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Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Leaving France Gift...

I will have much to report about being here in France within the next few days as Sunday is my last day. There is a party planned tomorrow, an interesting sports exhibition I will be going to at Montmartre on Saturday and that evening, dancing till dawn at a club here in Versailles my current flatmate/friend works at so suffice to say, I will have to rest on my flight back to Vegas on Sunday!

In the meantime, anyone who wants a free copy of The Proposal: Book One just needs to leave a comment and their email addy in response to this blog post and I will send it to you. It's only for the next three days and it's in mobi format (so you have to have Kindle for PC/Kindle device, et cetera). If you don't have one and would prefer a gifted copy on Smashwords then let me know and leave your email addy. I will send you the coupon code to you. It's my gift to all the people who read this blog and think it is pretty cool. Plus, I am only selling the novella for 99 cents but I am feeling a bit generous at the moment.

I have absolutely adored France, don't get me wrong, but I look forward to getting back to America. In the meantime, I have to do a few changes on my book trailers and will upload the new and improved trailers sometime today. Okay, until I write again, have fun and a wonderful week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Interview with the Amazing Cheryl Bradshaw, author of Black Diamond Death!

Okay, people, here it is. I absolutely adore this young woman (she is the founder of IWU: Indie Writers Unite, a group on Facebook). In case you don't realize, this group is my virtual family. I love these people and we are all so supportive of one another. It was such a joy to interview her and I hope you all enjoy! Cheryl's novel is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Without further ado, here it is...

1)   When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

The first time I thought about writing a book was in college and I had it in my mind that I wanted to write non-fiction. This probably stemmed from my love of history. In time, that blossomed into a desire to write mysteries. Writing has always been an outlet for me, and in many ways I communicate better through the written word than I do verbally. It's true! Writing gives me a certain kind of satisfaction that I can't get anywhere else and is one of the most fulfilling parts of my life. I can't think of anything I would rather do. 

2)  How long does it usually take you to write a book?

My first book took a year, but now, as long as I have a solid idea in mind, it takes six months.

3)  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I wake up sometimes in the middle of the night with ideas and whip out my flashlight and write them down on whatever scrap of paper I can find because I know I won’t be able to remember them in the morning.  

4)  What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I like to travel most of all and to visit places I have never been. 

5)   When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I’ve been writing since I was about 14, but back then it was short stories and poems. My first completed novel was finished in 2010.

6)  What do you think is the most important part of a book? The story itself or the plot?

The plot and the story a lot of times go hand in hand with each other. I love to tell a story that has never been told before in the way that I tell it, and I believe if it’s done well, it goes a long way and will hook readers.

7)   Do you have any favorite authors? Who are they and why do you love their work?

I like Agatha Christie for many reasons.  She traveled a lot and used those experiences in her writing.  It was what first drew me to writing: her settings and the way she could bring them out. It made me feel like I was right there with her in Egypt and on the Orient Express.

I also have a fondness for Robert B. Parker. I never thought any other writer wrote quite like me, and then a couple years ago I bought one of his books and from the first page I was shocked to see how similar my writing style was to his. I always thought I wrote more like a boy, and that confirmed it.  

8)  If you could replicate any blockbuster author's success story, who would it be?

Agatha Christie-I would love to have a series that resonates with readers like Poirot does.

9)  How often do you travel and do you think it is an important part of being a writer?

I travel as much as possible, but it’s never as much as I would like to.  It’s great for me because it offers inspiration and ideas for future novels. There’s something about stepping back from your life and into another time and another place where others lived before you that’s so amazing. I’ve toured castles, been to places like Notre Dame and to Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace and childhood home and those experiences are among the best of my life.

10)  What are you working on now? Can you divulge or is it a secret?

I am working on the second novel in my Sloane Monroe series, Sinnerman, which will be out in October of this year.  In Sunnerman, my protagonist Sloane Monroe is on a quest to catch the man who killed her sister’s a few years earlier.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

True Blood and a picnic...

