Thursday, October 30, 2014
Presenting Elle Klass (Lisa Klaes): Presenting Author Lisa Klaes: PnPAuthors Promotions http://pnpauthorspattimariandpeter.ning.com/?xgi=4PBOwIJg1TDMx7 _______________________________________...
Chris Longmuir, Crime Writer: Awesome New Website for Awesome Indies: Advance News The clock is ticking towards the launch of the new Awesome Indies Website, but I thought I’d give you advance warnin...
Author Simon Okill is presented by PnPAuthors Promotions: Author Simon Okill: PnPAuthors Promotions Simon Okill Paranormal author Simon ...
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Published by AIA Publishing (part of the Awesome Indies family), this eclectic anthology has a little bit of everything. The diversity of the genres – from funny to far out – and the international nature of the authors, makes this a collection of short fiction that is unique. As it says in the introduction, “Awesome Indies listed fiction is often unique and sometimes ground-breaking. Our authors are the bold new voices in fiction . . .”
I got my start writing short stories, winning a national Sunday school short story writing competition when I was in my teens. For the past decade or so, I’ve concentrated on novel-length fiction and non-fiction, as well as blogging, but when I saw the call for stories for this volume, I decided to take a flyer.
I’d been working on a piece for several months about a zombie – but, I was trying to write a different kind of zombie story. I’d read an interview with comic mogul Stan Lee in a magazine in my wife’s doctor’s office while waiting for her one day, in which Lee had told the interviewer he didn’t like zombie movies or stories because they were always portrayed as shuffling flesh eaters. His view was, if someone has been given another shot at life, even as a zombie, they’re more likely to want to make up for the things they didn’t do in their first life – and chasing people down to eat their flesh wasn’t one of them.
So, I’d been working on this story about a zombie that knows he’s dead, but not how or when he died. He finds himself stuck in a strange city and his impulse is to help the weak. He runs into this girl who is not freaked out by his zombie status, and – well, you can guess how it might go from there. I’d actually written two stories, the second being a sequel to the first. I submitted the first, and the response was, ‘it’s nice, but can you make it longer?’ So, I combined the two stories, and I had to admit, it did read better that way. What was really surprising to me – it was accepted for the anthology. ‘I, Zombie,’ became one of 26 stories by 21 authors to be included in Awesome Allshorts: Last Days, Lost Ways. It’s not kosher to review your own work, so I won’t tell you how fantastic I think ‘I, Zombie’ is. Instead, I’ll recommend ‘Cut Throat’ by Joan Kerr or ‘Clearing The Shed’ by Tahlia Newland. Hell fire, why don’t you just read the whole thing. It’s a surefire winner – you can take my word for it.
The e-Book version will launch at the end of October 2014, followed shortly by a paperback version. If you’re a fan of short fiction, and you’re looking for something awesome to curl up with as the days grow short and the temperature plummets, this book will warm you up like nothing else. Check it out – you won’t regret it.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I am pleased to announce that I will be speaking at the upcoming Joint Personnel Recovery Conference 2014, this November in London. I hope that you can join me. To see what I will be discussing with fellow peers and industry supporters, access the brochure here: http://bit.ly/12c8Y2L
I’m privileged to feature an interview with Mirella Patzer, a Canadian author who specializes in historical romance fiction. This interview is also featured on my blog at http://charlieray45.wordpress.com. She writes sweeping historical, with a touch of romance, set in an exciting period of world history. But, why don’t I let her speak for herself.
- What got you started writing historical romance fiction?
To tell you the truth, I never intended to write historical romance. What launched my interest in writing was my desire to write about my family’s history during World War II Italy. The Battle of the Moro River occurred on my grandfather’s vineyards, lands that are still owned by my mother and her sister. 2000 Canadian soldiers died, but the won and freed my mother’s town, San Leonardo, from the Nazis. It is a tale of survival and devastation as experienced by my mother who was an eight year old child. The family had to live in caves because their home was bombed. I haven’t written the story yet, but it is definitely on my list of future books to write. Before I do so, I want to visit those caves and experience the November cold and rain my mother had to live through.
- Why do you write about the period that you chose for your stories?
Because of my strong Italian roots, I have a great passion for historical fiction set in the medieval era. Almost all the novels I have written are set in Italy between the 10th century and 17th century.
- How much research did you do for Orphan of the Olive Tree?
I have been working on a biographical novel entitled The Prophetic Queen, a novel about saint and queen Matilda of Ringelheim for approximately 10 years. Years of medieval research into Italy and Germany have created a comfort zone for me because I’ve acquired so much knowledge. So, it was easy to place the story in Italy. I did about 6 months research into superstitions, the Battle of the Monteaparti Hills, and the daily life of peasants and knights during that time. All the rest came from previous learning I acquired because of my research.
- Are your characters based upon historical figures, or totally made up?
All the characters in Orphan of the Olive Tree are purely fictional. After being steeped in so much research for my biographical novel, and trying to write with a high degree of accuracy, I wanted to work on another project that would allow me some creative freedom. I let my imagination run free and unfettered, and the result was Orphan of the Olive Tree, which is my biggest seller!
- Do you write in other genres? If so, which ones?
