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A Bookish Chat with John Sibley Williams, author of ‘Disinheritance’

JOhn Sibley WilliamsJohn Sibley Williams is the editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies and the author of nine collections, including Controlled Hallucinations (2013) and Disinheritance (2016). A five-time Pushcart nominee and winner of the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry, John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Midwest Quarterly, december, Third Coast, Baltimore Review, Nimrod International Journal, Hotel Amerika, Rio Grande Review, Inkwell, Cider Press Review, Bryant Literary Review, RHINO, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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About the Book:

A lyrical, philosophical, and tender exploration of the various voices of grief, including those of the broken, the healing, the son-become-father, and the dead, Disinheritance acknowledges loss while celebrating the uncertainty of Disinheritancea world in constant revision. From the concrete consequences of each human gesture to soulful interrogations into “this amalgam of real / and fabled light,” these poems inhabit an unsteady betweenness, where ghosts can be more real than the flesh and blood of one’s own hands.

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  • Disinheritance is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, John.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

It’s great to be here, and thank you for the invitation.

This is actually my second full-length poetry collection, and I’ve had seven chapbooks published through various small presses. Each book has its own tone, its own unique themes, so, in a way, each published book feels a lot like ‘the first time’ again.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

Unfortunately, there are only a handful of mainstream poetry publishers, so small presses are really the best first step for poets who are not seeking self-publishing. My previous chapbooks and my debut full length collection were all published by small presses staffed by passionate editors. I feel very lucky to have worked with them. For this new collection, Disinheritance, I sought a slightly more prominent press, and I was honored to be accepted by Apprentice House, a great press run by Loyola University students.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I signed the contract in November 2015, and both editing and design began a few months later. Though the book could have been published earlier this year, the press and I decided on September 2016 to allow for an extensive Advanced Reader Copy phase.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

My first book publication back in 2011 was a huge first step and one I will always remember. Though I had previously published a few hundred poems in literary journals, knowing that a team of editors believed in my work enough to put their time, passion, and money into its publication was humbling. I honestly don’t recall how I celebrated that first book publication, but I’m sure it involved a few unabated screams of joy.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

With my first book, as I was still a newbie to the book publishing world, I didn’t have the solid marketing plan I use now.  Also, it was a chapbook from a small press, which limited the opportunities available to me. I did use social media, of course, and I booked perhaps a half-dozen readings in my area. I was also able to acquire a few reviews from literary magazines and bloggers. If I recall, it sold a few hundred copies, which was fantastic.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

We’re all maturing as writers with each new word we write, each new book we publish, and each new author we’re exposed to. And with each new personal experience we have, our eyes open a bit more to the world and new ways of expressing our feelings about the world. Growing as a writer is a lifelong process.

I’m not sure if book publication itself has helped my writing, but it has definitely helped other creative areas. For example, creating a poetry, short story, or essay collection can be a tricky thing. How to know which pieces to keep, which to cut, and how to order them? Each collection I have published has given me a bit more confidence in how to weed out the unnecessary poems and how to structure things so a consistent tone and momentum is fostered.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

It’s amazing to think around 800 books per day are published now. Digital and self-publishing have democratized the process, so pretty much anyone can publish a book now. On the one hand, the sheer abundance of books out there makes finding your readers all the more difficult. What once was a hill is now a mountain. On the other hand, thousands of fantastic authors whose work might never have found publication are finally able to be heard.

In general, I suppose what surprises me most is finding work of incredible quality coming out of presses most people haven’t heard of. These smaller presses are often staffed by volunteers or students who are so very passionate about publishing strong stories and beautiful poems. Though it’s wholly understandable, mainstream publishers are mainly interested in sales potential. There is a bottom line, and that bottom line is money. One cannot blame them for it. But because of this money-oriented approach, I tend to find the most surprising, risk-taking, and satisfying books coming out of small and university presses these days.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Definitely reader reaction. We have all read poems or novels that truly moved us, that made us reconsider ourselves, that illuminated the beauty and power of language. It has been indescribably rewarding to know my work has touched others in that way. When a total stranger who perhaps stumbled across your book or had it recommended to her contacts you out of the blue to say how much it inspired her, that is a potent feeling. When you’re giving a reading and you can see that glow in the audience’s eyes, that is unforgettable. Even after around 50 or so readings across the country, I am touched every single time someone goes out of their way to express their thoughts on my work. That’s what it’s all about. Trying to use language that lifts up off the page and resonates with people.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

