dinsdag 31 januari 2012

Interview with author Andrea Buginsky

Hey again!

My latest interview is with author Andrea Buginsky who has enjoyed writing since she was a kid.  When she got to college, she decided to turn it into a career, and earned her BA in Journalism. Andrea has been freelance writing for several years now. She had always wanted to write a book, and decided she wanted to write for children. Andrea loves fantasy movies like "The Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter," so she decided to try her hand at writing one of her own. She was very excited to announce her first publication, "The Chosen," a young adult fantasy she worked on for about three years.

She is also happy to announce the release of her second book, "My Open Heart," her autobiography of growing up with a heart disease. This is a project that she has been working on for years, and is very close to her heart. Andrea wrote it for adolescents growing up with heart disease and other chronic illnesses to show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and they can make it through the rough times. It's also for parents of children growing up with heart disease.

She lives in the Tampa Bay, FL area, where she grew up. Andrea is originally from NJ.

Books & WritingWhere do you get your inspiration from to write?

Andrea Buginsky: I’m inspired by different books I read, movies I see, and games I play. I’ll really be inspired if I’m watching a movie or TV show that involves a writer and his/her work. It will make me want to get to my own writing.

Books & WritingCan you tell us a bit about your book “The Chosen”?

Andrea Buginsky: “The Chosen” is about a group of warriors who are sent on a quest to defend their world from an evil lord trying to take over and destroy it. The group must learn to work with a new healer, named Halli, who has just learned of her powers. She trains for the quest with the others, and must find her place amongst the group.

Books & WritingHow did you come up with the story for the book?

Andrea Buginsky: The idea came from a role-playing game I was involved with with my family. I decided to take our characters and create stories around them. I created a world for them to live on, and the story grew from there. I’ve written a second book in the series, and am currently working on the third.

Books & WritingHave you always been interested in fantasy?

Andrea Buginsky: Yes! I love fantasy. It’s my favorite genre, which is why I finally decided to try writing it. It was a perfect fit.

Books & WritingTell us something about the main character Halli.

Andrea Buginsky: Halli is a dwarf who grew up sheltered in her small village. She is very shy and quiet. She has no idea that she’s a holy paladin with the power to heal until Queen Laurali of the elves comes to see her about the quest. Upon learning her true calling, Halli must come to terms with it. Throughout the book, Halli starts to grow and mature, and become her own person.

Books & WritingAre you working on something new at the moment?

Andrea Buginsky: I’m currently working on the first draft of the third book in “The Chosen” series. I also have plans to write a fourth one, and I’d like to finish a draft of a different story I started writing a few years ago, that is separate from the series, but another YA fantasy.

Books & WritingWhere do you see yourself in a couple of years in relation to writing?

Andrea Buginsky: Continuing to write more books in “The Chosen” and see them published. I hope to have a wide range of readers who are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next book in the series, like I am with the series I read.

Books & WritingDo you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Andrea Buginsky: Never give up your dream. If you put the effort into your writing, you can accomplish your goals. Reach for the stars, and make your dreams come true.

Books & WritingWhere can people go and read your work?

Andrea Buginsky: My books are available at Solstice Publishing, Amazon, and Smashwords.

Books & WritingWhere can people find you on internet?

Andrea Buginsky: My websiteFacebook, Twitter: @andreabuginsky, Google+Goodreads

Below is an excerpt from The Chosen : Halli’s mom, Er'ika, and Queen Laurali of the elves are telling Halli about her true calling.

Er'ika took another small breath.  “Halli, you have a wonderful calling.  You are a Holy Paladin, with powers that can heal the sick, and even raise the dead in certain cases.  Holy Paladins are very rare, and very coveted.  To protect you, we agreed to come to Drumple to live with the other dwarves, so we could blend in, and appear to be no different than them.  We all planned on telling you of your calling when you were done with school, but as Queen Laurali has said, Prince Gastle’s attacks have made the day we tell you come sooner than we planned.”

Halli sat staring at her mother as she heard the tale.  She knew all about The Castle of the Elves, it’s subjects, Priestesses and Holy Paladins from her studies and readings.  She grew up hearing stories about them all.  She absorbed everything she could find and read about them.  It was as though somewhere inside her, she knew she was a part of it all.  But hearing what her mother was telling her was surreal.  She started to shake her head.

“This can’t be,” she whispered.  “You can’t be serious.  How can I possibly be what you say I am?  You know me, Mom.  I’m not strong and powerful.  I’m shy, I’m quiet, I like to be alone and not around a lot of people.  I have problems facing confrontations, and do everything I can to avoid them.”

Queen Laurali smiled at Halli’s description of herself.  “Halli, everything you just said are the classic traits of Holy Paladins, from a certain point of view.  They don’t get involved in conflicts, but rather keep those that are involved alive from a distance.  They don’t get directly involved in confrontations and arguments.  They think things through and come up with solutions that will work for everyone.  In essence, they keep the peace in the groups they’re involved in.  From a distance, this can make them seem quiet and shy, but anyone who knows them knows it is their quiet ways that keeps this peace.”

Halli stared at Queen Laurali as she listened to her, and again began to shake her head.  “I don’t think that’s how I am.  I am shy, I do avoid confrontation.  And even if what you’re saying is right, how can I possibly do anything to help the fight against Prince Gastle?  I’m just a student!”

“Halli, this is your destiny,” Queen Laurali assured her.  “This is what you’re meant to do.  I know it’s a shock to hear all of this, but it’s your birthright.”

“I don’t know what you expect of me.”  Halli began crying.  Her mother sat next to her, and held her.

“Halli,” Er’ika said gently, “Queen Laurali is right.  This is what you were born to do.  You’ll be trained, and your instincts will kick in, and you’ll know exactly what to do.  You always have.  You don’t realize it, but you’ve been doing it your whole life.  Every time you stepped in to help someone in need, or defended someone who was being hurt, that was your Holy Paladin instincts kicking in.  You’ve always behaved like one, even if you didn’t know it.”

Halli stared at her mom, tears still coursing down her face.  “I don’t know what to do Mom,” she whispered.

Er’ika kissed her gently on the forehead.  “Go to The Castle of the Elves with Queen Laurali.  Let her show you who you really are.  I promise you, you’re ready for this.  Your father and I know you are.   You have been for a long time.  We’ve been selfish keeping it from you all these years.  We were hoping we could wait until you were older, but the time has come.  You must go fulfill your destiny.”

Halli took a deep breath and dried her eyes.  “OK, what exactly do I have to do?” she asked Queen Laurali.

zondag 29 januari 2012

Interview with author Armand Rosamilia


This time i had the pleasure of interviewing horror author Armand Rosamilia who loves three things: Horror. Heavy Metal. Zombies. With over thirty releases so far, he is a prolific author and also a publisher, leading Rymfire Books. His extreme undead series is successful, and his zombie novella "Dying Days" is currently optioned for an independent film release.

Books & WritingWhat got you interested in writing?

Armand Rosamilia: Reading. My mother had a huge collection of horror paperbacks - King and Koontz - and I'd go into her room and crash on her bed for hours and read. From an early age I wanted to write my own stories, which I did. They were terrible but my parents humored me, not realizing that all these years later I'm still at it.

Books & WritingAt what point in your life did you decide to start writing Horror stories?

Armand Rosamilia: Horror was, from the beginning, what I mostly wrote. I dabbled in Fantasy once I read Tolkien in Junior High but my love has always been horror.

Books & WritingCan you tell us a bit about your participation on the book “Zombie Writing”?

