Author Interview ~ Matt Nagin

One thing I love to do is interview other authors. Not only does it introduce me to potential books I can add to my ‘to read’ list, but it also helps spread the indie-author love to other readers. Marketing is hard and if I can help a fellow author, I’m happy to do it. With that in mind, I’d like to welcome Matt Nagin, author of Feast of Sapphires, to my blog.

Matt Nagin, author of Feast of Sapphires, AKA Bart Schumacher (Standup Comedian)

What is your name and do you write under a pen name? My name is Matt Nagin. I do not use a pen name, but I do have a comedy alter ego, a standup comedy character, if you will, named Bart Schumacher.

Where do you call home? I live in New York City. 

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do? I am an actor, a comedian, and, when I can find the work, a college professor. Yes. I believe I became a better actor and educator over time. I enjoy very much the areas in which I work since I am passionate about them and they are connected to my overall artistic orientation.

What is your family like? I have a large family; four brothers, a nephew, thirteen cousins, many uncles and aunts etc. In addition to my parents, I’m fortunate enough to have a 99 year old grandma who turns 100 in January.

Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing? I love watching films, particularly classic films and/or films that in some way tell an innovative story. I also enjoy traveling, since it expands your understanding of your own little area of residence, helps you get a better grasp of your particular social and cultural predilections, and occasionally even inspires creative work.

What is your greatest dream? To make a living as a writer by completing works others find meaningful.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you? I would like to be working creatively at a higher level than I am now. By this I mean I would, ideally, like to be more productive. What is stopping me, I suppose, is I get distracted easily and I have a million little obligations that keep me from focusing and completing work. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, which, at times, can be a hindrance.

Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love? Yes. Lasted a year and a half. Unfortunately, she became a lesbian. It broke my heart at the time. Now it seems vaguely humorous.

What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you? Getting hit by a speeding car while walking across the street in a construction zone with an obstructed view was one of the worst things that ever happened to me. More than twenty stitches in my wrist. Glass in my arm. Ten herniated discs in my back. A number of ongoing issues with my knees. There have been a few others. A plane nearly crashing–the gas masks coming down. A boat nearly going under during a storm. Three surgeries for Crohn’s disease. The point is it has been a struggle, at times, just to persevere.

And how long have you been writing? I have been writing around 25 years, but the first five years I did not work with any level of seriousness. There have been periods where I didn’t write at all, but, eventually, I always came back to it. Of late I’ve been trying to maintain a regular schedule.

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not? To be a writer/actor/filmmaker etc. To a certain extent, I achieved my dream. This is because in pretty much all the fields I’ve pursued I’ve had at least a few accomplishments. All that being said, I still feel I have a long way to go.

Who is your role model? Most of my role models are artists with an uncompromising yet powerful vision. Examples include Stanley Kubrick, Charles Bukowski, Phillip K. Dick, Emily Dickinson, William Blake and Salvador Dali.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? Paperbacks. The presentation is generally the best. I also think the idea of a book as something really special and unique is lost when you read it on a Kindle.

What is your opinion of novellas? Novellas are a great form. I enjoy the unusual length very much. I also think it is a great way to develop characters, setting, and a compelling plot without dragging a story on endlessly. Finally, in the age of social media, where readers have very little free time, novellas make a whole lot of sense.

What is your favorite film based on a book? Barry Lyndon. It’s based on a Thackeray novel.

What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Satire/Humor.

What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? Stephen King’s “The Stand.” I have read many King books, but never actually got to “The Stand.” I’m looking forward to reading this classic.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? I’m reading the book of a friend, David Voice, “The Can Man: My Five Cents Worth,” that I’m enjoying. Kindle format. I generally don’t read much on my Kindle, but, since this is a relatively short book, it made sense.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

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 book is ‘Feast of Sapphires.’ It is a poetry collection that aims to be illuminating in a variety of ways. I take daily experiences, or interesting phrases, or magnetic ideas, and use them as a springboard for poetic exploration.

FEAST OF SAPPHIRES

“Feast of Sapphires,” is a compendium of poems covering topics both timely and universal. There are poems of psychic revolution, poems on social media and gun control, poems about MRI’s, gambling, and mystical storms of all varieties; then, too, on a deeper level, more than a few of these poems are about the desire to surmount the collective facade in search of a kind of truth that cannot be hyperlinked.