There’s a reason “keep writing, keep reading” has become clichéd advice for emerging writers; it’s absolutely true. You need to study as many books as possible from authors of various genres and from various countries. Listen to their voices. Watch how they manipulate and celebrate language. Delve deep into their themes and characters and take notes on the stylistic, structural, and linguistic tools they employ. And never, ever stop writing. Write every free moment you have. Bring a notebook and pen everywhere you go (and I mean everywhere). It’s okay if you’re only taking notes. Notes are critical. It’s okay if that first book doesn’t find a publisher. There will be more books to come. And it’s okay if those first poems aren’t all that great. You have a lifetime to grow as a writer.

Do we write to be cool, to be popular, to make money? We write because we have to, because we love crafting stories and poems, because stringing words together into meaning is one of life’s true joys. So rejections are par for the course. Writing poems or stories that just aren’t as strong as they could be is par for the course. But we must all retain that burning passion for language and storytelling. That flame is what keeps us maturing as writers.

 

 

 

 

In the Spotlight: Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey From Heroes to Villains to Redemption by Emilio Corsetti III

scapegoatTitle: Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption
Author: Emilio Corsetti III
Publisher: Odyssey Publishing, LLC
Pages: 472
Genre: Nonfiction Narrative

“This is the kind of case the Board has never had to deal with-a head-on collision between the credibility of a flight crew versus the airworthiness of the aircraft.” NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Leslie Dean Kampschror

On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew’s actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time.

While the crew’s efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found twenty-one minutes of the thirty-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank. The captain of the flight, Harvey “Hoot” Gibson, subsequently came under suspicion for deliberately erasing the tape in an effort to hide incriminating evidence. The voice recorder was never evaluated for any deficiencies.

From that moment on, the investigation was focused on the crew to the exclusion of all other evidence. It was an investigation based on rumors, innuendos, and speculation. Eventually the NTSB, despite sworn testimony to the contrary, blamed the crew for the incident by having improperly manipulated the controls, leading to the dive.

This is the story of an NTSB investigation gone awry and one pilot’s decades-long battle to clear his name.

Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption is available at Amazon and B&N.

Book Excerpt:

When TWA 841 departed JFK on April 4, 1979, no one onboard had any idea of the drama that would soon unfold. One passenger, travelling with her husband, wrote in a journal about the smooth takeoff. She had been keeping a personal journal of her travels to share with her children on her return. She documented everything down to the most inconsequential detail such as her ears popping as the aircraft climbed. Days, weeks, and years later, after TWA 841 had become the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations in the agency’s history, investigators would scrutinize every minute of the flight in a similarly detailed manner. Much like a criminal investigation, the movements, actions, and whereabouts of each crew member were documented. Routine tasks such as when and where the meal trays were exchanged between the cockpit and cabin crew would take on added significance. Unraveling the mystery of TWA 841 was a monumental puzzle that needed to be solved. But unlike any accident investigation before or since, the same evidence investigators would use against the crew would be used by others to challenge the theories put forth by Boeing and the NTSB. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to which version is correct.

Book Trailer:

The First Page: Friend of the Devil by Mark Spivak

friend-of-the-devil-kindleTitle: Friend of the Devil
Author: Mark Spivak
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 325
Genre: Culinary Thriller

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, sold his soul to the Devil to achieve culinary greatness. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

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The First Page

“The man’s here.”

The old Black woman delivered her pronouncement into the darkness of a back room—half in amusement, half in disgust. She then walked back across the front room of the cabin, her feet creaking on the wooden floor, to the place where the young man sat. A pot-bellied stove, streaked with soot, crackled in the opposite corner.

“He be wit you in a minute.”

“Thank you.”

The white youth seemed strangely comfortable in this shack outside Clarksdale in rural Mississippi. The year was 1947, at the height of Jim Crow, at a time when the races never mingled.

The young man had concocted an elaborate cover story and, with the confidence of his age, he believed he could explain himself if the wrong people found him here.

“What you say your name is?” the woman asked.

“Joseph.”

The woman laughed. “You a crazy-assed white boy, Joseph.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied in a deep baritone, guttural and booming. “That may well be.”

The old Black man shuffled out of the back room, moving slowly and deliberately. He was clad in overalls, and his silver hair framed a deeply lined and creased face. He glanced at Joseph and shook his head.

“Let’s go out on the porch, boy.”

