Book Review: The Deceived by E.C. Fisher

What if the Bible was a con devised by none other than Lucifer himself? What if The Rapture came, and it was a trick? In E.C. Fisher’s biblical thriller The Deceived, it is the devil who is behind religion, and everyone from Adam and Eve on up are in the thrall of his lies. But as the End of Days plays out on Earth—a ploy designed by Lucifer to give the world to his followers—the archangel Michael is sent down to earth from heaven, where he must battle the devil to save God’s children—not to mention the planet. As God lays dying in heaven, and Lucifer kidnaps Michael’s soulmate, Ari-el—Michael must face not only the potential of demons overtaking earth, but the loss of both his Father and his one true love. Armed with the Sword of the Spirit, forged from God’s own powerful wings, Michael sets out to destroy the Antichrist, and thereby bring an end to the deadly masquerade that is Lucifer’s religion.

This was a DNF for me.

I thought this would have more of a Constantine vibe. I was excited for the overt twist it was selling me.

Because:

But no. It had a more Miltonic feel. Lots of telling instead of showing. Lots of setup and info dumps in the pages I did get through, though they were interesting. Fisher clearly had an interesting idea but I was left feeling like he didn’t know how to deliver it.

Things that bothered me about the book were that Adam and Eve were white — described as blonde. And the women have their breasts pointed out to great detail. That was my first red flag. The second had to do with the “rules” of this universe. Lucifer has no free will and must obey God…yet he can start a rebellion against God? That seemed to break the rules being set up. It made no sense. Where I stopped reading was where the structure of this mythical system became offensive. Apparently when angels die they can be reincarnated…but as mentally disabled people? A direct quote: “Angels reborn as human beings always appeared in the form of a mongoloid baby, since Down Syndrome children of any nationality generally appear similar.”

Isn’t “mongoloid” and offensive term? Like, I can see what Fisher was trying to do here. But it also seemed to romanticize the people with the syndrome, which is just as bad as making fun of them. It also makes them easier to disregard. If they’re just angels reincarnated, why not abort them? Why give them rights? They’re still not really “human.” I just couldn’t push past this.

As a fan of mythpunk/godpunk, it was a very interesting concept that I just need delivered in a different way.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Read my review policy above.
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Book Review: Fliers by Nathaniel Russell

The perfect present for buds and dormroom inhabitors, this collection of viral fake fliers is at once strange, thought-provoking, and hilarious. Printed on heavy, cardstock-like paper, these 20 “fake” fliers both celebrate and embody surreal posters–like the kind plastered all over college campuses, only taken to the next level. As a bonus feature, the sturdy paperback comes with a french-fold jacket that, when removed, opens up to reveal a larger poster. Images include a photo of a found duck mistaken for a dog that the poster is now keeping and an anonymous group posting about a quiet universe. There is something in this collection for everyone who ever looked at a postered telephone pole or coffee house bulletin board and wondered “is there more out there?”

I wanted this book because I got a new job and need something to spice up the office. This looked amusing. The cover of this book folds out to make a really nice poster: 
I don’t know if you’re supposed to, but I decided to rip up my flier book and put them on my “poster pole.” …Or is it my “pole poster”? I will change them out as I feel inspired:

Also of note, the posters are in color and offer a nice contrast to the black and white of the poster, thus leading me to believe that this was the point. If this intention is explained somewhere on the cover like the cover-to-poster was explained…then I didn’t notice it and almost felt bad for ripping it up. I’m also not going to take my poster down to check the back of it. Sorry. I’m lazy.

But, before getting this book I didn’t know much about Nathaniel Russell. But looking through the book made me want to know more.

I found this YouTube video produced by PBS Digital Studios about him and his work and it’s highly recommended:

He has a website where you can view more of the fliers found in this book: http://nathanielrussell.com/fake-fliers-1/ 

And he also does other art, such as his fake book covers. I think I’m really into them because 1) I’m a librarian who works around books all day and 2) they remind me of the work of Ashlyn Metcalf.

You can follow him  (and Ashlyn Metcalf – cough, cough) on Instagram.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. See my Review Policy tab for more info.

Free Author Interviews For the Rest of November!

