What Is A Writer’s Writer? Welcome Back, Stuart Yates!

Stuart Yates has returned for his second interview with me. You can find the first one here. Now, I always find time for the thoughts of Stuart Yates.  I like the way he writes and he deserves the title of “A Writer’s Writer”. What is a writer’s writer? Well, like a singer’s singer– it’s someone who rarely scores a huge hit book– but is a writer who is respected around the world as a guy who is leading the way. Stuart Yates embodies the spirit of a writer’s writer and with many books on general release, he is just waiting for the public at large to notice him.  I present Stuart Yates to you again in a new light.

DonLuis

Q) Welcome back, Stuart! So how’s the new book coming along?

A) Road Kill? The rewrite has been completed and sent off to the publisher. I am now working on another, with WHIPPED UP waiting in the wings for its final redrafting.

Q) How do you get published so easily? You make it seem so simple. I’m sure a lot of readers would love to know the secret.

A) Well…I have been published by five publishers, and this spring one of those publishers went out of business, unfortunately; but I guess I have something they all like. It’s just a pity that none of them are Transworld or Harper Collins but a sixth publisher is publishing a book of mine in the spring.

Q) It must get confusing when you receive those royalty cheques. How do you keep track of them all?

A) Royalty cheques? I never worry about them. I just like to hear my publishers say the books are good, the people who read them say they are good, but I never worry about those royalty cheques. I never promote unless I have to. I have over 450 ‘friends’ on FB.

Q) I get a lot of readers who ask about advances. As a well-proven and tested author do you get advances on your work?

A) No! I wish!!! If I got advances I’d go part-time at work, and make writing my main occupation.

Q) Has a publisher ever promised to take your sales from middling hundreds to crazy thousands with one book?

A) No, none of them do very much at all. The one I have signed with for spring seems the most promising. They advertise books in trade magazines, acquire reviewers, all of that. The publisher for Burnt Offerings is ok, but it is only a part-time thing for him. He is good, gets books out in paperback and E-pubs very fast, and he takes those risks, but not much in the way of marketing. But the others? Nada.

Q) So what are your thoughts on self publishing?

A) When I began writing seriously, all those years ago, even then there was one rule that would-be writers were ´told´ to adhere to–do not pay to get your work published. I suppose that has always been my guide. Then, in 2009 after I was totally ripped off, and I was so depressed, when another publisher said they would publish my book, but that it would cost £199, I said YES.

Some of my fellow authors were outraged. Not at me personally, but that such publishers could do that. Vanity Publishing. And no serious author would touch them with a barge pole.

Well, I learned my lesson. I do not pay anything now. BUT, times have changed. The past year has seen an explosion as far as self-publishing is concerned, and many people have taken advantage. The Kindle platform has opened up the sort of possibilities that could not even have been dreamed of when I began. But, with it has come a deep concern. One, to do with quality. And two, that people are being lured into getting their name into print and are being asked to pay for the privilege.
It is seen as a ´money-making´opportunity, and the old ideals of craft and art, of creativity, are being side-lined by this idea of it being a business, a means to make money. That upsets me.

I don´t write to make money. It would be nice, but my raison d´etre is to create. I will continue to do so. Perhaps that is the real reason why my sales are so low. All this marketting malarky, it doesn´t sit comfortably with me. Publicity is essential, of course, but…the reason I do what I do is because I cannot help it. I am creative. I create. End of.

Q) You live in Spain now, am I right? Why did you leave England?

A) Yes, I live in Spain now and it was for my job. I’m a teacher and wanted a bit of a change. I looked at France first, then a job came up in Spain. I thought I would come here for a year, then go back, but the time simply flew by. I’ve been here five years now.

Q) How many books have you written whilst you’ve been in Spain?

A) Funnily enough, my first published books came out whilst I was here. Although only two of my fourteen published novels are set in Spain, it was quite an inspirational place…was, and is I suppose. Although my latest books are not set in Spain. Road Kill and Whipped Up are set in the UK, and Minus Life, the one I am currently working on, is set in a future UK.

Q) Yet, I sense you think about England a lot from the subject matter of your latest book “Road Kill” which is set on Bodmin Moor.

A) Yes, very much so. England is home. It’s where I grew up, and it will always be more of a home than Spain ever will. I’d still like to live in France, though.

Q) What do you miss about England? Do you romantically reminisce about our homeland? I always find myself doing that when I’m abroad.

A) YES! Dear old Blighty! I have been very fortunate to work in a profession that gives me the opportunity to live and work in different places. I loved them all. Especially Suffolk, I have to say. I made some good friends there. I went back to Merseyside last summer, to see my daughter. Met up with my old friends. I didn’t want to leave!!! It’s true, you never appreciate something until it is gone…

Q) So of all the books you’ve written, which is your favourite?

A) That, Nick, is an interesting question– not hard to answer as such, but because they all mean so much to me. Perhaps Death’s Dark Design if I could pick one of my books as a hit that would be number one, I think. However, I still don’t think I have written my best one! Each book I write is simply another stepping stone to reaching that.

Q) Do you believe you are still growing as an artist?

A) Definitely! With everything I write, I am becoming increasingly more self-critical, analytical. I have always been something of a perfectionist…I was very impatient at first, but I am getting better and I now want to do the best I can…but I still write fast.

Q) Do you think a writer needs to care about punctuation, or is that an editor’s job?

A) Absolutely it is the job of the writer! A writer should be proficient at punctuation and grammar, but that comes with practise. The best way to get punctuation right is to read it back to yourself OUT LOUD. You have to get the pacing right.

Q) Do you teach English?

No! History with a little bit of geography and ICT (Information Computer Technology). I would say history, however, is very closely linked to English. It requires a high degree of writing ability. Don’t forget, there is a STORY in history…listen to Simon Schama and you’ll see how true that is.

Q) I’m a history nut myself. I wanted to study history at university. Didn’t get there though.

A) Ah…I love history. It is my passion, and has been since I was a little boy. My key interest is military history. At school I teach medieval history which I love– also the time periods of the Tudors and Stuarts.

Q) So tell me, how did you get into writing horror?

A) I read Dracula when I was thirteen. I loved every second of it.

Q) What grabbed you about the book?

A) It’s sense of atmosphere, period, its brewing sensuality…but mainly its total originality. What a story! To bring together those disparate myths, legends, and realities into one vision– tremendous.

Q) Tell me about a catalyst that changed your life?

A) I watched Genesis back in 1980 and I realised something– all those dreams I had back in the late ’70s of being an author I hadn’t realised yet. I saw them again in 2007, at fifty years of age, and I still hadn’t done it, so I decided there and then I was going to write and write and write until I was published. I did and I’ve never stopped! I plan to get out at least four if not five books a year.

