books for Abandoned Towers magazine and was part of the giant zombie collaborative effort from Pill Hill Press entitled Undead, Kansas (available winter 2010).

Gerald Costlow lives in Michigan, USA, surrounded by his wife and dogs and grandchildren. He has had numerous short stories published in magazines, anthologies, and webzines. This is his first published novel but definitely not the last. Gerald joined me on Page Readers to discuss his novel The Weaving.

  Matthew Moses is a graduate of Indiana University who has been published in several research publications. He also has a prior novel, Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days. He currently resides in Southern Indiana after four years spent between California, Europe, and South Africa. Eric joined me on Page Readers to discuss his book "Proxies of Fate".

Nye Joell Hardy is a science fiction and fantasy author and the food safety manager for one of the largest produce companies on the planet. She lives with her husband Chris and two wacky Shelties in those golden hills of central coastal California, with lots of attendant oaks, pines, eucalyptus, fog, and birds that shamelessly steal dog food. She is working on her next novel. Visit her website at nye-joell-hardy.livejournal.com and say “Hi!” Nye joined me on Page Readers to discuss her novel "The Crows of Bedu"

For the Anthology "Ruthless, An Extreme Shock Horror Collection" I was joined by Editor-in-Chief, Jessy Roberts and Editor Shane McKenzie, as well as a few of the contributing authors to talk about the collection

Funny Man Hank Quense talks about his latest book "Tales From Gundarland"

Hank Quense joined me for the fourth time on Page Readers, this time to talk about his latest book, "Tales From Gundarland."

This latest book, "Tales From Gundarland" is right on track with all of Hanks twisted tales.  Let me tell you, when Hank takes on a story, he does quite the job of having his way with it.

"Tales From Gundarland" is made up of 7 short stories and two novellas, all tales revolve around the place, Gundarland, and it's array of beings who roam the lands created in Hanks imagination.

When asked where he gets his ideas for such crazy tales his answer is "they just come to me, tell me their story as if applying for a job.  Then I have to decide if they're interesting enough to be a part of what I'm writing."

I for one, am a fan of Hank and his stories.  So I hope there is a long line of characters waiting for their interview. Find out more about Hank and his fantastic fantasy stories on his websiteVisit here for a list of reviews and interviews with Hank.

Gabrielle Faust discusses her latest book in her series "Eternal Vigilance"

Author Gabrielle Faust joined me on Page Readers to discuss her latest release in her series, "Eternal Vigilance III: Bound in Blood.

Gabrielle was such a pleasure to talk with.  The way she tells a story - even when talking about the stories she's already created - just pulls you in.  Pulled me in!

With the first three books of Eternal Vigilance done, she already has the next three mapped out.  Plus a novella "Regret" coming out later this year and a few other writing projects.  AND, she's just launched a new makeup line!

Visit her official website.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Author Interview with Christian Saunders about his novella “Apartment 14F”

Author Interview with Christian Saunders about his novella “Apartment 14F”

Welcome Christian!

Hello Nanci! Thank you for inviting me; it’s a pleasure to be here....

A short bio on Christian: Hailing from the village of New Tredegar, south Wales, Christian Saunders began writing in 1997. His early fiction appeared in titles such as Asphalt Jungle, Raw Nerve, Roadworks and several anthologies. His first book, Into the Dragon's Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales was published in 2003, shortly before he moved to Southampton, England, to study journalism at Solent University. After graduation he worked extensively in the freelance market, contributing features to numerous international publications including Fortean Times, Bizarre, Urban Ink, Beyond, Enigma, Record Collector, Maxim and Nuts, and a regular column to the Western Mail newspaper. Since his return to the horror fiction fold he has had stories published in Screams of Terror, Fantastic Horror, Dark Valentine and Shallow Graves and another featured in the anthology Return of the Raven.

His current novella, Apartment 14F: An Oriental Ghost Story, is available now and his next, Dead of Night, is scheduled for a June 2010 release through Damnation Books. He currently teaches English writing in Hunan Province, southern China, whilst traveling the long road to enlightenment and still fostering ambitions to become a world-famous rock journalist...

Christian, tell us a little more about yourself!

