Friday, June 30, 2017

Interview with writer, Melion




Writer Melion is with me today.  Melion’s short stories have appeared in, or are forthcoming in, Deep Magic, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, Cast of Wonders, Scarlet Leaf Review, Havok, and T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog. Check out her haphazard blog: https://delusionsofsanityblog.wordpress.com/


And onto the interview...


Melion, when you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
My main characters and my secondary characters are largely fleshed out before I begin writing. Small aspects of them may change, or they may develop in ways I hadn’t initially anticipated, but I have them mostly constructed by the time I start writing.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever researched?
A lot of writers make quips about how their Google searches probably put them on a no-fly list somewhere, but I don’t think I’ve researched anything eyebrow-raising. I’ve researched the stages of decomposition, but I think that’s pretty standard for writers. Right? Please tell me that’s standard, because I didn’t perform that search in an incognito window.

If you could have dinner with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why? Do I get to have dinner with the three authors all together?
If so, I choose G.K. Chesterton, Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe. Then I could sit quietly and observe as literary geniuses interact. I would love to see what sorts of conversations those three would have if brought together. This is, of course, assuming that conversation remains civil and nobody flips over a table.

What are two major pitfalls you’ve experienced as a writer, and how did you handle them? The first being that I innately suck at writing. What?
I’m not supposed to admit this? Well, I’m admitting it because, if I can overcome that pitfall, I can overcome anything else. I have works on floppy disks (yeah, those were once a thing) that I’ve destroyed because the writing was just wretched. The characters were bland, the narration was overwrought and heavy-handed, and, worst of all, nothing happened. Seriously, it was like visiting with a crazy cat lady.
For me, it was a matter of practice—a great deal of practice—and a willingness to listen to the advice of people who do know how to write. I’m still trying to improve and better myself, but the consistent and determined practice is slowly paying off. I’ve sold some stories to publications, and I’ve written scenes which have made readers cry.
My second pitfall is a lack of boldness. It took me years to work up the nerve to submit anything because I thought success happens to other people. I’ve since wised up and learned that success happens to people who get off their butts and try. Yes, failure happens to them, too, but so does success. So now I get up off my butt and I try. I still fail, but I do occasionally succeed, and that makes it worth the risk.

If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose? Why?
This depends. Am I still a common, average, nobody-knows-who-you-are little human? If so, I think I’ll stick to living here where I at least have air conditioning, antibiotics and inalienable rights (hey, despite being boring, I recognize when I have a good thing going for me). But that isn’t really an interesting answer, is it?
Since I’m a writer, let’s find something interesting. Uh . . . I choose the world of Redwall. But only if I can be an otter. The otters are great: they’re fun-loving, dependable, fierce. Besides, they swim about all the time and eat ungodly amounts of spicy food with no mention of horrifying aftereffects; additionally, they always seem to find the opportunity to go adventuring. Sign me up as an otter, and I’ll gladly defend Redwall Abbey.

That's all the time we have today readers. Thanks for joining me Melion.



More about Melion: When not writing things, she still lives with one spouse, two dogs and an acceptable amount of chaos. She is occasionally found playing with swords, studying martial arts, and lifting weights. Other times, she hides with a book and an energy drink as she avoids the tumbleweeds of dog hair overwhelming her house.

D de Carvalho joins the Global Dig


Today I'm interviewing writer D. de Carvalho
D. is a native of far-flung locations, and a grade A student of life, Carvalho developed his passion for fine foods and erotic encounters at a young age. He is proud to be a practicing member of the BDSM community, as well as a self-confessed and widely acknowledged grumpy old man.


In the Hot Pink series, D. de Carvalho serves up a smorgasbord of hot ‘n spicy erotic tales with no holds barred. Whether you savor sweet romance or crave the delicious tang of dark desire, Carvalho caters with tales to tempt every taste. Each sexy story arrives with a side order of humor, sprinkled with a touch of suspense, paranormal or mystery.

And onto the interview...

Celebrate the Small Things #classiccars


I'm celebrating my week.  This is a blog hop Originated by VikLit . I came across this blog on Lexa Cain's site. If you want to join in visit this site 
Last week I saw a free car show thanks to my detour from the Como Zoo  to MN State Fairgrounds.  Here's what I saw:





It was raining that day and we had to leave the Zoo Early but there's nothing like seeing the positive side of things.




