Zed, The Next Dovetail Cove Novel, Jason McIntyre Tour #AmReading @JasonCMcIntyre

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Zed by Jason McIntyre!

Zed, The Next Dovetail Novel

It’s the waning dog days of August, 1975 and Tom Mason’s in Dovetail Cove for the last few weeks of his summer job at the group home. His boss and the home’s owner is Karen Banatyne, one of the wealthiest folks in town. It seems like she’s got it in for Tom; she’s the only one standing in his way as he scrimps for a new camera.

But Karen has her own problems. A regulatory agency might cut off her funding, plus her hubby hasn’t been seen in a few weeks, and she’s not saying why. Most ominous of all, it seems as though something’s hiding in the hot spring north of the main beach and one of Karen’s ‘houseguests’ is about to come face to face with evil. Tom is too.

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Author Interview

What has inspired you to become a writer?

Inspiration to tell stories came early. I was the kid in the fourth and fifth grade sneakily reading Stephen King novels at 800 pages apiece behind my propped-up math text book. At eight, I was the editor of a short-lived school paper and we didn’t have enough content to fill the back page. I went home and hauled out my Mom’s old IBM typewriter to begin an epic serial about two young girls who are abducted by aliens in their backyard. I knew I had something when the other kids begged to know what would happen in part two. Alas, the teacher who managed the newspaper project got a transfer and part two of the saga never made it out. I guess, in a way, I’ve been writing towards the end of that tale ever since.

How do you come up with your characters and how do you make them so interesting?

I start in a very visual way. Without even closing my eyes, I can clearly see what’s happening and, as I noodle around on the ‘what’ of a story, I eventually start to form a visceral view of the ‘who’ in the tale. The people inside that vision have to become real to me, even before I start the first sentence. If they don’t then I don’t care about them. I have to care, or else I never haul them out of trouble. And, really, isn’t that what makes fiction great? Dumping someone you care about into a heap of worry and then methodically traipsing them out of said trouble in a believable and satisfying way.

My biggest conundrum is when a dazzling or lovely person gets in a trap and they aren’t pulled out in time. It’s the biggest challenge for me — I can’t save everyone and, sometimes, a character I adore needs to die so that things keep chugging for the whole story. Forgive me, readers. I will kill again.

What makes your stories and books different than other books you have read? Everyone has their own style, what is yours?

I mix and match genres, influences and types of stories. One major thrust of my writing life is to never repeat the same kind of book twice. I want to push myself to unearth new and different pieces of myself as I tell stories. So while a book like ZED has companion books that have a flow between them, there are nearly a dozen different genres represented among them. One might be a coming-of-age paranormal while the next might be a murder mystery and then I may discover that the next works best as a straight-ahead horror. There’s noir and crime books and even a western. Now, do they all look exactly like their home genres suggest? Not at a glance. They use the tropes from each genre but usually in a new mix. They meld into something that, I guess, looks and reads like a Jason McIntyre novel. Hopefully, readers enjoy the journey through all the different places I like to play. Oh, and I hope they get scared and a little upset along the way.

Do you plan on writing any other genres?

Future genres include something that no one who’s read my work will believe. I want to write a romance novel and a deeply historical fiction that is true to an extremely ancient time period. As always, I want to have fun with what I write, and produce something unique that interests readers, but pushes me into new territory.

Anything else you would like to discuss about you as a writer?

ZED is part of a mosaic novel. The only other writer I know who’s written this kind of a work is George RR Martin. His mosaic comprised of books written by a dozen different writers all working within one world and telling stories about the same characters.

DOVETAIL COVE works in a similar way. The characters flow in an out of the background of several books and the island setting is the same place, spanning a decade in the history of one place that has a succulent past and a lurid present. The difference between Martin’s mosaic and this one is that I’m writing all the pieces myself. Each DOVETAIL book stands on its own, with a distinct beginning, middle and end. But if you read more of them, the pieces of a much larger puzzle begin to fall into place. At present, ZED marks the fourth of ten books to be released. Others available now are BLED, SHED and DREAD. Look for new ones in 2015 and 2016.

Getting to Know the Author as a Person

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I travel as much as I can and spend time with my crazy kiddos. Readers and friends from social media will likely remember all the posts about the nutty things my kids say. I won’t even mention my wife here. She has her own cult following among my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

I have built a lovely studio in my home and use it to write music, paint when I’m able and, yes, nap profusely when the spirit is not moving me otherwise.

