Monday, August 31, 2015

Please Welcome Chris Patchell author of 'In the Dark'




























Chris has a heck of a commute - 3 hours in Seattle traffic! From the tone of her book we can speculate that it turns her thoughts pretty... dark. (Ha, see what I did there!)
Let's see what Chris had to say about reading, writing and zombies!


1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Chris says: John Steinbeck because he’s slow and the zombies will get him first. George R. R. Martin because, he’s got dragons, and apparently has a cache of dragon glass, perfect for killing the undead. I’m pretty sure I could beat George in a foot race. And Stephen King, because he writes better monsters than anyone else.
Meredith says: You're the second person to use baiting. It never gets old. Lol.
Chris says: It's a zombie world out there and the basic rules of the animal kingdom apply. I don't have to be the fastest gazelle in the herd but I can't be the slowest.  :-)



2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Chris says: HELLO—I’m totally hauling Stephen King out of the water first, because his stories just keep getting better and better. Although I love J.K Rowling, I don’t know if she has anything left after Harry Potter.
Meredith says: I don't read a super ton of King. I used to. But then I got my hands on 'Full Dark, No Stars" and I know they were short stories but I wasn't impressed, I haven't picked up anything new of his since.
Chris says: So in my twenties, half of my bookshelf was Stephen King, the other half was Danielle Steele. I'm not schizophrenic, really. Quite honestly I got tired of his horror books. I found them repetitive and overly profane (and believe me, I have been known to drop an f-bomb or two). Then my husband bought me DUMA KEY, and I was hooked. He's more suspense now than horror, and I love his characters. It maybe time to give him a try again.



3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Chris says: I’m reading a fun Sci-Fi book called CONTAINMENT written by Christian Cantrell. I’m also reading the WAYWARD PINES series again, because Blake Crouch does a fabulous job writing action and getting emotion out on the page. And I’m just about to read THE MARTIAN. My kids are raving about it.
Meredith says: "The Martian' was so good! I keep seeing a lot about 'Wayward Pines.' I guess I'm going to read that next.
Chris says: The first book is a little confusing until the get the gist of what Ethan is going through. And once you find out what's really going on in Wayward Pines, you'll be hooked.
Meredith says: I read the 'Wayward Pines Series' a few weeks after doing this interview. It. Was. Awesome!


4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Chris says: As a suspense novelist, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I’m a closet Jane Austen fan. I read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE at least once a year without fail.
Meredith says: Don't be embarrassed!
Chris says: God! I know. We suspense authors are supposed to read scary stuff, and believe me, I do. I still remembering reading my Jane Austen novel, I found the pacing so slow I didn't know whether I'd make it through the book. But I stuck with it and I fell in love with the characters and the flow of the language. I've read all of her books and they're lovely.



5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Chris says: It would be a toss up between Lisa Gardner’s TOUCH & GO, and Kevin O’Brien’s TELL ME YOU’RE SORRY. I devoured both of these books and read them several times each.
Meredith says: Adding to my TBR
Chris says: Lisa's writing is so clean and Kevin, well, somehow he manages to keep me guessing to the end.



6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Chris says: THE PINES by Blake Crouch. My husband introduced me to this series of books and I love, love, love it. I hope the television series doesn’t kill the story. It’s got a great flawed hero, an evil genius playing God, oh, and it’s got fabulous monsters!
Meredith says: See, there it is again!
Chris says: See, I told you. It's heart-stopping. It'd tell you more, but I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.



7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Chris says: Surprises! My books are full of twists and turns that keep my readers turning pages well into the dark.
Meredith says: I never thought of the ability to deliver surprises as a superpower, but I think you're on to something.
Chris says: Yeah, well, I can't run that fast--faster than George R. R. Martin, but in the greater scheme of things that's not saying much. My brother was the jock in the family, so you gotta work with what you have. He was faster, but I was smarter. I figured out if I could make him laugh, he couldn't breathe. If he couldn't breathe, he couldn't run and I could beat him. Little sisters are sly.



8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Chris says: The couch, without a doubt! It harkens back to my high school days when I used to do my homework in front of the television. And the deck. Lately the weather in Seattle has been so fantastic, I’ve been spending hours outside with my laptop.
Meredith says: I remember those days, studying with the TV on. I wrote my first book on the couch while watching TV. Oh the memories :)
Chris says: I wrote my first book in  11th grade science. My friend read the new chapters in physics class. Needless to say, we weren't honor students--at least not in science.