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do and time does not wait for any man or woman in this world.

Q) True, it doesn’t. I personally think you will get a hit eventually and it will come as a surprise.

A) I hope so! Then I can give up teaching, buy a little farm house in Burgundy, and put out ten a year instead !!!

Q) Getting back to your latest book– how do you feel about it?

A) ROAD KILL? I love it even though I changed the ending at the eleventh hour. Funnily enough, I’ve just released a book called INTERLOPERS FROM HELL. That’s an exclusive for your blog, Nick! I’ve been saving that one just for you!

Interlopers from Hell

Q) Thank you, Stuart! So how would you sum up Road Kill in two sentences?

A) A tale of violence and terror, of one man’s fall into insanity, and another’s loss of himself. Both meet, but only one survives the clutches of the beast.

Q) You personally saw the beast you write about in Road Kill, right?

A) Yes, I did when I was coming home from Bodmin. Across the moor, as black as night it was…. and that tail… it was the tail that did it. I had had a drink free night, before you ask, spending a pleasant evening wargaming with my good friends and so my mind was clear. It was terrifying and the Beast closes my book which is only fitting.

Q) Well, I think we will have to stop there for the time being. I can’t wait until our next interview. Thanks, Stuart– it’s been a pleasure again.

So there you have another interview with a man destined to be read around the world. Road Kill will be available soon. I hope you check it out. I am going to make sure I get a copy. Be sure to visit Stuart’s website, also.

Stuart Yates

Everyone’s a Winner With Laura Kendall– Nick Wale interviews an Author and Self Publishing Guru

L J KendellI am one of those guys who always looks for a service offered. When people ask me for interviews, I am the first to explain what I offer. Searching through the internet I found Laura Kendall who offers her services as a “self publishing consultant.” I had never heard of one of those– so I emailed her and asked her to join me on this blog for an interview. Who I found was a woman who knew what she was doing and obviously gives more than she takes. Laura Kendall should be the first stop for all of you who want to publish a book.

Q ) Hi, Laura! So tell me about your experiences as a writer? How did you start?

A) I started in 1996 after reading a Patrica Cornwell suspense novel. I decided to write one myself and thought, “Well, how hard can that be?” I found out how hard. Mystery and suspense needs lots of plotting and twist and turns. Plus, I lacked confidence in myself so it took me until 2007 to finally finish my first book entitled A Simple Case of Suicide.

Q) How did Patricia Cornwell inspire you? What made her the catalyst for you to start writing?

A) Her novels drew me in to the point I forgot about my life and really felt like I was in the story. Her characters are real and complex just like people are. Her plots are also very intricate and keep you guessing. I loved her books and still do.

Q) So tell me about that first book you wrote– A Simple Case of Suicide— what’s it about?

A) I work as a paramedic and have for the last twenty-six years. We get called out frequently to do pronouncements of death as part of the job. I thought, “”What if I was ever called to a scene to do a pronouncement where the lead investigator said it was suicide, but clearly there were signs it was murder? What would happen if no one believed me and I set out to investigate on my own with the killer being someone very close to the investigation?” So, Paramedic Kendall Rose was born and her cohort partner CJ Wagner. Together they set out to investigate and all heck breaks loose. The book has been well received and people really seem to enjoy reading it to the point they can’t put it down and stay up all night reading. This just makes my day and it helps quiet the inner critic that often pops up in a writer.

Q) I know that inner critic well. Did you ever feel, as I have, that writing is just a dream?

A) Absolutely. I thought, “Who will ever want to read my book?” Well, it turns out lots of people do and really enjoy the ones I’ve written. Now, with the advent of the internet and the amazing opportunities for self publishing authors, the sky is the limit. I believe that every book you write and publish can be a mini-business earning you income. I haven’t mastered the marketing end yet, but I’m working on it. After writing the first book and gaining confidence and quieting a little that inner critic, the other eight just seemed to fly out. It is my passion in life to now to empower other writers to squash that inner critic and write their book – self publish it and be a published author.

Q) Are you looking for authors to work with you actively? Could readers get in touch and talk to you and gain help?

A) Yes! I obtained my Professional Coaching Certification in 2011 and discovered the niche I am passionate about is self publishing. Nothing lights me up more than seeing one of my clients write, self publish their book on Amazon, Nook and Kobo and have a new outlook and belief in themselves. It is an awesome feeling.

My website is www.adaringwriters.com and my email is ljkendallcompany (@) gmail.com for anyone who is interested in exploring self publishing and the opportunities out there. I coach clients through the writing process and publishing. I also will publish the books for my clients in paperback and ebook form if they do not want to do it themselves. What is unique about me as a publisher is I publish the book for a flat fee and hand over the reins to my clients. Their royalties are theirs to keep–100%.

Q) So, what is your flat fee?

A) My fee for publishing a book to Amazon.com as a paperback and Kindle is $750.00 US. Pubit (which is Nook) is $350.00 as it requires more work to format; and Kobo is $250.00. I do not do editing as I am just not good at that, but I do have an editor I work with who is a professional coach and editor. My coaching fee is $75.00 an hour. The only time there may be an additional fee is if the formatting is horrible for the paperback version, but I coach clients through the basics so the book is usually well-formatted before it gets to me for upload. I also provide a unique cover for the book as well.

Q) Well, your fees sound very reasonable to me. How many books have you worked with? Do you prefer any particular genre?

A) I prefer fiction, self-help and metaphysical books. These are what I have mainly done for my clients and myself, but I’m always open for learning.

Q) How does it feel to be working with authors and making their dreams come true?

A) It is my passion. I believe that everyone has the answers already within them and, through coaching, we not only work on the book, but the inner critic as well. My clients are so excited and happy when they see their book live on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo as well as their own website with a digital store. This has really restored my excitement and sense of purpose in my life. I absolutely love coaching, publishing, writing and most of all, my amazing clients.

Q) I know the feeling– that’s why I love doing these interviews. Just to share some of the excitement of publishing a book is a thrill. So what is next for you?

A) I’m currently in the process of writing a sequel to my book Witches Enchantment and it is called Vampire – Seduction of a Cougar Witch. I also have a third book in the Simple Case series in the works. Plus, I get to work with other authors and coaches publishing their books. I have the most amazing and awesome job.

Q) Could you give me some titles of books you’ve worked on? I’ll make sure there’s links to them with this interview.