Armand Rosamilia: I put the idea together and published it, and it's one of my favorite releases so far. I had put out a zombie anthology, "Undead Tales", a few months ago and decided to go for broke and ask some of my favorite authors if they wanted to add a short story to it. Guys like Joe McKinney, Scott Nicholson, W.D. Gagliani, Eric S. Brown and a dozen others sent in great stories and the book is a huge success. I decided to see if lightning would strike twice and did the same thing, asking zombie author's I'd read. The result - "Zombie Writing!" - has 44 authors giving advice, talking about their style, their books, what films/movies/shows influenced them, and so much more.

Books & WritingI see you also wrote a lot more horror stories for Anthologies. How do you get to participate in an anthology? Do you get asked by a publisher? Or do you connect with a few other authors and decide to join forces? 

Armand Rosamilia: In the beginning I simply found anthologies that interested me and sent in a story. I still do, but I've also been asked to do a few as well. The challenge in a short story is to compact the tale with a definite start, middle and end instead of writing a 'scene' or piece of the story.

Books & WritingAre you also interested in some other genre?

Armand Rosamilia: I've tried my hand at other things when an idea presents itself. I mixed horror and erotica in one short story (in the "Rymfire Erotica" anthology) but mostly it's horror. I ust get an idea and write, and it usually ends up with someone dying. I can't help it.

Books & WritingAre you working on something new at the moment?

Armand Rosamilia: Always. At any given time I have 3-5 documents open on the laptop and I go from one to the next adding chapters. I can't write one story at a time, I need to do a little of each. My total goal each day is 2,000 words if possible. Somedays I've done more (I wrote 25,000 words in 5 days before New Years).

Books & WritingWhere do you see yourself in a couple of years in relation to writing?

Armand Rosamilia: My ultimate goal is to be able to live off of writing and publishing. I'd love t be able to pay all the bills with money people are giving me for my work. If not,I'll still be writing horror stories and publishing.

Books & WritingDo you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Armand Rosamilia: Keep writing. The worst thing you can do is stop your momentum. Even if you get nothing down on paper that day, work the next scene or next plotline in your head and commit to getting it down when the kids go to bed or during lunch.

Books & WritingWhere can people go and read your work?

Armand Rosamilia: You can find me on Amazon by clicking here where you can find all of my releases. You can also look me up on Barnes & Noble by clicking here, SmashWords and Lulu.

Buy the book Zombie Writing now at Amazon!

Books & WritingWhere can people find you on the internet?

Armand Rosamilia: My website is http://armandrosamilia.com and I'm on Facebook, Twitter (@ArmandAuthor), Google +... I'm all over the place, easy to find!

Below is an excerpt from "Zombie Writing!"

Why I Write About Zombies

Armand Rosamilia

Brian Keene is the reason. End of guest blog.

Oh, you want more info?

I'd always been a huge fan of zombie movies, ever since being scared as a kid watching Night of the Living Dead. While everyone else was into vampires, I was the teen getting excited over zombie movies, which were hard to come by. Back in the days before the internet you had to actually go to a video store (no Blockbuster, no RedBox) down on the corner and hope that mom or pop that ran the place were fans of zombies. I remember the closest video store to me had a huge horror section, but mostly these obscure slasher flicks. I had to go a couple towns over because there was a video store that had an amazing collection of zombie movies, and I ended up renting them all.

But I'd never read any zombie books, even though I read a ton of horror. I was more into scary monster books without honing in on vampires, werewolves and zombies. Instead, demons and ghosts and serial killers were a huge part of my reading experience.

Until The Rising.

I remember being in the local Books A Million and searching for another paperback. The horror section had disappeared, leaving you to search through thousands of fiction books for that hidden gem deemed horror. Sure, King and Koontz had huge sections devoted to them, but everyone else was relegated to being lumped in with general fiction.

As if by fate, Brian Keene's book was facing out and the cover immediately caught my attention. I can still remember reading the back cover blurbs and being excited, because reading zombie fiction had never interested me before. The few short stories that I'd read were either about voodoo queens or cliché brain-eating zombies that had no real plot.

This was something quite different, and I read it in one day, amazed at the characters and how the zombies were not the whole story. In fact, I got so into the characters that, at times, you forgot it was even about zombies and just about survival.

I had never read anything from Keene, but went back to the store and bought every paperback he had available, including the other zombie books, City of The Dead and Dead Sea.

Within a few days I was heavily immersed in zombie fiction. I started surfing the internet for other zombie fiction, finding some great anthologies like The Dead That Walk and The New Dead.

I was also amazed at the amount of zombie authors putting out quality releases, and had to read them all.

Then I started writing my own zombie fiction, something I had never done before despite twenty years of writing stories. I thought there was nothing new, nothing fresh about it. I was wrong, and as I started thinking about my own ideas.

As a writer you never want to toss a few cliché ideas and worn plotlines together and get a story. But once I had an idea I thought was unique, I went with it. Suddenly there were more characters, more ideas than I had time to write. What started out as a simple flash fiction piece, "Higher Ground" (released in Daily Bites of Flesh 2011 by Pill Hill Press) , became a world of extreme zombie fiction from me. Another half dozen flash fiction zombie pieces took shape, followed by my Highway To Hell novella. Since then I've written and published a slew of zombie short stories, followed up Highway To Hell with Dying Days, and will have a zombie short story collection out in the next few weeks (Zombie Tea Party).

And I owe it all to Brian Keene and that paperback book staring at me.

zaterdag 28 januari 2012

Interview with author Bonnie Trachtenberg


Today i had the pleasure of interviewing Bonnie Trachtenberg who is the author of the bestselling book, Wedlocked: A Novel, and she writes a monthly relationship column for LoveaHappyEnding.com. She used to be copy chief/senior writer for Book-of-the-Month Club and she has also written for several newspapers, magazines and websites. Bonnie lives in New York with her husband, four cats and a dog.

Books & WritingWhat got you interested in writing?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: I’m not sure. It just came naturally and was always a part of my life. Ever since grade school I had an affinity for English and enjoyed creative writing assignments. I had an active imagination and loved expressing it on paper. Since it came pretty easily to me and I enjoyed it so much, there was an organic progression through the years.

Books & WritingWere you inspired by someone or something?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: Not something or someone specific, but Hollywood had a big influence on me. Whether through film or television, I was captivated by a good story and great characters.

Books & WritingCan you tell us a bit about your book “Wedlocked”?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: Wedlocked is an engaging romantic comedy about a thirty-six-year-old struggling actress named Rebecca Ross, who lets years of disappointment and heartache catapult her into a disastrous marriage and onto a honeymoon from hell. The story takes readers from New York to Los Angeles and finally to Italy, and explores such themes as mother/daughter strife, second chances, finding love, and most importantly, finding yourself.

Books & WritingHow did you come up with the story for the book?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: Wedlocked was inspired by true events from my life, namely my first brief, horrendous marriage after many years of singlehood. Being able to turn such a difficult time in my life into a humorous novel was a cathartic and very gratifying experience.

Books & WritingTell us something about the main character Rebecca Ross.

Bonnie Trachtenberg: Rebecca is a perfectionist Pollyanna from Long Island who leaves her sheltered home and heads out into the wild yonder of Hollywood in search of a brilliant acting career. But when life cuts her down, it turns her in a very unexpected and precarious direction. It’s from there that she learns so much more about herself than she ever expected and ultimately is able to find her place in the world.

Books & WritingI understand you reviewed a lot of books in your career. How was it to have your own book reviewed for the first time?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: Nerve-racking of course! After you spend years creating an alternate universe that only you are privy to, exposing it to others is exciting, but also very daunting. Luckily, the majority of editorial and reader reviews have been glowing and each one makes me so glad I invested so much of my time and energy in creating the book.

Books & WritingWhat motivates you to keep on writing on a book?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: Once I start writing I feel like the characters and events take on a life of their own. I could never just walk away and leave them hanging for all eternity!