9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book DEADLY LIES.
Chris says: I love Jill’s seduction scene with Kenneth Cox. Writing Jill on-the-hunt scenes is a scary lot of fun. After I released the book, a good friend of mine called and said, “You really do know how to kill someone.” Really. Does it get better than that?
Meredith says: Hahaha. Wait... you didn't practice killing someone, did you?
Chris says: Well, Meredith, you know what they say... I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you...
Meredith says: But I never learned to read!... Oh wait, I know how to read, that was from some movie.


10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Chris says: Like most characters, there are little bits of myself sprinkled everywhere in my stories. I sometimes joke that Jill Shannon is my alter ego. I’m a nice Canadian girl by day, and a gun-totting sociopath by night…
Meredith says: Remind me never to run into you at night.
Chris says: ...In a dark alley with a pen. Seriously, pens are deadly weapons. Hypothetically speaking, of course.


11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Chris says: Slither by Velvet Revolver, Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5, Golden Heart by Mark Knophler, Today’s Gonna be a Great Day by Bowling for Soup, and Do I Wanna Know, by the Arctic Monkeys.
Meredith says: Great songs! I love Maroon 5.
Chris says: Have you seen the movie Begin Again? Adam Levine not only stars in it, but wrote most of the songs too! Love him.
Meredith says: Now I must google that.


12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Chris says: Persistence pays off! I’m an overnight success, seven years in the making.
Meredith says: I love hearing these 'overnight success' stories. I've come to the conclusion that to become an overnight success it takes at least 5+ years. I guess I've still got time to hit it big :)
Chris says: They say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. I'm always pushing myself to get better, as a writer, as a mother, and as a person.



Connect with Chris:

Twitter @chris_patchell




About Chris:

When Chris Patchell isn't hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn't steal them from comic books.

Years later, Chris spent long afternoons managing her own independent record store and writing romance novels. After closing the record store and going to college, Chris launched a successful career in hi-tech. She married, had kids but amid all the madness, the itch to write never really went away. So she started writing again. Not romance this time - suspense filled with drama, and angst, speckled with a little bit of blood.

Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. "My stories are based on scenarios I see every day, distorted through the fictional lens. And my stories come with the added bonus of not having to be restrained by socially acceptable behavior."

Recipient of the 2015 Indie Reader Discovery Award for DEADLY LIES

Friday, August 28, 2015

Calling all authors!


If you're an author that specializes in spooky stuff send me an email @meredith.pritchard@gmail




Monday, August 24, 2015

Post Launch Party

Last night's Launch Party was a success!!
If you haven't picked up your copy of ORIGINS: The Phoenix Project 5 








Please Welcome Teresa Roman author of BACK TO US















1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Teresa says: Jessica Shea Spotswood because she seems like the type of person that would have your back. Kresley Cole because she wrote a darn good series with her own version of zombies so I'm pretty sure she'd know what to do. Hugh Howey because I admire the way he goes out of his way to help fellow authors and feel like he would be a great person to have on your side if I was attacked by a zombie horde.
Meredith says: Hugh Howey, what a guy. I think about about 98% of what I know about self-publishing I learned from stalking Hugh Howey. I think Hugh would have a fellow author's back.
Teresa says:  Plus he'd keep us entertained with his amazing stories.


2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why ;)
Teresa says: J.K. Rowling. I really like Stephen King, but there's so much I really admire about J.K. Rowling. I like the way she takes to twitter to defend people. I like that she overcame so much before becoming successful with her Harry Potter series. She's a tough cookie.
Meredith says: When I'm feeling down in the dumps, I look up articles on JK's rise to fame. So inspiring and it keeps me going.
Teresa says:  I'd love to chat with her over tea and scones. I think we have similar opinions about a lot of things.


3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Teresa says: I just finished The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry which was so good. I highly recommend it especially to fellow book lovers. Flat-Out Love is next on my TBR.
Meredith says: Adding to my TBR.


4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Teresa says: There are so many, but I'm going to go with a classic and one of my all time favorites which is The Count of Monte Cristo.
Meredith says: Nice! An oldie but a goodie :)


5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Teresa says: Heir of Fire by Sarah Maas. Her Throne of Glass series is one of my all time favorites.
Meredith says: Another one to add to my TBR.


