Full On Insanity with Nicola Matt – Episode 1

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting down with writer, co-author, and friend, author Angel H. Scott for our first ever podcast of Full On Insanity with Nicola Matt. We had a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to doing more podcasts and interviews with fellow authors and other artists.

If anyone would like to be a featured guest on the show (we literally talk about everything on this show, including random episodes of The Walking Dead and other fandoms), please be sure to CLICK HERE to fill out the guest request form. I will be back with you as soon as possible to schedule a date and time.

In the meantime, if you would like to listen to me and Angel shooting the shit for an hour (we did do a lot of giggling), watch the podcast below – and excuse my really bad southern drawl 😀

Interview: Angie Sakai

 

SSUCv3H4sIAAAAAAAEAJ2RS2rEMAyG94XeIXgdQxw5dtyrlC4UWTOYZiaQOFPKkLvXeQ1e1yvrk349n+9vRSE6nAKJj+K5WskOfT9PccQYhnvCVXlw9iEOY8B+hStbNo+YIsZ54mlNcSDCyNcUu8NDf9b53O3idGzOpEguIcqMTXO3sRMt5b+V++frHAWvfKffreFskJF7xn2Qo0dx0VCnpyUSW6mJSXbInWxJW0UX1ABGvLKSUY0FJdlACm6ck613XqoGjDbOQop+Bdu68g60ldBRLbUiIx0qlr6zFqyy0LZu639vWnz/RB5v+ZIfwfOQ2Tj7MGT7fgyE/SqAbEZKpx1umcqnU627UlA55VzbqNYqoytlUvXlD9o686IiAgAA

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Angie Sakai, author of Faith’s Temptation.

 

Tell us a little about yourself – your education, family, etc.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. I grew up writing stories and dreaming of better things in life than what was happening in front of me.

 

What started you on your journey to become an author?

My life hasn’t been the prettiest, I grew up really fast and had to take on responsibilities that no child should. So, in my downtime, I imagined worlds and what life could be like and warped them into stories.

 

What is a usual writing day like for you?

Sitting in front of the iMac, earbuds in – blasting something heavy metal and me staring at my WIP begging that only one of my characters would talk to me at a time. 😀

 

Do you have a specific writing style? Are you a plotter or a panster when it comes to writing?

I plot for the most part. I talk to a few trusted people and let the ideas flow. Honestly, once I have the general way I want the story to go, I start there and let the characters go wherever they are gonna go from there.

 

How much of your work is based on first-hand knowledge? Is anything you write based on real people/events and if so, how did they inspire you to create your work?

I’d say that my books are 65% first-hand knowledge. All of my characters are either based off/or around someone I know or have known.

 

Do you get writers’ block and if so, how do you overcome it?

Truth be told, I’ve had writers’ block for the last year. Too sad to hear, and even sadder for me to say. So, last year I took some time to find myself again and get myself back together after a rough couple of years. But, I’m back at it and can’t wait to get some books out there! ❤

 

Who are your main influences in the writing world? Do you have favorite authors?

Favorite authors… Hmm… I’ve got a few. Tara Sue Me, S.C. Stephens & Samantha Shakespeare. Main influences in the writing world would have to be all the authors that have pushed through all the crap, heartache, and tears that go into writing a book.

 

Are you trade or indie published? How has your experiences differed from your expectations prior to becoming a published author?

I signed with Booktrope in April 2015 and I’m glad I did it! The experience so far has been bumpy but, not near as bumpy as it is self-publishing. Don’t get me wrong, both are bumpy roads and they aren’t for the faint-hearted.

 

Do you have any regrets as an author?

A few. Mostly personal regrets.

 

What is the hardest part about being a writer?

Letting part of yourself go in your words. I know, personally that all of my characters are a piece of me, a piece of my soul. So, letting a piece of you out there in the world is a hard thing to swallow, but, it’s also the most therapeutic thing I’ve ever done.

 

How long on average does it take for you to complete a book, from the first time you sit down to write until it becomes a published book?

Well, that really all depends. I have books that I started writing 6 years ago and I haven’t finished yet. And then, I have ones I started last year already half done.