Located from Costa Rica to the LIRR,  this metaphysical cartography of anticipation and despair is perfect for those seeking answers in the bottom of the tea, in the resonance of a thunder storm, or, even, in the ethereal high of a linguistic flight of fancy. From comedic monologues to existential reflections, from angry rants to countercultural analysis, from wily narratives to verbal pyrotechnics, this is a book that strives, in new ways, to be illuminating… CONTINUE READING

Is the above book part of a series? No. That said, it is a follow-up to my first poetry book, “Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight,” which  did fairly well on Amazon.

BUTTERFLIES LOST WITHIN THE CROOKED MOONLIGHT

This highly-accessible, dynamic collection offers existential ponderings, comic situations, poetic meditations on death, musical riffs, political commentary, striking imagery and more. The 45 poems in this collection represent a range of styles and subject matter. 18 of these poems were previously published in such journals as Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine, Arsenic Lobster, Dash, Spillway, The Charles Carter, Downtown Brooklyn, and many, many more. This debut collection of poetry from Matt Nagin is sure to, as the title suggests, comment on the way even the most delicate and majestic of us tend to be drawn, willy-nilly, towards the crooked moonlight.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?Julia Noel Goodman designed the cover. We reviewed the concept together and went through a number of iterations of it till we settled on one we thought best.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? I pick a bunch of different possible titles and go with what sounds best. I also ask friends/associates for input.

Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it? I created a trailer for my first book, ‘Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight.’ Watch it below:

Also, I have videos of readings of individual poems from ‘Feast of Sapphires,’ set to imagery. One of these, ‘Regret,’ is available below:

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantser or a plotter? I am a pantser. I go with what inspires me–allowing it to lead the way. Then I go back and edit. At times this editing is extensive. At others very little is required. It totally depends on the state of the first draft. I sometimes edit immediately after I complete the writing portion. At other times, I like to wait a few weeks till I return to the work, since I often can then see it much more clearly.

Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? The biggest challenge I’ve encountered with publishing is properly formatting poetry for Kindle on KDP…something that sounds easier than it is. The second biggest challenge is acquiring new readers in an oversaturated marketplace.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? Not sure if I was ever specifically given this advice, but it is what I always tell others: keep at it! This is the key to success in any field, but particularly with writing a high level of self-discipline is required. 

Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mattnaginwriter/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17008526.Matt_Nagin

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Matt-Nagin/e/B01M6ZZV3J

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/naginplease/

Where do you see yourself in five years? I hope to have several other books published by then. Right now I have a humor book coming out in the next few months with an indie publisher, and, after that, I am looking to publish a short story collection. There are a few more books, as well, I’m at work on, so I am really hoping to get a lot of work out into the world soon.

Any last thoughts about your overall journey? It’s been a wild ride–these last few years–and I have really enjoyed expressing myself creatively and reaching out to others with my creative ideas. I’m also grateful to be doing something I’m passionate about, something that fills me with a sense of purpose. What can I say? I’m very lucky!

CALL TO ACTION: If you have questions for Matt that weren’t addressed in this interview, I invite you to comment below and he will respond here!

Author Interview ~ Hanna Abi Akl

I’d like to welcome Author Hanna Abi Akl to my site.

Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you!

What is your name and do you write under a pen name? My name is Hanna Abi Akl. I stick to my original name when writing and don’t use a pen name.

Where do you call home? Paris, France.

Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing? Reading, listening to music, and playing my guitar.

What is your greatest dream? To live in a small remote house by the beach and write quietly and peacefully.

What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you? Losing my father when I was 13.

What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? I was inspired by some great writers I had the chance of reading, most notably Charles Bukowski and John Fante. I felt they were talking to me through their books so many years after they were published and that’s what got me into writing. I’ve been writing seriously since college and published my first novel at 23.

What is your greatest fear? Failure.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? Paperback or hard-covers. Anything in print.

Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it? Factotum by Charles Bukowski.

What is your opinion of novellas? I’m all for them.

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? “God is Dead” by Ron Currie Jr.

What is your favorite film based on a book? The Shawshank Redemption based on the work by Stephen King. Close seconds are Ask The Dust and Factotum.

What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Literary fiction. I especially enjoy dirty realism.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? “Slouching Toward Nirvana” by Charles Bukowski in paperback.

If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why? Charles Bukowski, John Fante, Charles Baudelaire and Ernest Hemingway. I think they each have their distorted view of reality they’d like to make us part of. Plus, they’re all good drinkers!

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

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? The book is titled “It’s a Big Big World”. The work is a novel. It’s the story of an up-and-coming writer trying to get published while having moved to another country. It deals with the themes of immigration, institutionalization, society, and love.