This year is almost over and to celebrate its end (because I’m SO GLAD it’s over), I’m extending my Author Interview special until the end of December! Submit your responses to me by the end of this month and get a free spot on my blog. See this previous post for details.

Happy holidays and cheers to 2018.

May you burn in hell, 2017.

Amanda Panda (Duh)

It’s No Pay November!

Submit your author interview answers to me by the end of November and I’ll post them for free. See the interview questions and typical guidelines here.  You can answer all or just some of the questions–it’s up to you! Interviews are normally $5, but tis the season of giving!

Why do I typically charge for interviews? Because I'm handing over my platform to you. I also offer other advertising opportunities here. I never charge for book reviews or TBR posts. Thank you for considering AmandaPandaduh!

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TBR – The Bridge

Riya Jordan and her friends are excited about their trip to Brazil for a wildlife and forest organization before heading off to college. However, things take a turn for the worst when bodies are found mangled among their campgrounds left by two predatorial stalkers. They are forced to run and find safety, but end up helpless on a battered bridge.

While on this bridge, not only are they preyed upon by these beasts, but other deathly mishaps occur
on… THE BRIDGE.

Also interesting: what happens UNDER the THE BRIDGE???

 

Buy on Amazon.

Batman Ninja anime movie turns the Dark Knight into a samurai — EW.com

The Dark Knight is getting a brand-new, genre-bending look. From some of Japan’s brightest minds in anime — like Jumpei Mizusaki (a producer on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) and Takashi Okazaki (the creator of Afro Samurai) — comes a new trailer for Batman Ninja, an upcoming release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment that reimagines the vigilante warrior of Gotham…

via Batman Ninja anime movie turns the Dark Knight into a samurai — EW.com

Author Interview: G.B. Gabbler

Today I’m introducing author G.B. Gabbler and their book The Automation: 

Who are you?! G.B. Gabbler’s the name. Editing’s the game.  I’m the other half of the [pen name] duo for The Circo del Herrero series/The Blacksmith’s Circus series.

What book(s) have you written? The Automation, Vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series and its up-coming sequel, The Pre-programming. Release date is TBA.

What is the title of your most recent book and how did it come to be named? The Pre-Programming‘s name came from a callback to the synopsis of the first book where it talks about the Automatons’ “pre-programmed existence.” Plus it sounds very techy, so we liked that. The series title, Circo del Herrero, comes from our character Gwendolyn’s observations about Vulcan. Plus antique automata (lowercase-a) are often depicted as magicians or clowns or acrobats. These automata, in a more modern sense, have always had a side-show attraction vibe.  For example:

What does the cover look like? The second Volume’s cover hasn’t been revealed yet, but the first’s look like this.

Describe the book in 5 words. How I would describe the book? Homeric. Miltonic. Literary. Brilliant. Genius.

Then again, I’m biased…

What genre(s) do you think it fits into or breaks? Though the Narrator would disagree (and call this a memoir), it definitely fits into Fantasy and breaks Fantasy. Almost Steampunky, though it’s set in the present-era. Granted, many of its characters lived through the Victorian age, so I wonder if it qualifies? Maybe its prequels will!

…God I hope I don’t have to edit prequels. Three is enough. But I would read the fanfiction.

Mythpunk is its intended genre, which is a subset of Fantasy. But those are just marketing terms. Like all authors before me, I feel like this story transcends and subverts genre (*throws up at own words*).

What’s the synopsis for the book? For the first book, it’s this:

“The capital-A Automatons of Greco-Roman myth aren’t clockwork. Their design is much more divine. They’re more intricate than robots or androids or anything else mortal humans could invent. Their windup keys are their human Masters. They aren’t mindless; they have infinite storage space. And, because they have more than one form, they’re more versatile and portable than, say, your cell phone—and much more useful too. The only thing these god-forged beings share in common with those lowercase-A automatons is their pre-programmed existence. They have a function—a function their creator put into place—a function that was questionable from the start…

Odys (no, not short for Odysseus, thank you) finds his hermetic lifestyle falling apart after a stranger commits suicide to free his soul-attached Automaton slave. The Automaton uses Odys’s soul to “reactivate” herself. Odys must learn to accept that the female Automaton is an extension of his body—that they are the same person—and that her creator-god, Vulcan, is forging a new purpose for all with Automatons…

THE AUTOMATION is a mythpunk fantasy that reboots mythical characters and classic literature concepts. Its ideal place would be on the same bookshelf as Adam’s HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, Wilson’s ALIF THE UNSEEN, and Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS—though its ego intends to bookend Homer, Virgil, and Milton, to be specific.”