A) Sure! A Simple Case of Suicide and A Simple Case of Revenge are my suspense thrillers; Witches Enchantment is my paranormal romance; Goddess School is an empowerment book for women over 50; Hurricane Deadly is a book I wrote after living through the terror of Hurrricane Sandy; A Daring Writer’s Handbook and its companion workbook A Daring Writer’s Workbook help writers with plotting, formatting, scene setting, character development etc.; my medical books are The Top Five 911 Emergencies and How to Handle Them Until the Paramedics Arrive and The Top Five Winter Emergencies and How to Handle Them Until The Paramedics Arrive. I write under the name L.J. Kendall for my fiction novels and Laura J. Kendall for my self help and medical. They are available as paperbacks on Amazon.com, Kindle and ebooks for Nook and Kobo.

Q) You are certainly prolific. I think a lot of authors would be making the right move to work with you. Do you ever turn down manuscripts sent to you?

A) I don’t want to say “turn down,” but if they are poorly written, formatted and edited I will try to work with the writer and coach them in those areas. With coaching, my clients are able to work through many of those areas and getting a non-judgemental opinion can really be refreshing for a writer used to rejection or criticism. I will say it is very important to have your book professionally edited. I made the mistake of putting A Simple Case of Suicide out there after having friends good at grammar and English edit. Let me tell you I got three reviews from people telling me how badly they were edited. They all said they loved the story, but my editing sucked. Reviews show up on Amazon and influence how people will buy your book. Now that the book has been professionally edited, those negative reviews have stopped and sales are picking up.

Q) That’s wonderful news! I get the feeling that you truly care for the authors you work with. Have you had any success stories yet? Or would you say each new entry on Amazon is a success story?

A) I say each person who dares to write and put themselves and their books out there are heads above the average person. That is why my writing books are called A Daring Writer’s because we as writers really do open ourselves up for review, critique and criticism. So I say all my authors are successes whether they only give their books away to family members or they sell a million. For them to have taken that leap of faith makes them winners in my book!

So there we have another godsend to Authors! If you have a manuscript and you don’t want to make the journey by yourself– or you need someone to help you make it to success– you need to meet Laura and work with her. Thank you for coming over for the interview!

A Simple Case Of Suicide!

 

Irving Unleashed… A Revealing Conversation with Terry Irving

The last time I met with Mr Terry Irving we spent a lot of time talking about his career. This time I had a lot of mail from people asking to know more about the man. Let me take you to a cold winter evening in 2012. Terry was busy– but anxious to get the interview started. The tape rolls as follows…

 

terry Irving 3I’mm Baa-aack. All ready to do an interview with you, Nick.

Q) Hey Terry–ready to start?

A) Sure– oddly enough, I have another interview scheduled with IPTV Magazine – don’t know why.

Q) Okay, so let me ask you– did you enjoy the first interview we conducted?

A) I LOVED it– oh have we started?

(I knew from this start that Terry was in a good mood– jovial and Terry Irving go well together.)

Q) Yes, but I’ll keep that in– just for my ego.

A) Well, then let’s forge on into the verbal wilderness.

Q) I loved it, too– so what should we talk about?

A) How about my effing book (to use Terry Prachett’s words)?

(I was bent over doubled up laughing by this point.)

Q) Your effing book? Fine– so what do you like about your effing book?

A) I have a new review blurb: “An action-packed, entertaining, and thought-provoking story appropriate for a wide audience.” Of course, it’s from the editor at Createspace, and I would suspect they don’t usually tell their authors that their novel is the worst thing they’ve read since Terry Southern’s last effort.

Q) You can’t trust an editor or journalist, Terry. Hasn’t working with me told you that?

A) No, but I’ve never trusted you.

Q) Why? (I said, falling for the joke.)

A) In the words of Ronald Reagan, “Trust but Verify”, or as Jimmy Carter said when he landed in Poland, “I would like to have carnal love with all of you.” That last was a translator’s error.

Q) Well, I’m glad you verify my work– if you didn’t I’d be worried! Seriously, so how many people do you have working on your book? What do they do? Do you have a team?

A) In full disclosure, in the other book I’m currently writing – The Unemployed Guy’s Guide to Unemployment – I have a long section on the depression that affects the unemployed. To test out my theories on the subject, I woke up at 3am worrying about, well, everything. Then, I was too tired to write and too awake to sleep, so I wasted a couple of hours worrying about the unfixable.

To make a long story slightly less boring, my head feels like it’s filled with bees and I have the attention span and the vocabulary of a newborneinfant. I want the reading public to know this and protest your inhumane practices. PAYING THE BILLS worries me the most. Now, this is an interesting little chat-up between old boffins, but we should get to the meat of the matter and talk about the bloody book. Is it boffins or Gaffers?

Q) I prefer broke-ass writers.

A) Mates?

Q) Mates!

A) Onwards

Q) To victory

A) Ask a question about the book.

Q) So, about your book, Courier, Terry– how do you feel about it? Would you buy it?

A) I never set out to write Great Literature. I wanted a book that would be sitting in a bookstore at an airport and you would pick it up and go, “Hmmm. Looks okay. Should get me through the flight to LA.” It became a bit more complex than that, but basically I managed to stay away from complex ideas and literary merit.

Q) Is it all about telling a tale then? All about entertaining people?

A) I think so. Or at least that’s generally the sort of book I read. Sometimes I’m amazed when I realize that I’ve read all these serious tomes about War and Politics and the War of the Roses and whatever because I never intend to.I want to be Lee Child. That guy has what appears to be an effortless ability to force the reader – not force, entice would be better – to read on and on. I know it’s not just luck but a lot of hard work, but that’s what I’d like to be able to do. Write so that the reader forgets it’s a book so that afterwards, they simply remember the scene or the action and aren’t really sure if it was a book, a tv show or a movie.

Q) Of course, you see your book as a movie too, right?

A) Yes, my background is writing for television so the pictures are always in my mind as I write. The characters are usually talking in the background as well so it can get pretty complex in there. One of the areas I see as a weakness is that I have a fairly blunt style of writing – again from the stripped language of TV news where every word has to earn its place into a script – and I don’t put in enough descriptive sentences. I had my character crash off his motorcycle and scrape along the pavement for about a paragraph. Dennis LeHane has his guy go through a windshield and the description goes on for two pages. AND it’s brilliant.

Q) How about Stephen King? Does he grab you as an author?

A) Stephen King. Does anyone like Stephen King? Stephen King and Terry Goodkind should be placed in a box and separated from the rest of the world. Oh, along with Robert Jordan.

Q) I take it you don’t share the opinion that they are literary greats?