6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Teresa says: By far I would say Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It broke my heart and gave me a major book hangover for weeks.
Meredith says: Another one to add to my TBR.
Teresa says: Just make sure you have a box of Kleenex with you. I sobbed like a baby at the end.


7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Teresa says: I always secretly wanted to be able to teleport so I'd never be stuck in traffic again.
Meredith says: Oh teleportation! I love it. Although, I feel like I would be teleporting myself to a place without traffic, possibly with a warm sandy beach and a wet bar.
Teresa says:  Just imagine how awesome it would be to get there without having to deal with airport security.
Meredith says: I've decided I want to be able to teleport. 


8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Teresa says: I have a teeny tiny cheapo Ikea desk in my living room. That's my writing spot. I can keep an eye on the kids and get some writing done at the same time.
Meredith says: That works!


9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book BACK TO US.
Teresa says: My favorite scene is where one of the main characters, Justin wakes up after having a PTSD induced nightmare and his love interest Jessica promises him that she loves him despite all his baggage.
Meredith says: Ooooh! I can't wait to read that scene.


10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Teresa says: Jessica resembles me in a lot of ways. The apartment she lives in is pretty much the exact same one I lived in during my college days. The things she struggles with I did as well in my own way.
Meredith says: The more interviews I do, the more authors I find who use bits of themselves and their lives. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in that.
Teresa says:  I think a story reads as more authentic if there's a little of you in it.


11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Teresa says: I am so not a music person. I've got three kids under the age of ten so it's pretty much always loud in my house. When I have a chance for quiet I jump on it.
Meredith says: I grew up with 4 brothers, and I remember our house being so crazy and loud. Now I have a hard time dealing with lots of people and lots of noise, so I totally understand where you're coming from. I'd relish my moments of silence as well.


12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Teresa says: To keep trying and to be open to criticism and try and learn from it.
Meredith says: Definitely need to be open to criticism - constructive criticism at least - walk away from the other stuff.
Teresa says: Yeah that's true. When I beta read for people if I don't like something in their story I always try to point out how I might change it rather than just say it wasn't good. That isn't helpful, it's discouraging.


Connect with Teresa







Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Please welcome R. E. Carr author of FOUR




















Rachel convinced me that meeting her in a dark alley on a Thursday night was an okay place for an interview. Rachel's voice was like a sirens song. I woke up the next day with a headache, lost time and an insatiable thirst for blood. Let's see what R. E. Carr had to say about reading, writing and zombies... 'cause I can't remember most of it.




1. It’s the Zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to survive with and tell us why you’d choose them.
Rachel says: Well I think it’s always best to be surrounded by experts so I would choose Max Brooks and Alden Bell for their prophetic knowledge on exactly what to do in this time of crisis. Lastly, I think I would take George R. R. Martin so that I could both find out the ending to the Game of Throne’s series before the end, and, most likely, outrun him in a pinch while being chased by the fast zombies from 28 Days Later.
Meredith says: Poor, poor George. I heard on the radio that he got his in Sharknado 3. Gosh, 28 Days Later, I still have nightmares about the ending of that movie. And Max Brooks! Have you read World War Z? So good.
Rachel says: World War Z is definitely a case of the book bing vastly superior to the movie. You would think that the scope of it would lend itself to a full Hollywood treatment, but… no, just no. (I’ll invoke Thumper’s mother’s rule at this point.)


2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why ;)
Rachel says: I would totally save Steven King first since he probably weighs more as an adult male and I’d have more energy, then we could both rescue Ms. Rowling. Problem solving 101.
Meredith says: You're the first author to think of a way to save them both! 20 points to Gryffindor.
Rachel says: Ahem, 20 points to Ravenclaw, thank you very much.



3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Rachel says: I have The Martian and Ready Player One ready to go so that I will no longer be shamed by all of my friends for not reading them.
Meredith says: Oooh, good reads!


4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Rachel says: The Inferno by Dante Alighieri is one of my all-time favorites because of the joy I take in reading the pure sarcasm that apparently lived within 14th-century writers just as much as 21st-century ones. Ever since I first read it, the imagery of punishment fitting the crime has haunted my dreams – from the ceaseless whipping winds of lust to the icy chill of betrayal.



