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Driving in Tennessee: Sleeping is the New Texting?

So I get it.  Tennessee has passed a law that as of July 1st, 2019 no one is allowed to have any cellular device in their hand while drivi...

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Twelve Hours on the Block Release Date!

 

Pre-Order Here!!

My novella is being released by Three Ravens Publishing! Super excited to be picked up by their publishing house!


This short novella merges the Aztec creation myth with a prison escape. It was a lot of fun to write as it fed both the nerd (who doesn't love the Aztecs! I mean... human sacrifice, shapeshifters, and cruelty) and the part of me that loves a good adventure (Prison Break was one of my favorite TV shows).


It is available for pre-order now through the launch date of October 1st. Support a local artist for $1 by buying it before it releases!! Then check out the other offerings at Three Ravens.

Three Ravens Publishing





Saturday, September 12, 2020

NextCon table September 19th


Come to my table next week and see my birthday present! Very thankful for my father-in-law who has encouraged me as a writer. For my birthday this week he blessed me with a working Underwood (his last name) typewriter!

 NextCon


I will have a table next week at our local conference promoting local authors. I am super excited to be meeting readers. I will have Jam Sessions for sale as well as a few copies of my short stories in various volumes. 

I started this writing journey almost two years ago. In that time I have met some great people locally. A local web designer who built the web page for Camp Vesper Point (I was a previous director) has given me some advice and encouraged me. He will be there selling his series and is a very accomplished author.


Keith Robinson's webpage


I also was blessed to meet a group of writers in the local area. I was with my son at Chattacon. He was looking at cosplay weapons for a future mandalorian costume. I started to chat with the "Crazy Buffet" group. They began meeting at Ryans before it shut down. Then they met at the japanese "Crazy Buffet." It also closed, but not before they published a short story anthology. When I joined they were meeting at Rib N Loin and I participated in "Crazy Buffet II: The BBQ Edition."


I will have some copies at NextCon. It will include my first published story. It is historical fiction, drawn from my time in Rwanda in the 1990's. I think it is a good piece with a hopeful ending even in the midst of a very difficult historical background.

My friend, Kelle, will be there too and you definitely want to check out her table! She may even have her mannequin!



At NextCon you will also see several of my friends who are part of northwest Georgia's Corner Scribblers. I am published in one of their flash fiction releases and will be in two upcoming releases: Napkin Notes and Bugged Out Babblings (see my other blog post)





Their partner company, Three Ravens Publishing has also picked up my novella: Twelve hours on the Block.  (This is a draft cover and may not be the final)




Finally, I go with the blessing of my family. Since I went home and told them I wanted to start this journey, they have been nothing but supportive. My wife gave me a trip to the Atlanta Writer's Conference this November so I can pitch three of my current unpublished works: a western dystopian (The Ranger Chronicles) , a middle grade fantasy (Freckles: The Dark Wizard), and a young adult twist on King Arthur (Lynchpin Universe: Book 1: The Were Bear."

They are my rock, my encouragers, my cheer team, and my joy. And, if I can say it, my youngest daughter makes one really great homemade birthday cake with my initials!







So, if you have read this far, please come visit Next Chapter Con. It is $7 at the door of the Colonade in Ringgold, GA. There will be a lot of local authors of all genres. It is a great time to encourage your family members to read and support local artists. There will be social distancing and all the appropriate Covid safety measure. If I am not at my table, then I am at one of the two panels they have asked me to participate in. Come see me at the panel or swing back a few minutes later and say hello. Hope to see you there! 


 






Wednesday, September 9, 2020

PROMO VIDEO HERE!

ON SALE STARTING SEPTEMBER 15th!



PROMO VIDEO HERE!


A quirky collection of flash fiction based in the real of Post Apocalyptic fiction with forward by Daniel Humphreys. From the Pollenocalypse to Zombies, you're sure to feel right at home with the end of the world.

Link to Buy on Amazon

And yes, I have a story inside! Support our local writers and have fun reading flash fiction (1000 words or less).