They walked outside to the dilapidated wooden deck surrounding the front of the shack, and the old man settled in a rocking chair. He motioned for Joseph to sit beside him and regarded him with the same amusement his wife had displayed.

“You a long way from home, ain’t you?”

“I don’t really have a home, sir.”

“Everybody got a home.” The old man chuckled.

Interview

Welcome, Mark. Can you tell us what your book is about?

Friend of the Devil tells the story of Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, America’s most celebrated chef, who has cut a deal with the Devil for fame and fortune.

The first page is perhaps one of the most important pages in the whole book. It’s what draws the reader into the story. Why did you choose to begin your book this way?

There are two narrative lines: the “present day” of the story, which occurs in Palm Beach in 1990, when Avenzano has been America’s most famous chef for 25 years, alternating with a series of flashbacks that tell the reader about the tortured journey he traveled to get there. I decided to start at the beginning, with a teaser set in Mississippi in 1947.

In the course of writing your book, how many times would you say that first page changed and for what reasons?

The entire book went through numerous drafts and changed significantly any number of times. For example, the early drafts didn’t have the flashbacks, which left readers to supply those details from their imagination. Ultimately, that didn’t work.

Was there ever a time after the book was published that you wished you had changed something on the first page?

No. Friend of the Devil emerged slowly and painfully, but I think I finally did it as well as I was able to.

What advice can you give to aspiring authors to stress how important the first page is?

Literature students are trained by reading the classics—books that were written and read before radio, movies, TV, Internet and other electronic devices. Those authors were working in an environment where they could get away with a lot more. Today, the truth is that we’re competing with The Real Housewives of New Jersey. If that first page doesn’t grab people, they’ll wander off and do something else.

About the Author

mark-spivakMark Spivak is an award-winning author, specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants, and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 he has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the Food Editor for Palm Beach Illustrated; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on http://www.palmbeachillustrated.com. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. From 1999-2011 Spivak hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Spivak is the author of two non-fiction books:  Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). Friend of the Devil is his first novel. He is currently working on a political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq.

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Anokhi Dosti Book Blast!

We are excited to be hosting Subhash Kommuru’s ANOKHI DOSTI Book Blast today!
Leave a comment or a question in the comment section of this blog to let her know you stopped by!
About the Book:

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Title: Anokhi Dosti (The Magic of Friendship)

Author: Subhash Kommuru

Publisher: Kommuru Books

Pages: 42

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Mom’s Choice Award GOLD Recipient
Does a smile or a laugh have trans-formative power? It does in a special place called Tadoba. Anokhi Dosti is a book written in Hindi and is a remarkable tale of the trans-formative power of companionship, particularly for someone who is lonely and never really had the gift of laughter.
Guaranteed to get a giggle out of kids, Anokhi Dosti also provides plenty of opportunities for readers to connect with the characters in richly detailed, mesmerizing illustrations.
This Award Winning picture book is perfect for read-aloud fun and is also appropriate for beginning readers. This book is written in Hindi using Hindi script.

BUYING INFORMATION:

Annokhi Dosti is available at Amazon or pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble

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About the Author

Subhash and Sujata hail from India. They migrated to the United States along with their memories of childhood and youth. Now that they are parents, just like every immigrant they crave to introduce their child to the culture
and values of their upbringing. Yet it is challenging to teach something while you are in the midst of adjusting to a different culture yourself.

 

Subhash and Sujata both work in different disciplines and have different styles and backgrounds, but it is the upbringing of their son that brings them on the same page. That exact place where they meet is captured and reflected in their stories, where Subhash can express in words, and Sujata can illustrate them beautifully. Where he puts it in black and white, she adds color to it. You get the idea!

These stories are their attempt to share a glimpse of their childhood days with their son. He is their inspiration to write short stories that have meaning to them and provide teaching in some shape or form.

Shobhan’s latest book is the children’s book, Anokhi Dosti (The Magic of Friendship).

For More Information

 

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Richard Singer’s Eastern Wisdom Western Soul Book Blast!

 

We’re happy to be hosting Richard Singer’s EASTERN WISDOM WESTERN SOUL Book Blast today! Please leave a comment or question to let him know you stopped by!

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About the Book:
Title:
Eastern Wisdom Western Soul
Author: Richard Singer
Publisher: Devorss and Compan
Pages: 200
Genre: Spirituality

Spiritual enlightenment from the Far East has taught the world that true happiness and peace come from within—a wisdom that transcends time and boundaries. As each new generation struggles to find happiness in an ever-changing world overrun by technology and media, few take the inward path to deep, long-lasting peace.

