Brooke Williams An Interview with welovequalitybooks.biz

Brooke Williams and The Leftover- An Interview

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Brooke Williams spoke to us about her new release, ‘The Leftover’ at WeLoveQualityBooks.biz.

 

It’s not easy to write a love story. To add a comic flavour to love is even harder. Love can be such an emotional roller-coaster! Brooke Williams and her book ‘The Leftover’ make you see love otherwise. If there are any perfect love stories in the world, where there are” no big tragedies and love wins after all, ‘The Leftover’ will deserve a glorious mention.

Book Review by Welovequalitybooks.biz for The Leftover_Brooke Williams
Book Review by
Welovequalitybooks.biz for The Leftover_Brooke Williams

‘The Leftover’ by author Brooke Williams has released on September 1, 2017.

 

This romantic comedy has already received 30 reviews on Amazon.com with an average rating of 4.6 stars. How did author Brook Williams come up with such a superb novel? Read this interview to find out more!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Brooke,  your novel ‘The Leftover’, released on Septemper 1st, 2017. How does it feel?

Brooke Williams: Great! I’m super excited! I got the contract for this book a year and a half ago and we’ve spent a lot of time working on editing and the cover etc. I feel like the book just got better and better and I can’t WAIT to share it with everyone!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What are the things that you are doing to promote ‘The Leftover’?

Brooke Williams: Anything and everything I can. I have several book signings lined up for the fall, for one. I have been on many different blogs and am reaching out to reviewers. I have to admit, marketing is not my main talent, but I’m trying!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Megan, the heroine of the novel works at the radio station. You have been a radio announcer yourself. How similar are you and Megan?

Brooke Williams: I get a lot of characteristics for my characters from me or people I know and Megan and I are a lot a like. We both wear glasses, for one, and we both feel more comfortable alone than in crowds. I think I deal with my introvertedness” better than she does, but it’s still there! I don’t swim well, either, which is something that comes into play in a very big way for her!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What did you like most about being a radio jockey?

Brooke Williams: It’s sounds strange, but being on the radio is a very good job for a closet introvert like me. I talked to thousands of people on a daily basis, but in reality, I sat in a room by myself, basically talking TO myself. So it felt like I was alone and that worked out well for me! It was fun to get to go to all of the concerts and actually meet the bands too.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How have you adapted the learning form your job with the radio, into your writing?

Brooke Williams: I’ve always loved to write so it was a perfect segue. And I’ve heard that you should write what you know and since I spent a decade in radio, I know that world pretty well! I was able to take that experience and write it into a book to make it more real.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Your previous book was associated with reality television too. Are you a reality television buff yourself?

Brooke Williams: I do like a good reality TV show every now and then! Specifically Survivor and The Bachelor. I wouldn’t say I’m a buff because those are the only two I watch regularly, but they do fascinate me! Sometimes I wonder what the shows would be like with someone like me on them. And that’s kind of where the books come from! That idea evolving.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What do you think makes reality TV addictive?

Brooke Williams: I think people can see themselves in some of the characters. With scripted shows, there’s all these gorgeous actors and things go according to the plan on the script. But with reality shows, you never know what’s going to happen and at least some of the people are more real. Anyone can get on the show!

 

WeLoveQuality Books:   In ‘The Leftover’ each and every character of your plot was very strong. How tough was that to achieve?

Brooke Williams: Characters are hard to form because I’m not the type of writer who plans things out. I let things unfold in the story. So the characters come as they come and that’s that! I don’t really plan them out. I had no idea how large of a role each character would play when I started writing them (other than the main two, of course). So I was lucky that they fleshed themselves out enough as the story went along!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: The Leftover had no negative character, as such. How difficult is it to write a story where there are no villains?

Brooke Williams: Well, Andrew was sort of a bully character, but he got what was coming to him so that was satisfying. There doesn’t really have to be a “villain” in a romantic comedy. The push and pull of the story revolves around the couple and whether or not things will work out for them.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: The character in your novel, Andrew. Do you think he will ever find soul mate?

Brooke Williams: Maybe he and Wendy Weathersby (the host of the show) should get together!  I think he could come around. There’s something in his background that makes him the way he is today. If he went back and dealt with those issues, he could be a stand up guy that some lucky girl would be pleased to have. Perhaps that’ll come in another book…

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Now ‘The Leftover’ has now released. Are you working on your next book, yet?

Brooke Williams: Honestly, not really! I do have a short story coming out in November called “Another Backwards Christmas.” But that might have to be it for a bit for me. I’m a freelance writer professionally and I work on blogs and web content etc for clients. I have two young daughters, one of which is in school, the other just in preschool. So time is very limited. I’ve found that once I get my freelance work in, I don’t really have time for other writing at the moment. That being said, my youngest will start kindegarten next year and I have all sorts of ideas floating around. So with any luck, soon!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Brooke, when you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

Brooke Williams: Write. J hahaha It’s my favorite thing to do! But when my girls are around, I don’t. We like to camp on the weekends. We have a little motorhome that’s really fun. I also love to read, which I do when I dry my hair in the morning and that’s about all I have time for these days.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: ‘The Leftover’ is a mature and ethical. What is your message to the ones searching for love or for those who are striving to make their love last?

Brooke Williams: I really wanted this to go beyond the love story and work on self-confidence. My main character, Megan, really doesn’t have any. But we see through the story her confidence in herself build. She realizes that she’s a good person just as she is and that she doesn’t have to change herself in order to find love. She shouldn’t, in fact! That’s a lesson anyone should learn. You should be loved for who you are. Anyone who loves you for any other reason doesn’t deserve you.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please promote this perfect love story. 

Brooke Williams: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play

Megan Malone is the ultimate homebody. When her sister talks her into going on The Leftover, a local version of the TV show Survivor, she isn’t sure she’ll make it past the first vote. Cane Trevino is nursing a broken heart by joining the show as a medic. With time away from his regular job and a dozen contestants to distract him, he hopes he can finally get over the woman he thought was “the one.”

 

Know more about the author and her novels at AuthorBrookeWilliams.com

 

Grivante Press- An Interview

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Grivante Press is here to talk to us at  www.welovequalitybooks.biz .

 

Publishing house gives birth to books and vindication to writers. They conceptualize the book size, the book cover, the marketing of the book, the target audience and more! We get so carried away by the storyline and the writing style that we sometimes forget to credit the Publishing firm that deliver the book see the light of the day.

 

We at welovequalitybooks.biz are excited to share the tidings of the publishing world. Grivante Press will share how the world of publishing works. This is an interview that will let authors learn how to approach the right team to get published. Most importantly, it will give all the readers and writers a glimpse of the crew members who make a novel a shining star!

 

Kevin Penelerick is an author himself. He is the creator of Grivante Press as well. Let’s partake his vision as a publisher and what made him take up the challenge of providing a platform to writers across the world with the createion of Grivante Press.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please tell us what the objective of Grivante Press is?

Kevin (Grivante Press): The objective of Grivante Press is to publish works of speculative fiction which is engaging and keeps the readers turning the pages.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How did the idea of getting into publishing come about?

Kevin (Grivante Press): As I began my indie author career I knew that it would include doing more than just publishing my own books. I want to build a platform from which we can support and help other authors of similar work launch their careers.

 

Interviewed by welovequalitybooks.biz
Genee Jo, Kevin Penelerick with a model @ Grivante Press Book Release.

WeLoveQuality Books: Please introduce us to the core team of Grivante Press?

Kevin (Grivante Press): At present we are a very small team consisting of myself, Kevin Penelerick as the publisher and editor, my wife, Genee Jo who does beta-reading and back end support and our marketing assistant Christina Moses.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Your advertisements are striking and impressive. How is Grivante Press different from other publishing houses?

Kevin (Grivante Press): I don’t spend a lot of time looking to see what everyone else is doing, so I really can’t speak to how we are different. I do look to see what people are doing that is successful, to see if it is something that we might want to adopt, but for the most part, we are creating content we hope people will find interesting and putting it out into the world. Our focus is on building our authors up, marketing them and what makes them and their stories unique.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Speculative Writing! What do you think is the psyche behind the shift of readers from Jane Austen-ish content to speculative content?

Kevin (Grivante Press): I would have to say it has to do with modern times and just how much consciousness and awareness has expanded. We are now aware of so much more that exists and the possibilities this opens up has created an environment where we are eager to see new ideas and where they will take us.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: As a publisher what are the three things that set apart an ordinary manuscript from a bestselling manuscript.

Kevin (Grivante Press):  ♦ It grabs your attention immediately.
                                                 ♦ It makes you want to turn the pages.
                                                 ♦ You don’t want to put it down.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How many novels have you published from the time of inception? Please share some details about them.

Kevin (Grivante Press): We are still in the early stages and taking out time to grow and figure things out. We have 2 books out by myself under my pen name, Grivante. These are in The ‘Zee Brothers: Zombie Exterminators Series’. It is about two brothers and their girlfriend whose job it is to keep the zombie apocalypse at bay, one job at a time. It is a comedic-horror series, filled with action, adventure and laughs while dealing with an awkward romance between the three main characters and a hidden evil nemesis in the background that is slowly being revealed.
We also have a couple of comic projects that we have done and one more in the works for this fall. ‘The Blind Apple‘ is a collection of comic strips by artist Joey Masciotra we helped publish when we were first getting started. Joey has a unique sense of humor, making observations about the world and creating smart illustrations to go with them.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Does Grivante Press specialize in Anthology?

Kevin (Grivante Press): No. At present, we only have the one (MASHED: The Culinary Delights of Twisted Erotic Horror), with plans for more possible down the road.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Who is the brain behind all the phenomenal topics for submissions your firm comes up with?

