Archive for November, 2012

INTRODUCING AUTHOR AMY METZ

Posted on November 26, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It is my pleasure to introduce you to author Amy Metz in this week’s interview.  Amy is a charming person and excellent writer who delights her readers with euphemisms of southern wit.  I thoroughly enjoyed her book Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction and you can read my review here.  Amy also does reviews and interviews, so when you’re done reading about her here go on over and visit her website – it’s well done and very interesting!

Interview with Amy Metz

by L.Leander

1.  What makes you stand out as a writer?

Goose Pimple Junction is a wacky town with quirky residents. I think those unique qualities and the goosepimpleisms throughout the book make Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction different from your average mystery.

2.  What is your favorite type of reading material?

Anything with a mystery, humor, or love story.  Combine all three and I’m there. I love mysteries, and I particularly love humorous mysteries. I also love romantic suspense or romantic mysteries.

3.  If you could only pick one, who is your greatest influence?

Yikes! I honestly have no idea!

4.  Where do you get your ideas for writing?

Everywhere. I’m always on the lookout for ideas, and sometimes reading, hearing, or seeing something sparks a new story. My imaginary friends also frequently give me ideas.

5.  Are you a pantser or an outliner?

Both, depending on the story.

6.  Finish this sentence:  One thing very few people know about me is…

I have fibromyalgia. It’s similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, and I have flares when I do too much or don’t get enough sleep. It’s another reason why writing is the ideal occupation for me.

7.  If I had a choice, every day would include:

Oh, so many things. The ocean. Cheesecake. Books. How about eating cheesecake on a beach, reading a book? But seriously, I’d have to say every day would include love.

8.  If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have Internet and a computer or a supply of paper and pens, which would you choose?

Definitely the Internet and a computer. I would go into severe withdrawal without them.

9.  Do you hear voices?  What do they tell you?  What do you tell them?

Not really voices, but I do feel like I get strong suggestions about what to write from my characters. I tell them to have their way with me. I’m easy. But only with imaginary people.

10. What is your very favorite part of being an author?  Your least favorite?

I love to get lost in my story and spend time with my characters. I hate promoting and marketing.

11. Where did you grow up?

Louisville, Kentucky.  I moved away for college and lived in Lexington for a few years after that, but mostly, Louisville has been home.

12. Describe your ideal vacation (the sky’s the limit.)

I would go to Boston and wander the streets for days, photographing that totally cool city. Then I would drive to Kennebunkport and stay at The Colony Hotel, where I would walk on the beach, take more pictures, and I’d sit on the veranda overlooking the beach and read a good book. Then, because the sky’s the limit, I would go to Ireland, Scotland, and England. And take lots of pictures.

13.  If you could be either, which would you choose – a dog or a cat?  Why?

Definitely a dog.  To me, dogs are goofier, more loving, generally have a warmer, friendlier personality, and they’re more affectionate than most cats. Now, cat people, don’t yell at me. I know there are exceptions. But I would be a dog. I’d be a lab or a golden retriever or a mastiff.

14. You are the co-host of CBS This Morning – who would you like to snag an interview with?

John Sandford. In fact, John—if you’re reading this, call me. I’d love to feature you on my blog!

15.  Tell us a little about your most recent protagonist?

Tess Tremaine is a forty-something Yankee who moved to the southern town of Goose Pimple Junction to start a new chapter in her life after getting a divorce. Because of her unhappy marriage and contentious divorce, she’s sworn off men. Until she meets Jackson Wright. As much as she tries to deny an attraction, she’s smitten. And as much as she tries to avoid him, he keeps popping up. They team up to investigate a seventy-five-year-old cold case murder, and he becomes her translator for southern speak and her saving grace in more ways than one.

Thank you for being here, Amy, and sharing a little bit about yourself.  Readers, check out the links below to buy Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction and visit Amy’s site where there are lots of featured Indie authors.  Leave a comment in the comments section below to give Amy some love.  Thanks!

