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Play Book Trivia with Freddie Owens, author of ‘Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie’s Story’

It’s time to play Book Trivia!  Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us.  By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows!  So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!

kdiToday our guest author is Freddie Owens, author of the historical family drama Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie’s Story.

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us!  Here are your questions:

In the movie Castaway, if Tom Hanks unearthed a copy of Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie’s Story, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

He might see from reading Blind Man that bad situations are dreams that come upon us unawares. All we have to do to get out of them is to wake up – like the lyrics in the song by Aimee Mann say, “It’s not going to stop until you wise up.” Easier said than done, of course.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, and the almighty judges will determine whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay.  What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why? 

An excerpt, of course. An excerpt would blast the judges time-machine-fashion back into the segregated south of the 1950s. It would put them on a dirt farm in backwoods Kentucky in the skin of the book’s nine-year-old narrator, Orbie Ray as he undergoes a life and death rite of initiation under the tutelage of the black Choctaw preacher, Moses Mashbone. They would see Orbie’s world fairly pop off the page and sense immediately his predicament, abandoned and forced to fend for himself in the vernacular against his maverick ‘nigger loving’ grandparents, storms of unusual magnitude and conniving stepfather.    

You have five seconds to tell us who the greatest author of all time is.  In your opinion, who would that be?

Cormac McCarthy, hands down.

A young mother was caught stealing your book out of a bookstore.  When asked why she did it, she opened the book and pointed a passage out.  What was that passage? (please no more than three paragraphs if possible)

It was summertime when Daddy got killed. Then came fall. Dark rainy days and leaves on the ground. It was sad not having Daddy around, kissing on Momma, laughing and talking up things from the factory. I missed his big light-bulb head, his big ears, his hands on Sunday morning, all scrubbed for church, work hands like claws too big for the arms, scrubbed red but still dirty, black lines, factory grease in the knuckle cracks. And how he smelled – I missed that too – like Lava soap and gasoline and cigarettes all mixed in together.

Momma kept to herself; got that purple skin under her eyes. Blood eyes. She wouldn’t put on make up, and she wouldn’t fix up her hair. The house got a gray time. Even the yellow gloss on the kitchen wall had lost its shine. Some of it was ‘cause of gray skies and rainy weather. The rest was just old cigarette smoke and ashtrays that never got dumped.

Momma would lie up in bed or sit in the rocking chair in the living room in front of the TV, smoking one cigarette after another. Sometimes she stayed up late and rocked herself in the rocking chair with the TV set off. It was kind of like she was waiting on Daddy to come home. I would be in the kitchen drawing or playing with my army men and hear her rocking in there with the lights all off. I’d see her cigarette glowing and the shape of her head moving with the rocking chair backlit by the living room window. I would go crawl up in her lap and lay my head against her shoulder. She would put her arm around me then, and I would just be there with her, rocking back and forth, listening to her heartbeat.

You have been told your book has won one free year on a billboard in any one state.  What state do you feel would be best for your book and why?

Kentucky would be a good bet, near a well-trafficked thoroughfare outside Louisville. That’s because the book’s main action occurs in Kentucky at a place called Harlan’s Crossroads. It would have to be a 1950s billboard however, maybe featuring a 1950 Ford, Orbie in the back seat with some colored kids and his Momma up front smoking a cigarette. There’s a look of concern on everyone’s face. Orbie’s hillbilly grandparents might be pictured in the background along with the black man Moses Mashbone who holds a copperhead snake.

The caption might read: If you wanted to destroy something, why would you want to save it too? Read Then Like The Blind Man to find out!

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book.  What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

Black Snake’s Pardon / Barnes & Noble  (Young Adult Section)

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance.  What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

Juniper Tree.  If you’ve ever seen a juniper tree you know they are utterly alien in appearance – as though transplanted from some Tolkien landscape.  Then Like The Blind Man is like that. It doesn’t fit in anywhere easily, which is why it stands out – like in the book – like Granny’s little Jesus Tree. Here’s an excerpt, which describes the Jesus Tree.

I went on out to the front yard. Granny’s Jesus Tree was out there, just a few feet away from the house, twisting up out of the ground like a bunch of ropes tied together; its thorny crown was no higher than the overhang that went out over the porch.

