Talisman Book Publishing caters to the needs of self-published authors helping them reach a larger scope of readers, reviewers, and followers. More »
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Book: The Inspiring Teacher
Author: Bob Sullo
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Author: CJ Wetherby
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Welcome Author CS Patra to Talisman Book Publishing. We have an exciting book blurb, an author interview, and information about the book below as well as contact information to connect!
Genre – Contemporary Fiction
Click on photo to purchase book on Amazon – $2.99
People say they will do just about anything for love. Some might go far enough to try and find the impossible. Some will stop at no lengths for the one they love. When Ian Choi’s girlfriend gives him the most difficult task…find her someone, a vampire, to turn her immortal…he is faced with a choice he never imagined he’d have to make. And little does he know just what could happen while he’s trying to make her wish come true.
Who is CS Patra?
Welcome Author Maggie Thom to Talisman Book Publishing. We have an exciting book blurb, an author interview, and information about the book below as well as contact information to connect!
Genre – Suspense
Click on photo to purchase book on Amazon – $3.49
He didn’t commit suicide but who’s going to believe her…
Frustrated at being fired from her latest job and overwhelmed by her consolatory family, Sam decides to move to the family’s cabin at the lake. A place she hasn’t been since her dad committed suicide there twenty years before. Or did he? Snooping is something she’s good at but someone seems to be taking offence to her looking too closely at what has been happening at the lake. What she discovers is shocking. Now she must uncover what’s real and what’s not.
All that she learned growing up, may be false. Keegan, who has recently moved to the area, to finish his latest book is also trying to find out if his grandfather, who’d passed away ten years before, died of natural causes or was murdered? The descendants of the four families who own the land around the lagoon are dying off. Since Sam and Keegan are the only ones questioning the deaths, they find themselves working together to seek the truth.
Are people being murdered? Who would benefit from their deaths? Why would there be barricades and armed guards at the north end of the lake? To stay alive, Sam and Keegan must find the answers and convince others, before more people are killed… including them.
Guest Post - How to be a Good Guest Blogger
by Maggie Thom
Guest Blogging is so important in this day and age, with the internet being the go to place for people to find information and ultimately to find you as an author. It is a great way to share your writing skills, your personality, find new people and to let readers get to know you but it is also about helping to attract more readers to that blogger’s website. Guest blogging should benefit both of you. It is not about you writing the article and then expecting your host to do all the marketing and awareness for it. It is up to you as well. In fact, it is in your interest to do all that you can to drive traffic to their site.
There are a lot of websites that are willing to host guest bloggers. If you are looking for a blog who does host articles, check out blogs that do book reviews. Most of them are willing to host you. Please note though that they are busy and get a lot of requests, so be patient and respectful. If you don’t hear from a blog within a few weeks, move on. Send out at least five to ten a week and move on to the next thing while you wait for the response. Most blogs are more than happy to host a guest.
If you are thinking about being a Guest Blogger, there are some things to find out and to keep in mind:
1. Before you send out a request, look over their website. Is it the type of website that fits with your book, your style and who you are?
2. Send an email to the owner of the blog and ask if you can do a guest post for them.
3. When they tell you they’d love to have you guest blog, ask what topics they might like to have you write about or do they have interview questions for you to complete.
4. What date could they host you and by when do they need all of your information? Also make sure you’re clear on what of your information they are willing to post. Most will put your name, your bio, your picture and even your book but find out.
5. Get them your article and other information well before they need it, you want to make it easy for them to put it up on their blog. Remember they are doing you a favor.
6. On the day your blog appears on their website, make sure that you post a link to it all over the internet, in as many social sites as you can and if you have a mailing list send that out. You can also create an event on many of the social sites and invite people. It is also a good idea to post it more than once, especially on sites like Twitter.
7. Interact with your host on one or more social networks.
8. Make sure you thank your host on their blog and on social networks.
9. If you have a blog, reciprocate. Let them know that you’d be more than happy for them to guest blog for you if they’d like to. Or maybe there is something else you can offer to them.
Guest blogging is fun, a great way to make new connections and find new followers. What are some things you do when guest blogging?
Who is Maggie Thom?
Tell us a bit about your family. I am lucky to be married to my best friend. We have twin, teenage kids – a boy and a girl. We live on an acreage in the country outside a small town. We have a cat and a dog.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? I have a strong belief in the good of other people and I always try to treat others with respect.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I am a doer, I get things done, which is great but sometimes I am so focused on getting things done I miss out on other things and sometimes I miss out on just the fun of doing.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? ‘Never look back unless you are planning to go that way’. Henry David Thoreau
I love this quote because it reminds me that to reach my dreams and to live the life I want to live, I need to be focussed on moving forward. That I will make mistakes and I have a choice to sit and stress about them and dwell on them or I can learn from them and use them to keep me moving forward.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? Besides my family, for me I’d have to say where I’m at in life. Publishing my first novel, which took a long time and meant climbing over a lot of fear and overcoming a lot of limiting beliefs about myself.
What is your favorite color? I have several but green is my most favorite, especially blue green colors – teal, jade.
What is your favorite food? Fresh fruit. I love in summer when fruit is ripe and you can go and pick it right from the plant or tree. Yum.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? To sit beside or hike alongside a flowing stream, creek or river, preferably near waterfalls. I love going to the Rocky Mountains and exploring nature there.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I think the freedom I had growing up. My siblings and I were always out hiking in nature, exploring and having wonderful adventures. I think that curiosity and love of exploring and trying something new all played into how I write and what I write about.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? No idea really. I loved to read and so did most of my family. I think it was curiosity to see if I could write something that I’d like to read. I’m quite sure though it didn’t come from my English class in high school, I always felt lost and 4 pages behind everyone else. Although I did run into my English teacher several years ago and told her I was writing, she was thrilled.
When and why did you begin writing? I’m sure it was curiosity and boredom that started me writing. I grew up on a farm, 15 minutes from town, so in winter when it was too miserable to be outside and I was tired of reading or playing games with my siblings, I wrote. I think that my interest in writing became stronger when I entered my teens, because most of my siblings were older and were doing their own things or were moving out of home and on with their own lives.