What is one thing you want readers to know about this book that the official synopsis doesn’t cover? I think the synopsis does a pretty good job. Granted, I helped write it, so…

[The novel calls itself a “Prose Epic,” but is otherwise a purposeful implosion of literary clichés and gimmicks. A fictional Narrator and an Editor (named Gabbler) frame the novel. Gabbler’s portentous commentary (as footnotes) on the nameless Narrator’s story grounds the novel in reality. Gabbler is a stereotypical academic who likes the story only for its so-called “literary” qualities, but otherwise contradicts the Narrator’s claim that the story is true.]

Where can we buy the book? You don’t have to! It’s available for free to read or download on Smashwords and our website (link below). But if you feel like buying a copy, we recommend a print version because of my footnotes (they look so lovely in their intended places AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE, KINDLE). You can find it on Amazon and at retailers everywhere.

Where did your main sources of inspiration come from for this story? Well, I didn’t need to be inspired, as this is B.L.A.’s story and I just added a few thoughts here and there as footnotes. Thus, the book itself is inspiration enough.

Who is the book dedicated to and why? No one in particular, because it’s dedicated to someone in general. 

What three other books would you use to describe your book? Maybe I should list other books that have footnotes? House of Leaves? Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell? Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?  That should give you a good idea.

Why is indie publishing important to you and why do you think it is important to our culture? What a fun question! It was hard for us to find a traditional publisher willing to take a risk on us — our book is so experimental. We have a very specific audience, so a publisher’s disinterest also acts as a way of stifling our voice and denying readers options. Indie publishing allows books like ours to still be discovered and available to people. It puts the power of choice back in the hands of the writers and readers.

If you could choose one ideal reader – no matter who – to read your book, who would it be and why? Donna Haraway. She wrote “A Cyborg Manifesto” and this novel is an embodied manifesto of another sort. I would really like her to look at it and give B.L.A. feedback. Might help B.L.A. work through some stuff.

If your book was an animal, what would it be and why? I don’t see it as an animal. I see it as a robot. For obvious reasons.

What is your favorite sentence from the book? Right now it’s really two sentences: “Cortés and his kind shouldn’t have searched for El Dorado. It had been in Europe all along—a city of gold manifest in a being—a divine tool capable of creating more
gold than a ship could carry—an alchemical slave who knows its creator-god’s
metallurgical secrets.”

Those sentences have grown on me. They are from the prologue — something I wanted to cut all together (because who really reads prologues, honestly?). Instead I moved the prologue to the middle of the book. It made it easier to understand.

If you were to collaborate with another writer, who would they be and why? Well, I’m already collaborating with B.L.A. at the moment. But, depending on what you mean by collaboration, I wouldn’t mind collaborating about a screenplay adaptation. Anyone looking to buy? I need to pay off my student loans. I’m pretty sure I could convince B.L.A. to sell…

What books do you think the world needs to read more of and why? We have enough books, really. There’s plenty out there. Let’s focus on what the world needs LESS of, first. We have enough white male protagonists. We have enough Brits dominating the fantasy genre. We have enough half-baked ideas that writers aren’t willing to starve for.

What does diversity in publishing mean to you? Indie publishing.

How have libraries affected your writing? Couldn’t have made it through grad school without them.

What do you see as problems that need to be fixed in the traditional publishing model? Should have published our book?

What indie authors have influenced you and how? André Alexis, author of Fifteen Dogs. He incorporated myth into our world — our story — again and validated it as if it had never  been invalidated in the first place.

What is something you learned about writing when writing your most recent book? That sequels can be better than the first books.  I feel like now that all the backstories are out of the way the series can really take off…

What do you think of the focus on indie bookstores over indie authors and indie books? It’s ridiculous. It’s another way the traditional publishing industry and bookstores are trying to maintain control. But it’s not working. They need to wise up and sell a diverse array of books. There is a reason people are going online. There’s a better selection.

What is one book that changed your life and how? This one.  The Automation was a glimpse into the Narrator’s brain that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. But I won’t say more because spoilers.

