Thanks for visiting Sophia Tallon's blog! We review books, audio books, screenplays, films, web series, plus much more! We also do interviews, spotlights, and guest posts! Please see our Contact/FAQ's page! Make sure you follow us on Bloglovin' or by email! Posts go live daily at 12 a.m. Central Daylight Time.
There was an error in this gadget

Monday, 31 August 2015

A Short Film I Starred In! Loner : The Short Film

Hey, guys! It's me, Sophia, again! I've been super busy and blah blah but I wanted to share something with you!


So, a the first short film I ever starred in was released this past weekend! Check it out!
https://youtu.be/ojbHGaGbE90


Don't forget to like and share it to help them get more views!!

(AUTHOR INTERVIEW) William J. Meyer

Today I will be interviewing William J. Meyer! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to be interviewed Contact Me!

First of all, tell us a little about yourself!
I'm a writer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles, working on scripts and novels. I produced my first book, the fantasy-adventure Fire on the Mound, as a weekly podcast. It tells a mythic story through vocal performance, sound effects, and an original score.


What inspired you to become an author?
When I think about it, every story that moves me.


What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
I think Stephen King once said anyone who writes fantasy is basically hoping Frodo and Sam have one more adventure. So Tolkien, definitely, was a big inspiration in general. More specifically, Fire on the Mound was inspired in part by theological questions I had, and the movies Ben-Hur and Princess Mononoke. The Ben-Hur novel is really good, too. I wanted to create a monotheistic mythology as the backdrop for a kid struggling with forgiveness, and hint at the consequences of his stubbornness as well as the selfishness of youth. The story and characters started to erupt out of that.


Who influenced you the most in life?
My parents, my teachers, my professors. And Spider-man.


What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you?
One winter back in Madison, Wisconsin I was driving somewhere on a cold and snowy night. You couldn't see more than a few feet because the air was so dense with snow. I slid into a snow bank in a residential area several blocks from the UW campus. Absolutely no one was around. But as soon as I got out of my car, a stream of college students appeared out of the snowy haze -- and they rescued my car from the snowbank. Then they disappeared into the night, just as silently as they had materialized. It was pretty amazing.


Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)
I really like Hayao Miyazaki. His manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is my favorite story of all time.


What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Hmmm, probably something Stu Maschwitz wrote -- he said something like, "If I told you your tenth screenplay would be your first good one, would you still write the other nine?" When I get frustrated with what I’m working on, I think about that. The idea of perseverance -- and growing through doing.


Did you always want to be a writer and if not what did was the first thing you wanted to be or do?
My mom kept a scrapbook all through my school years, and every year she'd ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, then she’d write it down. It's funny to see some of my answers. Most years my answer was "Marvel Comics penciller" or just "writer" and one year I wanted to be a “physicist.” Who knows if I even knew what that was. But, yes, I haven’t been able to shake it for some time, so I might as well keep going.


Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?
I like to listen to movie soundtracks from a similar genre. So things like Joe Hisaishi's Studio Ghibli work, Austin Wintory’s The Banner Saga is amazing, Bear McCreary’s Battlestar Galactica, Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy score. That kind of thing.


What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?
I just keep moving. There's always something else to write.


After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?
Vikings -- written by Michael Hirst -- is beyond awesome! Also, Manhattan -- a fictionalized account created by Sam Shaw of the U.S. developing the first atom bomb is also pretty darn good.


What are you working on currently?
I'm finishing my second novel. It's, more or less, a sci-fi kung fu spaghetti western about the last woman on Earth. Her name is Ze, and she's a shaman. She kicks butt, and she knows it. She carries a giant sword, it’s ridiculous. There’s robots, monsters, natural disasters--a real planetary-romance sort of adventure, except the exotic locale is a transformed Earth far, far, far in the future. Certain elements of pop culture have survived, but in ways devoid of their original context.


When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?
Go to the theatre. In the last few years I've seen some amazing shows here in LA, like Grapes of Wrath, Eurydice, Henry IV part I, and an exceptional one-woman show called Murder Bear Blood Story.


What are some of your most favourite books of all time?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë was a revelation, for sure. I read the book after seeing the film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. That movie blew me away - the editing, the music -- there are shots of Jane running over the moors that could have been Frodo and Sam in Mordor! So I had to learn more about this character and picked up the book. It’s so good. I also really like Watership Down by Richard Adams. A beautiful story about the power of stories. And surely every reader has a good cry at the end when -- well, I better not say.


Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
Hmm, in Fire on the Mound I would say Captain Belesys. He doesn't get much page-time, but he's the sort of dastardly rascal who shows a glimmer of remorse but then he quickly buries that idea beneath the weight of his own ego! In the new book I'd definitely say Ze, the main character. I'm still in the process of unearthing her character. I like her imperfections as much as her more admirable qualities. And I think she has a cool costume, haha.


Which of your books are you most proud of?
Well I've only written one, but I think it's always best to say the next one is even better! :)


What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?
I just finished The Unfolding Text by John Tulloch and Manuel Alvarado. I really enjoyed it -- it examines some pretty cool sci-fi and fantasy concepts through the lens of classic Doctor Who episodes. I thought it had a lot of interesting things to say about story construction.


Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
Yes, after I finish the sci-fi novel I am eager to write my first bio-pic. A feature film. I don't want to say who it is because I think it's amazing there isn't a movie dedicated to this person yet! It’s a fascinating story. I have a lot of research ahead of me.


What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
It must be well-hidden, because I'm not sure.


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?
Telekinesis would be fun. And if I was good enough at it, I could use it to fly, so that's two powers with one stone!


Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?
If they’d like to check out Fire on the Mound they can go to www.fireonthemound.com.
I’ve also set up a Patreon account for the production of my next podcast novel, the sci-fi book I mentioned above, title-to-be-released! If they want to follow along, they can go www.patreon.com/williamjmeyer.


Where can we find you on social media?
Fire on the Mound is on Twitter and Facebook:
www.twitter.com/FotMound
www.facebook.com/FotMound
and I'm on Twitter:
www.twitter.com/robotika_org



Monday, 24 August 2015

(AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT) Dana Burkey

Today Dana Burkey's blog tour for her book Locket Full of Secrets is starting today! Below I will be spotlighting her! Make sure to enter one of the giveaways for a copy of her book!
About Dana Burkey:
I graduated college from Youngstown State University in 2009 with a degree in theater and a minor in creative writing. I am currently living in Washington State in a little cabin in the woods with my cat Cato. I work full time at a kids camp, and spend my free time doing community theater and adventuring in nature! I am an avid geocacher, and love watching reality TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, and Big Brother! I am currently working on my next project that includes a few YA romances and a YA dystopian series!

Book Description:
After over 4 years, Olena comes rocketing back into Claire's life, changing everything for the worse. Picking up the shattered pieces, Claire is not sure who to believe. Is Olena who she says she is, or is she a killer to stay away from? Leaning on her new boyfriend Steven for support, Claire is faced with the choice on who to trust: a friend she barley knows, or a history lesson she barely remembers. Together, the three will begin a journey that will take Claire from the safety of her home to the last place she thought she would ever be: The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. With the wreckage of rector four looming behind her, Claire will have to see Olena's plan through until the end if she wants any chance of making it out alive.
EXCERPT:

Once we were in the safety of my dorm I collapsed onto my bed, my head pounding with a sudden headache. Steven sat next to me, one arm around my waist while the other held onto my shaking hands. Olena locked the door before turning to face us, her look more urgent than ever.
“The guy you found dead in the bathroom was Alexi Dyatlov,” she began, a calm expression on her face. “He was sent to kill me back in ‘95, but my mom and I got away. That is why I left Ohio when I did. The man he works for has been trying to find us since we moved to the United States years ago. When we left we headed to Canada, thinking we would be safe, but then he found us again. That was why I needed to come find you.”
“But why did you need to drag me into all of this now?” I asked, my voice finally calming down some. Something about the way she stated everything as a simple fact made me think there was even more she was not saying.
“Until we met a few months ago they did not know you and I were connected,” she explained. “But now they are likely watching you, making sure I do not contact you again. I wanted to stay away and leave you out of this, I really did. But I do not have a choice.”
With a sigh she sat on my desk chair, a look of remorse on her face. I glanced at Steven, his face a mask of concern and confusion. It felt good to know I was not the only one still in the dark.
“I had to find you in order to get the necklace,” Olena began again slowly. “The locket I gave you is the key to all of this. I did not know it when I gave it to you, but it is the only thing that will stop these men.”
“I don’t have it,” I managed to croak despite my dry throat. “I left it in Ohio.”
“That is okay,” she nodded. “That means it is still safe until we can go get it. If we leave now we can get there while your parents are still asleep so we will not have to involve them in this any more than they already are.”
“Wait, you expect us to come with you now?” Steven asked. A part of me could not help but smile to know he was going to stick with me through this. But, a bigger part of me was still a mess of emotions trying to make sense of everything I had just heard.
“The longer we wait the more danger we are all in,” Olena explained. “They have been tracking me since I killed Alexi, and it is only a matter of time before they figure out that I came here to see you, Claire.”
I could feel my heart pounding even more now, my pulse speeding up at all the news Olena was presenting me with. Earlier today I was happy to be spending time with Steven, and now I was being asked to drive to Ohio to pick up a necklace that was the cause of Olena killing someone?
“How do I know all of this is even real?” I asked, taking a deep breath in an attempt to calm down.
“This might help,” Olena muttered.
I watched in shock as Olena stood to shed her black coat before pulling off her black t-shirt. Standing only in her bra I sat in silence staring at her pale skin, covered in thick red scars. Most of the scars were small, likely not too deep. On her left side, however, was a scar that ran from her rib cage down towards her belly button. It was jagged and darker than the other as if it had only recently healed. Tiny puncture marks around it hinted at stitches and who knows what else.
“The knife was just centimeters from rupturing my lung and spleen,” she explained, her fingers tracing the large scar. “I stopped the bleeding enough to make it to an animal clinic. I paid a vet tech to stitch me up just enough so I could keep driving. I had lost so much blood I thought I was going to die.”
“Why didn’t you go to the hospital?” I asked, staring at the scars until she slipped her clothing back on.
“They would have turned me in to the police,” she shrugged, slipping her coat on once again.
“Won’t the police be able to help with this big mess?” Steven asked, his hand rubbing soothing circles on my back.
“No,” Olena said simply. “These men are not going to be stopped by the police. Nothing will stop them from killing me. Getting the police involved just means putting more people in danger.”
“So if we go to Ohio it all ends?” I asked, the pieces slowly falling into place.
“Yes,” she nodded. “They will follow me after I leave, so you should be safe.”
With a sigh I turned to face Steven. His look was one of concern, but he gave a slight nod, letting me know he was going to stick with me through this. Somehow just knowing he was by my side made my decision that much easier.
“Okay,” I finally mumbled. “When do we leave?”


Rafflecopter U.S. Signed Paperback Giveaway:
Link:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7dbc2d241/?



Rafflecopter Outside of U.S. ebook Giveaway:
Link:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7dbc2d242/?

Check back later this week as I will be posting a review of Dana's book Locket Full of Secrets!

Other Times Dana Appeared On Sophia Tallon:

Guest Blog Post 1: http://sophiatallon.blogspot.com/2015/07/guest-blog-dana-burkey.html

Author Interview: http://sophiatallon.blogspot.com/2015/07/author-interview-dana-burkey.html

Guest Blog Post 2: http://sophiatallon.blogspot.com/2015/07/guest-blog-dana-burkey_5.html

Sunday, 23 August 2015

LOCKET FULL OF SECRETS BLOG TOUR August 24-September 14

The Locket Full of Secrets by Dana Burkey Blog Tour is starting tomorrow! Below is the list of all blogs participating!


Sophia Tallon
Author Spotlight & Review
(24th of August)
sophiatallon.blogspot.com


The Book Bratz
Guest Post
(25th August)
http://thebookbratz.blogspot.com/

Mousey Books
Review
(26th August)
http://mouseybooks.com/

Loves All Things Books
Author Spotlight
(27th August)
http://lovesallthingsbooks.blogspot.com/?zx=fbd22cecca118aa8

Poseidons99
Guest Post
(28th August)
https://poseidons99.wordpress.com/

Mello and June - it's a Book Thang!
Interview
(29th August)
http://mellojune.blogspot.com/

Becky on Books...and Quilts
Author Spotlight
(29th August)
http://beckymmoe.com/

Mythical Books
Interview
(30th August)
http://mythicalbooks.blogspot.com/

Book Room Reviews
Author Spotlight
(31st August)
http://www.bookroomreviews.com/

My Own Little Corner
Guest Post
(1st September)
http://amandasownlittlecorner.blogspot.com/