Welcome Author Leona Bodie to Talisman Book Publishing. We have an exciting book blurb, an author interview, and information about the book below as well as contact information to connect!
Genre – Thriller/Suspense
Click on photo to purchase book on Amazon – $5.99
More details about the author
SHADOW Cay is an instant hook thriller when a tropical island paradise with a seedy secret becomes a life-and-death nightmare. Already reeling from a rash of maritime disasters, a war and international intrigue, Madeleine Nesbitt and Peter Duncan are destined for even darker days when they investigate the man with no conscience behind the world’s most profitable enterprise. They find a sea of corruption, deception and lies.
Guest Post - Write Yourself Right out of Stress…at Home or Work!
by Leona DeRosa Bodie
I’m currently unsupervised. I know it freaks me out too! But, the possibilities are endless! Be patient! I will eventually say or do something interesting! The purpose of this Write Yourself Right out of Stress…at Home or Work guest post is to help you develop the understanding, commitment and the skills necessary to de-stress using various techniques, including the creative therapy of personal writing.
Stress and heartache have fueled many great stories for us. But you don’t have to write a best-seller to get stress-relief from writing. Dealing with it can be healthy, natural, and even fun. So, get ready for a stress-less great time! You will learn how to use writing as a tool in your stress management toolbox. Plus, discover 10 more things you can do to instantly de-stress.
High levels of stress can be a barrier to making healthy lifestyle changes. Follow your heart but take your brains with you! How? Increase awareness of de-stressing techniques and how it affects the quality of your life. Identify barriers and facilitators to stress management at home as well as work, enabling better self-treatment. We’ve always been taught to treat others with kindness, dignity and respect. Now let’s give ourselves the same courtesies we’d give any other human being. Expand awareness of writing styles and use these skills to maintain a healthier YOU!
This is a no-brainer: many people experience stress over the course of their days, for a multitude of reasons. In fact, 22 percent of Americans reported experiencing extreme stress, according to the American Psychological Association.
Feeling stressed out can do more to your body than make you feel anxious; studies have repeatedly found stress to be the root of chronic diseases, such as depression, cardiovascular disorders and infectious diseases. Finding ways to reduce stress can improve your mental well-being in the moment you’re feeling stressed and beyond.
“When you ‘feel’ stress reduce, you are feeling your heart rate calm, your brainwaves organize, your vessels dilating, and your physiology and emotional state return to neutral” after the body’s ramped up response to a stressor, said Dr. Cynthia Ackrill of the American Institute of Stress and WellSpark, a leadership development firm. “A number of activities have stress reducing effects for multiple reasons.”
Here are ten things you can do to instantly de-stress.
1. Streamlining your activities and tasks can be an effective time-management strategy.
2. Proper breathing called “belly breathing;” breaths are slow and deep and fill the abdomen, not the chest. This is one of the oldest and cheapest forms of stress management known to mankind! Mindful breathing resets brain patterns, increases heart rate coherence, lowers blood pressure and many more effects.
3. Adequate sleep is a major element of coping with stress
4. Laughter is a great way to manage stress and stay healthy. Don’t forget every now and then to be silly. Taking a bath calms our physiology and relaxes the vessels.
5. Drinking water can be soothing and a way to help our bodies handle all the reactions that happen when we’re stressed. When we are stressed out, we tend to get dehydrated.
6. Snuggling with puppies or any pet for that matter lowers blood pressure and increases immune responses, counteracting the negative effects of stress, but your puppy isn’t a stress cure-all. Don’t live a life filled with stress then love your dog — make changes and love the dog! When you walk the dog you’re hitting three stress reducers in one activity: exercise, and being around animals and nature.
7. Getting a hug. Don’t underestimate the power of human connection. We need more touch to release anti-stress chemicals.
8. Listening to audio-books. When you listen to an audio-book to de-tress, you’re usually shifting focus. But if the stressor is still looming, this may only be procrastination. If it sparks creative thinking to deal with a stressor — to expand thought patterns — it may be helpful.
9. Dancing is an excellent way to instantly reduce stress. Movement releases stress reducing chemicals as well as chemicals that support brain growth. Exercise rivals antidepressants.”
10. Creative Therapy. Use the act of writing and processing the written word as therapy. Writing your feelings gradually eases feelings of emotional trauma. Writing will give you a shield, and comes with other added-value benefits.
Writing therapy focuses on expressive writing and its value in processing life experience, particularly trauma and transition. I encourage you to write about your “deepest thoughts and feelings” regarding a particular subject (e.g. illness, recent loss, life transition). Research results are impressive.
Expressive writing has been shown to increase both the working memory (how we hold information in our minds to connect and use) and academic performance of college students. The benefits don’t stop there. Having given language to traumatic experiences, we’ve in a sense contained their potency. The chronic stress they’ve induced – and the corresponding physiological impact like weakened immune function, systemic inflammation, hormonal imbalance, and impaired cardiovascular function – diminishes.
Writing, more than speaking, presents us with a slower, solitary means for reflection. Unlike conversations, we’re less concerned with another person’s reaction. We listen more intently to our own voices and catch glimpses of subtler stirrings. We own our words in a more definitive way.
In the course of a lifetime, telling our stories can help us discover our passion, navigate complicated patches, and ultimately define our legacy. We can struggle freely with whatever plagues us, or envision a new and perhaps fearful path. We can delve into the parts of ourselves we don’t consider appropriate for public display. We can clarify the meaning we’ve found in our years, the rewards and regrets that inhabit our lives in hindsight. You can keep a journal or a diary or files on your computer or you can blog or write stories, poems or novels. And an unexpected benefit is you might even be paid for your creativity. Creativity is your intelligence having FUN!
Who is Leona Bodie?
What is your favorite quality about yourself? Resourcefulness. I’m not a quitter and always find a way to get something done.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? A surname like “Bodie” is often mispronounced. Sometimes I hear “boney” instead. Oh how I wish! Being thinner is a lifelong challenge.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her…So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life.” ~ Florida favorite son, Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, 1953.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? Putting my family first, making family time a priority.