I am from a very small village in south Wales called New Tredegar. It used to be a coal-mining community but the mines all closed and nothing really replaced them except a few foreign-owned factories. It's a beautiful part of the world but it can be quite a hard place to grow up; there's a lot crime and unemployment. I was admittedly the worst student ever, I had little interest in academic subjects, nothing seemed to interest me very much, so I left school with no qualifications and went straight to work in one of the factories, packing pharmaceutical and cosmetic goods.

I always wanted to be a writer but never really thought I could do it, a life like that was always for 'other' people, so at first I just wrote stories for my own amusement. This was in the late 90's, when the small Press was at its peak. Most of the titles couldn't afford to pay any money for your work, but you did get a few contributor's copies and, most importantly, a publishing credit. Because there were so many of them it wasn't too difficult to get your work published if you weren't afraid of collecting a few rejection slips along the way.

Then in 1999 I traveled to America to see Bruce Springsteen in Philadelphia, I had always identified with his music, and during the trip it was like as if someone flicked a switch in my head. Almost overnight I discovered a self-belief that had never been there before – or maybe it had been there, just very well hidden. I suddenly realized that my life was my own and I could do whatever I wanted, as long as I worked hard enough.

After this I started believing that I could achieve my dream of being a writer, but also knew that I needed some kind of formal training so at the age of 27 I finally left Wales and enrolled on a journalism course at university in Southampton, England. There I was exposed to new kinds of music, different cultures and I was learning so much every day at university; about things like the internet and how the publishing industry works. People laughed when I told them that I wrote a book before I even knew how to send an email. After I graduated I stayed in Southampton for a while freelancing for anyone I could, but by 2007 I began to feel a little stale. I didn't want to go back to Wales because I knew a life of obscurity waited for me there, and I didn't want to move to another city in England to start the whole process again. I had no real ties in the UK, except my parents, so I decided to move abroad.

With a university degree its not difficult to find a job teaching English, so I settled on China and took a job teaching airline pilots in Beijing.

I continued freelancing, and after that I moved to Tianjin, where one day I had another epiphany moment: I realized that I had strayed off-course a little and become a mercenary. I only wrote for money, and I didn't really care what I wrote as long as I got paid for it. Writing had become a job to me, and I had been suppressing my creative instincts for too long. It had been almost a decade since I had written any fiction, so I decided to apply myself to one project, see it through to completion, and see where it led. That project turned out to be Apartment 14F.

About his Novella, “Apartment 14F”

When/how did this story come to you?

I started writing Apartment 14F in December 2008 in Tianjin, China. In January and February its Spring Festival, Chinese New Year, and all the schools and universities close for around 2 months so I had sufficient time to devote to it. I wanted to write something about the culture clash between east and west, what happens when two worlds collide, and also try to convey the sense of alienation and isolation that comes with being a stranger in a strange land where you know very little of the language and culture.

I know this is corny but the genesis of the story actually came from a dream I had. The dream is transcribed more-or-less directly into the book, the part where the protagonist, Jerry, who lives alone, dreams he is in bed with a woman – he can feel her heat and smell her skin, but when he reaches out to touch her there is no one there. The rest of the story grew from there.

Do you have a favorite character?

The character I identify most with is, Jerry. A lot of the book is written from personal experience. I never lived in a haunted apartment, thank God! But I tried to describe what it is like living in China as accurately as I could. Most of the larger cities here are very westernized; they have MacDonald's, Starbucks and department stores, but even so it is still very traditional in a lot of ways.

Since Opening and Reform China has been going through a transitional period and at the moment there is this weird East-meets-West culture clash going on. Its certainly a very interesting time to be here.

Can you tell us more about the cultural differences between China and the West?

Well, the food here takes some getting used to. Since I've been in China I have eaten silk worms, snakes, frogs, cow's stomach lining, and lots of other things I'd rather not go in to! Also, in the west we are used to buying our food pre-packed and processed. Here they like everything to be fresh, so if you go out to buy a fish for example, you'll go home with the fish still alive in a bag. For me, personally, it’s quite hard to deal with. I am not a vegetarian but I am a great animal-lover, and I need some separation between me and the things I eat!

