Aug 23

Why It’s Not Fantasy for an Author to Aim to Move a Million

preacher1Authors are always asking me THE question, as I call it. How can I become as successful as some of the big names I see in the Western writing world? I have started to ask them a simple question in return. How many Western authors have achieved ONE MILLION PAGES read in a single month? You may know the answer—but you may not, so let’s take a look. Well… since 2016 started, I’ve personally seen several: John D. Fie, Jr., Cliff Roberts, G.P. Hutchinson, A.H. Holt…. and I could keep rambling names off until I turned old and gray. The reason I ask authors that question is because the above mentioned authors, and a bucket-load of other authors to boot, have achieved what many thought to be the impossible, and they did it with the help of three little things—the THREE C’s.

And the Three C’s are not a marketing philosophy that will cost you tens of thousands of dollars—they are actually a mindset that you may already have hanging around in your mind. Let’s take a look at what these Three C’s are.

The first C is Consistency. This is something all authors have to practice. Consistency in book promotion is the only way a book will move. You can’t do one, or two, or three things. You have to consistently promote your book—you have to always be doing something. Always looking to get more attention for your book, always running little ads, or trying to get more reviews. You have to be consistent on your journey towards success.

The second C is Commitment. We all have commitments in our lives, and those commitments sometimes seem like a problem. In reality, a commitment is just achievement in process. As an author, you have to commit to your book and commit to its success. If you don’t commit to your book, you won’t be able to be consistent (the first C), and you will find it harder to be successful. Commitment gives you the grit needed to get the job done. I ask all my clients to be committed to the promotion of their book. I ask them to answer interviews, to write blog articles, and to be involved. Unless you love your own baby, how can you expect anyone else to?

The third C is a very special one. This C stands for “cool,” and it’s true—you have to be cool to be successful. You have to keep a level head and not become depressed when your book isn’t discovered on day one. You have to be cool when you are interviewed, and cool when you are reading a bad review. You have to keep cool, and… be committed… and be consistent.

Whether you are busy promoting your book or enjoying writing that book; whether you are writing your third book,ten1 or toiling away on your first; take some time and think about these three C’s. In fact, you may want to take a lot of time and think about them because they are incredibly important to your success as an author. All the books I’ve promoted, and the success my authors have had, can be traced back to the simple Three C’s. The Three C’s gave a solid foundation on which to build book sales and reader-author relations. You can take these Three C’s and turn them into your own success story.

If you would like to talk to me about your book, strategies to help move your book, advertisements to educate people about your book—or just to shoot the breeze and talk about your book—you can contact me via the contact form below. But I will warn you, we will talk about your relationship with the Three C’s… because authors looking to be successful cannot afford to be without them.

 

Aug 23

Can You Outsell Fie? An Interview With “Million Dollar” Western Author John D. Fie. Jr


cowboyontargetThis interview is with John D. Fie. Jr. The man who has helped put the Western back on top. His first two Westerns have both been bestsellers, and he has received sales awards from his publishing company Outlaws Publishing.

But what does it really take to be a bestseller? Have you always wanted to know? Well this might be the interview for you…

Morning John. It sure is a pleasure to have you on our site.

Good morning, Cliff!

What does it feel like to be one of the top authors in the Western genre?

It feels pretty good. It’s good to know that somebody is enjoying your story.

How do you approach promotion?

I think you have to have a balanced promotional diet. I believe that it’s important to make sure everything you do works with all the things you’ve been doing. Make sure you are touching readers every single day, and make sure people are following you. Don’t just try one thing– try many things and pull them together to make your books known.

Are you enjoying those new sales awards from Outlaws Publishing?

Yes—very much so. It’s always a pleasure to be recognized as a success.

Do you enjoy interviews?

They’re not my favorite thing to do. But I do them because they are needed. I would be happy to talk to you all day– but I’d rather be down by the lake while doing it.

john d fie photoIs advertising important?

Yes. Can any product be sold without advertising? I don’t think so.

Why are Westerns still so popular?

As surprised as people are at the success of Westerns, I’m really not. I’ve always enjoyed the West, and I know many others have, too. I think there’s a lot of hype when it comes to romance, erotica and horror—but the Western fanbase is just as busy buying the books they want.

What can we expect from you in the future?

A sequel to Blood on the Plains has been released entitled Benson’s Creek, plus another short story later on in my Wild West short story series.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Did you have your covers in mind before you saw them?

Blood on the Plains, at first, had a very bland looking cover. I had a contract with a different publisher at the time. The book wasn’t moving. Outlaws Publishing took a look at the book and the cover. It wasn’t until I signed with Outlaws Publishing that the book was pulled from the market. The cover was re-designed, and I immediately saw the difference. The book, with the new cover design, just jumped at you. I knew right then I had made a good decision going with Outlaws. They specialize in the Western genre. Luke Pressor, U.S. Marshal also had two different book covers. Several covers were designed, and we put our heads together and again came up with a colorful book cover with eye appeal.

Let’s talk about “Blood on The Plains” for a moment. Is there anything you’d change about that book?

With Blood on the Plains, I would say the ending. I left the reader with a rather short ending. I  maybe should have embellished on the romance between Sally Phillips and Matt Hutchens. In Luke Pressor, U.S. Marshal, I think perhaps I should have introduced the marshal into the story earlier to add a little more excitement.

Give us an interesting, fun fact or a few about your book or series.

I like to use small, quick one-liners in my stories to add a little comedy. Also to have a few characters that are somehow different from the others.

What other books are similar to your own?  What makes them alike?

I honestly can’t think of any. I try to be different than other authors. There is one complaint that I hear all the time about Western books—that they’re all the same. I try hard to be different.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can go to my Amazon author page (amazon.com/author/johnfie or go to Outlawspublishing.com). Visit my blog on the Cowboy Campfire at Outlaws Publishing or email my publicist at Nick@nickwale.org.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

The best thing a reader can do for an author is to leave a review. Tell others about your experience. Let the author know about your experience with the story.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

For new writers, make sure you get an editor. You can’t edit the book enough. When you’re ready to publish, look around and choose wisely, then stand by for the reviews.

What do you think is the key to success?

Good writing, good promotion and making sure you surround yourself with those who will help you, rather than hinder you. A good publisher, publicist, and editor will make you as an author. A poor publisher, publicist, or editor will break you. I need say no more. Invest in yourself, your product and hire a good publicist.

This new interview with John was recorded live from his home. If you would like to learn more about this great Western author you can visit his website here. You can also discover more about him by visiting his Amazon Author Page today

 

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Aug 19

Western Voice Star Paul Provo To Release New Hit Western Audiobook

Paul Provo in actionThis new interview is with audiobook voice Paul Provo. Paul, who resides in Spain, has just completed working on the mammoth task of recording a new Western for author Chet A. Cord. This brilliant new book is called “The Tumbleweed Trail: An Outlaws Choice Series.”