A) No. they are fairly smart hacks who just write endless pages of endless copy with no point, no beauty and no reason for existence. Not that I’m being critical, mind you. I once bought a Stephen Kingbook on tape to keep me awake on a straight-through drive to Florida, and I ended up smashing it on the ground somewhere in mid-Georgia. Later, I read that he had based the entire 20 book series on the line “To the Black Tower, Childe Harold rode.” Sadly, King is also very smart and inventive and, I suppose, scary and lots of people like him so I’m not going to be too critical. Those who like him love him, and if they read the books then that’s great!

Q) Who would you call a great writer?

A) Great writer? Dashiel Hammett, Edgar Allen Poe, Lord Dunsany, H.P. Lovecraft who invented the Chulthu Mythos, Tolkien– writers who created entire new areas of literature. Tolkien’s world was a brilliant invention that took almost nothing from previous writers. No one has done it better since. ‘Continental Op’ is one of the best books ever. Hammett invents the entire private eye, noire, entirely American theme of the lone man with a code of honour.

Q) How about Chandler? Great writer?

A) Chandler? A good writer – not a great one. I mean, you can only have so many Great Writers or you start to debase the currency. I’m happy if I can find an OK writer to read. Alfred Bester, Philip K. Dick, Jules Verne, those are some of the better writers.

Q) (John) Steinbeck?

A) Steinbeck? Ehh. Yes, he was great but … everyone knows that already and Dos Passos was a lot more fun. Pynchon was great until he began to write in code.

Q) Who would you call the worst writer you’ve read?

A) The worst writer. You mean, besides a significant number of the authors I see online these days? I would have to say Terry Goodkind, otherwise. Derivative, uninteresting, lousy descriptions, unreal conversations – of course, I made all these decisions from reading about 20 pages of one book. My other pet hatred are the writers who sell off their worlds to other writers– usually without warning you. They should be given a sound thrashing and sent to bed with out rice pudding.

Q) So you don’t much care for the self-published author?

A) I really don’t know enough about the entire self-publishing world. That was one of my ponderings last night. I know there are some real dogs out there but that’s probably true in any field. I suspect that there are some excellent authors in the self-pub area but I also suspect that the big publishing houses are watching and picking off the ones that don’t suck. My problem is that I really don’t understand this new paradigm of publishing at all. I can’t understand “books” that run 17 pages. That’s a menu at a restaurant, not a book. I don’t understand why mass paperbacks are a minimum of 80,000 words but anything over 60,000 is considered too big in the self-pub business, and I really don’t understand how to make any money here.

Q) I think you are meant to be published by a house. I’m not sure why you aren’t, but I believe something isn’t being done right.

A) I think big publishers are terrified of the changes and are only accepting the big authors and books with vampires and zombies – preferably both. I wanted to be picked up by a major publishing house – heck, I had friends at three of them! But it hasn’t happened and I’m just egotistical enough to believe it’s not because Courier is a terrible book.

Q) Terry, you have just dared a publishing house to take your book. Calling them out!

A) First off, it was ever thus. I was reading one author – a huge seller – who said that his first book was sent to over 200 editors. JK Rowling, the same. Plus, where book editors used to have a certain leeway to pick a book that was out of the mainstream but they thought had a little something – today, any choice goes to a central publishing committee and you have to defend your choice. Gah! I’d pick vampires, too.

Q) Would I be right to say you’re angry with the lack of vision within the publishing industry then?

A) “Lack of vision”? Nah, I’ve been in television buddy. I’ve seen “lack of vision” on its home ground, where it was born and raised. It’s the realities of the market and the changes in technology. I imagine people in publishing are terrified. All the rules have changed. I mean, people do interviews with bloggers for Pete’s sake, instead of good, reliable radio shows.

Q) Does it worry you that your book might get lost in a sea of loser novels?

A) It worries me that my book could get lost in a sea of good novels. I’ve written a very personal novel – based on my own experiences – and set in a world that few people really know– Television News in the 1970’s. Young people have no clue what I’m talking about and there simply weren’t that many of us working in the industry at the time (which made it really really fun – young people could take a chance and do just about anything).

Q) Do you find it difficult to adapt to the new way of things?

A) Seriously, no. My job in television – and certainly for 8 years at Nightline – was to take a very complex subject that I knew nothing about. Research it, understand it and then break it down to its essentials so I could explain it to a mass audience. Learning about self-publishing and 99 percent e-books and i-books and whatever; is really just a version of the same thing. I left a cushy job at ABC News in 1993 and, after cold-calling a dozen people, went to Los Angeles and wrote a CD-ROM interactive History of the World. I picked up non-linear editing, was VP at a startup where we were going to have online video classes for businesses and where we did the outline, and Tada Industries in Calcutta did the programming overnight on this weird “Internet” thingie.

Q) Did it pay off?

A) Nope.

Q) You like taking chances?

A) I have consistently been far enough ahead of the technology curve that there was neither the audience nor the content to support my efforts. It was fun though. It’s not as much about taking chances as being willing to try doing something new. I’d never written a film script before I wrote one, I’d never watched streaming media before I became VP of a streaming media company.

Q) How about your successes? What would you class as your achievements?

A) My achievements? Well, if you’re honest with yourself, you really don’t do much of lasting importance in TV. However, I did have a significant role in two cases where the show I did made a difference in real life. One was the first time we went to South Africa in 1985 and Apartheid was in its last full-bore application before the whites gave up. We put (Arch) Bishop Desmond Tutu on the air side by side with Foreign MinisterPik Botha. It was literally the first time that South Africans had seen an educated, erudite black man disagree with a powerful white man in public.

The other was a show that I’d been trying to do for several years on “Heavy Urban Rescue”. That’s what you do afteranincident like the World Trade Towers, like the Mexico City earthquake, or like Katrina in New Orleans. The US government was fielding rescue teams that knew how to handle these situations, but they were being run out of the State Department and couldn’t be sent to domestic events. When a department store in a small town simply pancaked down on a couple of hundred people, I pushed the show and we pointed out that an efficient rescue and relief administration wasn’t a matter of cost but accumulated knowledge. If you’re a local mayor, you’re not going to put resources into UHR, you’re just going to hope it doesn’t happen, but it always happens several times a year in a nation. I was told that the day after the show ran, there was a high-level meeting at the White House and they proceeded to completely revamp FEMA along those lines. Sadly, eventhough that was done by the administration of the first George Bush, it was specifically dismantled by George W. Bush – with the results you saw in New Orleans.

Q) Would you say you’re in an angry mood today?

A) Nope. Just passionate. It’s just that the changes to destroy FEMA were done specifically to ensure that people did not expect any help from their government. It was ideological and stupid.