A faded picture of Jesus Granny had found at the Circle Stump flea market was wedged in between the branches. It was dented on one corner, washed out looking and stained with rainwater. It showed Jesus lying face down on a thick stone cross rising slantwise out of what looked like a stormy, though faded, yellow sea. Yellow waves lashed at Jesus’ feet, and a washed out angry sky swirled overhead. His back was all bony and gashed and bleeding, and His faded hands were driven through with thick gray spikes. His face lay flat against the stone, and though I looked for it, I could see no love in his eyes anywhere, just misery and gloom. Didn’t look to me like He could save himself let alone the world.

About the Author:

Freddie Owens 7A poet and fiction writer, my work has been published in Poet Lore, Crystal Clear and Cloudy, and Flying Colors Anthology. I am a past attendee of Pikes Peak Writer’s Conferences and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and a member of Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop in Denver, Colorado. In addition, I am/was a licensed professional counselor and psychotherapist, who for many years counseled perpetrators of domestic violence and sex offenders, and provided psychotherapy for individuals, groups and families. I hold a master’s degree in contemplative psychotherapy from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

I was born in Kentucky but soon after my parents moved to Detroit. Detroit was where I grew up. As a kid I visited relatives in Kentucky, once for a six-week period, which included a stay with my grandparents. In the novel’s acknowledgements I did assert the usual disclaimers having to do with the fact that Then Like The Blind Man was and is a work of fiction, i.e., a made up story whose characters and situations are fictional in nature (and used fictionally) no matter how reminiscent of characters and situations in real life. That’s a matter for legal departments, however, and has little to do with subterranean processes giving kaleidoscopic-like rise to hints and semblances from memory’s storehouse, some of which I selected and disguised for fiction. That is to say, yes, certain aspects of my history did manifest knowingly at times, at times spontaneously and distantly, as ghostly north-south structures, as composite personae, as moles and stains and tears and glistening rain and dark bottles of beer, rooms of cigarette smoke, hay lofts and pigs. Here’s a quote from the acknowledgements that may serve to illustrate this point.

“Two memories served as starting points for a short story I wrote that eventually became this novel. One was of my Kentucky grandmother as she emerged from a shed with a white chicken held upside down in one of her strong bony hands. I, a boy of nine and a “city slicker” from Detroit, looked on in wonderment and horror as she summarily wrung the poor creature’s neck. It ran about the yard frantically, yes incredibly, as if trying to locate something it had misplaced as if the known world could be set right again, recreated, if only that one thing was found. And then of course it died. The second memory was of lantern light reflected off stones that lay on either side of a path to a storm cellar me and my grandparents were headed for one stormy night beneath a tornado’s approaching din. There was wonderment there too, along with a vast and looming sense of impending doom.”

I read the usual assigned stuff growing up, short stories by Poe, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Scarlet Letter, The Cherry Orchard, Hedda Gabler, a little of Hemingway, etc. I also read a lot of Super Hero comic books (also Archie and Dennis the Menace) and Mad Magazine was a favorite too. I was also in love with my beautiful third grade teacher and to impress her pretended to read Gulliver’s Travels for which I received many delicious hugs.

It wasn’t until much later that I read Huckleberry Finn. I did read To Kill A Mockingbird too. I read Bastard Out of Carolina and The Secret Life of Bees. I saw the stage play of Hamlet and read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle too. However, thematic similarities to these works occurred to me only after I was already well into the writing of Then Like The Blind Man. Cormac McCarthy, Pete Dexter, Carson McCullers, Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Conner and Joyce Carol Oates, to name but a few, are among my literary heroes and heroines. Tone and style of these writers have influenced me in ways I’d be hard pressed to name, though I think the discerning reader might feel such influences as I make one word follow another and attempt to “stab the heart with…force” (a la Isaac Babel) by placing my periods (hopefully, sometimes desperately) ‘… just at the right place’.

Freddie Owens’ latest book is Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie’s Story.

Visit his website at www.FreddieOwens.com.

About the Book:

Then Like the Blind Man 7A storm is brewing in the all-but-forgotten backcountry of Kentucky. And, for young Orbie Ray, the swirling heavens may just have the power to tear open his family’s darkest secrets. Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie’s Story is the enthralling debut novel by Freddie Owens, which tells the story of a spirited wunderkind in the segregated South of the 1950s and the forces he must overcome to restore order in his world. Rich in authentic vernacular and evocative of a time and place long past, this absorbing work of magical realism offered up with a Southern twist will engage readers who relish the Southern literary canon, or any tale well told.