Is the above book part of a series? No.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? The cover was made to be simple and vague, just like the book title. It is based off a circle, which could easily be interpreted as a globe or the world. It was designed by a small subsidiary team of my publisher.

Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? Classical music, mostly Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? I was aiming for something simple and that could reflect a feeling of overwhelming vastness at the same time.

In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her? The protagonist is John Kaliba. He is a stubborn, opinionated, semi-alcoholic up-and-coming writer who has just published his first book.

What is your character’s greatest strengths? His passion for writing and his love for Diane.

And what are his/her greatest weaknesses? Stubbornness, alcohol problems, detachment, pride.

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? His indomitable will to be different and stay true to himself. Not follow the herd.

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter? I write in a concise, economical, lyrical style. My writing is a stream-of-consciousness so I prefer to sit down and write instead of outlining.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? The final judge of writing is the writer himself.

Where can your readers follow you?


Other Books By Hanna Abi Akl:

Click on the image below to find out more about each book and to order your copy today!


Author Interview ~ Jason Ranieri

Author Jason Ranieri

Jason Ranieri was often asked when he would run for office. According to Ranieri, this was because of what he called the “father factor”. “My father was a politician and if your father is a blacksmith, chances are the boy will do the same,” said Ranieri.  

Initially, Ranieri seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. In his freshman year at Worcester State University, he was elected class president. After college, he became a member of the political activist group M-power. During his tenure, Ranieri successfully reinstated Massachusetts’ health coverage of eye and dental exams for those in need through the state’s House and Senate.

Now Ranieri is devoting time to a new passion: writing. So far, he has published two books and three short stories on Booksie. However, the “father factor” still finds ways to influence Ranieri’s writing. His latest novel is a political satire.

The Story of Polka Dots and Politics

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for Polka Dots and Politics? How did the story come to fruition?

A: The inspiration for Polka Dots and Politics came from political happenings in my younger days. My father was a politician and if your father is a blacksmith, chances are the boy will do the same. Many people would ask me when I would run? The story is the result of that “father factor”. A factor that can influence and upon doing so inspire.

Q: How did you come up with the title of the book?

A: I came up with the title Polka Dots and Politics by viewing the complex characters that surrounded me in this book as “polka dots”. Each person is a “polka dot”. Although a difficult pattern to wear, it is a style that is unique like the characters of this book, the “polka dots” were the chess pieces and politics was the game. The only game in town.

Q: Which characters, especially the fictional Ranieris, are most like you?

A: The characters most like me I would say would be Ernie Taft and Joseph Ranieri. Ernie had a laid-back attitude, political insight, loved History and had a sense of adventure. I graduated Cum Laude in my major, History, traveled America for a year and a half and am a born-again dude. Joseph would grab the bull by the horns and make friends with that bull. As he did all living things. He was a philosopher and artist much like myself. I am a vegetarian also. Animals are people too. Joseph loved all animals great and small.

Q: Have any of your relatives or friends read the book yet?

A: I gave most of my relatives and friends a copy. They enjoyed reading the character portrayals and laughed at the humor. The exaggerated plot put a larger than life twist to a satirical story that invites them to cast a ballot for the main character.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from your novel?

A: I hope readers take away from my novel that politics is a learned behavior. The door begins to open when we focus on what’s working and what is not. Hopefully, we can become informed voters and not just rely on the influence of others to decide who we vote for. We must hold our politicians accountable. They weren’t born that way but somewhere along the line, they learned behavior that encourages democracy. Democracy is a form of government where the people decide. If a politician wants to win then please the people. Some politicians will say and do anything to this end. Those aren’t leaders they’re something else.

A Look Back at the Writing Process

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

A: I enjoy the process of writing. The actual writing and completion of the finished work is very rewarding. What we say is not as important as what we write because of the process that goes into writing. I like brainstorming also which forces me to become creative. Thoughts and ideas must be developed and I enjoy the method of procedure that results in a well-written story.

Q: What was the most challenging part of the writing process for you?

A: The most challenging part of the writing process was constructing original characters that would become the “polka dots” of the story. Each one of them had to be believable. The outlandish circumstances that they found themselves in prove that small-town politics can be fun, glorious, and exciting.

Q: What advice would you give to new writers?

A: Those who wish to travel on a path within the continuity of space and form as a truth-seeker begins to recognize purpose, will, and intention. Having a purpose is not as important as serving a purpose. Thinking and feeling our purpose enough when combined with will and intention.

Will you catch me a fish? The intention is to feed myself. In Zen, the act of doing leads to a deeper understanding. For example, I may explain how to write. I may show you a film about writing a book, nothing will increase your understanding about writing then actually writing so if you want to learn how to write then write… simple as that!