How do you feel about authors giving their work away for free? We’re doing it. We believe that everyone should have access to art. Because since there aren’t many indie books in libraries, this is the best way to reach our audience.

What are you reading now? Revisions of The Pre-Programming. 

What roadblocks did you encounter when publishing your work? The Narrator, B.L.A., not turning in drafts to me on time. Ahem.

What TV show are you watching now? We just started Marvel’s The Punisher. 

Cat or dog or both person? Both, but cats are preferred. You’ll see when you read the books.

Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz – and why? Funny you should ask…we have a character named Dorothy in ours. So, Oz. 

Coffee or tea or both person? Coffee, in honor of Odys and Odissa Odelyn (characters in our books).

Print book or ebook or both person? It doesn’t matter. But ebooks aren’t super friendly to footnotes, so I guess I’m firmly pro-print. Fuck those trees!

What is one cause or charity you support and want to give a shout-out to? Alley Cat Allies. Feral cats are put down in shelters every day because they are said to be “unadoptable.” But with your awareness and help, they can live out their lives as the wild animals they truly are. Not everything has to fit into our binaries of domesticated/undomesticated.

What is your biggest grammatical struggle to overcome in your writing, or what is your most common typo? I don’t know if this counts, but I sometimes almost reveal our genders on a regular basis. Implementing “they/their” is hard when we aren’t nonbinary! But we’re working on it.

Where can we stalk you?  The following places:

Website: Further Annotations.

Instagram: g.b.gabbler

Tumblr: The Narrator and Editor’s Etc.

Twitter: @CircoFootnotes.

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/GBGabbler

Goodreads: Gabbler (B.L.A. can’t be bothered).

Thanks, G.B. Gabbler, on telling us a little bit about you and your book! 

 

 

Sponsored content. Learn more about my author interviews here.

Author Interview: Michael Patrick Mahoney Jr.

Today I’m going to introduce author Mike Mahoney and his book And We All Fall:

Who are you?! What are your credentials? Where are you from?

On the cover of my book, you’ll find my full legal name, Michael Patrick Mahoney Jr. Though I’m awfully proud of the name, the heck with that long version for everything else! Everyone who knows me calls me Mike, and you should call me Mike as well.

I was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida, many decades ago, and I still live in the Tampa Bay area today.

What are my credentials? That’s an interesting question. What gives anyone the credentials to write books? I would argue that power comes from within, driven by every external experience the writer has ever had, and I’ve had quite a few. I also have quite an imagination. I do have a master’s degree in communication, but that doesn’t really make me qualified to write books. Does it? So what does?

Well, I really want to share stories that make people feel all the way down to the core of their being, and I am a creative son-of-a-gun. I have a pretty decent mastery of the English language and grammar as well. And besides, Microsoft Word likes to let me know when I have screwed something up.

What book(s) have you written?

The first book I ever wrote still isn’t “finished”. I started it in college in the mid 90’s and I was never happy with it. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, and felt it as well, if you are a writer.

I published a ridiculous, adult humor book around 2011 – Adventures of an eBay Whisperer, A Slightly Insane Man’s Take On Life. I portrayed myself as a serial killer living in my mother’s basement that could communicate with items for sale on eBay, all to explain the meaning of life. It was fun! Funny in fact. Needless to say, no one knows about it. Well, you do, now. If you want to know more about it, or read it, just drop me a line. It isn’t for sale anymore, mostly because I feared eBay would sue me if they could find it.

In the meantime, And We All Fall is the first book that I have written with the serious intent to become a part of the magical realm of excellent authors. It is why I am here, sharing with you, today.

What is the title of your most recent book and how did it come to be named?

And We All Fall is really my first mainstream book, and thus my most recent. It is about many things, including the fact that nothing, and no one, lasts forever. Beauty degrades. Always.

In the story, the main character is haunted by those four title words, from the nursery rhyme Ring Around The Rosie. Hearing his little boy say them and then taking sniper position on the streets of Mogadishu, the father can’t get them out of his head once he experiences something forever traumatic.

You’ll have to read And We All Fall to know more.

What does the cover look like?