But what about the voice behind the book? How does he make these audiobooks sound so good? What does it take to be a voice of audiobook quality? That’s the purpose of this interview… Let’s learn what makes one audiobook voice tick… You can learn more about using Paul’s voice by emailing Nick@nickwale.org.

 

What is it about writing, and the writings of others that really gets your interest, Paul?

Writing is very important in my life and only grows in significance as I get older. It is an art craft that will endure, of that we can be sure. Since I was a young boy, I´ve remained a steady reader. I started with things like Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton, all I could find by Mark Twain, and at eleven, started dabbling in the scary world of Edgar Allen Poe. At fourteen, I was into Wilhem Reich, Carlos Castaneda, Herman Hesse and a rather long list that progressed to the Irish reality, yet hilarious story tellers such as J.P. Donleavy and the likes of Frank Mc Court or Wodehouse. Malachy Mc Court, also a favorite, along with Brenan O´Behan and Patrick Mc Ginley. My writing ambition and my current shared task of narrating audio-books is probably genetic: I love the gab, always have, and my ability with words flow naturally, but one has to be careful; the love of gab has a price.

How do you keep all the voices straight?

If the character is properly developed, then he or she already HAVE their own straight voice…no need for me to do anything but give it life through mine. Unfortunately, many authors I run across have this problem.

Who were the most influential voices on you?

“Here´s Johnny!” on the Johnny Carson show. Ed Mc Mahon was the voice that set me off! In the sixties we listened to the radio all the time. I loved the special effects that today are electronically replaced. No matter.

Were you always such a voracious reader?

I would have to say that reading came naturally to me, however, my father was an avid reader. His hobby was reading dictionaries and killing everybody at Scrabble. He must have had some influence on me.

What kind of books should be turned into audiobooks?

There is no barrier in the audio-book realm.

Why do you enjoy working on the Westerns?

I love Westerns and have done several. Being Texan, I enjoy playing with the drawl and twang of cowboys as I imagine them jawing with one another out there in the hot desert, cussing and trying not to step on rattlesnakes while Indians are charging. You get me. Yep, Western audio books are doing very well. Something about the former Wild West and its lawlessness, mixed with pure dangerous living on the edge, generates interest for readers from all over the world. It was a great thrill to work on “The Tumbleweed Trail.”

If you could go back to any time period—where would you go?

I am happy in this life and where I live, though given a choice on where I´d like to be in the past, I´d chose Outer Mongolia.

How would you describe your voice?

I´m a story teller. I have a story teller´s voice. I envision myself sitting around a campfire, shooting the shit with the boys, and it works fine for me.

What will your next project be?

Boy. I´m so busy. Nick Wale at Novel Ideas in London keeps me on the ball. In the last two months, I´ve completed a Western short, a long-ass autobiography—a whopping fourteen hours long, and another very popular book on trains. I have two novels waiting on the list—one is a Western by a new author who is going to leave a mark, and the other a four hundred and fifty page autobiographical novel.

How do people get submissions to you?

To reach me, you must go through Nick Wale. He will get us in touch if he determines I can add zest to your creation. He is choosy, mind you.

Are you ever surprised by how many readers there are, still, in the world?

I am not surprised by all the readers in the world. There are plenty who have exchanged paper for screen, big deal. In the end they are READING. Thanks to audio books, they can expand, and that´s a good thing.

Is there any kind of book you would love to narrate from a different genre?

In answer to that, sometimes I have to turn down a book. Genre is secondary to me. If the writing excites me, I go for it. If it´s plain flat, there´s not a helluva lot I can do. I love surprises, though, so send it by Nick, and let´s see what we can do!

Do you think writers read more books than the average reader—or is that just a myth?

I´ve never met a writer that is NOT an avid digester of books. I can’t imagine it.

How have reviewers treated your books?

Reviewers, hmm. Well, there´s a zillion voices out there doing what I do. I don´t keep a tally. I honestly don´t care about anything more than that the listener enjoys and feels my engagement.

And your luxury item to take to a secluded island is….?

Luxury item I´d take to a secluded island? A bunch of assorted seeds, some basic tools, and pencil and paper.

The new Paul Provo project will be available on the market in just a few days. You can check out the Kindle E-book right here

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Aug 18

The Western Author Who Thrills Readers Around The World: An Interview With G.P. Hutchinson

gp photoHave you been looking for a new Western series to cherish? How about checking out one of the most successful Western authors of today… G.P. Hutchinson. Success, if you can get it, is something to be cherished. G.P. Hutchinson has been at the top of the Western tree for some time now. His first book, “Strong Convictions,” was one of the major Western hits of 2015. His new book, “Strong Suspicions,” climbed to the top of the bestseller listings and has become one of the fastest selling Westerns of the year, so far. In fact, over ONE MILLION pages of “Strong Suspicions” were read during the months of April and May. So with that in mind, this interview should give you some insight into the mindset of a writer who has been, and is, so successful.

Now, G.P. is a very humble fella, and he writes because he loves to write, and that may be the very reason for his success. You can also add his consistent mindset towards promotion and his ability to please Western readers to that list of ingredients… But the biggest ingredient is that he has a talent for writing. That’s the key. If you put all of these ingredients together, you can’t help but find success. But let’s ask G.P. about his formula… He’s waiting!

Why was it important for you to write? What drove that ambition?

Sometimes stories are more effective than non-fiction in influencing the way people think. There’s a lot of madness in the world today. In spite of all the advantages of rapid change, 24/7 news cycles, and the ability to Google any subject on Earth, a lot of folks seem more confused than ever about how to live life. My hope is that, while entertaining readers, I’ll offer them something attractive to consider regarding how to live meaningful, purposeful lives based on enduring values in this complicated world.

How closely do you try to keep to historical fact?

History matters—a good deal. But if my story is better served by having a railroad run through a town in 1881 when in fact the railroad did not arrive until 1883, I don’t believe any great harm is done in most such cases. What shouldn’t be changed for the sake of story, in my humble opinion, are the prevailing social conventions and attitudes of the specific era in which the story takes place. Too much is already being expunged from history books these days in order to advance politically correct societal agendas.

What were the most influential movies on your writing?

Tombstone (1993), Broken Trail (2006), The Quick and the Dead (1995), and Appaloosa (2008) all had stylistic influence on my Western novels.

What first got you interested in the written word?

An active imagination and a thirst for adventure in other times and places.