What is your favorite color? Deep Green.
What is your favorite food? Pizza
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? For a vacation getaway, the Greek Isles is my favorite place to visit, especially Santorini and Mykonos. However, if I ever relocate, I’d move to the South of France. Ooh La La!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I always knew, even when I was five. Through the years, I’ve written poetry, corporate newsletters, training packages, policy and procedure manuals, articles and short stories. My articles have appeared in Cruising World and my short stories have been published in e-zines, university presses and various literary magazines.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? Thriller, Suspense, Action and Adventure. However, just this past year I stepped out of my comfort zone and started writing historic fiction. It’s been a learning experience, as well as a challenge. However make no mistake; every book I write regardless of genre will always be fast-paced with lots of action. My historic fiction is a perfect example. My newest one has a tropical storm, hurricane, tsunami, landside and cannibal Indians and it’s all true!
What inspired you to write your first book? I write about what I know. Since I’ve lived in Miami for thirty-five years, it’s a natural for me to write about South Florida. The fact my husband has been a forensic expert for twenty-one years and worked on 30,000 cases influenced me as well. It means that I have a ready resource to ensure the police procedurals, the forensic science and quality assurance aspects are accurate.
Although the story bounced around in my head for fifteen years, I actually wrote Shadow Cay in three months on a 34-ft. Morgan Out Island Sailboat in the Bahamas in the Southern Exumas. Imagine 700 islands, like a string of beautiful gems to treasure. Imagine no interruptions, pristine water, white and pink sand beaches, uninhabited islets, dramatic ocean and bay views.
And the show stopper was Normans Cay. My research into its history led me to flash back two decades: A dramatic flying adventure, international intrigue, a forced crash landing, a brush with death, and a tropical island paradise with a seedy secret. Being in the islands and onsite, made it easy to transfer the sailing scenes we lived onto my laptop. Some of the water sequences are biographical, storm scenes, water spouts, sailing during an unexpected hurricane.
Another reason, I selected South Florida is because both Walt and I have extensive experiences in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, so it was a natural to slant the story and focus on the medical device industry. SHADOW CAY is a steamy suspense about murder, greed and corruption that takes place in the tropics between Miami and the Bahamas. The MDPD Crime Lab was inspiration for some parts. The book speaks to the challenges forensic professionals face every day.
Welcome Author Keira Michelle Telford to Talisman Book Publishing. We have an exciting book blurb, an author interview, and information about the book below as well as contact information to connect!
Genre – Science Fiction
Click on photo to purchase book on Amazon – $0.99
Dishonorably discharged from the Hunter Division and banished for crimes she did not commit, Silver struggles to come to terms with her new prison-like surroundings: a segregated area of the city called the Fringe District, populated by murderers, thieves and rapists. Starving, and desperate for money, she reluctantly accepts the Police Division’s invitation to enroll in a covert Bounty Hunter program: an initiative devised to infiltrate the criminal underworld of the Fringers, and to force the very worst warrant dodging law-breakers to meet their fate—death.
Unfortunately, Silver doesn’t realize that the Police Division is about to up the ante. They need more than little snippets of information and arrests—they need someone to pull the trigger.They need an executioner
***Content advisory: Contains graphic language and violence.***
Guest Post - Inside My Cluttered Head
by Keira Michelle Telford
My head is filled with voices, all clamoring for attention. When one (or more) really take hold, that’s when a book starts to develop. For me, it doesn’t begin with an idea, or a plot, or a setting – it begins with a character.
Some characters are fleeting. I get a brief impression of some thoughts and feelings and that’s all, then they fade away. Others, like Ella ‘Silver’ Cross, show up one day and get stronger every time I think about them. The same way that Freddy Krueger feeds on fear, and gets more powerful the more you fear him, my characters gain strength every time they cross my mind.
Occasionally, a character becomes so real to me that I develop genuine affection for them. Most recently, I fell in love with a whore. (Actually, technically, she’s not a whore – she’s the madam of a whorehouse). See, the inside of my head is chock full of people. Some have already been brought to life on paper and just won’t leave me alone (they’re very boisterous), while others are standing in line, waiting for their turn. If I was born in a different age, I’d probably have been institutionalized. (Or medicated … or both).
Everything stems from the characters. Through their conversations with each other, I learn more and more about the worlds they inhabit, until a book finally starts to take shape around them. I don’t pick a setting deliberately – the characters tell me where they belong – and I tend not to plot anything out. The process of writing feels very organic to me, and I think it helps if you can just go with the flow and be flexible.
If you begin a book with very rigid ideas of how you want the plot to develop, you might end up with something that feels forced and unnatural. In my experience, the characters will always steer you in the right direction, which is why it’s important to get to know them inside and out before you start writing. After all, the more you know about your characters, the easier it is to spot moments in your writing where motivation, dialogue, or plot have gone askew.
Try writing biographies for your main characters – that can be a good way to get to know them better, as it forces you to answer questions about details of their lives you might not have thought about before. Where were they born? What’s their favorite food? Favorite color? Song? The more you ask, the more you’ll learn.
Ultimately, I probably know Silver better than I know myself at this point. I know everything about her life, from the day she was born, till the present – and that’s exactly as it should be. She’s become so close to my heart, sometimes I’m not even sure if it’s me who breathes life into her, or the other way around.
Who is Keira Michelle Telford?
What is your favorite quality about yourself? My single-mindedness. (It allows me to concentrate fully on my work).
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? My single-mindedness. (I get so sucked into my work, I forget that there’s a life going on around me).
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I was an only child, so I think my imagination got quite a workout as a kid. I think that might be part of the reason why I write books that involve a lot of world-building. I prefer to create an environment from scratch rather than to be confined by reality.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Both my mother and grandfather are writers. I grew up understanding the importance of words, and began writing short stories and poems as soon as I learned how to write. I don’t even remember a time before words became vital to my existence.
What inspires you to write and why? It’s an obsession. I can’t help it. If I didn’t let the voices out of my head by channeling them onto paper, I’d probably have to be medicated in some way.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? I like science fiction because I can make up my own rules.