Dowie's Place
Author Spotlight
(2nd September)
http://www.dowiesplace.com/

Around the World in Books
Author Spotlight
(3rd September)
http://www.aroundtheworldinbooks.ca/

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog
Author Spotlight
(4th September)
http://fictionalrendezvousbookblog.blogspot.com/?zx=6f0c927a2109fabb

Confessions of a Book Lover
Guest Post & Review
(5th September)
http://confessionsofabooklover.weebly.com/

Books on Fire Tours
Author Spotlight
(6th September)
http://fit4amom.blogspot.com/

JBronder Book Reviews
Author Spotlight
(6th September)
http://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Bronagh's Beauty and Books
Review
(7th September)
http://bronaghsbeautyandbooks.com/

Books, Authors, Blogs
Author Spotlight
(7th September)
http://therightbook4u.blogspot.com

Thursday, 20 August 2015

(AUTHOR INTERVIEW) William P. Robertson

Today I will be interviewing William P. Robertson! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to be interviewed Contact Me



First of all, tell us a little about yourself!
I was an English major at Mansfield University located in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. After graduating from college in 1972, I taught high school English before starting my own house painting business. I’ve also pursued a second career as a freelance writer. My stories, articles, and poems have now been published in over 500 magazines worldwide.

What inspired you to become an author?
My ninth grade English teacher, Mrs. Mary Ann Johnston, recognized that I had writing talent and encouraged me to compose poetry. When I heard the lyrics of Jim Morrison and the Doors in senior high, I was totally blown away! From that time on, I wanted to be able to express myself like that! I then became a serious student of literature.

What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
I wrote STORIES FROM THE OLDEN DAYS after losing both my parents and my only sister in a very short time. I didn’t want to remember the sadness of their passing, so I wrote about the good times we shared instead. The result was this humorous look at growing up in the 1950’s and ’60’s. As the old adage goes, “Laughter is the best medicine.”

Who influenced you the most in life?
My dad! He gave me my love of the outdoors and taught me so much about history. He also encouraged me to read such classic authors as Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Kenneth Roberts, and C.S. Forester.

What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you
My creative writing professor, Joe David Bellamy, contacted me on Facebook and asked me to be friends. After I accepted, he told me he always thought I would become a professional writer and he was proud of me for following that path. That was 40 years after I had him in class at Mansfield! I couldn’t believe he remembered me after all that time. He was very famous in literary circles, after all!

Do you have a favorite author?
I always enjoyed reading and teaching the books of Ernest Hemingway. His work is autobiographical and written in language anyone can understand. His adventures are spellbinding.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
One of my professors told me that writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. When all is said and done, it’s the editing that makes a story great. One of my novels, AMBUSH IN THE ALLEGHENIES, was edited 32 times before I got it right. It became my second biggest seller.

Did you always want to be a writer, and if not, what was the first thing you wanted to be or do?
I always had a gift with words, so I followed my main strength and became a writer. I think my mother had a lot to do with my love of language because she read to me every night at bedtime when I was just a little boy.

Do you like to listen to music while you write?
No, I like to have complete silence. That’s why I get up at four a.m. every morning and am on the computer by five. It peaceful that time of day, so I can fully concentrate.

What helps you write when you’re stuck or have writer’s block?
The worst thing to do is keep hammering away on something if you’re stuck. It’s like spinning your tires on an icy road. I usually head off for work early or take a walk in the woods. For some reason, doing something physical unfreezes my mind. Sometimes reading a book helps, too, because it gets words flowing again.

After a long day of writing, do you have a favorite TV show you like to watch?
I really enjoy CASTLE. The plots are interesting as is the interplay between Castle and Beckett.