Would you ever write a book about the Alamo or other historical events?

I’ve learned to never say ‘never.’

Do you believe in good and bad? Is that a concept that all who write books should keep in mind?

If by “good and bad” you are referring to how well or poorly done something is (stories, books, visual and performing arts), then of course I believe in good and bad. And I believe anyone who writes a book and sets out to sell it to the public has a moral imperative to give his readers the best work he can possibly produce under his current circumstances. Meanwhile, I think you’d really like to know whether I believe in good and evil, which is a slightly different question. A quick look at the world around us reveals abundant examples of both good and evil—the epic battle of the ages. With all due respect to the postmodernist antihero (a protagonist who is not only flawed, but who also leaves the reader or viewer questioning whether any moral absolute can be applied), I believe there are profound reasons why most readers want to see good heroes who eventually triumph and bad villains who eventual get what’s coming to them. We simply don’t seem to see enough justice in the world where we live out our everyday lives.

If you could go back to any time period—where would you go?

Scary idea—probably the American West of the later 1800s.

Can you describe all of your books in one easy-to-read answer?

In my books I strive to blend the best conventions of classic-style Westerns with the pacing and suspense of modern thrillers.

What will your next book be about?

In Strong Ambitions, Emmett Strong and his family will have to stare death and destruction in the face and cobble together a way to overcome dangerous and determined enemies with seemingly endless resources.

As an author, do you think it’s important to have a large publisher?

While landing a contract with a big publisher could boost an author’s career in a significant way, there’s no guarantee that that would be the case. From what I understand, traditionally published books have a fairly short window of opportunity in which to make a big splash. If they don’t live up to expectations within that window of time, they may very well end up being pulled from the market. There’s a lot of competition out there and limited promotional budgets. Even when published by one of the bigger publishing houses, authors still have a substantial responsibility to promote their own work. Self-publishing has a lot of advantages. There are pitfalls, to be sure. But well-written, well-edited stories, when targeted at the right audience, can remain on the market and gain fans over a long period of time. Either way—traditionally published through one of the larger publishing houses, or self-published—it seems to me that the key ingredient to the success of an author who writes good material is visibility.

Are you ever surprised by how many readers there are, still, in the world?

Not really. Life is—at the same time—tough and mundane. We often don’t see the fruits of our labors until much later, if ever. Reading offers a wonderful way to vicariously experience both excitement and the successful accomplishment of bold and daring deeds.

Is there any kind of book you wouldn’t write, or couldn’t write?

I wouldn’t write anything that, in my estimation, dishonors God or weakens the essential moral fiber of society.

Do you think writers read more books than the average reader—or is that just a myth?

Don’t get me wrong—you have to be a reader in order to be the best writer you can possibly be. On the other hand, while I’m busy writing for six or eight hours in a day, someone else may be devouring books I’ll never have time to get to. I’m amazed by (and a bit jealous of) how much some people read.

How have reviewers treated your books?

Overall, very well, I’m humbled to say. Every now and then, there’s a review that makes me cock my head and say, “What?!?” But as with anything, as much as we might like to, we can’t please 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time.

And your luxury item to take to a secluded island is….?

Some means of staying connected to the internet.

Thank you, G.P. for stopping by. You can download both of G.P’s  bestselling books today by clicking here. You can also check out his website here. Don’t miss out on great books by one of the great Western authors of today.

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Aug 15

You Don’t Need A Gun To Write Like Western Bestseller Cliff Roberts

young cowboy in silhouette

Cliff Roberts has sold a huge pile of books, and in all of his books there are gunfights. But you don’t need a gun to join Cliff Roberts’ gang. You just need to enjoy great stories. This interview is all about the stories and how they are written. You will find that part interesting. But there is also a reward for reading this interview. If you want the reward first… scroll to the bottom. There’s a book to be claimed, if you’re ready to claim it…

What made you want to become a writer in the first place?

I don’t know. I’ve always had a desire to write and to tell stories. I have an extremely vivid imagination.

Have you written any other books that are not published? Do you have ideas laying around that you may work on one day?

Oh, yeah. I have dozens of books that I’ve written and they sit in my computer. I probably will never publish them, though I may rewrite them. I also have a very thick file on my computer that is nothing but story ideas and partially completed books. I work on them from time to time, slowly working my way through them. In the meantime, while I’m waiting for just the right bit of inspiration to finish the partially completed books, I’m writing new books.

What do you think about the e-book revolution?

The e-book revolution has changed the world. It has allowed authors, some very good authors, who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance, find a way to reach out to the readers. In the past, the type of books we had to choose from came from a limited number of publishing houses. Those publishers picked and chose the authors who got the opportunity to go public through some arbitrary methods. Things like, which school you attended, or if you attended school or who you knew. My personal favorite was the grammatical error method.  When you sent in your manuscript, it was given to a reader, the reader would read your first page, and if they found a grammatical error or a spelling error or even a punctuation error, they tossed your work in the trash bin. It didn’t matter if the story was great or not. That is what I’ve heard was the issue with John Grisham’s work. The publisher wasn’t going to make him an offer because of some typo on the first page of his manuscript, when another reader at the publishing house picked it up and actually read it. From there, well, you know the history—John Grisham is one of America’s great all time writers. E-books give every writer the chance to become an all-time great. It also gives the author the lion’s share of the money earned by their work instead of the publisher keeping the majority of the money.

How would you describe your writing style?

I have to say my style is easy. I write as I speak, and I try to keep it simple. Not too much description and not too much background unless it’s really important to the story. Like Elmore Leonard advised, “Try to leave out the parts that the readers skip over.”

Pen, typewriter or computer?

I have used all three in my writing career, but I have to say I prefer the computer. First of all, there’s no paper to worry about. You don’t have to buy or store it. If you make an error, you simply back up and retype it. You don’t have to have Wite-Out and a steady hand. Then there’s the easy mailing process compared to having to drive to the post office and buy postage to send a paper manuscript. On the computer, it’s an easy email process. So I’ll take a computer every day over having to hand write something or typing it out.

Do you write alone or in public?

You make it sound dirty or something. I write alone in my home office but I do spend the majority of my time thinking about my different stories no matter where I am.

Music or silence?

I like it quiet when I write. Too much noise is distracting.

When you are in full writing mode, do you have goals of a certain number of words a week, or do you just as write when inspiration strikes?

No, I don’t have any word count or chapter completion goals when I sit down to write. I go with the inspiration. Sometimes I spend as much as eighteen hours straight, writing away.

What tactics do you have when writing? Do you jump right in, or do you have to outline?

I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve tried outlines, but I was never able to follow them as I would discover a better version of the story somewhere along the line and change everything. I just find the outline too confining.