What made you want to be a writer? I’m not certain that I ever had a choice. It was either this, or I check myself into the mental health ward to figure out what type of schizophrenia I have.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? I sometimes have trouble knowing when things are finished. I fixate on sentences like a dog gnawing on a bone, and I just can’t get it go. It’s not unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night with the desperate need to add or delete a comma, and I can’t relax until I’ve done it.
Have you developed a specific writing style? Omniscient third person present tense has sort of become my thing.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? My attention to detail.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? For me, writer’s block (or brain fog, as I call it), usually means there’s a problem with whatever scene/chapter I’m working on. If I try and force it, nothing happens. Instead, I have to take a step back, maybe watch an hour of TV, or listen to some music, and wait for the kink to work itself out. It inevitably does, and in some cases results in the whole ending of a book changing … or the beginning … or the entire book.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? SILVER: The Lost & Damned is the second book in The SILVER Series, but have no fear – this book also stands alone. So if you haven’t read SILVER: Acheron (A River of Pain) yet, don’t sweat it – you can start with The Lost & Damned and it’ll still totally work.
Welcome Author Calinda B to Talisman Book Publishing. We have an exciting book blurb, an author interview, and information about the book below as well as contact information to connect!
Genre – Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Click on photo to purchase book on Amazon – $2.99
More details about the author
Artist Marissa Engles has hidden in a world of paint and sorrow, ever since her parents died eleven years ago. When she meets Daniel Navid, sparks fly – literally – from her fingers to his. She’s immediately swept from her pristine world into one of terrifying darkness, dazzling, electrifying light, and unimaginable sensual pleasures. With her faithful Doberman by her side, Marissa uses her creative imagination to restore her Light Rebel skills. She comes face to face with pure evil – the demented sorcerer known as El Demonio de la Muerte. El D’s got plans for her. He plans to charm her into forgetting she ever met Daniel Navid, the sexiest, most dangerous man she’s ever known.
Guest Post - How to Avoid the Rejection Blues
by Calinda B
I’m a creative. I create. Creatives put their creations out into the world saying, “Look at me! Look at what I did! Isn’t it wonderful?”
Some will agree. “Yes, it stirred me! It’s brilliant!” Some will disagree. “Gah! Pure garbage!” The critics will put on their knowing smiles and cite why your work is worth nothing to them. Or, if kind, they’ll say, “It’s good but not what I was looking for.”
When I got my first 1 star rating I was devastated. That person had rejected my hard work. She made fun of it. It didn’t matter that I got 10 times as many positive reviews. It didn’t matter that person after person said, “Great book! Really descriptive! Wow!” That ONE person called me out. She knew I was worthless as a writer. She was the one with The Truth. I was crushed. Humiliated. Beyond repair.
Well, guess what? People have opinions. Many reviews later, many opportunities and rejections later, I’ve learned a better truth than the one star reviewer – I’ve learned that a) I am a really good writer. b) There’s always room for improvement. c) If feedback is specific or helpful, I learn from it. d) If feedback is mean or spiteful or just plain wrong, I thank that person in my heart and move on.
See, I’m a creative. I was put on this planet to create. I might learn from your comments about my creations. I might ignore your rejection of my creations. But in the end I’m going to keep doing what I was born to do. I’m going to create, I’m going to take joy in my creations and maybe, just maybe, you will, too.
Who is Calinda B?
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? I love where I live – the Pacific Northwest. We live in one of the most beautiful areas on the planet. Water, trees and mountains all around. A close second would be Palau. I love diving with sharks.
What inspires you to write and why? An idea can come from anywhere. Wicked Whispering came to be when I met a guy in Hawaii who photographed sea life and determined the sex of humpback whales (the only way to tell is to dive below them and photograph their naughty bits). The idea for the book I just finished, The Beckoning of Beautiful Things came when I was encouraged to write from a place that provoked fear in me. A good friend, Ron, often whispers things in my ear, hoping his ideas will snake around my ideas.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? Paranormal. Someday I want to “challenge” myself by writing a “normal” book. That will be hard.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Marketing! Indie Authors have to do it all AND survive while doing it all.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Not really a “block” but I struggled at times with my recent book, The Beckoning of Beautiful Things. It’s a complex book with a lot going on. I had to get away from it. Think about it from afar. Come back and slash and burn chapters that did not work or fit. It was an interesting process.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? The Beckoning of Beautiful Things
How did you come up with the title? It just came to me, early on.
Can you tell us about your main character? Marissa Engles is an artist. She’s extremely honest, serious, loves her dog, a Doberman named Sober Dober and really wants something different out of life. She craves excitement. She lost her parents to a plane crash when she was 15. She’s hidden away in her world of art ever since. She meets Daniel Navid on the day of her birthday, at age 26. Sparks fly – literally – from her fingers to his. He awakens something strange in her. Turns out she’s a Light Rebel whose abilities were taken away from her at an early age. And Daniel Navid? Turns out he’s a dangerous man. I’ll let you read the book to find out the rest.
How did you develop your plot and characters? I always start with an idea. In this case, the idea had nothing to do with the book itself. It was just a launch pad. Launch I did and the story unfolded as I wrote. I usually aim for some sort of resolution and then just start writing.
Will you write others in this same genre? I’ve already started on the next book, The Beckoning of Broken Things.
How important do you think villains are in a story? Oh, I love a good villain. The villains create conflict and intrigue. Hopefully, they stir emotion in the reader and add tension to the book.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I travel in general and yes, it influences the books. I’m an avid scuba diver and travel to some very unique places to dive. Places and situations always factor in my stories.
Welcome Author Christoph Paul to Talisman Book Publishing. We have an exciting book blurb, an author interview, and information about the book below as well as contact information to connect!
Genre – Humor/Non-Fiction
Click on photo to purchase book on Amazon – $2.99
With a biting sense of humor, sarcasm, and a unique worldview, Christoph Paul’s “The Passion of the Christoph” exposes readers to an unprecedented commentary on every topic. Paul’s take on sex, religion, politics, sports, to name a few, will leave you transformed as you absorb this insightful compilation of satiric and hysterical essays.
