To #friends and #colleages, #writers and #readers, all the best in 2017. KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING! XO ❤
Is it me or did the Sherman-Palladino’s get passive aggressive with a weird reboot ending?
Like every series fan, I got more than a little keyed up when I heard about the return of Gilmore Girls, an old fave that formed part of a near mythical line up on the old WB network. Would it fly?
Nine years is a long time, and scoring back the entire cast (the late Edward Herrmann excepted) for a mini Season 8 was a coup too good to miss out on. I had enjoyed a seven year love her-hate her relationship with Lorelai Gilmore, probably because I saw some of myself in her. Yacky, quirky, vulnerable and funny, she was also wise in the face of tragedy, if not hyper malleable when caught in a tough spot. Her on again, off again relationships, her inability to take a position and stick with it, and her fierce loyalty to her community always kept me rationalizing, wanting to make sense of her in the hopes that she’d come around to what I, the fan, wanted for her. In this, the Sherman-Palladino writing team succeeded in 2016.
The reboot showed us a Lorelai who hasn’t changed much since the show’s first run, and for those of us who caught on to the pathology behind her inertia, it was not only expected, but immensely satisfying on delivery. Still fast talking and coffee swilling, she is plagued by doubts about what the future holds and how she’ll deal with it when inevitable change comes. Aging is not touched upon nor should it be. Lorelai is timeless, blundering through life with steely determination and a calculating glint in her eyes. Both fox and hare, she will go on no matter what the show runners do to her and we love her for that. But when the narrative turns to Rory, something strange happens. Like her mother, she is still where we left her: questioning, seeking, battling to retain her optimism. All good things to highlight, given the current zeitgeist. But for the character, I wanted more.
After a Yale education and years on the international journo circuit culminating in a triumphant feature piece in a major magazine, thirty-two-year-old Rory Gilmore returns to Stars Hollow and her mother. Dislocated, without home and purpose, the gal is down. Will she pick herself up and triumph as her plucky mother did thirty-two years before, when she settled in the mythical burg at sixteen years young with a baby in tow?
I’m not sure.
HUGE SPOILER (BOLDED)
After four ninety minute episodes, writers “came full circle” to quote one of the series stars, ending with four (or three, depending on how you look at contractions) simple words from Rory: “Mom, I’m pregnant.”
Given the propensity for supermarket tabloids to push themes like “Baby and wedding on the way,” “Pregnant and dumped,” and “Christmas divorce,” I shouldn’t have been surprised. But I was. One of the many charms radiating off this series was the sparkling message that a Gilmore Girl could not be kept down. Her errors, missteps and heroic stubbornness would always give way to a solution more positive than the last go ’round.
Rory’s rejection of her Gilmore past with a thorough dumping of privileged boyfriend Logan at the end of Season 7 marked her escape from her mother’s past, which she had little choice but to live as a minor. Nine years later, she is back, older and presumably wiser, but still tripping the edges of the past we thought she rejected. Instead of feeling good about it, I was reminded, yet again, of how dastardly nostalgia comes into play when its disciples spend too much time caught in its tentacles.
Is replicating the main protagonist’s life the penultimate or final plot point in 2016, or has Gilmore Girls been a spec fiction piece in a divergent universe all along? Far from happy ending, it seems to hint at something darker in the Stars Hollow universe: a loop doomed to repeat. Run, Rory, run, and don’t look back!
The reboot has been embraced and celebrated widely, with many fans calling for more. I had so wanted to be part of that club, but find I can’t: At least, not now; not until I figure out what I just saw and what it really means.
Adult, unapologetic and wholly cognizant,
Gilmore Girls Fan
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118051627869017397678
The Complete Scooter Q&A: https://abfunkhauser.com/the-complete-scooter-q-a/
Lee Rene is a Los Angeles-based, jazz-loving writer who grew up in the City of the Angels as the child of two fervent movie addicts. Lee has studied and researched classic Hollywood for a number of years and spent much of her writing career as an entertainment journalist and movie reviewer in print, on-line, and on the radio. She co-authored a biography of Sarah Bernhardt, The Diva and Doctor God, which Poverty Row Entertainment has recently optioned for a feature film. Lee has also co-written an article for the prestigious British publication, History Today, and had two articles published in The Lancet. Lee collaborated on The Soul of Los Angeles, the history of African Americans in Los Angeles, published by the Los Angeles Convention Bureau. Lee is member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Lee is a contributor to the Simply Sxy on-line magazine. Loose Id published her erotic romance, The New Orleans Hothouse, in 2015 and Solstice Publishing is releasing her Depression-era romance, Mitzi of the Ritz, later this year.
Pops is dead, the Stock Market has crashed, and the wolf is at the door. When Mitzi Schector crosses the threshold of the Broadway Ritz for a lowly usherette job, little does she know that she has just stepped into her future. Mitzi’s life is about to change into a world of movie moguls, platinum-blonde bombshells, and romance.
Welcome to Mitzi of the Ritz, a raunchy and often humorous romantic mystery set in Depression-era Hollywood. The manuscript was a semi-finalist in the 2011 ABNA and a top-twenty favorite with Swoon Reads. Publishers Weekly wrote, “The dialogue is so telling of the era and the mind-set of a young girl. This writing is filled with the specifics of the era, the feelings, the bits and pieces of a girl caught up in a situation that is moving and engrossing, sad and fearsome at the same time.”
In the fall of 1930, the plucky eighteen-year-old protagonist meets a handsome young theater owner named David Stein. Their attraction is immediate, but David is married, a fact that derails their romance before it begins. The feisty teen soon finds herself the unwilling object of the affection of a local mobster. His unwanted advances push Mitzi and her older sister to flee New York for Los Angeles, the scene of a Schector family tragedy. In the early 1920s, Mitzi’s uncle, a handsome film extra, lost his life in a studio fire. While crossing the country aboard the famed Santa Fe Chief, Mitzi meets a cast of the characters who will change her life. Her arrival in Los Angeles coincides with the film industry’s transition from silent dramas to talkies. During this period, known as the Pre-Code, racy films flourished in spite of the constant threat of censorship. Mitzi soon reconnects with David. Their path to love is a long and rocky one, but David finally discovers his humanity, Mitzi transforms from teen to woman, and solves a decade-old Hollywood mystery.