What are you working on currently?
I’m writing a collection of action stories for men titled MISDEEDS AND MISADVENTURES. The heroes are gangsters, soldiers, and spunky boys. Ernest Hemingway’s IN OUR TIME serves somewhat as a model.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I love to go trout fishing in the wild, beautiful streams of McKean County, Pennsylvania. I also enjoy taking nature photos of my area and watching Pittsburgh Pirates baseball.
What are some of your favorite books of all time?
I loved reading Ernest Hemingway’s IN OUR TIME, John Steinbeck’s THE PEARL, and MAGGIE: A GIRL OF THE STREETS by Stephen Crane. The poets I enjoy are e. e. cummings and Edgar Allan Poe.
Which of your characters do you love and why?
David Rimer and I wrote an eight-novel historical fiction series about the Pennsylvania Bucktails of Civil War fame. One of our main characters, Bucky Culp, is my favorite because of all the adversity he has to overcome. Bucky’s mother dies when he is very young, and his father is killed by wolves, making him an orphan. Being half Indian, he is also the target of much prejudice. To top it off, Bucky must survive the rigors of army life and the horrible battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness.
Which of your books are you most proud of?
I’d have to say HAYFOOT, STRAWFOOT: THE BUCKTAIL RECRUITS. This is the first novel in the Bucktail series. The book required a ton of research and countless edits to ready it for market. After all that work, it was accepted by a royalty publisher and went on to be my best-selling book.
What is the title of the last book you read? Was it good or bad?
BOOTLEGGERS, BULLETS AND BLOOD by Sally Ryan Costik was well-researched and very interesting. It tells the story of Bradford, Pennsylvania gangsters in the Roaring Twenties. I used some of the information in a short story I wrote for MISDEEDS AND MISADVENTURES.

Is there anything specific you’d like to try writing about in the future?
David Rimer and I wrote a two-novel French and Indian War series. The books, AMBUSH IN THE ALLEGHENIES and ATTACK IN THE ALLEGHENIES, have been very popular. Next, I need to finish the series. I’ve been putting it off because I’ll have to go it alone since David retired.

What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
I enjoy casting and painting lead soldiers. When I was a boy, my dad and I would make a different army every fall. We did the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and the Spanish American War in successive years. It’d take months to cast and paint our soldiers in historically accurate uniforms. Then, we’d have a grand review to admire our handiwork. After that, we played war games with our armies. It was great fun, and I learned much history along the way. A chapter in STORIES FROM THE OLDEN DAYS deals with this topic.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?
I’d like to be able to go back in time. Just think of all the accurate details I could add to my historical fiction books, then!

Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?
More information about my writing can be found on my two websites. I created http://www.thehorrorhaven.com for my horror story collections. My Bucktail and Alleghenies novels are covered on http://www.bucktailsandbroomsticks.com. This site has received well over a million hits!

Where can we find you on social media?
I’m pretty much a Facebook guy. I’m located at https://www.facebook.com/william.p.robertson. I also can be found on Goodreads and LibraryThing.com. I’ve appeared on YouTube numerous times, as well. Search William P. Robertson there. You’ll be surprised at what comes up! Thanks for the interview, Sophia!
Make sure you check back later this year as I will be reviewing William's book Stories From the Olden Days!

Friday, 14 August 2015

(AUTHOR INTERVIEW) Elizabeth Grace

 Today I will be interviewing Elizabeth Grace! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to be interviewed Contact Me
First of all, tell us a little about yourself!
I’m newly graduated from high school, starting college in August. I’m majoring in Publishing with a minor in Writing and hopefully I’ll take some music classes too because I love to sing and perform. I’ve written five books so far, none of which I’ve yet tried to publish, and am currently deciding whether to write my sixth book or revise my fifth, since I’ve never fully rewritten one yet.

What inspired you to become an author?
There have been plenty of inspiring times in my life that really made me think, “Yeah, writing is what I have to do,” but the first time I ever thought about being a writer was in kindergarten. We were learning how to begin sentences and my teacher told us we weren’t ever allowed to start them with the words “but” or “and” unless we ever became a famous author. I must have been a bit of a rebel as a kid, because I made my life goal to write books so I could break that silly rule.

What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
My most recently written book, my fifth, is called Pink Skies. Inspiration comes from random places for me. I have thousands of notes in my phone of book ideas, and I got the idea for PS over a year before I actually ended up writing it, so I don’t remember where the inspiration for the initial idea came from. But what inspired me as I wrote the book was how I connected with the main character, Jenna, who has forced herself to be strict about grades and being perfect because it’s expected of her, something I think most people can relate to. It was nice to be so close to a character that had real life struggles like that.

Who influenced you the most in life?