Q: How did you feel when you saw your e-book available on Barnes and Noble for the first time?

A: I was very thrilled and excited. I feel I can get my book into the hands of a lot more people and thus sell more copies. I believe the reviews of the book will be great. I would love for all of you lovers of political, comedic wisdom to purchase a copy for only $3.99 and write a few words about my unique style, original expressions and overall satirical glam.  

More About Jason

Q: What was your childhood like? Were your parents into politics?

A: My childhood was a time of great learning. I was disciplined in the ways of Jesus of Nazareth and politics. Religion and politics, the two subjects you don’t mention in polite society, but my parents often did.

Q: Were you allowed to date anyone who shared opposing political views?

A: Dating someone with opposing political views is never easy. One summer I dated a girl with dreadlocks who practiced witchcraft. My parents thought I was becoming a pot smoking, communist, Satan worshiper. I just liked her smile.

Q: Out of all the genres out there, why political satire? How did you develop your passion for politics?

A: I chose to write a political satire because I like political cartoons. They capture the absurdity of bad public policy and politicians. The drawings reveal a lot but a story can reveal so much more. I developed my passion for politics by studying History, working on campaigns, becoming Freshman Class President, joining the Massachusetts Leadership Academy and lobbying for eye and dental exams for those in need through the Massachusetts House and Senate.

Q: Are you a fan of Lewis Black or Bill Maher?

A: They both have a good grasp on current events and use critical, comedic commentary. I am a really big fan of George Carlin. He was once quoted as saying, “Politicians claim they are serving the Nation. I am in public service. Yes, I like America. The food is great but the public service is terrible.”

Q: Who do you hope wins the 2020 presidential election?

A: I hope whoever wins the 2020 presidential election will be honest and trustworthy. I would like to see Bill Gates as president. He’s highly intelligent and a great philanthropist. He would focus on the environment, curing disease, education, poverty, and technology.

Q: Do you have any books planned in the future?

A: Yes. I wrote the poetry book, The Good Old World. It contains 33 original poems that are all songs I sing as I’m also a musician. Please YouTube (Jason Ranieri) you can hear some of the songs. Check out “Fixing to Die” an anti-war political protest song.

My third book will be a book of essays which I have already begun. Essays like “Man of Peace” and “Industry of Insanity” are hard-hitting, controversial reports exposing hypocrisy and institutional fraud. The majority of works are thoughtful, provocative articles which challenge the conventional wisdom concerning issues of importance. The essays have something new and significant to say. For the quality of writing, I make points clearly and in a way that holds the readers’ interest. A reader should not have to struggle to guess an author’s meaning. The essays contain social and ethical commentary in a broad sense, religious and ethical perspectives on society, culture, medicine, music and more.

Q: Where can readers go to learn more about your upcoming projects?

A: I plan on making 3 compact discs of 11 songs each from the poetry book, The Good Old World. Furthermore, I’m currently in contact with Taleflick. They are a company that turns books into Hollywood movies. A future project is to turn Polka Dots and Politics into a film. Please follow me on Facebook to learn more about my upcoming projects. You may email me at jason.ranieri@mail.com for autographed, printed copies of each book for $10.

Want to Read Polka Dots and Politics?


Jason D. Ranieri is a graduate of Worcester State University and was Freshman Class President. He graduated Cum Laude in his major, History. He passed the Massachusetts Educator’s Exam with a perfect score in Economics. He is a “Heroes Among Us” award recipient from the Boston Celtics organization for playing Santa Claus for physically and mentally handicapped at Wrentham Developmental Center for over 20 years. He graduated from the Massachusetts Leadership Academy and became a member of the political activist group, M-power. He successfully reinstated Mass. Health coverage of eye and dental exams for those in need through the Mass. House and Senate. He was nominated for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette’s Young Leader Award. He is the author of the poetry book, The Good Old World and Polka Dots and Politics. He is a vegetarian, Freemason and avid musician. Jason toured America for a year and a half.


Author Interview ~ Michael J. Sahno

I’d like to welcome Michael J. Sahno, author of Whizzers, to my blog.

author

Michael was born in Bristol, CT, where he began writing stories at an early age. He obtained a Master of Arts in English from Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY at the age of 24, then went on to become a full-time professional writer in 2001. Whizzers is his fifth full-length work of fiction.

Alright, lets get to the good stuff!