I have two author interviews coming up in the next couple of days (I think...) as one will definitely be Cheryl Bradshaw and the other is supposed to be Jessica Meigs but she might be busy with some other writer blogs so I might be in for a wait. *Sigh*. In the meantime, I thought I would write yet again about my trials and tribulations here in la belle France.

I was supposed to head back to Vegas today (a week earlier than planned) but it didn't quite work out that way. Instead, I'm heading for a picnic that started a little over forty minutes ago and I still have yet to take a shower! I'm getting around to it but can I say if this was my last weekend in France, what a blow out it would have been? My temporary flatmate is gone for the weekend to Normandy with her parents so I hung out with another French friend and we had a "girly" day with her Couchsurfer, Alyssa, who left for London today. Alyssa is a great girl (no, I'm not gay--and even if I was, nothing wrong with it--but we women observe one another as only a woman can); only nineteen but a fresh-faced Canadian beauty who would vaguely remind you of a hotter, tanner looking, lighter-haired version of Liv Tyler out of Stealing Beauty. Yes, she's making her rounds around Europe and having a blast; I am a tad bit jealous as I was stuck in one European country at nineteen (Sweden) with an au pair job and a boyfriend. I was fired from my au pair job three months into my assignment and lived with my boyfriend until his alcoholism got too bad for me to take and I high-tailed it back to the States.

Now, what does this all have to do with True Blood you're wondering? Well, it doesn't, not really except I am a bit like Stephen King and I have to go through Mississippi to get to New York. Sorry for the excessive chatter. My mind is a bit like that and sometimes, I get carried away.

Okay, so it's (finally) beautiful here in Versailles. We had our first officially nice day in about three weeks yesterday and today is even more gorgeous. Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same. Yay!

So why didn't Manon, Alyssa and I not even leave the house yesterday until shortly after 5:30 pm? Well, for one, the sun sets really late here so it messes with your concept of time and you think there is more of the day left than it really is. 5:30 is as good as say 1:30 in the continental United States as we still had plenty of daylight left. What were we doing besides picking out dresses to wear and doing our hair and talking about "girly" things? Well, I was introduced to True Blood for one. Yeah, that show on HBO, which I had never seen before.

I don't watch a lot of television and I am quite proud to exclaim this to anyone who will listen. I can't put up with the silly American shows which are very popular outside the U.S. too. I certainly can't watch Fox, CNN or MSNBC because I am politicked (is that even a word?) out. No, seriously, I am. I hear about it anyway from my politically-addicted relatives who can't wait to fill me in on the juicy gossip. I don't get much out of reality television and if you were to ask me, the last satisfying reality show I watched was The Real World: Chicago (Sorry to all you American Idol and Dancing With The Stars fans ... I just don't get much out of either show). How many moons ago was that?! They have probably done The Real World: Chicago IV and I wouldn't have a clue. That's how out of touch I am.

Then again, the internet makes it easy to stay in tune with what's going on so that is my addiction. I can live without television just as long as I have my laptop near me. It's all cool in the gang and I am one happy camper. I take my iPad-like Android to the park with me, just so I have something to read in case things get a bit slow or I'm all French-languaged out and feel like a little English. I am addicted to technology; is that so bad? I never leave the house without my 80GB iPod and I must always be doing something. But I am not the only one. My French friends pull out their iPhones and check Facebook even when we are all together at the local bar, O'Paris, or if we are having a picnic. Everyone I know stays in touch with their friends and family via a technological device. Kinda scary and reminds me of the SK novel, The Cell. Yeah, it truly has become that bad!