5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Rachel says: Last year I read a grand total of one book because I was finishing up my degree and writing Four, so my winner, by glorious default, is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. You’re really making me look forward to reading The Martian though!
Meredith says: The Martian was so good (even much more so when you get past the potatoes). The fact that you got through Outlander while finishing up your degree is a feat. That is a long book.
Rachel says: It’s not the size of the book, it’s the amount of exposition. Also, I am totally craving potatoes at the thought of reading The Martian.

6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Rachel says: I actually have queued up about a dozen of my fellow Kindle Scout Winners to read out of a sense of curiosity and kinship. I’m going to go back to my corner of shame because so far in 2015 my favorite read has been… not completed. The good news is that my husband gave me an early birthday present of a Kindle so I can read on the go – including a certain title by one M. Pritchard. I’m super excited and if you have any recommendations, I’ll be all over them.
Meredith says:  (Yay!) Thanks so much :) There are so many good KindleScout books. I'm currently making my way through them. If you like literary fiction Stacey Cochran's Eddie & Sunny is really good, if you like regency romance Captain and Countess by Alice Gaines was great, What We Left Behind was a great zombie read with a refreshing twist on zombie origins, 3 Women Walk into a Bar was a great noir crime fiction read - punchy and sharp, 33Degrees if you like dystopian sic-fi was great, and Becoming Moon... gosh, there are just so many from so many different genres!
Rachel says: I just snagged 33 Degrees in the hopes that it would help me forget that my apartment has no AC. It’s giving me a Snowpiercer meets Hunger Games kind of vibe but it’s early days.

7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Rachel says: Movie trivia. I force the bad guys into inaction as they all stop to remember what George Clooney’s first movie role was. (Here’s a hint, it has John Astin and some sociopathic fruit in it.)
Meredith says:  Get them while they're distracted. That's a great idea!
Rachel says: Distraction is the key to… SQUIRREL!!!!

8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Rachel says: I live in what is known in real estate trade as a “cozy, intimate space,” so I have to combine my bedroom, living room, and office into one. I’ve found a magic spot on my bed - propped up by a mountain of body pillows - where my laptop, my tiny dog and my tamed mountain lion, err... cat, can peacefully coexist.
Meredith says:  That definitely sounds like a cozy, intimate space.
Rachel says: Oh, cozy indeed.

9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book, Four.
Rachel says: I don’t want to spoil too much, but I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of a bunch of monsters at a party. What would they do for fun? What would they eat? In Four I totally indulge myself and let the main character, Georgia, get a ticket to a vampire ball, and, let’s just say, much hilarity ensues, just don’t inquire about the catering.
Meredith says:  They would totally do the Monster Mash! And sing the Monster Mash! (Ahem, back to the interview)... I can't wait to read that scene. It sounds fun!
Rachel says: Yeah, I hummed that song a little too much during the making of this manuscript. To make it more fun, the vampire host is a little obsessed with the 80’s, so it’s a touch more Thriller than Addam’s Family.




10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Rachel says: In my perfect world I would be like Georgia since she has an amazing ability to stay in the moment rather than stressing about the future or the past, but I know that the nervous, introverted, homebody of a vampire – Mr. Lambley – is really more like me that I care to admit.
Meredith says:  I'm nervous, introverted and a homebody... I guess I'm a Mr. Lamely as well.
Rachel says: But are you ginger and terribly British?
Meredith says: No. Just pale and American.


11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Rachel says: Music is my heartbeat when I write. It shapes my words and takes me places that I rarely wander too in silence. I went rather electronic on my playlist this go-around. Here are the four (of course) songs that inspired me most:
4. Fireflies - Lange & Kate Kanell
3. Black Room Boy (Above and Beyond Club Mix) – Above and Beyond
2. Destiny – Markus Schultz featuring DeLacey
1. Rain Falls Down (Daniel Meyer Remix) – Assemblage 23 (the single most inspirational song for Four – It picked me up when I had a total block.)
Meredith says: Great songs!



