The Writer’s Life with Author Michael Ditchfield

michael_106 (2)Michael Ditchfield continues to live and work in the United States after moving here from England. He finds time between his successful restaurants to engage in humanitarian causes in Africa. He is especially focused on Ethiopia, after many years in Rwanda and Sudan. Michael spends the rest of his time speaking about the plight of the people in these countries, with an emphasis on bettering our lives from understanding theirs. He is currently working on his next book.

What’s inside the mind of a non-fiction author?

The willingness to serve others through the written word.  I’ve has been involved  in saving lives in Africa and now wanted the means to keep these acts moving forward in print so the world can contemplate the process.

What is so great about being an author?

To be a true and passionate messenger of what the written word portrays. I believe through print that results are attainable to better this world and bring thought -provoking discussion to light on the subject matter.

When do you hate it?

When I am not writing.

What is a regular writing day like for you? Be honest!

I wake up around 4am and after coffee begins the thought process of what I’m trying to achieve that day. When the thoughts are lifeless I walk the park or go to the gym, returning to write again. The evening holds little for the process as the downtime is needed to re-charge the batteries.

Do you think authors have big egos? Do you? How do you know?

Some do, but that is their make-up. I relish my accomplishments in an appreciative manner. Talent is God-given. Conceit is self- given.

How do you handle negative reviews?

There is always a committee of “they.” He rolls with the punches. Good reviews are not always that good and bad reviews are not always that bad.

LTS-front (2)What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

They are impressed as they usually realize the sacrifice and passion needed. They always wanted to write something themselves but just never got started.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

Takes a break unless procrastination has brought a deadline closer to reality.

Any writing quirks?

Napkins to paper to lap top.

Have you worked on your novel intoxicated? What was the result?

Some of the greatest parts of the book came after a glass or two of Pappy Van Winkles. I wouldn’t call it intoxicated merely “merry.”

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

Congratulate them for making me feel more special and accomplished.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate? 

Romeo and Juliet never had it so good.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

In my case with the latest book, yes, as more lives in Africa can be saved. A portion of the book sales go towards my African passion at Project Mercy.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

Don’t prove others wrong, instead prove yourself right!

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Title: Life’s Too Short for Leftovers – 9 Lessons from a Third World Kitchen

Genre: Memoir

Author: Michael Ditchfield

Website: http://MichaelDitchfield.com

Publisher: Black Crown

Purchase link: http://amzn.com/099625370X

Ditchfield takes the reader on his personal journey with his mentor to Africa. Here he enlightens us on what we can learn from people going through extreme hardship, and how we can benefit from such revelation. He spends time applying this knowledge in a way that allows us to reflect and act with our own personal growth.

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Talking Craft with M.D. Moore, author of ‘Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy’

Originally posted on The Dark Phantom Review:

MooreBook2014_4922A native of Tacoma, Washington, M.D. Moore worked as a therapist in Washington State’s most acute psychiatric hospital. Moore currently serves as a rehab director at a long term care facility serving veterans and their families. A member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, M.D. Moore lives in Gig Harbor, Washington with his wife and sons. Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy is his debut novel. Visit M.D. Moore online at: www.mdmooreauthor.com.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your book, Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy. To begin with, can you give us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?  

A: My story is about a middle-aged son of a paranoid schizophrenic mother who has the problems of the world on his shoulders, but doesn’t have the skills to navigate them all successfully.  He has a…

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Character Interview: Alassa from Christopher G Nuttall’s fantasy ‘Trial by Fire’

Originally posted on Beyond the Books:

character interviewWe’re thrilled to have here today Alassa from Christopher G Nuttall’s fantasy Trial by Fire. Alassa is a 19 year old student magician who just happens to be the Crown Princess of Zangaria. It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Alassa. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

TrialByFire_med1Well, the first thing I would like to say is that you didn’t include my full titles. I am Alassa, Crown Princess of Zangaria, Iron Duchess, Lady of the Magical Arts, Patron of Steam and Heiress of Alexis, Founder Monarch of Zangaria.