Kevin (Grivante Press): That would be myself and my wife for the most part. Asking the question, what hasn’t been done that we would enjoy reading.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Is Grivante Press particularly into adult stories or are you flexible about the target audience?

Kevin (Grivante Press): Under our mainline, the stories will predominantly be adult oriented. Not necessarily to the erotic level that the anthology ‘MASHED: The Culinary Delights of Twisted Erotic Horror’ goes to, but generally they won’t be for kids. We do also have a kids line in development under the ‘Star Kissed Studios Imprint’. Currently, there is one book published, titled ‘Guppy Butter’. It is an illustrated book about a little girl’s wish for a puppy, but what happens when her parents get her a guppy instead. It is an entertaining story that also teaches kids about loss and that life goes on.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What are the yardsticks that your organization keeps in mind to measure audience reaction?

Kevin (Grivante Press): Sales & Reviews. Those are the most obvious and easiest to see. I’ve heard the advice to never look at reviews, but that’s the only way we know if the work is resonating with the audience. Is it being received how we thought it would be or are people taking it differently? There’s no better way to tell than to go read what people are saying.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What is the procedure involved in selecting the best entries from submissions?

Kevin (Grivante Press): For ‘MASHED: The Culinary Delights of Twisted Erotic Horror’, Genee and I spent most winter evenings hanging out in our hot tub, reading the stories aloud. This process helped us to quickly weed out stories that weren’t a good fit. First, they had to catch our attention and make us want to keep turning the pages, next we would ask each other if they were hitting the themes we were looking for of Food, Sex, Horror & Humor. After that, we would generally make notes and send them back to their authors for revision and final consideration.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: MASHED: The Culinary Delights of Twisted Erotic Horror is an impressive anthology. How is the audience reaction?

Kevin (Grivante Press): So far it has been great. Sales have been steady even after the initial release spike and the reviews that are trickling in are mostly positive. We’ve had a few people that were offended by it, despite the warning labels and the fact that it was clearly called Twisted Erotic Horror, but we’ve done everything we can to make it clear so that the target market could find it and that readers would know what they were getting despite its uniqueness.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Are you planning a sequel to MASHED: The Culinary Delights of Twisted Erotic Horror?

Grivante Press: It’s been in the back of my mind since day one and there is a high likelihood of it, but at present, we don’t have specific plans in place. We might make it an annual anthology or we may try something new. As a small company our time and resources are limited, so we’ve got to make sure we can put the energy into a project that it is going to take to be successful.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Where can prospective authors reach you with their manuscripts? Please share the guidelines for submission too.

Kevin (Grivante Press): Currently, we are not open for submissions. We will post on our web page at http://www.grivantepress.com/submissions/ when that changes.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What are the next few releases of Grivante Press?

Kevin (Grivante Press): We only have one project on the schedule at the moment as we have been busy working on marketing for ‘MASHED: The Culinary Delights of Twisted Erotic Horror’ and the release of ‘The Zee Brothers Vol.2′, ‘Zombie School Lockdown‘, both of which came out in April & May. Our next project is a mini-comic from The Zee Brothers universe tentatively titled Zombie Buffet that we hope to release this fall. We are also partnering with a number of authors in the zombie genre for an anthology to be released in November called ‘Undead Worlds’. This is part of the ‘Reanimated Writers Collective’, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1262527697156658/

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please share your message of support with all aspiring writers.

Kevin (Grivante Press): More than anything, keep writing. Keep practicing your craft and start networking with other authors immediately. Learn from each other, support each other and know that readers read much faster than any of us can write, so work together to make sure your readers know where to go to find more great reads.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Thank you so much for talking to us today. Please share your social media links where we- the book lovers can follow and support you.

Kevin (Grivante Press): Here is where you can find us:
https://twitter.com/grivante
https://www.facebook.com/grivantepress/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14223262.Grivante
http://www.amazon.com/Grivante/e/B013PDYUM2/
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/grivante
https://www.instagram.com/thezeebrothers/

 

 

 

Author Claire Gem for the interview with welovequalitybooks.biz

Author’s Interview: Claire Gem

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Author Claire Gem released ‘Spirits of the Heart’ aptly on the 14th of February, 2017. In an exclusive interview with www.welovequalitybooks.biz the author — Claire Gem reveals what makes her such a perceptive, honest and successful fiction writer!

 

Learn about the author, her writings and why it will take you a blink to become an ardent fan of Claire Gem and her thoughtfully touching authorship.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Hi Claire. We loved your latest release “Spirits of the Heart“. How did you come up with such a lovely storyline?

Claire Gem: I grew up in the town where this abandoned asylum is, and it has always haunted me. I actually did date a security guard who worked on the grounds back in the 1970s, but it wasn’t Miller Stanford :–)
There is also an alcohol treatment center on the grounds, even today. Alcoholism isn’t a subject often broached by romance writers but is a very real problem in society. I thought I’d give it a go.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What made you choose writing as a vocation?

Claire Gem: I have always loved to write, and the practice has served as therapy for me more than once in my life. But about ten years ago, I awoke on a Sunday morning very early with a story idea in my head, and I knew it was time to take writing seriously and put my words to work.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: All the reviews of ‘Spirits of the Heart‘ are a 5 Star. How does it feel when you know your work is being well received?

Claire Gem: Thrilled, of course. I am frustrated because the number of reviews remain small, yet I feel confident that the story will be well received no matter how many reviews are written. It’s very difficult to get people to take the time to write reviews, even if they love a book. I would like readers to know how very important it is for those reviews to go up: honest ones, for better or worse. It’s the only way our work can find a new audience.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: This is your second book in the Haunted series. What made you choose this genre?

Claire Gem: I love ghost stories, and there aren’t many in the romance genre. Most paranormal romances involve vampires, werewolves, or shape shifters, or are set in times past. I love the modern romances by Heather Graham (her Krewe of Hunters series is wonderful), and I’ve read every one of the late, great Barbara Michaels ghostly stories. I thought the reading world could use some more contemporary romances with ghost stories intertwined, so I started writing them.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How is “Spirits of the Heart” different from your first book, “Hearts Unloched”?

Claire Gem: The two books are completely unrelated, even though they are part of what I call my Haunted Voices series. These books are (and will continue to be) linked purely by genre. Hearts Unloched takes place in a haunted hotel on a lake with a sinister history, and the heroine is psychic. SOTH takes place in a haunted asylum, and I have another book in the works set in yet another haunted asylum. Each book will center around a different location—a different haunted location. I love scouting out places to set my next Haunted Voices novel.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What is the USP of “Spirits of the Heart” that makes us all love it?

Claire Gem: I believe the tackling of the subject of alcoholism makes SOTH unique. Also, the addressing of the subject of how patients in mental asylums were once treated or maltreated, is one not often woven into a storyline.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Your novel expresses an affinity with the thought ‘Everything happens for a reason’. Do you believe the same in real life too?

Claire Gem: Absolutely. I live by this mantra. How did you guess? 😉

 

WeLoveQuality Books: The novel talks about medical malpractices in mental asylums. How much research went into it?

Claire Gem: Tons. My day job is in scientific research, so I am, by nature, a stickler for accuracy of facts. I usually spend several months researching before I write the first word. It’s amazing how a simple story idea can blossom and be fed by the facts I come up with in doing my research.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What is amazing is how a love story develops so convincingly in a haunted scenario. How did you achieve it?

Claire Gem: Hauntings cause fear, and fear drives people closer together. I think fear was the initial draw between Miller and Laura, and by finding comfort in each other’s company, their love developed organically.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: We see the deep toll alcoholism takes in the lives of the characters. How were you able to delicately yet astutely tackle the issue in “Spirits of the Heart“?

Claire Gem: Personal experience. Alcoholism runs in my family, and several family members have been affected. So I knew how sensitive a subject it could be. That gave me the insight to handle the subject tactfully, yet honestly.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Is there a third installment coming up in the Haunted Series?

Claire Gem: Oh yes. The next novel is underway, entitled “Pigments.” My heroine is a DNA researcher who possesses the unique ability to access the memories of artists whose DNA is embedded in the paint. She, therefore, has a phobia of art museums, since the voices she hears overwhelm her. My hero is a museum curator. How will that ever work? Guess you’ll have to wait until “Pigments” is released to find out, later this summer.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: You begin your novel with a touching dedication to your husband. Do you think as a writer, family support is imperative?

Claire Gem: Absolutely. His patience for the hours I spend over a keyboard is just the beginning. My husband serves as my initial sounding board for my story ideas. He helps me brainstorm. His encouragement and support help keep me going when my confidence—or my muse—falter.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: To take this question further, how do you think writers who have no support can pursue their dreams as a writer?

Claire Gem: I’m not sure—it depends on the individual, certainly. If someone is used to doing things on their own, they would probably do fine as a writer as long as they have the dedication behind them. But my husband and I have been a team for almost 39 years, so I can’t imagine sustaining any endeavor without his support.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Writing is a complicated business. The challenges for a writer are immense. What was your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Claire Gem: My greatest challenge was overcoming the belief that unless I got picked up by a big, NY publisher, my writing wasn’t any good. But after securing contracts with four small publishers, I realized that the politics involved in the big publishing game was holding me back—not the quality of my work. When my first self-published title, Hearts Unloched, won the NY Book Festival, I was reassured that I could go on to sustain my writing career as an Indie author. Since I’m a control freak, this way suits me better anyway.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Thank you for the wonderful conversation, Claire. Before we go, please share where we can find all your novels to read and buy. 

Claire Gem: Sure! Visit my Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2nabvbm

You can also find me on my website, blog, and social media. I love hearing from my readers!