12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Rachel says: Never think it’s too late. I promised myself when I was sixteen that I’d be a published author one day and I took twenty-one years to fulfill that promise. The journey was long, the twists and turns chaotic, and I’m pretty sure, in my universe, that the GPS of life lost its signal a few times, but if you just keep going you eventually find where you need to go. Also, caffeine helps- lots and lots of caffeine.
Meredith says: Caffeine is one of my very best friends. And you're so right - it's never too late, people!






Connect with R. E. Carr

Twitter: @totalrecarr
Website (in progress)



_____________________________________________

R. E. Carr likes to split her time between the alien (well, resident alien) she married, her two adorable offspring and the vast army of characters who constantly argue in her brain. She uses her past life as a video game reviewer to remind herself just how awesome it is to be writing novels now.

Rachel writes because she knows so many people and places that never quite made it into this version of the universe. It's her duty to let them out. Writing also gives her mind a certain peace and calm rarely felt in this multi-tasking, wired world.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wayward Pines Series Books 2 &3 by Blake Crouch





Books 2 & 3 of the Wayward Pines series did not disappoint. I finished this entire series in 3 days. 

Fast-paced, action packed and littered with a bit of heartbreak. 

Blake Crouch reminds me so much of Dean Koontz - whom I love. 

I can't say too much about these books without spoilers so you should just read them.




KindlePress/KindleScout New Author Launch Party


Swing by for shenanigans, deep dark secrets 
and bookish prizes!





Join us Sunday August 16 from 7-9 MST (10-midnight EST) for an online-only Facebook launch party for six new Kindle Scout authors. Lots of entertaining Q&A, freebies, and trivia. A fun way to spend Sunday evening. Discover new authors. Learn more about placing your own novel with Kindle Scout. You can help us by attending and by also inviting Facebook friends.

Click here to join the party on Facebook and Invite your friends!



Monday, August 10, 2015

Please welcome Joe Clifford Faust author of Drawing Down the Moon



I met with Joe over a cup of joe. We laughed a lot. 
Let's see what he had to say about zombies, reading, and writing.




1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Joe Says: Elmore Leonard – because he's so cool nobody can touch him. And that would have to extend to zombies, even in their emaciated, brainless state. We'd walk through them like Moses through the Red Sea.
Michael Crichton – because he would come up with cool, high tech solutions to the problems of survival that we could MacGyver out of tin foil, duct tape and old transistor radios.
Tom Clancy – because he'd have all sorts of connections to get us rescued – a Puff The Magic Dragon (Douglas AC-47D Spooky) gunship circling our site with 50 cals, mowing down the undead and providing cover for Seal Team 6 to rappel down from a Chinook helicopter, form a perimeter, and pull us out of there.
Just occurred to me I picked three dead authors. I hope they're not all Zees.
Meredith says: Monte Dutton picked a few dead authors. I think you guys have something going with including supernatural beings into the zombie apocalypse. But seriously, I can't even get over your choices and reasoning, priceless and awesome!
Joe Says: Notice I didn't bring anything to the party. And with all of those powerhouses present, I probably wouldn't even get to write the inevitable book about it. Suppose I should just be grateful to walk away from the experience.


2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Joe Says: Rowling. It's ladies first. Besides, King has used Deus Ex Machina in his novels so much that it owes him a huge favor.
Meredith says: I love that you pointed out the Deus Ex Machina and your rationale. Amazingness. And gentlemen rule.
Joe Says: I thought about referring to it as King Ex Machina, but decided I'd be kind.


3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Joe Says: An English translation of L'Écume des jours by Boris Vian, re-published under the title Mood Indigo, after the recent film it was made into. I try not to read a book after seeing the movie, but Michael Gondry's film was so information dense that I wondered what the source was like. Turns out they're related only by plot, but after getting into the novel, I can see that his approach makes sense.
Meredith says: I've read a few books after seeing the movie (ex Harry Potter, I know, I know... stop judging me)
Joe Says: The big problem I have with reading the book after seeing the movie is I can't get the movie cast out of my head. I'd much rather cast the book out of my own imagination.


4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Joe Says: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I read it once every ten years (due again in 2020). It's an amazing book, with Huck not just growing up but evolving from his redneck racist ways. The line "All right then, I'll go to hell" gets me every time and is one of the greatest moments in American literature.
Meredith says: Jeeze, I haven't read Huck Finn since I was in grade school. Now I feel like I need to pull it out and read it again!
Joe Says: It'll be totally different reading it as an adult. I love books that do that.