Richard Singer, a psychotherapist, has studied hundreds of Eastern-based writings and given them new life in today’s world for people looking to apply this wisdom to the stressful and frustrating aspects of the 21st century. Based on the words of Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Buddha, Lao-Tzu, and others, Richard Singer has illuminated some of the most profound Eastern quotes with 111 meditations and contemporary applications. Each selection acts as a seed that he expands upon to create a practical meditation for a real-life situation,
enabling you to recognize and accept the inner peace of your true being . . . right here, right now.

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Book Excerpt:

Mindfulness is the secret of life. A life lived mindfully is a life lived
full of peace, tranquility, joy, bliss, ecstasy and compassion. Mindfulness is
our direct link to the Universe. It is the solution that we as human beings
have been seeking outside ourselves since the beginning of modern times. The
simple practice of mindfulness has been around for thousands of years; however most
human beings discard this approach to life and instead search for more complex
and intellectual philosophies or techniques. Unfortunately, this external
journey never resolves itself. There are many individuals and texts available
that also complicate and over analyze mindfulness. It seems that our ego is
programmed to complicate even the simplest solutions. Mindfulness is meant to
be simple, yet a profound way to live. This present centered solution allows us
to live authentic lives.

So, what exactly is mindfulness and how do you
apply it to your life? Mindfulness is a specific form of meditation or simply
put awareness of the moment. There are many different forms of meditation,
however we are going to specifically focus on mindfulness meditation, which
this author believe to be the most practical and pure meditative exercise.
Mindfulness involves directly participating in each moment as it occurs with
complete awareness of your present experience. Life only exists in the Here and
Now when practicing mindfulness. The moment we experience is pure and
unadulterated. Mindfulness is a “living” meditation that you can
practice each second of your precious life. There is no need to escape to a
secluded place, as you can engage in mindfulness anywhere and at anytime, no
matter what is happening around you.

Instead of presenting the reader with one rigid definition of mindfulness, a
few but concise definitions will be presented below drawn from the wisdom of
various experts and practitioners of mindfulness.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, the best selling author of Wherever You Go There You Are and
the creator of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, describes mindfulness
meditation as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the
present moment and non-judgmentally.”

Levey and Levey in their magnificent book, Simple Meditation and Relaxation,
state ” Mindfulness liberates us from memories of the past and fantasies
of the future by bringing reality of the present moment clearly into
focus.” They also express that “mindfulness makes us aware of life’s
everyday miracles.”

In one of the ancient Buddhist commentaries, it is stated that mindfulness
is “presence of mind, attentiveness to the present… ”

Stephen Levine, author of A Gradual Awakening, says that mindfulness is a
” moment to moment awareness of whatever arises, whatever
exists.”

Meditation teacher and author Sylvia Boorstein states that mindfulness is
having ” the aware, balanced acceptance of present experience. It is not
more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment,
pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to or rejecting
it.”

These simple yet profound use diverse expression and terminology, but what
they all share in common is that mindfulness is being completely and fully
present for life. It is being aware of what is going on within and around you
in each moment of your miraculous existence. We simply practice awareness
without judgment, accepting our thoughts and emotions exactly as they are.

As you may have noticed mindfulness is a simple
yet, powerful way to live our lives. Its simply being Right Here, Right Now:
immersing your entire being in the present moment and fully experiencing your
life. That’s it! It really is that straight forward. It is not necessary to
over analyze, intellectualize, or complicate what it is to be mindful. Of
course our ego wants to distract us in any way possible, but don’t allow this.
Recognize the presence of your ego, say hello, and then calmly dismiss it. All
there is to being mindful is to Simply Be. While there are plenty more advanced
explanations on this topic available for you to further explore if you desire;
what has been described here is the simple and pure essence of mindfulness
meditation.

As you leave this article and continue your journey of mindful living or if
you are just beginning, this writer suggests that you dive into the ocean
of Now and intimately acquaint
yourself with the pleasure of what is directly in front of you. As expressed in
the Zen tradition, “When eating, eta and when walking, walk.”

Are you Right Here, Right Now? If not, center yourself and experience the
bliss and ecstasy of the eternal moment. Enjoy your journey!