Website: http://www.clairegem.com

Blogs: http://www.clairegem.wordpress.com and  http://www.hauntedpathways.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/clairegem.author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gemwriter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8284235.Claire_Gem

 

Novels by Claire Gems for the interview with welovequalitybooks.biz
Novels by Claire Gems

 

 

 

Book Review: Spellcaster Author: George Bachman ©welovequalitybooks.biz

Interview: George Bachman

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George Bachman released ‘Spellcaster’ recently on.  In an exclusive interview with www.welovequalitybooks.biz the author shares with us how he conceived ‘Spellcaster’ and more!

George Bachman, the author of Spellcaster has debuted with this adrenaline pumping fantasy thriller where there is friendship, blood ties, romance, mystery, adventure, action, and magic.

The power women along with their sense of loyalty are commendably portrayed in the novel.

‘Spellcaster’ leaves its readers spellbound and George Bachman while conversing with us, left us captivated with his honesty, sincerity, and dedication to his craft.

Learn more about the author, his novel and why you will totally enjoy reading Spellcaster through this interview with George Bachman.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: George, many Congratulations on the release of your book, ‘Spellcaster’. Please tell us more about it.

George BachmanThank you. ‘Spellcaster’ concerns Christine Daniel, a debutante on the verge of adulthood in an alternate fin de siècle England. She is suffering a debilitating illness caused by paranormal visions in which she sees a young man in danger. During the London Season her older sister Allie, the family heir, searches the English aristocracy for a husband while she seeks answers among magic practitioners and grimoires in the occult underground.
Unfortunately for Christine, the only witch who can help her is an aristocrat whose infamous affair with the impoverished Lord Serton has lowered her social standing. Lady Kinloss sees the opportunity and takes it. She won’t help Christine unless Christine cajoles Allie into marrying Serton so that the illicit pair can share Allie’s inheritance. Christine has to choose between betraying her beloved sister and saving her own life.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: An urban fantasy must me a tough genre. What made you take up the challenge?

George Bachman: Once I thought up the story I felt compelled to follow it through to completion no matter how hard it was.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: This is the first thing that came to me while I was reviewing ‘Spellcaster’. Do you believe in magic, witches, and wizards?

George Bachman: Not literally, though I’d like to think there are things out there science will never be able to collate and explain. Magic is as good a name for those things as any.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: There is an extensive detail about the spells that the characters cast in ‘Spellcaster’. Did you have to research to get the verbatim for the spells or did you create them yourself? I must say, they sound really authentic!

George Bachman: Yes, I researched extensively some of the grimoires Christine would have used, including The Lesser Key of Solomon and The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. I changed what I had to for clarity and to fit the narrative, but only as little as possible.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What event/s in your life would you say were truly magical?

George Bachman: Aside from discovering my favorite writers (Austen, Mark Helprin, John Crowley, Cao Xueqin, Lady Murasaki among others), I particularly remember the first time I saw the opening scene of Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Millennium Mambo.  That long, languorous take follows Shu Qi through the tunnel while hypnotic music plays and her voiceover tells us how ten years ago her bad choices nearly destroyed her but she escaped.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: ‘Spellcaster’ is a novel set in two different historic periods. How much research did go into it?

George Bachman: Quite a bit. Besides the occult stuff, most of the social details of Christine’s and Sir Tomas’s worlds that aren’t obviously fantasized (like the rulership of Louis’s domain) are accurate.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: The novel flows from one genre to another seamlessly. What were the things you kept in mind to maintain continuity?

George Bachman: I wrote out Sir Tomas’s story in full, then composed Christine’s and used the parts of the first that I needed.

WeLoveQuality Books: Who is your favorite author and why?

George Bachman: Shakespeare. I wouldn’t say he invented the human, but he seems to be at least as comprehensive as any other author and he certainly combines the most beautiful poetry with his insight.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Your novel portrays the strength and courage of women. Will you say your novel is a gift to every woman to realize her true potential?

George Bachman: I never thought of it as a gift, since I take those traits for granted in women. But if it’s taken that way, I’m pleased.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: ‘Spellcaster’ shows a genuine warmth and bond between the siblings and cousins. Did any of your own family gatherings (as a child, teenager or adult) inspire you to show such a positive familial relationship?

George Bachman: Maybe earlier in my life. Mostly, the warmth happened organically as the writing progressed and the characters took on a life of their own.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you think Christine will find love?

George Bachman: If she can find someone who can keep up with her intellect, I think she will.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Are you planning a sequel to ‘Spellcaster’?

George Bachman: No. But if another idea ever comes up, you never know.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Apart from writing what else are you passionate about?

George Bachman: Anime, Asian art cinema, particularly the Taiwanese new wave, and independent film in general.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please tell us about your other creations apart from your latest one.

George Bachman: My next book will be a historical fantasy in a very different vein from this one.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: This is very interesting! Where can we get your books from?

George Bachman: Spellcaster is the only one out right now; the next book should be out sometime next year. Spellcaster is available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and most other retailers that carry e-books.

 

 

interview with Robert Skuce

Robert Skuce, Crime/ Thriller and More!

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Interview with Robert Skuce -author of ‘Kiss of Death’
Author Robert Skuce talks about his gripping crime/thriller ‘Kiss of Death’ with us at www.welovequalitybooks.biz.

 

The story is a crime thriller set in Canada. The events in the storytelling adds a suspense that is unfathomable. Moreover, Robert Skuce talks about how he got into writing novels and what makes him continue spinning such incredibly edgy stories!
The more you read the interview, the more you will realize how engaging the author’s conversation style is, his crisp use of words, his passion for his craft, his dedication to his family and his patriotism for his homeland. A good writer is good not only because of the tales they invent but also for the honesty with which they convey an idea. Robert Skuce will definitely deliver a convincing narrative for you in ‘Kiss of Death‘.

And we must say the review for the book makes us want to go pick up the novel now for a good read!
Robert Skuce, the author of ‘Kiss of Death’ has a story to tell.

Learn more about the author, the novel with us. Here is the interview with the author Robert Skuce to remind you why you definitely need to grab a copy of ‘Kiss of Death.’

 

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Hi Robert! Thank you for the interview. How did writing happen to you?

Robert Skuce: I cant say it “happened” to me. It was something I always thought I would be good at. I believed I had at least one good book in me. As I attempted to reach that goal, I discovered how much I love writing and now I do it all the time.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What made you choose crime/thriller the genre to reach your audience?

Robert Skuce: It was actually my wife who got me into writing thriller/crime style novels. I wrote a different book and she commented how I would be good at it and I gave it a try. Turned out, I loved it.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: When you develop a storyline, are there certain parameters you keep in mind as a thriller/crime writer?

Robert Skuce: I try to use characters that are relatable. So, I don’t want any characters to be perfect, but rather for each to have flaws. Then as I write, I try to create many twists and turns that will leave the reader guessing.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Are your stories based in and around Canada? Or do your characters travel the world?

Robert Skuce: My stories are primarily based in Canada. I tis what I know. I want to write what I know so that it is as realistic as possible. I sometimes will adopt some other countries, but Canada is my home and what I write about.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: The title of your latest book ‘Kiss of Death’ is catchy! Please tell us more about it.

Robert Skuce: This book is about a serial killer named Kiss of Death by the police. It is in context to his signature. The book will leave you guessing as you read it, as it is not your typical crime/thriller story.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Who character would you say is your personal favorite in ‘Kiss of Death’ and why?

Robert Skuce: I loved writing Ashley. He was a unique character with a warped vision of what love looks like. I enjoyed writing his character because he was the wild card.
 

WeLoveQuality Books: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Robert Skuce: I usually just spend time with my family, watch television and work around the house. My day job is in IT, so I spend a lot of time working on computers.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: The plot of ‘Kiss of Death’ is so interesting that it can be developed into a movie. Any plans for that?

Robert Skuce: I’m open to the possibility. I haven’t really considered it, but am more than willing to see where the book can go.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Are you planning a sequel or prequel to ‘Kiss of Death’?

Robert Skuce: Not a sequel or prequel, no. I do plan on using some of the characters in other books. Like Ashley Truelove will have a series of books that will develop him, but each novel will be independent.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you think it is imperative to add a disclaimer to a crime novel, although the readers are well aware that it is a work of fiction?

Robert Skuce: Not really. I would hope that the readers are aware of what they are getting into when they pick up a crime novel. I do like to inform my readers if anything is too graphic, though that usually isn’t the case.
 

WeLoveQuality Books:  Are there any more of your creations that are awaiting release? What can the readers look forward to?

Robert Skuce: Yes, I am currently working on Hunting Grounds. Logan Lupus will be in this book and it will be an interesting story that mimics a popular real life crime from the past, with my own twists of course. However, the plot itself will be different from what really happened in real life and it will not be that particular crime, but more similar to a copy cat.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you remember any fan mail or message that you will cherish forever?

Robert Skuce: I treasure all the mails and feedbacks that my readers give me. I take constructive criticism with the same enthusiasm as I do the compliments.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please tell us about your other published novels?

Robert Skuce: Shh, it’s secret. You will have to find out. However, I will tell you they are as interesting and twisted as Kiss of Death.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Where can we purchase ‘Kiss of Death’ and other books written by you from?

Robert Skuce: You can find “Kiss of Death” on most online retailers. It is available on Amazon, Smashwords and a large handful of others.

You can find out more about the author on http://www.robertskuce.com/kissofdeath.html

 
 

Author’s Interview: Alistair Cross

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Interview for WeLoveQualityBooks.biz

 www.welovequalitybooks.biz interviewed the very popular and appreciated author Alistair Cross.

Believe us! We loved every moment of it! It is one thing to read a novel and a completely different journey to know the author. Alistair Cross candidly discussed what drives him to write; the perks of writing The Angel Alejandro, the challenges, the emotions that his characters evoked in him and more! After this interview we from www.welovequalitybooks.biz are a part of the author’s official fan club.