5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Joe Says: I read a lot of history and in '14 I realized that I hadn't yet read anything about Napoleon Bonaparte. So I went through the available books for the Kindle, looking for the highest rated book about him, but also wanting something of an overview. Lo and behold, I picked Napoleon for Dummies – yes, a Dummies book – which was written by a noted Napoleonic scholar. And it was amazingly good. It really changed my perception of the man (we've bought into all the bad press the British have given him since the late 18th century) and it inspired me to pick up a second, more massive bio that's now waiting in my Kindle's memory for the right moment to be opened.
Meredith says: Wow. That's kind of inspiring!
Joe Says: So now at your prompting I have to read The Martian before October or I'll keep seeing Mark Damon's face when I read. Or is it Matt Wahlberg? I keep getting those two mixed up.
Meredith says: They're pretty much twins and their names are fully interchangeable. (But it's Matt Damon) I think you know this though, lol.

6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Joe Says: How to Pick Up A Stripper by Todd and Erin Stevens. It's not what you think. I'm very involved in church work, and this is about how a church can reach out into the community by developing personal relationships. It's good stuff.
On a more laic (and fictional) plane, the best novel I've read this year is Elmore Leonard's Maximum Bob. People tend not to like this one, but I found it had more dark humor than some of Leonard's other work, and that was just my cuppa tea.
Meredith says: Those are some interesting books. I just had to go look them up and add them to my reading list. I do like dark humor.
Joe Says: A fellow traveller! One of the highlights of my young life was discovering a book of Chas Addams cartoons in the local library.


7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Joe Says: I can fly, I can fly, I can fly! See, for decades I have had recurring dreams that I could fly. And since I'm a lucid dreamer, over the years I actually figured out how to control my flight in those dreams. So if I suddenly gained that power, I'd know just how to work it. As compared to, say, the ability to transmute solid objects into pudding, which would mean quite a learning curve on my part.
Meredith says: It's like you have another realm in your sleeping mind! And as I read the 'pudding' bit, I envisioned a scene from Heroes in which that character in season 3 (I think) could melt things and turned them into pudding-like consistency.
Joe Says: I'm talking actual pudding here. A big plus would be getting to pick the flavor just before you do it. Imagine instead of shattering brick and rending metal, that runaway locomotive stops in a splatter of chocolatey goodness.



8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Joe Says: I have a huge brown La-Z-Boy recliner that we bought after we were first married, and over the decades it has become known as the Editing Chair. I've written in it, I've edited all of my novels in it, rocked my kids and snuggled with my wife on it. It's about to collapse after 30+ years of hard work, but I can't seem to part with it, in spite of my wife's pleas to exercise common sense.
Meredith says: But there's so many memories in the Editing Chair. I think your only option is to have it bronzed.
Joe Says: I like the way you think. The only trouble with that would be getting it back through the door of the office.
Meredith says: See the meme ------------->



9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book Drawing Down the Moon.
Joe Says: < SPOILER > My favorite bit in Drawing Down the Moon is the Truth or Dare scene. The night before the big climax the two main characters, Ricky and Kada, are holed up in a motel room, and it's entirely possible that this will be their last night together after being on the run for a week. With nothing to do but avoid the subject of sex, they get into a game of Truth or Dare that lets them clear the air and say all the things they never said or should have said to each other. They verbally feint and parry around one another until the subject of sex comes up again, and hopefully it resolves in a way the reader doesn't expect. I didn't realize how good that scene was until the last stages of getting the manuscript ready for Amazon. When it hit me, it was one of those moments where I wanted to pinch myself to make sure I hadn't cribbed it from somebody else. < /SPOILER >
Meredith says: Awesome. Who knew, Truth or Dare!
Joe Says: Glad I didn't take the Dare on this one. Unless maybe it had to do with chocolate pudding.



10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Joe Says: Like all writers, I tend to give my main characters little bits of myself, and it varies from book to book. Unfortunately for them, what they usually get are the parts of me I wish I didn't have. Those moments in Drawing Down the Moon where Ricky has to put aside his selfish desires and do the right thing, and then regrets doing the right thing? Me.
Meredith says: Me and Craig Hart talked about this a few weeks ago. I think we both agreed it's cool to explore the less pleasant sides of our personalities through our writings.
Joe Says: And therapeutic. I think people automatically assume that writers like, say, Stephen King are writing trauma out of their lives because of the genre they write, but I think it's a safe bet to say that even the writer of the most harmless character study novel where there's virtually no action does the same thing.