Other places to find Amy Metz (click on the book cover to go to her Amazon book listing):

Amy Metz website

Amy Metz Blog

Amy Metz Amazon Author Page

Amy Metz Facebook Page

 

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INTRODUCING AUTHOR TOM HOBBS

Posted on November 19, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In the spotlight this week is Author Tom Hobbs.  I am delighted that Tom agreed to stop by to chat and I think you’ll enjoy learning about him.  His answers to my interview questions are witty, honest and fun to read.   Almost immediately after I published my first novel this summer I contacted Tom about listing my book on his Kindle Mojo site.  I found him to be very helpful and eager to help a new author out.  I reviewed his book and loved it.  I was intrigued by his fast-paced, gritty style and I read Trauma Junkie in one sitting.  You can read my review here.  Tom Hobbs has qualities that exemplify the Indie Author.  He knows where he came from and is willing to help others gain success.  The link to his site is at the end of this interview.  Check it out if you haven’t had the opportunity.

Interview with Tom Hobbs

by L.Leander

1.  What makes you stand out as a writer?

I’ve been told it’s my dialogue.  I love to listen to people speak, and will sit in places with my iPod ear phones in, but nothing playing so I can listen to the conversations people are having.  I rely heavily on dialog to define my characters, rather than their actions in a given situation.  Some might consider this a flaw, but I find that it works well for me.

For me the secret of dialogue is the rhythm of the speech and not so much the words that they are speaking.  Listening to candid conversation has the same effect on me that classical music has for normal people.  I find it very relaxing and often find myself replaying various conversations in my head which I will adapt to my writing.

2.  What is your favorite type of reading material?

I love reading screenplays.  I’m more of a visual person with a background in photography and film.  I love to find original versions of various screenplays and compare them to the final product to see how they evolved.  I also like reading classical American Literature (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner being my all time favorites.)

3.  If you could only pick one, who is your greatest influence?

If I had to pick one I suppose I’d have to say Fitzgerald.  I have probably read The Great Gatsby more than 100 times and have several versions on my iPod.  I find something new every time I do, and it is the quickest cure for writer’s block that I know.

4.  Where do you get your ideas for writing?

For my Trauma Junkie series I was a New York City paramedic for 7 years and I kept a journal.  The characters in those books are amalgams of people I knew and the situations are either firsthand accounts, or stories I was told by my friends.  Believe it or not, a lot of the situations are actually toned down due to the fact that they would not be believable.  Some of it is pure fiction, but probably could have happened.

My other books are based mostly on personal experience, though it’s highly fictionalized.

5.  Are you a pantser or an outliner?

A little of both; I do most of the outlining in my head and play a movie from start to finish on the big points and will often build chapters around a single scene I’ve played out.  I often have several stories going on in my head at the same time, and it can get very confusing, but also plays into the fact that I am writing a series.   Then when I sit down to write the story will often take on a life of its own and I have no idea where it’s going.  Most people would call me a very unorganized writer, but it works for me.

 6.  Finish this sentence:  One thing very few people know about me is…

I am a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.  It’s true!

My wife is the strong personality in our marriage, I cry when we argue.  I like to cook – I love the fact that they have the Julia Child kitchen in the Smithsonian.  I sew and would rather watch the home shopping network than pro football.

7.  If I had a choice, every day would include…

Sandy beaches and clear water, I have a real fetish for Kauai, but wouldn’t want to move there because it would ruin it.  I used to have a New York fantasy and loved to visit.  When I finally moved here with my family all I can do is think about moving back to New Mexico.

8.  If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have Internet and a computer or a supply of paper and pens which would you choose?

Oh definitely the internet.  In fact that would be the ideal fantasy for me, to be stranded on a deserted island with a T-1 connection.  I write on a computer, I watch movies , TV and play online games.  I don’t even have cable because you can pretty much get everything they have to offer that’s worth having from the internet.

9.  Do you hear voices?  What do they tell you?  What do you tell them?

I don’t really hear voices, but I see lots of stuff in images.  I’m a very visual thinker.  The voices in my head take some effort on my part and I mostly talk through conversations I plan to write. 

10.  What is your very favorite part of being an author?  Your least favorite?

Finishing a project is my favorite part and starting on a blank page is my least favorite.

11.  Where did you grow up?

My father was a National Park Ranger so I grew up in places like The Grand Canyon, Kennesaw Mountain, Acadia, and Bryce Canyon.  As soon as I got out of the Air Force I moved to the big city (Albuquerque) and haven’t given country living a second thought.

12.  Describe your ideal vacation (the sky’s the limit)

Just sitting on the beach in Kauai with my wife and kids is what works for me.  It’s pretty simple, but it’s my dream vacation.

13.  If you could be either, which would you choose – a dog or a cat?  Why?

A cat.  Cats are free thinkers and don’t have to listen when they are told to do something.