First I must say that Claudette Colbert’s Pre-Code films are a terrific introduction to a very provocative era in Hollywood history. The term Pre-Code is a bit of a misnomer because from the earliest days of cinema, filmmakers pushed the envelope, and local film censorship boards to keep them in line. Silent films often had provocative subject matter and even nudity, but since there was no dialogue, local censors could snip out objectionable scenes with no problem. The issue became serious when a series of Hollywood scandals in the 1920s threatened the existence of the movie industry. Hollywood producers took matters in their own hands and created their own censorship board with a man named Will Hays. They also had a list of dos and don’ts which filmmakers pretty much ignored. The issue became problematic with the arrival of sound. Moving pictures were no longer silent, the language became rawer, and local board couldn’t just cut out provocative dialogue or a titillating scene without destroying the continuity of a talking picture. Also, producers were looking to Broadway for plays with explosive subject matter. A Catholic priest and a layman created the production code in 1929, but producers were able to maneuver around it or just ignore it until Joseph Breen, or “Mean Joe Breen” as he was known around Hollywood finally implemented it late in 1934.
I’ve always loved so much about the Jazz Age, flappers, the birth of the automotive industry, Prohibition (I had a bootlegger great-uncle who made a fortune as a very young man), and the birth of the film industry. I grew up in Los Angeles near some of the larger studios. I loved the classic film tours of Hollywood and Beverly Hills and seeing the mansions where major stars lived. When I became a journalist, I actually visited those same studios. In addition to Pre-Code films, I also loved listening to the Depression stories my neighbors and relatives shared and watching the fabulous films. I also love the silent cinema which I watch on TCM or film society screenings. Thank goodness for Turner Classic movies and the amazing stars of the 1930s.
Mitzi is a plucky eighteen-year-old New Yorker whom I based on several women I met through the years. The story begins in New York in 1930 after the Crash has wiped out the fortunes of so many. Her father’s death leaves Mitzi and her older sister, Leah, destitute. Leah takes a job as a taxi dancer, something that was well-paid, but not respectable at the time. The times force Mitzi to drop out of college and look for work. When she answers a newspaper ad for a theater usherette, the drama begins the minute she crosses the threshold of a huge New York movie palace, the Broadway Ritz.
She meets a handsome young theatre owner named David Stein, a young man much like the actual boy genius, Irving Thalberg, who has been running his late father’s theater company since he was barely out of his teens. David’s attraction to Mitzi is fiery and immediate, but she doesn’t return his feelings. In addition to being controlling and cynical, David is a married man, a reality that derails any hope for romance. Mitzi also finds herself the unwilling object of affection of a local mobster who will stop at nothing to make Mitzi his. Mitzi and Leah flee New York and board the Santa Fe Chief heading for Los Angeles. The two girls meet people who will change their lives and begin their adventure.
I loved writing Mitzi and her two older sisters, Leah and Zisel. I wanted to create a plucky heroine who speaks in the parlance of the time. I also loved adding Yiddish slang to the mix, writing a Jewish romance, and exploring the racial politics of a different time and place.
I wrote the Sarah Bernhardt project with a doctor who lives in Australia. We worked together online. I’m used to writing solo, but I enjoyed getting another perspective on Sarah’s life and times. My collaborator is French fluent and visited Paris frequently. While I made a number of great connections online, she was able to get the book published in French and make a lifetime connection with people who helped us on our journey.
I’ve already had another novel published, an erotic romance. I worked with a small publishing house and went through an extensive editing and proofing process with experienced editors. They sent me a style guide that I continue to use. The problem with erotica is that it’s difficult to find reviewers, and some people feel uneasy with it. There has also been a glut of erotic novels since Fifty Shades of Grey became a success and it’s next to impossible to break out of the pack. While I like writing erotic romances, I wanted to try another direction with a more conventional romance although my newest bends genre, crime drama and romance. Mitzi is New Adult with a moderate level of heat. I also write Young Adult novels under a different pen name.
Look at the popularity of shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, shows with vibrant action and intriguing characters yet nary a computer in sight. Look at Outlander, a time-travel romance based on a popular series of books.
Once upon a time, I’d go to moves two or three times a week and when I was a reviewer, I was out five nights a week during movie season. Now, I pretty much skip them and get screeners. Marvel Comics, remakes, and films for the teen market pretty much dictate what’s out in theaters. I don’t have an issue with them, they aren’t my type of film, but if I want provocative fare, I won’t find it at the movies. I go online with Netflix or Amazon, watch premium cable or God forbid, read.
The Code ended in 1968, but now studios are playing it safe with remakes and comic book adaptations. The most interesting projects are usually I think the premium cable and online studios like Amazon and Netflix are creating the most provocative works, but certainly not film or network television. I understand the issues with censorship, but I think we’re better off without it.
I’m always working on something. I have four unpublished manuscripts that I’m presently querying and I’m writing a YA story set in New Orleans in the 1950s. I also started outlining a wild, contemporary saga set in the meth amphetamine capital of California. I hope to write more novels set in the same fictional movie studio in West Hollywood that I used in Mitzi. I’d like to write a generational saga that looks at the movie industry from the silent era to the 1950s. I plan to create different characters, but the setting will be the same studio.
“The dialogue is so telling of the era and the mind-set of a young girl. This writing is filled with the specifics of the era, the feelings, the bits and pieces of a girl caught up in a situation that is moving and engrossing, sad and fearsome at the same time.” – Publishers Weekly
“I enjoyed the story and loved the how the early 30’s were brought to life. I liked the heroine but it did take me a little while to warm up to the hero (although he was worth the wait). I thought the story was well paced and the imagery vivid. For me, the end was a little abrupt. I guess I would have liked one more scene with David and Mitzi – then again that could just be me being greedy. That being said, I really enjoyed Mitzi of the Ritz and would recommend it.” 🙂 – Nicole – Swoon Reads
“I’m a few chapters in. The quirky dialogue and descriptions feel authentic to the era. Great cover too.” 😉 – Kristy Brown – Swoon Reads
“Okay, that’s it. I’m officially in love with this book. It’s awesome! The style is so well done, historically accurate, a very distinct voice, I’m impressed. As for the story and the romance, they kept me at the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next. I would totally buy this book and reread it, I love it 🙂 Also, it reminds me a bit of Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things which has the same tone and glamour. Thank you for writing this, it’s perfect!” – M.C. Frank – Swoon Reads
“Wow!! I felt like I was in the olden days! The writing was easily to follow along and smooth and the characters were lovable. I wish I had some criticism, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t really think of any to give! Great job!” – ABNA
“I felt like I was transported back in time to a strange place that somehow felt eerily familiar. I remember my grandma telling me stories of life in depression-era LA. Lee Rene captures the feeling perfectly. I loved her characters and the way the story unfolded. Her characters seemed real and not stereotypes. I couldn’t put this down.