Whoa! It has been described by many to me as scary, along with awesome and beautiful, and other great, varied adjectives. I argue that it is quite powerful, though simple. It depicts the main character, Jackson Mills, red and screaming up to the sky in a thunderstorm. Why is he doing that? Why is he red? Again, you’ll have to read And We All Fall. I can tell you that the cover represents a pivotal scene in the story, not to mention the overall tone of the book.

Describe the book in 5 words.

A road trip into oblivion…

What genre(s) do you think it fits into or breaks?

Primarily, And We All Fall is an action-thriller novel. It grips you from the beginning and sends you on a ride, never letting go. Upon first glance at the cover, it admittedly looks like a horror. And yes, there are some scenes in the book that could be considered horror-ish, it is a complete story where horrible things happen for very clear reasons, and not one is for shock and awe. It is not a horror novel. You could call it an apocalyptic-thriller. It is littered with a high degree of romance, particularly early on. It definitely is a story about the love between a father and his son.

What’s the synopsis for the book?

United States Marine sniper, Jackson Mills, comes home for a week on furlough, and sets out on a four-day road trip with his teenage son, Jax. It was a chance for the father and son to bond again, for Jackson to teach Jax important life lessons that will serve him later in life, when he battles against all odds to fulfill his destiny. Simultaneously, as the father and son travel up the East coast, the government rushes behind the scenes to manage an unknown virus that is rapidly becoming a global threat to humanity, and existence as we know it. As the father and son have an action-packed, heart-wrenching journey of a lifetime together, their destinies become changed forever once they encounter the apocalyptic illness. Government powers sacrifice nothing and no one to try and save civilization, while Jax must make an impossible decision for his own survival, in this first thrilling novel of an epic heroic trilogy.

What is one thing you want readers to know about this book that the official synopsis doesn’t cover?

And We All Fall is a love story.

Where can we buy the book?

Currently the book is for sale on Amazon, Kindle and softcover editions.

It is also for sale on SmashwordsNook, and the Apple Store.

Where did your main sources of inspiration come from for this story?

The main idea for the story was inspired by a particular, ultra-hardcore conversation with my father when I was about fifteen years old, along with what later happened to him. He died at the age of 54 from a rare form of frontal lobe dementia, called Pick’s disease. The disease destroyed him in every way, turned him into what I once described in casual, emotionally detached conversation as an animal.

Who is the book dedicated to and why?

And We All Fall is dedicated to my dad, Michael Patrick Mahoney Sr.  He was a writer himself, and a master communicator who worked as a Public Information Officer. He was my hero, a good father who had something horrible happen to him, much like Jackson Mills, the main character in the book.

Why is indie publishing important to you and why do you think it is important to our culture?

Culture is shaped by all of the artists producing art in it, their work, and their ideas. It would be impossible for the overwhelming majority of us who self-publish to ever get our ideas out to the mainstream world without indie publishing. Because of providers like Amazon and Smashwords, as well as great blogs like Amanda’s, and everything else that we have access to on the web that helps us publish, we can all compete with the powerhouse authors and publishing houses that everyone has heard of. We can infuse our views into the culture, and perhaps, influence culture and the world in the most wonderful ways. I can help people feel, the way I felt when I finished The Bridges of Madison County, thanks to indie publishing.

If you could choose one ideal reader – no matter who – to read your book, who would it be and why?

I don’t have anyone specific in mind, though it would be great if producer Megan Ellison would read it and make a movie out of it. All I want is 1% royalties for life and unlimited popcorn refills when I visit the movie theatre.

My vision of an ideal reader is one that greatly appreciates the beauty and value of life, while also accepting and appreciating the sad truth that everything dies. If you have ever experienced, or are now experiencing, the slow death and degradation of someone you love, you will enjoy And We All Fall. And if you like anything apocalypse, you will dig it as well. If you have ever loved and lost…well, you get it.

If your book was an animal, what would it be and why?

We have a lot of alligators here in Florida. Don’t take a swim in a lake around here. I’d even be wary of large puddles. You could liken And We All Fall to a gator. Once it locks you in, you won’t be able to get away. Prepare for a wild ride of twists and turns that will drag you under and tear you apart.

What is your favorite sentence from the book?

