Author Interview: Jacey K. Dew

Today I’d like to introduce indie author Jacey K. Dew and their book Dezirah.

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

My name is Jacey K Dew. I’m from Parkland County, Alberta. I’m an indie author with four books published.

What book(s) have you written?

Dezirah Volume 1, Dezirah Volume 2, Dezirah Volume 3, and Blood Mountain.

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

Dezirah Volume 3, which will be launching March 15th, found its name after I had finished the first character’s point of view. I ran through a number of names before I finally settled on making up a new word. The word formed as a twist on the word desire, to symbolize the revolutionist’s desire for a new world order.

What does the cover look like? 

Title in levels at the top with the Dezirah revolution symbol taking up the bottom half of the cover. Paint on concrete style.

Describe the book in 5 words.

Supernatural, revolution, magic, survival, dystopia

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

General fantasy

What’s the synopsis for the book?

Spring thaws the snow and awakens all that lies dormant. Movement returns to the frozen North. The revolution is onto its next phase. Alexa is sent to find a gift Darius left her. Nikki wishes to find her family. Jaiden knows through her visions that the calm will not last. A rebellion emerges.

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

Crisis can bring all sorts out of people. People do things they otherwise would never, while others can be their true selves.

Where can we buy the book?

It will be available at Chapters, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, all major eBook shops, and Amazon worldwide.

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

Countless horror movies, fantasy books, and fantasy movies. I started writing it in high school as an outlet after my mom passed away.

Who is the book dedicated to and why?

I have varied people I thank through the eBooks. Most in a generalized sense, and thanking everyone who puts up with me. But, it’s mostly a dedication to me. It’s a story that I would like to read, so I’ve written it.

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

There would only be single parallels which I could draw.  Like, Harry Potter, because I have magic in the books, but it’s nothing like Harry Potter.

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

Indie publishing, to me means complete control. It’s the author having 100% say in the entire book.  From plot, to writing style, to cover artwork. There are less commercial rules to follow. You are publishing because this is what you love to do, not because you’ve written the next regurgitated piece that readers can swear they’ve read a thousand times. You can take risks that a traditional publishing company may not be willing to take.

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

A fantasy loving reader interested in fast plot, and the unexpected.

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

A chameleon, because the series is constantly evolving and changing.

What is your favorite sentence from the book?

There isn’t a favourite sentence, but I do have a favourite portion. Would be too long to post here, but Dominique writes letters to her parents. I cried while writing the letters.

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

I don’t know. I don’t think I would. I’m a bit of a control freak, and would likely try to take over the entire project.

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

The world in general could use a little more reading in any type of learning departments. How To books, Encyclopedias, science texts…

What does diversity in publishing mean to you?

Points of view. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone sees the world differently. Bad things tend to happen when the world is an echo chamber with one type of view.

How have libraries affected your writing?

Other than I went to the library as a kid, it hasn’t.

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

They have rigid guidelines to what they think is publish material creating a lack of diverse pieces causing generally predictable plots. It would be nice to hear back from every place you inquire at; even just a ‘No thanks.’ More of the profit going to the author.

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

“Write what you know.” Ms. Howsen, my Grade 12 English teacher.

What indie authors have influenced you and how?

I’m guilty as an author and general busy person, that I don’t actually take the time to read much.  When I do, it’s usually whatever book is really popular at the moment. Ex. Hunger Games.

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

I don’t know too much about it, but from what I hear, it could be bad for authors. Essentially, monopolising where your books go by requiring it to be exclusive to them. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just another option out there without the exclusivity.

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

The love/hate relationship people have with cycling views. That’s how DV2 and DV3 are written. I don’t mind it and some others I’ve talked to don’t mind it or don’t mind how mine is written. But, I’ve had some people come back saying they hate figuring out who’s head they are in and would prefer one character’s point of view.

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

It’s all about visibility. Indie authors don’t have much more then friends and family vouching for them when they are starting out. Gatekeepers of the industry have access to readers that the indie author may not have been able to gain the attention of.

What is the book you wish you had written?

Harry Potter. JK Rowling created a wonderful world.