Readers, If you want to comment please do so in the comments below.



Saturday, June 24, 2017

#WEWRIWA #YA

Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warriors post
This is a weekly challenge blog hop found at:  www.wewriwa.com 


An excerpt from My Novel: Oh Brother

Beware of ghosts, they said. Seeing he had no choice, if he wanted to save the woman, he strayed off the path and entered the woods. After a while, he realized he was lost. He could no longer hear the woman’s voice. Shadow beasts were said to have found him and ravished his body. Insects sucked his blood only for them to later evolve and turn into the blood sucking mosquitos that we have today. Many other campers throughout the years strayed off the path in their curiosity, despite this boy’s perilous fate. But they, too disappeared. Swarms of mosquitos are here to remind campers to never stray from any path again.


Weekend Writing Warriors is a Sunday short-snippet blog hop in which authors share short excerpts from their books (published or unpublished). There’s a variety of genres–something for everyone! To visit the participating authors, click on the site   www.wewriwa.com 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#ReadORama Progress Report #amreading

Books Trin Carl is Reading/Listening to
I've got pretty far in my Read-O-Rama challenge. I thought I'd show a snap shot of books I'm either in the process of reading or finished.

I have finished this self help book entitled "Show Your Work."
Here is a blurb from the book :

Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It’s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time “networking.” It’s not self-promotion, it’s self-discovery—let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, Show Your Work! offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive.

In chapters such as You Don’t Have to Be a GeniusShare Something Small Every Day; and Stick Around, Kleon creates a user’s manual for embracing the communal nature of creativity— what he calls the “ecology of talent.” From broader life lessons about work (you can’t find your voice if you don’t use it) to the etiquette of sharing—and the dangers of oversharing—to the practicalities of Internet life (build a good domain name; give credit when credit is due), it’s an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age.

I've been trying to find different ways that I can show my writing and reading process.  The book really goes into detail about how important it is for an artist to do this.  The book talks about how artists often think that by showing your work someone might come and steal your thunder.  But that's not really the case.  Readers and art enthusiasts love to see the process and no one person's process is going to be the same.  No one person can accumulate the amount of hours you have done to get to where you are, and people love to learn how they can become successful.

So far I've been:

  1.  posted my writing on Youtube (through audio files)
  2.  posted my work on my blog.  
  3. I've been using social networking for my work on twitter and facebook
  4. I've considered having other youtubers read some of my work on their channels.  This one youtuber I know is a fabulous professional narrator, so I've been thinking of asking him to do read my work after its gone through the editing process.





Readers, If you read any good books let me know in the comments below.




Friday, June 16, 2017

My Wacky Weekend @BakngInaTornado @TrinCarl #Fridayfeeling

Today’s post is a USE YOUR WORDS writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

Here are the words I was given by http://Bakinginatornado.com 
renew ~ number ~ window ~ news ~ temperature     

Last weekend I was invited to the number one party of the summer, hosted by no other than Bro Quincy Carl. About 20 people came. It was fun to say the least.  
Here's what was on the menu:
cheesy tortellini
chicken terriyaki tacos
steak tacos (from the grill)
All the sides included
chips and salsa
And a Coconut Creme cheese cake to boot.

I've never put on such a spread or hosted such a party.  In fact I like to take a back seat approach to most parties and hand over the hosting to other individuals.
For my grad party, baby shower and bridal shower various family members hosted.  Now, you might be telling yourself "Of course, why not?" But if those parties are the only ones you ever hold you'd think I'd throw a few myself.
Either way, I'm not a party planner. 
A pic of the storm taken by a friend
The news of my bros party came by a modern invitation:Facebook.
The weather was great. 

 The Storm held off until the following morning.  

