Archive for April, 2013

Introducing Author Thomas M Sullivan

Posted on April 29, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, Book Reviews, L.Leander Book Reviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

ThomasSullivanPhotoA few months ago a fellow Facebook author asked for reviews on a site we both belong to.  I had some time so sent him a message and agreed to give the book an unbiased review.  I’m glad I did.  The story was so heartwarming and so funny that I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it.  It’s a look into the life of a Driver’s Education teacher and the trials and tribulations he faces while trying to teach an important subject to those who need or want to learn.  If you’d like to read my review of Life In The Slow Lane click here.

Interview with Author Thomas M. Sullivan

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I seem to write all over the place – at home, in coffee shops, the library. Whenever something comes to me, I start jotting things down. So I always carry a pen and pad. My creative space is pretty wide open and includes anywhere someone isn’t yapping on a cell phone. I can’t concentrate around those one-sided calls.

What is your favorite writing tool?

I’m still a pen and paper guy, at least for initial drafts.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

Definitely Steve Buscemi. He’s got those bad teeth and awkward mannerisms, which make him so loveable. My characters are goofy and flailing through life, which is their charm. Just like Steve Buscemi.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I never had any clear interest in a particular field. I seemed to fall into things, and for much of the last two decades I was a teacher. I worked for a series of schools that got shut down or blew themselves up. It was all quite funny. But now I’m doing what I really think is right – writing humor essays.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

Since I write essays I don’t really plan or outline things. An idea arrives and I just start writing. And I go until it’s “out of me”. It’s kind of like attacking a buffet when you’re starving. Then I sit back and refine things.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

A bicycle. You don’t have to feed a bike and it never throws you. You throw yourself.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

Not really. I’m a forgetter of my sleeping dreams.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I was a clown/jock hybrid, leaning more toward clown. I could never be a cheerleader because I’m very inflexible physically. One high kick and I’d be done.

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

It’s not really a theme park, but there’s a velvet painting museum in Portland, Oregon that I adore. They’ve got paintings of unicorns with comb-over hair a portrait of Jesus surfing atop a tractor-trailer. Pure magic.

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I like fiction with believable humor that comes from lesser-known authors. I just read Keith Lee Morris’s The Dart League King. Currently I’m reading Salty by Mark Haskell Smith. Great books from authors who should be getting far more attention.

Thomas Sullivan is a humor writer from Seattle. He is a former teacher whose first book (Life In The Slow Lane) recounted his experience teaching driver education.

If you’d like to find out more about author Thomas M Sullivan here are links his websites.

http://www.thomassullivanhumor.com

http://humoroutcasts.com/author/thomassullivan/

Books by Thomas M. Sullivan

lifeLife in the Slow Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

somuchcoverSo Much Time So Little Change

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INZARED, The Fortune Teller (Book Two) by L.Leander

Posted on April 22, 2013. Filed under: Book Reviews, Fiction, New Book Premiere | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s here!  After almost a year of editing, the second book of the INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders series continues where the first book left off.  Here is a brief description and links to both books.  I hope you enjoy them!

coverWe meet Bertha Maude Anderson, a girl of sixteen from the hills of Appalachia in INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders (Book One).  Bertha is misunderstood by her parents and yearns to escape her mountain home and see the world.  She craves excitement, and when a Gypsy circus comes to the village of Brower’s Gap she seizes the opportunity and runs away from home.  Life is not exactly as she imagines, but she definitely lives a colorful life among the Gypsies who make up the performers and roustabouts of the small circus that tours the eastern part of the United States.  The year is 1843.  Bertha hates her name and is delighted when the circus owners give her the glamorous stage name of Inzared.  Introduced to Cecil the elephant, and his handler Paytre, Inzared falls in love with both of them and her life changes dramatically.  Although she endures many hardships she is steadfast and becomes the main attraction for the small circus.  She learns the Gypsy culture and superstitions and helps solve a mystery.  But how will she deal with the guilt that plagues her?  Will the Gypsies accept her?  And what of the old fortune-teller Vadoma’s warnings?  Part mystery, part romance and full of quirky characters the book is sure to delight readers of every age!