But the author? Naturally, he should have focused more on me. I’m going to be getting married next month and trust me, Emily doesn’t like the attention. And…

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Book Review: ‘Madison’s Song’ by Christine Amsden

Originally posted on The Dark Phantom Review:

MadisonsSong_medMadison’s Song is the latest addition to the Cassie Scot Paranormal Detective fantasy/mystery series. Though not the latest instalment, it is a stand-alone, companion book to the series and, though there are mystery elements in it, it is primarily a romantic fantasy.

So far I’ve read and enjoyed all of the books and this one didn’t disappoint. As usual, Amsden delivers a fast-pace, highly entertaining read with fully sympathetic and compelling characters. This time I was especially swept away by the romance between Madison and Scott.

Madison Carter is a sweet, shy music teacher from a small town. When her brother Clinton’s life is put in danger, she must unwillingly join forces with Scott Lee, a very alluring and dangerous alpha werewolf, to find Clinton and help him. Scott is slave to the moon, a vicious killer and man-eating monster, but he has a soft spot for Madison, whom…

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Profile: Christine Amsden, Author of the Cassie Scot Series

Originally posted on The Dark Phantom Review:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Writing has taught me the importance of self-confidence in becoming good at anything,” says Christine Amsden, who, in spite of having been diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision, has gone on to become the award-winning, bestselling author of the Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective fantasy/mystery series published by Twilight Times Books.

“My parents encouraged reading a LOT,” says this speculative fiction writer, who grew up gobbling up The Chronicles of Narnia, The Baby Sitter’s Club, and Flowers in the Attic. “I know they read to me too, but I was an advanced reader at an early age and preferred to read on my own when I could. I have memories of staring at picture books, making up stories about the pictures though I couldn’t understand the words.” At the tender age of 8, she wrote her first…

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In the Spotlight: Let’s Talk About Tickling by Veronica Frances

Let's Talk About TicklingTitle: Let’s Talk About Tickling
Author: Veronica Frances
Publisher: Blue Note Books
Pages: 240
Genre: Non-fiction/Erotic Literature/Self Improvement
Format: Kindle

Let’s Talk About Tickling is an honest, straightforward discussion about tickling. Discover the many different aspects of tickling—the fantasies, the realities, the many paradoxes of the tickling fetish and how to come to terms with ones own sensuality.

A refreshing and very welcome find, Let’s Talk About Tickling is for anyone who wishes to expand their awareness of tickling and other related fetishes. This book will be of great interest to anyone who wants to get in touch with their sensual self, whether they have a tickling fetish or not.

Author Veronica Frances offers her readers the chance to improve their relationships in and out of the bedroom by shining a light on the powerful significance of tickling. She reminds us that tickling is not merely the whisper of a feather on the flesh. It is an echo that calls us from deep within, beckoning us to listen and respond.

For More Information

Let's Talk About Tickling teaser

Book Excerpt:

Now let’s face it, tickling can be the conduit for many things.

It can make us surrender, whether we want to or not. It can be held against us if we are being interrogated by people who choose to use it to get us to talk. It can be used to reprimand us and put us back in line. It can be an unpleasant form of torture, even to the point of bringing us some slight pain. It can make us scream for mercy, buck up and down, laugh until we pee in our pants. It can humiliate us, yet make us continue laughing while in the midst of our own humiliation. It can demoralize us by forcing us to laugh and twitch against our will.

It can also make us wet in our most hidden erogenous zones. It can arouse us nearly to death. It can lead to many things and is the gateway to one of the most intimate journeys known to man.

Tickling is the magic bridge that hovers above our rivers of sexuality. Tickling is most definitely the gateway to sex.

Sometimes you won’t even know that tickling is leading you down its slippery erotic slope until you are in somebody’s arms and feeling that ticklish little poke at your libido.

 

 

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Profile: Author Barry Hornig

Were you on line at Studio 54? Did you ever swap drugs for gold in Tangiers? Or try on a dog collar at the Botany Club? Ever marry a countess or a Playboy playmate? Meet Barry. He did all of that and a lot more. He’s had many ups and downs and has probably forgotten more than you’ve fantasized, but this book is what he can recall…

“I hope I left a roadmap and some signposts to show other people that when they get lost, there is a way out."