This is not all, we must confess that the review for The Angel Alejandro makes us want to go pick up the novel right away for a good read!

“The Angel Alejandro is as lush and ethereal as it is visceral and unholy. The author had me rooting ….. With masterful pacing, Cross brings a small mystery to a raging boil ….. His exquisite prose drew me into the story as if I were living it. Highly recommended.” QL Pearce, author of the Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs series, and Spine Chillers: Hair-Raising Tales

“Alistair Cross’s THE ANGEL ALEJANDRO is an intriguing tale…..with surprising shifts and changes.” – New York Times Bestseller, Dianna Love.


Dont forget to grab a copy of your own. 
 

Author Alistair Cross talked about his fantastic Urban Fantasy ‘The Angel Alejandro’ and we are excited to share the excerpts.


WeLoveQuality Books:
 Alistair, many Congratulations on the release of your book, “The Angel Alejandro”. Please tell us more about it.

Alistair Cross: The Angel Alejandro is about an angel on a mission to save a woman’s life. He ends up with amnesia after crash-landing to earth during a severe storm. As he tries to uncover his lost identity, his latent supernatural powers begin tipping the natural balance, drawing the attention of dark entities who want to harvest his soul – and wreak havoc among the townspeople while they’re at it.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How did writing happen to you?

Alistair Cross: First, I have to say I really like the wording of that question, because that’s how it seems – like writing is something that happens to you. I love it.
To answer the question, writing happened to me after I’d come out of a very dark and difficult period in my life. It caused me to reevaluate my priorities and ask myself what would truly make me happy. I always knew that I wanted to do something artistic. I’ve never really been comfortable with classic male definitions. I’m not athletic, I can’t fix a car, and I’d rather read a book than watch a ballgame. So I’d already tried my hand in a few of the arts. But it always came back to writing for me. That was the only thing that allowed me full, endless expression. After taking a hard honest look at what I really wanted from life. I made the very simple decision to fully commit myself to writing.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: An urban fantasy must me a tough genre. What made you take up the challenge?

Alistair Cross: I never thought about it one way or the other. I don’t really “do” genre. The Angel Alejandro is an urban fantasy simply because that’s what “they” say it is. I don’t plot as much as some writers. I enjoy discovering the story on the page as I write it, so I never sit down and say I’m going to write a horror novel, or a romance novel, or any kind of a novel. I just sit down and let the characters tell me their story; I often feel more like a scribe than an author. I know that sounds a little ridiculous, but there’s no better way to explain it.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: We have met some authors who hate reading while there are others who love it! Which category do you fall into?

Alistair Cross: I absolutely love reading and for me, reading and writing are mutually exclusive. My love of reading inspires me to write and my love of writing makes me want to keep reading. I’m not sure I could do one without the other.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Who is your favorite author?

Alistair Cross: That’s impossible to answer. I have many favorites who thrill me in different ways. I love the beauty and darkness of Anne Rice, the atmospheric prowess of Tamara Thorne, the razor-sharp plotting of Michael Crichton, the horror of Stephen King, the psycho-sexy badass-ness of Laurell K. Hamilton, and the Oh-No-You-Didn’t shockers of V.C. Andrews, just to name a few.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Did you have to do a lot of research for ‘The Angel Alejandro’? What were the tools that you used?

Alistair Cross: I did do a lot of research. Some of it was pretty tame, such as reading up on demonology and learning about rock collecting, guitar playing, and hairdressing, but some of it required a little more involvement.
In the book, there’s a nightclub called Mephistopheles, where antagonist Gremory Jones and his team of demons have taken up shop. Mephistopheles is a strip club that incorporates a lot of magic tricks into the shows. It allows the bad guys to show off their demonic prowess while seducing and corrupting the locals. To get the atmosphere of this club down, I spent a lot of time in strip joints watching performances and making friends with the dancers.
It felt a lot more like play than work and the best part was that I got to write off the money I spent as business and research expenses. It’s pretty tough being a writer …

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Who are the central characters of the novel ‘The Angel Alejandro’ and which one among them do you like the most?

Alistair Cross: The Angel Alejandro is a character-dense novel, but the core players are Madison O’Riley, a young business owner who wants a simple life despite the mystifying hand she’s recently been dealt; Nick Grayson, the new chief of police who’s desperately trying to outrun his past and change the course of his future; Beverly Simon, a recently-divorced psychic who finds herself on the battleground of good and evil; and of course, Alejandro, the handsome and unusually naive young man who has no memory of his past. Also, there’s Gremory Jones, a Victorian-attired door-to-door retailer who sells sin from a briefcase, spreading fear and breeding corruption while setting a sinister trap to ensnare the amnesiac angel, Alejandro. Of the many players in this novel, Gremory Jones and Alejandro are my favorites, for very different reasons.
Writing the character of Alejandro was unique because his role in this story (and the fact that he has amnesia), made it impossible for me to go digging into his past to figure him out. I had to deal with him in the present moment, learning about him as he made his way through the pages and allowing him to reveal his nature to me at his own pace. One of the first things I realized about him is that, above all else, he’s a hero – someone with such a fierce sense of right and wrong that he literally loses himself trying to amend the injustices he sees around him. This made him incredibly compelling to me because I think we all sometimes fantasize about taking justice into our own hands.
Another part of Alejandro that I love is his youthful innocence. Because he’s new to the human experience, when I stepped into Alejandro’s skin, I had to look at the world from a fresh perspective. I had to wonder what he might think of contemporary clothing, of modern architecture and technology. I learned that he loves television – especially reality TV singing competitions – and is baffled by cell phones and social media. He also isn’t fond of wearing clothing of any kind. I found these things enchanting, and writing Alejandro was a lot like going back to my own childhood and re-experiencing things for the first time.
My other favorite character is Gremory Jones. When I wrote this book, I really wanted to create something that would take the reader away from ordinary life, and if I succeeded in that, it’s because of Gremory and his gang of infernal accomplices. Gremory was created in a blaze of spontaneity about a year and a half before I began The Angel Alejandro. I knew right away what he was like and what he did. I knew he wore a top hat and a trench coat, shiny black shoes, and that he smoked from a long black cigarette holder. I also knew that he was a true lunatic and that allowed me to go wild, which I love. I wrote him with manic intensity, always eager to see the next trick he had up his sleeve – or rather, in his briefcase. But by the time I’d finished the novel, I felt I’d only scratched his surface and upon completion, I immediately began another book (a series of books, actually) that will allow me to dive more deeply into him.
Gremory is a trickster and, to me, he represents illusion. I also think he’s a metaphor for greed. He hails from the California town of Moonfall (the fictional setting for Tamara Thorne’s novel of the same name, which she graciously allowed me to incorporate into Gremory’s life story.) He looks human, speaks like a human and, at times, is even handsome and charming – but under the mask, he’s a monster. He’s both dashing and seductive and heinous and corrupt. This is because – as it is in the real world – fantasy and reality are very different things. You finally get what you want and it costs you everything you care about. You prick your finger admiring the rose. The sanctuary becomes the asylum. This is what Gremory Jones signifies for me, and as a writer, the possibilities of that are endless. There’s no way I could possibly contain him to just one novel.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What would you say is the USP of your latest novel?

Alistair Cross: I’d say this novel’s unique selling point is its blend of fantasy, horror, comedy, and romance. At its heart, it’s a story about the battle between good and evil and while I expressed that in the most straightforward way (angels and demons) I wanted to surround that theme with more unconventional elements. The Angel Alejandro also deals in demons of the personal variety, such as alcoholism, envy, greed, and obsession. I set it in a quiet little tourist trap in California called Prominence, which I thought would be the perfect breeding ground for an outbreak of evil.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How is ‘The Angel Alejandro’ being received around the world?

Alistair Cross: Overall, very well. There’s always some fear that when your book goes out to meet its audience, it will be received with negative – or worse, indifferent – responses, but I’ve been lucky with Alejandro. I’m grateful to have such kind readers. It’s always a risk when you draw outside of the lines and deviate from the proven formula – and Alejandro is a definite deviation – but I think it’s important to stay true to yourself as an author, regardless of how you think it might be received.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you believe in Angels and Devils? And do you believe that there is a God watching over us?

Alistair Cross: This is a difficult question because it’s a complicated topic and no matter how I answer, I run the risk of alienating readers – so I have to start off by stating that my opinions on the subject are just that: my opinions. I respect all points of view and am not interested in influencing, demeaning, or challenging anyone else’s beliefs.
Do I believe in God? Simply put, yes, I do. I have to – and not because I’m afraid of eternal damnation if I say I don’t, but because, the world as I see it is too complex, too unlikely, and too precise to be explained away by any means other than something orderly and intelligent. Intelligent is a key word here because while I don’t subscribe to a religion of any variety, the critical part of my mind can’t accept that the universe ebbs and flows according to accidental, mindless energy that just so happens to operate so efficiently that it can support millions of forms of life. For me, it seems oversimplified – absurd, even – to think that our bodies, our minds, our lives and our planet are all just happy accidents.
As I see it, our very existence is proof of God, and if you don’t believe you’ve ever seen a “miracle,” learn about how your body works – it’s simply too remarkable to be uncalculated, or go stare at the sky and try to imagine what’s out there, where it ends, and where it begins. On a general basis, I take these things for granted, and that’s perfectly natural, but when I slow down and really look at what’s around me, I can’t help thinking there must be something behind the curtain.
As for devils and demons, no – I’m not a believer, and this is one of the difficulties I have with conventional religion. It puts far too much focus on evil for my taste. On one hand, they tell you, “Speak of the devil and the devil appears,” and on the other hand, they want to continually remind you that the same devil is lurking around every corner, eager to tempt you into the evildoing that will ultimately cost you your immortal soul. And that doesn’t hold with me for a few reasons. Firstly, to be honest, the concept of an incorporeal being who spends his eternal days vying for the souls of mortals is a little too silly for my sensibilities, and secondly, because I think life is daunting enough as it is, without the need for more created fear. And supposing the devil does exist, a fear-based life isn’t a life I want to live. So, if there is such thing as a devil, I have no relationship to him and no consciousness of him, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
In my writing life, however, it’s a different story. Angels and demons are wonderful literary tools because they represent the battle between good and evil which is a part of our history, of our daily lives. Personally, I measure good and evil according to a sense of inner-directed morality, and in my work, I’m able to tap directly into that well of emotional, spiritual, and psychological material through age-old symbols that are easily recognized by the masses.
 