What has your experience been like as an author?

It’s been a lot like work. Work that is always fun and exciting, but work just the same. If you treat writing like a hobby, that is exactly what it will be—a hobby. In order to achieve anything, you have to put the effort into it, and writing is no different. It takes time, and even when you think you’ve written something good, even great, the readers may not find it or they may not agree with you. So you have to strive to continually improve.

What have you put most of your effort into regarding writing?

As an independent author, you wear all the hats involved with publishing a book. Writing, editing, marketing, etc. They are all important, but I have tended to focus on the writing by improving my skills at the fundamental level, as well as crafting stories that are compelling and interesting.

What is your new book about?

I have several books that are about to be released. The next two are “Reprisal! The Eagle’s Challenge” (a continuation of my series, “Reprisal!”). It is the fourth book in the series, and this one focuses on the growing threat to America in Central and South America. It also explores the tie between the drug lords and the radical Islamists. There are lots of guns, a terrorist bombing, fire fights, car crashes, torture, spying, golf-loving drug lords and a beautiful half-naked woman. Yeah, it’s an action-adventure story. The other one due out shortly is titled “The Meek.” It’s a stand-alone horror story dealing with the possible end of the world as we know it. It’s intense and should keep you awake at night. If I tell you any more, it will give it all away.

And finally, why are you allowing readers to download your first hit “Reprisal” for only 99 cents?

The reasoning behind it is that a lot of people love that book. I would like more people to download it, enjoy it and understand the message. We live in dangerous times, and that book shows, in particular, that many of the problems we face today can become the war of tomorrow. If you are watching the news, keeping up to date with the election… you are going to really enjoy the book. I promise.

You can download “Reprisal: The Eagle Rises” by Cliff Roberts today from Amazon for 99 cents. This is a story ripped from the headlines of today. The series has moved over 40,000 copies, and if you enjoy reading about current events, politics and the fight between the left and right… this book could be the one for you!

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Aug 11

Top Western Book Cover Designer Kevin Diamond Discusses Working On Alex Cord’s “High Moon” Bestseller

kevin diamond beret

To celebrate the release of the new Alex Cord Western, “High Moon,” we thought it would be great to put together an interview with the designer behind that great new Cord cover. His name is Kevin Diamond, and he has been working on a number of covers for some of the biggest names in the book business. For those who are wondering what it is like to work with Alex Cord– this is the interview for you. Enjoy!

How did you get into the business of creating covers?

The straight-forward way. I went to school for a degree in Fine Arts, then spent years working as an art director for printed materials then as a television and movie producer before taking up book covers. It’s been a roundabout path, but the basic techniques for creating scenic design for plays and movies is essentially the same as what you do to make a cover. The variety of themes creating covers is really engaging. One day you are doing space epics, the next day period detective stories. I love it.

You worked on the last Alex Cord cover—was it a foregone conclusion that you’d work on his latest cover?

Hardly. Alex wanted the best cover he could get for his book. He shopped around and mercifully he enjoyed our last project together, so when he offered, I jumped at it.

What were you told was needed? Were there any set criteria for the new cover?

Alex had a very specific image in mind for his cover. That image involved a lot of action, cannon fire and explosions. We discussed the nature of the book, the time period and the emotional message he was trying to communicate to readers. The result was a very complicated layered composition that carried forward his vision.

How did you start the cover? What elements did you pick out first?

The first thing we needed was a type face that worked for his cover. It has strong western and Hispanic themes, so I wanted to find a typeface that matched. Then began the long task of acquiring images that would be able to be assembled into the composition he was looking for. It took long hours searching multiple photography sites to find everything I needed.

What did you want the cover to convey?

Alex wanted action and romance. So I was trying to convey an image than showed conflict, heroism and the reason why someone would put oneself through that.

How were your early drafts received by Alex?

Alex has been great to work with. His experience working in motion pictures has made him very savvy to what he is looking for in an action shot. I had a bit too much smoke in the early drafts. In fact, I think that was his biggest reoccurring comment: “Less smoke!”

How did the final cover differ from your early drafts?

Alex was looking for a very simple, elegant love story in the middle of very explosive conflict. My early drafts were a grander Hispanic motif and style that was gradually made much more humble. I still like my initial design, but I think Alex got it right on what the story needed.

How long did it take for you to finish the cover? Was it a long process?

This was a very technical compilation of images that took a good deal of time to assemble. It took a long time to build and to get all the files set for physical printing versus an electronic copy. Actual jackets for books are much more demanding in terms of quality than a 75-dpi electronic format.

How do you think readers will feel about this new cover?

I hope it engages them and makes them want to pick up and read (buy) the book. Alex wrote a great action-packed story, and I hope the cover does it justice.

Would you be interested in doing other Western covers?

Anytime, anywhere. I am a big fan of Western history, books and movies. The imagery and the whole epic scope of the American Western is a lot of fun to create. Anyone looking for Western covers, it would be an honor and pleasure to work on your project.

Did you enjoy reading the latest Alex Cord Western, High Noon?

Alex knows his horses and knows his guns, and it comes across in his writing. This is a book written by a man who has lived the Western life. The texture and flavor of the world he knows comes across in every scene.

You can learn more about Kevin Diamond by visiting his website here. You can also connect with Kevin via Facebook by clicking here  Don’t forget that you can also purchase your copy of this great new Western right here

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Aug 09

Romance Author Megan Elizabeth Describes The Perfect Book Boyfriend

As a romance writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about what it is that makes me want to make a character my ‘book boyfriend.’ As a single woman in the dating world, I do the same thing. I can’t help but wonder what’s hot? What attracts me? Wkisshat is it that makes me sit up and say, “Yes, please. Can I have some more?” Is it that dark, cocky attitude that you see from Bennett in “Beautiful Bastard” by Christina Lauren? Because, damn! Or is it that playful sexiness from Max in “Beautiful Stranger”? Yes, Max, you can take pictures of me anytime you want, no matter what we are doing (wink, wink).

Since EL James’ smash hit, 50 Shades of Grey, the landscape of the erotica market has changed. It begs the question, in your mind, what is hot? For me, that answer comes down to one resounding truth… seduce me! I don’t want to be shocked or surprised. I want to be eased into a seduction, like in Kresley Cole’s “The Master.” Let’s pause and give thanks to the main character who is Maksimilian. Domineering? You bet. Sexist? Slightly. Hotter then hell? Absolutely. I’ve never thought Russian mafia was my thing, but after reading “The Master,” I added it to my list of things that are very, very hot.