The last book that made you laugh? Cry?

My own, Dezirah Volume 3. Plugging my own, because I’ve just finished writing it and going through the editing stage. It’s the last, and the last twenty books I’ve read back to back. At this point, I’m not sure what year we’re in, and what the last book (not my own) I read was.

The thing you’ve written that makes you cringe?

Hypocrites- the entire book. I wrote it in a month and was angry at the world. I’m redoing it as my next book, but the whole thing needs a major overhaul.

What is your favorite online resource as an author?

Google. I go Google crazy some days, and I’m sure there is a government agent that watches my searches while shaking their head.

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

It depends on the type of free. Free as a promotion or the first book to a series or a short story; free with a purpose is fine with me. But I shake my head when everything an author does is given away for free. That’s when you know it is a hobby for them, and that’s great, but it also drives down prices and gives readers a sense of entitlement to free. Authors that try to make a living off their work, have a hard time when their royalty is already pennies to a couple dollars per piece sold, and  readers wish for everything to be free.

What was your favorite book as a child?

The Girl Who Owned A City by OT Nelson

What are the books you’ve read more than once?

My own, a thousand times; part of being an author…

I mean, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Not the whole series, just the first book. I’ve read it a few times.

The book people might be surprised to learn you love?

Twilight. I haven’t read it since I was an angsty teenager back when it came out. I’m sure my answer might change if I had to reread it, but I loved it at the time.

What music do you write to or find inspiration in?

Nursery Rhymes and Disney songs, but not by choice. I have a toddler.

What roadblocks did you encounter when publishing your work?

There was a lack of clear knowledge out there for a process. I had to figure it out on my own. I made some costly mistakes.

What TV show are you watching now?

Van Helsing on Netflix. Great series. Vampire dystopian world.

Cat or dog or both person?

Cat person. I like certain dogs, but I’m generally scared of them. I had a grumpy demon dog growing up that bit me and all my friends.

Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz – and why?

Alice in Wonderland because it’s wacky and creative.

Coffee or tea or both person?

Tea. Coffee is disgusting.

Print book or ebook or both person?

Print book. I prefer a physical book and turning the pages. However, I’ve also done my fair share of ebook reading because it’s light and convenient. So, both.

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

Heavier ebook purchasing. They are cheaper, and don’t take up room on a shelf. As people are having more minimalist lifestyles, and less of a budget, I see print books being a luxury item rather than a preference.

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

I see indie publishing growing to be as big as traditional publishing. Then, traditional publishers may be forced to change and adapt to what the general reading audience wants, rather than what stereotypical avid readers in the trial group and the big boss want.

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

“Little Warriors is a national, charitable organization based in Canada committed to the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse.”http://littlewarriors.ca/

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

Commas. Can we just all agree that no one can agree, on where commas should go?

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

Blog: www.jaceykdew.ca

Twitter: @JaceyKDew https://twitter.com/JaceyKDew

Instagram: jaceykdew  https://www.instagram.com/jaceykdew/

Tumblr: jaceykdew  https://www.tumblr.com/blog/jaceykdew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaceyKDew/

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your upcoming book, Jacey!

 

Sponsored content. Learn more about my author interviews here.
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TBR: Running from Color by Morenikè

Opening in the 1920s in Sugarlock, Tennessee, the scandal surrounding the birth of Wheat Grass destroys the marriage and family unit built by Paul and Mildred Grass. Wheat’s fair skin and green eyes cause a rift that leads to the death of her mother. Paul steps up and takes in his wife’s illegitimate child to raise with his daughter, Olive, in his hometown. But Wheat’s exotic look draws unnecessary attention that Paul cannot single handily fight off in the racist South which eventually leads to his demise.

After the death of both of her parents, Olive blames her baby sister for ruining her life and she eventually finds herself running from color and settling in Chicago; leaving their grandmother, Deary, to raise Wheat alone. But when Wheat’s existence once more causes tension in the small community of Sugarlock, Wheat must run from color herself and the only place of safety she can find is in Chicago with her estranged sister.