WeLoveQuality Books: When you write, are there times the thought process makes you emotional? How do you handle the outburst of feeling?

Alistair Cross: I believe in writing by instinct and by going as deep as you can into whatever emotion you’re confronted with, and often, this leads to discomfort. I’ve written things that have made me emotional, yes, and sometimes it’s difficult to get through the scene. An example of this from The Angel Alejandro would be when my heroine, Madison O’Riley, is very nearly sexually assaulted by a local cop who’s developed an obsession with her.
I felt this scene was pivotal in order to turn the corners the plot needed to turn, but as I was writing it, I found myself uneasy about it. There are certain things I close the door on – things I won’t walk the reader through – and sexual abuse is one of them. A part of this is because I don’t believe people want to see these kinds of crimes up close and personal, but another reason is, very simply, because I’m not comfortable with it myself. As a writer, I try always to be bold and unflinching but there are times when I have to just kind of walk away and leave the details to the readers’ imaginations.
Another matter that can make an author emotional is killing off a character that they’ve become strongly attached to. When you write a novel, you spend a great deal of time in the skins of your characters and even though you understand logically that these people are fictional, you also realize that many of them represent parts of yourself and that in some way, you become them – or maybe they become you. Either way, in those cases, putting a character through something painful can be pretty emotional. The good news is that when this happens, it creates a sense of vindication in the writer – it propels him or her to bring about justice, which is always very satisfying to the reader.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Apart from writing what else are you passionate about?

Alistair Cross: There are a lot of things I enjoy – rock music, horror movies, cheese – but if there’s anything I’m truly passionate about outside of reading and writing, it’s my belief in the importance of following your dreams.
As someone who could have just as easily spent my life punching a time clock, I feel very strongly about identifying and utilizing natural-born talents. I believe we’re given our talents for good reason and I’m often curious about what the world would look like if everyone did the thing they knew they were born to do. Try to imagine a world where everyone followed their dreams and used their talents to their fullest ability. I think it would be a very different – and much better – place.
No matter who you are, you’ll never be good at everything, and you’re not supposed to be. But there’s something in this world that no one but you can do, and to deny that for fear of failure, laziness, the need for security or anything else is, to me, the ultimate shame.
While I’m not exactly old, I’m not really young either, and if I could go back and say anything to the younger me, I’d tell myself that fear is a liar – that no matter how impossible something seems, if you have the guts to go after it, your needs will be met, the teachers will appear, and the doors will be opened. It’s all very cliche, and for good reason, because it also happens to be true.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, how did you get over it?

Alistair Cross: I can honestly say that, no, I’ve never experienced writer’s block, and my best guess as to why is that I’m always too interested in the story I’m telling to stop and think about how I should tell it. For me, writing is all about trust. Trusting the process, trusting the characters, and trusting your instinct allows you to unconsciously connect the dots that will ultimately create a cohesive, compelling, and finished novel. The subconscious mind is amazingly efficient – it wants to work your story out – and while I’ve never experienced it myself, my guess is that writer’s block is the result of the conscious mind having gotten too involved in the process.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please tell us about the other novels that you have written apart from your latest one?

Alistair Cross: As Thorne & Cross, I’ve co-authored three novels so far with bestselling horror author, Tamara Thorne. We intend to continue working together ’till the end of our days. Our first release, The Cliffhouse Haunting, is a classic ghost story that also merges with high comedy and murder mystery. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun writing anything as Cliffhouse; there were some serious laugh-until-your-nose-bleeds moments in that one.
Our next venture, ‘The Ghosts of Ravencrest’, is unique in a few different ways. First, it’s a serialization, which means that new installments are released about every six weeks. Once the story arc is completed, it’s compiled into a full-length novel. We’re currently wrapping up the second full book in the series, The Witches of Ravencrest. We expect it to be out this summer. The other thing that’s special to us about Ravencrest is that it’s very much a gothic (which Tamara and I both teethed on). It complete with an innocent governess, the enigmatic handsome millionaire who employs her, a hostile head housekeeper and, of course, a very old and very haunted manor. Ravencrest allows us to explore the mysteries of existence, which is something neither of us can get enough of.
Our third novel ‘Mother’ is a little different because it’s a straightforward psychological thriller. Rather than ghosts and the supernatural, Mother deals with human monsters – specifically the monsters that you look at every day, the ones you don’t realize are monsters until you get too close. We wanted Mother to be a deviation from the supernatural because we felt that it was important to establish early on that we intend to write in a variety of genres. We’re currently making plans for our next psychological thriller, which will likely feature Father Andy Pike, one of our favorite characters from Mother.
Later this year, Tamara and I will release a vampire novel called ‘Darling Girls’, which serves as a sequel to Tamara’s novel, ‘Candle Bay’, as well as my own novel, ‘The Crimson Corset’.
As a solo author, I’ve written two books aside from The Angel Alejandro. The first, of course, being The Crimson Corset, which is my take on vampires. The Crimson Corset is very special to me, not only because it was my first solo publication, but also because I absolutely love the story. Under all the fangs and blood, The Crimson Corset is about life and death, love and hate, good and evil, obsession and addiction, downfall and redemption, and family ties. As a side note, The Crimson Corset introduces Nick Grayson, who plays a significant role in The Angel Alejandro.
My second solo contribution is a collection of poetry called ‘The Book of Strange Persuasions’ which, after years of swearing I’d never allow, was published in 2016. Strange Persuasions is a compilation of poetry that I began writing many years ago, and is broken into four parts devoted to topics like relationships, horror, and sex.
 

WeLoveQuality Books: This is very interesting! Where can we get your books from?

Alistair Cross: The best way to find everything in one place is at my website: alistaircross.com. You’ll find all the books on the “Library” page, lots of writing tips and tricks under “On Writing,” and on the “Thorne & Cross” page, you can check out the guest list featuring each of the authors we’ve interviewed on our horror-themed radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about my work. I enjoyed it very much.
 
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The Interview: Maria Thompson Corley

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Letting Go_Maria Thompson Corley
Author Dr. Maria Thompson Corley talks about her beautiful novel ‘Letting Go’ with us at www.welovequalitybooks.biz.
And we must say we totally loved to interview the amiable author and musician.

Dr. Maria Thompson Corley, the author of Letting Go earned her Doctorate in Piano from the renowned The Juilliard School.  Her vast portfolio shows her immense talent in different fields of art. She is an acclaimed musician, voice over artist, a reviewer at the art magazine ‘Broad Street Review’ a reputed blogger at Huffington Post to name a few.  The author of the highly appreciated novel ‘Choices’, ‘Letting Go’ is her second novel.

‘Letting Go’ is a series of letters, personal memoirs and more! The personal touch in each of these documents will create a wonderful story that is worth a read.

Learn more about the author, her novel and why you will totally enjoy reading Letting Go through this interview with Dr. Maria Thompson Corley.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Hi Maria, thank you for the interview. How are you feeling with the release of ‘LETTING GO’?

Maria Thompson Corley: I’m very pleased! I worked on it for a long time and did major surgery at least once. The response has been very positive. It’s interesting that some people pick up on the issues of race, and some just seem to focus on the romantic aspects of the story. Either way, I’m glad they seem to like it!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: The front cover of ‘LETTING GO’ is gorgeous. Please tell us more about it.

Maria Thompson Corley: A pivotal scene takes place on a beach in Bermuda, which is where my mother was born.  I knew I wanted to represent that setting on my cover, so I got in touch with my friends and relatives with ties to the island, and my dear friend Cherie Sikking, who is also a painter, sent me the cover shot. I love that the ocean seems so powerful, and yet, the picture relaxes me.  The rest of the design was the result of a back and forth with Ose Solutions, a graphic design company I found on Fiverr. I got input from a number of friends during the process, because in the end, I was very indecisive. I learned a lot, though, and I know I’ll be clearer next time. Much to the relief of Ose, or whoever does my graphics in the future.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What is the novel all about?

Maria Thompson Corley: In a nutshell, the novel is about overcoming fear, whether it’s fear of getting hurt in a relationship, or fear of letting go once the relationship has run its course, or fear of disappointing our families, or fear of revealing our innermost thoughts, or fear of the unknown. I think the fear of the unknown sums up most fears, actually. There’s a Scripture that says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”  The quote isn’t about human relationships, and yet, I think that as we start to perfect our love of ourselves, we can be open to loving others more perfectly. Fear can have no part in this equation.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: We are completely bowled over by your positivity. How do you keep yourself focused on being optimistic even on the darkest of days?

Maria Thompson Corley: Full disclosure: I’m not always optimistic! That said, I do believe that bad situations are temporary, or at least, that there is always something we can do to try to improve the state of affairs. And if there’s nothing we can do, then why worry? It won’t help!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Maria, you have a doctorate from theThe Juilliard School! What made you choose piano as your tool of self-expression and creativity.

