Hello everyone! I'm excited to share with you my interview with author T.A Pace :)
I find the blurb of The Opposite of Love really interesting. What gave you the idea and inspiration for this story?
The story was inspired by the concept of the novel Any Woman’s Blues by Erica Jong. In her novel, control and love are wholly opposed, so that the heroine has to choose which she wants more.
For me, the title is catchy. How did you choose it?
Basically it comes down to this: If we are to describe love as accepting someone as they are, warts and all, then the opposite of that is wanting to change or control someone. Melanie has a need for control of herself and her surroundings, while James has a need for control over others, especially women. Both of these needs create their individual environments in which love cannot thrive.
How did you come up with your main characters? Are some characters in your book based on people you know?
My characters were created as products of their pasts. I let their experiences dictate who they are and who they’re trying to become. They are damaged and human, hopeful and sometimes brave, but they are not based on anyone I know personally.
Tell us a little bit about the cover design of your book. Do you believe the cover can affect the sales of a book?
I do believe a cover can affect the sales, but not as much as word of mouth. My cover design was based on the concept of control. On the front cover, the male hand is in a “pulling” position, indicating force against the female, and the female hand is somewhat closed, indicating self-protection. On the back cover, the hands are open, the arms reaching out, and the fingertips just touching, indicating a willing connection. My dear friends Teresa and Steve modeled for the shoot and I couldn’t be happier with it.
Was there a time frame in writing the book?
The time frame is a story that’s a bit embarrassing, but not unique. I started the novel around 2006 and abandoned it twice. I wasn’t sure if I could publish something “dirty” and have people I know read it and think it was about me. I’m no prude, but I’ve never done the things that Melanie does in the book. And to have my mother think I was that freaky… gasp! But in the end, people are going to think what they want to, regardless of what you tell them. (I’ll say it again anyway: It’s fiction. I’m not a character in this book and neither are you.)
Can you tell us what makes your book unique compared to the other books in the same genre?
I would like to think that it’s a bit more psychologically driven than the average romance or erotic novel. The struggle to overcome one’s past is one that most of us face, and I wanted that journey to resonate with the reader.
How does your reading life influence your writing life?
Completely. I try to stick with authors that I know write well, because in the same way you can learn valuable skills by reading the works of good writers, you can pick up bad habits from poor ones.
Can you share one quote/line from the book that readers could easily relate with?
The death of a loved one carries with it a profound and unexpected knowledge, one that is complicated and difficult to express to others; this Melanie knew from personal experience. When that death is also a tragedy, often this knowledge will feed on blame and what ifs and questions without answers until it becomes its own being, walking beside the mourner and touching everything.
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your book with readers?
Thank you very much for you time!
Thank you T.A. !
Here is my interview with author Dean F. Wilson about his first published novel The Call of Agon. He won a TAP Educational Award from Trinity College Dublin for an early draft of The Call of Agon (then called Protos Mythos) in 2001. He has also published a number of poems and short stories over the years, while working on and reworking some of his novels.
Hi Dean, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background as a journalist.
Thank you for having me. I'm 28, born and bred in Dublin, Ireland, where I still live today. I started writing when I was at least 11 years old, and fell in love with the art. I've worked as a journalist for many top technology news outlets, writing news and features on consumer and business technology. My true love, however, is writing fiction.
How do you balance between journalism and writing?
They are very different styles, so it's important to switch modes when moving from one to the other. News needs to be snappy and to the point. Fiction, however, has lots of extra layers, so there's a lot more room to play around with things. In terms of time, it's like anything else, and there's never enough time to do everything.
How do you think your background in journalism has influenced your writing?
It has given me an appreciation for clarity and reducing redundant words. That said, I did write fiction before I became a journalist, so in some ways that influenced my journalism too.
So about your novel The Call of Agon, tell us about the cover design. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
The cover was designed by a wonderful artist called Soheil Toosi, who did an excellent job taking my pitch and turning it into reality. It shows the Beast Agon trapped in the Underworld, reaching up towards Ifferon and his companions, who are silhouetted by the moon. This style is something I carried forward in the covers of the next two books, also designed by Toosi.