Once there, Wheat faces much opposition from her sister but Olive begrudgingly takes her in. In Chicago, Wheat learns that Olive hates her for circumstances she could never control and that Olive herself has succumbed to society’s color line while living in Chicago. Will these sisters put aside their physical differences to tackle the hurt caused by their past and the danger that lies ahead? Or will they run from color once more?

Running from Color tells an unapologetic story about what it means to be on opposing shades of the chocolate rainbow; a story that belongs to many but has been silenced in the African American community for years.

Slightly off topic: I found out that Halsey is biracial and my brain glitched.  I started reading up on “passing as white” and I just…  Some of the commentary reads like a lot of conversation about Native Americans — how sometimes registered members can “pass” as white and are looked down upon by their tribe or if they aren’t registered with a tribe they aren’t “Native American enough.” There’s no winning.

I find it all sad yet such an important conversation to be had.

See more on Goodreads. 

TBR: State of Emergency by Mary Hallberg

17-year-old Dallas Langdon is fighting off zombies with a pizza cutter.

Dallas has always loved zombie movies. But when she catches a real live (erm, dead) musician eating a man’s intestines backstage after the show, she knows her movies have become a reality. And what do characters in zombie movies do? Seek shelter. Fortunately, Dallas’s eccentric uncle owns a farmhouse in Chattanooga, an eight hour drive from New Orleans. It’s on top of a steep mountain, surrounded by electric fences, and cut off from the worlds of the living and the dead.

Dallas’s parents, still safe at home, laugh at her idea over the phone. Her friends only agree to join her because it’s fall break and they could use a mini vacation anyway.

But then Dallas’s best friend is killed by a zombie horde when they’re attracted to her ringing cell phone. Civilians think their reanimated loved ones simply have the flu, leaving them alive (well, undead) and rapidly increasing the zombies ranks. And since minors can’t buy guns, Dallas’s only weapon is a giant industrial pizza cutter she swipes from a gas station. George A. Romero never mentioned anything like this. With one friend dead and no zombie survival guides to help her, Dallas and her friends must get to Chattanooga before joining the ranks of the undead themselves.

I want to read to see what she does with the pizza cutter.

View more on Goodreads. 

TBR: Sir Blunder: A Bedtime Story for Big People by Walter Kerr

In this witty fairy tale told in a wry, grandfatherly voice, a village waif, unwanted and alone, grows up to become the greatest knight of the era. With the help of the clever and strong-willed Princess Otello, the steadfast Sir One-Eye, and the rascally trickster Pee-Pee the Peeper, Sir Blunder sets out to slay the dragon who lurks in the woods.

Originally told as a fairy tale for his young children, Walter Kerr transformed it over the course of 20 years into a witty and profound novel for young adults about securing the good in a cruel world.

With a large cast of supporting characters, including Johnny Ne’er-Do-Well, Father Opportunity, Speedy Lightfingers, King Four-Four, and King Smart, this surprising and at times hilarious novel highlights the challenges of remaining true to yourself – always a good idea unless what you truly are needs to be changed.

**Note: This is not a novel for children. Some scenes may be too intense for young readers.** This humorous medieval fantasy is recommended for young adults and adults.

This sounds very Princess Bride-y, which I like a lot.

View it on Goodreads. 

TBR: Once Upon A Time A Sparrow by Mary Avery Kabrich

Once Upon a Time a Sparrow is an autobiographically inspired novel about a woman’s journey toward accepting a less than perfect past. Structurally the story is told through the narrative voices of forty-seven-year-old Mary Madelyn Meyers (spring of ’05) and nine-year-old “Maddie” (spring of ’67). Though thirty-eight years separate these two points in time, a child’s old coat with an acorn in the pocket reunites Mary with the long-forgotten Maddie.

Mary’s mother has died unexpectedly. When Mary opens the Lane hope chest at the foot of her mother’s bed, she makes a surprising discovery: her mother kept the black hooded coat she herself had worn every day in third grade, regardless of the weather. This reunion sets in motion a stream of memories that demand Mary’s attention. When she returns to her job as a school psychologist, Mary can no longer maintain her usual dispassionate manner while addressing the needs of children with learning challenges.