Maria Thompson Corley: I wanted to take piano lessons from the time I was two, apparently, and started when I was four. My mother was my first teacher, but I started studying with other instructors by the time I was 6. I also played the violin for 12 years, but the piano was my first love, perhaps because we had one in our home. That said, you can do so much with a solo piano. I love to collaborate with singers and other instrumentalists, but while they have some repertoire that doesn’t need accompaniment, you can’t match a piano for true self-expression, since so many pieces are written for the solo instrument.

WeLoveQuality Books: How did writing happen?

Maria Thompson Corley: I always liked to write. When I was young, I was much more secure expressing myself in writing than in speech. Not that I never spoke, but I was always more self-revelatory in writing. I would write my parents notes, sometimes, instead of speaking to them about things that bothered me. I wrote my first novel at 14 (no worries—I have no intention of inflicting it on anyone!). My first published novel was Choices, which I wrote on a whim. I had the rather confident attitude that I could come up with something as good as a lot of the books I was reading, so I sent my manuscript to Ballantine and received a letter back from an editor. She said her list was full, but recommended that I get in touch with someone at Kensington since they were starting a line of books aimed at African American women. I was kind of in the right place at the right time.
That was in 1996! My book was published as a romance, and my follow up didn’t fit the genre, since I had a prominent gay character who was in a relationship. I didn’t want to get rid of him, deciding instead to focus on being a pianist. I had married by then, and my daughter was born in 1997, followed in 1999 by my son, who is on the autism spectrum. It took me a while to get back to writing, with all of that on my plate. When my marriage broke up, I found writing very cathartic, and I can truly say that the written word has turned out to be as much a part of me as music.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: You are a pianist, an author, an educator and a voice artist. How do you manage to do so many varied things at one time? What is your secret for keeping the balance?

Maria Thompson Corley: Balance? What balance? Mainly, I’m busy all the time. Some things are foreground at certain times–right now, I’m practicing the piano like crazy, and just thinking of ideas for writing, rather than actually doing it. I’ve started editing a novel I have worked on several times (the one with the gay character), and will probably add some additional material to that. The teaching is ongoing; I enjoy it, but mainly, it pays the bills. The voice acting happens randomly, so it’s not a constant part of the equation. I wouldn’t pretend to have advice for someone else!

WeLoveQuality Books: Your first novel was ‘Choices’ and now ‘Letting Go’. Do your novels have an autobiographical touch?

Maria Thompson Corley: They do, and they don’t. Letting Go is much more autobiographical since the female protagonist is a Juilliard-trained pianist, but not everything that happens to her happened to me, and she handles some things differently than I would. There are characters in that book who are based on real people, but I always make changes. The characters in Choices are far more imaginary. Both books have musicians in them, though, because I understand that world very well.
I try to write “real” people, and the way I do that is to incorporate human behavior, as I have observed it or lived it. So in that way, my novels do reflect my own life, or at least, my perspective on the world.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Is ‘Letting Go’ an extension of ‘Choices’?

Maria Thompson Corley: No. I may write a sequel for Letting Go, though.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Your YouTube channel has beautiful, soothing music. Does music inspire the writer in you?

Maria Thompson Corley: I attempt to write about music in Letting Go, but I can’t write and listen to music, because too much of my brain is focused on the performance. I do think that the architecture of a good piece of music and a good book are similar—Fibonacci Series if you want to get scientific. I wasn’t that analytical when I wrote either of my books, btw. Both a musical performance and a novel should take you on a journey, and I believe in choosing both notes and words with care. If I’m not composing or arranging a piece (which means I’m not choosing the notes myself), I am very careful about phrasing—where something slows down a bit, or lingers, or becomes faster, whether it’s smooth or disjointed (staccato), how I pace my crescendos and diminuendos (the getting louder and softer), how much I emphasize dissonance. These are all things that can translate to writing. So in that way, I am always thinking like a musician, I suppose.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Maria, you have traveled the world, showcasing your talent as a pianist. Do you want your books to be translated and read across the world as well?

Maria Thompson Corley: That would be a dream come true.
 

WeLoveQuality Books: To any struggling songwriter and author, what will be your advice to keep working on their dreams?

Maria Thompson Corley: I don’t write a lot of songs so I’ll focus on the idea of being a writer. I’d suggest working, first and foremost, on becoming the best writer you can be by reading others analytically, not just for enjoyment; finding books about writing; ideally getting critiques from people who write on a higher level than you do;  and revising ruthlessly. After that, it’s hard to advise, because there are no guarantees you’ll write a bestseller, regardless of your dedication to following the trends or honing your craft. Marketing is something I’m still learning, to be honest. If becoming the best writer possible is a goal, you can always achieve success.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What will the readers take back from ‘Letting Go’?

Maria Thompson Corley: I hope they will look at the process of learning to love, whether it’s yourself or another, with fresh eyes.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How did ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie inspire you to pen your latest novel?

Maria Thompson Corley: Actually, it didn’t! I read Americanah after I had written my book, and saw some similarities. She is much more political than I am—brilliantly so. Letting Go and Americanah both deal with issues of race and gender, built into a long-distance love story.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Where can we get this wonderful novel from? I am sure we all want to read it.

Maria Thompson Corley: That’s very kind. I’ve pasted links below. Thank you!
https://www.createspace.com/6392017
http://amzn.to/2lCMGVj
 
http://amzn.to/2kg65vi

Tom Starita Engages us with this Conversation

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Interviews
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“Growth and Change are Highly Overrated|”
Tom Starita talks about his breakout novel ‘Growth and Change are Highly Overrated’ that we at www.welovequalitybooks.biz totally to recommend to all book lovers.

Tom Starita, the author of  Growth and Change are Highly Overrated commenced a recent conversation with the line, “My dream is to one day be remembered as one of the top 75 writers to ever come from Staten Island, New York.
Here are the experts of the witty, engaging and fantastic interview with Tom Starita that shout out the author’s skills as a writer.

‘Growth and Change are Highly Overrated’ has a fascinating plot, an unforgettable protagonist and many engrossing happenings making it a fiction with a heart.

Learn more about the author, his novel and why you will totally enjoy reading Growth and Change are Highly Overrated through this interview with Tom Starita.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Tom, many Congratulations on the release of your second book, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated.” How does it feel?

Tom StaritaThank you very much! It’s a smooth combination of happiness, excitement with a hint of anxiety.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What motivated you to write this novel?

Tom Starita: My incessant need to tell people stuff they may or may not be interested in. There’s always a voice inside my head jabbering away about God knows what, so why should I be the only lucky one to hear it?

 

WeLoveQuality Books:   The press release of your novel says, “Starita … writes in his spare time.” Do you think an author’s mind ever stops getting inspired, thinking of ideas, collecting experiences, even when they aren’t writing?

Tom Starita: No and they often happen at the worst times – showering, falling asleep, driving, brick laying. Even worse is when you’re in a serious conversation with someone and they say something that’s golden or triggers something interesting and now you missed the last 45 seconds of what they’re saying and there is no easy way to say, “sorry you just gave me a great idea could you repeat the end to that heartbreaking story that brought you to tears one more time?”

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please tell us what inspired you to write, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated”?

Tom Starita: It was February 2013, the week of Valentine’s Day. I was living alone in the lovely town of Weehawken, NJ and to put it bluntly, life sucked.  Like one continuous bad day for months at a time. On top of that, I came down with the worst flu in the history of modern medicine. It was so bad my doctor wrote about me in some medical journal.
So life wasn’t good.
All week I had been locked inside my apartment, sleeping the days away. I was finally well enough to crawl out of bed Saturday night and I was starving. Beyond starving. I basically hadn’t eaten anything in days. I looked over at the clock and saw it was 11 P.M. Okay, ordering takeout was no longer an option. I looked out the window and noticed almost a foot of snow had descended upon my town while I was hibernating. So I wasn’t going to go out and get food either. My last option was the kitchen and that’s when I remembered I hadn’t gone food shopping in almost two weeks. In summation, it was too late for taking out, I was snowed in and I had no food in my house. And that’s when I officially declared that this, this was the worst moment of my entire life.
And then randomly I thought, this would be one hell of a beginning for a book. I went into my office, started typing and immediately found my main character, Lucas James. He made me laugh that night and for a long time, my only real motivation to get out of bed each morning was to find out what else he was going to tell me.

 

WeLoveQuality Books:  How is it different from your first book, “Two Ways to Sunday”?

Tom Starita: “Two Ways to Sunday” was my way of showing the people in my life that yes I can be serious, I just choose not to be. That book is about a man’s journey of faith, (or lack thereof) through life to find out what exactly is important, what makes life worth living and are your problems the fault of an uncaring God or just a series of stupid decisions you made yourself?
“Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” is also about a man’s journey but this time I wrote it as an easy breezy fun book to read while you’re on the beach or sitting under a big tree canoodling with your honey.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What is the USP of “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” that will make readers love it?

Tom Starita: It’s a comedy without a conscious. It’s a diatribe with depth. It’s the kind of book that works as an easy read or as one that you can read over and over and keep finding hidden details. I’m not going to say it’s better than the Lord of the Rings, but if you asked me which book has a self-absorbed main character who doubles as the narrator and will take you to deep dark places like Mordor, I think my book gets the nod.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you think the term ‘maturity’ is overrated in our times?

Tom Starita: That’s a great question! I think one of the problems we have today is the heavy burden of assumed behavior. You are a certain age so you must behave a certain way and do certain things. Don’t get me wrong, the world would be miserable if we had nothing but man-child and woman-child running around. It would probably involve a lot of jager bombs.
But…
I think the key to life is to realize that the only opinion that matters is your own. If you’re good with your decisions and the outcomes of those decisions, who cares what anyone else thinks? All those people who pass judgment will be dead in less than fifty years anyway, so live your life, have fun and try to outlive as many of them as possible.