It also depends on if I’m going to self-publish or if I’m going to pitch it to my publisher or not.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Breathe! It’s going to be okay, I promise. Just remember there ain’t no rest for the wicked! 😉 Be you! Be true to you.

Remember, you are the only one you need to impress in the end. Make sure you love it over anyone! ❤

 

beautiful couple hugging each other near a mountain river,multiexposition

 

The following is an excerpt from Faith’s Temptation

Ryder

Holy shit! I never thought I’d meet this chick again. She’s the one, the one that literally stumbled into my life off the street corner. No pun intended, of course, but shit, she is really here.

“Hello?” I wave my hand in her face, hoping to get her attention. She looks so disconnected, reading over paperwork or something.

“Yeah. Hi, I’m Faith.” She shakes her hand and says it rather quickly as if I caught her doing something wrong.

She is so beautiful, so pure. You can see it and smell it. This diner is a shithole and smells like asshole and cheeseburgers. But despite that, I can still smell her—so sweet.

She is even innocent in her demeanor. She’s so out of place that all I can do is laugh at the situation. “Well, I didn’t ask your name, but okay. I’m Ryder,” I say, laying on my famous panty-dropping smile. No response – she doesn’t even look up from her papers. But she gives a faint, beguiling smile.

That’s the moment I know I have to have her.

 

 ~Excerpt from Faith’s Temptation © Angie Sakai 2015

 

FTnewPR (1)

Follow Angie Sakai on social media:

Amazon: – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015NHTQYU

Facebook: –  https://www.facebook.com/AngieSWrites

Twitter: –  http://www.twitter.com/AngieHotPages

Goodreads: – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8434595.Angie_Sakai

 

 

Interview: Nicholas Tanek

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicholas Tanek, author of The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself.

Tell us a little about yourself – your education, family, etc.

Nicholas Tanek: I am the author of The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself and Chipped Black Nail Polish. I was a punk rock skater kid from New Jersey who got swept away in the New York City rave scene in the 90’s. Although I was doing tons of drugs, I graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in English. Basically, I was a middle class white kid who grew up in Edison and New Brunswick, NJ. I love to write. I love being involved with anything dealing with the creative arts. This includes writing, music, comedy, and art.

 

What started you on your journey to become an author? 

Nicholas Tanek: The love of my life died in 2012. Her name was Lynn and she was 37 years old. We both loved being creative and we loved to write. All this time, I would write poems and stories about and for women. I would get published but she would not. She was very upset about this. She would always say, “No one is ever going to write anything for or about me.” So, I wrote a book for the woman who thought that no one would write a book for her.  Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and I only had a generator. So, I used that to power my laptop. I wrote this tribute for her. At the same time, it became a memoir. It was also very therapeutic for me. In turns, it became therapeutic for the readers too. The book is titled The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. After that, I wrote a prequel titled Chipped Black Nail Polish, which is a coming of age story about my first love. It takes place in the 1989 New Jersey/New York punk rock scene. The positive reaction to The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself inspired me to write Chipped Black Nail Polish. Now, I have been inspired to write my next book.

 

What is a usual writing day like for you? 

Nicholas Tanek: I usually write during the evenings. I like to be emotionally honest and keep the writing style rooted in whatever emotion I am feeling. I need music. Every part of the book has a song that goes with it. So, I play it while I write the scene. Then, we edit, edit edit. After that, we edit more.

 

Do you have a specific writing style? Are you a plotter or a panster when it comes to writing?

Nicholas Tanek: I definitely start with a loose outline in my mind. The main aspect is me getting the words onto page. Because all of the stories are true, I know the beginning, middle, and the end. First, I have to get it out of my head and onto the page. Second, I have to make sure the structure works and there is a flow to the work. Finally, the editing makes it all come together.

 

How much of your work is based on first-hand knowledge? Is anything you write based on real people/events and if so, how did they inspire you to create your work?  

Nicholas Tanek: My books are all true. I just change the names and label them fiction for legal reasons.

 

Do you get writers’ block and if so, how do you overcome it? 

Nicholas Tanek: I look at it this way. I only work when I feel inspired. If I am not inspired, I do not want to put out anything. I absolutely love writing, but I only want to write something that I feel inspired about. So, I will go through a period of time when I am not writing, but that means that I am helping other creative people with their creative work. Creativity inspires creativity. So, in my opinion, surrounding yourself with creative people is a wonderful way to overcome writer’s block.