Books & WritingAre you working on something new at the moment?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: I’m in the process of ushering my second novel out the door. It’s a very funny romantic comedy that’s already garnering awesome reviews so I’m very excited. I’m not going to reveal the name until it’s ready to launch, which is, appropriately, occurring on Valentine’s Day at the World Literary Café.

Books & WritingWhere do you see yourself in a couple of years in relation to writing?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: I hope to have one or two more novels out there and hope to be spending more time writing and a little less time social marketing! I don’t think my neck and back can take much more of this!

Books & WritingDo you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: My advice is to write about the things you really love and care about. Don’t let anyone talk you into writing what’s “hot and selling” if it doesn’t interest you because you’ll be miserable! Also, take writing classes, start a blog, and network relentlessly on Facebook and Twitter.

Books & WritingWhere can people go and read your work?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: My books will both be on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book outlets. Check out my website for lots of information on my articles, columns, blogs and much more: http://www.BonnieTrachtenberg.com

Books & WritingWhere can people find you on internet?

Bonnie Trachtenberg: Aside from my website, you can find me at:





Books & Writing: Thanks Bonnie for answering my questions! 

Feel free to leave some comments below!

Below is an excerpt from her book Wedlocked!


I used to think the term “temporary insanity” was just a dubious courtroom plea. I found out the hard way that I was wrong. When you’re fraught with this condition, it’s kind of like meandering in a thick fog—only you’re too bemused to even realize you’re lost. Then, when it finally lifts, you feel you’ve awakened from a horrible nightmare—the kind that makes you relieved you’d never really do anything so stupid. Except you did.

Well, it’s taken almost a year for the enormity of it all to sink in. Looking back, I wish I had just heeded the numerous, glaring signs. Let’s start with the weather. How often did we get a 105 degree day onLong Island? Although never reported by the meteorologists, I now know the reason for this anomaly: the fires of hell were attempting to engulf my picture perfect wedding in a dramatic, raging inferno. Just a subtle reminder that I’d sold my soul and was on borrowed time.

As we were announced into a resplendent ballroom filled with enthusiastic guests, it was as if a UFO had plucked me out of my should-be life, only to plop me down in some sort of bizarre alternate universe. For it had been less than a year earlier that I was this close to seeing my dreams of fame, fortune, and romance come to fruition, when they exploded in my face like a cruel joke.

With Craig’s hand gripping mine, and the Starbright Orchestra’s lead singer channeling Frank Sinatra, the glorious, Gatsby-esque room that had so enchanted me, began spinning even faster than my shell-shocked, post-nuptial brain. What some brides know is that when you find yourself sashaying down the aisle on what’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life, things can sometimes turn bafflingly surreal. Sensing something’s terribly amiss, you chalk it up to jitters, refusing to acknowledge a most unpleasant fact: the man standing before you in white tie and tails is far from the soul mate you hoped for.

If I could have seen this truth in real time, I like to think I would have mustered the courage to make a mad bolt from the chapel. But I was thirty-six—trampled, lost, and romantically bankrupt—so the only thing running away that day was the train I was riding, and I kept my seat, although I was destined to wreck.

Incidentally, my theatrical background helped in my resolve to commit matrimonial suicide. As I entered the chapel, my thespian tendencies kicked in like an Ethel Merman-infused survival mechanism, ensuring I’d focus only on my given lines, blocking, and manic desire to please my audience. After all, as Ethel sang, “the show must go on”––and somehow, ironically, I was finally the star. My name is Rebecca Ross; welcome to my wedding day.

Interview with author John Rigbey


This time i am talking to author John Rigbey who is a retired London CID Officer and a recognised authority on London's gangland of the sixties and seventies and the various causes célèbres of the “arsenic era” of the twenties and thirties. In 1989 he founded of The West of England Detective Agency, which went on to be probably the most successful and widely used private investigation agency in Plymouth and the South West of England. Having spent over half a century of involvement with the Criminal Justice system (from one side or the other!) is now writing full time and the author of crime fiction in the form of the Michael Gregory novels.

Books & WritingWhat got you interested in writing?

John Rigbey: I have always been interested in writing. I wrote stories as a child and after police service I contributed to several magazines(Legaland amongst others) and local newspapers. My first book (published by Authorhouse) was “The strange Michael Folmer affair” published in 2008. 

Books & WritingCan you tell us a bit about your book “FROM THE BEATLES TO BLAIR (and some of the bad behaviour in between)”?

John Rigbey: I suppose that the idea of someone emulating the 1888 Ripper's crimes is not new. I had the idea for years but I felt that it was passè and had probably been done before anyway. Then – and this had been kicking about in my mind for years as well – there was the idea of a dead man's fingerprints turning up years after his death. So, why not try and put the two together, I thought!

Books & WritingDid you need to do any research for the book?

John Rigbey: Very little. Mainly been there, done that, got the T-shirt!

Books & WritingHow did you come up with the story for the book?

John Rigbey: Roman a clef, to some extent, people i knew, situations which had taken place.

Books & WritingCan you tell us something about the main character Michael Gregory.

John Rigbey: Fair, clever, self-doubting at times, unhappy most of the time, dislikes being alone and looking for female company. He is also very shrewd, enigmatic, knows his failings. But is he marginally dishonest, i wonder???

Books & WritingAre you working on something new at the moment?

John Rigbey: The third Michael Gregory book called "ONCE UPON A TIME IN SOUTH AUDLEY STREET".

Books & WritingWhere do you see yourself in a couple of years in relation to writing?

John Rigbey: Where i am now, which is nowhere!

Books & WritingDo you have any tips for aspiring writers?

John Rigbey: Don't do it! Mind you, i still believe that anyone who writes one word for money is a fool. But then again, did Prince Charles need the cash when he wrote his children's books? Does J.K. Rowling still need the money? I don't think so, so i must be wrong and perhaps what makes one write is a bug, a virus which stays all ones life.

Books & WritingWhere can people go and read your work?

John Rigbey: You can find my work at Amazon in both book form and Kindle.


Books & WritingWhere can people find you on internet?

John Rigbey: Check out my site at http://www.rigbey.com/ or follow me on Twitter @JohnRigbey.

Below is an excerpt from his book “FROM THE BEATLES TO BLAIR (and some of the bad behaviour in between)” 

Kent, South East  England. August 2007.

 Although there were upwards of a hundred people in the immediate vicinity, the two shots which killed Albert Flight were heard by nobody.  A hot Sunday, the car park of his country pub was full to overflowing and as he made his way to the beer garden his only thoughts were of the crowd and the trade he was doing.  He looked briefly at the sky and smiled, happy that the sun would be there until late evening and good trade guaranteed.

He dodged between the parked cars and chatting and laughing with the customers as he went, he picked up empty glasses and plates. Seeing a small girl crying by the large slide, he comforted her with hugs and assuring words and, smiling, handed her back to her mother. He wiped the tables and set the metal garden chairs and stools back in position and with his tray as full as he could hope to get it, he made his way between the kiddies’ swing and the monster plastic Wendy house and back out on to the car park.

The laden tray occupied his mind and concentration to such an extent that he did not notice the large Kawasaki motorcycle as it rounded the line of parked cars and approached him from his right. Had he seen it, he might have thought the two riders were somewhat odd, dressed as they were in matching black leather suits and crash helmets with darkened visors, but balancing the empty glasses on his tray was task enough.  As the machine neared him, barely moving at walking pace, the pillion rider reached into a side pannier and produced a large automatic pistol with a black silencer attached. Nearer still, the elbow of the right arm firmly in the left hand, steadying the weapon. 