Want longer stories? Three Ravens Publishing is also releasing an anthology this week: Napkin Notes.

I am particularly proud of my story in Napkin Notes. Think it may be the best thing I've published so far, so please buy a copy and check it out! Every story has to start with the scribble on a napkin!







 

Monday, September 7, 2020

REVIEWS on JAM SESSIONS!! Lisa Hasselton And by Literary Titan

 



I was recently interviewed by noted Book Blogger, Lisa Haselton! Read the interview here:

INTERVIEW: JAM SESSIONS

I'm also excited to release my latest review by the well respected LITERARY TITAN.

The review can be found here: 

LITERARY TITAN REVIEW

And here is the text version of the review:

Jam Sessions follows a middle school boy named Phillip who has to forge a new path for himself through a new school that he’s transferred to in the middle of the school year. Phillip struggles with bullies, but finds a creative outlet in Mr. Filter’s class where he starts the day with a writing prompt that sends Phillips imagination soaring. Now, if only he could apply that creativity and passion in his real life.

Jerry Harwood has created a cast of characters that are both easy to dislike and easy to empathize with. Chuck and his friends are easily unlikable and I loved Ashley, Daniel and Jaylan. I really liked all the teachers too, especially the language arts and P.E. teachers. I did feel like Phillips mom should have played a bigger part in the story, but it didn’t hurt the story in any way. From the first time we meet Chuck I thought that he was just a pain in the butt kid who likes to be a bully and embarrass people. Chuck and his gang of hooligans didn’t really evolve much but that honestly worked for the story because they continue to be the fundamental antagonists.

Jerry Harwood does a great job detailing what a panic/anxiety attack feels like, I could almost feel and see Phillip having his attacks. It was great that he found a way to cope with his attacks. Even at the beginning when the author is describing Phillip and his mom running away from home, everything is perfectly detailed. When Phillip is standing in the back of the room on the first day of school, you could feel him praying that he is invisible and then realizing that he really had been during that class because not one person had cared about him being there or noticed his presence. It was sort of sad.

The story flowed easily and was well written. I enjoyed the small cartoon characters at the beginning of each chapter and I liked how short the chapters were. I read the book in one sitting, because it was an enjoyable read and I loved that Phillip was able to turn things around which gave the book a feel good ending.

Pages: 214 | ASIN: B0868XNSH9


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Why 2020 is pissed

 Free New Year Gifs - New Year Animations - Clipart - 2021

It seems like ages ago since we saw the start of quarantine.  You probably don't recall the brush fires in Australia, the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, Prince Harry stepping down from his royal duties, an impeachment process, Kobe Bryant's death, the U.K withdrawing from the E.U., a technological disaster at the Iowa Caucus, the Boyscouts filling for bankruptcy, or Tiger King.

Tiger King: Who's Really in the Cage? | LICC

Okay, you probably remember Tiger King. But most everything took second fiddle to the arrival of Covid-19. A litany of tragedies followed: the Summer Olympics were cancelled, sports were cancelled, and suspiciously... the Pentagon released UFO footage.

If you don't know about that one, check it out here: UFO'S

In fact, there has been so much happening in 2020 it might be you have never asked the question, "Why?"


Well, Mr. Danderfill (or something like that) taught me in high school physics three things:

-1. Waffle House eggs get cold quicker than Waffle House coffee.

-2. It is often unwise to go on a bender during spring break. You might come back married to a lady who doesn't speak your language.

-3. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

If You Can Manage a Waffle House, You Can Manage Anything - WSJ

This blog is less about marrying strange women in foreign bars or Waffles and more about the fact that something must have really pissed the year 2020 off.  But what?


If you have ever had kids, you know that when they are in the middle of a tantrum you sometimes forget what the issue even is.  All you want to do is get out of Walmart with your sanity. 

KIDS TEMPER TANTRUMS In Stores! (Walmart Freakout, Smart Dad, Restaurant  Meltdown) - YouTube

Tantrums

But then, later on that night as you watch your angels sleeping peacefully, you are reminded what the issue was that ignited the temper tantrum. I had such an aha moment today.