 

Who are your main influences in the writing world? Do you have favorite authors? 

Nicholas Tanek: I like Anais Nin, Hunter S. Thompson, Herman Hesse, Richard Shannon, and many more. I also like comedians who write. Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Chris Gethard, and Julie Klausner are very funny authors. I think Tom Scharpling should write a book.

 

Are you trade or indie published? How has your experiences differed from your expectations prior to becoming a published author?  

Nicholas Tanek: I come from the DIY punk rock mentality. I want total control of my work. I am not in it for money. I write books to create art and because I have a need to be creative. So, I am an indie author. With that being said, I welcome talks with publishing companies, but I would want creative control.

 

Do you have any regrets as an author? 

Nicholas Tanek: In The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself, there was a memory that I wish I included. I was on ecstasy at a rave in Queens during the 1990’s. The fire department shut it down. The Evolution Vibe Tribe asked for one more record to be played. Even though the whole night was electronic dance music, the DJ played “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang. The crowd went wild and danced their asses off because they knew it was the last dance. I wish I included that in my book.

 

What is the hardest part about being a writer?

Nicholas Tanek: I do not want to hurt anyone with my writing. At the same time, I write from real experiences. So, there are people who I love who may get hurt if I write about them. That breaks my heart. Still, I have an overwhelming need to be honest with myself and true to the story. So, dealing with that is the hardest part of being a writer.

 

How long on average does it take for you to complete a book, from the first time you sit down to write until it becomes a published book?

Nicholas Tanek: The first book took more than a year to write and edit, but it took a lifetime to live the story.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 

Nicholas Tanek: Write. Be original. Just write… even if 99% of it is garbage, that 1% may be good. One sentence can change everything. The key is to actually write that one sentence. And, for the love of everything cool, be original.  There are too many people just trying to write to make what they think will sell. Be original. Write for yourself and from the heart.

 

What are you currently working on?

Nicholas Tanek: My new book is a sequel to The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself.  It is a tribute to the wonderful, wild, and weird people of the New Jersey / New York BDSM fetish community. It is about how people deal with loss and emotional pain through sex. When Lynn died, I was devastated. So, I used the BDSM fetish community as a way to distract myself and ultimately, heal myself. Although it is a very sexual book, it is not masturbation material. The book is a celebration of kink, but mainly, a celebration of friendship. It is very emotional. Hopefully, it may help very sexual people who are going through an emotionally tough time. The working title is Your Kinky Friends.

 

Follow Nicholas on the web:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nicholas.tanek

Website:  http://thecoolestway.net

Twitter: @NicholasTanek

Author Interview: David Alan Morrison

DAMpix

 

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing David Alan Morrison, author of Guild of Immortal Women.

David received his B.A. in Deafness, Theatre, and Cultural Diversity and his M.A. in Theatre Arts. His plays have been produced in Louisville, Seattle, Lexington and Houston. His middle-grade fantasy, RESCUING AWEN has been adapted to a graphic novel, his memoir TRAVELS WITH PENNY; OR, TRUE TRAVEL TALES OF A GAY GUY AND HIS MOM has been nominated for LGBT awards and GUILD OF IMMORTAL WOMEN was an Indebook finalist. All are available from Amazon.

 

ang_cover_comp2

 

Tell us a little about yourself – your education, family, etc.

I had the kind of upbringing that makes a very boring bio-pic;  middle class family living in the suburbs of Chicago, family dog, neighborhood schools.  My dad was a truck driver and my mother worked for the phone company.  My dad’s family was from the deep south, causing a wonderful juxtaposition with my mom’s New England family.  Luckily, they were all kind of crazy and dysfunctional. It’s the most interesting character study a writer could ask for.

 

 What started you on your journey to become an author?

I can’t remember a time I didn’t write.  As a kid, I would watch unhealthy amounts of TV and, when I didn’t like the show, would re-write the endings.  It evolved into making me the kind of writer who spread scraps of paper around my room (and later my apartments) with fragments of ideas, plot points and quotes.

 

 What is a usual writing day like for you?