Inzared_1563x2500_MediumSizeIt is now 1849 and life in the circus continues.  INZARED, The Fortune Teller (Book Two) picks up the story where Book One left off.  Inzared feels the strong pull of home and knows she must face her demons.  A series of nightmares cause her to rethink her life.  When she left Brower’s Gap, North Carolina she didn’t say goodbye and now fears her family will no longer want her to be part of their lives.  But things are different now and she feels she must try to make amends.  After she writes a poignant letter home she makes the decision to return.  She goes back to find things not much different from what she remembered.  She learns the skills of healing from her Ma and with the fortune-telling she has studied from the Gypsies she journeys back to Home Run and the circus she loves.  But what will she encounter along the way?  Will she be strong enough to handle the problems that arise?  What of the man from her past  – will he be part of her future?  Filled with new adventures, paranormal romance and danger, INZARED,The Fortune Teller will make you laugh, make you cry, and you won’t want to put it down until it’s finished!

Stay Tuned for the third book in the Inzared series to be published in 2014.  The Civil War has broken out and Inzared and her son must make some heartbreaking sacrifices.  Will they survive this terrible time in American History?  What of the circus and Inzared’s beloved elephant Cecil?  Will Inzared support the North or the South?  These questions and more will be asked and answered in this adventurous tale of love, loss and human fortitude.

Bio:

L.Leander is an e-book author, freelancer and songwriter.  She writes for Yahoo! Content and does guest posts on author blogs and groups.  As a child Ms. Leander dreamed of running away to join the circus.  Instead, she grew up to write about it, bringing the magic alive for all who read her work.

Ms. Leander currently resides between Wisconsin and Mexico.  INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders is the first book in a series about a Gypsy wagon circus in pre-Civil War America.

Books by L.Leander:

 

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Introducing Author Lizak Strahm

Posted on April 15, 2013. Filed under: Book Reviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

simonChildren’s authors hold a special place in my heart.  I loved reading to my son and daughter as they were growing up and was always on the lookout for good material to share with them.  There are few authors who are able to entertain the adults who read and the children who listen to the books and stories designed for them.  Lizak Strahm is a writer who pleases both in his children’s book Charlie Learns to Fly.  If you’d like to read my review of the book click here.

 The illustrations in this book and his upcoming book, Danny and the Dinosaurs, are not to be missed.  Look throughout this interview for awesome illustrations from the new book Danny and the Dinosaurs, available very soon on Amazon.

Interview of Author Lizak Strahm

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  Whats your creative space like?

I write in a small office surrounded by books, notes, scraps of paper, more notes and packets of cookies.

My computer monitor is facing the window, so when I need a bit of creative inspiration I just gaze out into the sky. That always seems to get the creative juices flowing

If it doesn’t, I just have another cookie!dino1

What is your favorite writing tool?

Hmm… that’s a difficult question to answer. I don’t really use any tools apart from my imagination and my keyboard. I don’t use software for ideas or to organize my writing. I guess I’m a bit old-fashioned. Once I have the plot outlined then I just sit down and write.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I’d choose Jack Nicholson because he can portray villains really well. In my latest children’s book, Danny and the Dinosaurs there is a villainous character called Professor Ceratops who is completely mad and who wants to imprison all the dinosaurs in a zoo. He’s the archetypal villain, and I think Jack Nicholson would be able to pull him off to a tee.

dino2What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I always wanted to be a writer. I was writing short stories in my spare time ever since I was about eight or nine. Then life kinda got in the way and writing was put on the back burner. I only really returned to it when I had more spare time.

I suppose the real ‘dream’ would be to actually earn enough money from writing to make it a full-time job. But I’m no where near that point yet. But I live in hope!

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

Like I said, I don’t use software. I just outline the plot of the story on a piece of paper, then write it. I’m a very simple writer. Software often makes things more difficult than it needs to be.

I had a writer friend who always used to plan out everything in some writing application. He made important notes in it, organized his plots in it and then wrote his novel in it. Then, half way through the process the software application crashed and he couldn’t open it again! It took him several weeks of anxiety and despair before he found some tech wizard to rescue all his data for him.dino3

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

A bicycle, for the very simple logistical reason that there is no room in my apartment for a horse. Plus, the lifts don’t often work.

From a purely transportational perspective, I’d choose the bicycle because it keeps you fit and isn’t in the habit of eject foul-smelling substances behind it when you’re out and about.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream

No. My dreams are far too boring to turn into stories.

dino4What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I suppose a bit of a class clown.

Whats your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If youve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

I live in England and probably the best theme park is in a place called Blackpool, which is a sea-side resort in the North of the country. It has a theme park called The Pleasure Beach and I love it. It has the UK’s tallest and fastest roller coaster called The Big One. I could spend all day on it!