One of my favorite people in the world was actually my Algebra II teacher. He’s one of those people who can joke around a lot but he has this one look that makes you just know he’s completely judging you. And he likes to randomly bust out a deep thought. What I’ve taken to heart the most from his outbursts was when he told me what he thinks of love. He says it’s not like people make it seem in the movies – it’s not just a feeling. It becomes a decision. Every day he has to wake up and decide that he’s going to love his wife today, meaning he’s going to make his actions prove his love for her and their kids. The day people wake up and decide to live for themselves is the day things go wrong in a relationship. I use that to inspire both my life and my writing.

What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you?

My boyfriend is actually one of the rare ones. He and I were close friends for about a year before we started dating and at the very beginning of our relationship we promised each other that, to make this work, we would always be honest and understanding. And every day he keeps that promise over and over again and that’s the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me because sometimes it can be a little crazy to try to understand me, especially when I can’t stop talking about my stories.

Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)
For some reason I’ve never liked more than one of an author’s books. But I do connect with and take inspiration from Jenny Han, Jennifer E. Smith, and John Green the most.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?

I’ve probably read every book on writing ever written, so this is a tough one, since there are so many amazing pieces of advice to choose from. I guess what I think about the most is how writers never give up. If you want to make it, you have to be your own motivator, you have to set deadlines for yourself and you have to meet those deadlines. You have to have enough faith in your book that you will do what’s best for it and not try to publish prematurely just because you want to see your name on some book jacket somewhere. Writers have to write because they have to. If you can set aside your writing for the rest of your life and survive, you’re not supposed to write. Simple as that.

Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?

It depends on my mood, but a lot of the time I can listen to music. Usually I’ll listen to playlists that inspired my book, but my favorite band in general is Walk the Moon. I’ve loved those guys for FOUR YEARS and they’re just now getting traction. I can’t decide whether to be proud of them or sad that I’m not the only one who knows them now.

What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?

How much of a meticulous planner I am. I generally outline for a few months before writing, and it usually keeps me from getting stuck at all during the writing process. But sometimes I’ll hit a block while I’m outlining, and when that happens, I talk to a writing buddy and get some different perspectives.

After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?

The Office is forever my favorite. How I Met Your Mother is a close second.

What are you working on currently?
I like to, after I’ve finished outlining but before I start a book, make a summary of my plot and send it to beta readers to fix some plot problems before I get into the mess that is the first draft. That’s what I’m working on right now with my sixth book, Just In Case It Rains. After that I have to decide if I’m going to start writing it or go back and revise PS. I’m afraid I keep writing too much and I’ll never actually get around to revising one!

When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?
Geez, what is there to do but write? Even when I’m watching TV or reading or doing whatever else, I’m using it as inspiration for my stories. As a writer, everything goes through a Writing Filter, so I’m basically always working.

What are some of your most favourite books of all time?
The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and Peter Pan. Hands down.

Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
He’s actually from my very first book, which is funny because the rest of it’s garbage (as first books tend to be). His name is Patch and I’m pretty sure he makes me clinically schizophrenic because I still talk to him all the time even though I finished his book almost 3 years ago. I just connected with him the most, for some reason. He’s stuck with me.

Which of your books are you most proud of?
Pink Skies. With every book I write, I experiment a little with my process to see what works best for me, and when I wrote PS I really found what feels right. There’s always going to be some tweaking of my process according to what each book needs, but I just felt so in the zone with that book and I felt – still feel – so connected to it. Once it’s revised and done, it’ll probably be the first one I pitch to agents.

What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?
I’m currently reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone because I just went to London as research for JICIR (which is set there) and I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour thing and bought it even though I had a copy back home. And, I mean, it’s Harry Potter. So of course it’s good.

Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
I’m really interested in writing from a guy’s point of view. And I’d like to try something a little more on the fantasy/speculative side, because I usually write all YA Contemporary stuff, but a little bit of magic can be fun. Also, verse novels. Definitely want to write at least one of those in my career.

What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
I love to sing, almost as much as I love to write, and I play the ukulele. I’m also very good at sarcasm and being way too short.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?
Maybe I’d use it to stop time? That way I could get in a lot more work each day and write more books in my lifetime than I’d get to without the whole stopping time thing. But flying would also be fun. Because, Peter Pan.

Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?
I just want to say how much I love that reading wasn’t a fad and isn’t something that’s going away – readers are the only reason writers can exist, and so I kind of owe everything to you guys. If you ever see my books around, try it out if it looks interesting. I’m thinking about the pen name Elizabeth Grace, though my real name is Grace Dinkins. So keep an eye out for either of those. I’d really appreciate it.