WeLoveQuality Books:  It takes a lot of effort for authors to write a book/novel. At which stage of writing this novel did you really have to challenge yourself to keep up the mojo, to keep writing?

Tom Starita: The complete opposite. This book was the sole reason I had to wake up in the morning for a very long time. I had no idea what the book was about, where it was going or how it would end. All I knew was I loved listening to the Lucas James voice in my head. He made me laugh and he gave me a purpose. If anything I was sad when it was over. It’s kind of like saying goodbye to that one really good friend you made while away at college knowing you’ll never see them ever again.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you think it is only the fun people, who can write comedies? Is it one of the toughest genres?

Tom Starita: How do I answer this question that doesn’t make me sound like a pretentious jerk? I don’t think I set out to write a “funny book.” I just wanted to write a book that made me laugh. I figure there have to be some people out there with similar tastes, so if I’m laughing odds are at least 8 people in this world will too.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: The protagonist – “Lucas James” is a performer, a rock-n-roll aspirant. Did you ever have a rock-n-roll dream too?

Tom Starita: You want to hear a story? It’s September of 1987, the beginning of fourth grade for a young Tommy Starita. One Friday my teacher, Mrs. Markowitz told us that they were going to be holding auditions to be in the school band. All of us grew excited at the thoughts of playing drums or guitar or saxophone or some other cool instrument. But before we got to that point, we had to take a basic hearing test to determine how we heard the music.
Turns out I failed the test, badly. Really badly. I was actually told I was tone deaf and just like that, my dreams of being like Floyd from the Muppet Show, playing the ‘cool sax were dead.’
The funny thing is for the past sixteen years I’ve owned an electric blue acoustic guitar.
Do I know how to play it?
Absolutely not.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: By the end of the book, how do you envision “Lucas James” will be received by the audience?

Tom Starita: I want people to think, “I really didn’t like that guy but he kind of grew on me, like an unfortunate fungus.”
If you told someone to rank how much they like Lucas James, on a scale of 1-10, “1” being actively rooting for Lucas James to die a violent death, “10” being wishing they were married/best friends with him and “5” being they wouldn’t mind having him in their life, I hope they would say, “4.”

WeLoveQuality Books: Talking more about rock-n-roll and the main character, which song do you think best describes him?

Tom Starita: Another great question! Good job.
Lucas James LOVES 90s rock. So if we’re trying to find THE song we have to look at a number of bands, most of which you’ve probably never heard of. I’m talking Fuel, Eve 6, Lit, The Sheila Divine, Cool For August, Third Eye Blind, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Live, Better Than Ezra, Harvey Danger, post Vitalogy Pearl Jam, Collective Soul, Splender, Tonic, Stir, Brother Cane, Soul Asylum, Mother Love Bone, Oasis, Everclear, Dramarama, Pushmonkey, Filter, Bush, Hum, Joe 90, Remy Zero, Screaming Trees, Vast and Lemonheads.
But ultimately, I think it would have to be “Teen Angst” (What the World Needs Now) by Cracker.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you think it is only the fun people, who can write comedies? Is it one of the toughest genres?

Tom Starita: Another great question! Good job.
Lucas James LOVES ’90s rock. So if we’re trying to find THE song we have to look at a number of bands, most of which you’ve probably never heard of. I’m talking Fuel, Eve 6, Lit, The Sheila Divine, Cool For August, Third Eye Blind, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Live, Better Than Ezra, Harvey Danger, post Vitalogy Pearl Jam, Collective Soul, Splender, Tonic, Stir, Brother Cane, Soul Asylum, Mother Love Bone, Oasis, Everclear, Dramarama, Pushmonkey, Filter, Bush, Hum, Joe 90, Remy Zero, Screaming Trees, Vast and Lemonheads.
But ultimately, I think it would have to be “Teen Angst” (What the World Needs Now) by Cracker.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Apart from “Lucas James” which other characters play a pivotal role in the book?

Tom Starita: On the surface, you have the employees of “That Store,” the place Lucas James begrudgingly works at. First, there’s Ralph, who desperately wants to be Lucas James’ best friend. Next, Lori. God knows what’s going on in her mind and finally Victor the Dictator, his manager and a man drunk with power.
The hovering presence throughout the book is his former fiancee, Jackie, “My Apple Jack.”
And subconsciously you have four people, a dad who ditched him, a mom who never knew how to deal with him, an older brother named Eddie he can’t live up to and a younger brother named Franky who idolizes him. These are the people that for better or worse helped mold Lucas James into the man he had to be.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: This is all so interesting! Can we get a copy of “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated”?

Tom Starita: Do you have a Kindle?
If yes – http://amzn.to/2kg65vi
If no – download the Kindle app for FREE on your phone/tablet/computer, then click on the link above, buy the book and enjoy!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Thank you for the wonderful conversation, Tom. Before we go, please share with us some of the remarkable reviews for your latest creation?

Tom Starita: Here are a couple of them:
Rating- 5 stars: “This is Starita’s second novel, and while wildly different than his first success, “Two Ways to Sunday” it has proven to be just as riveting. This is a light, humorous read that will go by quickly because you won’t want to put it down! Lucas James, the protagonist, is despicable at times but also endearing in the way that you have either known someone like him or see glimpses of yourself in him. James takes you on the hilarious journey of a guy figuring out how to be independent and whether growing up is even worth it. This book had me laughing out loud and there were even serious moments that any reader can empathize with. Even with James’s deplorable antics, you’ll end up loving him and loving this book. Bravo again, Starita!”
Rating- 5 stars: “A fun read. Everyone will relate to Lucas James because everyone knows this guy. He is the quintessential man-child who you both love and hate. Best part is he knows that’s what he is. Starita writes fun dialogue and captures the spirit of a modern day Ignatius J. Reilly, proving that sometimes growth and change really IS highly overrated.

 

 

http://amzn.to/2kqlAiR

We Interview Craig Pomranz

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Interviews
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‘Made By Raffi’ — An Interview with Craig Pomranz.

‘Made by Raffi’ is a touching children’s book by Craig Pomranz with illustrations from Margaret Chamberlain.

The hymn ‘Pass it on’ sings, ‘It only takes a spark to get the fire going, and soon all those around can warm up in its glowing…’ That is how you will feel when you read this warm interview by Craig Pomranz the proud author of ‘Made by Raffi’. Soon you will be passing on, sharing this interview with your friends and loved ones and then ordering the book for your children, little cousins, young relatives and also for yourself.

Made by Raffi is for children, young adults, and older adults. Anyone who will pick up the book will remember how feeling different (which everyone does at some point of time or another) isn’t too bad after all.

Deservingly Made by Raffi has been nominated for the Little Rebel Children’s Book Award as well.

 

Learn more about the author, his novel and why it is important to read Made by Raffi through this interview with Craig Pomranz.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Craig, the title of your story Made by Raffi sounds interesting! What is it about?

Craig PomranzIt is the story of a young boy who feels different at school, and even more so when he discovers he likes to knit and sew.  He learns how to be comfortable in his own skin and also learns that if you have confidence in who you are, others will accept you. It sounds like a serious message, but it is a funny and entertaining story!

 

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What motivated you to write this novel?

Craig Pomranz: The story is inspired by an incident with my godson.  He came home from school one day, feeling really out of sorts and when his mother told me what he was going through and how he felt different I knew it was a story that had to be told.  After all, haven’t all of us felt different at some time? 

 

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How has the book been received around the world?

Craig PomranzThe positive feedback has been amazing!  I have learned not only how powerful a children’s book can be, but how we are all basically the same – the messages in the book cross all cultures. The book is available in 11 countries and eight languages to date.

 

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you think we as writers have a voice to change preset mindsets?

Craig Pomranz: I don’t believe we can fundamentally change people, but I do think we can help people evolve and awaken the good in their hearts. People of all ages experience feelings of alienation, so when they are reminded how it feels they might treat the outcast more kindly. That’s something writers do best — remind us what we already know.

 

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Did you personally witness bullying at school when you were a child?

Craig PomranzHaven’t we all?  I was teased as a child. I performed professionally from a very young age.  I didn’t play team sports, and that brought on negative attention, too.  But, like Raffi, as people saw how committed I was to my art, they started to respect me.  Having the support of family and friends was extremely important.

 

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How did it change you as a person?

Craig Pomranz: As an outsider, I was sensitive to others being teased and bullied.  If I could, I tried to be supportive of the one being bullied.  Even as a relatively shy person, this helped me engage with people more. It felt like the right thing to do and somehow pushed me, even if it wasn’t easy.

 

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What is the next project you are working on?

Craig PomranzI’m working on several more books that I hope will empower children.  I have also been in talks about a television show for and by children that I am really excited about.  I continue to travel the world singing in clubs and will release another CDsoon.

 

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please share some of the reader’s feedbacks that made you feel that your efforts were worthwhile?

Craig PomranzI hear from children and adults from all over the world.  Sometimes I’m sent adorable pictures of children knitting.  One of my prized possessions is a drawing a little girl from Korea sent me of a cape she thought Raffi should make.  One of the first emails I received was from a man in Istanbul:

Today I enjoyed to preorder your beautiful and meaningful children book for my cousin.  Especially here inTurkey we need to learn respect to the one who is different than us. Thanks for your effort to make the world a better place to live.”

Other exciting developments:

  • Composers Amanda McBroom (Bette Midler’s “The Rose”) and Michele Brourman (The Land Before Time) read the book and were inspired to write a song “Different” for me to sing. Link here: Different

  • Oprah’s guru Geneen Roth (Women Food and God) wrote: “I wanted you all to know about this one…although he is bullied, he really does stay true to himself — and it all comes around in the end. So touching.”    