Okay, but back to True Blood! First of all, I had no idea the show took place in Louisiana. Yeah, I knew it was about vampires (duh?) but I also didn't know there would be shapeshifters and hoodoo. Okay, did I mention I have a special place in my heart for Louisiana? My Creole relatives were from there (yeah, all the poor trash in my family that wasn't from Mississippi) and I just find the place magical and haunted all at the same time. Skeleton Key is one of my favorite films (and I'm not a huge Kate Hudson fan but I love her in this film) and I watched Spike Lee's When The Levees Broke about Hurricane Katrina. It's a place that has a hold on me and I would probably live there if I thought I wouldn't miss Vegas or actually thought I could stomach living in the south (problem is I don't think I can... blame me growing up in a shallow, two-faced place like California and always living on the west coast and/or southwest).

Sorry, peeps, but I am an equal opportunity offender. There is no "greatest" place to live in the States. Every region has their issues so I hope my neighbors in the southern states don't think I am unfairly picking on them. I would be the first to pick apart every bad thing about the once golden state of California and Nevada is no picnic either but it's been home for seven years and I've gotten used to it.

***Rant over, back to True Blood***... As I was saying, it's an awesome show and I came in on the sixth episode in the first season. So, you know what I am going to do when I get back to the States? Yep, you got it, I'm buying all the seasons and I'm going to start from the beginning. Yes, there is a lot of sex and violence but it's about vampires not Disney characters. It could only be a cable show (this is definitely one they won't be able to sanitize for TBS or TNT... then again, they sanitized Sex & The City and even I didn't think that would be possible). Maybe it can be done. Point is, I have a new love on television and anyone who enjoys paranormal or vampire tales should definitely check it out. It isn't for everyone but can't we say that about all shows on television? 

Okay, time to take that shower as I have a picnic here in Versailles to attend and I am still not ready. Until I blog again, here is to everyone enjoying a beautiful (or not so beautiful) but hopefully peaceful Sunday.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Day, Another Party...

The coolest thing about being here in France: the sun doesn't set until late, really late. I mean super late. Like ten at night late. So, you really lose track of the time, or at least I do. I'm used to the sun setting about eight p.m. but I also live in Las Vegas and that isn't nearly as northern as Ile-De-France (the pays where both Paris and Versailles happen to be located, amongst other cities, suburbs and towns).

Last night was a good friend's surprise birthday party and it was so much fun. It didn't start until around 8pm and it ended at 1am in the morning (did I mention I'm the only one on vacation here so everyone else had to rise this morning and go to work?)... I had such a wonderful time. The weather still isn't that great (cloudy and overcast sky, okay temps but certainly not summer weather) but we still had a barbeque in the garden and there was way too much food and alcohol for us 20 or so people. There was so much wine, beer and hard liquor, I don't think we even went through most of it but we still had an amazing time. And did I talk about the food? I could wax poetic all day about French food as it is that good to me. Some people get misty eyed over Mexican, Italian or Chinese; for me, it is without a doubt French food. What can I say? I think it reminds me of southern food with great cheese! There is so much pork and I love pork. And seafood too. I love seafood. And cheese. Don't get me started on the 500+ varieties of cheese here in France. I know when I leave, I will miss the cheese the most because Costco only sells a few French cheeses (Brie being one of my faves) but they don't do Comté or Camembert or the delicious goat cheese that comes from here in France... *Sigh*

Okay, about the party. Well, what can I say? Beautiful French women (yes, men, they are that great looking and sexy as hell) and handsome French men (yes, women, they are all that and very seductive to boot). I suppose I can officially say I have been in France too long when a French friend and I can dissect the French guys at a party and giggle over who would be good in bed versus who would be bad in bed.

Although I will keep this post PG-13, nothing has happened as of yet. I have a few French men who are occupying my time at the moment but I haven't decided yet who will be the lucky fellow. LOL... All I can say is that even if I never decide (as there is a chance I still won't have chosen before I leave here in less than two weeks), French men also make wonderful friends as they can cook and are great conversationalists. No, I can't chat to my French guy friends like my French girl friends but they are lovely no less and easy on the eyes (more often than not).