So what is hot? I can tell you this much—it’s not getting d**k pics sent to me after talking to a guy for one day. What’s hot? A confident man in a suit, who looks like he’s capable of handling any situation. One who knows he’s sexy but doesn’t feel the need to tell everyone about it. Sitting at a table full of people saying, “I know how to make a woman cum eight different ways”…not so hot. But whispering that in my ear right before you actually do it… that’s hot as hell.

As I continue to read all of these amazing books, I can’t help but become a fan of these authors. So you want to talk about a little bondage, if that’s your thing. How about that faithful scene in “Lover Eternal” by JRWard? When our sexy Hollywood is chained to a bed by his sweet Mary. Talk about spank bank material… that is hot. But let’s be honest; it wasn’t just the chains, his abs or his ability to barely hang on to what little control he had.  Although that really does add to thelips hot factor, it was an intense moment that had you turning pages all hours of the night. Did it shock me? No. But you better believe it seduced the hell out of me. So, chains? Yeah, I could do chains as long as it’s with Rhage.

Some people like to be shocked in the moment. For me, I want to be seduced into doing something shocking. I want to put a book down and say, “Damn, I need to try that.” Hell, when I write my books, I want my readers to walk away thinking “I want to try that.” So, you want to know what’s hot? Pick up any of Christina Lauren’s books, give Kresley Cole a try, and bow down to the queen of seduction, JR Ward. And if you want to know what I think is hot, pick up my book, “Bound to Me,” where the best kind of foreplay begins on a leather couch… Available below

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Aug 08

A Massacre on the Western Bestseller Charts: Hit Western Author Lon Safko Reveals All

mass newSince the release of his first Western, “Massacre,” the world has been hearing a lot about Lon Safko. With that first book now available as an audiobook, and his second book on the market, I decided to sit down and find out the motivation behind the success of Lon Safko. What makes him such an interesting author to read? What gives his Westerns that ‘punch’ fans love? Why was his first book such a genre favorite?

As we conducted this interview, it became clear that a writer like Lon Safko has to exist. There has to be a writer who screams quality, and tells the tales of the West we never knew. Without any further discussion, I want you to read this interview with one of the finest Western writers of our age.

Lon, why did you want to move into the Western world?

I’ve always been fascinated by Westerns. As a Western reader, I’ve been noticing lately that there’s low supply—and high demand—so I decided I would start to share my own stories with readers. I think the Western is one of the most important genres in the world. The Western is America, and we need to cherish it. We need to cherish our history. Everyone is all excited about the romance novels, the erotica, the vampires—but Western readers are plentiful, and they yearn for stories of the Old West. With time to spare and plenty of ideas in my head, I thought I might be able to please some of them.

Do you think the Western is going through a resurgence?

No. I don’t think it’s ever been out of fashion. I think the publishing houses have forgotten them—but the readers are still there. Just because Pat Boone isn’t making record sales anymore, it doesn’t mean people aren’t buying tickets for his concerts. Unfortunately, every entertainment industry is hemmed in by what is popular, or hip, or cool, or considered desirable. The consensus is that if what you have isn’t part of the “cool,” it’s not going to sell. Well, it just isn’t true. Some of the greatest artists have been pegged as not being part of the in-crowd, yet many of them are sitting in Malibu drinking their pina coladas because they have strong fanbases who don’t care if they’re number one; they just want to see, listen and read what they like.

Why do you think Westerns have maintained their popularity?

Simply because people respect the beginnings of our great country. People want to be part of what we have to offer, and they want to re-live some of the most exciting times ever. Can you imagine what it must have been like for the pioneers? The gunfighters? The early lawmen? Can you imagine what it was like to live in a lawless place? You can’t get into a time machine, but you can live the life through fiction.

How many Western novels do you plan to release?

A whole series. I can’t put a definitive number on how many books are in my series. We have just released the second book, “Love, Lust, Death,” and will be moving onto the third book this month. The first book in the series, “Massacre,” was very well received, and I believe people will tune in to see what happens next.

Do you enjoy other Western novels?

Certainly. I have read a great many of them. From classics by names like Zane Grey to some of the newer stuff by Cliff Roberts, G.P. Hutchinson, Frank F. Fiore… the list goes on. Do you know what makes a great Western novel? No? A great Western is one-third Bible-based, one-third action-based and one-third dialogue-based. You have to have an age old theme—and all the age old themes of note are in the Bible. You have to have the right amount of action to keep readers reading, and you have to drive the story with dialogue. I’m not sure that I’ve managed to write the great American Western—but I’m sure trying—and making sure to follow my own rules.

How do you write your novels?

How does anyone? I sit down in front of my computer and spill my ideas onto a Microsoft Word page. Then I arrange them in such a way that I can see a story. Then I connect my ideas together and take out the ideas that don’t fit. Then I hone, shape and fascinate myself with the story I’ve created. Sometimes, I ask myself if I wrote the story, and I’m not entirely sure I can say I did. I think my subconscious did all the work, and thank God it did because my stories seem to keep readers entertained.

What was your first experience of the Western?

My first experience of the Western was John Wayne. I saw his movies when I was a kid. We would pile down to the local movie house and see them one after the other. I don’t think there was ever another movie star like The Duke.

Would you ever consider writing a series outside of your current series?

You bet. I have one in mind at the moment that would take place shortly before the Alamo. I also have a Western detective series, and a crime series that I’d like to get out there. I just need to sit in front of the computer and let those ideas spill. Once the ideas are out, they can never go back again. They must be read.

Where can we find your latest book?

Head over to Amazon, punch in my name, and pick out the book called “Massacre” first. When you’ve finished reading that one, move onto “Love, Lust, Death.” Then keep your eyes peeled for the other books in my series. There will be more coming—that’s something you can be quite sure of.

Download your copy of the very popular first #Western from Lon Safko today from Amazon. it’s just 99 cents!

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Aug 04

“Each Wind That Blows” Author Susannah Cord Reveals Her Relationship With Writing

susie1Susannah Cord, author, horsewoman, thinker, wife, friend… What does she think about when she writes pages of a book? Why did she even become a writer? How does anyone become a writer? I have questions and Susannah has answers. Check out this great interview with the author of the riveting “Each Wind That Blows.”

Who do you have in mind when you write?

This is going to sound really corny, but I don’t really have anyone in mind unless of course I am describing a certain person, but even then, what I really have in mind is not a who but a what – a feeling, a reaching inside for the right words to describe the truth of how a person or thing or situation makes me feel. A desire to tell this in a way that will reach out and grab someone in a beneficial manner. I have said before that I write from the heart first and foremost, and this applies to everything. I write from how something or someone makes me feel, and I want to pass that on as best I can.

Have you always aspired to be a writer? 