Without getting too political, because it is officially a communist country I think a lot of western people have pre-conceived ideas about China being an authoritarian dictatorship where you can't do anything. But in practice, the China of the 21st century is actually a land of free enterprise, especially in a business sense. I think the average person has just as much freedom as they would in the west, maybe even more so.

Compared to what it was like 20 or even 10 years ago the standard of living has improved greatly and the crime rate is very low here. They have a big problem with pollution, as do most countries, and media censorship is something I will never agree with but the vast majority of people are very happy with their lives.

How long did it take you to write it?

The first draft took only a month or so but it was such an awkward length that I didn't know what to do with it at first. The original draft was about 10,000 words – too short to be a novel or novella and too long to really be a short story.

In the current climate everything seems to be getting smaller, which is probably a reflection of our busier lifestyles and the fact that more media is now internet-based. Novels are becoming novellas, and short stories are becoming 'flashes'. What the internet has done in recent years is make everything much more accessible, whatever you want you can find it quite easily through a search engine, but the downside of that is that the average person now has much more choice. It is more of a challenge to win people's attention, and keep it...

What was it like “shopping” the book to agents/publisher?

With my first book it took me a few months to find a publisher. I made up a list of companies that had published books on similar subjects and went through the list methodically. That takes time. Any writer will tell you that actually writing is the easy part; the real work begins after you have written your manuscript and you want to find a publisher...

I was very lucky with Apartment 14F. I heard about a new company called Damnation Books (www.damnationbooks.com) that had sent out a call for submissions. I sent them the manuscript and the owner, Kim Gilchrist, liked it and said they would publish it. But, only on the condition that I made a few alterations and made it longer. So I had to change the ending and double the word count.

How do you like working with Damnation Books?

Damnation Books are a very professional outfit and a pleasure to work with. They only started last year so it is still early days for them, but they are slowly taking the world of digital publishing by storm!

The editing process takes some getting used to – you have to learn to compromise and are prepared to sacrifice a lot. It can be frustrating at times, especially when the publisher or editor you are working with doesn't seem to share the same vision as you do, but you just have to accept that both parties are working toward a common goal and hope that the people you are working with know more about the business than you do!

You have other books out – let’s talk about those – titles, their story, how those came to be…

I decided to write a book about Welsh history and culture, focusing on the stranger parts. From a personal point of view, I wanted to find out more about the place where I was from, and I have always been fascinated with the paranormal and supernatural. I worked diligently every night for 3 or 4 hours after my factory shift, writing and researching. The book took three years to write. When it was finally finished I submitted it to several publishers and I was very fortunate that a small Welsh publisher called Gwasg Carreg Gwalch (in English the three words mean 'hawk, stone and press') accepted it.

Into the Dragon's Lair was released in 2003. After the book came out a lot of things changed: people started taking my work more seriously and lots of doors that had previously been closed finally started to open. One of the proudest moments in my life was walking into a book shop in Wales and seeing my book on the shelves.

What do you like best about being an author/Writer?

I like the idea of giving people pleasure through my work, and also perhaps having something tangible to show for my life that will still be there long after I am gone. Plus, I like the idea of doing my own thing and not having to answer to anybody. Obviously you have to be disciplined, you have to set targets and goals and stick to them, but by and large I can write when I want. Actually, writing is the easy part.

Probably the hardest thing about being a freelance writer in the 21st century is finding time to do everything that needs doing. Apart from the writing, researching and self-editing process every writer puts themselves through, in this day and age most writers work independently, without the help of an agent. So we have to market ourselves; we have to find suitable outlets for our work, submit the right kind of material in the right format to the right people, deal with editors and various other professionals, and then publicize the material we are lucky enough to get published. This means requesting reviews, arranging interviews, social networking, and doing anything else we can to spread the word.

It can be very difficult and time-consuming. Sometimes you wonder if it is really worth the effort and perhaps your time would be better served doing something else, but I think real writers write because they like it, because they want to write. Anything else is a bonus. I feel very lucky to be in the position I am in now, with more and more people beginning to notice my work.

Do you have any projects in the works, something new coming out? When?