I am going to cheat and give you a whole paragraph. “This amazing view in the window,” Franco continued as he slapped a mosquito that had landed on his arm, “coming closer into view as you fall three hundred feet per second. Knowing this Eden is about to end your life.” Franco turned and looked at Ed as he scratched the bite. “That would be cruel. Don’t you think?”

If you were to collaborate with another writer, who would they be and why?

It would have to be Stephen King. He’s one of the best at writing unique, gripping stories that affect the reader. That’s what I hope to do until I take my last breath. Besides, everyone knows who he is. By simple math, partnering with Stephen would increase the likelihood of Michael Patrick Mahoney Jr. becoming a household name. Then I could work in my pajamas at home instead of putting on this suit and tie every day.

How have libraries affected your writing?

I’ll admit that I don’t use libraries the way I used them when I was younger. I sure spend a lot of time researching on the Internet nowadays. Still, when I walk around a library, with all those books everywhere, that feeling I had when I was a child comes back – the wonderful immersion into the dimension of story and fantasy all around me. That feeling makes me want to write, makes me want to create another world for people to escape to. I love just walking around the library, looking at books in the fiction section, sometimes picking them up and reading a few pages. Nothing else smells like a library. That environment is a super motivator for me when doubt and fatigue creep in, as they do for all writers.

What do you see as problems that need to be fixed in the traditional publishing model?

I’ve yet to experience traditional publishing personally, but I know someone who has (my former neighbor), and he hated the loss of creative control and low royalties he experienced with a traditional publisher. He chose to go back to self-publishing his World War II book series for those reasons. He urged me to always ignore the traditional publishing industry completely. I don’t know if that’s a wise thing to do, but I do know that I will have to work just as hard to market my books with a traditional publisher as I do now as a self-publisher. And for what benefit? They’ll change my story and pay me less than I can make selling my books from my website (ultimately). Amazon gives me seller copies at print cost now. I could earn far more than 25% markup on a book sale with that benefit.

Still, I’d give it a shot. What can I say? It’s the dream.

What is the best piece of advice you got from another writer?

Stephen King, in the form of a quote.  “Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.” That’s good advice right now while I work on the other two books in the series.

Is the Amazon publishing model scary to you in any way?

No. I love it. That could change, however, as perspectives sometimes do.  For now, as a greenhorn, the door to the publishing playground is wide open for me, because of Amazon, and I am having a blast on their jungle gym.

What is something you learned about writing when writing your most recent book?

I realized how much better the story reads when adverbs are the exception rather than the rule.

What are some ways you think gatekeepers in publishing (literary agents, librarians, book bloggers) can help indie authors gain discoverability?

This interview is one brilliant and much appreciated way. Thanks, Amanda. If anyone wants to be my agent, contact me. Then I will find out if that is helpful or not.

What is one book that changed your life and how?

I may never hear the end of the teasing from my family and friends, but I have to go with The Bridges of Madison County. I cried like a baby, and I learned, when compared to so many other books I’ve read, how important it is to really feel the story, deep inside. I’ve never been to Madison County in real life. And I don’t care much about bridges. But man did I fall apart. Why? Because love is powerful. That book helped to shape my goals as a writer. Others have since, but that was the first.

How do you feel about authors giving their work away for free?

That’s the hardest question of all, every day. Bottom line, I think this shouldn’t become a habit, a regular practice, but is smart when used as a tool in a strategic marketing campaign designed to ultimately increase exposure, which ultimately increases sales.

What are you reading now?

I am getting ready to read Stephen King’s It, new release. I’ve only seen the movie.

What music do you write to or find inspiration in?

Anything with a really powerful crescendo really gets me going! Typically, alternative rock, but it really depends on what type of scene I am writing. I listened to Air Supply quite of bit while writing And We All Fall. I found myself crying while writing at times, the book and the song at the same time just a bit too much to take.

What roadblocks did you encounter when publishing your work?

Formatting the book so it could be sold on platforms like the Smashwords network and Amazon was quite frustrating, and led to delays. That’s very specific. Really, the whole darn process from start to finish was wrought with road blocks. It all takes time. It takes money, between editing, artwork and marketing. I get all my money from a forty-hour week day job that takes all my time. I’m amazed I made it this far. Really!

What TV show are you watching now?

I’m watching quite a few, but Shameless is my current favorite, followed by Supernatural.

Cat or dog or both person?

Both.