Later this week, I have another lovely author interview/blurb planned and I look forward to sharing this new author with all of you. Until then, I will allow your imagination to run wild about what happened at the lovely French birthday party. Let's just say we all had a bit too much to drink but no one stripped and no one puked up. It was all very sophisticated and very French. There was excellent coversation to go with the lovely food and drink. Oh yeah, and quite a few dishes that I will have to wash this afternoon (yes, we used paper plates and paper cups but there are still a few dishes that need to be taken care of and the kitchen needs to be tidied up).

Until I write again, here is a great big bisous (kiss) from Versailles to you...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dreaming in French...

Lately, I know I have been here in France a bit too long, especially when all my dreams are starting to conduct themselves in a language I comprehend better than I speak. What is even more odd is that some of the words in my dreams I can't even make out. I know what they mean... somewhere, deep within the recess of my subconscious but they don't make sense to me at the time. I wonder, is this how life is sometimes? Do we just wander through and not understand everything that happens to us even though the meaning is out there, just beyond our reach; like almost sitting on the tips of our tongue?

Yeah, I know this is a pretty weird post coming from me. I have another interview/book blurb planned for another author later this week and I am working my ever loving ass off on book promotion and getting my work out there. The problem is that I feel like that is all I ever do, even while I have been to this beautiful country on vacation. It hasn't been much of a vacation as I work more often than not but I have enjoyed myself tremendously.

We could learn a thing or two from the French, as Americans. Like tact and decent manners. I have yet to be invited to a French friend's house without there being an abundance of food and drink. I am always offered something to eat and drink, regardless where I go. The French love their food (why shouldn't they? It isn't hormone-filled, tasteless goop with too much sodium, salt, sugar and excessive spiciness to hide the lack of flavor that has become standard American fare). I have had some of the best meals of my life since I have been here (and most of them cooked by friends, not in fancy restaurants where the fare has been just okay; adequate but nothing to write home about). Did I mention most of my French male friends can cook better than me and they know how to whip up delicious foods from such simple ingredients?

I could definitely imagine myself living here, becoming immersed in the beauty that is the French language, living in small flat all done up courtesy of their home stores (and a little help from IKEA), raising my children in a country that still respects and values culture and the art of good conversation. That is not to say the French take it easy. Most of my friends are over-the-top stressed (same as in the States), the economy over here is fairing no better than in States (regardless of what GDP growth and all this crap tells us differently). My French friends are just as unsure about their future as your typical American and don't get them started on the Immigration Debate (same shit, different story but at the end of the day, it's all the same). There are some problems in la belle France and I would be the last to spin some sugary-sweet tale of a perfect country that is crime-free and immaculately beautiful (well, it would be if the government could do something about all the awful graffitti and although not crime free, you'd be hard-pressed to be involved in a car-jacking or have someone stick a gun in your face). It's more petty crimes than anything (purse and mobile-phone snatching, pick-pocketing and the like). The weather has been shit for the past weeks with a sunny day squeezed in here and there for good measure.

Regardless of this, I will never regret coming here. I have some of the most genuine people in my life right here in this fine country. Yes, I know, you don't make friends with Frenchies overnight but if they genuinely like you, they like you and you have a friend for life. They don't smile and pretend to be your friend; they are pretty up front about whether or not they like you and I love their honesty. I also love their accents (which they think are annoying). I am just grateful someone is willing to butcher English as opposed to allowing me to butcher French (a much bigger sin I should add as to speak French is an art form itself).

So, if any of you are dying to come to Europe or have some free time on your hands (and a few dollars to spare... well, more than a few as the euro is kicking major dollar ass at the moment) then might I suggest France? No, they don't smell, they shave, they dress the same as the rest of us (for the most part), they tend to be thinner (though there are some chunky French people, you don't see the excessive rolls in America that are just a fact of life in our very obese country), they drink and smoke too much but they are infinitely human and to me, that is the greatest asset of all. I don't want to be around an enlightened culture who take themselves too seriously and French people certainly don't (although they are perfectionists for the most part).