~ Not with any real intention, no. I was a prolific dabbler in writing for most of my life. But it was something I did because it helped me, made me feel better, find clarity when I was hurting and confused, and because whatever was bottled up inside came out and became a creative rather than a destructive exercise.

Tell me about how you became a writer—what was the first step for you?

It was a very slow process. It started when I was four and tried to copy my mother’s grocery list which looked like an orderly line of intriguing hieroglyphics. My earnest attempt to reproduce that effect looked like worms tripping on LSD in a puddle of milk, so it was disappointing to say the least, not to mention frustrating, but, to my credit, I persevered.

In time, the worms metamorphosed into words and the words carried meaning and my repertoire expanded as it came to include a lot of essays, poetry and prose, lyrics to songs no one would ever sing, a column for an equestrian magazine, a blog and ultimately, my first book, a fairytale I wrote for my niece Zoe and published to honour the memory of my mother. When I first held that real book in my hands, that was the moment I felt that desire to do more, the moment I thought “Wait a minute. I can do this. I WANT to do this. I have a lot more to say and write.” Then the safari to Kenya came along and the rest, as they say, will one day be history…

Do you have a distinctive “voice” as a writer?

Of course, I like to think I do, and this is where I get to say that several editors have told me I do, but ultimately, like beauty, I think that will be in the mind of the reader. One musician told me once that I phrase musically, and I don’t even know what that means, but apparently he thought it was pretty cool, so there you go. That’s my answer- but of course, I phrase musically, don’t you know?

Do you think anyone can learn to be an effective writer or is it an unnamed spiritual gift?

What an interesting question. It immediately makes me think of horses and riders. Because in the equestrian world we talk about people that are gifted with ‘feel’ and how it simply cannot be taught. You can teach technique, you can teach someone how to ride and how to master exercises and how to be an effective and capable rider, but you cannot teach them how to feel, how to intuit just the right thing to do in that split second moment of decision. You can teach them an approximation of that feel, but to actually have feel, no. You just can’t. And that is what separates a great rider from a good one.

Some will say you can teach it using technology, but I say you can’t – because feel comes from the inside, from spirit. Feel is an intuiting of the information carried in pure energy and we and the horse read this with a sixth sense that you will not find in machines. You are riding the horse and you are both riding a wave of energy between you.  I was gifted with a lot of this ‘feel’ as a rider and I cannot tell someone how I knew to do just that in that moment, I did it because it felt right, not because that was a technique I learned. More often than not, I am not even sure what I did, it might have been as simple as relaxing one body part while tensing another, sending the horse a subtle message only he felt and understood. And it might not work tomorrow but then my ‘feel’ will tell me what to do then.

So I would think the same applies to writing. You can teach good grammar, techniques, rules etc etc and just like riding horses, these are necessary. You have to know the rules in order to break them well, and you have to have good technique to bend them. But knowing just how to build a sentence for maximum effect and beauty, how to bend the rules just so in order to sway the sentence with a touch of magic – that is something that comes from the heart and spirit, woven independently of and yet within the confines of rules and technique. And either you access that or you don’t.

Was there a point at which you felt this would be a career?

Yes and no. First it was just a slow awakening to the idea that this was something I could do and do full time and be effective – that yes, I did have a voice. It had me thinking. Then I had an offer out of the blue to write a book for one of the world’s premier equestrian publishers with one of our most interesting, out of the box, horsemen and that was the moment I realized this could be for real. Ultimately, I had to put that project on the back burner because the riding safari project came along, but it’s still there in the back of my mind, and it was the trigger that made me consider taking myself seriously as a writer.

Is there a book you’re most proud of?

Not yet. I am on my third book and so far all three have been so different – Fenella is an illustrated fairytale, Seeds of Change is a book of essays and photography and my new book, Each Wind That Blows is a memoir – so I am proud of each, each in their own way. They all challenged me in different ways, taught me different things.

Writing is so internal, in the head, how do you release the pressure before you begin writing?

Exercise, yoga and meditation. Either my morning workout and/or working with my horses which can be like a meditation in movement. I attend yoga classes twice a week and practice at home along with rebounding and using a ski machine. It clears my mind and grounds me for the task ahead. Being with the horses is being in Nature and it connects me with that indefinable sense of spirit that I always try to write from. I often say a little prayer before I write, asking for guidance to find the right words and to be guided to the stories that need to be written.

On average, how long does it take for you to write your ideas down before you start writing a book?

A few seconds and minutes here and there, mostly it is all in my head and in the mental fog, waiting to be revealed. So far my writing, except Fenella, has been heavily based upon personal experience so mostly I just open that vault and go. If – and it is a dream of mine – I one day attempt to write a full blown fiction or fantasy saga, then I am sure that will change and some serious planning will have to go into it as well as my usual ‘go with the flow’ rule.

What would you say is the “defining” factor in your writing? What makes it yours?

For now, I would say the fact that it is drawn from personal experience to a great degree. But also that I simultaneously consciously invite Spirit in to form my words and tell the story in the best possible way, that will mean something to the reader. It isn’t just about me needing to figure this out on paper, or wanting to share my experiences, thoughts and ideas, it is about what is my experience worth to someone else. I don’t know that, only Spirit has the big picture and I consciously turn it over and surrender my ideas to Spirit, God, Source, call it what you will. And I am often very, very surprised at what comes out.

How do you guard your time to do what’s most important?

I am absolutely terrible at that. If you know how to do that, do let me know. I get so caught up in what I am doing, be it horses, writing or photography that I lose track of time and I have a hell of time switching gears once I get comfortable in one. It is one of the great challenges of my day to day life to balance these many passions of mine. So basically, it’s an exercise in self-discipline that I have yet to master.

What are some of the more common distractions you struggle with and what ways have you found to overcome them?

I don’t have many real distractions because they are all my passions and they fill up my day but there is one that qualifies as outright distraction although it’s also part of where I keep up with conservation efforts worldwide as part of my project, The Katika Nuru Project. It’s embarrassing, but Facebook can be a major distraction. I have liked so many Nature pages, photographers, conservation organizations and so on, and this is mostly what shows up in my feed so it’s great for keeping up with what’s happening. But if I am not careful, an hour goes by with me watching what they caught on camera and the latest, cutest elephant video or rare snow leopard footage or I am signing petitions for conservation and animals all over the world….

What kind of review do you take to heart?

A good one! I try to take any review, the good and the bad, with a grain of salt. Every review will still be through the filter of that human being’s perspective and he/she and I may not be on the same page never mind the same planet at all. If something still sticks with me after a few days, I will take that to heart as a sign of a grain of truth to be considered, something I maybe kind of knew but wasn’t ready to face on my own. Even a compliment can be hard to accept, that is how twisted the human mind can be.