Coffee or tea or both person?

Both. Variety is the spice of life baby!

Print book or ebook or both person?

I would rather smell the book and flip the paper, but that cold, neutral digital will do in a pinch.

What is one thing you would like to say to millennial readers?

I don’t care how you read books, just read them. And don’t just read them. Learn from them. Open your mind to all the new ideas that are born out of books. And for goodness sakes, please please please please please take a short moment to leave a review for the books you read. It is an invaluable help to indie authors. And follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Please.

Where can we stalk you?

All my social media has been newly created with the launch of And We All Fall. Please follow me. I am working on a redesign of the website, while I pound out the next two books. But, you can still subscribe at the current website, and I would love it if you did. The blog and store are coming ASAP!

Thanks for reading about me!

https://www.michaelpmahoneyjr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/michaelpatrickmahoneyjr

https://twitter.com/michaelpmahone2

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about you and your experience, Mike! 

 

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Author Interview: J.N. McGhee

Today I am going to introduce Author J.N. McGhee and her book Little Girl Blues

Who are you?! What are your credentials? Where are you from?

My name is Jasmine N. McGhee; I’m from Mississippi. I have a B.A. in English, and I’ve been writing poetry for 19+ years now. I’ve been published in several literary journals and anthologies. In the past, I participated in a few poetry contests as well.

What book(s) have you written?

One

What is the title of your most recent book and how did it come to be named?

“Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image.” Long before I decided to publish a book,  I used to think to myself, “What would be the title of my book?” As a little girl, I loved swings. My grandfather used to have one on his porch. I would swing for hours and get lost in thought. Then, as I got older, I began to question my purpose and who I am. Hence, the title of the book.

What does the cover look like?

A little girl sitting on a swing while looking back at the reader in a mirror.

Describe the book in 5 words.

image, identity, self, existence, and discovery

What genre(s) do you think it fits into or breaks?

Poetry. And it’s a mixture of fiction and nonfiction

What’s the synopsis for the book?

The story is told through the eyes of a child as she transitions into adolescence. She questions her existence and her purpose. Witness the struggle for identity. Experience the emotional rainbow as this individual desperately searches for self through pre-made images.

What is one thing you want readers to know about this book that the official synopsis doesn’t cover?

We are all the little girls and boys within this book. We are all trying to tell our stories, and we want to be heard. No matter what you are going through or have gone through, you are not alone.

Where can we buy the book?

Online Bookstores and Retailers:

Amazon, Goodreads, Alibris, Abe Books, Book Depository, Indie Bound, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Physical Bookstores: Lemuria in Jackson, MS. Barnes & Noble in Ridgeland, MS, Downtown Marketplace in Yazoo City, and the Keepsake Poetry & Collectibles, LLC in Jackson, MS.

Where did your main sources of inspiration come from for this story?

I don’t have specific sources of inspiration. Inspiration just hit me from what people say, walking to class, listening to music, or a word. That’s just how sporadic inspiration is to me.

Who is the book dedicated to and why?

For the most part, I dedicated this book to the people who believed in me over the years, supported my talent, and stayed by my side throughout this journey. Most of them are no longer here; they’ve passed on.

Then, I dedicated the book to the voiceless, to people just like me. They don’t know how to express what they are going through. They are silently suffering. They don’t know who to trust or where to turn to. So they just internalize it which causes people to die a slow death.

What three other books would you use to describe your book?

I don’t know any.

Why is indie publishing important to you and why do you think it is important to our culture?

When it comes to poetry, it doesn’t have many, if any, opportunities to be published or promoted. A company told me that poetry rarely sells. That response made me very angry. Poetry is just as important to the literary family as any other piece of literature.

It’s important to have opportunities when other people have rejected you, your vision, and your talent.

If you could choose one ideal reader – no matter who – to read your book, who would it be and why?

I just want a reader who is open-minded, willing to listen to the little girl’s story without being judgemental, and truly embody her “poetic blues.”

If your book was an animal, what would it be and why?

I guess a chameleon. Because throughout this book, the individual goes through various phases and creates so many masks interchangeably.

What is your favorite sentence from the book?

This may seem odd, but I don’t have a favorite sentence from my book.

If you were to collaborate with another writer, who would they be and why?