Thus goes the pitch of Barry Hornig’s candid, compelling, revealing, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Without a Net: a True Tales of Prison, Penthouses, and Playmates (Köehler Books, 2015), which, from idea to polished manuscript, took him eight years to complete.

Without a Net is the story of a young man from a middle class background who shoots for the stars and goes after things that aren’t attainable, and when he thinks he has them, they get taken away,” states Hornig. “In the process, he winds up incarcerated, threatened with guns, and succumbs to addictions, but through a powerful series of visualizations he manages to manifest somebody who helps him change his whole life around through love and compassion. And through that, he is able to help other people.” Hornig’s over-the-top life is told with honesty, self-mockery, hope, and more than a little Jewish humor.

The decision to write this memoir came about from Hornig’s anger about his great ups and downs in life and the question, “Why do they continue to happen to me?” He needed to get it out of his system. Through writing, he hoped to see life more clearly and get rid of some of the anger and pain. He decided he wouldn’t misdirect his energy by looking back, but instead concentrate on looking forward and benefit from lessons learned, and it worked. “I hope I left a roadmap and some signposts to show other people that when they get lost, there is a way out,” says Hornig. “I believe that with determination, visualization, and the right partner, you can emerge from any darkness, live an interesting and fruitful life, and recover your sanity and your spiritual balance.”

In addition to his personal journey, the book offers a kaleidoscope of America from its triumphant and proud years in the 50s to a more recent time when – from Hornig’s perspective – “A great power has been shamefully falling apart. We’ve killed all our heroes, and there’s nobody to look up to. Violence never wins. And Gordon Gekko was wrong; greed is not good. (Sorry, Oliver.)”

Writing Without a Net had its challenges. From telling the truth, to stirring the hot coals, to old temptations re-awakening, to unsupportive peers telling him he was wasting his time and would never finish the book, Hornig admirably stuck to his vision through it all and came through the other side with a completed manuscript and a renewed sense of reality.

Besides the obvious painful, emotional journey of having to access his troubled past, Hornig’s challenge included the fact that he’s dyslexic. Because of this, he decided to work with Michael Claibourne, who helped him organize his thoughts and Without a Net Coverpen his words. Claibourne loved his life story and had been urging him for quite a while to write it all down.  It seemed just as exciting as any of the screenplays they were working on. “My creative process was a form of channeling with Michael, who acted as interviewer, scribe and psychiatrist,” adds Hornig. “We wrote this memoir from Topanga Canyon to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Montana, and New York City. Sometimes lying down and sometimes sitting up.  In person, over the phone, and over the net. It was complex but clear. I tried to be truthful and honest with all the subjects.”

In spite of help from his writing partner, as well as support from his spouse and family, becoming an author has been overwhelming for Hornig, to say the least. “I can’t quite wrap my head around it,” he says. “All I did was tell a story. We’ll see what happens from there, and I’ll leave it up to my audience.” He’s looking forward to sharing some of his experiences in this journey with younger people, and hopes that this book puts him in a venue where he can talk to them. “I want to spread the news: it’s never too late.” He hopes readers will learn from his story and even find themselves in it, and realize that even the most destructive impulses can be overcome. “I have been able to forgive the people who wronged me, and forgive myself for wronging the people that I wronged – both the ones who are dead and the ones who are still alive. And looking back now through the other end of the telescope, it’s all very clear.”

Barry Hornig currently divides his time between Santa Monica, California, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he owns a gallery of fine art rugs. He is a professional sports fisherman, an expert on the paranormal, has talked with beings from space, had visions in Masar-i-Sharif, has been blessed by Muktananda, and hugged by Ammachi. “I have so many more stories to tell… and they’re not all autobiographical” states the author on what lurks on the horizon. “Screenplays, movies, all with messages. I am hoping that with this book my other story work will be taken seriously. And that in turn the other work will get out and more lessons will be learned.”

Connect with Barry Hornig on the web:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

Without a Net is available from Köehler Books, Amazon, B&N, and other online retailers.

My article originally appeared in Blogcritics

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