Love from Versailles to all of you (no, it's not just that damned chateau here; it is a thriving, vibrant and walkable suburb filled with over 100,000 living souls). xoxo 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Meet Julia Crane, Author of Coexist: Keegan's Chronicles!

Well, Julia is the shy type so she didn't want the usual interview. She'd rather I just talk about her book and allow everyone the chance to see the amazing book trailer (can I say I am quite jealous)?
Now, as this is usually a blog geared towards adults, I will warn you Ms. Crane's work is YA (Young Adult to all of us uninitiated types). Hey, I didn't know what it meant several months ago so don't make fun on me! I will promise a new blog soon but as I am in France, my life is more on the go then in front of my computer. I do enjoy sharing other authors' work though.

Coexist: Keegan's Chronicles
Product Description:

Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends--she's an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans.

In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen.  Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.

Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan's side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known.

An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan's family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle...without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?

Please view the amazing trailer: http://youtu.be/I9S5rXgjlok

Coexist: Keegan's Chronicles is located at all these fine retailers and will soon be available on paperback as well!

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Coexist-Keegans-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B0055HFZ3A
Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coexist-julia-crane/1031521720
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66384

Hopefully everyone who likes YA novels will check it out. I wish Julia nothing but all the luck in the world. You deserve it! ;-)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Interview with the talented Joshua Mays!

Hey people, sorry this is so late but I was locked out of my account again. No worries this time as I am going to get some temporary codes for the time being just in case this happens again. It's getting to be a bit wearisome to tell you the truth! Oh yeah, last night, I had my first dream in French so I am definitely getting used to being over here. Too bad I have less than three weeks left! LOL... Okay, without further ado, here is my interview with the very talented Joshua Mays, writer of the first of a three part series by the name of Terra Incognita. It sounds like a real page turner and it has been my pleasure to interview such a wonderful and amazing author! Enjoy... ;-)

1)         If you were an animal what kind of animal would you be?
If I was an animal, I'd be a fox. I like to think of myself as swift and cunning and willing to do anything to save myself when cornered. These aren't always good qualities, but they have their uses in my life. Some might think that by choosing the fox I'm being over generous, but there are other animals I'd much rather be, like the owl, wise and contained.

2)         What is your favorite color?
I'd have to pick green because it’s the color of my eyes. Well, my eyes are actually hazel, but that’s close enough to green for me. When I was in high school, I had a severe issue with envy and I always related the color green with that. It became something of an ongoing joke every time I looked in the mirror.

3)         What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
You’d actually find a good bit. We just went grocery shopping and have plenty to eat. We bought all the staples, but we still had pizza for dinner. Mmm Pizza hut pan pizza; supreme, sans mushrooms, add tomatoes; divine.

4)         If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. With whom would it be?
I really don’t know how to answer this. There are a ton of people throughout history that I would love to meet, but I don’t think I’d be down for trading places with them. Even with my favorite authors, I have trouble answering this. If I had to choose, it would be Aleister Crowley. He had a pretty amazing life filled with adventure and learning. Plus, I really enjoy the time period he was from.

5)         What was the last movie you went to see?
X-men: New Class. This movie, despite its flaws was very good. I have always been a huge X-men fan, so this movie really hit close to home for me. There are scenes in it that are pretty bad, but the ambience and power of the characters is enough to keep you going till the very end.

6)         If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?
This is an easy one. I’d be Conan from the stories of Robert E Howard. Imagine being the perfect ideal of the machismo male. Adventure and discovery at your fingertips, women falling at your heels, and being the man you are, you always manage to overcome any obstacle in your way. Like I said, easy.

8)         If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Rebel rouser: a true story of debauchery, debasement, detachment, and other ideals of dysfunction.

9)         If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?
My girlfriend says mashed potatoes, she will not getting sex tonight!
10)       If you were a car, what kind would you be?
I’d be the bat mobile because being lactose intolerant; I usually have fire coming out of my backside!