Rural Minnesota in 1967 had no understanding of dyslexia, a disorder that makes reading an unfathomable skill for nine-year-old Maddie. After praying to St. Rita, patron saint of lost causes, every night for a year, Maddie decides in third grade that reading really is a lost cause. But when her teacher reads a captivating story about a fairy who helps a boy her age overcome his limitations, Maddie jeopardizes her plan to be a nun and steals the book for herself. Her first discovery: Fairy Yram’s name is her own first name, Mary, spelled backwards. Armed with this revelation, Maddie uses her limited reading skills and her expansive imagination to unlock the true meaning this story holds for her own life. Maddie transforms despite the adults in her world who can see only her disability.

Having overcompensated for her early struggles with learning to read, Dr. Mary Meyers had effectively sealed off all memory of where she came from. In the spring of ’05, she learns that the only way to move forward with her life is through complete acceptance of herself, past and present.

This is getting some good reviews on Goodreads. Seems to be of interest to teachers.

TBR: These Lies That Live Between Us (What Words Have Torn Apart, #1) by Kai Raine

“Good-bye, and good riddance,” were the last words that Gwen’s twin ever said to her.

But there is no time to grieve. An enemy army has revived a forbidden magic. They’ve invaded a neighboring country, and Gwen’s kingdom will be next. Her only hope of salvation is a legend, so she sets out to find it.

The magic has many names, and many believe they know what it is—but Gwen begins to see that most are mistaken. At last it is the wind itself that forces her to make a choice: accept the forbidden magic and learn it, or die.

Unbeknownst to Gwen, her departure in the night sets a chain of events into motion back home, where her dwindling family turns against one another. As the royal family reveals its internal divide, the opposing factions pounce.

These Lies That Live Between Us is the start of a fantasy epic about family, adventure, love, loss and the ever-changing interpretation of history long gone.

So, Gwen is one of my favorite names and I just need to say that.

Read more on Goodreads. 

Author Interview: Amelia Keldan

Today I’m introducing the author of the Evergreen series:

Who are you?! Where are you from?

I am indie author Amelia Keldan from Adelaide, South Australia.

What book(s) have you written?

I am the author of the Evergreen Series:

Evergreen Avenue – Book One 1970s

Evergreen Park – Book Two 1980s

Evergreen Shade – Book Three 1990s

Evergreen House – Book Four 2000s

All four novels are now available as a boxset:

Evergreen Years – The Complete Series

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

Evergreen Years is my latest release and the title is a nod to the beautiful trees that populate the Adelaide Hills.

What does the cover look like? 

Describe the book in 5 words. 

Familial, Nostalgic, Angst-Ridden, Dramatic, Mystical

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

Women’s Fiction with a slight supernatural element.

What’s the synopsis for the book?

Tildy McVee, at only six-years-old, has an extraordinary talent for reading people.

The heavy burden of this ‘gift’ comes to a head one Summer, as her family struggle to try find their way through the free-wheeling decade of the 1970s.

Secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested and no one is prepared for the eventual fallout.

As Tildy gets older, the aftershocks of these events continue to ricochet through the tumultuous 80s, the self-conscious 90s and the beginning of a new millennium.

Everyone has their part to play in each other’s lives – even those who have since crossed over to the other side.

Where can we buy the book?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078B9597K https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/768857 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/evergreen-years-the-complete-series/id1327028346?mt=11&l=fr&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

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

Everything I never Told You by Celeste Ng

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan

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

The freedom that writers now have, to share their stories without the need of a middle man, is incredibly liberating. The traditional method of sending in a manuscript to a publisher and hoping it gets noticed is no longer our only option. When deciding upon which route to take with my own works, I opted to make it a fun experience. Writing is my passion…and whilst I’d love for it to be the only thing I need to focus on, the truth is, I already have a day job. Being an indie author means I can make my own rules, oversee the whole production and make my own decisions when necessary – adhering to my own self-created deadlines and nobody else’s. The rise of the eBook phenomenon and the incredible strides in technology have allowed writers to follow their own path and I find it an incredibly exciting time to be an author.