Nine-year-old Orbie already has his cross to bear. After the sudden death of his father, his mother Ruby has off and married his father’s coworker and friend Victor, a slick-talking man with a snake tattoo. Since the marriage, Orbie, his sister Missy, and his mother haven’t had a peaceful moment with the heavy-drinking, fitful new man of the house. Orbie hates his stepfather more than he can stand; this fact lands him at his grandparents’ place in Harlan’s Crossroads, Kentucky, when Victor decides to move the family to Florida without including him. In his new surroundings, Orbie finds little to distract him from Granpaw’s ornery ways and constant teasing jokes about snakes.

As Orbie grudgingly adjusts to life with his doting Granny and carping Granpaw, who are a bit too keen on their black neighbors for Orbie’s taste, not to mention their Pentecostal congregation of snake handlers, he finds his world views changing, particularly when it comes to matters of race, religion, and the true cause of his father’s death. He befriends a boy named Willis, who shares his love of art, but not his skin color. And, when Orbie crosses paths with the black Choctaw preacher, Moses Mashbone, he learns of a power that could expose and defeat his enemies, but can’t be used for revenge. When a storm of unusual magnitude descends, he happens upon the solution to a paradox that is both magical and ordinary. The question is, will it be enough?

Equal parts Hamlet and Huckleberry Finn, it’s a tale that’s both rich in meaning, timely in its social relevance, and rollicking with boyhood adventure. The novel mines crucial contemporary issues, as well as the universality of the human experience while also casting a beguiling light on boyhood dreams and fears. It’s a well-spun, nuanced work of fiction that is certain to resonate with lovers of literary fiction, particularly in the grand Southern tradition of storytelling.

 

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Play Book Trivia with Rudy A. Mazzocchi, author of ‘Storytelling’

It’s time to play Book Trivia!  Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us.  By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows!  So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!

kdiToday our guest author is Rudy A. Mazzocchi, author of the STORYTELLING – The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism.

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us!  Here are your questions:

Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of.  In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

This book is designed to enhance everyone’s storytelling skills for various audiences, to pursue personal, challenging journeys down a treacherous road, and how best to stay on that yellow brick road to achieve your objectives. Given Brittany’s need to re-start her career, STORYTELLING would help her construct a new story, one that would initially solicit the support of family and friends, and then broader audiences that would support the reinventing of herself and her “franchise”. It would also reveal methods to avoid those distractive, evil flying-monkeys who only wish to push her off of her path as she pursues her way back to the Emerald City!

You have five seconds to tell us who the greatest author of all time is.  In your opinion, who would that be?

I can name several “favorite” authors, but I believe the greatest was William Shakespeare. He completed seventeen comedies, ten historical pieces, ten renowned tragedies, thirty-eight plays, hundreds of sonnets and five narrative poems. Most of his work have been recognized, retold, or reproduced over and over again throughout the last four centuries.

A young mother was caught stealing your book out of a bookstore.  When asked why she did it, she opened the book and pointed a passage out.  What was that passage?

STORYTELLING – The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism

To be an accomplished entrepreneur, you must be able to tell your story properly. The twisted road to success—your success—will be filled with enlightenment, dread, exuberance, fear, joy and desperation. Without exception, the journey will be long and any deviation from the path may well place you in danger. If it’s of any comfort, when you do wander off that yellow brick road, you won’t be alone, but the longer you stay there, the tougher it is to get back on track without starting over. This book is based on personal experiences and designed to provide you with certain “guardrails” to help you stay on that path… and to avoid those damn flying monkeys.

Remember the story of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum? How many times did Dorothy tell her story to others along her treacherous journey to the Emerald City? Her mission began when she explained herself to Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, after her house took out the Wicked Witch of the East. She refined her story when meeting the Munchkins, and it became stronger and more powerful each time she encountered a new companion—the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. Dorothy then put a different spin on things when telling her story to the Wicked Witch of the West. How many times did she have to explain herself to whomever would listen—convincing others to help or join her on the journey? By the time she reached her key objective, her story to the Wizard was fine-tuned, well-rehearsed and crystal clear. Not only did she achieve her goals and those that defined her journey, but others who believed and supported her story along the way were provided a handsome return for their efforts.

Dorothy was a storyteller supreme. The storytelling necessary to become a successful entrepreneur is not much different. In the beginning, along with the idea—the vision—the story we tell is all we really have… and yet it is the most important tool in our bag. If not told properly, we are doomed to constantly deal with evil flying monkeys and the possibility of utter failure.