What relaxes you when you need to unwind?

Creation of every sort is about the most relaxing thing I can imagine doing. I adore many forms of music and art and, when I’m in the middle of drafting a new book, it’s the greatest escape from life’s stresses. I peel back the page and transport to an entirely new place as I write. The process of uncovering a story is food for my soul.

What are your favorite foods?

I have always loved to travel and try new experiences and dishes wherever I go. Lately, I’ve been on a jag for Eggs Benedict and have been trying that in as many countries and cities as I can. Now, of course, lots of places don’t have that so I’ve broadened it to ordering eggs prepared in whatever style is most prevalent in the place I’m visiting. It’s really interesting to discover the different cooking methods — not to mention the different kinds of birds’ and lizards’ eggs that have been brought to my table!

Have you ever had any paranormal experiences?

I’ve had what I call ‘inconclusive’ paranormal experiences. Things have happened that, even after intense scrutiny, a rational person might not be able to form a judgment as to whether it was explicable by science or by para-science. Rest assured, all strangeness in my world (paranormal or just odd and intriguing) eventually finds its way into a story or two. Writing, I’ve discovered, has really become my own form of torture, er, I mean self-therapy. I write to understand the events of the world, of people and of my own life.

Tell us anything you would like your readers to know about Jason McIntyre.

I once shared a bottle of expensive red wine with a homeless man. The throat infection I developed the following week nearly put me in the hospital and my health insurance had lapsed so I couldn’t get a scrip for antibiotics. I went through six tubes of topical Polysporin. Yep, I gargled the stuff five times a day until I could see straight again.

Character Interview

Record: 1974-03452
Subject: Zeke <Last Name Redacted>
Date: August 31, 1974
Type: psychological assessment
Method: audio cassette recording
Interviewer’s notes: Zeke seems to be of below average intelligence. My understanding is that he’ll be given comprehensive intelligence and psychological tests upon admittance to a local group home care facility. – CF

Zeke, can you tell me how you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult?

I got me no memory of my Mama. My Daddy, he and I didn’t get along so good. Now we have some good times. He lets me work with him. Least he used to. Now that Chief Birkhead come and get me and start doing his talks with me, I don’t know. I might never do the work with my Daddy again. That might be sad.

What do you want from life?

To keep my truck, wash it, and have it nice fer always. I only got a me few scratches and I buffed them out. I’d like to find a purty lady who maybe doesn’t care that my thinker bottle is cracked and don’t work so good no more.

If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

Like a genie in a bottle? I saw that on a tv show once. I Dream a Genie. Let’s see. A shiny bufferin’ machine. For my truck you know. A new poker stick so’s I can reach way down deep into the sewers. For when I’m on duty and the trash pick up on Main street.
And maybe, I dunno, maybe I’d like to take a train trip one day. I member going on the little loco-mota when I’s a boy. We got one on the island, you know. Lotsa people don’t know that but we do. It was fun. That big smoke stack going way up and making that big smoke in the air. It was fun and I’d like to get me on a train like that again.

What three things would you take to a Desert Island?

I dunno, I already live on an island. Dovetail Cove and a bit north of town is the only place I ever been. Hard question. Can I skip it?

In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why?

I ain’t never different with nobody. Same Zeke alla time. I hate when people give those fake smiles, you know? Or when they lie to you and you know they lyin but you can’t figure out what to say so that the lie is seen. Fakeness is hard. Same Zeke always. Scout’s honour.

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

<inaudible> <muffled response>

Zeke, can you answer? How do you fall in love? Does it take a long time or happen all at once?
I bin in love a couple times you know. I like it when purty girls laugh. They sound so nice and when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that.

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

Hard? Like you mean when dem girls do their laughing and my private parts get—
<inaudible> No. Kay. Nevermind. I like the talking parts but I’m not so good at them. Making purty girls feel safe – I can do that real good. Really, Mister, if you’re gonna keep asking about lovey-dovey stuff, you gots ta talk to my Dad. He says I’m not supposed to talk about this. I got in trouble a couple times now. Chief said.

and when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that.

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

Hard? Like you mean when dem girls do their laughing and my private parts get—
<inaudible> No. Kay. Nevermind. I like the talking parts but I’m not so good at them. Making purty girls feel safe – I can do that real good. Really, Mister, if you’re gonna keep asking about lovey-dovey stuff, you gots ta talk to my Dad. He says I’m not supposed to talk about this. I got in trouble a couple times now. Chief said.