Q) So tell me, you have friends in the publishing industry– what do they think about Courier?

A) My friends in the publishing business went running like scared bunnies when I asked for the favor. My agent, Dean Krystek is a good guy. I specifically wrote him and asked that he continue as my agent even as I did the self-publishing route and we would work out some sort of arrangement. I like having professionals on my side – lawyers, accountants, agents. It enables you go up against the big guys. Nick, you’re doing well as a little guy against the big guns – talk about someone with drive and ambition.

Q) Thank you, Terry– I try my best.

A) I just want to understand this bloody new business. I can write a 17 page “book” a day – seriously. I was looking at all these e-books and i-books and they’re all 70 pages long. That would take about a week.

Q) Well. looks like we’ve come to the end of this interview. You have another to get to right? Any last words of advice?

A) You only need to speak 10 things in any language to be a journalist. Hello, Goodbye, Thank You, Yes, No, Go straight, Turn left, Turn Right, and “don’t kill me, I’m a journalist”.

With that, Terry Irving was whisked off to meet another writer and greet another new audience. I was left with one of the best interviews anyone could ask for. Courier is soon to be banging on your door and it’s only a matter of time before Mr Terry Irving is back in front of you as a fitting– not a fixture. Nick Wale needs a drink after this interview– sure as hell tired me out! All you writers who need an agent– Dean Krystek is the guy to find!

If you want to know more about Mr. Irving, find Terry’s first interview here.

“Lisa Doolittle” goes from Stripper to Writer- An Interview with Eve Littlepage

A few days ago I was looking for an interview that really interested me. I had just finished an great interview with Tom Blubaugh and needed something special to continue with. An open call on several Facebook pages brought a huge amount of material. I found myself reading some very interesting interviews with some very interesting people– then I received an email from Eve. I knew this one had to have precedence over all others. Thank you, Eve!

Eve Littlepage hamming it up as Lisa Doolittle c. 1985

Q) Nice to meet you, Eve. So tell me, what’s your latest work?

A) CELESTIAL BODIES IN ORBIT- Memoirs of the Unknown Stripper, about the ten years I worked as striptease dancer ‘Lisa Doolittle.’ I worked in that business in the mid-70s and mid-80s in the suburbs of Boston, Mass.

Q) How are the public taking to your book? I hope they are as interested as I am– the book is a “killer”.

A) I am just launching it to ‘the public,’ so I can’t really say. I had about a dozen people read my manuscript before I went over it a few times with an editor. The responses have been wonderful! Of course, they are friends, or at least acquaintances, but I would hope they weren’t giving false praise and then sending me out into the world to fall flat on my face. One of the best compliments came from my editor. One her third pass through, she said she was still enjoying it, even though she knew the story by heart at that point!

Q) Tell me about your book? What drove you to write a book about your past? You have such an interesting story to tell!

A) It’s hard for me to sum it up in a line or two, because there are many layers to it. It’s life, which doesn’t always follow the same neatly laid-out plot that you find in fiction. There is a definite story arc that develops as I examine the chain of events that lead me into the business. Thinking it a temporary measure to escape an abusive relationship, I ended up getting stuck in it for ten years. It wasn’t all bad. I actually had a love/hate relationship with stripping. I took a rather unconventional approach to exit the business, following my instincts instead of any ‘How to Forge a New Career’ manuals.

The book weaves memories of my days and nights in the clubs with events in my personal life, and illustrates how they played off of each other. So, like life, it has romance, lust, sex, violence, humor, and a few colorful expletives. Also, though metaphysics is not the main focus, my story is sprinkled with references to The I Ching, spiritual epiphanies, ghostly visitations, and my Wiccan/Pagan path.

One thing I took a big chance on was my method of telling the story. I created an author, named Stella Mars, who interviews me to help me write the book. So Stella, her house, parlor, and tape recorder are fictive elements, but the story I am telling her is the true story of the events that happened, and my reflections on them. So far, everyone who has read it says the format works. Some will like it and others may not, but it’s what I needed to do to get the story out.

Q) How do you write? Do you like to listen to music? Do you like silence?

A) I need quiet. Maybe some new-agey instrumental stuff would be okay, but if there are lyrics, I will get distracted. I’ve always been lured by the words, the poetry, in music. I like to have a good block of time, two to three hours, where I know I won’t be interrupted. The first time I sat down to write this book, I stopped after I thought twenty minutes had passed. I was shocked to find it was three hours! That’s when I knew I loved writing. I was in a zone. It’s not always like that, as you other ‘zoners’ know! 

Q) What drives you as a writer?

A) I am at my best when I can be creative. It has manifested many ways in my life, most recently through the medium of writing. I have been writing for years, but just journal entries, a poem here and there, and for business. Stephen King says never to write for the money. Not ever. (Yeah, I know, easy for him.) The need for an income stream, other than my husband’s recession-pelted business and my working-poor level jobs, was my initial boot-in-the-butt. Who knows if this book will be the magic that puts me back in the black, but at least it gives me Hope. And I love Hope. Yet, I get Mr. King’s point. If it felt as laborious and lung-choking as coal mining, I may as well get a pick-axe and start tunneling—at least it would pay right away.

Q) What do you think makes a good book?

A) One that takes me into a different world, and gives me something to reflect on in the process. It needs to have a good balance between description and action–too much or too little of either will bore me. I love when an author can use language in clever ways, turn a phrase that surprises and delights me, but doesn’t get so carried away with style that it takes me out of the story. 

Q) Who is your favourite author?

A) “Besides me?” (she replied with a wry grin). But seriously, what a hard question to answer! So many to choose from. I will name Marion Zimmer Bradley, for her wonderful, magical treatment of the Arthurian Legend. It was brilliant to tell it from the eyes of the women of Camelot, and show them as wielding power and moving events from ‘behind the scenes’. She also knows her stuff about the Old Religion, and thus adds a touch of authenticity when she writes about Magick that I find lacking in the typical portrayals. The Mists of Avalon was one of those rare books that had me aching to find more reading time.

Q) Where can people buy your work? 

A) On Amazon right now, more venues to come. The e-Book is already there. One of the things on today’s ‘to do’ list was to give the print copy one more scan before we put it up for sale. So, within a couple of days it will join the e-Book: 

CELESTIAL BODIES IN ORBIT: Memoirs of the Unknown Stripper (Paperback)

Q) If you could choose to have written one book–which would it have been?

A) Harry Potter. A far cry from Celestial Bodies in Orbit, but it would have been nice to write something the kiddies could read. Not to mention the success it has had. No, we won’t mention that.

Here’s a link to my blog: I have a page for interviews and will add this with a link to your site too!