1. What is your name and do you write under a pen name?
Mike Sahno. No pen name, but I do use my full name, Michael J. Sahno, on my book covers.
2. Where do you call home?
Tampa, Florida, USA
3. Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?
I have been a full-time professional writer since 2001, so I’m rapidly approaching the point where I can’t imagine doing anything else ever again. I like what I do, and I’m very, very good at it. Lucky for me, as I’m not good at much of anything else!
4. What is your family like?
I’ve often referred to them as “my lovely dysfunctional family.” That’s accurate. They are dysfunctional, yet they are lovely.
5. If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Middle class.
6. Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing?
Running, collecting music, attending concerts. Pretty boring.
7. What is your greatest dream?
Would it be too beauty pageant-ish to say “World peace?” How about just world tolerance and politeness?
8. What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
I’ve reached the age where I don’t wish to be any other kind of person than the one I am.
9. Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love?
Oh dear, I’m afraid so. One of many minor errors in judgment, which were followed by many major ones. Thank God for my current wife.
10. What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
In 2011, I developed tinnitus; broke my ankle; my first wife left me; and I had to have a parotidectomy surgery (don’t Google it; it’s gross). So, it wasn’t one thing, it was nearly an entire year of garbage.
11. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
Been writing since I was in high school. Inspired by so many: Kurt Vonnegut, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Balzac, Dickens…a slew of classics.
12. What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
My dream was to be a writer, and I’ve achieved it. I didn’t expect to have to work so hard on finding readers and making sales, but that’s evolved in a positive direction over time.
13. Who is your role model?
No one anybody reading this would know.
14. What is your greatest fear?
Being buried alive.
15. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?
I prefer paperbacks, but I’ll take an e-book. I don’t listen to audiobooks at all, and hardcovers are too hard to handle for me.
16. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so, what was it?
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.
17. What is your opinion of novellas?
I think they’re fine. People have such short attention spans these days, and a novella is not as much of a commitment as a door stop book. My latest novel is just slightly longer than a novella.
18. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Probably not.
19. What is your favorite film based on a book?
Sophie’s Choice
20. What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Metaphysical & Visionary Fiction
21. What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
The Hook by Kathleen Doler is at the top of the list—because I just bought it!
22. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Just about to start the above mentioned ebook.
23. If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Frank Zappa, Jerry Garcia, Gandhi & Martin Luther King, Jr. Come on, who wouldn’t want to be here that conversation?

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

1. 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?
Whizzers. A recovering alcoholic, Mike, discovers his six-year-old nephew, David, travels through time as a whizzer to bring comfort to those in need.
2. Is the above book part of a series?
No.
3. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?
My designer, Robin Vuchnich came up with a variety of concepts, and this one spoke to me.
4. Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?
A lot of classic jazz, ECM label stuff, ambient. Mostly instrumental so I’m not distracted by lyrics while writing.
5. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
The subject matter of each is relevant to the titles. Nothing really weird or mysterious here.
6. Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it?
Not yet.
7. In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her?
The lead character is a thinly-disguised fictional version of yours truly. I’m really, really nice.
8. What is your character’s greatest strengths?
Empathy.
9. And what are his/her greatest weaknesses?
Empathy.
10. What are some of his/her favorite foods?
I don’t think Mike ever eats anything in the book. Probably Thai curry.
11. What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Courage.
12. Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
They will absolutely love him, because he’s so much me. If they don’t like him, they can buzz off.
13. What first gave you the idea for your latest book?
A very interesting conversation with someone else in recovery.

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

1. What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I am a plantser. First, I let the characters lead me down all sorts of dark alleyways. When I no longer have any choice, I do some planning.
2. Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time?
Platform building and finding the right audience. I did this time all the things I wish I’d done initially.
3. Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?
Self-published/indie with my own publishing company (not Amazon-only).
4. If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route?
I wanted to have complete creative control, and I don’t have any desire to give 15% of what I make to an agent.
5. What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? “Want to be writer?You’d better learn to dig ditches, too.”
6. Where can your readers follow you?
Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

https://msahno.com/novels/

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B018PTN964

https://twitter.com/MikeSahno

https://www.facebook.com/

https://www.instagram.com/MikeSahno/

https://www.youtube.com/chanel/UCDX22D5ZSrNL5Bw3UOGBRfA/

INSERT BOOK COVER HERE

Whizzers Book Blurb: A recovering alcoholic, Mike, discovers his six-year-old nephew, David, travels through time as a whizzer to bring comfort to those in need. Mike soon finds himself along for the ride, and while he gets the opportunity to bring solace to some of his greatest heroes, he must also confront his own greatest demons.