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book.  What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

Title: Journey

This would be a monopoly-like game with a “yellow brick road” where players navigate along a treacherous path filled with intersections and side-roads filled with key decisions points that will reward or punish the player. The winner is the one who achieves their pre-defined goals upon reaching the Emerald City.

Retail store: WalMart – to reach buyers of every sex, social standing and age!

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance.  What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

An apple tree. It represents a strong tree, with deep roots that bears precious fruit. However, the fruit needs to be harvested and produces a variety of rewarding products, each determined by the individual harvester’s personal vision and skills; (e.g. apple pies, preserves, cakes, cider, etc.). However, such ripened fruit can simply fall to the ground and rot if not properly cared for and picked at the right time. Just like the art of proper storytelling, the tree can bear fruit on its own, but it requires work, a proper harvest, and special ingredients to ensure it yields an enticing, desirable reward to the final consumer. If not harvested effectively, the tree will continue to cycle within its own environment, standing firmly, yielding wonderful, colorful fruit, but often times, only to drop to the ground to feed the worms.

President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush-hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it.  Through luck of the draw, you were chosen.  What would be the first thing you would say to Barack?

Mr. President, with all due respect, you should focus on other priorities of national interest before you spend time promoting your books. You’ll have time to do so once your term expires! Believe me, your ability to promote your books will improve exponentially based on the strength of your final brand recognition. If you continue to screw things up… or even give the impression of screwing up… you can’t expect people to line up to buy your books! Get back on that ‘yellow brick road’ and finish the journey you initially set out on to achieve great things!

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2013 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan.  Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom.  On stage, you must give an acceptance speech.  What would you say and who would you thank?

I would thank all of those who had the patience and persistence to hone my skills necessary to evolve from a writer to a published author. Starting with my wife, who believed I already had the storytelling skills and materials to write that first novel. We both knew it was a plausible thing to attempt, but had no idea of the process this industry required. Secondly, I would need to thank my editors and reviewers, who helped educate me in the skills of writing – the hard way! And finally, I need to thank my publisher, Lida Quillen of Twilight Times Books, who took a chance on a first time author with no brand recognition, willing to publish novels with controversial themes.

Rudy MazzochiAbout the Author:

Rudy Mazzocchi is best known as a medical device and biotechnology entrepreneur, inventor, and angel investor, with a history of starting new technology ventures throughout the U.S. and Europe. He’s been privileged to have the opportunity to see the newest innovations in healthcare and work with some of the most brilliant researchers, scientists and physicians in the industry.

Authoring more than 50 patents, he has helped pioneer new companies involved in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, neurosurgery and even embryonic stem-cell development. Through these efforts, he has become the recipient of many technology and business awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Healthcare (2004), Businessman of the Year Award (2005), and Global Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2013).

Combining these experiences and opportunities, with thousands of hours of travel and long evenings in hotel rooms, he found the initiative to start writing a collection of award-winning business/medical thrillers based on true events, known as The EQUITY Series. STORYTELLING was his debut non-fiction business book released in November 2013.

Visit his website at www.RudyMazzochi.com.

Storytelling 7About the Book:

The value of any new venture or sound new idea needs to be developed out of the nothingness of silence, ignorance and darkness. It ignites and illuminates the world only when the great storytelling entrepreneur lights the flame. “STORYTELLING: The Indispensable Art of the Entrepreneur” shows, with startling clarity and practical know-how, the process by which wealth and other things of exceptional value can emerge into the world literally out of nothing—nothing, that is, but the Art of Storytelling.

STORYTELLING takes you on a journey which reveals how the development, progressive modification and adaptation of your story is the golden thread and foundational core management practice which ties together all the others:  building, focusing and motivating your management team, navigating through troubled times or excessive growth, maintaining positive momentum with investors and Boards of Directors and positioning the venture for a potential exit.

Award-winning author and entrepreneur, Rudy Mazzocchi, exposes his greatest secret of success and provides an enormous amount of “experienced-based” illustrations and nuts-and-bolts practical advice. He reveals how to create and evolve the story of your new venture in a way that energizes and breathes life into what may have started out as just an idea.

Everyone can benefit greatly from reading this book—whether or not you envision yourself as an entrepreneur. STORYTELLING: The Indispensable Art of the Entrepreneur applies universally to ventures of all types and is an essential element in the fulfillment of any dream—dreams which depend upon capturing the interest and sustaining the highly-motivated commitment of others.