11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Joe Says: Glad to hear of another music-powered writer! I've got ~15k songs in my iTunes for fuel that run the gamut of genres. Here are the last five songs that played during this interview:
Trouble Man - Rickie Lee Jones
Right Now - Garth Brooks
Parallels - Yes
Over - Ivy
Give Blood - Pete Townshend
That's a cover, a half-cover from my wife's playlist, some prog, some pop, and a good rocker. The only thing you didn't get a sampling of was Jandek, and I'm pretty sure you don't want to go there.
Meredith says: More power to the music lovers of the world! Love the mix.
Joe Says: You hit me on a good day. Another time and you would have been left scratching your head.


12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Joe Says: You mean besides "Don't do it, if you want to torture yourself take up golf instead and at least be around other people"? I guess it would be that it's okay to write for money, but if you write for love, your work will be so much better. In a lot of ways The Mushroom Shift is my best novel because I did it with no expectation of riches. I wrote it because I loved the people I worked with in law enforcement and I wanted to tell what their lives were really like, not the kind of stuff you see on the teevee. It was also written out of the joy of sitting down at the typewriter (giving my age away here) and banging words onto a page. It was a perfect writing storm, and I'm not sure I'll ever have that experience again.
Meredith says: Gosh, my writer's soul just throbbed with joy at reading that. Inspiring.
Joe Says: Now if I could just get my writer's wallet to throb with joy, I'd be more inspired. Or did saying that just undo my answer to this one?
Meredith says: Hahaha


Get your copy of Drawing Down the Moon


Connect with Joe!





(Joe's on Wikipedia. That means he's cooler than the rest of us.)

__________________________________________

Joe Clifford Faust was born in North Dakota, raised in Alberta and Wyoming, went to college in Oklahoma, and now lives in Ohio. He has been married to the former Miss Connie Sweitzer for going on thirty-five years, has two adult children, and worked for 25 years as an advertising copywriter.

He currently works full-time as a Shepherd at his local Church. When not working or writing, he spends his time eating chili, playing wargames, and reading books on his Kindle.

He is currently at work on his next novel, which he says, "May involve either UFOs, amnesia, or dogs. I haven't decided which."









Friday, August 7, 2015

Please welcome Nick Cole author of Soda Pop Soldier & other awesome books










I stalked Nick on social media. Since we live on opposite ends of the continent we had to do this interview via email. Wait... I do all of these interviews via email. Let's see what Nick had to say about reading, writing and zombies!



1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Nick says: “I think I’d pick Michael Bunker author of Brother Frankenstein because he’s the off-grid Maestro and so his common sense, survival skills and integrity commend him well. Next I’d pick John L. Monk, author of Kick, because he’s got some guns, survival interests and I’ve played Left 4 Dead with him. He’s a team player and a shooter which makes a good wingman for the run and gun world of the Zombocalypse. Next I’d pick Christopher Boore, author of the novella Next Up. He’s the awesome DM for our podcast SciFi Writers Playing Old School D&D and we’d probably start playing first edition Dungeons and Dragons since there’s no TV or interwebz now that the zekes ruined everything.”
Meredith says: I've been waiting for someone to pick Bunker!


2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Nick says: “I’d save Miss Rowling because she’s a lady and I’m sure Mr. King would want it that way because he’s a standup dude. But, I’d go back for Stephen King because he’s one of my literary heroes. Even if he’d gone under for the third time. Plus, how bad would zombie Stephen King be? It’d make a great memoir once publishing got started again. Me and Zombie Stephen King: A Friendship... sort of.”
Meredith says: Sweet Jesus... a zombie Stephen King. I may not be sleeping tonight. Also, I can't wait to read that memoir, you know, if I survive the zombie apocalypse.


3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Nick says: “Currently I’m reading Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Siege. It’s bang-up historical fiction set during the siege of Cadiz during the Napoleonic era. I pretty much read anything Perez-Reverte writes. He tweeted me once.”
Meredith says: Awesome!