Albert heard his name called and looked up, but his brain did not have the time to register what his eyes saw and he never heard the soft, deadened “phunk” of the first explosion. The heavy .32 bullet hit him square in the middle of his chest.  He dropped the tray and before it had hit the ground a second bullet hit him between and slightly above his eyes, but leaving his thick-rimmed glasses unbroken. Staggering backwards, he fell on to the edge of the beer garden, eyes staring. Blood was welling from the head wound, the fingers of his right hand twitching as if grasping for some unseen and non-existent means with which to defend himself. 

vrijdag 27 januari 2012

Creating a Fan Base using Facebook & Twitter

Hi all,

I want to talk a bit about using Facebook and Twitter to create a fan base for you or your soon to be released book. I have been checking the number of visitors to this site from the beginning and i must conclude that Facebook  is the best way to connect to your audience. A big advantage is of course that you only have to put it up one time to get your followers to clearly see it. With Twitter it takes a lot more effort to get the word out, if it gets out at all between all the other messages on Twitter. But Twitter has its advantages to of course because its a very good way to get followers and connect in a fast way with other people. With the right plugins, you can even use Facebook as your main platform to connect to people and auto tweet messages from Facebook directly to Twitter or vice versa.

But lets explain first how to setup your own Facebook Fan Page. You can setup multiple pages, so one for you, and others for the books you have published or want to publish. So keep that in mind when you start!

What you need to do is the following.

  • Click on Author in your case and type in your name where it says "Name", and check "I agree to the Facebook Pages Terms"(after you read those of course), and hit the "Get Started" button.

  • Next window you will see three steps you can take, and in the first step you can upload a photograph of yourself, or a picture from the book.

  • In the second step, you can add friends from Facebook, or from several contact lists.

  • In the third step you can add your website, and some information about yourself or the book you want to promote.

Now your page is setup and you can edit it anyway you like, and start posting on your "Wall". But now you are stuck with the name from your Page followed by a Dash and a lot of numbers, so how do we fix that? We just want the name of course. Luckily there is an easy way to get that right, so go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ and make sure you fill in the correct name of your choosing, because once its set, you can't turn it back. So read the information on that page very carefully!

So how do we connect it to Twitter? That's also very easy to do. On the right side at the top you should see a button that says, "Edit Page". Click that and now take a look on the left side of the page where you see a list of things you can do like edit your setting, manage Permissions, Basic Information and so on. You should also see a link that says Resources. Click on that and the resources window will open up. On that page look for Connect with people, and below that you should see a button that says "Link your page to Twitter". Click that and follow the simple instructions. Just make sure you have the right twitter account selected :)

Don't forget this works only one way, so choose what you want to share on Twitter via Facebook, so just links for example and every time you post a link on Facebook, it will be posted on Twitter. 

If you want to connect your Twitter account to Facebook, so the other way around, you need to go to https://twitter.com/settings/profile and you should see a button almost at the bottom that says Post your Tweets to Facebook. Click that and follow the instructions. If you don't see that button, you could go to http://apps.facebook.com/twitter/and connect it there.

That's all there is to it :)

Hope you liked the post and found some use to it :).

Feel free to comment below.

donderdag 26 januari 2012

Interview with author Rick Chesler

Hello all!

My latest interview is with author Rick Chesler, who was kind enough to answer my questions!

Books & WritingCan you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Rick Chesler: Hi Jacco, thanks very much for having me as a guest on books-writing.com! I have two novels published by small presses, both thrillers in my Tara Shores series: WIRED KINGDOM (2010, Variance Publishing) and kiDNApped (2011, Chalet Publishers). Later this year the third novel in the series will be published: SOLAR ISLAND. I have a degree in marine biology, and when I’m not writing I work as a project manager on a research study.
Books & WritingWhat got you interested in writing? Were you inspired by someone?

Rick Chesler: Reading! I grew up reading lots of books, and eventually gravitated toward the thriller, suspense, action-adventure and mystery genres. I was inspired by the early works of Clive Cussler, Michael Chrichton, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and many, many others. Also, I have always been interested in the ocean and the natural world, and enjoy speculating on environmental and scientific topics in my books.

Books & WritingCan you tell us a bit about your short story in the anthology, The Game?

Rick Chesler: The anthology consists of stories that are in some way inspired by or based on the classic original short story by Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game, in which a hunter pursues human prey for sport. In my first novel, Wired Kingdom, I consider the role of reality TV in society when a whale tagged with a web-cam broadcasts a murder at sea. In my story “The Most Dangerous Reality,” in The Game, from Seven Realms Publishing, I again turned to reality television to explore what would happen if a person volunteered for a hunt to the death in return for the chance to win a suitable reward.

Books & WritingCan you tell us a bit about your book “Kidnapped”?

Rick Chesler: kiDNApped is a technothriller about a geneticist who is supposedly lost at sea on a research expedition to gather DNA from the ocean. Here’s the official description:

A priceless biotechnology, an FBI agent, and an unspeakable act of familial betrayal collide in a tropical kidnapping more twisted than a DNA double helix.

When a renowned scientist with a solution for global warming is kidnapped at sea, FBI Special Agent Tara Shores must unravel a high-tech trail of S.O.S. messages encoded into the DNA of living cells. As each decoded message brings Tara nearer to the missing genius, it also takes her farther from help than she ever thought possible.

Books & WritingHow did you come up with the story for the book?

Rick Chesler: The story for kiDNApped is loosely based on a couple of different real-world technologies, including work by several teams to encode messages into the DNA of living cells. For example, one group was able to encode the lyrics to the song The Star Spangled Banner into the DNA of a bacterial population. Then, when the population expanded through cell division, the new generation of cells also contained the encoded lyrics! I thought that was fascinating, and if song lyrics could be engineered into a cell’s DNA, then why not S.O.S. messages?

The other inspiration for the novel comes from the real life work of Dr. Craig Venter, who is best known for being the first person, with his company Celera, to decode the human genome. But after that, he embarked on an extraordinary ocean voyage to collect samples of DNA from seawater around the world.

When I combined these two background interests, the basic plot for kiDNApped began to take shape for me.

Books & WritingCan you tell us something about the main character FBI Special Agent Tara Shores?

Rick Chesler: At the start of kiDNApped, she’s a 6-year FBI veteran assigned to the Honolulu, Hawaii Field Office. She has a fear of water. She’s a single gal and lost both of her parents to a car accident at a young age. She’s highly dedicated to her work.

Books & WritingIs she based on someone you know?

Rick Chesler: No, she’s sort of a cross between Clarice Starling and Lara Croft!

Books & WritingWhat motivates you to keep on writing on a book?

Rick Chesler: It’s both the challenge of seeing if I can create something that lives up to the excitement of the original spark of an idea in my head, and the satisfaction of contributing in some small way to the genre of novels that has given me so much entertainment over the years. I always love to hear what people think about my books, good or bad!

Books & WritingAre you working on something new at the moment?

Rick Chesler: I’m putting the finishing touches on the third Tara Shores novel, SOLAR ISLAND:

A madman uses a floating energy production platform as an opportunity to establish his own rogue nation. After the FBI receives an alarming and unusual call for help originating from the artificial island, Special Agent Tara Shores goes undercover as a reporter in the South Pacific. Once there, she uncovers a tightly run dystopia reflecting the distorted visions of the island’s reclusive creator. As a powerful hurricane bears down on the island, cutting her off from support, Tara must find a way to bring a murderer to justice while saving herself and averting an international energy crisis.

Look for it later this year, with an announcement to come on my website before too long!

Books & WritingWhere do you see yourself in a couple of years in relation to writing? 

Rick Chesler: Hopefully still doing it! I’ve got some exciting new ideas outlined for Tara Shores that I can’t talk about just yet, but I hope to keep it provocative, exciting and fun. I’m also working on a standalone suspense novel that does not feature Tara Shores. Above all, I hope that I will still be engaging with my readers online!

Books & WritingDo you have any tips for aspiring writers? 

Rick Chesler: Know what you’re writing—if you complete what you set out to do, on what shelf would it sit in a bookstore? Within those parameters, write about something that interests you intensely. Write at least a little bit every single day. Read a lot. Keep going. Finish what you start.

