Finding Inspiration in the least likely place!

My university degree is in the performing arts; a dual major in Theatre & Communications. Acting has been my passion for a very long time. After college, I moved to Los Angeles, like so many other hopeful young actors, to make a go of it. I booked a few low budget films, a dozen commercials, and a handful of indie-films, but my big break never happened.

Eventually, some life changes took me away from Los Angeles and my dreams of becoming a professional actor. Don’t get me wrong, I did NOT give up on acting. I still do the occasional play, every now and then, when I can make my real job line up with rehearsals. Although, it isn’t the same. 

I’ve been away from Los Angeles, and my dreams, for over 15 years now and I still find myself overcome with sadness every time the Academy Awards are on.

How’s that for honesty?!

Truth be told, I have a great life and a family I adore. Plus, I’ve been lucky enough to have found other artistic outlets that bring me true happiness; theatre of course, but also writing. 

Last night, while I sat with my son while he watched an episode of Liv and Maddie (Season 2 Episode 2) I found inspiration in something the father said to Maddie, “Just because you can’t do something you love, doesn’t mean you have to stop loving it.”

For the last 15 years, I’ve felt guilty for missing Los Angeles. As if leaving my dreams behind meant that I had to give up that passion. I felt like the ‘move’ was supposed to be easier and that there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t able to just let go of the goals I had been working toward for so long. Last night I realized that it’s ok to hang on to that passion, those goals, those dreams. It’s okay to embrace them not only through theatre but also through other forms of art such as writing. 

So, whatever your passion is, know that you don’t ever have to give it up – not fully.


Once Upon A Time…

Not all fairy tales start with Once upon a time. Not all fairy tales have a happy ending. Not all fairies fly around like Tinkerbell with fairy dust.

COMING SOON! COMING SOON! COMING SOON! COMING SOON!

Austin discovered at the young age of ten that fairies aren’t exactly what Disney made them out to be and that blood tastes a lot like honey. Now, as an adult, he struggles to balance his public life with the one he’s so desperate to keep hidden. With the death count adding up, will he be able to keep his secret or will his world come undone? In this exciting interactive adventure, you’ll get to decide who lives and who dies. The body count is up to you, are you ready?


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Quit talking and begin doing!

Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

We’ve all suffered from procrastination at one time or another. We make excuses. We tell ourselves things like, ‘I just don’t have the time right now,’ ‘I’ll get to that later’ or ‘I have other, more important, things to do right now.’ In reality, we are letting our fears of failure stop us from achieving our full potential. As authors, we do this a lot.

Today, I stopped talking and began doing! I let go of my fears, dropped the excuses that I knew were only holding me back, and sat down with my WIP (Work in Progress). I had finished the first draft during NANOWRIMO November 2018 and have since been putting off the much needed edits/re-writes.

Today, instead of putting it off for another day… week… or month, I decided to dedicate two hours this evening to writing. I made it through ten chapters and discovered a burst of creativity I’ve been longing for. I’m motivated in a way I haven’t been for quiet some time. Instead of dreading my next writing session, I’m looking forward to it. Instead of being worried I wont have anything to write, I can’t seen to turn my brain off. Sometimes all it takes is a little coffee and a bit of self-encouragement.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

TITLE:                    Turtles All the Way Down (2017)

AUTHOR:               John Green

GENRE:                  Young Adult Fiction

PAGE COUNT:       320

Re-Print:                June 11, 2019

RATING OVERVIEW [Overall: ★★★★.★ (4.5)]
Story: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

THE INSTANT #1 BESTSELLER IS NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!

FEATURED ON 60 MINUTES and FRESH AIR

“So surprising and moving and true that I became completely unstrung.” – The New York Times

Named a best book of the year by: The New York Times, NPR, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, Publishers Weekly, BookPage,A.V. Club, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Vulture, and many more!


JOHN GREEN, the acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, returns with a story of shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

Aza Holmes never intended to pursuethe disappearance of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Pickett’s son Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

MY 2 CENTS / THE CRITICAL POINTS:

I knew nothing about this book, other than what was stated in the Amazon description, when I started reading it. It was a book club selection and probably one I wouldn’t have picked for myself otherwise. With that said, I am very glad I read it. I enjoyed it way more than I expected to.