I wish it were longer.” – Peter Taubkin – ABNA
“I’m a fan of romance, a dedicated Twihard. I love to be transported to different places and times. Mitzi of the Ritz delivered. I learned about Hollywood during the Depression, a dark time in American history. It brought a much-needed smile to my face and is worth Five Stars!” – Amazon
“I don’t normally read romance novels and was a bit leery of starting this one. Luckily, it’s not a traditional historical romance, no bodices are ripped, no hyper-sexuality. Instead, it’s a funny look at a dark era in American history, the Great Depression. I felt very much a part of the action, loved the characters, the banter, the 30s slang. A real winner.” – Swoon Reads
Hello from beautiful Bonville, Ontario! Like so many writers this time of year, I’m neck deep in a brand new work for NaNoWriMo 2016. For those not in the know, NaNo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Believe it or not, a 50K manuscript can be hashed out in a month if a writer dedicates about 1,600 new words to the page every day. But I digress…
The blog needs to be fed, and so it is my great pleasure to welcome multi-talented author David Mannes. Spiritual and curious, David plumbs a fascination with the paranormal while exploring relationships at their most personal. With TWO releases out this year, his energy and creativity is an inspiration to us all.
Welcome to the blog, David.
Judaism’s belief about what happens after you die is a gray spectrum with an evolution of beliefs over the millennium looking at biblical and Talmudic views. We do believe that the soul is eternal. But I certainly don’t believe in demons, possessed souls, or Satan- at least in terms of the Christian view, which has its origins with Egyptian, Greek, and Roman theology. In Judaism Satan-pronounced Sah-tahn in Hebrew- or the Accuser, is sort of like a prosecuting attorney. (Satan is mentioned briefly by a couple of the prophets and predominantly in the book of Job (an allegory piece of literature about faith). However, I did live briefly in a haunted house for awhile in my teens. (See May, 1976 issue of Fate Magazine-‘The Spite House’) and I have friends who are psychic. I tend to keep an open mind as to what happens to our spirit after death and in terms of Jewish belief.
Re: the unexplained or extraterrestrial: In Jewish tradition God created and destroyed many worlds before creating this one, and then God continues to create. God is a creative force. It’s what God does. Also, it’s pretty egotistical of us to think we’re the only intelligent life form in the universe, and really, looking at our world and the history of humankind, there’s got to be something out there smarter than us. The universe is billions or trillions of years old.Humankind is still in it’s relative infancy. We may have become more sophisticated, but we haven’t matured much. We don’t know everything. The world and the universe will continue to surprise us.
I was always interested in fine art (especially cartooning) and writing. I majored in Art initially in High school and my first year of college, then switched it to a minor and majored in English. I’ve been writing since upper elementary school and got a lot of encouragement from teachers and in creative writing classes. I’ve always had an overactive imagination. I knew I wanted to be a writer since fifth grade.
We are the baby boomer generation. We had great music, great causes and its generational influence is still present. While The Cantor’s Son has a Jewish slant, it also speaks to baby boomers and any kid whose father was clergy. I think it was a great era to grow up in, despite all the war and social problems.
The book is about Jeff’s journey not only as a young adult but as an adult. Getting older gives us a different perspective on life and what’s important. There’s a lot of people (adults) that are still figuring it out. Overall change happens. Growth happens. Life is a continual journey and Jeff is entering a new stage but experience has given him a new outlook too, one that I think the character is happy with.
Well Scarlet Justice started out as a screenplay that I was going to produce with a couple of buddies, but there was a recession on in the early 90’s and we couldn’t find interest or financing so I did a novelization of it. I grew up watching old B westerns and the Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies. While doing research for the Writing-on-Stone documentary I read a lot about the early years of the Mounted Police and it gave me a lot of story ideas that I’ve incorporated in this series. The second book, Scarlet Vengeance will be out this fall, and I’m working on a third book in the series.
The Reptilian Encounter is actually the third part of a trilogy (I published the first two volumes independently on Amazon kindle) but it’s also a spin-off for a continuing series. I’ve been interested in UFOs since I was a kid. I use to read Frank Edward’s column in the newspaper and have been doing reading and research on UFO’s for probably about 50 years. As well, having grown up in the 60’s, The Man from U.N.C.L.E was one of my favorite shows, as was X-Files in the ’90’s. Both influenced the creation of my character Damien Wynter. According to some of my research, after the Roswell crash of 1947 President Truman set up Majestic 12, a group of military, industrial, and private organizations and individuals who investigate and obtain alien technology, and understand extraterrestrials, but at the same time keeping it secret to prevent public panic. My novels are based on actual or alleged incidents but with fictional license and conclusions. The series is sort of a Man from U.N.C.L.E meets the X-Files. The second book, The Tunguska Encounter is coming out this fall. I’m hoping this series takes off and I think it’d be great to see The Reptillian Encounter made into a movie.
Definitely there are parts of media production that are creatively collaborative; but both involve storytelling. I think visually no matter what the media. I always have. The difference for me is in the pacing. Working in media is a very intense and frantic pace a lot of the time, given budgets, deadlines, etc. Writing is more relaxed. The only deadline we have (other than from our illustrious publisher during the editing phase) is one that we set. There are times I enjoy being in my ‘Batcave’ with music in the background and letting the story take me in new places. Solitude is essential when writing. I find myself quite comfortable when I’m in ‘the zone’.
Relationships and common goals. To have a society means that there has to be rules that everyone agrees to and abides by. That’s the main purpose of the Ten Commandments (though in Judaism according to the rabbis, there’s 613). It’s the minimal rules to have a safe and just society.
I definitely lived life before the digital age and was very thankful when computers came out. Made writing a lot easier..lol. I remember as a kid we’d play army. Our next door neighbors were an older couple. They had a retaining wall on one side of their property. We kids used to go around through another yard and take a running leap off the retaining wall and do a tuck and roll to pretend we were parachuting. The problem was the cement walk that separated the wall and the grass. You had to jump far enough so you didn’t splat on the walk. We didn’t understand liability issues, but the old guy was always chasing us away when he caught us doing that.
Don’t judge us by the stupidity you see. We are worthy and capable of better. We are also tenacious and unpredictable. Don’t piss us off.
Follow your dreams. You only live once. Appreciate the people in your life because that’s the most important.
Rabbi-Cantor Jeff Reimer returns to River City, Iowa after forty-six years, as spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom. As Jeff connects with the congregation on a variety of issues, he also connects with his past. It leads him to reminisce about the year of his Bar Mitzvah, and the pivotal events and personal relationships that have led him back to River City again, and that makes Jeff the man he has become. This is a humorous coming-of-age story set in the turbulent 1960’s where Jeff fights off the stigma of being a clergyman’s son, contends with Junior High shop classes, stumbles through B’nai Mitzvah party dances and a semi-reluctant romance with April Blackman.