Books & WritingWhere can people go and read your work?

Rick Chesler: 

Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukBN.com, Smashwords.com, rickchesler.com
Chalet Publishers, Variance Publishing, IndieBound, BAM!, Audible (audiobook), Kindlegraph (signed kindle books!)

 + select physical stores (If it’s not in your local bookstore, ask them to order!)

Books & WritingWhere can people find you on internet?


Below  is an excerpt from the book kiDNApped!

Offshore Waikiki Beach, island of Oahu, Hawaii
9:37 A.M., Sunday, June 14

Down here an hour already. Where is this damn thing? Dave Turner took another giant underwater leap as he considered the question. A puff of sand billowed from the impact his foot made as it landed on the seabed. A trail of similar disturbances marked his path for about a hundred feet behind him, the limit of his visibility. He still wasn’t used to the heavy boots, but he managed to avoid falling face first into the sandy bottom by extending for balance the metal detector held in his right arm. Although Dave was an experienced scuba diver, the recent marine biology graduate was unfamiliar with the equipment he now used. Feeling the tug of the yellow air line from the boat anchored above, Dave was reminded that he wasn’t scuba diving. He was practicing a form of commercial diving where air was fed to him through a hose from above, rather than carried on his back in a tank. The lead-soled boots kept him upright while he walked along the bottom, sweeping the metal detector in front of him as he went. In his left hand he held a tool known as a sand scoop - a metal pole with a mesh basket welded on one end, for digging objects from the sand.

So far, Dave had found a whole lot of nothing. Not even junk. He was seventy-five feet down, far off the beach. There was not much boat traffic here, the nearest harbor being a couple of miles away. The outrigger canoes, kayakers and paddleboards were much closer to shore. Dave gave one sharp tug on the rope that wound around his air tether. The rope was connected to a bell on his support boat’s deck, the low-tech signal to his employer to give him more slack. The water gradually became deeper as he walked out to sea away from the boat. The headphones he wore, which delivered the metal detector’s audio signals to his ears, also took some getting used to. But after a while Dave grew to like the cumbersome new gear. It was not unlike being a moonwalker with some exotic space equipment, he imagined, trudging down a gentle slope that he knew eventually led into the serious abyss that was the midPacific Ocean.

Dave felt the air line slacken, increasing his freedom of movement. At least the old guy hasn’t fallen asleep up there, Dave thought. It wasn’t a comfortable notion. He was alone on the bottom of the ocean, his feet encased in lead boots. For whatever reason, if a problem should develop, he couldn’t swim to the surface as he could with the more mobile fins and air tank used in scuba. He had to be lifted to the world above in what they called The Elevator—a stainless steel rectangular contraption that resembled a shark cage, but without cross-bars on the sides.

woensdag 25 januari 2012

Interview with author Luke Romyn


This time i am talking to the very talented author Luke Romyn who is an Australian author of thriller novels both in print and ebook, and currently has two published. The first is called The Dark Path and the second is Blacklisted.

Books & WritingWhat got you interested in writing?

Luke Romyn: I’ve always loved the escapism of stories, the ability to withdraw into imagination and create anything you like through the simple clicking of a few keys. To be able to create an entire universe is amazing, with each character relying on your whims to survive whatever problems arise.

Books & WritingDo you remember the first story you wrote?

Luke Romyn: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, and probably longer than even that. The first story I got real recognition for was when I was 13 and wrote a short story called Vesuvius! 79AD!!! detailing a group of victims from the volcanic eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD which decimated surrounding villages and caught people where they stood, encasing them in lava and effectively freezing them in time. My story explored the idea of a group of these frozen figures being brought to America and somehow woke up, escaping from their casings and forced to face the world 2000 years after everything they knew was long gone.

The story brought me recognition on a state level in Australia, and taught me the importance of research in making any fictional tale believable.

Books & WritingHow many short stories have you written because I understand you’ve written a few before you got into writing novels?

Luke Romyn: I’ve written quite a few, most of which are now available on my blog. I use my shorts as an opportunity to try new things I have learned, or as a way of practicing a different kind of style or perspective. All writing is a form of expression, whether long or short, and none should ever be taken for granted.

Books & WritingWhat attracts you in fiction?

Luke Romyn: There are no constraints when using fiction. Reality holds me back far too much for my liking, and I firmly believe that if I want to turn left instead of right I should be allowed to.

I am a firm believer that, in many ways, a book guides the author, and many times I’ve been determined to lead my story one way but it keeps pulling me another, dragging me from the path I had planned. I’ve tried to write the way others do, but it never works out well, and I instead prefer to let instinct guide me to the end, and if the clouds end up being green then it’s for a reason, and so long as the story doesn’t suffer as a result I’m happy.  

Books & WritingCan you tell us something about your latest published book Blacklisted?

Luke Romyn: Blacklisted is an action-packed thriller based on the idea of using criminals to fight terrorists – a kind of fire against fire scenario.

Mike Swanson is a very disturbed young man, from tormented childhood to vigilantism, until he is caught and faces the death penalty. Without warning, he is broken out of a police station and escorted to a strange base in the desert, where he is trained and tested for his ability to survive all kind of assaults. Finally it is revealed that his final goal will be the defeat of a madman who plans to send the world into anarchy.

Books & WritingIs the main character Mike Swanson based on someone particular?

Luke Romyn: Every main character I’ve ever used has aspects of myself within them. For Mike, I dragged out more of myself than ever before, incorporating my own past as a nightclub bouncer into his character and a lot of the training I actually went through in order to survive in that world. The character of Chewie is a man I once worked with who took me under his wing when I was only 18, and taught me lessons not only in bouncing, but also in life.

Books & WritingWhat is the new book that’s coming out this year “Beyond Hades” about?

Luke Romyn: Beyond Hades is one hell of a ride – almost literally. In its inexhaustible quest for power, the US Government opens a rift gate into another world, inadvertently releasing beasts from Greek mythology into our realm, creatures which are almost impossible to kill and are drawn inexorably to one man: the man who can close the gate and seal them once more in a world beyond Hades.

It will be my largest novel so far – both in length and scope – as I incorporate three worlds into one story, and use a character so far away from heroism as I could have imagined.
Books & WritingI understand this book is more about mythology, how did you come up with that?

Luke Romyn: As with every book I write it began with the question: what if?

What if mythology wasn’t myth? What if the stories of old were based upon actual events and not just the imaginings of incredible minds? Then we would be faced with beasts beyond horror, terrifying creatures our world of technology is hardly prepared to battle. What could we do?

And thus Beyond Hades was born.  

Books & WritingAre you working on anything new at the moment?

Luke Romyn: I haven’t had a chance to do any writing for a while because of the release of Blacklisted and re-release of The Dark Path, but after Beyond Hades I have three more books lined up ready for editing and release. It’s an extremely slow process, but I’m doing everything possible to get my books out to my readers. So Beyond Hades will hopefully be out around March and then I will begin working immediately on releasing its sequel.  

Books & WritingWhere do you see yourself in another two years?

Luke Romyn: I don’t work that way, I worry about now, not the future, not the past. My now dictates that I need to get my writing out to the world; my now tells me that is the most important thing. If I spent my time worrying about two years away, I’d miss what it takes to get there, and end up nothing but a dreamer.

If pressed, however, I would like nothing more than to be writing full-time. I’ve had a taste of it once already and I want more. Money is a tool to get me where I need to go, nothing more, and it is far from my end goal. I want people to be uplifted by my stories, to have a tinge of hope brought into their lives as books once did for me.    

Books & WritingWhat’s the last book you read?

Luke Romyn: I just finished book 3 of Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series. While his writing is completely different to mine, I absolutely love the way his mind works and his ability to draw on many small things and gradually bring them together, adding tension and suspense along the way. 