How do you decide what your next book will be about?

I don’t. I am told by my manager upstairs and when I understand those are the marching orders, I go where I’m led. Of course, I make some kind of decision to comply with this and that is when I get that feeling that no matter now frightening the concept is to me, how vulnerable it might make me feel, how overwhelming or not what I thought I’d be doing, I can’t not do it. That is when I decide to do as I am told, so to speak, that is when I say yes, I will follow my nose, my heart.

Was there a link between your childhood and your vocation as a writer?

Only in so far as I have always enjoyed writing, from the time I could only make psychedelic worms appear on paper to the time I wrote my first story at six or seven. But our family was very science oriented, I come from a family of engineers so it was ‘nice’ that I wrote well, but it was never encouraged as a vocation. I was going to be an engineer, or a doctor or a vet or an archaeologist, but a writer was never on the menu. Well, now we know how that turned out.

As a writer, however, you have the opportunity to self-reflect, to revisit experiences. How does that feel?

Mostly, cathartic. Sometimes, disturbing, confusing, challenging. I have spent sleepless nights wondering what really happened, why did I do what I did, say what I said, what was really going on, what was the lesson. That is when I turn it over to Spirit and say, OK, show me, what the hell was that really all about? And Spirit always does. I start writing and understanding begins to dawn as the words pour out.

What motivates you to tackle the issues others may avoid, such as nature and spirituality?

Just an inner drive and conviction, that is my world, it is where I live and am the most content, it is what I am the best equipped to write about. Write what you know. Well, that is what I know. And it seems there is a corresponding need for readers to have that to read about. Fortunately!

When you start a new book do you know how a book will end as you’re writing it?  Or does its direction unfold during the writing, research and/or creative process?

I usually think I know, and I am usually wrong. I am always happy to be wrong. It is very much an unfolding, creative process, as you say, and that to me is part of the fun of writing, not being entirely in control, it being a collaborative process between me and Spirit, because as I said before, Spirit sees the big picture where I get mired in details and can’t see the forest for the trees. So to say, OK, here is what I think I am inspired to write, and how I think I should write it, but what do you think? And then just let it flow and see where it goes, it is just a fantastic ride.

That has never been more true than with Each Wind That Blows. When I started that book, I had no idea it would be about so much more than a riding safari in Kenya. It’s been full of surprises. Several of my first test readers said it needs more about your childhood and mother, and I sat there going, oh shoot. That’s really personal and do I want to go there and where do I start? But I also kind of knew they were right. So before every writing session I’d ask “What do I tell?” and boom, it would pop into my head. It was rarely what I expected but I’d write it and lo and behold, it made beautiful sense in the end.

How do your books speak to people, both inside and outside the reading world?

I think, emphasis on think, because I don’t actually know, I think my writing speaks to people because I write from my place of truth, to be as authentic as I know how, and do my very best to remain absolutely true to that. What I often heard from my readers of my equestrian column was “Thank you for saying that. I always knew that, but didn’t know how to express it.” So me writing from my place of truth excites that truth in them, and off we go.

How do you see your role in impacting and influencing society?

Oh, this is a dangerous question, it invites all kinds of self-aggrandizement! Really, I guess history will tell. But! It’s very tempting to speculate, of course. If I were to be bold, I would say simply I am a messenger. I ask Spirit to help me write in a way that reaches people, and thereby I become a messenger. I don’t have to know what the message is for each individual person, because every person will have their own interpretation of my story and what it means to them, I only have to write in such a way that Spirit gets to speak through me and let’s a little magic loose on the world. If that were to be true in the rear view window of history, I would be very content.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to do?

There are many careers that could fascinate me. Archaeologist, marine biologist, conservationist, astronomer, nature photographer, host of a wildlife show, explorer, that kind of thing.

Do you look at yourself as an “envelope pusher” with your writing?

Not really. I just write what comes to me. It can be pushing some personal boundaries, in fact, it should be, but I don’t see myself as that on a larger scale. I wouldn’t mind if others thought that, though! It sounds kind of cool. I’ve never been cool before, that I know of.

What are some pieces of advice that you would give someone on writing well?

Oh, there are so many, but most of all, just start. Just freaking start writing. Like anything, it improves with practice. And don’t cuss. It looks bloody awful on paper and can’t frigging be erased once the crap’s been published.

Young writers often make foolish mistakes. What is a mistake to avoid?

Trying to be something you’re not, falling in love with a writer and trying to be like them. Trying to be Hemingway or Steinbeck or any number of famed authors. Read them, be inspired, be informed, be educated, soak it all up like a sponge and then go distil and be who you are. Write as you, and write your truth as best you can. And don’t believe your own press, good or bad. If they don’t like what you write, let them write their own damn book. If they love you, be grateful, stay humble. Pretentiousness always stinks. Stay honest, especially with yourself and you will have no regrets when you reread your work years later.

What obstacles and opportunities do you see for writers in the years ahead?

Writing for an increasingly technological age, an age of instant gratification, Youtube Videos, high tech games, and I am very afraid, generations of children who are increasingly out of touch with the wonderful fun in the reality of a bucket of dirt and a few earthworms, growing up to be people who need more than words on a page to catch their imagination. Worms are a recurring theme, notice that?

Which is more exciting for you, writing or riding?

Oh no, you don’t! There is no comparison, I won’t even try. Each is a thrilling and fabulous journey in its own way, each is a ton of work, an exercise in self-discipline, self-mastery, a day by day spiritual endeavour, an invitation to collaborate creatively with spirit while just showing up, day after day, good days, bad days, in between days. I will say this, after a day of working horses I look forward to plonking into my chair and resting my body on something that does not move while still being gainfully employed writing something. That is very exciting after twenty years as a professional horse trainer, to ride for fun and write for a living.

Could you talk about one work of creative art that has powerfully impacted you as a person?

Hmm, tough question, as there have been many. Chronicles of Narnia taught me early on about right and wrong, difficult moral choices, the virtues of loyalty and honesty and my love for fantasy and animal. Illusions by Richard Bach reawakened my spiritual self when I was seventeen and had lost touch with that part of myself for a few years. Illusions got me searching for what I had lost.

And at twelve, seeing a photo of a masterful horseman of the twentieth century named Nuno Oliviera imprinted me directly and immediately with what kind of horsewoman I wanted to be, there was some kind of magic in that photo, in the expression of horse and rider, the synergy that flowed between them that told me this was horsemanship as an artform and I knew it was where I belonged. I knew I had to know what he knew, that my ‘feel’ mirrored if not equalled, his. I spent the next thirty years searching until miraculously, I came across one of his long time students who is my beloved teacher today. I will never be as good as Oliveira, but I will die trying. It is a quest of sorts.

