Janet Gurtler

#16ThingsIThoughtWereTrue Official Blog Tour

Gillian Philip


Rebecca Serle

The Edge of Falling

Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan


Ali Cross

Blood Crown

Megan Miranda


Cara Strand

Lost in Thought

Alex Hughes

Marked (Mindspace Investigation #3)

Carol Weston

Ava and Pip

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

George Dalphin Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

“George Dalphin is an underground Renaissance Man, a writer, musician, filmmaker, philosopher, and visual artist whose output is as prolific as it is obscure." - The Bollard, 2009.

George Dalphin received a bachelor's degree in Studio Art from Indiana University at the age of 19. While there, he exhibited his artwork in a one-man show at the age of 16 and in the annual, juried Whitewater Regional Art Competition three years in a row, in two of which he had winning pieces.

At 18, he began making electronic music as Headphoneboy, and has thus far produced nine albums of original material as well as twenty-six mix albums of other artists' work uniquely married.

At 19, he began writing feature screenplays with Joe Foster, including X-COM:UFO Defense, Bridges and Tierra Del Fuego, and has written several on his own as well since then, including I Was Jesus and Dracula, which he directed, shot and edited in 2008, Doubting Thomas, which he directed, starred in and edited in 2010, and the scripts for his next two upcoming films: the short sci-fi drama Upload and the feature-length metaphysical anti-romance thriller Nobody. He has also written, directed and edited three films for the 48 Hour Film Project: Don't Be, "Payment"(which was an official selection at the 2010 SNOB Film Festival) andManifest Destiny.

At 24 George completed his first novel, Thirsty & Drowning, which is self-published, and he has just recently finished and released his second novel, the modern-fantasy adventure-comedy Bob Wacszowski, Necromancer.

Recent press about Man-Like Machines:
George Dalphin's Parellel Reality, The Bollard April 2009
Thomas Doubts, Dalphin doesn't, Portland Press Herald, August 2010
What Would You Say To Your Future Self ... naked?, Dispatch Magazine, February 2011
Try Making a Film From Scratch in 48 Hours, Portland Press Herald, June 2011
Filmmaker/Author George Dalphin, Good Day Maine live interview, September 2011

Social Media

Tell us your latest news.

This winter, I’m spending my weekends shooting my next short film: a science-fiction romance about identity-metaphysics, called Upload. The actors I’m working with are really great, and it should be my best-shot work yet, since I’ve recently upgraded my camera equipment. The plan is to edit it this spring and send it out to film festivals later in the year. I’m also expecting to shoot another short film later in the spring and I’m writing the script for what will hopefully be my first feature-length film, another sci-fi piece called Neurophreak.

At the same time, I’ve spent the past few months laying out the plans for my three next novels--Bob Wacszowski, Archlich, a sequel to this novel; Zooville, about a community of people kept in a recreation of their town which is actually an alien zoo, after the Earth has been destroyed; and The Histories: the Complete First Season, in which Herodotus of Halicarnassus is captured from the past in order to commentate a time-travel reality-game-show in the early Twenty-Second Century--all of which compete to be my third.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Optimistic futurist psychonaut

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and lived there until I was only two, so I don’t remember the place. I spent my childhood in Vermont, but moved back to Indiana when I was nine, at which point I skipped the fifth and sixth grades. I went to the Indiana Academy for Math, Science and the Humanities, a boarding school for gifted students, for high school, and then Indiana University for my painting degree. I now live in Portland, Maine, and call home wherever my wife Annie lives.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

My parents both having been teachers, I always saw that as a backup possibility. I also always knew I wanted to do some form of artistic or creative work, and since I’ve become an adult I’ve realized that I don’t actually need to pick only one medium. As a child I wanted to be a journalist, a game-designer, a National Geographic photographer, an astrophysicist, a philosopher, a painter … but of course I probably didn’t have a realistic sense of any of those jobs. When I was twelve I wrote two early science-fiction novels, and since then I’ve always figured I would write at least a few novels in my life, whatever else I was doing.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way? 

I’m very interested in science and history and philosophy - in the Unbelievably Ornate Truth and its many selves’ perspectives. I’m particularly interested in the evolutionary force that has gradually crystallized the universe into this evermore beautiful and complex thing. I’ve invested myself in doing my little part to advance the world of human ideas, since the future course of evolution in our solar system would seem to have everything to do with what humans think. I’m particularly interested in the yet-unexplored corners of humanism, the nature and limits of identity, and the nature of language and the difference that wording makes.

In terms of who--I tend to antisocialize and instead huddle in my imagination around the liminal ideology-fire and see across its flames phantoms of the artists I admire who are not nearby, such as Philip K. Dick, Vladimir Nabokov, Nikos Kazantzakis, Jimi Hendrix, Henry Miller, Jean Michel Basquiat … I feel a sort of tele-camaraderie with them all, as if we share a space psychically.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

It is too tough a decision to designate my very favorite book, so I will name a few. As for genre, I strive to transcend it in my writing; I often find the most interesting among that which is least classifiable.