Books & WritingDo you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Luke Romyn: Write every day, or at least every opportunity you get. Like exercising your body, exercising your mind takes a routine and regular use makes it stronger. If you only write once a month, your writing will reflect it.

And be sure to step outside your comfort zone. I used to write a short story each night, asking my wife beforehand to choose a genre for me to try. Of course, I was not very good at some of them, but it made my mind work on my weaknesses in a way that sticking to my regular trains of thought would never have allowed.

Books & WritingWhere can people go and read your work?

Luke Romyn: Links to buy my books are available through my website at http://www.lukeromyn.com . People can find some of my other writing, including many of my short stories, on my blog: http://www.lukeromyn.com/blog .

Or buy his books from Amazon!

Books & WritingWhere can people find you on internet?

Luke Romyn: I’m extremely active on social networks, mainly Twitter where I have over 160,000 followers and Facebook where I have around 5000 ‘friends’.

My Twitter account is @LukeRomyn and Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/luke.romyn . Feel free to friend or add me on either of these and be sure to say hi.

Books & Writing: Thanks Luke for taking the time to answer the questions!

Below is a big excerpt from his book Blacklisted!

Two cops slammed Mike roughly onto a chair, snapping him back to the present.

“Undo his cuffs,” ordered the man across the desk.

The cops hesitantly released his handcuffs, their postures defensive, obviously expecting him to attack at any moment. Maybe they figured he was crazy, a madman who would try to chew off their faces. From the looks of it they’d have no hesitation in shooting him if he even blinked suspiciously.

Mike wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction. He stared coldly at the detective badge adorning the chest of the guy sitting opposite him. The two uniformed cops backed slowly out of the interrogation room. He forgot them before they were even gone.

Mike had known what he’d been doing would eventually catch up with him, and he’d vowed to stop a hundred times. But every time he switched on the TV, he saw another criminal freed on some sort of technicality.

The system no longer worked, and something deep inside forced Mike to continue dispensing justice. The compulsion for revenge, to act when the law failed, was just too strong.

Mike scrubbed at his knuckles for the hundredth time.

Damn this! He didn’t want to be here! Yet he felt a huge, driving need to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves. Forged during his years as a bouncer, an instinct to punish those who killed, who raped, who stole…who might murder a boy’s father, leaving him alone in a world saturated with hatred. The only way he knew to remove such a taint was to kill them.

What else could he do? Become a cop? Another uniformed bureaucrat with more paperwork than power? He was eliminating problems, not just brushing them under the rug. Surely that was the answer, wasn’t it?

At least he could afford a good lawyer; that might count for something. There was always a chance the police hadn’t done their job thoroughly enough – just like all those times before, leaving him to clean up the mess.


Anger rose up inside Mike, warming him from within and pushing away his depression. Cops cared more about strutting around, talking down to people and shining their own egos than they did about doing their damn job. If they’d found the evidence they were supposed to, they might stand a chance of catching these criminals and putting them away for good. He wouldn’t have had to resort to his methods; there would have been no need. 

“Michael T. Swanson.” The detective leafed through a thick file. Mike sat silently, trying to appear bored while still glimpsing photos of some of his victims. The paperwork in between the images was meaningless at this point; they knew who he’d killed. “Seems you’ve been a very busy man. How do you find the time to go around playing vigilante when you’ve got that fancy club of yours to run? I guess everyone needs a hobby, right?”

Mike stared at him blankly.

“I suppose you’ll be able to use your jail sentence to your benefit. You can get even bigger if all you have to do each day is eat and lift weights. Until they kill you, of course.”

The detective stared at him coldly. “It annoys the hell out of me that a piece of shit like you could get three meals a day paid for by taxed citizens like myself, just to have them kill you anyway. Your way seems much simpler and far more economically viable. You mind telling us where your guns are, so we don’t even have to pay for a bullet? No? Ah well, at least they won’t have trouble finding a vein in those massive arms to stick the needle into for the lethal injection.”

Mike ignored him. He’d ask for gas anyway, he hated needles.

The cop slammed his palm down on the desk. “Why are you looking so smug, you asshole? They’re going to kill you. If you confess now, maybe they’ll go easy and just give you life. With parole, you might even be out in fifteen. You’ll barely be forty years old, plenty of time to live out the rest of your life. Death is final, Mike, make no mistake about it. There ain’t no coming back.”

Mike yawned. This guy was so full of shit; they’d never let him go after the things he’d done.

The detective swore, pacing away, and then returning, leaning heavily on the desk. “Now, I know you’ve got that fancy lawyer and all, but he isn’t gonna save you from this.” He grinned maliciously. “We found your DNA at three crime scenes, and we’re building a case that’s gonna be rock solid.”

That got Mike’s attention. It was possible they might have found something at one of the scenes, but how –?

“How did you get my DNA?” asked Mike, unable to help himself. He hadn’t done anything since arriving at the station – and he certainly hadn’t agreed to a DNA swab.

The detective grinned. “It’s amazing what technology can get for you these days, Mike. Remember your old drug tests back when you were boxing? Did you know they recorded your DNA when they screened you for drugs? They label it as something completely different to keep the whining ninnies ignorant, but when we found a hair on the body of that pedophile you killed – um, what’s his name?”

Mike’s expression was like stone. “It’s your story, you tell me.”

“Anyway, once we got that hair and ran it through the system, your name popped up. Along with similar evidence at two more scenes, it was enough to get us a warrant, and with all the crap we found at your house we’re gonna bury you. We’ll substitute the DNA from your toothbrush for the blood test results and say we got it out of your trash. It’s completely underhanded, but if it helps keep a psycho like you off the street, it’s worth it.”

Mike shook his head, grimacing. These dickheads were almost as bad as the ones he’d been killing.

The door to the interrogation room suddenly slammed open, and four black-clad soldiers, their features hidden behind combat masks, strode in, followed by a man wearing a crisp Armani suit. Mike glanced at the detective, but he seemed just as stunned as Mike.

“Who the hell are you?”

The man in the suit ignored the detective, looking Mike up and down before nodding slightly and indicating to the soldiers. All four moved to where Mike sat and lifted him to his feet. A set of manacles was produced by one, and they secured Mike’s hands and ankles.

The detective made to grab the man in the suit, but in a move of amazing alacrity the suit spun away from him, sweeping the detective’s hands aside in the process. His right hand shot forward, grabbing the detective by the throat. His left arm wrapped around and trapped the cop’s right arm under his pit. Clamping his index finger and thumb around the cop’s windpipe, he pushed up and closed the carotid arteries. The cop offered a weak cough, his eyes rolling back into his head. He spasmed momentarily, and then collapsed to the floor.

The man in the suit gently smoothed the ruffles from his jacket, standing completely at ease. A few inches shorter than Mike and a good deal lighter, the stranger returned his stare evenly, and Mike felt a chill growing deep within. This was not someone to be trifled with.

Around thirty-five years of age, the strange man had a fair complexion and sandy-colored hair, parted evenly to the left and lightly oiled. It gave the impression of someone scholarly, but even without the display Mike had just witnessed, he would never have taken this man lightly. Behind those brown eyes flecked with black, laid a deep intelligence, bordering on what seemed like insanity…or fanaticism.

“Who are you?” Mike’s voice quavered slightly. He’d been so certain of things after getting caught by the police; he was caught and they were going to kill him for his crimes. Simple. And in that simplicity had resided a relief: it was all finally over. But this, getting busted out of jail by a bunch of guys who beat up cops and dressed like commandos, this was something he was totally unprepared for, and dread began rising within him. It was a strange sensation, coming so soon after being convinced he was going to die. He stared at the man in charge, waiting for some kind of explanation, but none came. The man pointedly ignored Mike and motioned for the soldiers to take him out of the room.