Guest Post - My Mom Won’t Read My Book
by Christoph Paul
My mom won’t read my book “The Passion of The Christoph”
I wish it was something moving & heartfelt like she was blind & there is not a braille Kindle we can afford, but its nothing noble like that; no, she just she doesn’t want to read about her son working at a porn store or meeting a French girl who liked to do sexual things to birds (when she kissed me I thought I caught the bird flu–seriously, freaked me the hell out.)
No, my mom got her taste of my life when I had to work on Thanksgiving & she called me at the porn store to overhear me selling anal lube to man who compared what he was going to do to his mistress to stuffing turkeys.
Nope, not her cup of team, especially, when her son is involved; she is also more of a Danielle Stelle reader and my closest thing with romance is the letter I wrote to the Stripper I met at Teaser’s.
But in all seriousness, it is strange to create something you love and are so proud of but you can’t show it to your mom.
Oh, my lonely little bastard book, yet, I’m so proud of him? Her? It? (I do talk about Tranny’s a lot). Yes, this little test tube of literary punk rock is my pride and joy.
Every dick joke, was like an inch it grew–chapter by chapter.
The tales of rehab and military school where I lived with men named Crack Head Pete who liked to pretend to make a mop give him fellatio was the skin and sparkly hair of my baby…but for my mom it was a reminder that I should have joined more clubs and she should have searched my room more for pot.
All these errors turned into some damn hilarious stories to everyone but my mom. My comedy is her tragedy, but if it makes a buck and writing about it makes her son happy she can live with it–she just can’t read it.
To make it up to her I’m working on a ‘fiction’ YA book. She said it should be like Nicholas Sparks. So far it is going the love story route, very ‘Sparkian’…just with lots and lots of dick jokes…
Who is Christoph Paul?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I watched “Tales From The Crypt” and thought it would be fun to creep people out with writing stories.
When did you first know you could be a writer? I wrote a fictional account getting sent to rehab and thought this is pretty good. I can do this.
What inspires you to write and why? I just need to do it. I feel strange when I don’t write. It’s funny the whole caricature of writers being crazy drunks is not true to me, it is when I’m writing is when I’m most mentally healthy and when I’m not is when I get a little kooky.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? Satire, I love doing somebodies else’s voice; it is like acting for me and comes very natural.
What inspired you to write your first book? I wanted to do something fun, dangerous, literary, punk rock, and put in a book. I had all these crazy stories and satire ideas and my editor lead me into putting it all together into ‘The Passion of the Christoph’
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? My editor Jessica she kept telling to let my freak flag fly.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years? I am a total literary novel snob and really love the classics and wanted to write power novels that affect people but I just went a different route with humor.
What made you want to be a writer? It was the one thing besides playing live music that truly felt right in every way.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Yes, I really had a a way with comedy and humor. I was trying so hard to be a literary novelist and I have made peace that I am more of the class clown than the philosopher.
Do you intend to make writing a career? Absolutely, I am in this for the long haul. I love writing and it look at it as a labor of love.
What are your goals as a writer? To entertain and/or enlighten the reader and grow a fan base who appreciate my brand of writing.
What books have most influenced your life? “Little Children” taught me you can be funny and write about screwed up things and still make us learn about the human condition
Can we expect any more books from you in the future? A ton, I just finished a collection of poetry called ‘Buy This Poetry Book So I Can Afford Therapy’ which should be out this summer and I am finishing the rough draft of my first YA book.
Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?
Yes ‘Horns’ by Joe Hill it is really devilishly fun.
Welcome Author Lynn Osterkamp to Talisman Book Publishing. We have an exciting book blurb, an author interview, and information about the book below as well as contact information to connect!
Genre – Mystery
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More details about the author
Connect with Lynn Osterkamp on Twitter
Sabrina Larson wants her fortieth birthday to be a major milestone—the beginning of a new life. But it looks more like the end for the Boulder, Colorado nurse when she mysteriously disappears while celebrating with her women’s group in a mountain wilderness area.
Search teams comb the region for days, but find no trace of her. Close friends and family fight bitterly amongst themselves telling different stories about what happened. Is she dead? Kidnapped? A runaway?
Cleo Sims, a local grief therapist who has discovered a process that lets grieving people contact the spirits of departed loved ones, is pulled in to help by one of Sabrina’s friends who is desperate to find out the truth. Cleo is reluctant to involve herself in yet another possible murder investigation, but the friend’s brother is Cleo’s benefactor who funds her Contact Project. When he prevails on Cleo to help find out what happened to the missing woman, she can’t refuse.
As the search goes on and the mystery deepens, Cleo finds herself digging into some dangerous secrets. As usual, her persistence, curiosity, and compassion keep her enmeshed in the investigation even when new developments threaten the very core of her personal life.
Too Many Secrets is the third book in the award-winning Cleo Sims mystery series set in the mountain community of Boulder Colorado. Like the others, it can also be read as a stand-alone book.
Guest Post - Traditional Publishing: Which Comes First, Art Or Business?
by Lynn Osterkamp
The state of publishing today is a huge topic of discussion among writers. A major point of dispute is the criteria publishers use to select books—which mainly goes to what you see as a publisher’s primary goal. Here, in an admittedly oversimplified synopsis, are the two main positions:
1. Publishing is a business. Publishers primarily want to publish best-sellers. They need to make enough profit on the books they publish to keep their businesses financially lucrative. So they choose the books that they believe will be hot, that they think will sell and sell well. And they shape the books to be as marketable as possible.
2. Publishing is an art. Publishers primarily want to publish great books that readers will find thought-provoking, entertaining, and inspiring. So they choose the books that are the most original, smart, well-written, brilliant, gripping and memorable. And they work with the authors to revise and improve their manuscripts before the book is published.
Here’s why does this debate matters. If #1 is true and publishing is mainly a business, then the books selected by major publishers are those that have the most potential to make money—either because the author or topic is hot, or because the sales department can make them hot. This view holds that you can’t judge the quality of one book vs. another by looking at which one was published by a traditional publisher.