STORY (★★★★★): In a nutshell, this story is about Aza Holmes, a young girl who suffers from a mental disorder that keeps her trapped in an inward spiral of her own thoughts, as she struggles to live a normal life. We get to see a glimpse into Aza’s life, watching/reading as she learns new things about herself and life, pushes her best friend away, finds love, looses love, and fights internally to decide what is right and what is wrong.

There is also a secondary storyline weaved throughout Aza’s story, that is of the missing billionaire. Ok, maybe it isn’t so much about him, but more about the two sons he has left behind; Davis and Noah. Davis, a long-lost friend of Aza’s and Noah, his little brother, are living in a mansion alone because their mother abandoned them when they were younger and their father has disappeared.

John Green is a wonderful storyteller. He knows his characters inside and out. The way he writes Aza is so detailed its as if he is literally in her head. Or, maybe it’s the other way around. The way he ties the two storylines together is seamless and beautiful. I think there could have been more about the missing dad, allowing us to relate to that family a bit more, but he gave the reader, and Aza, just enough to understand what the boys were going through and how to react.

WRITING (★★★★★): John Green’s writing style is fluid and easy. His chapters flow from one to the other with little, if any, breaks. Everything feels cohesive and complete. I think I read this one over a five-day period in about three sittings. I have no complaints about his style and would definitely pick up another book. In fact, I have my eyes on Paper Towns next.

CHARACTERS (★★★★): I loved the characters of Davis and Noah, honestly, I wanted to get to know them more. Aza, the lead character, was very well written, but I couldn’t relate to her in any way. Her anxieties and OCD behaviors were so realistic and well developed, but her constant negative self-talk and obsessions with her inner thoughts drove me a little crazy. Maybe that was the plan… maybe the author wanted the reader to feel a little trapped in Aza’s constant thought spiral, trapped so that we could experience what she feels. However, for me, her thought spirals were the reason I’d put the book and take a break. I needed a little time away from the negativity, second guessing, and often disturbing thoughts.

APPEARANCE (★★★★): I have the paperback, and it is a pretty simple cream-colored cover with large black lettering and an orange spiral. Again, I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up and read it, if it hadn’t been for book club, the cover just doesn’t really pull me in. The cover just doesn’t do justice to the story inside.

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“Your now is not your forever.”

“Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”

“No one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John Green
(Photo from Author Amazon Page)

John Green is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan), and The Fault in Our Stars.

His many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. John has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the Vlogbrothers (youtube.com/vlogbrothers) and co-created the online educational series CrashCourse (youtube.com/crashcourse). You can join the millions who follow him on Twitter @johngreen and Instagram @johngreenwritesbooks or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com.

John lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Also by John Green

Click on the cover image to read the book’s description and purchase your copy!

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Author Interview ~ Francis H. Powell

I love days when I get to support other authors and showcase some of their work. Today is one of those days. I’d like to welcome Francis H. Powell, author of Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation to my blog today.

About Francis H Powell
Born in 1961, in Reading, England Francis Powell attended Art Schools. In 1995, Powell moved to Austria, teaching English while pursuing his varied artistic interests adding music and writing. He currently lives in Paris, writing both prose and poetry.

What is your name and do you write under a pen name? My full name is Francis Hulbert Powell and my author name is Francis H Powell.

Where do you call home? Brittany in France, I have lived in France for over 20 years

We know you are an author, but do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do? I am a teacher and have been for the last thirty years, so I can’t be too terrible at my job. I mostly enjoy it, but there are occasional hard days, with problematic students.

What is your family like? I am married with a wife, a child who is nearly 7  and a dog that does not get on with other dogs, when he feels he should be protecting us.

What is your favorite film based on a book? I love One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, it is a great story and film, with some great acting, it is the kind of film, that sticks in the head, for the rest of your life. The ending is tragic of course.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? My most recent book is called Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation. The title says a lot about it’s content. It is a mixture of horror, science fiction, with quirky characters and a bit of humor, so it is not all doom and gloom.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book? I wanted to do the cover, because I am an artist and went to Art school. I sent many versions, which were rejected by the publisher. Last Christmas I took a photograph, at night, in the town where I live and they finally accepted it.

What if the human race was considered irrelevant and then each being was just uploaded then locked away on hard drives called “brain pods?”

What if a sub species was to come into fruition, then the human race turned on it, hunted it down before trying to annihilate it? Imagine you found out you were an ancient soul, who is reunited with another being from your former life?