Ride with Northwest Mounted Police Constable Alfred Kingsley and ex-gunfighter turned scout Charlie Buck in two new adventures: Scarlet Vengeance– Hatred is a powerful motivator. When rancher Amos Pike spots ex- runaway slave and black rancher, Elijah Samuels, a man he blames for his family’s downfall, Pike plots a merciless revenge to take away everything Samuel’s holds dear. But he doesn’t count on NWMP Constable Alfred Kingsley and Charlie Buck, who head out on the trail to track the kidnappers and murderers down. In the second novella, Scarlet Gold, Kingsley and Buck, while on their way escorting a prisoner to Fort Benton, aid the U.S. cavalry and Marshal Ben Tucker track down a ruthless band of gold thieves in Montana.
The cold war is back on but with a twist…a remnant, a computer chip, exists from a UFO that exploded over Russia in 1908. Now Damien Wynter, special agent for the clandestine Majic-12, is on a race to get it before SETKA, his Russian counterparts. From the canals of Venice to old city of Dubrovnik, to the pyramids of Bosnia, Wynter and Michelle Martin run a gauntlet of anarchy, destruction and death in an all out battle to obtain technology that could be the greatest boon to humankind or launch its destruction in THE TUNGUSKA ENCOUNTER!
The Majic-12 series explores the clandestine side of UFOs and the covert organizations that investigate them. This is an espionage-action-adventure sci-fi series that takes place in present day.
David M. Mannes is a Cantor-Educator and a member of the American Conference of Cantors. He has served congregations in the United States and Canada. He is also a former educational film producer/director and scriptwriter. He was nominated in 1990 for best non-dramatic script in the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association (A.M.P.I.A.) awards for “Writing-on-Stone” that he wrote and produced for Alberta Parks. David is the author of The Cantor’s Son, The Reptilian Encounter (Damien Wynter –Majic-12 series), Scarlet Justice (Constable Alfred Kingsley and Charlie Buck series), among others. He has had a long time interest in history, as well as UFOs, paranormal and unexplained phenomena. David is a member of the Writer’s Guild of Alberta and the International Thrillers Writers. David Mannes is married and lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/David-M.-Mannes/e/B004RQNWNA
Thanks so much for the warm compliment. I guess the simple answer is by focusing on the positive and being thankful for all the precious moments and gifts of life. No small thing is wasted on me. (giggles)
Sometimes social media—all the choices—can be overwhelming, so my best advice is to start with the one you do most often and then add more as you go. If you are trying to get the word out about your books then search your genre and get involved. What is nice is that it is okay to ask questions, to look at what grabs your attention to make sure that you are hitting the mark, do research, and above all else have FUN as you do it. The fun is so very important because that’s what attracts people to who and what you alone and uniquely can offer. The key here is to have a presence somewhere, that is your voice, so that people know what you have going on, have an idea of what reading your books will be like, and, one of the best parts, they have a way to get to know you personally.
Yes, you are right A.B. that is how we met! And it has been a fun friendship ever since! (giggles)
Having said that, I would love to chat about the #hastag games. These events are so much fun to be a part of and personally, they are one of the highlights of my week. So much so that I even co-host one every Tuesday with author Chloe Quinn called #FOODPARTY (please feel free to pop over to twitter for more details and to hang out with us and have fun).
Before I go further, you might be asking what are #hashtag games? To those who are unfamiliar, it is a writer event where authors are invited to share their work in accordance to the theme selected by the various hosts.
One that I would definitely suggest for new writers to take part in is #Thurds on Thursdays simply because it awesome, A.B. hosts it, and it is unlike any other event. Why? If the book is published it can also be a part of the game (unlike most that include WIP, works in progress, only) and that is great exposure. Ultimately what I am getting at here is it is like an international book convention on a weekly basis.
In my opinion, for writers (especially newbies), all of the events are incredible to be a part of because they are one of the nicest ways to get to know people in the writer community, to find new readers, to find new reviewers, and for readers (which I also am) to find a new book to add to your collection on a weekly basis. Another thing that I love is that you get instant feedback on your work and that is all-around fun!
What I mean by that is that living life in general has taught me so many things as a person and therefore professionally as an author. And each of those experiences means so much to me because ultimately they have made me who I am “exactly” today. The good, the bad, and the I know better and will not do that again. Ha!
I am inspired not by one person alone, but by anyone that goes after what they want with all that they have. I am inspired by those who love whole-heartedly and are kind to others. I am inspired by those who don’t see something as limiting but limitless. Those are the people that inspire me!
Sure, just this once. (giggles) Just kidding, I’d love to do that!
I wrote this one because I was (and am still) a huge fan of the TV show “The Mentalist.” The idea came to me because I just thought, how fun would it be to write about a heroine whose brother was a smooth talking scoundrel like that and she was the one to always bail him out. Here’s the blurb.
(Giggling) In my opinion, no, I love my home. California is a fun place to be. The weather is amazing and the options here of things to do is vast. In any given direction it’s amusement parks, trips to museums, a chance to escape to the Sierra mountains (beautiful during wintery snow season or when warm and green), ranches, Japanese or Rose gardens, musicals, or lovely beaches. I am in heaven. But as awesome as it is here, I do love the snow (rarely have gotten up to the Sierra’s recently). So, please promise, when the time comes, to build me a snowman, make a snow angel, and toss around a few snowballs. (giggles)
In the upcoming months I am going to be sharing a few new titles, making a few appearances, and the thing that has me doing cartwheels are the new book trailers that are on the way soon!
You can get my books via my Amazon author page www.amazon.com/author/leximiles.
And yes, I have a newsletter for my VIP readers/friends and you can follow it and my other info and book clubs here: www.LexiMilesAuthor.com/follow-lexi.
I think what you asked covered it. Such a nice, fresh, and wide scope. Thank you A.B. again for taking time out to do this! I really appreciate it.
Dangerous Listings: A realtor named Piper rents out a listing and stumbles into a dangerous situation. She soon finds herself hold up with the ever sexy and mysterious Marko, and she’s not complaining. Is danger just the thing they need to kick off their sexy romance? (Vol 0.5 in the Sensual Protection series, proceeds Private Lessons)
Private Lessons: Dorian “Ryan” DeVain, a travel agent, gets tricked into taking much needed self-defense classes by her best friend Piper. She is apprehensive, even given the looming threat of her past, until she meets the ultra-sexy brown haired instructor Jimmy Jalin. Will there be sexy benefits included with his training? (Vol 1 of the Sensual Protection series)
Convince Me: Josephine Summers, a feisty red headed chef has just been blacklisted for declining her boss’ romantic advances. Determined for a fresh start Jo has a chance meeting with the dreamy lawyer with the penetrating blue eyes, Roger, who convinces her to become his live in chef. After that things really heat up. Is Jo going find it difficult to keep things strictly professional? (Vol 1 of Seductive Recipes Series)
Mix Matched: Maxi is a bartender at a bar that the mega-hot Wolf Crane owns. Wolf, off the clock, is known for giving romantic help to others so they find their romantic match. She gets the idea to have Wolf use his skills to help her until she can get him to realize that she is his perfect match. Can she sway him to see her daydream for them? (Vol 1 of the Happy Hour Series) (NANOWRIMO Nov 2015)
Click For More: Ariel Bowie, is in her late twenties and is a successful career focused clothing boutique chain owner. Ariel has been receiving a lot of pressure from the hens, ladies in her family, to wed—and to do it fast—because wedding is expected for the ladies in the Bowie family. With Ariel’s baby sister’s nuptials approaching, during a late night of rom-com watching, Ariel decides it is time to take action and list herself with the wed quick website Click for More. She comes across the oh-so-gorgeous dark haired businessman Cort Abbot, who too has his own reasons to wed, and soon she finds herself married to this sexy stranger and loving every minute of it. But some people aren’t as happy as she is about her new marriage. Will they cause problems in paradise, or will the couple find that some things are meant to last?