Thunder, lightening and rain caused debris to fall everywhere in the neighborhood.  A green dark sky loomed through the window and wind blew through trees similar to that of a hurricane.  
The temperature at the party the previous day was around 80 degrees Fahrenheit perfect for a bonfire and perfect for sitting around and talking with old friends. I helped cut and throw pine tree branches into the fire, causing ten foot flames to reach for the sky. I'd definitely redo or renew this day given the opportunity.                       '


Last weekend I also worked on a novella that I'm currently writing

Here is an excerpt from Oh Brother by Trin Carl:
  We peaked through the windows of the abandoned house and saw white barren walls and no furniture which made it seem desolate.  To the right I could see Burns standing in the front porch looking out the window.  I checked the side door and was surprised when it opened with ease.  Zion and I snuck into the back bedroom where we closed the door and  crouched down to hide in a closet.  
I stared across at Zion, whose legs were folded like Pinocchio.  He wore a red silk jacket and tan corduroys.  His teeth were shattering in time with mine.   We both looked around our small enclosure.
“Burns wuz here,” was written in pencil on the closet walls.   From my vantage point, I couldn’t see Burns, but felt panicky to be in the abandoned house with him just a corridor away.
“Listen,” I said to Zion just then.
Burns seemed to be talking to someone.  I pointed to the closed bedroom door and Zion followed me as I opened it just a tad.  Burns was in the porch, but I couldn’t make out who the boy who was beside him.  
“Zion, do you know who that is?” I whispered.
“Looks like Melanie’s brother,” he said.
We called him Melanie’s brother, because we never took the time to learn his name.  We often gave our friend’s nicknames according to their position in their family.  Melanie called me: Sister Ami (Ami being short for Amelia) and Zion, she called Brother Zion.
I could still picture her calling out to the both of us.  Hey sister Ami.  Hey Brother Zion.
Burns and Melanie’s brother took a seat in the porch thirty feet away from us, facing the street.  
“I’m glad you’ve made it.” Burns said, “I have a proposition for you.”
“What, you need more cigarettes?” Asked Melanie’s brother in nonchalance, his head full of brown curls waggling side to side.
“No, nothing like that,” Burns said. “Look, you need money right?  I have a job where you can make quick money fast.  You’d work for Butch, my next door neighbor.  You know him right?”
“You mean your neighbor who owns the rope swing in his backyard?” asked Melanie’s brother.
“Yeah him.  Butch has a private tow business where he picks up cars off the highway.”  
“Is that legitimate?” Melanie’s brother asked.
“Yes and no,” Burns said. “Yes, the cars he picks up are sold for parts to legal junkyards.  But no, he doesn’t have the title to sell the cars.”
A pic Trin Carl took  6/13/17 at Lego Land, MOA

I was surprised and stunned.  Butch is stealing cars off the highway and selling them for parts. I looked at Zion who had one eyebrow arched and was gripping the door as if a criminal was going to knock it down.
“Isn’t that illegal?”  Melanie’s brother asked.  “My mom says the only way you can sell a car, is if you have a title.”

“Look, it's not as bad as you think.  People aren’t using these cars anymore.  They’re can barely start and any car older than ten years can be sold without a title.  We’re just doing what the boss calls, “Cutting out the middle man.”

(This is as far as I got.  I hope you enjoyed it)

Readers if you had anything interesting happen to you this summer so far, let me know in the comments below.
                    

Thursday, June 15, 2017

T is for Terrific Actress #AtoZchallenge via @trincarl

Chloe Bell with Benjamin Lohrberg
Today I'm interviewing Chloe Bell for my#AtoZchallenge (26 blog posts in one month's time).  
Chloe Bell is an actress in the University's BFA actor training program. Chloe can be contacted on instagram.



And onto the interview...




Chloe, you performed

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

#ReadORama #WednesdayWish #pubjoy


Picking the perfect place to read my books for Read-O-Rama just got easy thanks to a local Cafe.

 I'm a little late as this week is the seventh round in the challenge. You have to read 7 books in a week.  Not sure I'm going to get through the 7 but I'll try my best.  If you want to find more about the challenge visit https://twitter.com/readorama?lang=en 
There are eight different challenges in each round and this round started Sunday, 6/11 and ends 6/17.  I love going on Youtube and seeing people sweat through these challenges.  I like to see their reading habits:where they read and in what kind of spurts, etc.  Some people stay up all night and don't wake up till late the next morning, so it's cool to see how reading affects people's lives.

1.


 A book with "RAMA" in the title or author's name
You in Five Acts by Una La Marche


2. Read a book with Water on the Cover
Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman


3. Read a short book (150 pages or less.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
This MC is allergic to nearly everything and lives in bubble.

4. Read a Graphic Novel
The Blind Prophet by Joseph Cillo, Jr.
I just interviewed author Cillo and I'm so looking forward to reading his book.