Thank you for taking the time to interview me, Nick. I wish you great success in your writing career!

No, thank you, Eve! It has been fantastic to work with you and hear about your book. I will certainly be picking a copy up! I think Eve deserves every credit for writing a book that deals with something that so many shy away from. All those girls working in joints and clubs deserve credit. It’s a hard life and I am glad someone has written something positive about it.

You can contact Eve at the following links: eve@evelittlepage.com www.evelittlepage.com

Don’t forget to go out and buy her book right here:  CELESTIAL BODIES IN ORBIT: Memoirs of the Unknown Stripper (UK) CELESTIAL BODIES IN ORBIT: Memoirs of the Unknown Stripper (USA)

Great article from hot selling author Alex Laybourne! Check it out and enjoy it!

Official Site of Alex Laybourne - Author

When George Orwell penned his novel 1984, and created the character of Si; the man who, tells the reader about the Inner Party’s plan to reduce language further and further, issuing reduced dictionaries, eliminating words until there are only the absolute minimum of words remaining with which to communicate, I doubt even Orwell could have imagined how true that would be.

Putting aside the technology of flat screens, CCTV and webcams, all of which can be found within this wonderful work of fiction (?), it is the clear prediction of the destruction of language that strikes me as being the most accurate.

I may be biased because of my nationality, but I think that the English language is the best in the world. It is expressive and can be used to conjure images and scenes far more romantic that even the most dashing of Frenchmen could conceive, and whose poetic…

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Courier Delivers its Payload in Full

Terry IrvingTerry Irving rode a classic BMW R50/2 for ABC News during the Watergate scandal and carried news-film. This was just the beginning of a career that has included producing Emmy Award-winning television news and a long writing career that has included everything from news to stand-up comedy. Terry was also instrumental in the development of many of the earliest forms of online media.

I would love to say the guy in my book is based on my younger self but, in fact, he’s much smarter, tougher and better-looking.”- Terry Irving

_________________________________________________________________________

Courierwritten by Terry Irving, is a book I expect to see on shelves of stores very soon. It is said that everyone has a book somewhere inside of them, but this is more than a book. This is a story that so easily could have been the truth. Set during the heady Nixon era, the story itself centres around Rick Putnam, a veteran of the Vietnam War who takes a job as a motorbike messenger. Rick picks up a reel of film that proves Richard Nixon was bribed by the South Vietnamese to extend the the Vietnam War. Rick soon finds himself on the run and hunted by assassins and a CIA agent who need to kill Rick to keep the deepest secrets about Nixon’s corruption invisible from the eyes of the world.

Richard M. Nixon was the 37th President of the United States. Long term politician and Republican, he was Vice President for Eisenhower and then lost the 1960 presidential bid to Jack Kennedy. It has been said that Nixon’s profuse sweating during the first presidential debates lost him the election.

Finally, he became President and held office between 1969 and 1974. The Vietnam War damaged him as a political power and then when the Watergate tapes broke, he was finished. It took an impeachment to remove him from office and his successor Gerald Ford took the heat for pardoning him. Then, he wandered off into the wilderness. He saw an opportunity for a return to the sunlight of politics when he was approached by British television interviewer David Frost for a series of interviews. The ex-President monopolised the interviews until Frost broke him down. It was then over for Nixon.

But what if there had been bigger issues at hand? What if he hadbeen taking bribes from the South Vietnamese?

Work of fiction it may be, but, Courier delves into a vein of thought that many Americans have often pondered. What other travesties might Nixon have been committing behind the scenes? It is a well known fact that he was one of the most prolific foreign policy presidents and deemed his endeavours in that field as some of his greatest achievements. It is also well known that he was powered by money. One of his first moves post-Presidency was to engage super agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar and gain a huge advance for his overly long memoirs. The main motivation for that fatal Frost interview was also money. Is it so inconceivable that he wouldn’t take bribes from South Vietnam?

Courier makes me wonder. I was not born during those heady days of Vietnam or when Nixon held the greatest power in the world at his fingertips. I was born during a different generation and in a different country. I only know of Vietnam through the books I have read and the history lessons I took at school. To many who were there, however, this book will bring back memories of Nixon and what he stood for. He was the man who bought America to its knees and then almost defaced the whole ideal of a Presidency. Courier brings all the injustice and behind-the-scenes activity of such a President into play. During this era, a man like Rick Putnam would have been killed for knowing such information. History has shown that there were no depths Nixon wouldn’t claw to just to remain the President of the United States

Well, when the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.

-Richard M. Nixon, 19th May 1977

The book itself is excellently written and hooks the reader from the word go. I find that the whole concept of a pre-internet world and the use of a motorcycle courier to get film from place to place works excellently as it gives the main character that same air of ’70’s freedom seen in movies like “Easy Rider”. The book moves along quickly and held my attention. I cannot stress how interesting it is reading the work of an experienced writer. There is something comfortable about a man who knows how to use words and has the first-hand knowledge to make his work enjoyable. This could be a movie and after the successful Nixon film “Frost/Nixon” there is a resurgence in interest in the most corrupt American President of the era.

I felt like a child at Christmas delving into this book. I haven’t been so excited by a novel in many years and got immense joy from reading about the trials and tribulations of Rick Putnam. As a writer myself, it was a pleasure to enjoy a book I wished I could have written. Mr. Irving certainly draws the reader in and the whole uncertain feel of the country at the time comes across strongly.

What became of Nixon? He just quietly drifted away and ended his days as a writer and public speaker. He was never able to climb the mountain of disgust thrown at him by the whole country. The same will never be true of this book. The whole thing has hit written across it and it deserves to be picked up very soon by a newer breed of publishers– those young guys coming up who realise that this intriguing story of what a corrupt  President did in fiction was not all that removed from what he could have done in fact.

The greatest honour history can bestow is the title of peacemaker.

-From Nixon’s Inaugural Address (20 January 1969); later used as his epitaph


 

Cobb Conducts his Symphony of Words- Nick Wale interviews Douglas R Cobb

Aside

Douglas Cobb is a man on a mission. I noticed from the start of the interview that he was easy going and self assured. I knew that this would be a great interview and it would be fine to stray away from his books and into his life. A happy family man at heart, this interview with Doug was one of the most entertaining I have undertaken so far.
Douglas CobbRecently, Douglas finished his first western. The book entitled Crossing the Dead Line is now on general release and Douglas is now doing a series of interviews about this great new western novel. The book, based on a true story, is about a black Marshall.  I thought the book would have a feel of “True Grit” about it. I was wrong. It’s better. This is a tough, action packed novel about a man who, although not given equal treatment, risks his life for his country. Bass Reeves gives up his dream life on his own farm to catch hardened criminals. Crossing The Dead Line Ebook NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!!