As they marched through the police station, other soldiers fell in behind them. Cops were lying all over the place, some with tranquilizer darts sticking out of them.

What the hell was going on?

Mike’s heart began to race. His palms, for once free of blood, grew clammy with sweat.

The soldiers wore no markings of rank or country and moved through the place with a coordinated efficiency which impressed the former bouncer. Impressed him as well as unnerved him; something on this scale was almost beyond belief. They slid through rooms with a precision which spoke of years of training, their black boots barely making a sound as they glided swiftly from place to place, completely securing the station. No emotion emanated from the eyes within the combat masks, and Mike felt his trepidation mount once more.

These guys were definitely not amateurs.

Exiting from the rear of the station, into a parking lot, Mike saw several unmarked, military-looking Humvees, painted uniformly black with dark-tinted windows. Bustled into the back seat of one, two soldiers sat, one on either side of him, pinning him in. Both had their Beretta M9s drawn and held them ready on their laps. The safety mechanisms were clicked off, the little red dot staring up at him like a promise of blood if he decided to resist.

The front passenger door opened, and the man in the suit entered the vehicle. Flipping open his phone, Mike heard him say, “Implement sweep and cleanup of the entire station. Use G-67 formula on all subjects and create a cover story of a gas leak resulting in temporary amnesia, accompanied by loss of consciousness. That is all.”

As the vehicle moved away from the police station, Mike couldn’t help but wonder yet again who these men were and what agenda they had.

Mike’s bladder felt uncomfortably full, yet his mouth seemed completely dry. He shouldn’t feel like this; he was the killer, the one to be feared, but his heart raced in terror. Not at the thought of death, merely panic at the unknown. Why the hell was this happening?

maandag 23 januari 2012

Interview with author Kenneth Hoss

Hey all!

My latest interview is with author Kenneth Hoss who was born at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, TX in 1957, but never lived as a military brat as his parents divorced when he was very young. He grew up in traveling a lot as his stepfather moved them around looking for work, and never attended the same grade school twice. It wasn't until High School that his parents settled down in one place long enough for him to attend the same school for more than one semester.

He supposes it was all the moving that drew him to books and writing. As a child, he had a very vivid imagination and writing was his way of getting all of these ideas and dreams out of his head and in a way, giving them life. Kenneth was a voracious reader as a child and still is to a certain degree.

As an adult, he spent several years in the military, serving in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. His time in the Army was spent mostly in Frankfurt, Germany where he took the opportunity to travel, as all you needed was a Military ID, and visited several countries. His Navy career, which lasted eleven years, was spent mostly on the West coast, which meant traveling to places like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Pakistan. It is an experience that he would not trade for anything.

Books & WritingDo you remember the first story you wrote?

Kenneth Hoss: Sadly I don’t. That was a long time ago. I do know that it would have been something about space travel and the hero saving the day. A lot of my first stories were the result of reading a lot of Heinlein and Asimov, two of my favorite authors.

Books & WritingWhat interests you in writing?

Kenneth Hoss: The hope that my work will entertain my readers, give them an escape, even for a brief time.

Books & WritingCan you tell us a bit about your book “Storm Rising”?

Kenneth Hoss: Storm Rising is the first book in a three book series and follows Detective Kelli Storm as she investigates several murders in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, is marked for death by a Colombian drug lord, and trying to solve her father’s murder from twenty-one years earlier.

Books & WritingHow did you come up with the story for the book?

Kenneth Hoss: I don’t recall the actual moment that the idea came to me, or even the reason behind it, as that was more than two years ago now. I watch several Police dramas, as well as read a lot of crime fiction, and I’m a former Police Officer. I suppose it was inevitable that I would write something along the lines of the Kelli Storm novels.

Books & WritingCan you tell us something about the main character Kelli Storm?

Kenneth Hoss: Kelli is strong, independent and very intelligent. At the same time, she also has a certain vulnerability about her. She can take down the bad guys in the morning, and let her hair down at night.

Books & WritingIs she based on someone you know?

Kenneth Hoss: Actually, Kelli is based on several women that have come into and out of my life over the years, but she is mainly based on one woman I knew when I was younger, and she broke my heart.

Books & WritingWhere do you see yourself in 5 years in relation to writing?

Kenneth Hoss: I would hope to have several more books in publication, and to be able to do nothing but write full time. Of course, the dream is to see my books on the NY Times Best Seller list.

Books & WritingWhich writer(s) inspires you?

Kenneth Hoss: That’s a tough question, as I’ve been inspired by so many over the years. If I had to narrow it down, my first would have to be John Grisham. He wrote five books before making a name for himself, and that says a lot about him as a writer and a person.

Books & WritingDo you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Kenneth Hoss: If you really love to write, don’t stop.

Books & WritingWhere can people go and read your work?

Kenneth Hoss: They can purchase my current book in both eBook and paperback. The eBook version is available at these online retailers:


Click here to buy his book at Barnes and Noble!

Click here to buy his book at ITunes!

Click here to buy his book at smashwords! 

The paperback version can be purchased at these locations:


And at createspace!

Books & WritingWhere can people find you on internet?

On Twitter - @kennhoss

My blog – http://kenhoss.blogspot.com

Below is an excerpt from his book Storm Rising! 

The funeral procession stretched for miles, as officers from the five boroughs honored their fallen brother. Kelli expressed her sympathies to Bill’s parents, and whispered a promise that she would find the people responsible.

Now she and Kevin sat quietly in the living room, and though he had not really known Bill, Kelli knew that Kevin shared her loss. “You want a cup of tea?”

She looked up an attempted a smile. “Sure, that would be nice.”

He got up and kissed her on top of the head. “It’s going to be alright, you’re strong.” He turned and headed for the kitchen.

Kelli lay back on the couch and closed her eyes. She drifted off into a fitful sleep. She was once again in the midst of a shootout, glass flying all around her. She could hear the bullets as they whizzed over her head, and pounded the metal of her car.

Someone was shaking her and she swung her arms in defense.

“Whoa! Hold on slugger. You were having a nightmare.”

She opened her eyes and saw Kevin standing over her. “Shit. I was right there, and it was so real. They had me pinned down, and I was out of rounds. I’m scared, Kevin.”

He sat down and put an arm around her. “It’s okay, Kelli, it was just a dream,” he said, and pulled her closer.

She pushed him away and shook her head. “It’s not okay. My partner and his wife are dead because I had to go and piss off a drug lord. My mother doesn’t know who I am most of the time, and she’s getting worse.”

“Come on, Kelli, you can’t blame yourself for what happened to Bill and his wife, and there’s nothing you can do about your mother’s Alzheimer’s. You have to focus on what you can do, what you can change.”

She looked at him and smiled. “Now you’re starting to sound like my sponsor. You’re right, there’s only one thing to do. Get the son of a bitch before he kills anyone else.”

zaterdag 21 januari 2012

Interview with author R.E. McDermott


My latest interview is with author R.E. McDermott who grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, and he's been around the sea and ships all his life. He has been happily married for over 35 years now to his lovely wife and they have two fine sons. He graduated from maritime academy and sailed several years as a ships' officer before coming ashore to a management position. Since then he has worked in various shore side positions at shipping companies, at first as an employee, and later as an independent surveyor/consultant. He started writing in 2006, but still does some marine consulting work on occasion, though much less now that his first book Deadly Straits is enjoying some success. His hobbies include growing old gracelessly, looking for his reading glasses, and researching various medical symptoms on the internet.

Books & WritingWhat got you interested in writing?

R.E. McDermott: I always did a lot of technical and report writing in my work, and never had any problem expressing myself clearly. In fact, I usually express myself better in writing than in verbal communication. I always wanted to give fiction a try but never got around to it. Then a few years ago my wife and I were living in Singapore after a very grueling 6 months on a project in China. The China project presented a lot of challenges, and I spent long hours in the shipyard every single day, usually arguing. When it was over, I was really burned out and when we moved back to Singapore, I decided to take several months off. I started writing then and haven't looked back.