I wake up, drink much too much coffee, procrastinate by cleaning my house, washing dishes and talking to myself.  Luckily, this kind of mindless busy work helps my mind free itself to the point that – about 7 pm or so – I have written whole scenes in my head.  I then head to the computer and hash out several pages of material in a frantic flurry before heading to bed.  It’s not the most effective way to write, but it works for me.

 

 Do you have a specific writing style? Are you a plotter or a panster when it comes to writing?

I have spent much of my writing life flying by the seat of my pants.  I’ll envision a scene and write it, then repeat this process until I have lots of ideas to work with.  Only then do I back up and begin pulling the pieces together by writing a plotline.  It has its own set of problems, such as discovering plot holes that you could drive a truck through.  My latest work I’m trying to reverse that process and layout the plot first.  So far, it’s maddeningly slow, but much more useful.

 

How much of your work is based on first-hand knowledge? Is anything you write based on real people/events and if so, how did they inspire you to create your work?

Much of what I write about has some link to real life: a quote I overheard, or a scenario I’ve experienced.  If it’s not a direct link, I do base a lot of my dialogue and action sequences on some real life events. It provides an authenticity to the work.

 

 Do you get writers’ block and if so, how do you overcome it?

I get writer’s block all the time.  If I’m blocked on a current project, I force myself to sit at the computer and write something: emails, letters, thank-you notes…anything that makes me get words on paper.  The more drudgery sort of work the better, as after a short time, my brain can’t handle the monotony and it starts being creative.

 

 Who are your main influences in the writing world? Do you have favorite authors?

I love the early Stephen King work.  I idolize Janet Evanovich – she’s a genius.  I thoroughly enjoy reading new authors – the Stephen King of tomorrow is out there.

 

Are you trade or indie published? How has your experiences differed from your expectations prior to becoming a published author?

I’m indie published.  This had a dramatic effect on my self-esteem, as I thought nobody’s a “real writer” unless they were published by Random House (or some other publisher).  As time went on, I realized this is not true.  The Indie publishing market has opened up a whole new world.  The work is harder when you’re doing your own PR, but the rewards are great. Plus, good writing is good writing. It doesn’t matter how it gets out into the world.

 

 Do you have any regrets as an author?

I wish I had been more fearless at a younger age.  I wish I could have been less self-conscious.

 

What is the hardest part about being a writer?

The loneliness.  I enjoy going out, meeting people and doing social things.  A writer’s life requires solitude. I’m still balancing solitude and loneliness.

 

How long on average does it take for you to complete a book, from the first time you sit down to write until it becomes a published book?

The time frame varies so much this question is impossible to answer.  My advice to new authors is this: finish the book! There is plenty of time to edit and change later.  Just. Finish. The. Story. Figure it will take about the same amount of time to do your edit, then another ¼ of the time to fret about if the work is worth it.  You can cut down this time by ceasing the fretting.  It’s worth it.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write. Read. Be honest with self-critiques, for it takes a lot of manure to yield a rose.  Don’t pay attention to people who don’t “get you” or “understand you”. Be true to the material.  Kill some of your favorite scenes – they mean a lot to you, but probably bores the reader to tears.

 

 

GOIW10

 

 

Below is an excerpt from David’s current WIP:

 

He glanced to the clock again. 2:36 AM. Maybe he should pop a couple of the Quaaludes Kevin had given him. But as much as he craved sleep, a small part of him feared slumber, for recently, during the few hours his body did shut down, horrible dreams haunted him, dreams in which a red-haired woman stalked him from the shadows.

All his life, he had enjoyed vibrant, joyful, colorful dreams that stayed with him long after he awoke. But nowadays, he awoke from catnaps shaking, covered in sweat, and infused with a deep sense of fear. For all the meditation, journaling and therapy, he could remember only portions of the dream; a violent, angry woman dressed in bright red with a name that sounded noble, like Veronica, Vivica…something with a “V.”  His brain allowed previews of the picture, but never the entire film.

Ever since the accident, his relationship with Jake had deteriorated, his sleep patterns had been destroyed and the only steady commitment he could fulfill was the volunteer position at the animal shelter.  It was as if his whole world had been overturned like a giant Etch-A-Sketch. But through it all, good ol’ what’s-her-name in the red dress had seared a place for herself in his nighttime jaunts. And he knew that in his dreams, she was killing people.