If #2 is true and publishing is mainly an art, we must follow the thinking of the old guard. They believe publishers choose books based mainly on quality and that having a book selected for publication by a traditional publisher is an indicator of excellence. In support of that position, it is true that the big commercial publishers have brought us many great books that we love to read and re-read.
But these publishers have also brought us fake memoirs, plagiarism, books by non-writer criminals, mediocre books with predictable plots and tiresome characters, and plenty of other trash. So there is a lot of evidence supporting #1.
My personal experience also goes to #1. My nonfiction book, How To Deal With Your Parents When They Still Treat You Like A Child, was published by Berkley Books in 1992. As an academic gerontologist with a focus on communication, I saw a need for a popular book that dealt with the issues adults face in trying to get along better with their parents. I submitted a proposal and a couple of sample chapters to a NYC agent who began shopping it around to publishers. Initially there was interest and my agent suggested we might have an auction among several publishers. But then the sales departments began to weigh in, suggesting the book wouldn’t sell well enough (no one ever told me why they thought that), so there was no auction. My agent continued showing the proposal to publishers until Berkley took it on. There too the sales department ruled, changing my original title and insisting I make the book longer than I thought it needed to be so that readers “would think they were getting their money’s worth.”
I have to admit that when my book was picked up by a NYC agent and publisher, I was a believer in #2. I felt honored that my book had been selected. I thought I would have one of those great relationships with an editor that I’m always reading about on books’ acknowledgements pages. I was naïve. My first editor left the company almost as soon as I signed my contract. I had little contact with the next one. I’ve learned since that my experience wasn’t unusual.
Today, as I’ve said, I’m in the publishing as business camp. I believe that having a book selected by a traditional publisher means only that they think it will sell.
Who is Lynn Osterkamp?
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? It changes from day to day, because I’m always looking ahead, rather than behind. As soon as I accomplish something I’ve been working toward, I feel proud of getting there. But then, by the next day, I’m off down another path and yesterday’s accomplishment has faded into the background.
What is your favorite color? My favorite color is turquoise. Now that I think of that, I wonder why I didn’t choose that color for my book covers. Would they look better with a turquoise background?
What is your favorite food? Potato chips. I really shouldn’t admit that. It makes me sound like a junk food queen. But actually I eat a very healthy diet, with not nearly as many potato chips as I’d like. The tricky thing about potato chips was captured very well in an ad campaign years ago with the slogan, “Bet you can’t eat one.” It’s very hard to eat only one. Try it.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? I love Boulder, Colorado. That’s why I live there and why I set my novels there. Boulder has gorgeous mountain scenery and hiking trails, a fun downtown with a pedestrian mall and great restaurants, and an active population focused on physical fitness. I went to college there years ago and lived there for a few years after, but then moved away for many years. My husband and I feel very lucky that we found a way to get back and live there.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My father continually challenged me to think outside the box. My mother loved poetry and read me poems when I was very young. Both of my parents were active in theater groups, and encouraged me to do the same. Their focus on creativity and self-expression gave me the courage to pursue my dream of creative writing.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I was the oldest of five children. My harried mother used to get me to entertain the younger ones by telling them stories. They wouldn’t accept the same story over and over, so I had to be creative, inventing new characters and plots that they would find entertaining.
When and why did you begin writing? I started writing in grade school. I still have a very short story I wrote in first grade. It went like this: “I like to roller skate. I can roller skate very fast. I can roller skate very good.” I illustrated it with a drawing of myself roller-skating. Okay, it’s a little lacking in imagination, but I was only six.
How long have you been writing? Too long. I should be way more famous by now.
When did you first know you could be a writer? It never occurred to me that I couldn’t be a writer. The question was whether I could be any good at it. Could I write anything readers would like? Now that I have written stuff readers said they liked, I still ask myself the question with every new piece of writing. Will they like it?
What was your journey as a writer? I was an academic for many years, so I wrote journal articles, grant proposals, training manuals, etc. at work. Outside work I wrote a couple of popular nonfiction self-help books, one on stress-management and the other on communication between adults and their parents. All that time I wanted to try writing fiction, but I worried that I’d never sell it. At one point I had an agent who told me that selling fiction is next to impossible. But over the years I learned a lot about the publishing industry, and I had my own business, so when digital printing and internet bookstores came along, I realized I could publish and sell a novel through my own business. So I wrote and published Too Near the Edge and its sequel Too Far Under, and now the third in the series,Too Many Secrets.
What is your writing process? Even when I’m writing fiction, I’m obsessed with facts. I do a lot of plotting, outlining and research before I start. And I write each character’s backstory. I spend even more time on research as I write the story, because I like to have every detail as accurate as possible. For example, if I’m going to write about someone picking a lock, I find a site on the internet that gives me details of how to do it. Sometimes I end up spending hours researching details that end up being only a few sentences in the story.
Have you developed a specific writing style? Probably, but I’m too close to my writing to see that. I expect my readers would be better able to describe my writing style than I am. For fiction, I like writing in the first person, but I’m thinking of trying to write a novel in the third person with several different point-of-view characters.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? I spent years writing professional newsletters where each article couldn’t be more than about 500 words. So I got very good at cutting extraneous words and sentences.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Everyone has writer’s block occasionally. When I draw a blank, I remind myself that the book isn’t going to write itself without help from me. Then I go ahead and write what comes up, knowing that I can revise it later.
Welcome Author Molly D. Campbell to Talisman Book Publishing. We have an exciting book blurb, an author interview, and information about the book below as well as contact information to connect!
Genre – Fiction/Short Stories
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Names! They fascinate humor writer Molly D. Campbell. Always curious about how a name might influence personality, Molly began a Twitter stream of names with one-sentence descriptions that soon became a pop culture phenomenon! Loretta Squirrels, a moonshiner who also beats up her husband, gained notoriety. Loretta was swiftly followed by eccentric dentists, dogs with human characteristics, cab drivers, Country and Western singers, and a movie star or two. With wonderful illustrations by Randy Palmer, this short story collection is a quick & often rib-tickling read–this book is just what you’d want on vacation, in a waiting room, or on a long plane ride. For contemporary fiction, it just doesn’t get any better!