How do you decide if you can trust someone? Experience with others? With this person? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?

Trust? I don’t know. What do you mean, trust?

Oh, I don’t know Zeke, I guess I mean, how do you know someone isn’t lying to you?

I never really think about it. Don’t all Mommies and Daddies teach their little ones to tell the truth? Mine did. I always do. Everyone should.

When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?

I was real good at re-doin floors. All kinds of floors. Tile and wood, polish and rug. I like to see how good a floor is and then I think about how I could do it better.

When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?

Nobody should look at Zeke. My Daddy told me I ain’t supposed to look at nobody so maybe they shouldna look at me.
Describe yourself to me.

Me? I’m strong for my size. I can lift two of me, and I’m real good at looking after Main Street.

Did you turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted?
When I was a kid I got hurt real bad. My thinker took to leaking and I don’t imagine anyone knew I was gonna be like I am. But I can still get by. I do okay.

What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?

Daddy says we ain’t got no souls. But if I had to say, I’d tell you. Purty girls. When they laugh. That’s what touches Zeke’s soul.

What’s the one thing you have always wanted to do but didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t? What would happen if you did do it?

My Dad says I’m not supposed to say.

What do you consider are your strengths?

My arms. My back is pretty strong too.

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet.

What is one physical attribute you are proud of?

Physical what? I told you about my nice truck, right?

What one physical attribute would you change?

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet.

What is one physical attribute you are proud of?

Physical what? I told you about my nice truck, right?

What one physical attribute would you change?

I put two new tires on the back when I saved up enough. I’d change out the front ones if I could afford to.

What do you consider your special talent?

I always do what I say I’m gonna. No one has to guess. Zeke always comes through.

What do you wish your special talent was?
Maybe if I could patch up my thinker. I can see the words. I know what I’m supposed to do and say, but it pours out before the words come to my mouth. Maybe like sand. Or water. If I could patch up m’ thinker, tha’d be good.

What are you most proud of about your life?

You keep asking me that same questions! I told you about my truck, din’t I?

Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it?
This question again. Where’s my Dad? Did he make you ask this one? Trine ta trick me, maybe.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Why?

I have to go now, okay? I should get back to my job with the town.

Describe your ideal mate.

Please Mister. Can’t we just let Zeke go back to work now…?

maybe.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Why?

I have to go now, okay? I should get back to my job with the town.

Describe your ideal mate.

Please Mister. Can’t we just let Zeke go back to work now…?

What are you most afraid of?

<inaudible> <muffled> Okay. I can’t talk to you anymore. Kay?

Zeke, what’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

<sobbing> Come on, Mister, please, you have to let me go back. I’m gonna get in trouble. I can’t do no more of your questions right now.

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

Pleeaaase! Let me go! <inaudible>

*End of Recording

About Jason:

JASON MCINTYRE is the #1 Kindle Suspense author of THE NIGHT WALK MEN, bestsellers BLED and SHED, plus the multi-layered literary suspense, THALO BLUE. His first novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM, earned a spot in the Top 20 Debut Authors for the Goodreads Choice Awards.McIntyre’s debut novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM was VOTED as one of the TOP 20 DEBUT AUTHORS — Goodreads Choice Awards

Learn more and connect with the author at http://www.theFarthestReaches.com

Amazon Author Page

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Meet Author Maria Haskins #AmReading @MariaHaskins #scifi

I’m pleased to introduce you to author Maria Haskins. 🙂 Make sure to check out the poem in the end of the post.

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Bio:

Maria Haskins was born and grew up in Sweden, but has been a resident of British Columbia, Canada since the early 1990s. Currently, she lives just outside Vancouver with her family – a husband, two kids, and a very large dog. She has had several books published in Sweden, and ‘Odin’s Eye’ – a collection of science fiction short stories – is her English language debut.

Her favourite literary genres are fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction; and her favourite writers include Ursula K. Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, T.S. Eliot, George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Orwell, Hemingway, John LeCarré, Umberto Eco, and Colleen McCullough.

In addition to being a writer and blogger, she is also a certified translator, translating between Swedish and English.

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What genre do you write?