Cover art is vital, because people really do judge a book by its cover. In essence, it's page 1 of the book, as it sets the mood for the story, and may even give a reader preconceptions about how characters look, etc. A good cover will create intrigue, but a bad cover will turn off would-be readers.
What kind of research did you do?
Since this is epic fantasy, I had a lot of freedom to create new things, but I tried to ground them to some degree in reality. I researched medieval history, old weaponry, and even linguistics, which plays a big role, as it's largely a language-based story (with several invented languages). It helps that I'm fascinated by many subjects, from history and war to politics and religion, so I'm always researching, even if it's not for a current book project.
Can you tell us what makes The Call of Agon unique compared to the other books in the same genre?
I think perhaps the most unique thing about the book is the language, which some readers have described as poetic or lyrical. I think in some ways we have lost this in modern fiction, which becomes solely about the story. I enjoy reading books where the language is as fascinating as the story, where a turn of phrase is as enjoyable as a battle scene.
That said, the story itself is different to other epic fantasy works, because the barriers between humans and gods are effectively torn down. It's a traditional good versus evil tale, but there are lots of things I think readers won't expect. I won't spoil them!
You have published a number of poems and short stories over the years and The Call of Agon was your first published novel. For you, poem/short story/novel, which one is the hardest to write?
I think short stories are the hardest to write, because it's difficult to have a proper beginning, middle and end in such a short space. Usually when I do have those three elements, it's too big for that medium. Poetry can be difficult to get just right, but there's obviously a smaller time investment than a novel. Novels require significant amounts of time, and lots of forced writing (not everything is fun), but to me this is the most rewarding format, as I get to delve deeper with characters and plot-lines.
What ways do you find are most effective in marketing your books?
Free or discounted promotions are probably the most effective, in addition to email newsletters. I've found social media to be considerably less effective than expected, and some other methods can be significant time sinks. All approaches can work for some people, but not for all, and it really depends on how much time is invested, and how it's done. The thing is, marketing is an ongoing affair. A few people get lucky, but most of us have to keep slogging through.
As a reader, I've noticed there are many well written books out there but don't get much reviews. Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?
People don't know about them. It's as simple as that. There are over a million new books published a year in the US alone, and the rise of ebooks and self-publishing has made it easy for anyone to enter the market. The problem has always been letting readers know that a book exists, and traditionally published books suffer from this as much as anything else. This is why marketing is essential.
Are there any authors that you would name as influences?
I read quite widely, from classics to genre fiction to graphic novels, and plenty of non-fiction as well. So, I'm sure they've all been influences to some degree. More specifically, there is Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen Donaldson, Terry Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your support! Without readers, there'd be no writers (or no paid writers, at least). And, of course, please post a review if you like a book, even if there are tons of reviews there already. They are very important for a book's success. Keep reading!
Thank you Dean!
Isabella "Izzy" Church is an actress, singer, and writer: born in Sacramento, California, USA who is focused on film, television and music. Izzy attended Marymount Manhattan College graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Communication Arts, specializing in writing for film and television. To further her writing career she interned at DreamWorks for the head of the film and television department. Additionally, she pursued her acting studies with one of the top acting instructors in the country. Currently, Izzy is living in New York City and heading up a boutique Media Development Company called, Third Culture Creative.
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Here is my interview with the beautiful and talented Izzy Church about her debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Angry Movie Guy.
This is your first book. Why did you decide to write a book? What motivated you to write the Angry Movie Guy?
I love to read and I love telling a good story. At the university, I studied screenplay writing for film and television, which is quite different from tackling a novel. However, a few kind words from the right people led me to begin writing, Angry Movie Guy.
You have to be inspired to write, so you need to pick a theme or themes that motivate you or you’ll end up struggling to complete what you started. Angry Movie Guy combines several things that I love: romance, comedy, and movies.