Purchase your copy:

AMAZON

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Book Trivia: Interview with Historical Fiction Author Douglas W. Jacobson

book trivia 2

It’s time to play Book Trivia!  Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us.  By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows!  So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!

Night of FlamesDouglas Jacobson

Today our guest author is Douglas W. Jacobson, author of the historical novel, Night of Flames.

Douglas W. Jacobson is an engineer, business owner and World War Two history enthusiast. Doug has traveled extensively in Europe researching stories of the courage of common people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. His debut novel, Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two was published in 2007 by McBooks Press, and was released in paperback in 2008. Night of Flames won the “2007 Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Wisconsin Library association. Doug has also published articles on Belgium’s WW2 escape organization, the Comet Line and other European resistance organizations. Doug is finishing up his second historical novel set in Europe during WW2, focusing on one of history’s most notorious war crimes. Doug’s blog can be found at http://douglaswjacobson.blogspot.com.

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, Douglas!  Here are your questions:

If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of Night of Flames, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

This story of personal courage and determination to overcome enormous odds would give Tom the strength he needs to get off the island.

Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of.  In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

Brittany would read about young women her age living in Belgium and Poland under Nazi occupation and despite constant danger and deprivation, found the courage to help other people they didn’t even know. These stories would give Brittany a different perspective on life.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay.  What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

Without a doubt, the excerpt, because it is a story of fast-paced action and intrigue that would be absolutely perfect for a screenplay.

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book.  What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

The title would be “Courage” and the best retail stores would be bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and high end retailers like “Macys”

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance.  What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

The Bur Oak, because it can survive adverse conditions.

President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it.  Through luck of the draw, you were chosen.  What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

As an author, you have to be willing to bow your own horn, and not be shy about getting out there and promoting. Although I doubt he’d have any problem with this.

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan.  Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom.  On stage, you must give an acceptance speech.  What would you say and who would you thank?

I would thank the unlikely heroes of World War Two that inspired me to write the book, especially the young women in Belgium and Poland who put their lives on the line to rescue Allied soldiers that they didn’t even know. And then I’d thank my wife, Janie, for putting up with me during all this.

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Let’s Play Book Trivia with Tom Weston, Author of First Night

It’s time to play Book Trivia! Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us. By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows! So, let’s get ready…let’s play…

Book Trivia!

Today our guest author is Tom Weston, author of the fantasy novel, First Night.

Originally from England, Tom now resides in Boston, Massachusetts; with extended spells in the UK and Luxembourg. Tom has a degree in Computer Science, and he claims to speak three languages: English, American, and Visual Basic. Before turning his hand to fiction, Tom had a successful career as the CEO of a consulting company, conference speaker, and writer of industry articles and business books.

His novel, First Night, introduced the unlikely heroines, Alex and Jackie, and the ghost of a 17th century Puritan named Sarah Pemberton. Tom has also written the screenplay, Fission, based on the true story of scientist, Lise Meitner, and the race for the atomic bomb, and which was named a finalist at the London Independent Film Festival.

Tom is currently working on the sequel to First Night, called the Elf of Luxembourg.

His web site is: www.tom-weston.com.

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, Tom! Here are your questions:

If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of First Night, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

Well, he could build a Paper Mache raft, but I think it would be too small for both him and Wilson, or perhaps he could burn it to signal to a passing rescue ship.

On a less practical note, if he tried to learn something by reading the book, he would find that, “We are not so alone as we suppose,” to quote my ghost, Sarah Pemberton. Then he would take the book’s advice to “Be guided by the beacon bright.”’

Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of. In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

Well, the main characters from First Night are Alex and Jackie, two young blondes from California, who always manage to find trouble. So I don’t think that Britney would relate to them that much. But stereotypes are other people’s conceits, and Britney just may come to the conclusion that, no matter how dark things get, there is always a chance for redemption, for one more First Night.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

These Judges have shown that they are not influenced by what other people may think, so I’d rule out the review, and you can’t judge a book by its cover. That would leave an extract. One chance to impress the Judges is what people on the show get anyway.

As there are also three Puritan judges in the book, who preside in an ethereal place called the Court of Spirits. I would go with an extract that includes them:

“Do you deny that you have used magic to circumvent the Natural Order?” asked the First Magistrate, turning harsh and reproachful.
“Do you deny that you have bought untold misery to your mother who loved you?” intimidated the Second Magistrate before Sarah had time to respond to the first accusation.
“Do you deny that you are a witch?” asked the Third Magistrate, in rapid succession.
“I do not know what a witch be,” screamed Sarah, wishing the Magistrates silent for a while, so she could think. The Magistrates, taken back by this outburst, did indeed fall quiet. Silence filled the air for a moment. Then the Second Magistrate leaned forward and put his chin on his clasped hands.
“Then how do you know that you are not one?” he said softly and smiled in triumph.

Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show. One catch. You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material. What part would you read?

Ooh, another extract. I’ll have to be careful not to give too much of the plot away. But the Hulk is a fighter. I think that he would be impressed with the never-say-die spirit (pun intended) shown by Jackie, so I would have her speak:

“I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to be alive, whatever the age. If I had been of your age, if I had lived in the seventeenth century, look at the things I would have missed. I would never have heard of Hobbits or Van Gogh. If I had lived in the Eighteen century, I would have been too soon for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. If I had lived before the twentieth century, I would have missed seeing the Marx Brothers and discovering Bob Marley – I would never have heard Oliver Hardy singing the Trail of the Lonesome Pine.” Jackie paused. She could have persisted for a while and cited example after example, but these names were meaningless to Sarah. Yet she knew one name which Sarah would recognize.
“And if I’d died yesterday I would have missed the chance to meet Sarah Pemberton,” added Jackie. “So maybe I don’t know what other things the human race will do in the next hundred years, or thousand, or a million, but I do know that I would want to be there to see it.

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book. What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

I think it would make a great board game; there are lots of Boston attractions to visit, and bits of trivia and information to collect along the way. I would call it, ‘Alex and Jackie’s Ghastly Adventure.’ And it would probably be sold from the tourist shops and hotel lobbies through out Boston.

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance. What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

It would have to be an elm. In the book, I mention the Great Elm that once stood on Boston Common. In the American Revolution, it was known as the Liberty Tree, and they decorated it with lanterns. But before that, during the time of the Puritans, it was known as the hanging tree, where they used to execute witches and criminals.

President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it. Through luck of the draw, you were chosen. What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

Being elected President is easier than marketing a book.

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. On stage, you must give an acceptance speech. What would you say and who would you thank?

I would use the opportunity to educate the world about the terrible plight of the California blonde, and call upon the Government to add them to the endangered species list, and to protect their natural habitat.

And I have way too many people to thank; we would still be there when the 2010 ceremony started. If anyone could invent a device which, no matter who I was actually thanking, automatically inserted the name of the listener, it would be a great help.

But I’d save my best thanks for last – for my wife, Leigh.

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Let’s Play Book Trivia with Irene Watson!

9781932690675-template.qxdIt’s time to play Book Trivia!  Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us.  By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows!  So, let’s get ready…let’s play…

Today our guest author is Irene Watson author of award winning memoir The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference. She was born and raised in a tiny hamlet of Reno in the northern area of the province of Alberta in Canada. It was a farming community, mostly settled by immigrants from Russia, Ukraine and Poland during the early 1900s. Irene received her Master’s Degree in Psychology, with honors,  from Regis University, Denver. Irene and her husband, Robert, live in Austin, Texas.

She is also author/editor of The Story That Must be Told: True Tales of Transformation, and, Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers and is in the process of co-authoring another book, Rewriting Life Scripts: Transformational Recovery for Parents as well as having a chapter in an upcoming book Letters to New Grandparents.

Irene is the president of Higher Power Foundation, Inc. and facilitator of transformative women’s retreats and workshops. She brings 40 years of life changing experiences, facilitation and study into her hands-on programs. She is also the Managing Editor of Reader Views, and book review and author publicity service. Her personal website is http://www.irenewatson.com

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, Irene! Here are your questions:

castaway If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

He would go within, find a peaceful place in his spirit, and know that “all is okay.”  He would also learn to be his own best friend.

Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of.  In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

She would seek a transformational recovery center that is spiritual based – a place that would assist her in dealing with core addictions and imprints that have been passed down for generations.  She will learn that she doesn’t have to behave from these imprints and that she can actually create her own divine imprints and start living her own live, not a life that is expected of her.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay.  What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

An excerpt for sure.  I would choose an excerpt that would turn their socks inside out – they would want to read the book!!  And, what will it be?  I’m not going to tell you right now, you’ll just have to read the book.

Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show.  One catch.  You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material.  What part would you read?