Right now I’m writing science fiction, fantasy, and poetry. My current release ‘Odin’s Eye’ is a collection of science fiction short stories, and I am also working on a novel set in the same future “universe” as the short stories. At the same time, I’m also poking around with a science fiction novella, and I’m in the pre-planning stages for a fantasy novel, which should take shape someday. I guess I’ve got too many projects in my head in a way, but at least I always have something to work on! I also write poetry on a continuous basis. For me, writing poetry is kind of like keeping a diary or journal, it’s something I just do whatever else I’m working on. It’s a way to deal with experiences and emotions in everyday life in a more immediate way than you can do with fiction. And just to add to my to-do list, I am planning to release a collection of poetry later this year.

Have you always wanted to be an author?

I have always been writing stories, ever since I was a little kid. At certain points in my younger life, I considered becoming a veterinarian or an archaeologist, but the writing has always been there, I’ve always done it, and I always come back to it. I struggled with terrible writer’s block for a few years, and I don’t think I realized until I came out of that funk just how much happier I am when I’m writing. That experience has really reinforced for me that I do need to do this: I need to write.

Tell me 3 things about yourself that your readers don’t know.

  1. I have a very unhealthy obsession with salted licorice. I blame this vice on the fact that I was born in, and grew up in Sweden: it’s a Swedish thing!
  2. When the TV-series LOST was on TV, I was completely obsessed with it and even had a website dedicated to the series. You can still see it here: http://megeeking.blogspot.ca/
  3. I LOVE online role-playing games. I’ve played Ultima Online, Everquest (was in both of those games from launch), Everquest 2, Dark Age of Camelot, Asheron’s Call, Lord of the Rings Online, World of Warcraft. Right now I’m still active in Guild Wars 2 even though I don’t have as much time for gaming as I once did.

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Tell me about your book.

Odin’s Eye is a collection of science fiction short stories that are all glimpses into this future universe that I envision. The stories take place on Earth, elsewhere in our solar system, and in outer space. In each story a character is facing some kind of challenge or choice. For example, one woman is stranded on an alien planet, another character has to deal with a powerful artificial intelligence, and one woman serves a life sentence on Mars in a prison system that is set up both to punish, and profit from, the convicted. Two of my favourite science fiction authors are Ursula K. Le Guin and Ray Bradbury, so my science fiction isn’t exactly “hard” – like those authors, my main interest as a writer is to explore how human beings are influenced by technology and a changing society, rather than space battles and technological details. I do enjoy reading hard sci-fi, but as a writer I guess I’m just a little softer!

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Links:

My website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com/

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mariahaskinswriter

My Twitter: https://twitter.com/MariaHaskins

My Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00UICDA2K

My Tumblr: http://mariahaskins.tumblr.com/

My Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13459869.Maria_Haskins

Odin’s Eye at Amazon – it’s available in paperback and as an ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Odins-Eye-Maria-Haskins-ebook/dp/B00UIANX06

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Dragon

I said
fire
but I couldn’t even feel the flame
crawling across my skin
– thin and blue –
barely breathing
no heat, no charred skin, no blistered fingertips
no pain.

Won’t touch
don’t touch
not with the words or hands
not even to look at.
I said
there is no fire
and watched it snake and slither across the skin –
blue thin flame
held close to the bone
tight in fist,
my breath withheld.

But, oh.

Oh,
to uncoil in all the glory of it:
jeweled scales shimmering
this shiny coat of arms.
To feel it, rippling across the ground:
the searing, burning, vicious heat of it,
still withheld in my chest, mouth, head
firefirefire
rough and hot and raging
consuming every good and wicked deed and thought and dream
unsaid words like screaming flames
caught in my barbed throat.

No.
Leave it.
Leave well enough alone.

Leave me:
just one claw, just one tooth, just one precious scale.
Just one lick of flame:
thin and blue
barely visible
scrawled upon my naked skin.

© Maria Haskins, 2015

Image based on Wikimedia file.

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Mind’s Eye Editor Robert Helle

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Q: Do you edit particular genres? 

A: I never want to feel pigeonholed or locked into a specific genre. I feel like I can edit in any domain, though my personal interests are geared more toward mystery and suspense. I’ve edited everything from medical transcripts to standardized educational testing manuals, so I’m comfortable in all realms.

Q: Have you always wanted to be an editor?