Dane knew he should tell Jake that these vivid dreams had started again, but he didn’t want to concern him. Admit it, he said to himself, you don’t want Jake to think you’ve totally lost it. You’re afraid he’ll think less of you.

But there was also another reason he couldn’t tell Jake about the dreams. He harbored a feeling that was impossible to describe, an inner sense that through the dreams, he was fighting some kind of battle…a battle that was his and his alone. It’s personal.

 

  

Check out David Alan Morrison on the web:

Website:  www.davidalanmorrison.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DAMauthor/?fref=ts

Twitter: @davidalanmorris

 

Interview: Author Kathy Steinemann

Kathy-Steinemann-300x300

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathy Steinemann, author of Megan and Emmett (WIP).

Kathy has loved writing for as long as she can remember.

As a child, she scribbled poems and stories. During the progression of her love affair with words, she won public-speaking and writing awards. Her career has taken varying directions, including positions as editor of a small-town paper, computer-network administrator, and webmaster.

Her short stories and poetry have appeared in various online and print publications, including Shoreline of Infinity, Boston Literary Magazine, and The Quarterday Review.

She has published multiple novels, anthologies, and self-help books. Kathy tries to write something every day. Her WIP is another anthology in the Megan and Emmett series.

CreateSpace-Graphics-Primer-600x450

Tell us a little about yourself – your education, family, etc.

I pursued several avenues of post-secondary education, but always gravitated back to my first love: writing. I’m a homebody who enjoys a good novel or television show that engages my imagination. My family—a long-suffering husband, three grown children, two grandchildren, and a pair of mischievous cats—help keep me young at heart.

What started you on your journey to become an author?

I can’t name a single thing. However, I can remember losing myself in fiction as a child—running through meadows with the Black Stallion or speeding through space to distant planets. Winning a few writing and public-speaking contests helped fuel my enthusiasm.

 

What is a usual writing day like for you?

I don’t have an ironclad routine, but I generally manage social media tasks early in the day. I might do a critique at Scribophile, transcribe information from sticky notes into my computer, record new ideas, and then tackle the serious task of writing, editing, or designing book covers. I get away from the computer every twenty-five minutes or so—with the help of a nagging timer—to stretch my legs, refill my coffee, or see what mischief the cats are up to if they haven’t been trying to take control of my keyboard.

 

Do you have a specific writing style? Are you a plotter or a pantser when it comes to writing?

I attempt to make every word count, omitting most adverbs, employing active verbs, and keeping descriptions—especially of characters—to a minimum. I believe that if you tell readers a woman is a long-distance runner on a trail in the woods, they’ll see what she’s wearing. Why bore them with details they’ll forget in a few paragraphs? Do they need to know she’s wearing turquoise-blue jogging pants and a red sweatband? I keep to the important facts. Does she rub her elbow because she hurt it playing tennis? Will that affect how she reacts in five minutes when she’s attacked by a strange man in a ski mask?

Most of my writing is of the pantser variety. I prefer to let my characters and story lead me in unexpected directions.

 

How much of your work is based on first-hand knowledge? Is anything you write based on real people/events and if so, how did they inspire you to create your work?

Most of what I produce is pure imagination, although real life sneaks in. The Megan and Emmett series, while not based on me and my husband, does have snippets that mirror our conversations and interactions. It’s always fun to hear friends speculate about what’s real and what’s fiction after they’ve read Nag Nag Nag, the initial book.

 

Do you get writer’s block and if so, how do you overcome it?

Yes and no. I find that writer’s block is usually a byproduct of staying away from my computer and finding excuses when I don’t feel up to writing. As soon as I scrap that mindset and open my word processor, the ideas start to flow. If I bog down trying to think of an appropriate word or phrase, I walk a few figure-of-eights around the room. That usually gets the creative juices flowing in the right direction.

 

Who are your main influences in the writing world? Do you have favorite authors?

I can’t say I’m influenced by anyone in particular. I admire Stephen King’s minimal approach, and I enjoy Ray Bradbury, Fredric Brown, and Rod Serling.

 

Are you trade or indie published? How have your experiences differed from your expectations prior to becoming a published author?