Now, Douglas is the kind of guy who wakes up and goes to work to feed his family. He knows that although his books are doing well he feels the need to keep working as he is the man in his house and believes in the true American spirit. He is a native of Illinois, but now lives in Arkansas with his family. His readers have already enjoyed his previous efforts and he has received endless praise for his Y/A books The Case Files of Lily and PAWS and is currently working on the Christmas addition to the series. Lily is not your usual terrier. In fact, she’s not a terrier at all. She’s a pterodactyl who has the power (among others) of clouding peoples’ minds. Join Lily, her “owner” thirteen-year-old Celeste, and the other members of PAWS (Private Army of Warrior Sleuths), Fuzzy Wally MacGee (a Chinese Crested/rhino), Lucy Marmoset Higgins (a Great Dane/orangutan), and Prince Alphonse Saed (a miniature Dachshund/mountain lion) as they fight crime wherever they encounter it. Read their humorous and exciting adventures as they battle against the criminal organization, the Scarlet SNURFLES, headed by the scarlet Macaw, Frankie Sinister. And, when they also have to face the Scarlet Mafia (lead by the scarlet Macaw, Benny the Beak), the aliens known as the Greys, the red Egyptian fox and leader of the Guild of Assassins, and the red panda, General Yao Xing, can even Lily, Celeste, and PAWS hope to succeed? Disney will indeed be knocking on the Cobb family door for the rights to this series! The Lily Series Available NOW ON AMAZON!

We started the interview in true author fashion. Douglas was hard at work whilst I waited for him to become available.

Q) Hi Douglas– This is a pleasure for me as I love your work. When can I tear you away for an interview?

Next week–just kidding. *Laughs*

Q) Your daughter seems to be a big influence on your writing. I bet she is proud that her dad is a writer. Tell me– are you the same as any other dad back home with the family?

A) Though I always have loved to write, and I majored in English in college, I hadn’t really tried to sell any of my short stories, poems, or novels. I got wrapped up in starting up a family, getting a job, they usual sorts of things most people do with their lives. But, my daughter did get me back interested in writing, when she requested that I write a book about her dog, Lily. I ran with that idea, and made her into a talking pterodactyl, and the crime-fighting head of an organization of her friends, also mutant animals, called PAWS (Private Army of Warrior Sleuths). It’s become a series, beginning with Lily, Unleashed, the first book she inspired. After that, there’s Lily and Paws: The Ghosts of Summer  and Lily Solves Them All, in which Lily must solve 7 crimes using the methods of 7 of the world’s most famous detectives of literature and the Silver Screen. Included are Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple. Then, I wrote My Brother The Zombie: (The Zombie Revolution: Book One). My son’s photo is on the cover of that one. He’s also been an influence on my writing, especially with that book. And, my last book is Crossing The Dead Line, though I’m working on a Lily and PAWS Christmas novella currently. You and your girlfriend are in it, you know. (Nick laughs- “really?”) Yes, you two are werewolves–nice ones, so don’t worry–LOL.

Q) Thanks Douglas! Lori and I appreciate it! Did you see my latest interview? I gave a huge shutout to you, buddy! Hope you heard it in Arkansas!

A) Yes, I did–it was one that everyone who loves great literature should read, so that they can learn more about you and your book. I’m sure that it will be a hit, when it is published. Thanks for the shout-out! (Douglas paused for a moment and looked straight at me, a smile broke out on his face.) A brief answer for once, LOL…if I get too long-winded, just hit me upside my head once or twice…

Q) It was my pleasure! So tell me about Douglas the man– what do you like? What do you do to relax?

A) Tax accountancy work, going over files like Bartleby the Scrivener from Melvile’s tale. No, not really, of course…mostly, of late, I haven’t had much free time, as I am either at work, online tweeting about my books, or writing. But, I like to spend as much time with my family as possible  and I love to read and write book reviews. I have stacks of books that are rapidly taking over the house, demanding to be read–though, I want to get the as-yet-unwritten books inside of me out into the world, as well. Oh, and I like to play with Lily, of course, take her to the local Pterodactyl Park, lift weights, and do yoga…somewhat…though I find the more pretzel-like moves very daunting.

Q) Sounds like you have a few bestsellers to come yet! Tell me about your writing? Do you listen to music when you write? Talk to the wife? Total silence? What does Douglas Cobb dig for writing?

A) When I was younger, I liked to listen to Rock whenever I either studied or wrote, like the Beatles, Led Zep, Pink Floyd, The Police, etc.–New Wave and Punk also,,,I still love to listen to this music, but as my family are asleep by the time I generally do my writing (between 10:00-2:00a.m.) I try to keep the noise down and maybe have CNN on in the background.

It’s difficult to keep inspired for a long period of time, unless I have dreamt up certain dialogue/scenes during the day for a chapter I’m working on, so I usually only write maybe 1,000-2,000 words per night. Sometimes I’ve hit over 3,000, but sometimes just 700 or 800 words a night.

Q) So, I imagine like the rest of us you struggled through the recession– how did it change your life?

A) The recession didn’t strike me, personally, as hard as it did many American, though I definitely feel the pain at the grocery store and the petrol (gas here) station–the “pain at the pump”. Somehow, unforeseen by me, I wound up working on the fringes of the automotive industry. The company I work for did have a slow-down, and a hiring freeze, and some people were laid off, though not me–we are still recovering, but business has picked up. One good thing is that, though Cloyes Gears sells timing components to the Big Four car companies here, we also deal with the various used parts companies like Napa and Auto Zone. We don’t sell used parts, but Cloyes Gears distributes parts to these sites across the nation so that has helped keep the company going even during the worst of the recession.

Q) Did you ever feel as though the misery would never end?

A) I wouldn’t call the average person’s life in America, including mine, necessarily “misery” during the recession, except, of course, for the many hard-working people whose factories closed and who lost their jobs. I’ve often thought of writing a modern-day version of Hugo’s Les Miserables, but, the truth is, I and most Americans have not really experienced the very worst that life can deal us. Of course, many people in America have been affected to a far greater degree than myself, and I’m sure that they have experienced pretty low levels of misery. Things like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy have added to the misery of thousand of people. But, for the most part, all I and my family have felt, as far as misery goes, is having to pay higher bills for food and gas.

Q) So Doug– how do you feel about Obama and the way he handles the country?