*Two-time Erma Bombeck award winning writer*
Guest Post - Hats Off to Jane Austen
by Molly D Campbell
As a writer myself, I am amazed at all the books that are now being published every single day by independent authors. These books are all over Amazon! It is now so easy for any old Tom, Dick, or Emily Bronte to cook up a novel on their laptops, do a little editing, and PRESTO, hit the publish button!
Of course, not many of us Independent authors achieve the success of that lady who wrote Fifty Shades of Grey. But we continue to sit in our pajamas in front of our computer screens, typing away with high hopes and the Oxford Comma.
But as I dusted my bookshelves this morning, I came across my dog-eared copy of Mansfield Park. That Jane Austen—what a genius. And then I started to imagine what her writing life must have been like. Good heavens.
First of all, I am sure that in order to get ready to scribe one of her novels, she had to stock up on foolscap, or vellum, or whatever they called paper back then. She would need reams of the stuff. And quills. Ink. Blotters. The supplies alone would take up an entire cupboard, I am sure.
Then Jane would sit down at her desk and begin to write. I write in either pajamas or sweat pants, with bedroom slippers and a cup of coffee. Jane would be trussed up in a corset, surrounded by pantaloons and petticoats, topped off with a gown. Getting dressed must have taken at least 45 minutes. I am usually completely done writing for the day after 45 minutes. Good grief.
Then Jane would sit down and begin scratching out the words, repeatedly dipping her quill into an inkwell. There would be blots all over the place. I am sure she got ink on her dresses. And all over her fingers. Really, if writing were this messy today, I just wouldn’t want to bother. I have my manicure to think of.
Editing? I just hit “copy,” “cut,” and “paste.” Easy-peasy. Jane had to cross things out and rewrite them. I bet she had to add pages and rip others up. Just think of the huge stack of inky vellum that she had to deal with. Not to mention worrying about what would happen if the wind blew, scattering her foolscap to the winds. Numbering the pages wouldn’t be a solution to this kind of catastrophe. It boggles my mind.
Back in the days of Jane, Emily B, and all of their writing friends, it took huge commitment and intestinal fortitude to be a writer. And just think of this: after they finished a book, they had to copy it over in longhand in order to submit a readable final draft to their publishers. This must have taken years and years. No wonder Jane never got married. She just didn’t have the time.
These days, writers have loads of time. Because of technology, we can write books, answer emails, vacuum, put a chicken in the crock pot, change some diapers, and compose brilliant tweets all in the same day.
If Jane were alive, I bet she would have a husband, ten books on the New York Times best seller list, 400,00 Twitter followers, and a social media manager. And she would probably have time to play Words With Friends. She would have her own hashtag, I am sure. #everysavagecandance. It gives me pause, and I am humbled by her dedication and genius. But then I have to write a chapter, check my Facebook page, and sort some socks.
Who is Molly D. Campbell?
Tell us a bit about your family. I have two grown children who pay their own bills. This is fantastic. And they only roll their eyes behind my back. Also great. My husband plays the accordion. No comment.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? I am highly creative.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I love cake way too much.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? A man, a plan, a canal: Panama. Because I have always wanted to write a very long palindrome and have failed miserably.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? Everything.
What is your favorite food? What, other than cake?
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? I want a bolt hole in London or a pied-a-terre in New York.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My father always said, “If you can’t do something extraordinarily well, then don’t do it.” Terrible advice. It kept me from being a writer for 58 years.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I love to type.
When and why did you begin writing? I had to have facial reconstruction surgery after a nasty skin cancer. I looked like Frankenstein for months. I began to journal the experience to a group of friends.
How long have you been writing? I have been typing for years and years. Writing a blog, a column, and a book since I was Frankenstein—about 7 years. I won two Erma Bombeck writing awards along the way, and that was a tremendous boost to my confidence and credibility as a writer.
When did you first know you could be a writer? The minute I started.
Welcome Author JC Andrijeski to Talisman Book Publishing. We have an exciting book blurb, an author interview, and information about the book below as well as contact information to connect!
Genre – Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Romance
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An unusual shifter romance in the new adult category, the Gate-Shifter series centers on shifters from another world altogether, called morph. Morph and Earth humans were never meant to cross paths, until Nihkil Jamri tries to save private detective, Dakota Reyes while surveying Earth for his human masters from another dimension, and ends up pulling her into his dimension with him. Part urban fantasy, part paranormal romance, part science fiction adventure, the Gate-Shifter series explores alien romance with the least likely candidates imaginable.
Summary of Book One:
Dakota Reyes, a twenty-something private eye who specializes in what she calls ‘hard-to-prosecute’ cases, finds herself in a dark alley one night, about to end up dead at the hands of a young Ted Bundy in training…that is, until a lost, shape-shifting alien named Nihkil rescues her, and inadvertently takes her home with him. The problem is, his home is in a different dimension, and Dakota has no clue how to get back to Seattle, or Earth, or even her own time period. She finds herself bound to her rescuer, Nihkil, through his ‘lock,’ a quasi-biological structure that controls whether he can shape-shift, among other things, which he needs to be able to do in order to get her back home. Only Dakota has no idea how to open Nik’s lock, and the longer she spends in his world, the more forces begin to align against them, trying to prevent her from getting home.
Guest Post - Finding Your Characters Through Setting
by JC Andrijeski
This topic is timely for me at the moment, since I just recently returned from a “Character, Voice and Setting” workshop on the Oregon Coast made up of professional writers. Considering I walked out of there leaving pretty patterns on the walls from my mind being blown, I couldn’t possibly share everything I learned there, (there’s no way I could do most of it justice, anyway), but I wanted to share one tidbit, at least.
One of the foundational concepts most oft-repeated throughout the course of the workshop was that setting = character.
That one tends to stump people at first, but when you think about it, the premise makes total sense. Whether you are writing in first person or third person, every single thing you write should come from your viewpoint character’s point of view. Meaning, when you look around a fictional room to describe it, you should be looking at it through your viewpoint character’s eyes…not your own. Unless you’re trying for an omniscient point of view (which the prevailing wisdom says, ‘don’t, most people can’t pull it off’),every single thing in your story should be written from a particular character’s point of view.