What relationship do you see between imagination and creativity, and the real world?

They are all inter-changeable. My real world is someone else’s fantasy, there are those who would find me delusional and I would find them lacking in faith and imagination. Our imagination creates and colours our reality and our creativity defines the how and when and how far, how to. None would exist without the other, they are completely symbiotic. All are inter-related and beholden to the reality we have created as a mass of consciousness. That is the mass reality, but our own, day to day, personal reality is very much affected by our imagination and willingness to give ourselves over to our power of creativity. It’s our secret super powers, creativity and imagination. And ‘the real world’ is our playground.

For a writer, it is easy to become an elitist.  Have you ever, or do you still, struggle with pride as an author?

I struggle with pride as a human, period. I am deeply passionate about whatever I take on, be it training horses, writing something, gardening, photography, being a good friend or pursuing spiritual understanding and growth, and with such passion comes positive  pride as an expression of integrity and virtue, knowing you are giving it your all. But pride, like anything else can have a dark side when it becomes controlling and domineering and self-congratulatory and I do have to keep an eye on that.

With all your success, how do you stay humble?

I remember that I am a child of God, Source, the Universe, but then, so is everyone else. My gifts are not my own really, but a blessed synergy between me and Spirit, an agreement that I entered into to put this gifted brain and body to good use, take good care of myself so I can be available to play my part such as it is. I am here as a cog in a great divine machine, I am not the machine nor do I run the machine alone. And I still muck stalls, do my own laundry, take out the trash and do the dishes. So just how special can I be?

Have you ever considered writing fiction full time?

No. Variety is the spice of life so I think I will always go from one end of the spectrum to another and visit some places in between. I can’t imagine saying I will just write one thing from now on. As for full time, writing will always be just one of the things I do. I also cannot imagine giving up training horses and it is just as demanding and fulfilling an endeavour for me as writing. And better exercise! I have to get out and move every day or I get very grumpy. And that’s bad. Ask anybody.

Download your copy of “Each Wind That Blows” today from Amazon. You won’t want to miss this exciting, highly-rated, look at Africa.

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Aug 02

San Francisco, The Summer of Love, and Author David Watts: Have You Discovered “The Lucifer Connection?”

david wattsFrom the astounding beauty of his writing, one must believe that he is one of the writers we can truly call talented. His new book, “The Lucifer Connection,” is currently riding high on the bestseller charts, and this interview will explain how that so very popular book came to be. This interview is frank, fascinating and free to read. Read on to discover the beautiful talent of David Watts.

Which books have most influenced your life? 

The Web of Life, Frost’s Collected Poems, The Great Gatsby, Siddhartha, Jack Gilbert’s Collected Poems, Catch 22, Uncle Remus, The Alphabet vs. The Goddess, To Kill a Mockingbird, Doctor Zhivago, West Side Story, The Cherry Orchard, Ol’ Man Adam and His Children.

How did you research your latest book? 

By living it. Well, at least part of it. Here’s the deal. I was in San Francisco during the Summer of Love. Because of my job as a medical intern, my participation was limited to attending a few Bill Graham rock concerts, walking Haight Street to mingle with the colorful crowds there and occasionally dancing along with the other wild people in the park. Enough to get the flavor, to pick up the vibe, so to speak, which, along with some reading about specific names and places of the time, about did it. The trick is, of course, to place inside a carefully-made authentic environment a compelling group of characters on an exciting journey. That’s what makes it interesting.

Tell us about this new book. What is the overall story? 

Hero gets knocked off his horse by getting blamed for a death. Police botch the investigation. Boy meets girl. Boy calls upon an old, crazy as hell friend, and they set out to save the day. Lots of danger. Some smart planning. Chemistry.

Do you prefer writing about the heroes or the villains?

Ah, that is the question. Mostly the heroes are visible. The villains. . . that’s another story. Because they lurk, they are more interesting. So to make it right we have to include a little villain in the hero as well. Isn’t that more like life? We do find some interesting villains in this book, but I do not guarantee that we find them all.

A good villain is hard to write. How did you approach writing your villains?

They have to have at least two sides. Maybe more than two. No one is all bad. What makes a villain seductive is the ability to charm. One cannot charm without a personality that recognizes and has participated in the good side of life. Like Lucifer, the Fallen Angel, himself.

What real-life inspirations did you draw from for your book? Are any of your characters people you know?

A writer’s characters are always people he/she knows. Not exclusively, of course, much gets mixed in. I myself am in the book in certain ways. Others are people I know whom I’ve idealized for the purpose of character enrichment. But they are real, even if they are not.

Where do you think the book is heading? Is it dying or growing? 

By leaps and bounds, growing. Every time we release something, the sales peak. Reviews are mostly 5-Star. There’s a buzz on. Hollywood’s even interested. If that happens. . . you know the rest.

Can you see your series turned into a TV series or movie? 

I wrote the book with that in mind. You will see that it is highly visual and the dialogue fits well to a screen adaptation. Characters are ones you love to love or love to hate. This could last a long time.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? 

How really hard it is to write a f—ing book. I did at least five drafts before the final one. But like the artist who keeps going back to the museum where his exhibit is hanging carrying a paintbrush in his hand, there is always something to be added or subtracted. The problem is deciding when to kick it out the door.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp? 

Friendship. Generosity of spirit. Staying ahead of evil with courage and intelligence.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be? 

I’ve done several careers: music, television, radio, acting, medicine. They’ve all helped me to be a better author and a better person. I suppose I’d just fall back on the bevy of careers I’ve already done. But that’s hypothetical. This is working.

Jack Barnstone is an outside-the-box, motorcycle-riding physician who, finding himself in two kinds of trouble, leaves Texas to start a solo practice near Chinatown in San Francisco. When a patient walks in his office with an undiagnosed mortal illness Barnstone’s life changes forever. Finding himself in deeper trouble than ever he must work his way through a malpractice suit, the mistrust of his colleagues and the suspicions of the San Francisco police in order to vindicate himself. Since he has arrived in San Francisco just at the start of the Summer of Love to pursue his quest he has to learn the inner workings of Hippie culture, the sinister workings of the Satanic Church while he is dodging the unpredictable actions of the San Francisco Police. With help from his new Hippie girlfriend and an old flagrantly gay East Indian assistant coroner he discovers why the case was so difficult to solve, confronts the perpetrator and stumbles upon a well-hidden and sinister web of criminal activity. Download your copy today from Amazon.

The Lucifer Connection 1

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