14.  You are the co-host of CBS This Morning – who would you like to snag an interview with?

Man, I would love a sit down with William Shatner.  Not because I’m a trekkie (which I am), but because he doesn’t seem to take himself so seriously. 

15.  Tell us a little about your most recent protagonist?

Brian Sheahan is a New York City paramedic who has had a rough time with his life.  He’s a compilation of several people I’ve know over the years in given situations.  At the beginning he is suicidal, a heavy drinker, and just generally no fun to be around.  He does have one redeeming quality and that is that he obsessed with saving lives.  He takes it very personally when a patient dies, especially a child.  He tends to personalize a lot of things he shouldn’t, and often rubs people the wrong way in the course of his job.

 I would hope that by the end the reader is in his corner.

 Tell us a little more about yourself:

I run the website www.kindlemojo.com that promotes indie authors.  The links to all of my books are on that page.  I do offer free advertising to anyone who will write an Amazon review of my first Trauma Junkie novel.

I plan on putting out at least six Trauma Junkie novels, (The Ghost of Bellevue Past is the next installment)  but am also working on a couple of other things – Zen and the Art of Narcolepsy- My year in the Lobby, a fictional memoir of a New York City doorman and Jonesin’ for Grey Matter a dark comedy about the end of the world as we know it via zombie apocalypse (yeah, I’m gonna jump on that hula hoop.)

I am also putting out a series of photo books designed especially for viewing on the new Kindle Fire and iPads.

Thank you for being my guest, Tom, and for all the great promotional work you do for Indie Authors.  Readers, please leave Tom a comment to let him know you enjoyed this interview.

Here are a few more places you can interact with Tom and find his other books.  Click on the cover of Trauma Junkie to be taken to the Amazon page.

Tom Hobbs Facebook Page

Kindle Mojo Website

Kindle Mojo Facebook Group

Tom Hobbs Amazon Author Page

Trauma Junkie Book Trailer

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Introducing Author Joseph Rinaldo

Posted on November 13, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |


This week I’m proud to introduce you to a controversial and exciting author, Joseph Rinaldo.  I am a voracious reader and I read most genres.  When I saw postings on Facebook for reviews needed of “A Mormon Massacre” I replied immediately.  History is one of my favorite subjects and the description intrigued me.  Based on a true story it’s the author’s fictional account of a big cover-up in the Mormon Church.  You can read my review of A Mormon Massacre here.

Mr. Rinaldo captures the essence of the times and the characters he writes about.  You are so drawn into the book that before you know it it’s over. I literally could not put it down!  I hope you enjoy learning a little more about what makes this author “tick” and about his other books as well.

 

Interview with author Joseph Rinaldo

By: L.Leander

  1. What makes you stand out as a writer? Spending the time in the story to really develop the important characters so the reader feels like they “know” the characters.
  2. What is your favorite type of reading material? Like most avid readers, I’ll read a variety of things. I can’t define a single topic or writing style that I’ll always read or avoid.
  3. If you could only pick one, who is your greatest influence? My English teacher from my freshman year of high school. She said I was a good writer, so I knew it was true. [She didn’t say something unless she meant it.]
  4. Where do you get your ideas for writing? I have no clue. The stories pop into my head, and I start typing.
  5. Are you a pantser or an outliner? A little of both. I’ll outline some of the story, usually hitting the main twists and events. However, the character interaction and much of the tone comes to life as I type it.
  6. Finish this sentence:  One thing very few people know about me is… I’ll continue to pursue a writing career until I can do it full-time.
  7. If I had a choice, every day would include… a boat ride.
  8. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have Internet and a computer or a supply of paper and pens which would you choose? The computer and the internet so I’d at least know what was going on in the rest of the world even if I wasn’t a part of it. Also, when my food and water run low, I could coordinate a food drop via email.
  9. Do you hear voices?  What do they tell you?  What do you tell them? Yes, the characters in my books live in my head. I try not to interact with them too much because many of the characters in my books are not likeable people.
  10. What is your very favorite part of being an author?  Your least favorite? I love the moments where the story is playing in my head as fast as I can type. I feel like the first person to see the next big movie. My books come to me in images which is why they seem more like movies than books to me. I do not enjoy the struggle of getting a book to market. The editing isn’t a whole lot of fun, but I really do hate trying to sell books.
  11. Where did you grow up? Owensboro, Kentucky. The third largest city in that state, and no one’s ever heard of it.
  12. Describe your ideal vacation (the sky’s the limit) On a beach, deep sea fishing is involved, a sound dampening wall between the bedroom for my wife and I and the one for my daughter [if I’m allowed to go there]
  13.  If you could be either, which would you choose – a dog or a cat?  Why? Cat; no one expects them to do anything, yet cats expect humans to be fully trained.
  14.   You are the co-host of CBS This Morning – who would you like to snag an interview with? Tina Turner; she’s seen so much from racism to abuse. Yet, she always comes out on top and has such a positive attitude. She might be the most unappreciated American icon because she doesn’t promote herself or pander to the media.
  15.  Tell us a little about your most recent protagonist? Jeremiah in A Mormon Massacre has a very strong sense of justice. He goes undercover into the Mormon church in hopes of rescuing women from abusive plural marriages. To see what he finds, you’ll have to read the book, but Jeremiah believes the world can be a better place. For this world to be a better place, he believes everyone is responsible for fighting evil.