Where can we find you on social media?

I’ve posted a lot of short stories and even some of my books on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/story/list/5650832-destiny-elizabeth-grace). And then there’s my Instagram account for my poetry that I sometimes completely forget exists, username elizabethgracewrites. And if anybody has any comments or questions, shoot me an email at elizabethgrace713@gmail.com. I’d love to connect with you guys. Thank you!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

(AUTHOR INTERVIEW) David Tiefenthaler

 Today I will be interviewing David Tiefenthaler! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to be interviewed Contact Me!

First of all, tell us a little about yourself!
I’m a 38-year-old man with a juvenile sense of humor. That’s probably why I teach middle school and write middle grade books. As far as family is concerned, I’m very fortunate to have a lovely wife and three healthy and happy kids ages six, eight, and nine.

What inspired you to become an author?
 I like telling stories. Every Monday in my 7th Grade English Language Arts class, we have story time. The students all have to write something interesting about their weekend. I would write with them, and then we share our stories. Somewhere along the line, I decided that I should develop a story loosely based on my middle grade experiences. For about three months during the winter of 2013, I wrote the first draft of O.K. is Great.

 What was the main inspiration for your book?
There wasn’t some huge inspiration behind my story. The main thing was I wanted to entertain the readers. I wanted to be the teacher who teaches writing that actually has something written for the world to see. I wanted to practice what I preach in class. Writers write!

Who influenced you the most in life?
 My parents. They were so wonderful to me growing up, and continue to encourage me now. As far as being creative, it would be my mom. She motivated me to consistently read, write, and draw growing up. As far as work ethic is concerned, I got that from my father. He taught me the value of hard work, which coincidentally, is one of the messages in my book.

 What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you?
 My family is always doing nice things for each other. There’s probably too many to really list. How about one from a couple of students I had this past year. They compiled a list of all the strange things I said over the course of the year and shared it with the rest of the class on the last day of school. I turned it into a top ten list and posted it on my blog. - http://davidtiefenthaler.com/stuff-mr-tiefenthaler-says/ - Here’s an example of something I said to my class, “Any cereal that changes the color of your milk to pink is probably unhealthy, but it also is probably amazing.”

 Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)
 I’ll list three. Neil Gaiman is so fun to read. His fantastical tales are so realistic, creepy, and wonderful. Tom Angleberger is an excellent Middle Grade author, and, of course, I have to say J.K. Rowling. I remember reading one of the Harry Potter books late at night. I set it down and was depressed because there wasn’t much left to read. I never wanted that world to come to an end.

 What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
 Just do it! I don’t know if that is great advice, but it resonates with me. A fellow teacher told me I should write a book. She said, “You’re talented. Write a book.” That was it. Just hearing that someone else thought I had talent was enough for me to just do it.

 Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?
 I do sometimes, but the music can’t have words. I only want my words in my head. When I’m writing, especially if there is any action going on, I want some techno music. Maybe Daft Punk, Deadmau5, the soundtrack to The Matrix or Tron, or something like that. I’m not exactly sure about the artists because I just let the Pandora techno station I created play. 

What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?
 I base a lot of the characters on some personality trait of different people I know, so when I’m stuck at a part, I always go back to thinking, “What would he or she say or do here?” Also, with descriptions, when I’m bogged down, I try to imagine the scene as if it was playing in a movie, and then try to describe what my mind’s eye is seeing.

 After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?
 Yes! The Walking Dead. I just saw the Comic Con trailer for Season Six and want new episodes so bad right now! I also love watching people struggle to survive in Naked and Afraid. That show is so brutal, but it just shows how well we have it in modern society. If the apocalypse comes, and I have to find a way to survive, I’m going to the nearest food distribution site and squirreling away a lifetime supply of Spaghetti-O’s

 What are you working on currently?
 I already have the second book written in the O.K. series, so I’m currently kicking around ideas for the third book. Check this title. O.K.B.M.L.G.: Otis Kalshwonkee Be Major League Gaming. Otis is going to realize he’s a great gamer at a certain game, so he rounds up a crew of his friends and they go to a video gaming tournament to try and win a bunch of money.