  • A donor has given 75 books to the Archdiocese of New York Catholic grade schools for their libraries.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How did you balance the fun element of the book with the pertinent message it tries to convey?

Craig Pomranz: Margaret Chamberlain‘s illustrations really help to keep the messages playful.  Also, I really tried to speak to children as they speak to one another.  Finally, Raffi never sees himself as a victim so the book is never sad, instead, he keeps on smiling and knitting and the others learn to love him.

 

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please tell our readers why Made By Raffi is a must buy?

Craig PomranzNo one can completely prevent bullying.  Instead, we must find a way to help our children find self-assurance so they can avoid becoming victims. Made by Raffi can help parents and teachers start a conversation about tolerance, how it feels to be bullied and how to cope when you feel “different.”  This is also good for those who may be the bullies.  For them to see their behavior and learn empathy and embrace our differences.  I hear from parents of bullies, that it helps them understand and hopefully to empathize and find a different way to interact. 

 

It is available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kqlAiR

 

http://amzn.to/2ifFyZ2/Jay Gunter/ welovequalitybooks.biz/

An Interview with Author Jay Gunter

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Interviews
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‘Left Hand Tree- Jay Gunter (Featured on welovequalitybooks.biz)

The much awaited ‘Left Hand Tree’ by Author Jay Gunter released in hardcover on January 19, 2017.

Kindle Edition is also out now!

 

A book makes its way to your heart and your bookshelf not only because of the content but because of the honesty with which the author presents his ideas to the readers. Only when a reader convincingly witnesses the author’s integrity and commitment do they ensure the novel is a bestseller. Author Jay Gunter promptly said yes to this interview to ensure his affection and involvement with all of you. He brings to all of us a Giveaway along with the release of Left Hand Tree.

If you are ready to witness the goosebumps of a suspense thriller, all you need to do is go get your Kindle Edition right away and then grab the hardcopy too at a bookstore near you!

Jay Gunter the author of “Left Hand Tree” generously answered our questions to make this a memorable interview.

 

Learn more about the author, and his novel and why it is impossible to ignore Left Hand Tree.

WeLoveQuality Books: Tell us something about yourself, Jay.

Jay Gunter: I was born in Great Falls, Montana. I currently reside in the Spokane, Washington area where I teach Communication Studies at Eastern Washington University.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How about your favorite genre?

Jay Gunter: (With a wide grin!)Well, my interests range from action and horror films to supernatural and suspense fiction. I  have enjoyed things outré and frightening since I was a very young boy, although I may have disputed the fact at that young age.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Go on!

Jay Gunter: Now with a throaty laugh!) “I can remember sitting on my dad’s lap one Saturday afternoon, watching Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster on our television set. Karloff was doing his genius performance as the monster, howling and growling and battering at this door in order to escape, and it was so loud and scary and awful, that I sat and screamed my head off while my dad fruitlessly tried to get me to realize that it was all just a movie. But that monster was absolutely real to me, and I just wanted it to go away. Finally, my mom had to intervene from the kitchen; she told my dad to just turn the channel, and he did. After that, if I even saw a hint of a Frankenstein, or a Wolf Man or other old-fashioned monster on the TV, I’d either leave the room, or I’d stare at the screen and whimper like a bird hypnotized by a snake. I’m sure that warped  me somehow.”

 

WeLoveQuality Books: When did you realize that you had a writer in you?

Jay Gunter: The one specific moment I can remember when I made a definite, concrete decision about actually wanting to be a writer, was in junior high school, right after I had just read Ray Bradbury’s story, Pillar of Fire, and I just loved it!  I went outside afterward, to the edge of where my folks’ rural property stopped being developed land and became a tangle of pine trees and wooded hills with a footpath worn through it.  I remember standing right where that path started, at the top of a short hill, and thinking to myself, “If only I could make someone as happy as I am right now with something I create.”  There were other moments like those, but that was probably the most dramatic.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What are your first memories of your journey as a writer?

Jay Gunter: Up until about junior high school, I had every intention of being a cartoonist like Charles Schultz, but I’d draw monsters instead of Charlie Brown and Snoopy.  But then I got a hold of a book of Ray Bradbury’s stories at the school library, Long After Midnight, and here was something new and different.  The cover was filled with odd creatures, and the subtitle of the collection was “22 Hauntings and Celebrations”.  But inside were stories about love and loss and the frustrations and joys of the human condition.  And even though they frustrated my initial craving for stories about monsters and ghosts, instead of causing me to put the book down, those stories compelled me to keep reading, because of their language and their emotion and their ease of accessibility, even to a pre-high-schooler.  I soon got my hands on The Martian Chronicles, which was more solidly otherworldly stuff, and I loved it.  

Right after that, I discovered a big cache of paperback books left by Mark Greg, a young man who had once attended the church I went to when I was younger.  His parents and mine were friends, and my family would often visit the Gregs’ house.  Mrs. Greg would allow me to borrow those paperbacks and read them since he had left them in his old room when he graduated from college and moved out.  Among them were Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, R is for Rocket, and S is for Space.  There was also Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions anthology, Gordon R. Dickson’s Hour of the Horde, Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters, and a slew of other science fiction paperbacks.  And after reading all this material, I slowly started to want to be a writer instead of a cartoonist.  

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Your work has been compared to Poe’s. What is your fav book by Poe and what did you take from it?

Jay GunterWould you believe I never really got into Poe all that much over my lifetime?  I recognized his significance, and I saw his genius in creating iconic stories that were channeled toward eliciting terror in a reader.  But I just never considered him a hero or a big influence.  I really don’t know why especially when so many of the writers I did consider mentors were definitely influenced by him!  I guess if you wanted to see who really affected me in the field of horror, you’d have to start with the next guy in line, H. P. Lovecraft.  Lovecraft ate, drank and slept Edgar Allen Poe, but Lovecraft also had all the monsters and weird, otherworldly influences that I really craved as a reader, while Poe was pretty straightforward and psychological in his tales—even the supernatural ones—though his tales of terror were heavily gothic and atmospheric.

My education as a horror enthusiast really kicked in when I discovered Lovecraft from a Ballentine paperback book of his earlier tales, and then Stephen King with ‘Salem’s Lot, and The Shining.  Other guys, like Peter Straub, Robert Bloch, and Dean Koontz fell into place for me also.  And there’s a pretty special place for Arthur Machen in my heart as well.  I found a Pinnacle paperback edition of Tales of Horror and the Supernatural with a cover painting depicting an evil, fanged woman surrounded by demons in the fires of Hell who are busy tormenting helpless figures.  That edition introduced me to “The Great God Pan”, “The Inmost Light”, “The Shining Pyramid”, and other tales of otherworldly evil that used language as a magic spell that made you feel the presence of the darkness beyond our factual little world!  “The Great God Pan” affected me so much that for years while growing up, I couldn’t go out into the pine woods on my property for fear of turning a corner in the thinly-treed forest and running into some goatish presence that would turn its head, look right at me, and strike me crazy with a glance!

Much later, after I graduated from college, I discovered M. R. James, and found another Victorian-era writer who could create fear with a few well-chosen words.  James was so effective at creating fear in a reader, it was like being stabbed—one-two-three!—with a stiletto to the midsection.  The thing I responded to in James was that when he wrote a story of terror, he wasn’t writing to impress people with how smart he was, even though his prose and storytelling are both brilliant.  He wasn’t creating some ghostly presence that you could maybe dismiss as a possible extension of a psychological condition of the story’s protagonist.  He was creating a hideous revenant from a bygone era that some foolish person blunders into and pays the price!  Before I discovered M. R James, I had become used to post-modern horror writers writing about the bleakness of a meaningless existence, and not even bothering to try to frighten the reader, which to me is like a comedian not bothering to try to be funny!  James’ “Canon Albrecht’s Scrapbook” was so effective, that it took me fifteen minutes to work up the courage to turn out the lights in my bedroom.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: How did the idea of Left Hand Tree originate?

Jay Gunter: Left Hand Tree is what I’d call an anthology novel.  I’ve taken a number of separate stories with interconnected settings, themes, and so on, and bound them together with a central story.  This is kind of like what science fiction author Ray Bradbury did with his short stories about Mars to create The Martian Chronicles, or his Green Town stories, which formed Dandelion Wine.  Stephen King did this as well, I believe, with Hearts in Atlantis.  I initially wanted to create a series of stories that dealt with horror as a spiritual factor, and that all took place in a fictional place similar to my own Spokane home . . . but with certain unpleasant differences!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Is it a complete work of fiction?

Jay Gunter: Yes, though more stories that take place in the “world” of Left Hand Tree are entirely possible!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What were the challenges that you faced while bringing Left Hand Tree to the world readers?

Jay Gunter: As unromantic as this may sound, writing itself was the hardest thing!  Just getting my butt down in a seat and my fingers on a keyboard so I could finish the writing that I’d started was a big challenge.  It took me almost ten years to create Left Hand Tree, and there are many writers who would look at me after hearing that, and just shake their heads and think, Wow, what a lazy excuse for a writer!  And to be honest, they’d be quite right!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: As a writer do you think creating a Thriller is tougher than writing in other genres?

Jay GunterNot really.  Only if you look at creating suspense or horror stories like an inventor approaching the task of creating a better mouse trap does thriller writing become a chore or an insurmountable task.  You have to love what you write about.  If you love spies and espionage, you should write spy stories.  If you love car chases and action, you write stories that deal with those things.  And if you love being scared by stories of disembodied voices crying on the wind, or nameless things dragging themselves through churchyards at night, then you should pour every ounce of love you have for those things into your writing as you possibly can!