I really don’t know. I’m new to the published author life, so I’m still connecting with other creative individuals and learning.

What books do you think the world needs to read more of and why?

That’s a very interesting question. I would say we have the books already. We, as human beings, just need to take the time to read them. We’re so picky about what we don’t want to read.

What does diversity in publishing mean to you?

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to present authors with opportunities and possibilities. I think that having diversity is better than having specifics. Everybody has their own preferences. If you take that away from them or leave something out, one will never know what they are missing.

How have libraries affected your writing?

Yes and no. When I was younger, I loved to read. As I got older, reading faded a little; however, writing took its place.

What do you see as problems that need to be fixed in the traditional publishing model?

It needs to be more flexible. Most traditional publishing models compare your book to other genres or other books that are selling well. But if your book doesn’t have an audience, it’s quickly discarded or rejected. You have so many literary greats like Walt Whitman, Will Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Langston Hughes, etc. who left their mark by their literary works. Of course, a lot has changed since then.

What is the best piece of advice you got from another writer?

Connect and network with other authors, writers, etc. Be a sponge to absorb the knowledge that they provide. All of it may not fit you, but you pick what you want to try. Then, just try it for yourself. If it doesn’t work, try something else. Keep at it.

What indie authors have influenced you and how?

I don’t know. I’m friends with a lot of indie authors. We’re just in this together by learning from each other and sharing knowledge, so we all can continue to support and uplift each other on this journey.

Is the Amazon publishing model scary to you in any way?

Not really. I’m not too familiarized with Amazon’s publishing.

What is something you learned about writing when writing your most recent book?

How to allow myself to be open and heard. I’m not used to people listening to me. I have the inability to communicate or to express verbally how I feel. Writing became the only way to convey the chaos within.

What do you think of the focus on indie bookstores over indie authors and indie books?

I don’t know. As I said, I’m still learning the whole process.

What are some ways you think gatekeepers in publishing (literary agents, librarians, book bloggers) can help indie authors gain discoverability?

I can’t answer this question. I’m still learning the whole process. I will say that one has to try multiple avenues before actually finding one that works for them. That’s what I’m doing now.

What is one book that changed your life and how?

I don’t have just one. There are quite a few that contributed to the person I am today.

What is your favorite online resource as an author?

I guess Facebook Groups because they were a lot of individuals who are helping me learn the do’s and don’ts as an indie author.

How do you feel about authors giving their work away for free?

I don’t have any problem with it. I’ve done it.

What are you reading now?

Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battles Against Your Giants by Pastor Louie Giglio

 What music do you write to or find inspiration in?

I’m an eclectic of music. But music doesn’t inspire me to write; it inspires me to think and feel. Just kind of “go with the flow” type of thing.

What roadblocks did you encounter when publishing your work?

Publishing was the easy part. It’s the promotion that gave me so much trouble.

What TV show are you watching now?

I don’t watch much TV these days.

Cat or dog or both person?

Both.

Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz – and why?

LOL, I love both. But I have to lean towards Alice in Wonderland.

Coffee or tea or both person?

Tea.

Print book or ebook or both person?

Print. I love the feel of a book in my hand. It’s harder to put it down.

How do you see book culture changing, other than the ways it already has, because of ebooks?

I really don’t know. For instance, I’ve sold more paperback than ebooks. It all goes back to readers’ preferences.

How do you see book culture changing, if at all, because of indie publishing?

Change is a good thing. It will give indie authors a place, a voice in the publishing platform. Indie authors deserve to be heard too.

What is one thing you would like to say to millennial readers?

Keep an open mind, but be careful of the information you read.

What is one cause or charity you support and want to give a shout-out to?

Right now, I don’t have one. I’m somewhat of a naive, introvert. I live inside my mind. But I will send a shout-out to literacy, education, and all the resources for indie authors.

What is your biggest grammatical struggle to overcome in your writing, or what is your most common typo?

Misspelled words, commas,  complex sentence structures…the list goes on and on.

Where can we stalk you? (What are the links to your social media platforms and blog?)

Stalk me? That’s hilarious.

Twitter – bluepoetevolves

Instagram- eyes2yoursoul30

FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/authorj.n.mcghee

My blog: abstractpoet87.wordpress.com

Thank you for taking the time to give us insight, Jasmine! 

 

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