I stay strictly with historical fiction, a great passion of mine. My novels so far span from the 10th century to the 17th century, however, I would love to write a western one day and have a story forming in my mind. I would never write a contemporary novel, simply because I find historical fiction more challenging and love the research.
- What are you currently working on?
I am currently polishing and completing the final edits of The Prophetic Queen, which will need to be divided into two books – The Scarlet Mantle and Crown of Discord. I anticipate the release date to be 2015.
- Any writing advice you'd like to offer my readers?
Yes, I have two pieces of advice that I do my best to follow.
First, if you are an aspiring author, but afraid or unsure about getting started, the best advice is “just do it!” Writing is a constant learning curve. Do not be afraid of failure. Your writing skills evolve the more you write and through feedback gained from critique groups, writing groups, or other authors.
Second, always pay yourself first. What I mean by that is it is easy to get distracted with life and daily tasks such as email, blogging, critiquing, reviewing books, or other distractions. Train yourself to sit down and write for an hour or two first. Pay yourself. Then move on to these other tasks! That will keep you moving forward in your writing career.
I’d like to extend a big thank you to Charles Ray for discovering my books and for his kind invitation to visit his blog.
For more information about me, my books, and my blogs, here are some links:
Monday, October 20, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Protection of the young seems to be an instinct that nature has hardwired into most species. Sometimes, though, I feel that the human species wasn't in line the day this trait was handed out. In FY 2012, for instance, an estimated 686,000 children were abused in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, an alarming number by any measure, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, and abuse of children with disabilities. Many of these children were abused by their parents or other primary care-givers.
It’s a sad situation, and enough to turn the rosiest optimist into a cynic. This morning, though, I observed an act of parental care that at least restored my faith in nature – unfortunately, that act was not performed by human parents.
Walking my aged dog in the forest behind my house, I came upon a small herd of deer; several does and their fawns. One of the fawns had gone off by itself, a hundred yards or so separated from the rest. The usual outcome of such encounters is the scattering of the herd, but in this case, I happened to find myself between the fawn and the rest. What happened next is interesting.
The normally timid deer didn’t immediately flee. Two of the does stood their ground, making huffing noises at me, while the fawn froze in place. I stopped walking and, standing as still as I could (getting the dog to stay still is easy, she’s so old, she prefers resting anyway). We stood this way for nearly fifteen minutes. Me and the dog watching the deer, waiting to see what they would do. The does continued to make huffing noises, sometimes edging toward me – getting within fifty yards at times. The fawn remained perfectly still. I sidled toward the fawn. The does came closer, stamping their feet and huffing. When I turned toward them, they withdrew, but only a short way.
Finally, when I turned and walked quickly toward the fawn, it fled toward a stream just downhill of us. The does, frantic now, came even closer, huffing even louder. I stopped and watched. The lead doe sniffed the air and looked down toward the stream. I could no longer see the fawn, but could hear it running through the foliage. Suddenly, the entire herd, which had been waiting a ways back from the two does, turned and fled deeper into the forest. After a couple more huffs at me, the two does turned, and with their white tails flashing, followed.
If I’d been a hunter or a predator, those two deer would have been in great danger. But, they stood their ground in an effort to protect the stray fawn, trying to draw my attention away from it long enough to allow it to flee to safety.
My faith in nature is restored. I only wish more humans would take a lesson from it.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Every war spawns a whole host of books and films, and the second war in Iraq is no exception. Most, though, focus on the relationships among those who fight. ‘Marza,’ a film written, directed and produced by former Marine Regan A. Young is a film with a difference.
The story of a cynical, battle-hardened Marine sergeant (played by Josh Ansley) who meets and befriends a quizzical, precocious young Iraqi girl, Marza (Claire Geare) who likes chicken and ice cream shows us the human side of war that is seldom portrayed. Sergeant John Whitacre is a man who has seen much war, and as a result has a decidedly dark view of life in general. Marza pulls him out of his funk in ways he could never have anticipated, and teaches him to feel again.
This is a film that has both dark and light moments – and enough death to lift it from the category of a mood movie and firmly into the ‘war’ category. Young, a veteran of tours in Iraq, writes and directs this short film with a sense of awareness of the realities of war that most in the business lack. Moreover, he takes us into the depths of emotions that run rampant when death is a constant companion, and shows that even at the darkest hours, there is a glimmer of light and hope.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Read this post from Diplopundit which shows the meager percentage of the federal budget devoted to foreign affairs and State Department operations. http://diplopundit.net/2014/10/14/snapshot-state-department-foreign-ops-and-programs-1-of-total-federal-budget/.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Spent Oct. 6 - 10 at Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. On Oct. 8, there was a lunar eclipse, when the Moon is blood red - a sight Moon watchers and photographers live for. Unfortunately, it rained in Chautauqua on Oct. 8, so I missed it. The next evening, however, the Moon still had a slight reddish hue, so I managed to get an almost Blood Moon, which was almost as good. Take a look and tell me what you think:
I also managed to get a few more good shots of the area around Chautauqua Lake and Lake Erie while I was there:
I also managed to get a few more good shots of the area around Chautauqua Lake and Lake Erie while I was there:
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Author P.S. Winn: PnPAuthors Promotions Presents Author P.S. Winn: PnPAuthors Promotions Note from Author : Hi I am Pamela Winn my pen name is P.S. Winn My newest book is "...