In December of 2019, the US government decided with very little notice that the smoking age would be raised from 18 to 21.  There would be no grandfather clause, no gradation, no gradual introduction. January 1st, 2020 anyone under the age of 21, including perhaps little baby 2020, couldn't smoke.


Remember your childhood training? Father time leaves each year in exchange for an incoming "new year."


Baby New Year


So maybe, just maybe, little baby 2020 is just pissed he isn't 21? Now before you dismiss me with stupid comments like, "2020 isn't a real person," just remember... in our modern political climate people dress up like animals and have their owners take them to parks. 

David G. Brown Cartoon: January 2, 2020 - Los Angeles Sentinel | Los  Angeles Sentinel | Black News


So, it is entirely possible that 2020 is a real person, that he is perpetually 20 years old, and he is saying, "All I wanted to do was cruise through my year smoking a stogie. And since you won't let me.... WAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!"


That, or 2020 is the result of those UFO's? I hear they have lasers that make you fall in love with women in foreign bars but also heat up your eggs.


SouthSide Podcast Interview

Check out the interview here!


My first overseas interview!


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Interview: Vickie McEntire





Today, we have an opportunity to talk to Vickie McEntire. 

Vickie has written the book, 

Little Bird 
& Myrtle Turtle. 

First, let me thank you for joining me. 

I appreciate you giving me your links and I want to share those with our readers.






Author Name: Vickie McEntire
Facebook: @booksbyvickie
Twitter: vickie_mcentire
Instagram: booksbyvickie
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/booksbyvickie
Title of Book: Little Bird & Myrtle Turtle
Genre of Book: Children’s


That’s great. Tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing.

I believe in the power of the written and spoken word and live for those little moments that can change lives. 
I live in Northwest Georgia with my husband and cat. In 2014, I joined a local writing group, Calhoun Area Writers (CAW), and attended many conferences and learned so much through the connections of that group.

I write about things that are important to me—literacy, community, and family. 

I would credit much of my success to my love of reading and the support of CAW. Becoming a member of several local critique groups, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Georgia Writers Association (GWA), Rome Area Writers (RAW), and Chattanooga Writers’ Guild CWG) played a major role in my achievements. They all provided encouragement and opportunities to write.

My three children grew up and moved out, which inspired me to write my first children’s book, Baby Birds, in October 2016, about the life cycle of birds. After Cheryl Snow showed CAW members how easy it was to write and submit a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul, my story, “The Book Fair,” was accepted for Inspiration for Teachers in April 2017.


A class taught by John Mannone at a CWG conference, inspired me to publish my book of poems, Empty Nest, in May 2017. A four-year-old in foster care inspired me to publish a second children’s book in October 2017, Little Bird and Myrtle Turtle. It was chosen as a finalist in the 2018 American Book Fest International Book Awards and won the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award. Are you noticing a theme? I love birds!

I have had the pleasure of sitting under John Mannone as well.  He is very inspiring. What happened next?

       I started getting invitations to speak—an author event at Calhoun-Gordon County Library in April 2018 and at the Northwest Georgia Writers Conference in May 2018. I presented 5 Things Every Children’s Book Writer Needs to Know at the Red Clay Writers Conference at Kennesaw State University Center in November 2018 and participated with the SCBWI booth at the 2018 AJC Decatur Book Festival. My favorite opportunities were talking to elementary students in schools, libraries, and museums about the writing process and the importance of reading. They really respect authors! Except for one little guy in second grade who questioned my credibility, because my real face didn’t match the head shot on the back of the book. Gotta love kids.

            My story about dementia, “Love the One You’re With,” won third place in the literary non-fiction category and was published in the CWG 2019 Anthology. In July 2020 my engagement story, “A Night of Surprises in Chattanooga,” won the Chattanooga theme category of the CWG Spring Writing Contest. I have stories in two different Chicken Soup books this summer: The Magic of Cats out July 2020, and Listen to Your Dreams out August 2020. I’m having trouble setting up a book signing. May have to Zoom it!