A: I can’t say I always wanted to be an editor. I always felt like I could excel as an editor, though, and it was a natural progression from newspaper reporter to newspaper editor to book editor. As a youngster, I wanted to be a professional baseball player.  Hell, I still do  (chuckles)!  But I was limited, physically, and I was told, at the age of 9, to “hit the books.” That advice came from my first orthopaedic surgeon and it proved to be an astute comment that I’ve never forgotten.  He was right. I had a congenital hip problem at that tender age and it has resulted in five hip surgeries. I spent the summer of my ninth year in a body cast. And I started reading. It was the proverbial silver lining. I became a prolific reader as a child and I more or less committed myself to reading, writing, and now – editing.

Q: Tell me 3 things about yourself that your followers might not know.

A: Well, that’s a fun topic, Helle. Do I have to limit myself to just 3 (laughing)? And to think I came into this interview thinking that I don’t like talking about myself. Ha! OK, I’ll go with these fun facts:

– I lived on Maui when I was a teenager.  In fact, I started high school there. I became enamoured of the tropical, laid-back lifestyle. But my pleasure was short-lived, as my mother insisted that we return to the heart of the US mainland in the dead of winter.  It was a long time before I forgave her.  My dad hated to leave Maui, too, but you know the old saying: happy wife, happy life.

–  As an eighth-grader, I introduced  former US president  Gerald Ford before he addressed a corporate group in Illinois.  The backstory was that I had won an essay contest the corporation sponsored. Part of my reward was to introduce Ford, who was a Michigan congressman at the time. He actually followed me on the dais.  I read my essay to the conventioneers.  He was extremely congenial and encouraged me to pursue a writing career.

– I once received death threats. You don’t know how mortifying that is until you’re on the receiving end. I was an investigative reporter at a daily newspaper in Illinois and part of that beat was covering criminal trials. The defendant in one trial, who was accused of marital rape, was not particularly fond of my trial stories and he spent a considerable amount of time glaring at me throughout the proceedings. Unfortunately, he was acquitted. I say unfortunately because he was guilty as sin but the jury didn’t buy the concept of marital rape.  Anyway, shortly after the trial ended, I started getting death threats in the mail. The newspaper went to great lengths to protect me, and nothing ever came of it – obviously, since I’m still here. Hahahaha. But it was a terrifying period in my life.

Link: 

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Mind’s Eye Author Eden Baylee – @edenbaylee

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Eden Baylee 

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to become a full-time writer. She incorporates many of her favorite things into her writing such as: travel; humor; music; poetry; art; and much more.

Stranger at Sunset is her first mystery novel, on the heels of several books of erotic anthologies and short stories. She writes in multiple genres.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often!

What genre do you write?

Hi Helle, thanks so much for having me on your great blog!

I write in multiple genres. I started with erotica and erotic/romance when I became a full-time writer five years ago. I have also written many short stories that straddle all genres—thriller, romance, and mystery. In 2014, I released a psychological suspense novel called Stranger at Sunset. It will be the first of a trilogy, so I’ll be continuing in this genre.

Have you always wanted to be an author?

I’d have to say no. Many authors say they’ve known all their lives they wanted to write, but that wasn’t the case for me.  Informally, I’ve been writing since my mid-teens, but it took a long time before I decided to make it a career. Initially, writing was a way of nurturing my fantasy life and my love of reading.

Over time, it evolved, and now I really love to tell a good story.

Tell me 3 things about yourself that your readers don’t know.

Tough one, considering I’ve bared my soul in numerous interviews and my life is an open book!

1) I just wrote a novella about Hawaii and now I must go there.

2) I appreciate beautiful body art but would never get a tattoo myself.

3) I named my external hard drive “Goddess.”

And maybe you all could tell me a bit about your stories.

My first story “Last Call” was based upon one of your photos, Helle, an uplifting scene of blue sky with a feathery sweep of clouds. I found the picture quite cheerful, but on the day I was writing the story, I was not in a cheerful mood. Given that, I twisted the image in my mind and created an ominous, mysterious tale about a woman who pursues sobriety. What happens to her is quite dark.

In my second story, inspired by Martin David Porter’s photograph, there are many elements in the picture. Unlike your photo that conjured a mood, I picked the one feature of Martin’s photograph that I could build my story around—swans, and that is why the story is called “Swans.”  It’s about a young girl and her unique relationship with her parents. The story pays homage to Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Ugly Duckling.”

Many thanks for the interview, Helle!