Books & WritingDo you remember the first story you wrote?

R.E. McDermott: Very clearly, since it's the only story I've written. That would be my debut novel Deadly Straits. Of course, when people ask me how many books I've written, I say 13, because that's how many times I re-wrote Deadly Straits. I started it in 2006, finished the first draft in 2009, and then re-wrote it 12 times between 2009 and 2011. When I finished the first draft, I was really quite proud of it. Now I re-read it and get embarrassed to think that I showed it to anyone. It has been quite a learning process. (And I'm hard at work on Book 2)

Books & WritingCan you tell us what your published book “Deadly Straits” is about?

R.E. McDermott: Deadly Straits is the story of Tom Dugan, a marine consultant and very much part-time CIA asset that gets drawn into a situation way over his head. Falsely implicated in a gunboat hijacking, he's offered a chance to clear himself by helping the CIA snare their real prey, his best friend, London ship owner Alex Kairouz. Reluctantly, Dugan agrees to go undercover in Alex's company, despite doubts about Alex's guilt. But once undercover, Dugan's steadfast refusal to accept Alex's guilt gets him in hot water not only with his CIA handlers, but also with Anna Walsh, a beautiful British agent with whom Dugan becomes romantically involved. Dugan has to resist terrific pressure to betray his friend, at the same time he struggles to prove not only Alex's innocence but his own.

Books & WritingWhere did you get the inspiration from to write the book?

R.E. McDermott: I was in Singapore when the twin towers fell, and traveled quite a bit in the aftermath of 9/11. The greatly increased airport security was a constant reminder of the threat we all faced. A guess I was developing a "writer’s perspective" even back then, because as I traveled between ships and shipyards, I began to speculate on what form a tanker-based terrorist plot might take. When I decided to start writing a few years later, it seemed a natural starting point.

Books & WritingAre the characters in the book based on people you know or knew?

R.E. McDermott: Partially. There is no single character that would be recognizable as someone I know, but I think every writer stitches characters together using traits of people they've encountered or perhaps read about in real life, often exaggerating certain traits for effect. I've been fortunate enough to have had a long career in an interesting industry, and I've encountered no small number of 'characters.'  I actually did a blog post on this subject some while back.

Books & WritingHow does it feel to have your book rated number one in Men’s Adventure Fiction at Amazon?

R.E. McDermott: Pretty damn good, actually.

Books & WritingWhat does your family think about your writing?

R.E. McDermott: My family has been very supportive. I would single out my wife especially, who read every word of every revision (all 13 of them). She offered encouragement even after the terrible first efforts. Our sons and daughter-in-law were also encouraging. Our eldest son is an artist and one of his friends is a writer so I've actually ended up as a bit of a long distance email colleague to my son's friend, which is kind of cool. And our youngest son followed my footsteps to sea, so it is nice when he reports that shipmates have bought the book and said nice things about the realism of the shipboard settings.

Books & WritingWhich writer(s) inspires you?
R.E. McDermott: I read widely and across all genres, so a lot of writers have influenced me. But as far as 'inspiration' goes, it's Richard McKenna, a guy many people have forgotten.  McKenna wrote The Sand Pebbles. It was his only novel, but it won the Harper Prize and spent 28 weeks on the NY Times Best Seller List before being turned into a movie with Steve McQueen. (I guess I’m dating myself here). McKenna died of a heart attack in 1964, a year after his book came out. Some of his shorter work was published posthumously, and he won the Nebula Award for Science Fiction. McKenna spent years in the US Navy, and retired as a Chief Machinist Mate, to die just as he realized his dream.

Books & WritingDo you have any tips for aspiring writers?

R.E. McDermott: Make sure your book is as good as you can possibly make it, including editing (and by that I mean professional editing), proofreading, etc. Invest the money in a professional cover artist, then let it go.

Books & WritingWhere can people go and read your work?

R.E. McDermott: Deadly Straits is available on Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, The Sony Reader Store, The Kobo Store, & The Diesel eBook Store. And if you find me at the local pub, I also keep a few copies in the boot of my car which I may give you at a discount (depending on how long I've been at the pub).

Or buy them now at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk! 

Books & WritingWhere can people find you on internet?

R.E. McDermott: Many places, thank you for asking:

My website --> http://www.remcdermott.com

My Facebook Page --> R.E. McDermott

Follow me on Twitter --> http://twitter.com/#!/RobtMcD

Be my friend on --> GoodReads

Below is an excerpt from the book Deadly Straits!

Chapter One


Offices of Phoenix Shipping Ltd.

London, UK

Local Time: 1900 Hours 10 May

GMT: 1800 Hours 10 May

Alex Kairouz turned from the screen and swiveled in his chair to bend over his wastebasket, barely in time.  He vomited as his nausea crested, then slumped head down and sobbing over the basket.  A hand appeared, holding a tissue.

Wipe your bloody face, Kairouz,” Braun said.

Alex did as ordered.

Braun continued.

“Mr. Farley, please be good enough to refocus our pupil on the task at hand.”

Alex tensed against the pain as he was jerked upright by his thick hair and spun around to once again face the computer screen.  He closed his eyes to blot out the horrific sight and tried to put his hands to his ears to escape the tortured screams from the speakers, but Farley was quicker, grabbing his wrists from behind and forcing them down.

“Open your bloody eyes and cooperate, Kairouz,” said Braun, “unless you want a ringside seat at a live performance.”

Alex looked not at the screen but at Braun.

“Why are you doing this?  What do you want?  If it’s money— ”

Braun moved his face inches from Alex’s.

“In due time, Kairouz, all in due time.” Braun lowered his voice to a whisper. “But for now, you need to finish our little lesson.  I assure you, it gets much, much more amusing.”

M/T Western Star

Eastern Holding Anchorage, Republic of Singapore

Local Time: 1520 Hours 15 May

GMT: 0720 Hours 15 May

Dugan moved through the humid darkness of the ship’s ballast tank, avoiding pockets of mud.  At the ladder he wiped his face on a damp sleeve and turned at muttered Russian curses to shine his flashlight on the corpulent chief mate struggling through an access hole.  The man’s coveralls, like Dugan’s own, were sweat soaked and rust streaked. The Russian pulled through the access hole with a grunt and joined Dugan at the ladder. Sweat rolled down his stubbled cheeks as he fixed Dugan with a hopeful look.

“We go up?” he asked.

Dugan nodded and the Russian started up the long ladder, intent on escaping the tank before Dugan had a change of heart. Dugan played his flashlight over wasted steel one last time, grimacing at the predictable result of poor maintenance, then followed the Russian up the ladder.

He emerged on the main deck at the tail end of a tropical thundershower so common to Singapore.  His coveralls were already plastered to his skin by sweat, and the cool rain felt good.  But the relief wouldn’t last.  The rain was slackening, and steam from the deck showed the negligible effect of the brief shower on the hot steel. Two Filipino seamen stood nearby in yellow slickers, looking like small boys dressed in their fathers’ clothing.  One handed Dugan a wad of rags as the second held open a garbage bag.  Dugan wiped his boots and tossed the rags in the bag, then started aft for the deckhouse.

He showered and changed before heading for the gangway, stopping along the way to slip the steward a few dollars for cleaning his room.  The grateful Filipino tried to carry his bag, and, when waved away, ran in front, holding doors as an embarrassed Dugan made his way to the main deck.  Overtipped again, thought Dugan, making his way down the sloping accommodation ladder to the launch.

He ducked into the launch’s cabin and settled in for the ride ashore.  Three dogs in six weeks.  He didn’t look forward to telling Alex Kairouz he’d wasted his money inspecting another rust bucket.