Yes I do! My next book is called Dead of Night, and is coming out on Damnation Books in June. I just wanted to have some fun, and indulge myself a little with this one, so I wrote a fast-paced zombie story with a little Battle-of-the-Sexes stuff thrown in. Everyone loves zombies!

I've just finished working on a collaboration with two other writers called Place to Place , which is a trilogy of spooky stories all set in hotels, we'll start looking for a publisher shortly. And at the moment I'm working on a novel about a haunted house in Wales, which is based partly on fact. Wales is a country that has a lot of legends and folklore attached to it, and I'm trying to work some of them into a story.

What do you do when you are not writing? (Family, other work…)

I currently have two teaching jobs at two different schools in Changsha, Hunan Province, so between my teaching and writing commitments I don't really have much spare time. I do have a great girlfriend called Diana, so when I am not teaching or writing I spend time with her; watching movies or sightseeing. I am also trying, very unsuccessfully, to learn Chinese.

Otherwise I enjoy reading and I'm also a big fan of the UFC.

Christian, any last words for our readers?

I'd just like to thank them for listening, and invite them to drop by and say hello sometime! They can reach me via my website, which also has a few short stories they can download for free. The address is http://www.christiansaunders.co.uk/, or on myspace, www.myspace.com/valleyboy74.

Also, they can find my new book, and many other good reads, as well as some great special offers at my publishers website, which is http://www.damnationbooks.com/.

Thank You Christian for joining us and for sharing your story with us.   It’s been a pleasure getting to know about you and your work.

Thank you so much for this opportunity! And happy Chinese New Year!

For our readers you can find more information and links to Christian Saunders and his book “Apartment 14F” at http://www.christiansaunders.co.uk/

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lyrical Press Authors on Page Readers

Lyrical Press, Inc. is a New York based digital-first independent publisher owned by the husband and wife team of Frank and Renee Rocco. Their goal is to provide authors with a reliable and pleasant home for their books and offer readers an eclectic mix of quality titles. Lyrical offers Print On Demand for select titles over 60,000 words.

Lyrical Press is actively seeking erotica, romance and paranormal sub-genres.

Lyrical Press is not accepting screenplays, young adult, inspirational and poetry works. At this time Lyrical Press is closed to self-published and/or previously-published works.

Submissions: submissions@lyricalpress.com

Autum Piper joined me to talk about her latest release "Lone Star Trouble"

Stephanie Beck joined me to discuss her novel "Poppy's Passion" on the day of it's release!

Natasha Bennett joined me from Victoria B.C. to discuss the first two novels of her Trilogy, War of the Soulites

Barton Paul Levenson joined me to talk about his novel "Ella the Vampire".

Annie Nicholas joined me to discuss two book from "The Angler Series", "The Alphas" and "The Omegas".

Susan Palmquist joined me to talk about her romance story "Sleeping with Fairies"

Keith Pyeatt joined me to talk about his latest release "Dark Knowledge"

Joshua Scribner joined me to discuss his book "Mantis Nights"

Graham Storrs joined me all the way from Australia after an around the world Tweet session to discuss his novel "Time Splash"

Sara Townsend joined me on Page Readers to discuss her novel "Suffer the Children"

J.D. Williams joined me on Page Readers to discuss his novel "Time Stream"

Liz Strange

Ashley Christman will join us in November to discuss her book "The Witching Hour"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Author Jason Bicko on Page Readers in Blog Interview

Author Jason Bicko wasn't able to join me on the radio show, so we did his interview as a written one on the blog.

Jason is the author of the science fiction thriller, Alien Inc., available from Sonar 4 Publications.

What was life like growing up?