#FoodParty: Cookbook that features recipes from the various romance novels. (Co-author Lexi Miles and Chloe Quinn)
Custom Fit: Sunni is one of the most sought after style consultants and is totally put off when her boss Zelina calls her into her office, as if Sunni is a newbie cub, and gives her an emergency assignment. Sunni’s protest comes to a halt when she realizes that she just got the assignment of a lifetime: dressing the ultra-sexy singer/actor Striker Clint for the entire holiday season. The only rule, to avoid termination, no romantic involvement with the client. But Striker is not just any client, Sunni has had it bad for him since she laid eyes on him in one of his earlier films. Are some rules made to be broken?
Focused On Love: A collection of emotionally stirring poems that are all about love: falling in love, passion, losing love, forever love.
What People will take away from anything I write: Love is worth it. All of the stories, that are coming soon or that are out, show challenges that couples face and how they evolve as individuals and couples because of them. I think that love makes us the best versions of ourselves. You know, the most courageous people that we can be because we know that we are loved and accepted deeply. In my opinion, romantic love, centers us and makes everything about life more vibrant and beautiful. Love, in many ways, is like that spice of a secret recipe in cooking that makes life taste better!
Journey to Publishing
When I was younger, the writing bug bit me when I did a writing project in elementary school where we got the assignment to create our own fresh stories in the vein of the different genres that we were studying: fairytales, tall tales, magic, and the others. I had always been creative—really creative—imagination running wild as I played with my Barbies, stuffed bears, and My Little Ponies. So, when it hit me that I not only got a chance to create and act out those ideas, but to also write them down to share the fun, over and over, anytime they were read, with others I was hooked! And to this day, I have continued to share them—and have not looked back.
Over the past several years I have actively been working on a number of romance books that are all just about at fruition and ready to be shared with avid romance readers or what I like to call rommies. Although they are all romance there is a broad scope from suspense romance to everyday life contemporary romance. My stories deal with intense subjects that cause the characters to peel back and share layers of themselves: the fire-hot passion of a couple, overcoming a challenge, learning some strength from examination, and always end with a HEA (happily ever after). Those are my favorite kind of books; naturally I write those tender, cute, and wild rides.
I write in a variety of flavors and call them the 4 flavors of Lexi. The scope is Sweet (mild romance with some heat), Fire (very sensual and sexy), Alarm (erotic), and Magic (romance with a bit of supernatural flare).
Lexi Miles was born in northern California and has lived in various places in California and Nevada (Las Vegas and Reno). Tropical warm spots and out of the way ranches are Lexi’s favorite escapes. She has one sister, Cat. Presently she resides in California and is a proud pup mom of two mischievous Yorkies. They are handfuls and most definitely light up her life!
Cultivation of Lexi’s writing is attributed to a lot of reading, variety of writing contests, her college studies in communication, and her association and mentoring from professors, published authors, and editors. In addition, she credits the tool of LIFE in general as one of the key factors in the development of her writing. Lexi personally edited and consulted for various published novels as well.
Lexi embraces who she is and is a huge fan of positivity; accordingly, she loves to giggle and make others smile as often as she can. Lexi, has a deep interest in personal growth and is always open to learning new things that challenge her. On her off-time, she adores the chance to binge watch/read a good romance, mystery, suspense, or life stories in general. Whenever possible, Lexi tries to help others achieve their goals in life. Lexi strongly believes that life is an incredible gift and is to be enjoyed!
Lexi fell in LOVE with writing—head over heels in love—from the time that she could first hold a pen and she just never stopped falling. Lexi loves writing romance; she believes there is something extraordinary about the magic of love shared by a couple. Lexi is thrilled to pen that beauty of love on paper!
Fun Activities: Netflix binges, bubble baths, listen to music, (I am a singer), love Renaissance Fairs, adore the superhero genre, love taking my dogs for walks, working out, and adore cooking. One of my most favorite activities to do is bowling. I like to go bowling by myself and brainstorm book ideas as well as clear my head. I love pretty fragrances from Bath and Body Works and Vicki’s Secret!
Recent Random Activities: made chocolate chip brownies, grocery shopped, and revisited an old vision board of mine
Fun Facts: prefer lemonade or iced tea to any soda and I love to write at night
Most Excited About: My books are now offered in both ebook and print
Main Objective for Interview: to have people get to know me better, to have a bump up in readers, bump in newsletter follows so that I can connect more with readers, bump in reviews, for people to be acquainted with my author central page, and people talking about the books.
Novel Info: www.LexiMilesAuthor.com/novels
Follow Newsletter: www.LexiMilesAuthor.com/follow-lexi
Lexi’s Rom Readers https://www.facebook.com/groups/1746560782284851/
Connections by Steve Bederman FREE October 1st – 5th
Even when he’s hidden away, trouble inevitably finds Mitch Jacobs. In his life he has known incredible highs and demoralizing lows; those from his personal failings so evident in his life and while building his company. In spite of this, starting with a simple idea, he has grown Symbiotic Technologies to a position as a world leader.
He believes that what he has gained versus what, and who, has been lost has been a poor trade.
Mitch has become reclusive, living deep in the Colorado mountain backwoods with his wife who was the former President of Colombia. Since he handed over the company to his employees there has finally been relative peace and safety.
In this, CONNECTIONS, the fourth book of the series, the reader travels from Colorado, to Quebec, Colombia, and to Washington DC; The White House. His beautiful wife, Pilar Reyes Cruz, finally goes home to the land where she once was elected as the first female president of this machismo country. She is still recognized throughout the world for the salvation of her troubled people and, as many believe, the future of all of Latin America.
There is no running from lust, and love, and business, and negotiation. Terrorism can show its ugly face at any moment and in many forms. Seemingly disparate events are all connected. Whether Pilar regains her purpose and Mitch refocuses on running one of the most passionate and inventive technology corporations in the world, are but two of the many questions left to answer. The US President, the King of England, the President of Colombia, and the world’s back alley power brokers all converge into Mitch Jacob’s continuum of CONNECTIONS.