 When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?
 Play with my kids! They are at such a great age, where their parents are still cool. My wife and I do all sorts of things with them like swim, bike, play kickball, soccer, fish, kayak, cross-country ski, or just play in the yard. We’re trying to avoid the whole traveling sports thing for at least until our oldest gets into middle school, so for now, we can spend quality time with them.

 What are some of your most favourite books of all time?
 I’ll give you three again. Let’s go with The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. This was the first book I read by Neil Gaiman, and his style took me by surprise. I remember reading it on a flight, and I was so into it, I was mad when I had to get off the plane. For number two, how about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. It isn’t like I wanted Voldomort, yes, I said his name, to win, but the situation with the horcruxes and how the wizarding world was falling to pieces had me all knotted up inside. Finally, I’ll go with an older book. The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway was so wonderfully depressing. That’s a perfect book to read during Shark Week, by the way.

 Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
I love O.K. For those who haven’t heard about my book, the main character is Otis Kalshwonkee (rhymes with donkey) and everyone calls him O.K. because that’s his initials. He’s this feisty, rambunctious kid that needs to be steered in the right direction. Also, his view of the world is just a bit off kilter, which the reader gets to see in the pictures he draws.

What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?
Right now, I’m reading some graduate school book about how to teach at risk students, and it’s terrible. It’s not even worth mention the name. I’d rather read fan fiction about One Direction than what I have to read currently.

Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
Yes. I want to tackle the tragic and comical world of high school romance. I’ve got more ideas than time, and I’m not sure which idea of mine has the top priority, but I’ve been thinking about writing a YA called TWIRP. There was this dance when I was in high school called The Woman Is Required to Pay (TWIRP) where the girl had to ask the guy out. In my book, two girls are going to ask two guys out, but neither girl is “officially” dating one of the two boys. There are just going as a group. Naturally, the two boys like only one of the two girls, and it just gets messy from there.

What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
I can dance, kind of. Do you want to watch a video of me teaching the world how to do The Whip and the Nae Nae? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDNKrKJnZiM

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?
Great question! I’ve debated this in my own head for years. I had a subscription to The Uncanny X-Men when I was growing up, and I always thought I would choose the healing powers that Wolverine had. That would be great for me, but then I thought that I probably could help the world more if I had telepathic powers like Professor X.

Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?
Get on this O.K. train with me right from the beginning. I hope to make this into a five book series at a minimum. From the feedback and reviews I’ve got so far, I think you’ll really like it. 

Where can we find you on social media?
Too many places. I have a problem on social media and need to back away. Something tells me that’s not going to happen anytime soon.



 
Check back later this month as I will be reviewing David's book O.K. is great!
 
 

Monday, 3 August 2015

(BOOK) The Brokenhearted - Amelia Kahaney

THIS BLOG POST WAS WRITTEN BY Ebony aka EGoddess!
The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney

[Young Adult Sci Fi]

  Well I picked this up at the library (which is usual thing for me) and it was part of the summer reading options. It's about a girl who falls in love with a guy from, "the wrong side of the tracks" and when she's over at his house the kidnappers take him and they want her to pay to get him back. Next thing you know she's been operated on and has a new heart and with it, new abilites.

  I haven't finished the book just yet, but it's super good. I'm very glad I picked it up! There's a sequel as well called The Invisible and I'm excited to read it. I think the character development is done well and the story/theme/plot is a very good one. I think it's relatable. I highly recommend this one!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

(BOOK) Life By Committee - Corey Ann Haydu

THIS BLOG POST WAS WRITTEN BY Ebony aka EGoddess!
Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

[Young Adult Contemporary]

  I didn't really think I would like this book as much as I did once I got into it. Simply because it had a bit of angst. It's like you're siding with the main character, or you see how things aren't their fault, but they get blamed anyway or they don't know how to stick up for themselves when it's time. Its bothersome. Plus, the characters in the book all thought that tabby had changed, but reading it you wouldn't know if its the "changed" tabetha, so it just feels like everyone in the book is full of it because you have no idea what they're referrinf to when it comes to tabetha. But the ending of the book really brought it home for me. It was sweet and a nice ending. Gives a positive outlook on humans in this world.

 I wouldn't recommend this book though. I would just tell someone about it. I almost feel like it's a personal thing like Tabetha did with LBC. [if you read it, you'll get the reference]

 Happy Reading!