Life’s weird for humans. I remember a career officer at school telling me I had to plan for the day when I got released into the big wide world. He made it sound as if, at the age of sixteen, when school ended, we would be thrown out into a savage new world, and the years until then had to be spent preparing for it. And that’s kind of right. But I was not one of those kids who had a direction planned early. Is that why I don’t run a billion-pound business or build orphanages in Kenya? I started writing at an early age and it set the tone. I lived in my head a lot. The world is made up of two kinds of people, thinkers versus doers. Or, as it was once put to me, astronomers and astronauts. I was a thinker, an astronomer. I never had big dreams. The big dreams I did have belonged to characters I put in my stories. This attitude made me content with the way my life unfolded. Childhood was normal. The memories are vague, given their age, but there are as many smile memories as there are frown ones. And the same applies now. We can’t have everything we want in life, and you’ll get a headache trying to go for every dream. The way I look at it, I never became king of the universe with a harem of beauties and a horde of riches, but then I never got my head cut off in a dangerous alley, either. The middle ground suits me just fine. My only regrets are that I didn’t kiss Sarah Scarlett at school and haven’t travelled the world much. And there’s still time for both. Oh, and that I never had a pet unicorn to fight dragons with. Oh well.

What is your story Alien Inc. about?

It’s a slasher novel about a group of random people whose plane crashes way out in the Serengeti desert, at a high tech satellite tracking station. The entire staff have been turned into savage zombies by some alien, and that alien wants to have these crash survivors, too. It’s a gung-ho action story. I did this for the sort of people who like pulp horror, fans of guys like Guy N. Smith and Graham Masterton.

When/how did this story come to you?

I’d just finished a story that was quite complex. On every page there was something integral to the plot, and it was a bit of a headache trying to keep track of things. After that, I just wanted a holiday. Writing Alien Inc. was my holiday. It was fun and easy to do. I thought I’d do a siege-type story. One bunch of characters, one big setting, one short time-period, one fuse lit early.

Do you have a favorite character?

Jack Rodriguez, the rogue. The sort of character you like to watch, but maybe not have around you. Sarcastic, selfish. The sort of guy who goes for what he wants and mostly gets it. The sort of guy who, if luck were to balance itself out in the end, should end his life shredded in a crumpled car or squashed by a meteorite or something else that might make the people he pissed off in his life think “Yeah, he had that coming.”

What was your favorite part of this story?

After the crap hits the fan, whatever that’s really supposed to mean, the characters split up into little groups and have to fend off the zombies. There’s a Japanese businessman and his ex porn-star wife who end up trapped in a monorail with a single zombie lurking below the stranded carriage, trying to work out how to get inside. I enjoyed that bit. And the full stop at the very end of the story. I loved writing that bit because it meant the tale was told.

How long did it take you to write it?

Six months or so. It sort of flowed out. Like diarrhoea.

What was it like “shopping” the book to agents/publisher?

Awkward, because it’s the kind of story you don’t see out there often. The premise doesn’t sound like much. Bunch of people trapped by zombies. Sounds like the sort of story all the big horror writers might have written when they were ten years old and just starting out. I had to make the cover letter to publishers quite in-depth, to make sure they didn’t think I was ten years old and just starting out.

How do you like working with the publisher of Alien Inc.?

Those guys are cool. They assigned an editor who was very good. Loretta Sylvestre. She spotted mistakes I might never have in a hundred rewrites. The publishers also promoted the book in a number of websites and set up the blog radio interview that I missed the first time because I worked out the United States’ time zones wrong (and of course that embarrassing second missed interview involving area code confusion…)

Is the book available as an e-book, print book or both?

It’s an e-book. First rung of a ladder that hopefully reaches to dump bins and tours and awards and…(be quiet, Jason!)

Where is the book available?
The bookstore at Sonar4 Publications.

What other stories or books do you have out there?

A bunch of short stories published under the names JBICKO and Jason Bickerstaff. At one point six or seven years ago, a Google search under Jason Bickerstaff would have brought my stories up on the first page. But since then Pixar Studios has gotten big and successful with their awesome animated films, and these days searching for my name pulls up another Jason way ahead of me. He works in the art department. Dude, can’t you change the spelling?

What do you like best about being an author/Writer?

I just love plotting stories and sitting down to write them. I love the research, too, because I get really interested in whatever I need to read, and the more I read, the more I learn, which feels productive. I once had to read about myxomatosis for a story and while that sounds like a chore, it was necessary research and that made it fun. At the minute, I’m planning a story that requires me to know about police investigation procedures, so I’m reading a lot of crime stories. It makes it all feel like important work. If only it was paid work…

Where else can fans find you online?

There’s a blog or two, loads of silly Facebook comments, and a few instances where I got drunk and posted nonsense replies to serious articles in online newspapers.