What indie authors have influenced you and how?

Darcy Conroy – Author of ‘As Long As She Lives’. Darcy is an Australian author who by sheer will and determination has achieved great success with her debut novel.

Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit was rejected by every Publisher she submitted it to. She eventually self-published her work and it remains a best seller even today.

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

Reviews, reviews, reviews…as a book buyer myself, I admit that I am swayed by a good review.

Your literary character hero?

Ramona Quimby – the pint-sized heroine from Beverly Cleary’s Ramona novels. I love her for her fierce determination to always be her imperfect self despite what society expects and the love and loyalty she shows to her family.

What is the book you wish you had written?

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – don’t let the hype fool you into feeling sceptical. She deserves all the praise. I watched her success unfold and she most certainly deserves every bit of it.

Your literary crush?

J.K Rowling. She was a single Mum on welfare who turned it all around. I also get a kick out of her social media skills; a middle-aged woman conquering Twitter with incredible wit and biting sarcasm…I just love her.

What is your favorite online resource as an author?

Goodreads – such a wonderful place for both authors and readers. I have discovered so many wonderful books via this website and it is a constant source of inspiration.

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

I feel if it helps in regards to gaining reviews or being discovered, then it’s fine. As long as it is always the author’s decision.

What are you reading now?

After I’m Gone by Linda Green

What was your favorite book as a child?

I have two: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume and Ramona and her Mother by Beverly Clearly

What was the Illicit book you had to sneak growing up?

Puberty Blues by Kathy Lette – an honest and raw novel about being a teenage girl in 1970s Australia.

What are the books you’ve read more than once?

I have re-read so many of Harlan Coben’s novels. I so love his style of writing and the sarcastic wit of his protagonists.

What music do you write to or find inspiration in?

I’ve always found inspiration in cinematic and atmospheric music such as Portishead and Bjork.

Whilst writing my stories set in different decades I also enjoyed listening to the music of the era. I uploaded many different artists onto my iPhone but to name just a few there was The Eagles for the 1970s novel, 1980s The Cure, 1990s The Cranberries and a lot of Dido for the 2000s instalment.

What roadblocks did you encounter when publishing your work?

Finding the time to write is a constant challenge and the struggle to attain some visibility within a hugely competitive and saturated industry is incredibly difficult. Gaining reviews to attain some credibility is also tricky as many readers may enjoy a writer’s work but not bother leaving a review.

What TV show are you watching now?

This is Us is wonderfully enjoyable. I have a soft-spot for multi-generational dramas that play around with differing time periods (as is made pretty obvious when you look at my own work )

Cat or dog or both person?

I love that cats are independent and secure in their own awesomeness but I adore that dogs are so in love with us!

Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz – and why?

Alice in Wonderland. I often roll a phrase or two inside my mind when struggling with insecurity or feelings of anxiousness.

“Have I gone mad?”

“I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers…but I’ll tell you a secret…all the best people are.”

Coffee or tea or both person?

Tea. Coffee has gotten me through many moments of extreme tiredness but the inevitable crash isn’t pleasant.

Print book or eBook or both person?

Both. Print books for the aesthetics of a well-designed book jacket, the smell of its pages and the pleasure I get from holding it in my hands. I’ve fully embraced eBooks however due to the extreme convenience they offer and the ability to buy a book at 2am. Discovering a new author at any time of the day or night is still such a novelty.

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

I would hope that the swift convenience and availability of choice will encourage more people to read.

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

Running sentences often happen when I’m on a roll and edit checks have revealed that I sometimes leave out a repeated letter. For example: ocur, admitedly, unatainable. Maybe I’m in too much of a hurry for that extra letter? Thank goodness for spellcheck.

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

https://www.ameliakeldan.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ameliakeldan/

https://twitter.com/amelia_keldan

https://www.instagram.com/ameliakeldan/

Thank you for sharing about your work and your delightful insights on indie publishing! 

 

Sponsored content. Learn more about my author interviews here.