OTHER BOOKS BY MICHAEL J. SAHNO

Click on the book title to purchase your copy!

Brother's hand

BROTHER’S HAND by Michael J. Sahno

“Engaging.” “Masterful.” “Radiant.”

Small town upstate New Yorker Jerome Brothers loses his hand in a tragic fall, then falls even harder for his physical therapist, Maria Santisia. Can even the most romantic one-armed man get the girl…if she doesn’t get his full cooperation in therapy?

If you like character-driven fiction written with humor, heart, and compassion, then you’ll love Sahno’s work. Discover the fictional world of Carverville, New York today.

*Mature audience. Contains scenes of violence, sexuality.

– “Sahno writes with humor, heart, compassion, and a radiant energy all his own.” – Liz Rosenberg, Beauty and Compassion
– “A deeply felt tale and one entirely worth the telling.” – Jay Lemming, Billy Maddox Takes His His Shot
– “Not only an engaging story, but a masterful piece of writing.” – Amazon review

* * * * * 

Miles

MILES OF FILES by Michael J. Sahno

“Riveting.” “Fascinating.” “Hilarious!”
In Miles of Files, the main character, Paul Panepinto, an employee at Flambet Insurance, learns that his manager Graham Woodcock is stealing from the company. Paul struggles with whether or not to report the boss at the risk of losing his position. Eventually, Graham fires Paul anyway and Paul is forced to pursue justice, but the story doesn’t end as expected. Readers move through a fast-paced adventure with many twists and turns, including high points, drama, comedy, and an edge that Sahno captures through his writing.

*Mature audience. Contains adult language and situations.

“This is great writing.” – Quill Ink and Parchment
“When it comes to prose, I recommend every writer read his work.” – Amazon Review
“A great author. You definitely don’t want to miss out on reading this one!” – Long and Short Reviews
“This novel is so well written, I was blown away.” – Amazon Review

* * * * *

Jana

JANA By Michael J. Sahno

“Lyrical.” “Evocative.” “Totally captivating.”
Because of her sexual orientation, Jana Odessi loses her child care job. It’s not until she is halfway across the country on a road trip with her partner that Jana realizes she must decide whether she has the strength to return home and fight for her right to be herself.

Jana appeals to the LGBT audience because it depicts the struggles of young gay people in the mid-1990s with humor and heart. Sahno’s second novel leads to a dramatic courtroom showdown that will leave you breathless.

If you like character-driven fiction written with humor, heart, and compassion, then you’ll love Sahno’s work. Discover Jana’s world today.

*Mature audience. Contains scenes of discrimination, homophobia.

“This book kept me turning pages.” – Amazon Review
“A journey of discovery.” – Amazon Review

Author Interview ~ Mansu Edwards

I’d like to welcome Mansu Edwards, co-author of Plush Couches, as a guest to my blog.

Let’s start by just getting to know you a little before we dive into Plush Couches and find out what your story is all about.

  • What is your name and do you write under a pen name? Omar Glenn. My pen name is Mansu Edwards
  • Where do you call home? Brooklyn
  • Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do? I’m a Brand Ambassador. It’s a freelance gig. I’m very good at what I do. It’s cool.
  • What is your family like? My father likes reading online news articles. My mother watches movies on the Internet.
  • If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like? My room was plastered with hip hop posters. I had the N.E.S. and S.N.E.S. consoles and video games. The apartment was cool. It was a typical apartment.
  • Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing? I enjoy reading and visiting new places in New York City. Also, I enjoy watching videos, listening to music and podcasts on YouTube.
  • What is your greatest dream? To leave a positive and powerful legacy.
  • What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you? Nothing is stopping me. Right now, I’m transforming into the person God wants me to be.
  • Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love? My first love is food. I love to eat.
  • What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you? I had an Asthma attack in the 2nd or 3rd grade. My Mother took me to the hospital.
  • What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? When I was young, I loved school writing assignments. It gave me the opportunity to use my imagination. I’ve been writing for 10 plus years.
  • What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not? I was a big wrestling fan. I wanted to become a Wrestler. I discovered that Wrestling was scripted and I think that’s what swayed me away from pursuing it. I eventually replaced it with video games and Hip Hop.
  • Who is your role model? Jay-Z, M.F. Doom, Jay Electronica
  • What is your greatest fear? Not having enough time to achieve all my goals.
  • Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? Paperbacks.
  • Have you ever read a book more than once? If so, what was it? Yes. “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen
  • What is your opinion of novellas? I like an engaging story. A great story doesn’t have to be 200+ pages. Quality is key.
  • Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? Yes.
  • What is your favorite film based on a book? The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • What is your favorite book genre at the moment? I don’t have one.
  • What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? “Outwitting The Devil” by Napoleon Hill. I like reading self-improvement books.
  • What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? I’m reading, “How To Talk To Anyone At Work”. Paperback.
  • If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why? Nipsey Hussle, Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, Bishop Nehru. I would invite them because they’re innovative risk takers. Our ideas can change the trajectory of the Art world.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