Indie all the way. I’ve never sought an agent or traditional publisher. With so many big-name authors switching to the indie model, I’ll probably stay where I am. I didn’t have many expectations when I began this journey, so whatever happens is a new experience.

Do you have any regrets as an author?

Yes. I wish I had started this process decades earlier. I have so many stories in my head and never enough hours to tell them. Oh—marketing. I regret having to strut my own stuff. If I didn’t have to market, I’d be more productive.

What is the hardest part about being a writer?

Forgetting that fantastic idea I had a few hours ago but never wrote down because it was so mind-blowing I’d never forget it. Reminder to self: Jot down that idea you had as you started on this interview. You know the—Crap! Why do I hear Britney Spears in my head singing “Oops! … I did it again”?

How long on average does it take for you to complete a book, from the first time you sit down to write until it becomes a published book?

That’s an impossible question. I have one novel on my hard drive, the third in my Sapphire Brigade Series, that has been gathering digital dust for over a year. It took me several months to research, and I’ll publish it after I run the earlier books through a critique cycle at Scribophile. My most recent creation, CreateSpace Graphics Primer, required almost as long due to the extensive graphics and numerous proofs I had to order before I was satisfied with it. I’m no George R. R. Martin, but I enjoy a relaxed approach. Rushing into publication is a typographical disaster waiting to happen.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yes. Learn the rules and then learn when to break them, or you’ll end up as a copycat without a distinct voice. Advice can be like pasta—with exquisite texture when cooked properly, or pasty when overdone.

Oh, and avoid comma splices, I hate comma splices, they make prose difficult to understand, did you see how many I used, don’t they make this section complicated to comprehend? ’Nuff said. [Kathy grins.]

road-to-hell-300x300 

Here’s an excerpt from the next Megan and Emmett WIP, from the chapter, “Let Tiffany Take Care of You”.

“Hello, Mr. Wal—”

“Emmett. Please call me Emmett. ‘Mr. Walpole’ is too formal, considering what you’re about to do to me.”

“All right, Emmett. I’m Tiffany. You just lie back, think happy thoughts, and I’ll take good care of you.”

“Be gentle.” Heh heh. She can take care of me any day. What a beaut.

“You look nervous.”

“Nah, not me. I’ve been here a time or two.”

“Try to relax.”

“Relax? How can I relax with you standin’ over me?” With those gorgeous brown eyes. And whatever that is in your hand.

“There we go. How does that feel?”

“Just a little more to the left.”

“Better?”

“Mmmmmhmmmm.”

“All right.”

“I’d—”

“Shhhhhhhh. No talking.”

“Mmph.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“It’s okay. I like the rough stuff.”

“Well, I don’t. I’ll try to not to do that again. You’re all tense now. My bad.”

“Mmph.” Fishing. Fishing. Think about fish—

 

~*~

 

“Emmett … Emmett … Mr. Walpole?”

“Mmph.” She musta been gentle. I dozed off. Damn cat kept me awake all night.

“You were sleeping? Nobody has ever fallen asleep on me before. For a minute there, I thought maybe you’d passed out.”

“I can take whatever you dish out. Like I said, this isn’t my first time.”

“All done. How do you feel?”

“Pretty good. Much better than when I came in. How much do I owe you?”

“Nothing. Your senior’s medical insurance covers reattachment of dental bridges.”

 

 

Follow Kathy on Social Media:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/kathysteinemann.author

Twitter: @kathysteinemann

Website: KathySteinemann.com

Author Interview: DeWayne Twitchell

DEWAYNE 5

 

 

*I apologize for the poor formatting on this. I had to enter quadruple spacing between everything in order to get any spacing to show up in any of it. Otherwise, it was all running together.

 

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing DeWayne Twitchell, author of Asian Haze and Night’s Plutonian Shore and Other Stories.

 

 
About the author:
My name is DeWayne Twitchell. I live in southern Illinois and am the author of two books currently out: a mystery novel called ASIAN HAZE, and a science fiction and fantasy short story collection called NIGHT’S PLUTONIAN SHORE AND OTHER STORIES, both published by Lang Book Publishing, Ltd. I am currently in the early stages of a new novel. This new book will continue the series I began with ASIAN HAZE about the private eye Randall Arthur.