I’ve written sixteen stories for Calhoun Magazine since 2016, with six of those issues boasting my photography on the cover. When the Sep/Oct 2020 issue is distributed, my name will be listed as editor.


Do you write full-time or around another job?

I’ve been writing full-time for about a year. Prior to that, I wrote around full-time jobs.

How do you schedule your time to write?

It’s much easier now, although focus has been an issue this year. Most of the writing that was published this year was written during better times.

It has been a crazy year for sure. I know many writers have struggled in 2020. Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?

In brilliant moments of simplicity. Anything I witness that pulls at my heart, is a possible launching point for a story. I journal most days. My computer is organized into files for different kinds of writing, so I can find something easily when an opportunity to share is presented. I love to research, but the internet is a deep hole that can waste a lot of time.
 
What are your hobbies and do they ever play into your writing?

Reading, and yes. I was once so inspired while reading a book, that I started writing in the blank pages in the back of the book. Photography is the basis for a second novel that I started before finishing the first one.

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?

Do it. If you write words onto paper or type them on a keyboard, you can claim the title of writer. If you want to claim the title of published author, it involves a few more steps. There are plenty of free digital sites to learn from. Join a writer’s group.

 Learn how to edit someone else’s writing. Read. I will quote Stephen King about reading. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

Please tell us about your current release.

My story, “A Wanderer in My Dreams,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Listen to Your Dreams was based on a dream.

Can you provide us with a small excerpt?

While my husband parked the car and unlocked the front door, I approached the furry, coiled animal slowly. She had chosen our welcome mat for her bed, and had her back against the front door. The dog lifted its head and looked at me. She was a beautiful blonde husky. Her tail wagged. I reached out to pet her, and she tried to stand. My husband opened the door from inside, and the dog quietly limped down the brick steps and off into the darkness.
“Did she have a collar?” he asked.
“I didn’t see one,” I said. “She’s hurt, though. Should we go look for her?”
“Not at this hour of the night,” he said. “Maybe she’s going home.” I wanted to believe that, because I couldn’t stand the thought of that sweet dog suffering in pain from an injury.
“I wonder who she belongs to,” my husband said, still holding the open door with one hand.
“I don’t know,” I said, looking out into the darkness, “but I’ve seen her before.”
“Where?”
“In my dream.” I looked at him with tears beginning to pool and shivered in the cool night air. “It’s Lily.”

What exciting story are you working on next?

I’ve been working on a novel since 2014. Working title is Tucker Hollow Road. Setting, a small North Georgia town.

Who are your favorite authors?

Adult: Kahlil Gibran, Malcolm Gladwell, Helen Keller, Simon Sinek, Cassie Selleck, Sean Dietrich,
Children’s: Barbara Cooney, Matt de la Pena, Kate DiCamillo, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Leo Lionni, Jon Muth
Writing Craft: Rayne Hall, K. M. Weiland, Blake Snyder, Anne Lamott, Stephen King

Any plans for the upcoming holiday?

I was a single mom for most of my life, so any day when I’m with the ones I love is a day of celebration.


What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Every membership and registration fee to get me closer to the giants paving the way.

That is great advice. I just paid for my first conference, the Atlanta Writer's Conference. I'm excited to go be near "the giants."


What is your writer’s kryptonite?

Not writing down what I need to accomplish each day. Without a list, I could easily spend a day scrolling or cleaning the house, but more likely scrolling.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?

Support other writers in whatever way you can. Buy a book, leave a review, share a post, or just be kind when delivering a critique.

One more time, where can someone go to purchase your book?

All of my books can be purchased HERE! Thank you!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Interview with William Wilfong



 
Today, we have an opportunity to talk to William Wilfong.  William has written the book, Movement.  

First, let me thank you for joining me.  I appreciate you giving me your links and I want to share those with our readers.