5. A book you been anticipating
Blown Away by Steve Day 
Steve Day is fellow Indie Author who has offered me his book in exchange for an honest review.  
'


6. Read an Own Voices book
The Upside of Unrequited 
by 

7. A book released in the summer (doesn't have to be this summer)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (a script) story by J.K.Rowling play by Jack Thorne
This was released the summer of 2016






Readers if you ever made goals for reading more let me know in the comments below.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Interview with Joseph Cillo, Jr.

Cover of Joseph Cillo's comic book, Blind Prohet
Joining me today is Joseph Cillo, Jr.
Joe is the writer and creator of Blind Prophet comic books and graphic novels. He has been inspired to write screenplays and graphic novels with an underlying religious and moral viewpoint, along the lines of some of the twentieth century masters like Graham Greene, C.S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Screenplay titles currently to his credit are: “Carlton St. Michael in the Afterlife,” a comedy; “When the Wood is Dry,” a drama / crime drama, and “Blind Prophet,” a science fiction/fantasy. He is busy at work at this time converting the screenplay for "When The Wood Is Dry" into a full length novel, which should be released sometime in 2017 on the Kindle platform.

And onto the interview...

Joe, which writers inspire you?

Ah, inspiration!  It beats perspiration!

I am very much inspired by the twentieth century Catholic/Christian writers like Graham Greene, C.S. Lewis, and Flannery O'Connor.  I find there is a greater depth to works that deal with issues from a religious perspective.  If a writer creates a character who does not take a position on whether or not there is a God, or how that God may or may not be at work, it is just not a realistic character.  It is a defining question for characters, and their position on that question changes everything, just as it does in real life.

So, what have you written?

You mean, letters and such? ;-)

I started writing screenplays when I saw an interview with a Hollywood movie producer who suggested that if you don't like the movies you're seeing, you should write your own.  But writing a movie is a long way from seeing it on the screen, about as far as a blueprint is from a building!  

I have written three screenplays, and have begun two more.  But, I've concluded that however good a movie might be made from my screenplays, it won't end up being anything like what I have conceived, given the modern movie-making process, unless, maybe, I had a fan base who would be really cheesed off if they saw a story they loved butchered in a movie badly done.  But, it is hard to build a fan base around a movie script!

So, I have turned one, Blind Prophet, into a graphic novel, published in comic-book-like episodes, and am converting another, When The Wood Is Dry, into a full length novel.  I may also eventually turn my first screenplay, Carlton St. Michael In The Afterlife into a novel, or possibly a graphic novel.  This one is a comedy, about an anti-Catholic comedian who has a near-death experience, and discovers he may need to change his act.

Blind Prophet was conceived of as a kind of big, high-stakes, comic book movie, featuring a more Christian-type of hero.  One meek, and humble, of little worth in the eyes of the world, but who would end up being the key person in saving the world, while never raising his hand in violence.  A kind of writing challenge to create the biggest character arc possible.  I came up with a boy born blind and autistic, rejected by his father as defective, who gains a power to peer into the spiritual realm, and understand the temptations facing the characters he encounters, before they choose to do something evil.  


When The Wood Is Dry was conceived of as a classic Shakespearean-style tragedy.  It is a rather brutal and shocking story of a seventeen year old girl who clings to her faith through her suffering, wrapped in a crime drama / detective story.  The title is from a bible quote, when Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem as he carries the cross and says, "Weep not for me, but for yourselves and your children.  For if these things happen when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"  

Blurb from Blind Prophet: The story is about a boy, born blind and autistic, who undergoes an experimental procedure to stimulate his vision, that gives him the ability to see into the spiritual realm, where demons tempt, and angels defend. We call the Blind Prophet a New Kind of Hero... We dedicate Blind Prophet, "For all the superheroes who never were given a chance...

Link to Joseph Cillo's graphic comic book
https://www.amazon.com/Blind-Prophet-Episode-Born/dp/1942590008/ref=bseries_primary_1_1942590008

You'll have to read the book when it comes out to find out...

What are you currently working on and what is it about?

I am currently working on the rewrite of When The Wood Is Dry, which is with my editor right now.  I am also working on promoting Blind Prophet, and working with the artist to complete the remaining 3 episodes.  I also have begun a romantic comedy, for which I have nearly completed a draft of a screenplay.  I seem to be having a little difficulty settling into a specific genre, but after spending so much time in the depths of When The Wood Is Dry, I need to follow it with something much lighter.  The heaviness of the material has really taken a toll on me...