 

 

To purchase a Kindle version of A Mormon Massacre by Joseph Rinaldo, click on the book cover to the left.  For a paperback version of the book click here:

NOTE:  As a special offer, the author has informed me that anyone who buys a copy of A Mormon Massacre during his featured interview this week will also receive free copies of either or both of his other ebooks, A Spy At Home and Hazardous Choices as a gift to thank them for buying A Mormon Massacre. All they need do is email him at  rinald47@hotmail.com.

Want to know more about Joseph Rinaldo?  Here are some links where you can check him out!

Joseph Rinaldo Website

Joseph Rinaldo Facebook Author Page

Joseph Rinaldo Blog

Find Joseph Rinaldo on Twitter:  @jmrinaldo

Leave some comments – have you read A Mormon Massacre?  Planning to?  What do you think?

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Introducing Author Brian Beam

Posted on November 5, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews, Book Reviews, L.Leander Book Reviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This week it’s my pleasure to introduce an exciting author, Brian Beam.  Brian and I met on a Facebook group.  I offered to read and review his manuscript.  Am I ever glad I did!

From the very first paragraph of The Dragon Gem I was hooked.  Mr. Beam has a style that keeps readers on their toes, craning their necks to get a peek at what’s coming up next.  The fantasy world he creates is well-developed and the characters are delightful.  You can read my review of The Dragon Gem here.

One of the things that interested me about Brian Beam was his comment about being a dad.  He takes his role very seriously and is proud of his son.  That is something that endears him to readers, I think.  His compassion and fun-loving spirit shine through the pages of his writing.

I sincerely believe that Mr. Beam is an author who will make a name for himself.  His first book was great and I’ve been privileged to read the manuscript of the second.  (I promised not to relay any secrets – sorry!)  Brian has a definite way with words and plot.  His characters jump from the pages right into your heart and you find yourself falling in love with them.  I was sad to see the first book end.  Oh, and I forgot – for you adventure lovers – Brian writes lots of action and adventure in his series.  You won’t be disappointed!

Here is my interview with Brian – his personality shines through!

Interview with Brian Beam

by L.Leander

L.Leander:  What makes you stand out as a writer?

Brian Beam:  I write for the sheer pleasure of writing and telling a story, not to sell the most books I can.  When I have a story in mind, I don’t really think much about how universally appealing it will be.  I hope that readers will love it, and I hope that it will sell, but I don’t sacrifice vision solely for increased readership.  Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m going to shovel out poor work just because I think it’s good, but it does mean that there will be no vampires or erotica in my books any time soon.  I think that dedication to my vision comes out in my work.

L.Leander:  What is your favorite type of reading material?

Brian Beam:  I’m a big fantasy nerd, so just about anything fantasy.  I tend to read more epic fantasy, though.

L.Leander:  If you could only pick one, who is your greatest influence?

Brian Beam:  Even though I just started reading his work about three or four years ago, Brandon Sanderson.  He is not the author who made me want to strive to write fantasy; he’s the one who made we want to strive to write good fantasy.  His books have taught me so much about effective world-building and thinking outside of the box when crafting stories.  I would say that if not for his work, I probably never would have completely finished my first novel.

L.Leander:  Where do you get your ideas for writing?

Brian Beam:  They just pop in my head.  I know that sounds simple, but there’s not much more to it.  I am a jogger, and sometimes I get some great(to me at least) ideas then, but there’s no particular process.