Author name: WilliamWilfong
On the Web: Wwilfong.com 
Facebook: Facebook.com/wwilfongauthor
Title of book we’re promoting: Movement
Genre of book: Thriller/General Fiction

That is great.  Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?


I grew up in Richmond, VA before moving to Chattanooga in ’97. I’d always had a love for reading and writing short stories, but some of my short stories seemed to grow and grow to the point that I thought there might be something interesting in them. Crazy dreams, spicy food, and my inability to find something good to read all led to the conclusion of Movement and a half dozen other projects in various stages of completion.

Do you write full-time or around another job? How do you schedule your time to write?

Sadly, writing is a part time gig for me at this point, but I can dream. I try to set aside the late evenings for writing as I do my best work when the house is quiet and everyone is settled in. Sometimes I will go months without touching a draft before leaping headfirst into it and spending days in front of the computer. 

Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?

Every idea I’ve had has been the result of some crazy dream that I’ve been lucky enough to remember. I’ll wake up and scratch the idea down on a piece of paper, and then spend some time alone on the back porch of an evening fleshing it out to see if there’s a story somewhere in the sentences.

That's great! I can never remember my dreams, but I have used some of my wife's remembrances before.  What are your hobbies and do they ever play into your writing?

I’m big on spending time in the outdoors whether it be fishing, camping, or hiking. Peaceful surroundings definitely play a role in helping my mind get freed from the stress of life and help lubricate the gears of creativity.

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?

Read Stephen King’s “On Writing.” There are some things in this book that I wish I had known much earlier in the journey. There’s an excellent section in it about not plotting your book from end to end, and letting it flow organically. In doing so you create a book that is predictable to the reader, and if the reader knows how the book will end from the start, then it’s not a good book.

Nice article on 12 takeaways from "On Writing"
I've read On Writing twice.  It and a great course I listened to (How to Write Best-Selling Fiction by James Scott Bell) have been the most influential to me.  King's book, in particular, is great.  Shifting gears, please tell us about your current release.

I released Movement in December of 2019 just after the birth of my first son. It’s actually the fourth book I’ve started, but the first I’ve finished. It’s on the small side at around 80,000 words, but it’s had good reception with friends and family. 

I haven’t spent nearly as much time promoting it as I had planned, so I really need to get on that.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

By far it was buying my own ISBN number. Don’t give the rights to your hard work away.  


Just for our readers, let me provide the description on the back flap:

Was it a chance meeting or was it meant to be? For Jacob Thornton things had never come easy, but meeting Sarah made for a love that transcended time and space. She saw something in him, and ability, that he didn't even know existed.
This is more than a love story though. This is a story of deceit and cover-ups; a story where finding out the truth of your past is just the prelude to outrunning it long enough to have a future.


What exciting story are you working on next?

I’m not sure. I have few and I can’t decide which direction I want to go in next. Having a kid put a slight hiatus on writing, but at seven months Ben is sleeping through the night and allowing some free time in the evenings. 

The two that show the most promise are Expat with a word count of around 150,000 and Hole In The Dirt (bad working title) with 40,000 words. Despite the title, I think the second will be the next to finish. Think along the lines of something ancient from below coming to the surface with a millennia of hunger, sharp claws, and the intelligence of pack hunters. It follows how several people from varied backgrounds fight to survive, fail to survive, and work to find a way to stop these creatures.  

That sounds like a fun read! I know your free time is limited with a newborn, but who are your favorite authors to read?
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Joe Abercrombie are my all-time favorites. 


What is your writer’s kryptonite? 

I would have to say the television. Good documentaries and murder mysteries turn me into a couch potato and keep me from my work.

I think we all are susceptible to the draw of television.  It reminds me of a quote from King.


Thanks for joining me.  One more time, let our readers know where they can purchase your book?


Monday, July 20, 2020

Argh! Move over Harvard! MIT is teaching real life skills.


What child ever went to their parents when they were seven and said, "Father, I hope someday to be an accountant for people in the sock industry," or "Mother, my dream is to be a engineer designing freeway bridges in large, metropolitan cities with mass transit."