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About the Author

Richard Singer is first of all a real human being who is quite faulty and still struggles with life on a daily basis. He is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic that once was homeless, hopeless and penniless. However, on a worldly basis, he is an award winning author, trained psychotherapist, adjunct professor, and most importantly a seeker of truth. He continuously searches for wisdom to use in his life, as well as helping other human beings in their precious journey. He has studied Eastern Psychology, Buddhist Healing, and Non-Violence at the Doctoral Level; in addition, he has spent years devoted to the study of wisdom recorded throughout history. He seeks to impart this knowledge to the world through his writing. His primary purpose is to benefit humanity in any way possible.

Richard states that My books are not only for reading, they are meant to be lived. Richard has written two meditation books and co-authored an inspirational children’s book.He consistently supports human beings in their search for purpose and passion in life. Richard passionately believes in equality among all human beings. “After all we only have one race; the Human Race.”

He has been featured in many magazines, on various radio and television shows including BBC News in London and his books have been widely reviewed specifically by Library Journal, Martha Stewart’s Body and Soul Magazine and many other review forums.

Richard has twin boys that reside in the Cayman Islands. Mathew and Alexander are his life. Mr. Singer loves to read, write, travel, and engage in anything spontaneous and adventure filled. He has driven across the United States several times and traveled many places in the world. Cuba remains his favorite country to visit. He continuously strives to embrace each unique moment of life by applying Mindfulness Meditation to all moments. Mindfulness is a “living meditation” that we never stop applying to our lives.

Richard is open to questions, suggestions, or simply having a conversation.

You may contact him at RSinger9999@gmail.com.

For More Information

 

Beautiful Belly Dancers Adult Coloring Book Book Blast!

Beautiful Belly Dancers Coloring Book banner

We invite you to Richard G. Lowe Jr.’s BEAUTIFUL BELLY DANCING COLORING BOOK Book Blast! Leave a comment on this blog with your email address to win a free copy of his adult coloring book! Winner will be selected from comments and will be notified on August 31.

Beautiful Belly Dancers Coloring Book

Inside the Book:

Title: Beautiful Belly Dancer Coloring Book
Author: Richard G. Lowe Jr.
Publisher: The Writing King
Pages: 110
Genre: Adult Coloring Book

What could be better than an adult coloring book of beautiful belly dancers? These gorgeous ladies have performed all over the world, and now their images are presented here for your coloring pleasure. All pages are printed on one side to make your coloring easy.

For More Information

  • Beautiful Belly Dancer Adult Coloring Book is available at Amazon.

Meet the Author

Richard Lowe Jr.

After spending over 33 years in the computer and information technology industry, Richard decided to take an early retirement to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional writer and published author. Richard is a leader in the computer industry, serving as Vice President of Consulting at Software Techniques and Beck Computer Systems before settling down as Director of Computer Operations at Trader Joe’s. During his twenty-year tenure at that esteemed company, he focused on computer security and preparing for the possibility of disaster.

In addition to creating hundreds of articles for the web and blogs, Richard actively works as a professional ghostwriter. In that role, he has completed books on a wide variety of subjects including memoirs, business volumes, and novels. Because of his in-depth background in software management and computer security, Richard has ghostwritten a number of major books in those areas.

Additionally, Richard has published books of his own. His first two volumes, Safe Computing is Like Safe Sex and Real World Survival Tips and Survival Guide, respectively touch on the subjects of computer security and how to survive emergencies and disasters. Richard has also written and published a series of short eBooks on the aspects of freelance writing, including blogging and ghostwriting. Other published books include How to Plan a Party and How to Surround Yourself with Beautiful Women without Being a Sleazeball.

An avid adventurer, Richard has been a photographer for much of his life, with a focus on nature, scenic, performance and event photography. He has done everything from hiking in dozens of national parks throughout the country, to photographing various unique festivals and events, such as the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball and the World Mermaid Awards Convention. He is well known in the Renaissance Festival and Belly Dance communities, having photographed over 1,200 dance events and 400 festivals. For several years, he photographed the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California.

Richard is currently working on a large number of short Kindle eBooks on a wide variety of subjects. Beginning in 2016, the first of a ten volume series of Science Fiction novels will be published.

One of Richard’s passions is to use the power of words to educate people on human rights. He believes the world will be a better place when human beings are treated with the full respect and dignity they are due.