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?dino5

Of course. If I had to pick one genre as my favorite, I’d choose horror. I love the books by Peter James, James Herbert and, of course, Stephen King.But I also like comic science fiction. The Hichhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is my all time favorite. Genius, sheer genius…

Readers, be sure to leave Lizak a comment below.  And be sure to check out his delightful children’s books!

charlieThe Day Charlie Learned to Fly

Coming Soon!  Danny and the Dinosaurs – look for it on Amazon soon!dinocover

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Introducing Author Roy Murry

Posted on April 8, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Roy MurryI’ve been waiting to do this interview for a while now and I’m very excited to present to you an author who has written perhaps one of the most interesting tales I’ve ever read.  The Audubon Caper is a work of fiction based on actual events and the story starts at rapid speed and escalates from there.  If you’d like to read my review of the book click here.  No matter what type of material you read you’ll definitely be amazed at the idea that this is a true story and  happened in the USA.  Without going into too much detail I’ll just tell you this is definitely one of my favorite books and if you haven’t already indulged you should run right out and buy a copy.  You definitely will not be disappointed.

Interview of Author Roy Murry

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

A quiet room anywhere I can plug in my Laptop.  I need a place with no distractions.

What is your favorite writing tool?

#1 Tool: My Brain. A good night’s sleep with no appointments in the morning is very important to me before I write.  I place an outline in my mind the night before I write and fill in the blanks when I start writing around 4:00 a.m. in the morning.  Other than my mind, I have three books near by The World Almanac, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and their Thesaurus.

What movies star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I have never thought of my book as movie material.  Any young actor in their late twenties would do fine.  I think any good actor could pull off the main character’s traits.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

Well, I didn’t dream of being a writer.  I got drafted into the US Army, before I could decide what I wanted to be.  As a Green Beret in Vietnam, I felt like I reached a goal R. Murry circa 1970very few could achieve and live to tell about it.

When I returned home from the war, I reached another goal, not a dream, of graduating from college where my America Literature professor told me I could write after grading my assigned assessments of great and not so great American Writers.  At that point, I thought, not dreamt, I will be a writer someday.

Explain your creative process.

I outline with sentences what I will write.  After that, I put my mind to work at each step.  Sleep on it and write.  I do this with the reviews I write for my blog.

One or two sentences, while reading a book, and then put my brain to work. Then I write.  Might sound too easy, but it works for me.  If I’m not happy with the first draft, I repeat process again, again, and again if need be.

If you could only have one mode of transportation, what would it be a horse or a bicycle?

Neither.     I’m a walker.  Therefore, I’d rather walk, thank you.

Do you dream about your stories?

I don’t call it dreaming.  As I said, I put my brain to work.  That’s why I have one.

What were you like in high school?

I was an introvert until I got to know you.  Then I became an extrovert.  With friends and family, I was fun to be with.  But if they screwed with my reading time, they knew they were in trouble.

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?

Disney World and Epcot Center, Orlando, Florida.  The main reason was to see the happy faces on my children.  That was years ago.  In a few years, I’ll take my grandchildren.  For me, I liked adventure land and the restaurants at Epcot.   Traveling is a theme park for me.  I do all the itineraries, etc.

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

Read?!  That’s all I do.  Read, write, and play golf is my life.

Past: Ralph Waldo Emerson; Henry David Thoreau, et al

Near past: Edgar Allen Poe; Arthur Conan Doyle, et al

Present: Dan Brown; James Patterson, et al

For my blog: #children to #erotica, and all in between

I like mysteries.   Who-done-it’s I love to solve before the end of the book.  Since

starting my blog  http://www.conniesbrother.blogspot.com,

my reading has been eclectic.

Links:

My book – The Audubon Capertac

Amazon: http://amzn.to/MGxfR7

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/PWnA8n

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roy.murry.7 

Twitter: @roylmurry425

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Introducing Author David D’Aguanno

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

SAMSUNGIf you love a comedic, witty mystery you’ll love this week’s author, David D’Aguanno.  You may know him best for his Brett character in Don’t Mess With Brett but do you know he has also penned a book that is very different and serious titled Why She Left Us?  I think you’ll enjoy learning about this writer and you’ll be glad you took the time to follow his interview. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free digital copy of Don’t Mess With Brett.  If you’d like to see my review of Brett Aerobicizes, the second book in the series, click here.

Interview with Author David D’Aguanno

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

When I’m not writing (or reading), I’m usually listening to classical music. I have a huge CD collection, and because there are only so many hours in the day, there are many CDs I’ve heard only once and don’t even remember what they sound like!