Okay... maybe a few kids say that.  But most have no interest.  Rather, they want to be a superhero, a fireman, a professional athlete, a musician, an actor, or perhaps a pirate.

Yes, a pirate.  Whether it is the story of the princess bride, Robin Hood, Pirates of the Caribbean, or some other version, young people have always had a fascination with pirating.

Indeed, when I took my youngest son to DisneyWorld for the first time, becoming a pirate was his favorite activity.  The opening picture is evidence that (1) Disney does a great job turning children into pirates, (2) Disney pirated all my money, and (3) there is such a thing as a skeleton pirate.

Now all of this is interesting, until you hit your senior year in high school, which my son is entering.  As you look at colleges, there is great excitement for those still chasing their dreams.  There are science and STEM jobs where you may hopefully get to be part of an experiment and become a super mutant.  There are scholarships for actors, musicians, and even for accountants.  There are trade schools as well for firemen.  But where do you go to be a pirate?

Harvard? Nada. Yale? Nope. Vanderbilt? No.  MIT?  You bet!!

That is right,




If you are at MIT and need to fulfill your physical education requirements you can take their pirate program.  Now, for those youngsters who love to do AP work in high school, MIT makes clear that "Non-MIT courses and life experience are not counted towards completing the certificate."

And, of course, they ay, "The MIT Pirate Certificate is for entertainment purposes only and does not give the recipient license to engage in piracy or any pirate activities."

Wink, wink...

But still, a real pirate certification from an American University!  If I was their marketing director, I would put this on the front page of every brochure.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Checkout My Podcast Interview!




Spilling Ink 
Podcast Interview
Saturday, July 11th

Check Out Other Spilling Ink Podcasts Here








My friend, Katie Salidas, has invited me to be a guest 
on the acclaimed podcast, Spilling Ink.  

Check out her awesome series here!
https://www.katiesalidas.com












What I gave to Katie





Spilling Ink is a podcast that goes behind the book with authors Katie Salidas, Jason LaVelle, and David Jones.  They give an inside look at all aspects of the publishing industry. They look for authors working their way to the top of the slush piles, and see what it takes to bring a story from idea to print. (adapted from their website: Spilled Ink)


What Katie helped me create!!
I am very blessed to have met Katie, who helped me on the cover design and formatting of Jam Sessions.





Katie also helped me connect with someone on ACX, where I produced my audible version.  She was a great help navigating the indie publishing waters.  I am excited that I have been invited to interview on the podcast.  It will air live Saturday evening and can be found in archive at their site:



https://spillinginkshow.podbean.com







Saturday, July 4, 2020

Quarantine World: Trapped in the Coronaverse










Author name:  
Michael H. Hanson

Website: 

Genre of book: 
Poetry Chapbook

















Today, we have an opportunity to talk to Michael H. Hanson.  Michael has written the poetry chapbook, “QUARANTINE WORLD: Trapped In The Coronaverse.”  

 Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?

I am a Member of both the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) and the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Though an experienced short story writer in the fields of fantasy, science fiction, and horror with over one hundred published tales to my credit (most notably in Janet Morris’s Heroes-in-Hell series and The Sha’Daa Series), I am also a active Poet. The son of a U.S. Army Sergeant and a Nurse, I’ve penned four published anthologies verse, ‘AUTUMN BLUSH’ and ‘JUBILANT WHISPERS’ (Racket River Press) and ‘DARK PARCHMENTS’ and ‘WHEN THE NIGHT OWL SCREAMS’ (MoonDream Press). I am currently compiling an illustrated collection of poems for children titled THE GREAT SOAP REBELLION. I recently announced the publication of my new full collection of science-fiction and fantasy poetry titled “ANDROID GIRL and Other Sentient Speculations” (Three Ravens Publishing, 2020). In recent years, my poems have regularly appeared in the HWA Poetry Showcase and the Rhysling Anthology, as well as in various other magazines, webzines, anthologies, and journals.