It’s been a privilege getting to know the incredibly talented author Angela D’Onofrio this past year. Ang and I met, like so many authors do, through the #Twitterverse, striking up a fast and growing friendship. As the creator of #2bitTues, a hashtag of influence, Ang inspired me to create my own #Thurds Words. Both tags appeal to writers, bloggers and poets with that one thing in common: a desire to express and share.
Ang’s first novel FROM THE DESK OF BUSTER HEYWOOD is a fascinating fish out of water tale with a twist: the unsavory thing in the trunk is the ticket to belonging. Winner 2nd Prize “Thriller” 2016 Summer Indie Book Awards (Metamorph Publishing), she is full of energy, releasing earlier this month, her sophomore effort IN THE CARDS. Aviario, Connecticut will never be the same! Congrats, Ang.
This past summer, Ang did an amazing thing, posting on her blog, an awesome compare/contrast piece of my two books. In it, SCOOTER NATION and HEUER LOST AND FOUND are examined closely, and I was blown away by her observations.
With Ang’s permission, I am reproducing her piece here with the hope that I can do a similar piece for her very soon!
Thanks, again, friend, for your tips, your generosity and your commitment to this thing we do called writing.
I’m in your debt.
Or: unsolicited reviews of A.B. Funkhauser’s first two novels…
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will remember A.B. Funkhauser’s name, as she was kind enough to interview me back in February about From the Desk of Buster Heywood. At that time, I had already read her debut novel, Heuer Lost and Found, and known I’d found a new favorite author. Funkhauser’s Unapologetic Lives series follows the surprisingly zany ins and outs of the Weibigand Funeral Home. I was expecting eclectic humor on par with Carl Hiassen and Christopher Moore … I got that, and far more.
The lost Heuer in question is Jürgen Heuer, a lawyer whose life was about as unapologetic as anyone’s can get. Rude, lewd, and thoroughly self-serving, Heuer despises his neighbors and alienates his colleagues. So when he dies in an apartment that would make episodes of “Hoarders” look tame, it takes a good, long while for anyone to notice he is missing… much to Heuer’s dismay, as his spirit still remains, kicking around the apartment and forced to come to terms with the life he lived.
When Weibigand’s is hired to handle Heuer’s preparation and funeral, mortician Enid Krause is sent to the scene with her co-worker, Carla, and has a nasty shock: Heuer was a lover in a summer long ago, and she had put him far out of her mind. Now she must be intimate with him again, in ways she would not have imagined… and Heuer’s spirit has his chance to redeem himself.
In introducing her readers to the Weibigand home and its denizens, Funkhauser makes it plain from the very start that her funeral directors, embalmers, and owners are very real people, and just as prone to the same sort of drama as any workplace: scheming Jocasta Binns hopes to gain control of the family business from her half-brothers, manager Charlie strives to hold it all together with a little of the old-school decorum, and Carla Blue is navigating her fair share of relationship issues, while finding solace in her friendship with the funeral home’s resident rat. Oh, and then there’s the fact that Heuer’s spirit finds its guru in a possessed floor lamp…
There is something for everyone in this novel: romance, drama, and suspense are all interlaced into what Funkhauser has aptly dubbed a gonzo style of novel writing. Anything goes, and almost everything does, told by a narrator who is as unapologetic as her characters: matter-of-fact, even as she’s winking at you and nudging you in the ribs. Every single character is fully developed, and you will fall in love with all of them – even those you love to hate… and yes, even the floor lamp. (I’m not kidding. That lamp is pretty fantastic.)
With a little bit of horror, just a dash of magical realism, and a lot of heart and humor, Heuer Lost and Found teaches us that there is beauty to be found everywhere, as long as we still have the will and the eye to look … and that it is never, ever too late for a soul to redeem itself.
Scooter Nation brings us ahead in time, to a year after the events of Heuer Lost & Found. Carla and Enid have both recovered as much as they can from what they endured, and have been joined at Weibigand’s by Carla’s old friend Scooter Creighton. I think that “old coot” would be the most fitting label for Scooter, and I apply it in as endearing a manner as possible.
The scheme Jocasta Binns has been brewing comes to full fruition: the funeral home is sold out of its generational ownership to a chain, and the repercussions of the sale shake every member of the Weibigand’s staff to its core. The more liberties Jocasta takes with the home, the more her employees fight to keep their own integrity intact… and eventually, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Weibigand’s isn’t the only place having trouble with its status quo, however: a gang of motorized scooter owners is becoming more and more vociferous about their right to full access. Their ringleader, Alma Wurtz, is the worst of them, with a personal vendetta against Jocasta Binns. Scooter and Carla make an alliance with her in an attempt to save the dignity and decorum of the trade and the home they have come to love over the years, and the death of a public figure provides the perfect opportunity… but will they go too far?
I came into this novel expecting something on par with its predecessor, and was not disappointed in the least. The characters who were so full-fledged and rich grow and develop by leaps and bounds, especially when pushed to their boundaries. Funkhauser digs down deep into each character and shatters the lines of morality, showing us the darkness and light within all of them… and forcing us to take a good, hard, look at it ourselves as we decide, as readers, who we should really be cheering for. It is a difficult decision, in the end, and I think a second read is in order to really decide.
There is not quite as much in the way of magical realism in Scooter Nation: no spirits or sage advisory objects … but the spirits of Weibigand’s are still very present in the imprint they have left upon the people who remain. In the midst of death and chaos, life endures … unapologetic, plain, beautiful, and crazy. To be reminded of that should be the goal of every good book, and Funkhauser passes that test with flying colors.
Thank you for joining me for another indie author review! Next week, I will have a status update on In The Cards, and some surprises!
Venture past safe reality, into the world of terror told in verse.
Horror Haiku and Other Poems brings forth surreal dread and spins it in artistic countenance. From small chilling bites of poetry, to murky morsels of fright, come find where the words haunt you, where they live and die.
I think geek and gothic are two intrinsic sides of speculative fiction, i.e. the horror, fantasy, and sci-fi genres, but tend to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. When adding a lighter touch or levity I generally shy away from writing camp, (although I have been known for using a few bad puns), and lean more towards satire and gallows humour. I’m more comfortable with the gothic end as I often use historical settings, but tend to be more macabre and less theatrical. I like to take the normal and twist it into the abnormal.
I love the sea. There’s a certain majesty and wildness to it, some of that terrible beauty that you mentioned. It’s vast and picturesque, and ferocious as well. You don’t ever tame the sea. You batten down the hatches and ride out any storm. It’s funny though, until my current WIP, Ghosts of the Sea Moon, I’ve never written a seafaring story, just a few sea themed poems.