A) That’s a tough question in a way, in that I like many of Obama’s policies, though not all. I think of him and any president based on how well he does his job as the president, rather than surface things, like skin color. I like to think that most Americans are either past, or are getting past, any antiquated ideas about judging people based on ethnicity,  religious preference and sexual preference, and the color of their skin. Obama is not perfect, but no man is–I did vote for him both times he ran, as I thought, and still think, he was/is the best man to be the president based on the available choices.

Q) Did Barack influence your book about Bass Reeves (a black Marshall)  or have you always had an interest in that tale?

A) No, Nick; not really, though with a president who is black in office, it is a perhaps fortuitous time for me to have written Crossing The Dead Line. My teenage daughter, Kaitlin, actually suggested that I write a Western, and she gave me a very simple request: “Make it as good as Lonesome Dove and True Grit.” Well, I had never written a Western before, had no idea how to, and no one in mind to write one about. I had dimly heard mention of Bass Reeves, though, and I knew he was a native of Arkansas, where Rooster Cogburn, of True Grit, also lived. So, I was intrigued and started doing research on his life, and I became more and more interested in this fascinating man and his life.

Q) It has been said that our recession had a lot of similarities with “Grapes of Wrath”? As an author how would you stand with that statement?

That’s difficult to truly express, as America is a relatively large country, and people in different states and different circumstances have all had, of course, different experiences riding out the recession. In the worst cases here, say where autoworkers lost their jobs, or other companies closed up and never re-opened, and people got kicked out of their houses because they couldn’t pay their mortgages  I suppose the situation was somewhat like that Steinbeck writes about in “The Grapes of Wrath.” But, as with any country, many people were barely affected at all; everything is relative.

Q) So you feel that America could have gone through a much harder experience of “recession”?

A) Yes, it could have been much worse, in my opinion. For instance, if the auto companies and banks had been “allowed” to fail it would have been much more difficult to try to rebound from that, if we ever could have done so. And, from what I’ve heard, countries like Greece have suffered much worse.

Q) So tell me, how do you publicize your work and what was your most disheartening moment?

A) I utilize House Elves, mostly. I am jonesing so much for J.K. (Rowling) to write more Hogwarts novels, whether with Harry or the offspring of the original characters.  Am I evading the question nicely?

I mostly Tweet to my voluminous Followers (@DouglasRCobb), though I also have a blog, What’s New In Book Reviews http://douglascobb.wordpress.com that I use to get the word out, and my Amazon Author page. Amazon’s KDP Select promo days to let my readers get FREE downloads. The two e-books I have at the bargain low price of just 99 cents and at a low price also there in the UK are My Brother, The Zombie (The Zombie Revolution; Book One) and my latest, Crossing The Dead Line.  I have to rely on my legions of fans to buy these books. My latest in the Lily and PAWS series, Lily and PAWS: Christmas Capers, will be at Amazon very soon, just in time for Christmas, and it will be 99 cents! I just saw the cover today, and it looks great!

My most disheartening moment, well, no author ever likes to receive rejection slips, but that is generally speaking a part of the game of publishing, so I guess the times in the past when I received those, hoping that I would instead by getting a check in the mail, were pretty disheartening. However, I know that what I am writing is good–it’s just that agents and publishers get so deluged with manuscripts every day and week that many good to excellent stories and novels get overlooked in the mix. If you can tell yourself that’s just the way the business operates, it can seem a tad less devastating to get the rejection notices; but, I can’t honestly say it’s ever fun.

Q) Have you considered your books as films?

Only every single day, Nick!  I think that my series The Case Files of Lily and PAWS could be successful hits as either live movies or animated ones, possibly for a studio like Disney, Pixar, or Nickelodeon. My Brother, The Zombie, I believe, would make a great movie combining horror and science fiction, and Crossing The Dead Line cries out to be made into a Western flick.

Q) Do you consider interviews like this crucial to sales?

Oh, yes!  Interviews and book reviews are other fantastic ways for authors to get the word out about their books. The best book ever written might lie unnoticed somewhere not because it’s a piece of crap, but because it hasn’t been noticed by enough people to make it into a commercial success. So, I and all authors definitely owe our fellow authors who are bloggers, like yourself, a word of thanks for agreeing to interview us and sometimes write reviews of our books.

Q) Where can people send fan mail?

Save your postage fees and write me at my email bibliophile1 (at) att.net   If you would like to mail me a letter, though, that’s always welcome, too–especially ones with cash included in them! *laughs*  My address if you’d like to snail mail me is:

Douglas R. Cobb
1112 M Terrace
Barling, AR.
72923

Q) What three items would you take to a desert island?

Well, everyone needs food, but assuming that the island is chock-full of food, my three items would be a pocket knife, writing supplies (okay, so I’m cheating with this, as it conceivably can refer to paper, pencils, pens, a typewriter, a computer–if the island has electricity, etc., anyway–so sue me!), and a Kindle Fire stocked with hundreds of books and movies and tunes–if the place has electricity.  If not, besides the knife and writing supplies–arrgh!–even with them, to be honest, thinking about it, toilet paper is one convenience that I would not like to be without.

I’ll cheat, and make one of my three items a boat (not one with leaks) so I could reach a proper town that has electricity!

Q) Where do you see yourself in ten years?

That depends on how much gas I have in my car, LOL! If I only had an electrical one, I could really go places!  But, honestly, I hope that all of my books will be commercially successful, though they are really labors of love, and I’d keep on writing (probably) if I didn’t sell a single copy!  Don’t let that stop anyone from actually buying them, though.  I am unanimous in my recommendation of them!  I don’t ask for much, in terms of success–if I’m at the head of my own multi-media empire and worth millions, that’s good enough for me.  I will, of course, strive to remain humble, in the midst of the accolades I will undoubtedly receive by the lorry load.

Q) Final question, with all your success– why do you keep working?

A) Ah, success is, as Einstein said about some Space/Time Theorem Thingy, relative.  Poppa needs a Maserati, or at least a Saab or Camaro. Groceries must be bought, and then there’s my immense staff of servants that need to keep the wolves away from their doors…am I wringing any hearts, yet?  I hope so. You can also purchase most of my books in paperback via Amazon–please do–they make great gifts for friends, relatives, yourself, and look fantastic under the Yule tree!

Nick, it’s been a sheer pleasure answering your questions, and I feel proud that I barely flinched when you drove those wooden spikes under my fingernails to get the answers from me, despite my initial insistence on only giving you my name, rank, and serial number!

Thanks,

Douglas R. Cobb,

AVAILABLE NOW!

Lily, Unleashed

Lily and Paws: The Ghosts of Summer

Lily Solves Them All

My Brother The Zombie: (The Zombie Revolution: Book One)

Crossing The Dead Line