What drew you to write in this genre?

So, I write in various genres, but a common theme is exploring the moral dimension within the soul, at times in a very explicit way.  Discovering the works of Graham Greene drew me to this kind of emphasis.  I remember thinking, "Wow, people actually write like this?"  Most of what I had read before might hide or disguise religious themes within the work, but Greene just went full-on into it, with a kind of religious, moral dimension as a reality to be confronted in the consciences of his characters.  That gave his work a kind of depth and dimension that was lacking even in many of the other excellent works of fiction I had read.  I guess I'm a little like Greene, in that I write in various genres, as well.  I just wish I could write as well as he did...

How much research do you do?

The internet provides a way to research most of what I need to write fiction.  I am perhaps a little lazy on this score, but one of the benefits to writing fiction is that you can just make stuff up, as long as it fits within the fictional universe.  Like, in When The Wood Is Dry, I was looking for a setting that had a public trail to a scenic view over a cliff dropping to the ocean, and a town within walking distance.  Well, I really could not find a place like that, so I made one up.  I always figured when I was writing the screenplay that the producer or director would find a location, but when I began converting the story into a novel, I found I had to fill in a lot more detail.  I actually think the story works better in a completely fictional town, but some people may be critical that it is not as realistic as it could be.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

The cover is absolutely critical, especially these days, where there are so many books displayed as little thumbnails.  If people don't click on your book, they won't buy it.  I am considering redoing all my existing covers in the Blind Prophet series, to improve them for purchase on the internet.  I had not researched enough what makes a good cover when I developed them with the artist.


What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Self-publishing gives you more control, but consumes a lot of time and energy that could be spent on writing.  These days, authors are probably better off self publishing, but to do so, you need to spend some time developing a strategy.  Creating a series of books within a well-defined genre is probably best, but is not something I am actually doing.  

You get some status and credibility with a traditional publisher, but many times, they don't do all that much to promote your books, and take a high percentage of the revenue.


Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

You need to write a lot of books, and be willing to give some away to build a following.  One author I saw gives away four of his books, so fans can "start their collection!"  I think that is a bit of overkill on the principle, but the idea is to build a relationship with your readers for the long term.  I learned a lot about book marketing from two courses:

1) Self Publishing School - this one is designed for people who always wanted to write a book, and never got to it.  The course includes a step-by-step process to write and self-publish a book, using an Amazon Kindle-first strategy.  I bought it for the latter portion which deals with how to publish and market books, since I already had a book written.  It may not be the best choice for people who have already written a book, but it will definitely be helpful, even for those who have.  It is especially good for non-fiction writers.  You will learn about what makes a good cover, and how to position and market your book in Amazon, in particular.  Here's a link:

2) Your First 10,000 Readers - This course is focused on brand building and marketing, and is great for writers who write many books, especially if they are in a certain genre, and it is really great if you have a series based on a character or fictional universe.  It only focuses on marketing and self-publishing strategies, so if you are unfamiliar with all the details about writing and producing a book, the first option is better.  But, if you are a writer who has a couple of books that have not been selling well, even if you have a traditional publisher, this is a fantastic resource.  Both of these resources have very good free videos that you can check out.  Depending on where you are in your writing journey, you can choose which is best.  Here's the link for Your First 10,000 Readers:


What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Right now, I am spending more time marketing than writing, which is not a situation I prefer.  But, hopefully, once we get through the launches of Blind Prophet, and When The Wood Is Dry, I will be able to put my head down and work on writing, again.  For me, it takes about 20 minutes or so to really get into that "writing zone," where I am totally absorbed in the task.  So it is hard for me to just squeeze in a few minutes here and there to write.

What readers have been saying about Blind Prophet

on March 30, 2017
I enjoyed reading this comic/graphic book, such a quick and delightful read! At the end of the book, I was left craving for more. It is such a relief that there is mention of more to come! I loved the way the characters develop and draw you in to experience the story. I looking forward to how this story unfold. To me this has such a great message of how God often uses the foolish things of this world to confront the wise. It is always a wonder when what appears to be weak surprises everyone with outstanding abilities which is what the main character in this series is set to become.

Readers, if you read graphic novels or if you're reading something out of your usual genre let me know in the comments below.


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