4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Nick says: “For fiction I bet it would be The Lord of the Rings. Including The Hobbit. But, I annually read The Old Man and the Sea in one day. Sometimes sitting in the pool, or the bathtub.”



5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Nick says: “I would agree with you on The Martin. A fantastic read that’s both witty and gripping. I did a panel with Mr. Weir at ComicCon and he’s one of the nicest writers I’ve ever met. Really super guy. I also really enjoyed Jonathan Maberry’s Patient Zero.”



6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Nick says: “I finally got around to reading A Prayer for Owen Meany. It’s a heartbreakingly excellent book. The prose and pacing and pathos hurricane’d into a touching snapshot of a giant. Bold Statement: I sincerely doubt that even the author knew what he was creating in the character of Owen Meany. It’s one of those books that sticks with you as you walk away. Or are driven down the road, taking the bus, waving at it one last time through the back window. It’s probably influenced a fantasy memoir SciFi thing I’m futzing with.”



7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Nick says: “Ninja Skills. Because Ninjas are awesome and it’s probably a pretty healthy way to live. The training, I mean. Not the poisons, combat to the death octagon style and criminal underworld assassinations. Other than those things... ninja-ing seems great. Batman’s basically a ninja.”



8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Nick says: “Backyard on the patio. I live in a very balmy Southern California out near the edge of civilization. So, as a Wastelander I enjoy the melancholy loneliness of breezy afternoons.”
Meredith says: Since I live in the frozen north east, that actually sounds kind of nice.


9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from one of your books.
Nick says: “The End of The Wasteland Saga. It gets me every time.”



10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Nick says: “I’m probably a cross between the Old Man from The Old Man and the Wasteland, PerfectQuestion from Soda Pop Soldier and Holiday from Apocalypse Weird: The Red King.



11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Nick says: “Right now...
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - Elton John Version
Rocket Man - Elton John
Nobody Told Me – John Lennon
Rock you Like a Hurricane – Scorpions
You’re So Vain – Carly Simon”
Meredith says: I love this playlist!


12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Nick says: “Perform your book. Read it, out loud, over and over again until it sounds as good as any audio-book performed by any of Stephen King’s celebrity narrators. As many times as it takes. I probably read The Old Man and the Wasteland upwards of twenty times, out loud, in my backyard, one spring.




Connect with Nick Cole






("I drink your Milkshake. I drink it down!")

_______________________________________


Nick Cole is a former soldier and working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can be found writing books for Harper Collins.





Thursday, August 6, 2015

Review of PINES (Wayward Pines #1) by Blake Crouch




It was like some strange mystery turned Twilight Zone turned 'The Lottery' turned some dark Dean Koontz novel.
Ethan's hunt for the truth reveals dark details of his own past - some inspiring, some distressing, tragic and heartbreaking. Ethan's character is one you won't forget easily, nor is the secret behind Wayward Pines.
I loved the sci-fi twist at the end. Loved it so much that I can't wait to read the next in the series.

5/5 stars

Get your copy of PINES







Book blurb:
Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels?off. As the days pass, Ethan's investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can't he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn't anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact? He may never get out of Wayward Pines alive. Intense and gripping, Pines is another masterful thriller from the mind of bestselling novelist Blake Crouch.






Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Author event


Review of Soda Pop Soldier by Nick Cole







"I drink your Milkshake. I drink it down!"

An exciting Sci-fi read. If you're a gamer you should read this. If you're not a gamer, you should read this. Set in a bleak future where technology rules, SodaPop soldier is action-packed and thrilling.
4/5 stars








Blurb:

Call of Duty meets Diablo in this fast-paced, action-packed novel from the author of The Wasteland Saga.

Gamer PerfectQuestion fights for ColaCorp in WarWorld, an online combat sport arena where mega-corporations field entire armies in the battle for real world global advertising-space dominance. Within the immense virtual battlefield, players and bots are high-tech grunts, using drop-ships and state-of-the-art weaponry to wipe each other out.

But times are tough and the rent is due, and when players need extra dough, there’s always the Black, an illegal open source tournament where the sick and twisted desires of the future are given free rein in the Westhavens, a gothic dungeon fantasy world.

And all too soon, the real and virtual worlds collide when PerfectQuestion refuses to become the tool of a mad man intent on hacking the global economy for himself.

New Release Tuesday