 

ASIAN HAZE
Tell us a little about yourself – your education, family, etc.
I work presently at a group home for mentally-challenged adults, but have been writing for several years now. Single (happily), and live in a very quiet small town in Illinois. Have one older brother and one younger sister, three nieces and three nephews.

 

 

 
What started you on your journey to become an author?
I’ve been a reading junkie since I was a kid, and it eventually got me to dreaming of wanting to write my own stories.

 

 

 

 
What is a usual writing day like for you?
When I’m working on a book, I usually try to write for four or five hours, at least.

 

 

 
Do you have a specific writing style? Are you a plotter or a panster when it comes to writing?
In the type of books I write, which are mysteries, I try to be a plotter, though I think character development is as important, to make the reader care about the story and what happens in it.

 

 

 

 
How much of your work is based on first-hand knowledge? Is anything you write based on real people/events and if so, how did they inspire you to create your work?
A lot of what I write about comes from my imagination, and I have to research the finer points of what I’m writing about to try and get it as accurate as I can. Sometimes I will write about a real place and transpose it to another location. As for the characters, I don’t have a specific character that is like a real person, but maybe bits and pieces of someone’s personality ends up in one of my characters.

 

 

 

 

 
Do you get writers’ block and if so, how do you overcome it?
Sometimes the words don’t come out as easily as I’d like, though I don’t really think of it as writer’s block. I’ve found that even if I persist in writing something, even if it’s not up to the standards I usually demand of myself, eventually that bad writing will lead to something better.

 

 

 
Who are your main influences in the writing world? Do you have favorite authors?
I could talk about my influences all day, there are so many. It started with Ray Bradbury, and then to other science fiction writers. Then I went to reading fantasy, horror, thrillers, mysteries, etc.

 

 

 
Are you trade or indie published? How has your experiences differed from your expectations prior to becoming a published author?
My two current books are published by a small publishing house out of New Zealand called Lang Book Publishing, Ltd. Because it is a small house, I have had to do a lot of self-promotion, and 99% of that has been on the Internet: Facebook, Twitter, etc. Social media has changed the way not only how authors promote their books, but how they write and publish them as well. Indie and trade publishing has exploded in the last few years because of social media, and the new avenues it has created to get new writers exposed to an audience. When I first began having dreams of being an author, the publishing world was a lot different, and I based my fantasies of success on that world. I’ve had to readjust those fantasies to fit the new world. An example would be an interview like this one. I’ve done three or four interviews since being published, and they all have been responding to questions online or via e-mail, instead of sitting down with someone in a room and talking to them.

 

 

 

 

 
Do you have any regrets as an author?
Probably that I didn’t start doing this earlier in my life.

 

 

What is the hardest part about being a writer?
Coming up with something that you feel is good enough for other people to want to read. It is not easy to get the words down exactly as you want them to properly tell the story you want to tell. Most of good writing is rewriting and editing, over and over until you can get it as good as you can.

 

 

How long on average does it take for you to complete a book, from the first time you sit down to write until it becomes a published book?
This first book, ASIAN HAZE, was an on-and-off project that took several years for me to finish, because of other things going on in my life. The new book hopefully will be finished in late 2016, though that is not written in stone. But I’m going to try. When I was writing ASIAN HAZE, I didn’t have an audience, small as it is, waiting on a next book. Now I have a few people who actually want to read a new DeWayne Twitchell novel, and it puts more pressure on you to get it done as quickly as you can, but still have it as good as it can be.

 

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read as much as you can, both the good and the bad stuff. Write as much as you can. And if you truly believe in your talent, be persistent and never give up on your dream.

 

 

This is the opening from the new novel in progress, tentatively titled, FAMILY DYNAMICS:
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina

CHAPTER 1

The Void was approaching.

 

 

 

 
That was what he called it now within the recesses of his stroke-damaged mind. Not death, not a transition into an afterlife so desired by the human psyche—as long as if it didn’t involve fire, brimstone, or any eternal agony in general. But the Void, with a capital V. Because he was now of the belief, after long and often psychologically painful soul-searching, that there was no heaven, no hell, no place where all the souls of the deceased—good or bad—would reside. No place that both Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler would call their eternal spirit home. No conscious afterlife of any kind. Just a great nothingness, like the one before his conception.