Links

To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.

Author Links

Website | Blog | Amazon Author page US | Amazon Author page UK

Twitter @edenbaylee | Facebook | Goodreads | Youtube | Pinterest | Linkedin

Mind’s Eye Author Lisette Brodey

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Bio

Lisette Brodey was born and raised in Pennsylvania. After high school, she moved to New York City where she attended Pace University and studied drama. After ten years in New York, several of them working in the radio industry, she moved to Los Angeles, where she held various positions at Paramount Studios in Hollywood and CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA. Back on the East Coast, she worked for many years as a freelance writer, specializing in PR and the entertainment industry. In 2010, she returned permanently to the Los Angeles area.

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What genre do you write?

 

That sounds like an easy question but it’s not. I’ve written in several. Putting labels on books isn’t as simple as it sounds. My first published novel, Crooked Moon, could be considered literary fiction or women’s fiction. Some consider my first-written novel, Squalor, New Mexico, to be Young Adult, as it is a 1970s coming-of-age novel. But many have appropriately classified it as literary fiction, and I agree.

My third novel, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!, is a romantic comedy that is definitely in the chicklit or women’s fiction genre. Currently I’m writing my sixth novel, which is also book 3 of a Young Adult paranormal series.

My seventh novel is partially written, and it is definitely literary fiction. That’s probably the genre in which I’ll stay. But you never know!

~

Have you always wanted to be an author?

 

Ever since I learned how to write, I wanted to, but I wasn’t sure what to write: plays, screenplays, or books. For the past twenty years, I’ve been content to be a novelist.

Tell me 3 things about yourself that your readers don’t know.

 

I have never and would never write a character that is solely me. Not even close.

 

I have a very difficult time reading most books written as if they’re happening in present time, e.g. she walks to the door and answers it.

 

I consider typing the most valuable class I ever took in high school.

 

Tell me a bit about your stories

“I Wish…,” which was inspired by your sunset photo, is the story of a well-to-do woman who lives in a New York City high rise. She is married to a good man, but having focused solely on her children, she is now lost and lonely as they have lives of their own. Every day, she watches the rush-hour traffic from her window, but she dreams of being back in a vacation spot she visited with her family decades ago and longs for the blissful sunset she remembers so ardently.

“May Twenty-Fourth” is the story of two American sisters, Julie and Carol, who travel to England together. Despite the death of her husband, Julie is a happy person. She has many friends and a positive outlook on life. Carol is happy being miserable. She’s a chronic complainer who rarely appreciates anything in life. Julie takes Carol on a trip to London in hopes of bonding with her sister away from the stresses of home. On a bus ride to see some church ruins, Carol makes a life-changing decision that impacts both sisters profoundly.

Links

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Mind’s Eye Author Ben Ditmars @benditty

me

Bio:

Ben is an author of gnomes, plays, poetry and more. He was first published in his college publication and heads the poetry committee at the Mid-Ohio Fine Art Society. Currently, he lives in Marion, Ohio and is working toward his Master’s Degree. He loves historical documentaries and all things gnome.

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What genre do you write?

I mostly write poetry but I’ve been known to dabble in fan fiction and stories about magic Zeppelins.

Have you always wanted to be an author/poet?

Interesting question.  I’ve always been writing (and sometimes scaring my elementary school teachers in the process).

I know I’ve always wanted to be myself and make a difference, which writing seems to help.

Tell me three things your readers might not know.

  • I’m terrified of uncertainty. Writing helps me face my fears, but driving to strange places, relationships, even the dark at times can overwhelm me.  Also, death. I really don’t want to die.
  • I’m addicted to caffeine: soda, coffee, tea. Everything but energy drinks. Apparently, I draw the line somewhere.
  • I head a local poetry group where we meet every month to share words, thoughts, and other suggestions.

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My poems in “Triptychs” are inspired by some thought-provoking (and beautiful) photographs. For the first Think Green I thought of my mother. She’s always had a green-thumb and seems to think days are best spent outside doing some form of yard work. It’s not a bad thing, unless you have poetry to write or lessons to plan, but I know I’ll miss it when she’s gone.  My second poem “Dry dock” was a take on nostalgia. Martin’s photograph reminded me of age and the danger of complacency. Writers can be guilty of over-dreaming and I’ve tried to get outside and live as much as I write: but it’s hard when there are books to read.

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