Set in different time in a variety of settings and time periods, the past, the present and the future, the book explores the inevitable unknown that lies before us all “death”. Death can be arrive in a multitude of forms. Each part of the book explores different themes. There are characters who following their demises have to face up to their lurid pasts….

How did you come up with the title for your book? I wanted to have a title that (hopefully hasn’t been used by another author). I wanted the idea that the book was like an adventure/ journey, as death is the ultimate journey.

Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company? The book is published by Beacon Publishing company.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing? Maybe start with short stories. Try to develop your own unique style. Develop a strong  rich vocabulary.  Develop your craft.

Also by Francis H. Powell

Flight of Destiny

A collection of 22 short stories about misfortune characterized by unexpected final twists at the end of each tale.

Where can your readers follow you?


#Theredheadedauthor Presents the January 2020 New York Times TOP 10 Best Sellers – YOUNG ADULT

As an avid reader of fiction (and an author who one day hopes to make the list) I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE checking out the New York Times Best Seller list. So, here it is… The independently ranked top 10 Young Adult selections for January 2020!

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

If you’ve read any of the TOP 10 selections and recommend them, please comment below and let me know. If you see something you like and plan to pick up a copy, you can do so by clicking on the cover image, the title or the [BUY IT HERE] button.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


#1 Children of Virtue and Vengeance

by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie must stop the threat of civil war in Orïsha.


#2 Children of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie fights to restore magic to the land of Orïsha.


#3 Five Feet Apart

by Rachael Lippincott

Stella and Will are in love, but they can’t get within five feet of each other.


#4 The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

A 16-year-old girl sees a police officer kill her friend.


#5 One of Us is Lying

by Karen M. McManus

For five students, a detour into detention ends in murder.


#6 Dear Evan Hansen

by Val Emmich with Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

When one of Evan’s letters to himself is accidentally found on a suicide victim, the victim’s family assumes that he was a close friend.


#7 Loki Where Mischief Lies

by Mackenzi Lee

Loki is sent to Earth to investigate a string of murders that used Asgardian magic.


#8 The Fountains of Silence

by Ruta Sepetys

During the fascist rule of Spain, Ana and Daniel’s romance blooms amid the turmoil.


#9 Wayward Son

by Rainbow Rowell

Simon, Penny and Baz head to America where they find trouble.


#10 The Secret Commonwealth

by Philip Pullman

Lyra Silvertongue’s adventures begin again as she searches for a refuge for separated daemons.


When you purchase a book using a link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.


#Theredheadedauthor Presents the January 2020 New York Times TOP 10 Best Sellers – FICTION

As an avid reader of fiction (and an author who one day hopes to make the list) I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE checking out the New York Times Best Seller list. So, here it is… The independently ranked top 10 Fiction selections for January 2020!

Image by Marisa Sias from Pixabay

If you’ve read any of the TOP 10 selections and recommend them, please comment below and let me know. If you see something you like and plan to pick up a copy, you can do so by clicking on the cover image, the title or the [BUY IT HERE] button.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


#1 The Tattooist of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris

A concentration camp detainee tasked with permanently marking fellow prisoners falls in love with one of them.


#2 The Overstory

by Richard Powers

Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Nine people drawn to trees for different reasons fight for the last of the remaining acres of virgin forest.


#3 The Woman in the Window

by A.J. Finn

A recluse who drinks heavily and takes prescription drugs may have witnessed a crime across from her Harlem townhouse.


#4 Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

An artist with a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo upends a quiet town outside Cleveland.


#5 Before We Were Yours

by Lisa Wingate

A South Carolina lawyer learns about the questionable practices of a Tennessee orphanage.


#6 A Gentleman In Moscow

by Amor Towles

A Russian count undergoes 30 years of house arrest in the Metropol hotel, across from the Kremlin.


#7 The Great Alone

by Kristin Hannah

A former prisoner of war returns from Vietnam and moves his family to Alaska, where they face tough conditions.


#8 Milk and Honey

by Rupi Kaur

A collection of poetry about love, loss, trauma and healing.


#9 All The Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr

The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II.


#10 The Handmaid’s Tale

by Margaret Atwood

In the Republic of Gilead’s dystopian future, men and women perform the services assigned to them.


When you purchase a book using a link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.