11)        What kind of people do you dislike?
I’m a bit of a misanthrope so this list could go on and on, but right now I have it narrowed down. I currently hate bicyclists who ride on the roads, modern artists, and parasites who manipulate the government to pay for their lives. I think its best for everyone’s sake if I don’t go into details on why.
12)       How many close friends do you have?
I have about 6 or se7en close friends that I try and keep good standings with. I tend to be intense and overbearing which makes it hard for me not to seem like a complete asshole. “I don’t know it’s just the way that I am”

My links

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Interview with the talented Athanasios, author of Mad Gods!

Of course, you can just call him Tom. He is very talented and it was a pleasure to interview him. Without further ado, here it is!
1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I've been creative all my life and have always striven for outlets to express it. I've tried strict Fine Arts, including drawing, painting and sculpture. I've tried graphic arts, illustration and animation, and I've had a measure of success in all of them.
The one form of expression I feel the most comfortable and immersed in is writing. So to be specific, about 20 years ago, when I saw that the most creative and best feeling I've had was when I finished writing something. I didn't have the impatience I have when drawing or creating something visual. It was simply giving in to the process and moving with it.

2) How long did it take you to write Mad Gods?

It took about ten years. It's gone through many incarnations. First the title Mad Gods is an appropriation of the Joe Cocker album Mad Dogs & Englishmen. Never had it, never heard it, but I saw it in an old record store & thought it was a cool title. It stayed with me till I wanted a title for an earlier comic book version that I called Mad Gods & Buried Children. It was about a giant guy, a natural hulk who was also scarred badly in his youth. Due to his abnormal size he was thought of as a monster, a damned creature that had to be a creation of the devil. So the Antichrist hadn't come into my mind until way later in the Mad Gods & Buried Children timeline. So this huge hulking guy, Bear, comes along in my imagination with this terrible childhood. That's the buried children part. So I follow the ideas in my head till since he was considered a monster & was damned, creation of the devil, yadda, yadda, yadda, that's when I thought, why isn't he the Antichrist? I also didn't want him to be huge but wanted him to be beneath notice, an everyman, all the more insidious because he could be anybody, look like anybody. Medium height, medium build, brown hair, brown eyes, no discernible racial characteristics, nothing impressive or frightening until you find out he's the Antichrist.

3) What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I'm a morning person. Well not bright and cheery, but I can get TONS done if you just leave me alone to do it, in the morning.
That's when my mind is closest to subconscious and I have the shortest trip to get to what I'll need to write. I have a day job where I can do a lot of the preliminaries and promotional parts of indie authorship. Yet when it comes down to doing the grunt work of pulling the tale out of my head I need quiet. I can do my job, graphics and video editing listening to music, or watching some television, or documentaries on my computer and have no problems with concentration. Writing, however, is totally distracting. I can't do anything else. I can't listen to music, or watch anything on computer. So it's difficult to find a place to concentrate on it. It's getting better, though because I can work on the train on my way to and back from work.

4) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

There are different fortes I've noticed I exhibit with different modes of writing. Desktop or iPad are good for pure revision and or outlining the plot, however, I've found I'm at my most creative when I"m writing in longhand. That's right you read correctly, I write it out first and then transpose it to computer and revise, revise, revise.

5) Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Religion in general. Documentaries specifically. I've always loved historical fiction, the work of Mary Renault in particular so my work has evolved into that vein.
An amalgam of occult, paranormal, historical fiction where history is fitting because the themes explored are timeless. My most consistent go-to research tool has been the web and more specifically Google. I don't rely on Wikipedia but it is a starting point. I like to take different information about what I'm writing from many sources so that I don't get bogged down with one opinion. I use alternate histories, i.e. crackpots from all over the web explaining world governments, global elite and the like so I can cherry pick the most plausible and mould them into my own unique vision.