TBR: A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far by Mark W. Sasse

If she wanted help changing the world for one forgotten child, she chose the wrong man. Seventy-two-year-old Francis Frick would scorn his own family to close another deal. But Bee doesn’t see the world like you or me. She is an optimist, searching for potential where none exists, and so she hovers above Frick’s bed every night, eating pomegranates and waiting for his eyes to open to the possibilities. One night, it finally happens. A rogue droplet of juice slips through her fingers and hits the sleeping Manhattan businessman on the forehead, thrusting him on a series of baffling adventures to some of the twentieth century’s most brutal regimes—all to help Bee save a forgotten child of history.

A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far is part one of The Forgotten Child Trilogy—a one-of-a-kind adventure that mixes time travel, magical realism, and historical fiction into a contemporary story about an old man, his estranged daughter, and a tiny flying person in a white robe, who chooses to believe that anything can happen with enough prodding and an endless supply of pomegranates.

Pomegranates are too messy to be eating in the first place. I prefer them in my juice.

See more on Goodreads. 

Author Interview: Kali

Today I’m introducing Sema Gurun and Stephanie Rugoff for Kali, creator of I of the Hurricane. 

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

I of the Hurricane: Eating Up a Storm was written by Kali.  Sadly, Kali died in 2012 but she left her manuscript to her sister, Sema Gurun, and her friend, Stephanie Rugoff.  Kali had entitled it I of the Hurricane.  We formed Sasfork Productions in order to carry out the task of producing and marketing Kali’s writing.  Her manuscript was long, long enough for a very large chapter book.  We decided to concentrate this first publication solely on the sections dealing with food – and, we and Jim Whiting, the editor we hired, came up with the subtitle Eating Up a Storm.  If we get a large readership for this book, we have enough material left to do several sequels with emphasis on other areas of Hurricane’s life.

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

Kali was born in Turkey and grew up in New York City.  After completing her fine arts studies at Syracuse University, her passionate interest in nature and animals led her to locate to the countryside and finally to California where she found Hurricane – or rather, Hurricane found her.  Sema Gurun is Kali’s sister and was also born in Turkey.  Sema is a psychotherapist and an artist as well.  Stephanie Rugoff was a friend, since childhood, of both Kali and Sema.  She too is an artist and spent her professional life as a literacy teacher and consultant, working primarily in elementary schools where she gave much emphasis to children’s literature.
What does the cover look like?

The cover of I of the Hurricane: Eating Up a Storm is berry pink.  At the center – the eye of the hurricane – is a white dog, Hurricane.  Swirling around her in a circle are images of some of Hurricane’s very favorite foods.

Describe the book in 5 words.

Concise humorous dog’s personal narrative.
What genre(s) do you think it fits into or breaks?

Primarily children’s fiction.  However, as Kirkus Reviews pointed out, “Many dog lovers will undoubtedly recognize their own canines’ behavior … in this story for all ages.”
What’s the synopsis for the book?

Instant love takes place between a young pet store employee and a small white puppy she takes home.  Aptly called Hurricane, the pup lives up to her name by sweeping up the household with her love of food and her wisecracking attitude. Hurricane, the narrator who is a feisty Spitz dog, exhibits her indomitable attitude throughout.

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

It is consistently entertaining with its humor that engages the reader.
Where can we buy the book?

Please visit our website KaliandHurricane.com which links to all the online stores selling our book, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, etc.  You can also ask your local bookstore to order it from Ingram’s or the online dealers.

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

Kali based it on her beloved dog named Hurricane.  Kali included Hurricane’s interactions with her additional pets:  her other dog named Prince and her two cats, Thunder and Lightning.

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

A child who wants to adopt a puppy.

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

Well, we like to joke that our book, rather than being written in first person, is written in first dog.

What roadblocks did you encounter when publishing your work?

Our most difficult task has been publicizing our book, trying to make it well known to readers who we feel would love it if they only heard about it.

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

Keep on reading literature, whether hard copies or ebooks.  Search out books of interest to you, whether or not they come from the major publishers.

Thank you all so much for sharing the backstory on this delightful-sounding 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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