L.Leander:  Are you a pantser or an outliner?

Brian Beam:  Mostly a pantser.  I say mostly because I do come up with the generalities of the story in my head.  I know where the characters will start and finish.  I know most of the big events that occur in between.  I know my characters’ personalities.  I never put all this to paper except for the occasional note or two.  Once I start writing, I let the story lead me from the beginning to the end.  Sometimes I find myself on the general path that was plotted in my mind.  Other times, I go off-roading and have a great time doing so.

L.Leander:  Finish this sentence:  One thing very few people know about me is…

Brian Beam:  That I love to write and record music.  I haven’t done so in quite a while, but I love it!

L.Leander:  If I had a choice, every day would include..

Brian Beam:  Four hours of dedicated writing time followed by 12 straight hours of playing with my wife and son.  And chocolate.  And cake.

L.Leander:  If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have Internet and a computer or a supply of paper and pens which would you choose?

Brian Beam:  Depends…do I get electricity?  If so, internet hands down.  There’s plenty of programs where I could write.  Besides, I type much faster than I write and I have horrible handwriting/drawing skills.  Plus, it’d be much easier to send letters through email than in a bottle J.

L.Leander:  Do you hear voices?  What do they tell you?  What do you tell them?

Brian Beam:  They tell me to write their stories.  I tell them to sit down, shut up, and wait their turn.  I’m starting to wonder if this is an interview or a psychological screening questionnaire…

L.Leander:  What is your very favorite part of being an author?  Your least favorite?

Brian Beam:  Having someone say they enjoyed my book is my favorite.  When I first published The Dragon Gem, I told my wife that if just one person who was a complete stranger said they liked my book, it would all be worth it.  Just reaching even one person truly validates what an author does.  My least favorite is having so many ideas in my head and not having the time to dedicate to them.

L.Leander:  Where did you grow up?

Brian Beam:  I was born and raised in Bardstown, Kentucky (bourbon capital of the world as well as Rand McNally’s Most Beautiful Small Town in America 2012).  It was one of those quaint towns that you hate growing up in as a kid and miss the minute you move away.  My father still lives there, so I get to visit my hometown still.  It’s just one of those friendly, historic towns.

L.Leander:  Describe your ideal vacation (the sky’s the limit)

Brian Beam:  All I want is a beach and no responsibilities.  I’m not too hard to please J

L.Leander:  If you could be either, which would you choose – a dog or a cat?  Why?

Brian Beam:  Definitely a cat.  Cats are (usually) very independent.  Plus, as a cat, I could look at everyone like they’re idiots or have an incredibly eclectic personality and people would be okay with it because I was a cat.

L.Leander:  You are the co-host of CBS This Morning – who would you like to snag an interview with?

Brian Beam:  Brandon Sanderson.  He has some amazing thoughts on what it takes to be a good writer and write a good book.  He teaches a creative writing class at BYU and one of his students taped a series of his lectures.  I watched several of them and took so much away from them.  I’d love the chance to pick his brain a bit.  Maybe some of his creativity would rub off on me too.

L.Leander:  Tell us a little about your most recent protagonist?

Brian Beam:  Korin is sarcastic, good-natured, slightly flawed, and willing to put his life on the line for those he cares about.  He’s not the perfect hero.  He’s brave, but only to an extent.  He’s smart, but not a genius.  He’s a capable fighter, but still gets his butt handed to him.  He is generous, yet not selfless.  Basically, he’s real.  Too often in books we get these cookie-cutter good guys and villains.  I wanted to try to steer from that a bit.

Korin’s best friend is a magic talking wizard cat named Max, who is partially to blame for his sarcastic wit.  Max is there to keep Korin grounded…and alive.

The Korin’s Journal trilogy will follow him on a journey that starts as a quest to find his parents that turns out to be much much more.

L.Leander:  Thank you Brian for allowing me to interview you.  Readers, you’ll definitely want to read Brian’s fantasy novel, The Dragon Gem.  It’s available on Amazon.  Click on the book cover below to purchase.  You’ll be glad you did!

Brian Beam Facebook Author Page

Brian Beam Website

Brian Beam on Twitter

Brian Beam Amazon Author Page

Be sure to grab a copy of The Dragon Gem – you’ll be glad you did!  Click on the book cover to take you to the Amazon sale page.  Be sure to give Brian some love in the comments section – he’d love to hear from you!

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