6) What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I watch a lot of television, documentaries and movies. Much of what I do in my off time also fuels my writing, yes, I know quite nepotistic, is that a new word?
I practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day, which helps me focus easier. I'm also a Howard Stern fan in the truest definition of the word. I listen to him every day and love every minute of his show. I haven't missed it since I first heard him when he was broadcast in Montreal in 1998.

7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I learned that I liked it much more than any other creative process, I do. Although I started it much later than drawing, painting or graphics it is my favourite of all.

8) Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

The only readers I've heard are from the many slush pile readers at the literary agents I sent Mad Gods to; i.e. all bad, total disinterest sometimes followed by tepid interest, then being strung along and got another rejection. Then enthusiasm followed by bitter disappointment.

9) What do you think makes a good story?

Passion or at least definite enthusiasm of the writer for the subject. Taking everything else away, if the writer doesn't make you care about what's going on and the character it's happening to it's not worth reading.

10) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Too many things to list here. The trite cowboy, police man, soldier, superhero were followed by specific characters. Batman, Conan, Elric of Melniboné, Corum Jhaelen Irsei. Now in my forties I've settled pretty contentedly into a graphic artist on the cusp of international literary renown, i.e. I've sold a few copies in amazonkindle US, UK but not DE yet.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Welcome to France and getting locked out of Gmail...

I'm so sorry as this absence is unacceptable. However, I have a very good reason. Since Thursday, I have not been able to access this Gmail account and thus, could not update my blog. I have a special treat though as I must post my interview with the absolutely lovely and charming Tom, the man behind the wonderful novel, Mad Gods (yes, I actually own a copy). For all of those interested, I will post an Amazon Kindle link to the book at the end of this post.

First things first: how do you get locked out of your Gmail account? Any of you heard of the 2-step verification system? I loaned out my email (and yes password) to my best friend so she had access to my blog and website which are both through this certain email address. I then set up the 2-step verification system so she would access to my blog and my website without being able to read my emails. It works like this: you log on with your username and password, a code is sent to your cell by text or voice (your choice). It works like a dream in the States. Small problem: I'm not in the States and my Verizon phone is unusable here in France (I have a cheapo phone I bought specifically for my vacation time in France and it even came with a French telephone number from a company by the name of Call In Europe). It's very helpful by the way.

So, that has been my odyssey: well, that and the first few days of being here in France which were beautiful and amazing. Then I went out with a French friend last night and escaped a torrential downpour here in Versailles by fleeing to Paris. Lovely that was . . . for about two hours and the weather caught up with us. It started to rain quite steadily but Jordane and I were still able to enjoy our very "French" meal (pizza y'all! LOL) and I had a nice glass of white wine while Jordane stuck to a soft drink as he had to drive me back to Versailles.

On our way back to the car (in a carpark about 10 blocks away from where we had our meal), the steady rain became a torrential downpour, a regular Noah's ark. It was horrible! My clothes were drenched and I was cold (but the weather was still surprisingly warm and humid). I was dropped off at 2am in the morning back at my girlfriend's flat and I have never felt so uncomfortable. Wet clothes, wet hair, wet skin. I changed and immediately went to bed.

I awoke to beautiful, if somewhat mixed weather. It's sunny but there are clouds in the sky. Nothing much happened. I finished a James Patterson novel (Worst Case, which actually was pretty good; better than The Postcard Killers, which I read yesterday). And guess what, I finally get the chance to speak to my sister, get into my account (I had the code sent to her phone and she was able to tell me as we chatted on Skype), and just as I sit down to write this message, another torrential downpour has started here in Versailles! Unbelievable! Rain, for two days! I should have known the day would end badly when I found out Nadal beat Federer in the French Open finals . . . *sob*. My mom is a huge Nadal fan but I am much more partial to the sexy and Swiss Federer.

Okay, ladies and gents, I shall end my post here but more to come tomorrow. My exquisite interview with the novelist of Mad Gods! Until then, I bid you all adieu! ;-)