Do you have any other publicity events coming in the future?

There’s an interview set up with Flashes in the Dark Ezine, but that’s it for the minute. Hopefully if you were to ask me that again in a year’s time, I would say, “Oh, I’m on Jay Leno’s show tonight and being interviewed by Jonathan Ross the day after. Probably not, though.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Work at my job, mostly. Down time involves a lot of reading, some working out, day trips away to country parks, a splashing of TV and a whole bunch of fun but time-wasting video gaming. Now, if you were to ask me that again next year, hopefully the answers can sound a bit more worthwhile. Probably not, though

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Announcing "Frugal and Focused Tweeting" Book Launch!

I'm honored to bring you the news of this book launch over the next few days. This is a book all those laboring to promote their work will love.

And I can barely count how many interviews and reviews we've set up for Carolyn Howard-Johnson's newest book, Frugal and Focused Tweeting. The reviewers, even seasoned book marketers themselves, raved at how much they learned from this book. Dozens of reviews and interview in all, both live and print.

If you just don't get twitter, or even if you are an intermediate or advanced twitterer, and already attempting to market your book(s) there, this book is a treasure of practical information.

Browse the many interviews and reviews here.

You can even purchase the book here.

Be sure to subscribe to Promotion a la Carte while you're there. Only subscribers are eligible for year round launches, contests, treasure hunts and oodles of book give aways from all our clients and sponsors. Sometimes we give away new books just BECAUSE, but only to our subscriber list.

Email for more info if you'd like to hire our promotional services:

Aggie Villanueva: aggie@promotionalacarte.com

Nanci Arvizu: nanci@promotionalacarte.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Page Readers talks with author Lubna Kably

Hi. I’m Lubna Kably, a chartered accountant by profession. I specialize in cross border tax issues and what I really love about this job is that I get to connect with people from across the world. I am currently based in my home town, Mumbai (Yes, of the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire fame).

Mumbai provides a nice blend of different cultures – people from various parts of India and even the world reside here, or visit here. I love to walk along the streets of Colaba, with the sea breeze playing with my hair, while I people watch.

Tell us a little about yourself, your back ground, education, professional, etc.

While I was growing up, I wanted to be so many different things, sometimes all at the same time! I love dogs, cats, in fact all furry four legged creatures and wanted to be a veterinarian, I also wanted to be a writer, or a journalist, or follow my father’s footsteps and be a chartered accountant.

As I don’t have any siblings I grew up in the company of books, dogs and cats. While I ultimately ended up being a tax consultant – with brief stints as a tax journalist thrown in, I haven’t lost my love for reading and writing, or my love for animals.

I love reading and read books falling in different genres. Of course, I am forced to read tax books, just to keep pace with the every changing laws. No wonder, I was doubly thrilled to win the Visual Arts Junction “Bedtime Story” writers contest.

I loved my book prizes, Aggie Villanueva’s Biblical Novel: Rightfully Mine and the wonderful mystery book: The Pot Thief who studied Pythagoras, by Micheal Orenduff. Someday, I hope to write a book of my own.

I also firmly believe in random acts of kindness. So do my friends. In fact, the beautiful photo art which was part of the prize could not be shipped to India. Aggie generously agreed to our plan. It will be donated to the US based, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as a friend volunteers there. It will be auctioned and the proceeds will go to this Foundation.

My friend has already received this photo-art and we can’t wait for the auction to happen.

Tell us about the story you entered into the VAJ Writing Contest:

This contest is based on a photo-art. Aggie Villanueva is a wonderful photo artiste. When I saw the photo-art, it spoke to me I just knew that I had to write about it.

It was a “Bedtime Story” writers contest. The photo-art displayed a table with one of my favorite books: The Velveteen Rabbit. Next to the book, was what could only be a magic lamp that makes wishes come true.

What is the story about?

In my story, Ann a little girl sees this table in her grandmother’s attic. She knows the lamp is a magic lamp and makes a wish – for a pet rabbit, which comes true.

When life is a struggle you must remember magic. Magic to me is positive thinking. Ann realizes this, as she grows up. She learns to reach deep inside herself and to be positive.