I like the book cover. Can you tell us more about it? Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I’m glad you like it and to answer your question...yes, I do think the book cover plays a significant role in the buying process. It took several attempts before I achieved the desired results. Angry Movie Guy is a film critic who deliberately pans films, so I thought it was only natural to have him tied up by his love interest in film reel. Surprisingly, it was easier than I imagined convincing my friend to let me tie him up. George Campbell is a real trooper! Those are my legs on the cover of the book and the film George is tied up in is old sound tape, which was donated to me by the NYU film department. My design team at, Third Culture Creative completed the additional graphics on the book cover.
How many hours a day did you devote to writing the book? Did you aim for a set amount of pages per day?
Some days I would wake up and write till the sun went down. Other days, I would only write for a few hours. I never aimed to complete a set number of pages in a day however, I did create goals for myself when I hit the second and third phase of learning that writing is re-writing.
Once the first draft of Angry Movie Guy was complete I basically had to re-write entire chapters…. enhancing, clarifying, and revising what I originally wrote. Therefore, I would devote a few hours in a day to re-writing a particular chapter and once the chapter was complete…. I would do it all over again. It’s like sports or playing an instrument. You don’t become a great musician or ball player over night… you have to practice and focus and be willing to take a few hits.
How did you develop the plots and characters?
I am not an organized writer. I hear that many writers need to have the beginning, middle, and end in front of them before they begin to write. They have notecards with character traits, etc. I find this to be restricting. It feels like I’m writing a paper or preparing for a test. I just write… and allow for the story to unfold. Of course, it all begins with a good idea, but the rest is like a good mystery… like how life unfolds before our very eyes.
Plot holes can happen even if you plan out every little detail. Just like, how life hits us with unexpected twists and turns. It is essential, that when you discover a plot hole you don’t give up. There is always a solution. I suggest having your story read aloud to you. It helps to listen for plots holes or characters that need further development.
What do you think makes a good story?
The five elements of a good story are: inciting action, conflict, resolution, protagonists, and antagonist. Also, if your story surprises you every time you read it…. it’s a great story. If you laugh and cry every time you read it… it’s a great story.
Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
I learned how to be patient with myself.
What is your least favorite part of the writing process
I guess the re-writing. It is tiresome to go back to the same chapter over and over looking for what you might have missed the last time you worked on it.
If Angry Movie Guy were to be turned into a movie, which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead characters from your book?
I need a strong comedic actor to play the part of Charlie (Jack Waters). There are so many actors who I think would do a great job, but lately I have been leaning towards Jack Black or Zach Galifianakis. For the role of Harry…it would be great if Woody Harrelson or Sam Rockwell played the part. For the female roles… I would love to play the role of Alex (Evie Greene). I wrote this as a vehicle for myself as an actress. And for Samantha, I believe Zooey Deschanel or Ellen Page would be a great fit. Of course, you never know who is going to deliver the best reading, so I’m open to being surprised.
What makes your book standout from the crowd?
I don’t think it is your typical romantic comedy. I am a big fan of Charlie Kaufman’s work. His imaginative story telling techniques inspired me to add a lot of quirky unforeseen elements into the mix.
Can you share a little about your current or upcoming projects?
Sure, I have several projects in development. However, two projects are near completion. The first is a graphic novel and animation project titled, Suffer Club, which will most likely appeal to a select demographic. For those of you who enjoy: Family Guy, Simpsons and King of the Hill you will most likely be drawn to the wit and humor of the Suffer Club. I am very proud of this project! Finally, I am allowing myself to share the quirky and funny images that have graced my sketchbooks for years. The second project, is a young adult-children’s book titled, Dr. Pookie & The Case of His Missing Thought. I love this story… it makes me laugh every time I read it. I wrote and illustrated the chapter’s book and my goal is to make it a series.
Can you tell us something unique about you?
Hmm… I guess people find it interesting that I tackle multiple mediums: artist, singer-songwriter, actress, and filmmaker. While it has it challenges to work in multiple mediums it also is quite enlightening and beneficial! It helps you to grow as a person, artist, and writer. Oh! I am also a big fan of street art and graffiti!
Anything additional you want to share?
It would mean a lot to me if you checked out my e-book and if you like it please help spread the word. The print version will come out in November, but it is available for pre-order now. Also, I have created some amazing bonus gifts for those of you who pre-order the novel.