Much of my poetry is based in the same genres as my prose: horror, fantasy and science fiction. I’m not one for sweet romantic verse. This particular book was inspired by #HorrorHaikuesday ( a weekly Twitter hashtag event run by @horror_made), where you write a horror based poem in the haiku style. I loved the idea (I’m a big fan of haiku) and after a few months I had quite the collection. So I compiled all my efforts into this book, added a few of my longer poems and some photos, and voila, a poetry book is born.
I strive to be a professional in my writing, but I’m strictly an amateur painter, (although my skills as a graphic designer are improving), and I’m not sure your readers want to be subjected to my poor attempts at landscapes. I have included two of my computer generator paintings that I used as backgrounds for my poems. The first is an orchid done in watercolor style in an homage to Asian calligraphy art, and the second is an abstract piece set to a poem inspired by the TV show Hannibal.
My favourite theme is “consequences” and I think that is a natural by-product of the genres I write in more than a pet peeve or a sacred cow. I enjoy sticking my characters in sticky situations of their own design (or on occasion, other people’s design) and letting bad things happen to them. Very bad things.
Only to be sure to check out HORROR HAIKU AND OTHER POEMS when it releases on October 11th. It’s debut will be part of my participation in the October Frights Blog Hop that runs from October 10th until the 15th. The hop is a delightfully dark gathering of horror and paranormal authors celebrating all things strange and morbid, and I’ll be running spooky posts on my blog all that week.
A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being dark fantasy and horror—but she has ventured into the light on occasion. She is fond of good books, action movies, sword collecting, geeky things, comic books, and oil painting as a hobby.
Website: https://afallonblog. wordpress.com/
I wrote the Western comedy in the mid 1980’s just for fun, with no thought or dream of ever publishing the work. Even when I wanted to become an author, I never dreamed this work was good enough to make the grade. It just happened to kick off my publishing career (if you can call it a career). I’ve always loved the mystery, suspense, and thriller genre, however, so once I decided to pursue my dream, I knew that genre would be the one of choice.
I don’t really focus too much on the “definition” of a P.I. vs. a cop vs. another protagonist, but you’re right in assuming the veteran will have more freedom. I’m more concerned with my protagonist making sure the antagonist gets the justice he or she deserves, even if the cop, P.I., or other have to bend the law a little.
Catherine chewed her lip before answering. “I didn’t recognize the name either, so I did some research. Herman Mudgett is the real name of Dr. Henry Holmes, allegedly the first documented serial killer in America. In the 1880s, he operated a hotel in Chicago. They called it The Murder Castle. It was a torture chamber. He confessed to twenty-seven murders but evidence suggested there were actually two-hundred or more. Some believed he was Jack the Ripper but that was never proven.”
Twelve days later, Henry sat in a saloon in Flintrock, Texas sipping whiskey from a shot glass riddled with fingerprints. The barkeep claimed his towels were too soiled from wiping up beer and tobacco spit from the floor and counter to keep the glasses clean. Whatever. The saloon had seen better days. The legs on most of the chairs and tables were either cracked or broken, the walls bare, the piano hideously out of tune, and the stairs so rickety, the survival rate for getting to the upper floor was less than twenty percent. The odor of urine and vomit mixed with liquor hung in the air like a horse’s fart in high humidity. Flintrock, located two-hundred miles south of the Oklahoma-Texas border, would never rank high as an Old West tourist attraction.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with allergies to dust mites and mold. Allergy shots have helped, but the dust dropped by the sandstorm flared my allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, I don’t get a runny nose, itchy eyes, or scratchy throat, my symptoms are lethargy followed by fatigue. At first I didn’t know the reason why my allergies flared up until I read about the sandstorm. People all over Southeastern Texas (apparently the storm’s destination) are flocking to doctors, many asking why they are getting symptoms they never experienced before. Those suffering with asthma and respiratory ailments are warned to stay indoors as much as possible. I guess I should consider myself somewhat fortunate I’m not more sick. The situation is improving, and I don’t have the symptoms as often, but still must fight through occasional suffering.
Anyone with creative talent and who wants to be a writer / author, keep on the lookout for sources of inspiration. They could come from anywhere. The idea for The Monogram Killer came when I was on the treadmill listening to “Hollywood Nights” by Bob Seger. The first two lines go, “She stood there bright as the sun on that California coast, He was a Midwestern boy on his own.” I had two characters, one wanting to meet the other, somehow it became a serial killer story with a paranormal twist. Go figure.
Published by Solstice Publishing:
Clarence Flannery was luckier than most men his age to discover his life’s ambition, particularly in the unpredictable years just following the Civil War. Born with an unmatched skill to play pool, he left his home in Kansas when he turned twenty-six and traveled throughout the Southwestern United States to make his mark as a legendary pool hustler, with every intention of amassing a fortune in the process.
Clarence needed help for both support and protection, and recruited James Skinner as his partner, along with nine other highly-skilled pool players to assist him in his quest.
Wanting to be included in the same sentence as Attila the Hun and Alexander the Great, Clarence changed his name to Hustle Henry, Skinner became the Cue-Ball Kid, and the eleven men would go down in history as The Hole-in-the-Table-Bunch, known far and wide for hustling wannabe pool sharks out of their life savings.
All goes to plan and life has a rosy and profitable outlook, but Henry and his men want more than what pool halls and saloons offer, so they decide to challenge the more affluent clientele on a riverboat.
Initially, the venture proves profitable, but the millionaire tycoon and owner of the fleet of riverboats, takes exception, and intends to bring down the Bunch and thrust Henry and The Kid into a life of destitution.
Taking along the Kid’s girlfriend, Penelope Henderson, the Kid and Henry flee to South America – where there will be a final showdown…
Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid is a fiction work of Western humor with an interesting and amusing cast of characters.
“I have to give accolades to the author for being unique — I never would have thought of writing a historical western about a pool hustler, of all things! In my opinion the book is one that you can’t take too seriously — it’s meant to be fun and light hearted and the writer accomplishes just that. I think guys would get a kick out of this one.”
“Loved the character and the format! Very happy with the writing, an easy and very fun read! Hoping this author will work on another!”
“Very Easy reading. The story line kept me wanting to know what was next in the story. I highly recommend reading this book.”
Published by Solstice Publishing
When Julia Ballard meets Kelly Nichols, she believed he was the man of her dreams. Julia’s best friend has doubts, and her investigation into Nichols’s life encourages her suspicions. Despite Jessica’s warnings, Julia is convinced he is sincere and cares for her. Nichols is hiding secrets from a legacy he cannot escape, and Julia is the key to a sinister plan. When two homicide detectives combine forces to search for a serial killer, it becomes a race to see who accomplishes their goal first.