  • 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? The name of my most recent book is “Plush Couches”. On the way to a job interview, Rio Akuba experiences a critical and unsettling case of gas on the train after eating organic, Sweety Berry Bears.
  • Is the above book part of a series? No.
  • How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? That’s a good question. I believe I left the idea up to the Illustrator.
  • Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? I didn’t listen to music while writing “Plush Couches”.
  • How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? God gave me the title.
  • Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it? I don’t have a book trailer.
  • In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her? The main character is Rio. He’s unambitious and lives with his parents. Rio is the type who needs external motivation to take action.
  • What is your character’s greatest strengths? His greatest strength is emotionally connecting with people.
  • And what are his/her greatest weaknesses?  He’s too dependent. He doesn’t trust himself.
  • What are some of his/her favorite foods? He doesn’t have any favorite foods.
  • What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? He’s observant and perceptive.
  • Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? Readers will like the character because he’s charismatic and witty.
  • What first gave you the idea for your latest book? God gave me the idea.

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

  • What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter? I’m a Panster. I prefer writing the story instead of using an outline. It’s more enjoyable.
  • Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? My challenge is selecting the best idea from several. I’m still looking for a solution to the problem.
  • Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company? I’m a self-published, indie author.
  • If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? I spent an exorbitant amount of money with a Vanity Publisher which made me switch to self-publishing.
  • What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? Finish the story. It’s only a draft.
  • Where can your readers follow you? . www.twitter.com/Ohassa, Instagram: @mansuedwards , www.facebook.com/Ohassa

Author Interview ~ Chrys Fey

I’m excited to introduce Author Chrys Fey to my blog. She is the author of the Disaster Crimes series. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, her story, and her writing process. 

Chrys Fey - Cropped

Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…

1. What is your name and do you write under a pen name?

Chrys Fey is my pen name. Chrys comes from my real nickname Chrissy. It’s just a fun, condensed version. And Fey comes from the word “fey,” which means magical. When I came up with my pen name, I was writing fanciful, paranormal stories, so my pen name was a nod to those genres, but now my pen name is a nod to the magic of writing.

2. If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

My childhood home had a palm tree out front. When the branches would start to die and hung low, my brothers and sisters and I would grab onto them and swing around the tree’s trunk in circles. An oak tree beside my house was where I would climb up and sit on a branch to read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Woods—tall pine trees and thick palmetto bushes—surrounded my house on all sides, and deep in the woods in my backyard was my fort, made entirely of pine needles and shaped like an igloo. That fort became my heroine’s fort in Flaming Crimes (Disaster Crimes Book 4), and many of her memories of her childhood home are my own.

3. What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

I’m not sure if I’d call it terrible, but I had spine surgery for severe scoliosis the day after I turned fifteen. I have fusion between my vertebrae and a titanium rod screwed to my spine. I’ve had many problems since then, and my whole body is out of whack.

4. What is your greatest fear?

Wildfire. More specifically, losing my home to a fire, because I had almost lost my childhood home to a wildfire when I was twelve years old. That fire, and all of my memories of it—from my best friend’s father saying, “It looks like it’s right next to your house,” to a firefighter getting burned, a brush truck getting stuck in the woods in my backyard, and one of my cats escaping outside and running toward the flames—are in Flaming Crimes.

5. What is your opinion of novellas?

I love them! I love to read them because they are fast, and I love to write them, too. I enjoy packing a lot of action and excitement into a novella, essentially dispelling the notion that you can’t write a fast-paced novella that is a complete story, with well-rounded characters. You can. And I have, with Hurricane Crimes.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

FlamingCrimes_w12192_7501. 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?

Flaming Crimes: a fiery story with steamy love scenes, nail-biting confrontations with criminals, and heart-warming moments between a couple who go through a lot.

2. Is the above book part of a series?

Yes, it is. It is the fourth book for the Disaster Crimes Series.

Hurricane Crimes (Book 1, under 50 pages)
Seismic Crimes (Book 2, novel)
Lightning Crimes (Book 2.5, free short story)
Tsunami Crimes (Book 3, novel)
Flaming Crimes (Book 4, novel)

3. Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?