Thank you Izzy!
The author who decided to be a writer, so she could inspire people the way her late father inspired her....... that's Cassandra Stangle. Let's get to know her more and her newest book, Wings of Darkness and Flames.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
"Well, I always wanted to be a writer , my mother showed me a picture of me in pigtails at about seven holding a paper and a pencil, grinning. She said that I was wiring a story about a Leprechaun."
When and why did you begin writing?
"I started about seven but, I wrote my first book when I was ten. It was a fantasy about the prince saving a princess from a monster, the normal little girl dream. I wanted to write because of my parents. My mother was a bookworm and always read to us. My father wrote short stores and poems, but only for my mother and us kids. I really focus more on it after my father passed away wen I was nine. I wanted to make him proud, it's my way of honoring his memory. "
What inspired you to write the Wings of Darkness and Flame?
"Well, two things happened. Fist, I had a dream about this couple walking in a park at night and they were attacked by a monster of shadows. The man made a flaming sword and fairy wings burst from his back. He killed the monster then I woke up. Second, that morning my roommate had a new CD playing wile we were cleaning. It was about fairies and magic. I started writing then and a year later, it was finished.
Tell us a little bit about the cover art. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
"I wanted the cover to to be wings so it is tied to the title of the book. Each book in the series will have a wing title and cover art to link them all together. It also makes easier for the readers to find them.
Yes, i do think that the cover is important in the buying process. When I'm looking for a book I have three steps:
1. The cover has to jump at me in some way, whether it's the pic or the title.
2. The blurb on the back has to be enticing and would make me ask a question.
3. I read the first chapter, and if it isn't interesting, I put the book back."
How much research did you do for the book? What are some of the references that you used while researching?
It took me 6 months to get all the info I needed for the book series. I looked up at all the myths and legends on the Fae and Fairies, Fairy - Wikipedia , Fairies - Fact Monster , Faeries ~ Truth and Legends of the Fairy Folk. and monsters, Mythological Monsters, Then I looked at 3 different languages to make my own, etc.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
"It is original, nothing like you have ever read before. My friends have said it's fiery passion, blood lusting, heart pounding action, with soul searching destiny, all rapped into the battle between Good vs Evil with characters that jump off the page."
What was the hardest and easiest thing about writing the book?
"The hardest part about writing the book was creating my own language for the characters to use. Also, researching all the different types of faeries was quite taxing. The easiest thing I had to do was creating and developing my characters because they practically came to life on their own."
How do you use social media to promote your book?
"I have a Facebook page, and I use the book bloggers website. If you have any other ideas, let me know."
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
"NON-FICTION. I believe that books are a way to escape the normal day of life in to a world far from what we know. "
How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books?
"I love print books. I love the feel of paper between my fingers. the feel of the leather binding, and the smell. All books smell different , not just the smell of paper but the ink and some even smell like flowers. Ebooks are colder because they are on a device They are also more modernized and print books are becoming obsolete slowly which saddens me.
What project are you working on now?
"The second wings book, "Wings of time and silence." It will be coming out Summer of 2016."
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers?
"When you pick up one of my books, you will be taken into a wold far from what you know, to be sounded by wonder and magic. You will see things that you have never heard of, and meet creatures that dwell in the wold of dreams. Come and see places that baffles the imagination and tantalizes the senses, follow the unique people and witness their lives as they battle the meanest of nightmares, meet legendary figures, and find their soulmates in the world of fantastic magic."
Thank you Cassandra!
The laws of the Universe are ordered and finite. Every mathematical equation has one perfect solution. Jocks lead the high school pack, and nerdy girls go unnoticed.
But what would happen if one day, everything changed?
In one fateful moment, sixteen-year old mathematical prodigy Grace Greenway and Vincente Marino, all-around high school athlete, are unexpectedly thrown together. From that moment on, Grace and Vincente are forced to navigate a strange and wonderful new world together, quickly learning that they must depend on each other if they want to survive.
Now, imagine a world where the rules of the ordered Universe no longer apply, and the line between reality and fiction becomes blurred beyond all reason.
Imagine living in A Mathematical State of Grace.