There really are no exceptions.
This was a big one, actually, and kind of a foundational one, like I said, in terms of layering character development into every part of your story. Similarly, it was pointed out that descriptions of setting really only become ‘boring’ to readers when you don’t do this…meaning when you write more from a bland or distantly poetic ‘writer’s voice,’ and describe a room from outside of your viewpoint character’s personal lens. No matter how skillfully this is done, it’s going to distance the reader from the characters and your story, and, as a result, it’s probably going to cause them to skim.
The thing is, a hundred different people are going to look at the same exact room, and see it in totally different ways. They’re going to notice different details. They’re going to have different opinions about the objects they do notice. Different aspects of the room are going to evoke different memories, different associations, different positive, negative and neutral reactions. They will like and dislike different smells, colors, decorations, wallpapers, photographs, religious symbols, levels of cleanliness, etc.
After all, every single thing you look at as you walk through life is viewed through a particular lens of experience, prejudices and background, as well. How a priest views a church is going to be totally different from how a child views that church…or an atheist, or a woman about to be married in that church, or her soon to be father-in-law who is Jewish and doesn’t approve his son’s choice in fiancées.
Really, you can learn so much about your own characters, just by changing the setting and describing it through their particular lens. What do they think of the room itself? Do they like the art on the walls? The carpet? What does the furniture remind them of? Do they feel comfortable in the room or uncomfortable? Who do they notice in the room, and what does that say about their economic background? Their job? Their sexual orientation?
Knowing that character = setting can also help you choose the right viewpoint character for a particular scene, especially if the details will be critical later. Is the character you’ve chosen going to even notice the relevant details, or are you going to have to make up some excuse for them noticing something they normally wouldn’t?
Playing with setting for particular scenes can provide some really fun, evocative and creative ways to bring your characters to life, and in such a way that the reader doesn’t even notice you are doing it. Using setting, a writer can layer information about their characters into the story so seamlessly that the reader gets to learn about who they are simply by seeing the world directly through their eyes.
First off, though, what do you think? Do you agree with the premise that setting = character? Can you think of any situation in fiction writing where that wouldn’t be the case?
(C’mon, I dare ya!)
Who is JC Andrijeski?
What is your favorite quality about yourself? I like that I’m a ‘do-er’ type, and not someone who just talks about doing stuff. If I say I’m moving to India to live on a mountain and write in a tiny room for two years, you can pretty much believe I’m going to do it. Also, if I say I want to be a full-time fiction writer, you can pretty much guarantee I’m going to kill myself trying to do that, too. I kind of used to think that everyone was like this, that when they said they were going to do things, they meant it. I’ve since learned that’s often not the case, so over the years I’ve learned to really appreciate that quality in myself, as it’s made my life a lot happier and more interesting, I think.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I have this unerring exactitude when it comes to writing and/or saying the one thing that is going to make a certain percentage of people go completely ballistic. I’m not sure what that quality is, exactly, as I generally don’t fight with people much in real life, and I have lovely friends, and for the most part pretty solid and caring relationships with people…but I definitely evoke strong reactions at times, and usually without meaning to. Maybe it’s my debate training in graduate school, where I studied politic science and we were basically trained to bludgeon people with facts and arguments in order to make our case? Maybe I have a latent evil streak that comes up in certain situations without my being fully aware of it? Maybe I’m just an arrogant ass…? Either way, I’m generally contrite afterwards and I will buy cookies.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “It’s a dangerous business going out your front door.” — J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 – 1973). Well, it’s just so true, isn’t it? I mean, you never know where you’ll be from one day to the next, unless you never leave home. Generally, I risk leaving my own home from time to time, but I no longer take for granted that I know where I will be at the end of the day if I do.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? Definitely making the switch from corporate work to full-time writing. There are other things I’ve accomplished that meant a lot to me too, of course, but that one is huge, and something I didn’t really believe I could do until I’d actually done it.
What is your favorite color? Anyone who’s seen my Allie’s Warseries would know that I have a bit of a love affair going with the color green. I’ve very fond of sky blue, too…and yellow is quite nice…and orange. I feel a bit bad picking favorites, actually, as they each have their days when they seem better than all of the others. I guess I’m just a color slut, when it comes down to it.
What is your favorite food? Probably sushi, although it’s definitely a treat more than a staple. I also love Mexican food, but it’s a bit heavy for me these days, unless I’m working out a lot. Truthfully, I eat a lot of sandwiches. Maybe it’s a writer thing?
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Honestly, at the risk of sounding like a regionalist snob, probably San Francisco, although it’s changed a lot over the years. I also fell in love with Paris…and Bangkok. And yeah, I’m kind of a city person, as you can probably tell. I love the energy of cities, especially if they are beautiful, and/or set in a beautiful environment.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? Huh. Lots of ways, actually. My parents had bookshelves pretty much all over the house while I was growing up, and gave me tons to read…and varied stuff, too, from a young age. My mom and I still talk books and share our ‘finds,’ and she and my sister have both been active in book and reading clubs as adults. On a different note, living where we lived, up in the hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, provided a lot of inspiration in different ways…from the natural beauty to some of the quirks of the new Silicon Valley culture that emerged during my own formative years. As a part of that, I was lucky enough to grow up with the kids of some of the more creative and innovative people out there at the time.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Actually, no, I don’t…not precisely, but I think I geared into writing as a means of telling stories pretty much as soon as I learned how to write at all. My personality quirks convinced me early on that it was often safer to write down some of the weird stuff that came into my head than it was to voice it aloud…and I always loved telling stories, pretty much from birth. According to my mother, I ‘marched to my own drummer’ from day one, and always kind of had my head in the clouds. I used to think that made me a freak. Now I know it just makes me a fiction writer.
When and why did you begin writing? I think I was around six or seven. I have a few of those early stories. They’re pretty funny, partly because I see some small element of the same themes that plague me even now as a writer…meaning the ideas I tend to chew on over and over in different ways in a lot of my writing. Most of them involved dogs or rabbits, though. I was a huge fan of Watership Down,obsessively so as a kid.