For More Information

Beyond the Books with MC Domovitch

Monique DornovitchM C Domovitch is the author of nine novels, four of which were published under the name of Carol Ann Martin (by Penguin), another two under the name Monique Domovitch (by Carina Press) The other three are published as M C Domovitch, Scorpio Rising, The Sting of the Scorpio (Both now republished in one single tome) and Scar Tissue. The decision to use a different pen name was based on her departure from cozy mysteries and entering the Romance and Romantic Suspense genres.

Before becoming an author, Monique had multiple careers, beginning with modeling. She won a modeling contest in the 70s and became one of Canada’s top models. After retiring from the fashion industry, she studied finance and joined an investment company. This led to a new career as host of her own television show about investing, with the television network, WTN. Following her retirement from finance, she decided to pursue her true passion, writing. At a writing workshop at San Diego’s Writers’ Conference, one of her unpublished books caught the eye of a publisher and of an agent. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Domovitch lives with her physician husband and their dogs. They divide their time between homes in Victoria and Toronto Canada and Key Largo Florida.

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About the Book:

When successful model Ciara Cain wakes up in hospital, remembering nothing of the weeks she has been missing, her only clues are the ugly words carved into her skin. According to the police she was a victim of the Cutter, a serial Scar Tissuekiller who has already murdered three women. For her protection the police and her doctors give a press conference, announcing that because her amnesia is organically caused, her memory loss is permanent. But, whether her memory returns or not is anybody’s guess.
Overnight, Ciara’s glamorous life is gone. Her scars have killed both her modelling career and her relationship with her rich boyfriend. With nothing to keep her in New York, she returns to her home town of Seattle, moves in with her sister and goes about building a new life. But when her sister lets it slip that Ciara’s memory is returning, the killer comes after her again. If Ciara is to stay alive, she must keep one step ahead of the Cutter.

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Scar Tissue teaserQ: Welcome to Beyond the Books, M. C.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Scar Tissue is actually my ninth novel. It is the first in a new series, Mindsight. The main character is Ciara.

The book starts with her running for her life through the woods. She runs onto a highway and gets hit by a car as tries to flag it down. The next thing she knows, she’s in hospital and remembers nothing of her accident or what brought her there. The interesting thing about this character is that the accident has left her with a tiny bit of scar tissue from a bleed in her brain, which gives her an ability she views as a curse. However, in time, this ability will help save her life.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I was extremely lucky. So many authors never get the opportunity to get picked up by a publishing house, I was certain I’d have to go the self-published route, but, before I had fully polished my first novel, I was already offered two contracts for series, one with Penguin and the other with Harlequin. I published a total of six books with them. I guess you can call me a hybrid author in that I do both. I work with publishers and I also self-publish.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

That was my first big surprise, the amount of time everything takes when you go the traditional route. Once your novel is done, you can expect about one year before it sees the shelves of a bookstore. By then you’ve already finished another novel and should be hard at work on a third.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I cried. Being an author was always my life’s dream, and starting late in life, as I did, I really did not expect it would come so easily.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I did a few online book tours, and blabbed about it all over Facebook and Twitter. I still do that. I also created an author website for myself, which I’ve just updated a couple of weeks ago. Once in a while I post a few lines on my blog page. What I like best about my site is that it offers the possibility for reader to register for my newsletter. In return for registering, they might occasionally get free books, or participate in draws for free kindles. I just had a draw last week for a kindle fire. The winner was so thrilled. She said it was the first time in her life she ever won anything.

That list of readers makes up my fan base. They are the readers who post reviews, and a few have even become my beta readers.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

English is my second language. I am French by birth. When I was young we all spoke French at home. So my biggest challenge has always been syntax. I still struggle with it, but after going through the editing process so many times, I’ve gotten better at it.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

My biggest surprise is how much it has changed. Years ago, when I used to dream about being a writer, nobody self-published. The few who did used what was then called vanity presses. They were poo-pooed in the industry and nobody ever sold books that way.

Now, it’s a brand new world out there. Self-publishing is recognized as a legitimate business.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Holding that book, you worked so hard on, in your hands for the first time is an indescribably sensation. You really feel that you’ve created something. Otherwise, your novel is likely to rot away in a dark drawer somewhere and gather dust.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Do it. Get to it. Don’t put it off. If I could live my life over again, I’d start writing straight out of school. I know it’s scary. It feels like a huge financial risk. It’s practically impossible to earn a living in the first years of a writing career. But, you can have a job, but get up early and write before going to work. You can stay up and write instead of watching TV. If you want it, make it happen. Your destiny rests with you.

 

 

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