My earliest writing endeavors, for both poetry and short stories, began in High School. The local newspaper published three of my rhyming poems over the course of two years, and I penned my first short stories during creative writing classes my junior and senior years.

Though my poetry writing took a 20-year hiatus after that, I embraced short story writing and scriptwriting during my college years, but after graduation from Syracuse University spent my free time working exclusively on writing spec screenplays and teleplays.

Middle-Age, Divorce, the death of my Mother, and a two-week tour of Ireland to spread my mother’s ashes marked the end of my 12-year attempt to break into the film biz as a scriptwriter, and I found myself embracing writing poetry and short stories exclusively during every spare moment I had/have in my life in the intervening years.

In my late 50’s, I have come to terms with my demons and find that poetry and short stories are a genuine catharsis for all my existential challenges and dreads.

Do you write full-time or around another job? How do you schedule your time to write? 

I was recently laid off from my job of 24 years (a technical editor of engineering journals) and am currently looking for full-time work. I spent all that time writing on evenings and on weekends, and occasionally lunch hours. You take the time you are given as a writer and make the best of it. That is all there is to it.

Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?

Everywhere and anywhere. I am both a short story writer and a poet, and I find a muse in the news, in movies, other poems and short stories and books, TV shows of all kinds, nature itself, conversations I overhear out in public, the taste of food, the smell of a pine tree… inspiration is all around us, in everything we do or are exposed to. We just have to listen to it… Also, Google and Wikipedia are great ways to begin conducting any and all research. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?

Start typing! Stop putting it off. Write! Creativity is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Cultivate patience and discipline (it’s going to take awhile to get good, and setting aside time every day to write, lunch hours, before you go to bed, etc. is all part of the game).

Please tell us about your current release.

“QUARANTINE WORLD: Trapped In The Coronaverse” is a poetry chapbook, a small collection of poems about my perceptions and experience witnessing and dealing with the Corona Virus and Covid-19 throughout the first half of 2020. It is available on Kindle, will soon be available as a pocketbook-sized paperback on Amazon, and is also going to be released as an Audiobook on Audible in the near future!

Can you provide us with a small exert? 

Endure
Is anybody out there real,
I ask myself most every day
and if you are can you now feel
that we’re all in a shadow play.
Does anybody else exist,
I ponder staring at my hands
or did you all up and enlist
to ride spaceships to Mars’ red lands.
Will anybody know if I
just up and vanish from the Earth 
knowing that all things surely die
as counterweights to every birth.
Or did the universe espouse  
bringing expansion to a halt
and then contract down to my house
where I defy god’s harsh assault.
Please tell me how one can endure
defeat and solitude’s allure.

What exciting story are you working on next?

I’m currently editing and putting the final polish on two shared-world anthologies I created, and which contain short stories by a lot of talented authors. They are SHA’DAA: ZOMBIE PARK (which is part of The Sha’Daa Series and will be published in late 2020 by MoonDream Press) and NOT TO YIELD (which is a science-fiction military space opera that I plan to Pitch to a number of Big Publishers when it is finalized later this year).

Who are your favorite authors?

Oh the full list is endless, for both my favorite Poets and favorite Authors, so this is just a sample short-list:

Roger Zelazny, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, Pablo Neruda, Stephen King, Lord Byron, e.e. cummings, Robert Frost, Connie Willis, F. Paul Wilson, William Butler Yeats, Ursula K. Le Guin, Dr. Seuss, Nancy Kress, Mike Resnick, Sylvia Plath, Ray Bradbury, Walt Whitman, C.J. Henderson, Langston Hughes, Isaac Asimov, Andre Norton, Rumi, Shel Silverstein, Anne McCaffrey, Jay Leeming, Samuel R. Delaney, and oh so many others!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?

My poetry collections and some of the Sha’Daa series have begun, and/or will soon begin, to appear as audiobooks on Audible!  I highly recommend you check them out. The Voice Talent in each publication is fantastic!