The first paragraph of the first chapter which says  It was the damnedest thing that they thought I’d fall for it. A video camera in plain sight, in one corner of my room, pointing right in on everything I’d be doing for the next twenty-eight days. Not likely. I couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t bother hiding the thing. Even a hanging plant in front of it might have kept me from noticing it for an hour or two. But they didn’t even try, and that was their real weakness as far as I was concerned. Here they were, helping some of the most messed-up people you can imagine, people addicted to just about anything, and they thought if they had cameras watching these people get dressed, watching them sleep, that they would just reveal everything about themselves in an instant?

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book.  What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

The name of the game would be the same as the subtitle: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference.  The stores that would have the highest sales would be ones that sell life transforming books and items.

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance.  What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

I would choose an Aspen.  They are very prevalent in the area I grew up in and being much of the reflection in my book is from my childhood it would be a perfect tree to plant.  Also, I love the way an Aspen changes color in the fall.

Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it.  Through luck of the draw, you were chosen.  What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

LOL, that’s too funny!  Actually, he wouldn’t be asking me how to promote his book, he would be asking me to have dinner with Michele and the girls.  You see, the hush, hush meeting was just a cover up.  In reality, he was so inspired with my book he wanted to meet me in person.  After all, he and I are on the same transformational path.

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan.  Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom.  On stage, you must give an acceptance speech.  What would you say and who would you thank?

I’d say:  Thank you God for allowing me to be the channel to spread the word of hope and healing to millions of people. It’s only through our faith in a Higher Power that we can transcend to a higher place of consciousness, leaving behind our generational imprints and creating our own divine imprints. We all can put our foot forward, one day at a time, and find the wisdom within.

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Let’s Play Book Trivia with Romantic Suspense Authors K.M. Daughters

It’s time to play Book Trivia!  Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us.  By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows!  So, let’s get ready…let’s play…

Beyond the Code of ConductToday our guest author is K.M. Daughters, author of The Sullivan Boys Romantic Suspense Series, Book 2, BEYOND THE CODE OF CONDUCT.

K.M. Daughters is the penname for team writers and sisters, Pat Casiello and Kathie Clare nee Lynch.  The author name is dedicated to the memory of their parents, Katherine and Michael, the “K” and “M” in K.M. Daughters.  Inspired by their father who wrote children’s books for them when they were small and their mother’s love of romance novels, K.M. Daughters was “born” a little under five years ago at a Romance Writers of American national conference when the sisters plotted their first manuscript, now published in E-book by Sapphire Blue Publishing: Past, Present and Forever.

Since that conference, K.M. Daughters has written five additional award-winning novels, all contracted to The Wild Rose Press and its new subsidiary, White Rose Publishing.  Most recently the 1st book in The Sullivan Boys Romantic Suspense series was distinguished in The Lories published contest; Past, Present and Forever received the Coffee Time Romance and More Reviewer’s award and their upcoming release, Beyond The Code of Conduct was rated 4-stars, compelling, page turner, in the June 2009 issue of Romantic Times Book Review.

K.M. Daughters resides in Illinois and New Jersey with husbands Nick and Tom, a total of five children and two grandchildren between them.  Visit at: http://www.kmdaughters.com.

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Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, K.M.!  Here are your questions:

If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of Beyond The Code of Conduct, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

The book would make great kindling for a rescue-me blaze – after he enjoyed reading it, of course.

Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of.  In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

Heroine Bobbie Leighton would set an excellent example for wayward Brittany.  After floundering for years trying to find that right career, Bobbie finally found her niche.  She thought it was law enforcement until she realized it was the right man.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay.  What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

Our favorite review because – and we’ll quote – “This book is hot, hot, hot!”

Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show.  One catch.  You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material.  What part would you read?

A line we particularly like, “You want hot?  I’ll give you hot.”  Then a mug of scalding tea flies.

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book.  What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

Love Heals.  Walmart, of course.

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance.  What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

A weeping willow for its tenacity in the wind and soft beauty.

President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it.  Through luck of the draw, you were chosen.  What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

He definitely should play Book Trivia.

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan.  Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom.  On stage, you must give an acceptance speech.  What would you say and who would you thank?

Pat would say, “Thank you, Kathie.”  And Kathie would say, “Thank you, Pat.”  Finally we would chorus, “Thank you, Joelle Walker, our Fairy GodEditor at The Wild Rose Press.”