Who are you as a writer?

As a writer – and particularly as a writer of the Brett Cornell series of comedy-mysteries – I view my role to be that of a person whose aim is merely to entertain. In other words, I sincerely doubt that anyone would want to read a “Brett book” in order to gain any kind of spiritual enlightenment. Escapism, a few laughs – That’s about it!

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I think it’s wonderful, since it gives so many tremendously talented writers an opportunity to have their works read, instead of having to spend so much valuable time, simply trying to find an agent and/or a publisher in such a competitive area.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

No, I haven’t, and I probably wouldn’t. As it is, I have so many various ideas floating around in my head that I need to get “on paper” that I probably wouldn’t have the time for it.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

Well, I probably have several favorites,  but one that stands out in my mind is “Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite” by Anthony Trollope. I recall how, when reading it, I said to myself,” I know where this story is heading,” only to find myself completely surprised by a tragic ending that left me emotionally devastated. Often, in a single phrase or a single sentence, Trollope was able to pull me into the minds and emotional states of his main characters. Amazing!

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not?

Having taught English in a public school for nearly 30 years, I find myself being somewhat finicky about spelling, punctuation, and the like. However, with a good editor and proper guidance, anyone should be able to produce a worthwhile piece of writing, even without having earned a degree.

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

Seeing as the mere suspicion that a spider or a snake may be nearby usually gets me nerved up, my imagination would go into over-drive at the sound of a loud roar, and I’d probably freak out completely!

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

My greatest asset as a person? Well, I’ve been told that I’m extremely compassionate, or “an old softie” (if you will). As a writer, I think that I have a knack for coming up with a story that moves along fairly quickly, for the most part.

What do you treasure most on earth?

It may sound like a stock answer, but I’d have to say: “My friends and family.”

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pastimes, friends, etc.

Being non-athletic as a child, I enjoyed mostly board games and word games, and my love of classical music, even at any early age, meant that listening to records or music on the radio took up a lot of my time. Oh, and writing little stories, too, of course.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

Finding out that there are so many ways of reaching potential readers with my writing has been an eye-opening experience for me.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

Being successful as a writer is probably as important to me now as being successful as a teacher was, back in the days when I was doing that, assuming that “being successful” means being able to affect other people’s moods, attitudes, and lives in a positive way.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

O.K., if I were to say that I’d wish I could feed all the hungry people in the world – or anything else along that line – I’d be lying. So, at the risk of sounding self-centered, I’d wish (1) that my Brett books could be turned into a TV series, preferably on HBO, Showtime, or Starz (I’m not too fussy, am I?),  (2) that my other novel “Why She Left Us” could be turned into a major motion picture, and (3) that I could live long enough to hear Brett’s quirky sayings become part of people’s everyday vocabulary. (You would have had to have read one of my Brett books in order to fully appreciate what I mean by that last “wish” of mine.)

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want.  Describe the day (money is no object)

Wow! I’m afraid I can’t really answer that, only because I’d want to be able to spend the day with people I miss the most, and sadly enough, it would be physically impossible to do that (you can guess the reason why).

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

A lot of my writing was originally done several years back, and it wasn’t until my cousin Darlene urged me to do something with the novels I had written that I actually decided to take on this so-called second career of mine. Without her show of confidence in my writing ability, I probably would be doing something else right now. Sad but true, now that I think about it.

Here’s a little more about books currently available from David D’Aguanno in his own words.

A little bit about my books:

Brett Cornell is meant to be taken more as a cartoonish type of character rather than a real person. In fact, if such a person really did exist, most people wouldn’t have anything to do with him, and any self-respecting woman would surely stay clear of him, despite his good looks. The novels themselves are over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek, so that anyone expecting a serious and intricately plotted murder mystery (as in Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes, for example) would be very disappointed. Provided you don’t take the character of Brett Cornell too seriously, though, you should probably find the novels engaging and amusing and totally unique.

My novel “Why She Left Us” is radically different, written in a somewhat experimental style, and involving characters who are meant to be viewed as real human beings who have sincere and deep emotions and several of whom suffer greatly through acts of betrayal, loss, and revenge. If I can move readers emotionally in this novel, then I will have succeeded in doing what I meant to do in writing this novel.

Here are some links to check out this author and his books.  Be sure to leave a comment below to enter the drawing for a free digital copy of Don’t Mess With Brett by David D’Aguanno.

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