When/how did this story come to you?

The story I wrote centers around the power of positive thinking. While I do not believe in dreaming and not doing anything to attain these dreams, I do believe that positive thinking that helps us to overcome many hurdles. We should do the best we can and think positively.

Adam Lindsay Gordon’s quote has been my favorite, down the years, ever since I was a school kid. It reads: Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone; Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.

When I stumbled upon the website of Visual Arts Junction and onto this short story contest, I was recuperating from a surgery. Life had been tough the past two years on many fronts and this surgery seemed to be the last straw. It was so easy to sit up in bed and scream: Why me?

Well, the strong antibiotics did have their own side effects and I would often weep for no rhyme or reason. But, then I took a strong grip on myself, I had to think positively, I had to overcome this bad patch; I had to go back to work.

I took help. I surrounded myself with positive friends. I also reached deep down into myself. You know, we can make or break our own days, rather our life with our attitude.

It is not only important to chin up and face the situation (which is captured in my favorite quote), but it is important to think positively, which goes a long way in overcoming the hurdles.

What was your favorite part of this story?

I have two favorite parts in this story. As an only child, I could relate to Ann’s loneliness. Thus, when I wrote that Ann got a pet rabbit, Velveteen that she had pined for, I really felt warm and fuzzy inside.

Of course, the ending is my favorite part. I do hope readers take Ann’s message to heart: “You need to tread on the path of wonder, joy and trust and you don’t need a magic lamp to achieve your dreams”.

How long did it take you to write it?

I think the photo-art really had a profound impact on me. I don’t think it took me more than two or three hours to type out this story. I finished it at one go. It is as if I knew what I would write, even as I began typing it.

Have you entered other contests?

This contest has spurred me on to enter other short story contests. The comments made by the judges, were very useful. I am keeping my fingers tightly crossed.

Do you have other works available (books, blogs, etc.)

Do you have a blog? Share URL

I love writing and blogging was the perfect avenue to share my thoughts with friends and readers who drop by and become friends. I do blog regularly. In fact, I have three very different blogs.

The Writer’s Cyberslate – which is my personal blog where I ramble on about what is relevant to me at that point of time. It ranges from an online driven story book collection drive for children in a slum school in South India, to my latest posts, which are my thoughts on destiny.

Being a tax consultant, I write a tax column for a newspaper in India, viz: The Economic Times. You can find these columns on my blog, Talking Tax. While tax can be a dreary subject, this column centers around an interesting character called Zenobia Aunty who takes pot shots at the draftsmen who come out with the most ambiguous laws possible. Readers love her and she gets quite a lot of fan-emails. Look up this blog for more.

I also used to review books (largely management books) for a professional journal. These reviews are on my blog, Books on my shelves. I also blogged about winning this contest and provided links to the winning entries.

Travelling and photography are other passions. While I have more or less hung up my travelling boots, my travel articles can largely be found on Bootsnall and once I managed to get a submission published in a book by Travelers’ Tales The Thong Also Rises, an anthology of misadventures.

Are you on Facebook, Twitter, other social networks where people can connect with you?

I would love to connect with writers, including aspiring writers, do tell me when you are a writer, if you send me an invite on LinkedIn.

What do you do when you are not writing? (Family, other work…)

My day job takes up a lot of time, but I love to spend time with family and friends. I also frequent LinkedIn, blog, post comments on other blogs, websurf and travel whenever I get the chance to get away.

Do you have any “words of wisdom” that you would like to share with our readers?

Life is a roller coaster ride. When you are down and out, believe that it is only temporary; soon you will be riding high again. Surround yourself with positive people and be positive yourself. Negativity kills.

At times, it may be difficult to tear yourself away from negative thoughts or even negative people, but JUST DO IT.

Two of my favorite reads (pick me up books are), Go Kiss the World by Subroto Bagchi and The Last Lecture by the Late Prof Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow. I am leaving you with the urls of my book reviews of these two great books.

Do you have a favorite character?

Late Prof Randy Pausch loved Tigger (Winnie the Pooh fame), so do I. We need to be like the fun loving Tigger even in the face of adversities.

Thank you Lubna for talking with Page Readers!