 
Joseph Bowles was resigned to the impending end of everything he had accomplished, experienced, and felt. But what he was not resigned to, what he could not fathom, was how his eldest son, who stood at his bedside now in tears waiting for his father to die, could have betrayed him in the manner that he had done. After all the love and support he had given him.

 

 

 

 

 
He so wanted to say something to him now, but the stroke had stolen the ability of speech from him. He tried to transfer his hurt and hatred from his heart into his eyes. But he didn’t know if it registered. He was so weak. Let me die, oh please let me fucking die! Let me die so I won’t have to feel this goddamn heartache!

 
Roger Bowles and his wife Nancy were the only ones with him now. The doctor had seen Joseph an hour ago and told Roger and Nancy that there was nothing more that medical science could accomplish and that the end was near. A nurse had been in about ten minutes ago to check on the near-death patient, and had then left Roger and Nancy alone with Joseph. Their two teenage children had been there earlier to say their good-byes to their grandfather. It was too bad about Bryan, but he had made his choice long ago and had held to it.

 

He was a member of this family in name only. Roger had not invited his brother to be here at the hospital to say farewell to his estranged father and he had not expressed any wish to be there. Roger figured that Bryan would refuse the invitation, so why bother?

 

 

 

 
Joseph, in his time of dying, thought of the son he had lost. He was thinking of Bryan when the stroke struck him. Because Bryan was Joseph’s only hope to salvage what damage would be done by his brother. He had set events in motion, before the stroke. The stroke prevented him from finishing what he had to do in totality. But he hoped that what he had been able to do would be enough to get the ball rolling. And he hoped that Bryan still cared enough to do something, that his estrangement from his blood family was not so severe that if he learned the truth of what his brother had done, that he would let it pass. He felt he knew Bryan well enough to believe that he would not. That, despite everything that had happened to rend the family, Bryan’s sense of right was still ingrained within him. It was a shot in the dark, but it was all Joseph could take. And the pity was that he would not live long enough to know if he had hit the target, or even come close.

 

 
He could hear the cold beep of the heart monitor grow fainter, slower. He knew what was coming and was brave enough to accept it and whatever came after, even if it was nothing. And if he did reach a fiery hell, could it be worse than the suffering that Roger, who had seemingly always stood by him, had laid upon his heart that has already experienced enough heartache in his lifetime? And could a heaven truly make that suffering meaningless? For the first time, Joseph was glad that his beloved wife Tara was dead, so she would not have to bear her own heartbreak. But Roger and Nancy’s kids were still around, young and hopefully just in the early stages of long and happy lives. But if they discovered what their father had done, how would they deal with the pain? That thought further broke Joseph’s heart; that two innocent children should have to suffer for the sins of their family. And what of Bryan’s children, who were even younger? Maybe it was for the best if there was simply nothing after death.

 

 
The last thing Joseph Bowles saw was Roger and Nancy standing above him, both with tears in their eyes, arms around each other. The last physical sensation that Joseph felt were the tears leaking from his eyes.

 

 
Goddamn you, Roger.

 

 

 
The Void arrived.

 

 

 
Approximately ten minutes after Joseph Bowles drew his last mortal breath, his son Roger, after the requisite tears and hug with Nancy, got into the elevator and descended to the first floor of the hospital. He was no longer weeping, no longer had a need to weep, at least for the moment. He walked out with a quick step and stopped under the awning of the entrance. He took out his smart phone, scrolled through the phone number directory until he found the one he wanted and speed-dialed it. Roger just had to wait a few seconds before connecting.

 

 

 
“It’s me. The son of a bitch just died. Begin the operation,” Roger said. He disconnected without waiting for an answer from the other end. Sorry you’re going to miss all the fun, old man, he thought.

 

Get connected with DeWayne on social media!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeWayne-Twitchell-Author-813350492076949/
Twitter: @ddt1965
Website: http://ddt19652.wix.com/asian-haze

Author Interview with Yours Truly

Had an awesome time interviewing with Sophia over on her blog. Click below to check out the interview. Many thanks to Sophia for having me and giving me this exposure!

Nicola C Matthews.