For Flaming Crimes, I listened to Demi Lovato’s album Confident for Beth’s chapters (who is a self-defense instructor), and a lot of Daughtry while writing Donovan’s chapters (who is a monster truck driver).

4. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

At first, I thought of calling Hurricane Crimes, (The) Hurricane Killer, but I didn’t like that, because I felt that it gave the wrong impression of Donovan Goldwyn. I certainly wanted readers to be suspicious of him—is he a murderer or isn’t he—but I didn’t want that in the title. Then, one day, Hurricane Crimes came to my mind.

When I realized that the story wasn’t quite done, that more stories would follow it, I knew I would keep the two-word title trend for each book, use a word to hint at the disaster that would take place, and pair it with the word “crimes,” because there isn’t a disaster that crimes don’t follow.

5. In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her?

Beth Kennedy is the heroine. She is a tough cookie who teaches others how to defend themselves, but she is also gentle and loving. She’s been through a lot but has come out stronger.

Donovan Goldwyn is the hero. He is strong, passionate, and protective. When someone threatens the woman he loves, he sees red. He will do anything to keep her safe.

Really, you don’t want to mess with either one of them. You want them on your side.

Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

Website – http://www.ChrysFey.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/chrysfey
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ChrysFey
Blog – http://www.writewithfey.com
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/ChrysFey
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Chrys-Fey/e/B00GWLZJ8O

Author Interview ~ Elaine Kaye

I’m excited to welcome Elaine Kaye, author of Halloween Ride to my blog. She is a children’s author with 6 published books and so many stories to tell. 

Elaine Kaye Author

Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…

1. What is your name and do you write under a pen name?

Elaine Kaye is my pen name. Elaine is my given name, and Kathryn is my middle name, but I shortened it to Kay and added an “E” because it looked better. Pretty simple for me. Plus, it’s easy to remember for children’s books.

2. Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy all kinds of needlework, such as cross-stitch, knitting, crochet, and quilting. Also, on the craft side, I like to paint ceramics. Since I am retired now, I spend a lot of my time making bookmarks, reading, writing, and watching my favorite movies. I am a big fan of medical and cop TV dramas, like Station 19, New Amsterdam, The Rookie, and The Resident. I also binge watch Game of Thrones and Vikings.

3. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?

Back in 1982, when I worked at a telephone company, an office worker, whose desk faced mine, told me about a novel she was working on. I mentioned to her how I’ve always wanted to write, and she told me to go do it, so I did. That changed my life.

4. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?

I prefer paperbacks and hardcovers because I like the feel of a real book in my hands. I like the pages, the weight, all of it. Also, I can use the many cute bookmarks that I make by hand.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

1. 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?
Halloween Ride is about a boy and his teddy bear who take a ride on a broomstick on Halloween night.

Halloween Ride Cover.jpg

2. Is the above book part of a series?

Yes, it is the third installment of A Gregory Green Adventure series, although each book can be read as a standalone title, and they can be read in any order you wish.

3. How did you come up with the title for your book?

Well, it’s Halloween and they go on a broom ride, so quite simply it’s a Halloween Ride. Immediately you get an idea of what the story is about, what sort of adventure my characters will be having, which is best for children’s books.

4. What are some of Gregory Green’s favorite foods?

Pea soup! He eats a lot of it in Pea Soup Disaster, because he just loves his mom’s homemade pea soup, but something happens from eating all that pea soup thanks to the Green family curse.

Gregory also loves pizza, Cheez Balls, pickle-flavored chips, red licorice sticks, and raisins.

Sammy, his teddy bear, likes cookies (of all kinds), marshmallows, shelled peanuts, and…GUMMY BEARS!

5. What first gave you the idea for Halloween Ride?

I once had an idea of my characters flying up to the moon, which they almost do in Halloween Ride, and I wanted to start writing stories for each holiday, so the two ideas just meshed together on their own. The rest of the story unfolded naturally as I went.

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

1. Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?

I self-publish all of the books for A Gregory Green Adventure series. After many years, and I mean decades, of not getting anywhere traditionally with my children’s books, and finally having the means and resources to self-publish, I took the plunge.

2. Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

Website: https://www.elainekaye.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16488350.Elaine_Kaye
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Elaine-Kaye/e/B06X42CV9R
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElaineKayeAuthor/

If you enjoyed learning about Elaine and her story, please click like and share this interview on your social media platforms.

Until the next interview… Happy Reading! 

Want to know more? Comment below with your questions and Elaine will answer.