“Excellent story, well told. Jack leads you on an emotional roller coaster ride by the heroine and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Quick read and before you knew it, the mystery was solved. Great character development, wonderful and professionally descriptive prose and several twists and turns kept me tuned in. Need more like this!!”
“Surprise ending. Like the history behind the mystery.”
“A romance – a mystery – a surprise. Before I knew it I was at the end. A good read for all.”
A Matter of Honor (short story) – Luke Coleman returns from the armed forces and learns the truth about the deaths of his father and brother, both police officers.
A Head in the Game (novel) – Chicago Homicide Inspector Aaron Randall faces his toughest case while dealing with doubts about his career and the potential of a romantic relationship. Jared Prescott, a Heisman Trophy winner and Vice President of a large and respected pharmaceutical company, is found murdered at a seedy motel. The investigation uncovers more suspects than normal, with motives ranging from jealousy to revenge to extortion. When the body of his close friend and number one informant is found stabbed to death in a deserted alley, and a woman claiming to be present at the time of Prescott’s murder is gunned down in front of him, and a woman who worked for the same company is found murdered in her home, Randall knows he is dealing with a conspiracy. Randall is hamstrung during the investigation by pressure from the commissioner down the chain of command because the president of the pharmaceutical company, anxious for resolution to Jared Prescott’s murder, is a close friend with a Senator whose sights are set on the Oval Office.
Jack Strandburg was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio. He is a degreed professional with a background in Accounting and Information Technology and recently retired after more than 33 years working for a Fortune 500 company. He has been writing since his teenage years.
He self-published an inspirational titled An Appointment With God: One Ordinary Man’s Journey to Faith Through Prayer, by Trafford Publishing.
His first published novel by Solstice Publishing is Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid, a parody of the movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
His third work, a novella titled The Monogram Killer, published by Solstice Publishing, was released in May, 2016.
He is currently working on a short story titled A Matter of Honor, revising his first mystery novel, A Head in the Game, writing journals for an upcoming inspirational non-fiction book; and completed 70% of a first draft for a second mystery novel titled War Zone.
He is an editor and proofreader for Solstice Publishing.
Jack currently lives with his wife and two grown children, in Sugar Land, Texas. He has three grandchildren.
Thanks for having me on A.B. It feels fantastic – I can now look people in the eye and say I’m an author. My words have somehow escaped out into the wild!
When sixteen-year-old Jack’s home town is burned down and his family killed, his only chance of survival is to travel through a dangerous device called “The Mouth” that opens doors into other worlds.
He must do the impossible – find the world that gave his enemies their extraordinary power and travel to a mythical place known simply as “The Maximum.
The Mouth is a gritty science-fantasy adventure story about hope, resolve and finding the courage to carry on fighting even when all seems lost.
The forest was a dark line ahead of them.
Badger disappeared into the woods.
A bullet smacked into a window frame by Jack’s feet. He climbed up a heap of rubble and jumped into the treeline.
Birch saplings broke his fall.
Soon he was sprinting amongst the old, broad- leaved trees of the Weald.
The noise behind him died away. His boots crunched on frozen leaf mould.
Two notes from a horn sounded in the air.
Badger stepped out from behind the bulbous trunk of an old beech tree.
“What was that?” said Jack.
Sweat steamed from Badger’s hair. He said, “They won’t want to do us straight off. Those fellers like to take their time.”
“What can we do?”
“When I was a kid, my old man used to lay something on the ground to put them off the scent, like wild garlic. Or a blood trail. The dogs like blood, you see.”
Jack pulled a string necklace out of his jumper. A key hung from it.
“I know a place near here where we can hide,” he said.
I’m currently writing some short stories that are a bit steampunk. I grew up reading the science fiction of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells – their adventure stories had steam-powered machines and unfeasibly large dirigibles. Steampunk seems to look back to nineteenth-century science fiction – and fashion. It also allows some of the prejudices of that time to be scrutinized and possibly opposed. Sometimes there are top hats – and corsets.
As a writer and reader I think a sense of place in fiction is important. Not just landscape and geography but people’s character as well. It doesn’t even have to be a “real” place. In “The Mouth” I’ve tried to create fully-realised worlds that feel as authentic as the real world (which is also in the novel). Back to the question – growing up we moved around a lot – including foreign countries so I don’t really have deep roots. Maybe I’m now over-compensating.
I’m not sure about stranger – I think real life is often a bit more random than fiction. Fiction is quite structured.
I think reporting can be good training though. Daniel Defoe wrote “Robinson Crusoe” after a long career in journalism. The book was initially presented as a true story. It reads like classic reportage. An older journalist told me early on in my career that when reporting you should always be on the lookout for the “telling detail”. Defoe had no experience of being shipwrecked or marooned but the book is full of thousands of telling details – all invented. It feels authentic.
Also, journalism is similar to fiction in that it’s about capturing people’s attention and then keeping them interested enough to get to the end of your story.
I think it’s good to defy the fates sometimes! Maybe some of the triumph-over-adversity tropes are wishful thinking on my part. I have had a few challenging life events which I have struggled to triumph over. Sometimes we are at the mercy of forces we can’t control. I think it’s good to be defiant. Sometimes when the shit hits the fan it’s the only thing you have left.
On a larger scale I think it’s also incumbent on people to try and make society better and fairer. I also think politically we should confront bad behaviour and hold it to account. Maybe fiction can help with that.
I love that film! Travelling between worlds is such an exciting idea. The guys in that film have a map to help find openings between worlds which the character in my book doesn’t. “Time Bandits” probably is an influence subconsciously. The idea of escaping into different fictional worlds has always appealed to me. I liked the episode of Star Trek where Kirk and his away team are transported to a parallel dimension where the federation is an evil empire and the crew’s counterparts are barbarians. I was quite taken with Michael Moorcock’s “Warlord of the Air” where the hero wakes up in a parallel world still ruled by empires – allowing the author to explore themes of colonialism and imperialism.
There was a time when comics were for kids. Graphic novels like “Watchmen”, “Maus” and “The Dark Night Rises” changed that in the 80s. I generally find it difficult to differentiate between “high” and “low” art. I contend it takes just as much skill to write a successful comic strip as it does to write a “literary” novel.
I’m currently writing an urban fantasy about a police officer who encounters some strange events during a robbery investigation. I’m also trying to write some steampunkish short stories.
Facebook author page: fb.me/henryandersonauthor
Author Page: http://author.to/henryanderson
The Mouth : http://mybook.to/themouth
Just a redheaded woman who is obsessed with books
Writer, humorist, blogger, and metaphysicist.
A Blog About the Book Industry and Relevant Business Issues
Well the blues, give me your write hand.
Where Legends Live in Words. A Digital Art & Poetry Wordpress By Linda J. Wolff
(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” ― George R.R. Martin
The online home of fantasy author Sophia Beaumont