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Let’s Play Book Trivia with Fantasy Young Adult Author Herbert Howard Jones!

book4It’s time to play Book Trivia! Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us. By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows! So, let’s get ready…let’s play…

Today our guest author is Herbert Howard Jones, author of the fantasy young adult The Pyewiz and the Amazing Mobile Phonenovel, The Pyewiz and the Amazing Mobile Phone. You can visit his website at www.science-fiction-fantasy.com to find out more about him and his new book!

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, Herbert. Here are your questions:

If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of The Pyewiz and The Amazing Mobile Phone, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

This is an easy one, as travel features quite largely in my book. In theory, Mr Hanks would be able to get off the island by using ‘the amazing mobile phone’. This device, otherwise known as an IST, (interstellar transducer), can take you anywhere in the universe that you want, providing you put in the correct coordinates. The problem is knowing what coordinates to put it. I mean, he doesn’t want to overshoot and end up on Mars, does he? But there is an accessible Faq data base in the phone which should tell him what to do. However, being a bit of a Robinson Crusoe improviser, and not having IST technology to hand, my book would remind him to build a raft, because there is a scene in my book where the characters depend on this ancient mode of transport to escape a flood!

Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of. In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

I hear that there was speculation that Britney Spears, at one point, was going to have twins, and that is one of the themes of my book. In my book, it is the separation of twins which gets the story rolling, and the hope that they be reunited that provides the momentum. Perhaps this would remind Britney that she can get back on track by concentrating more on being a mother, and exploring that role more in depth, and then perhaps having another child.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowbell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson are very very shrewd, and are only interested in how substantial or commercial a proposition is. Obviously a good review would initially get them interested in my book. But clearly, it would be the content of my book that they would consider, and a well chosen excerpt from it, should give them a flavour and indication of the project as a whole. Both judges strike me as being opposites in a way. Whereas Randy would be cognisant of some of the subtle under currents of my novel, Simon would focus on how the story, as a potential screenplay, would impact on the viewer. I couldn’t think of two better judges! If they give my book the thumbs up, it will be because I’ve got tons of action and dialogue in it, (dialogue which is deliberately written for easy conversion to the medium of film).

Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show. One catch. You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material. What part would you read?

I’d read the passage he would like best, the sword fight between Terry and the Pyewiz! Being a fighting man, I’m sure Mr Hogan would appreciate the sound of steel on steel, and the thumping of fancy footwork on deck!

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book. What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

Are you sure you haven’t been reading my book when you phrased this question? Because a board game is actually central to the last half of my book! It was invented by the Pyewiz and is called Guns n’ Galleons, and is designed to keep his crew on it’s toes. My preferred retail outlet would be Toys R Us, in Times Square New York!

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance. What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

There is actually an important tree in my book, and it is mentioned in the first chapter. It is a gnarled tree which was irradiated by gamma rays centuries ago by aliens, but still survives in the snowy terrain of Charon. It is the very tree which marks the spot where ‘the Book of Hours’ was buried, and subsequently dug up from, changing the course of the story. Perhaps the strange looking Chinese Huangshan Pine tree would foot the bill, as it grows on the snowy Huangshan Mountain. There is a mountain in my novel called Chequerboard Mountain, in an area similar in some respects to the Huangshan region.

President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it. Through luck of the draw, you were chosen. What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

After telling him how much, we in Britain respect and admire him, I would obviously draw his attention to Pumpupyoubookpromotion, as being one of the most dynamic book promoting agencies on the net. However clearly, with his budget, the entire media is at his disposal, and so there isn’t much he doesn’t know about drumming up publicity. But I would ask him to invest some of this budget in a big children’s book giveaway, this is in view of the government’s latest policy of destroying all children’s book printed before 1985 because of dangerous lead content.

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. On stage, you must give an acceptance speech. What would you say and who would you thank?

Obviously I would thank my publisher and PR coach Dorothy Thompson, who really made me believe that there is a sentient life for an author online. I would also like to thank my readers, who are the backbone of the industry, and without whom there would be a mountain of paperbacks with no homes to go to. I would stress the debt that a writer has to his readers, and that they cannot, for one second, ever be taken for granted, and that an author should go to the ends of the earth for them! Readers are getting savvier and savvier all the time, and so we must try our hardest as writers to meet their requirements and never ever resent the demands made by them. A reader who buys a book, obviously expects to be entertained, and properly informed, but deep down is also probably looking for an answer to the ‘dilemma of being human’ and so we must always strive to give our readers hope! Finally, I would thank my family for putting up with my perpetually worn dressing gown, and ubiquitous cigarette holder, which almost had grandma’s eye out!

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