Ada, or Ardor, by Vladimir Nabokov--the most beautifully-written semi-sci-fi book I’ve ever read, it made me an acolyte of maximalist wording excesses

VALIS, by Philip K. Dick--the most fascinating piece of science-fiction/philosophy I have ever read, it made me start keeping an exegesis and for a long time was the book I was attempting to recreate in a sprawling, excessive, semi-autobiographical novel called The Subtle Physics that I have left dying in bed

Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller--a gorgeous prose poem, it gave me the courage to come out as a poeterosexual.

The Odyssey: a Modern Sequel, by Nikos Kazantzakis--the most aesthetically rewarding remix of a fable imaginable, a work of monstrous creativity, it helped developed my pantheistic sense of artistic authorship

The Histories, by Herodotus of Halicarnassus--it’s the most interesting and readable work of non-fiction, peppered with fiction, and every time I read it anymore I simply open it to a random page and am always fascinated and charmed

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Bob Wacszowski, Necromancer, how would you introduce it?

It’s the story of a mild-mannered, unemployed, 30-year old ex-janitor named Bob Wacszowski who stumbles across an ancient tome of Atlantean necromancy and decides to make full use of its powers for good, despite the world’s increasingly negative reaction to his expanding army of skeleton minions.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Because it is a young, smart and hilarious exploration of the upending of modern America’s expectations.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?

Bob Wacszowski, Necromancer is my second novel, so seeing the cover of my first finished novel happened for me back in 2007, when I finally self-published my first novel Thirsty & Drowning. As an artist, I designed the cover artwork myself, and the moment of finally receiving my published, hardcover novel for the first time was a culmination of several years of work and excitement. Certainly, holding your own hardcover novel in your hands, feeling its weight, opening it to a random page, is immensely satisfying for someone who has long imagined being a ‘real’, ‘accepted’ writer. The other side of the question, however--about my novel being ‘accepted’--is an interesting wording and I can’t necessarily say that I’ve experienced it yet. When I first finished Thirsty & Drowning in 2006, I spent over a year sending copies out to publishers and agents to no avail before I finally decided to publish it myself. Beyond the reviews of critics like yourself and my own half-hearted attempts at self-promotion, I’ve yet had no ‘official’ acceptance of my work.

To be perfectly honest, I have mixed feelings of trepidation at ever being officially sanctioned, though deep down I definitely long for the encouragement and to be a more significant part of our larger cultural conversation.

If you could introduce Bob and Tony to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

That is a very interesting question. I can think of a wide variety of hilarious and fascinating possibilities. It’s a tough choice. Since Bob and Tony naturally come with the shock and awe of an army of skeletons, pretty much any situation I consider tends to lead to high jinks. I think Bob and Tony and Raoul Duke and Doctor Gonzo fromFear and Loathing in Las Vegas are a certain type of match, and would probably be the ones most able to actually get along with Bob and his group.

What was your inspiration for your novel?

My good friend and collaborator Joe Foster and I were just having one of our open-ended conversations and the notion came up of a regular guy getting access to unfathomable necromantic powers. We liked the notion that he would be a nice fellow, and particularly make a struggle, against all odds, to remain regular-dude-ish. Really, the initial inspiration was for the story that will be the second novel in this series - Bob Wacszowski, Archlich - and it was originally conceived as an HBO sitcom where Bob, the everyman/lich, tried to manage a skeleton-run hotel-resort while also exploring distant dimensions and having to keep his non-necromancer girlfriend happy. So this first book is essentially the character’s origin story.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about Bob?

Bob knows what happens to us when we die. He knows that gravity affects souls, which is why the Underworld is at the center of the physical planet. He also knows that our universe, like all universes that cohere into matter, is a spiritual trap devised by a hyperdimensional cosmic spider-being, who will be back one day to check its trap.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?

I knew I was going to finish the novel, and more or less how that would happen, when I was writing the tenth chapter, in which Tony tries to deflect Officer Kierny from checking their basement for skeletons. I finally knew what kind of vibe the story was going to have, and that being funny was my ultimate goal, and in so deciding I ended up having a lot of fun writing that chapter.

What is the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?

I wrote this novel over the course of about two years, and while doing so I was also writing and directing several short films. I tend to have several projects in various media going at any given moment, which is a way that I like to work. Also, writing for comedy is hard sometimes, and I wasn’t always in the mood to write for this book even if I had the time. I would usually wait until I had just come up with something that had made me laugh, and I would write as long as I was in that tickled mood.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

Please acknowledge the complexity, the details; be accurate. Even atoms are not so simple as we articulate even some people, sometimes, to be. The more accurately you communicate, the closer you are to God (by which I only mean the further you are from Nothingness). Do not confuse current norms for human nature. Let’s suspend disbelief and consider that all one single piece of advice.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? 

I just wrote a short story called Sings to Crows. Here are the first three paragraphs:

       The fifteenth Dalai Lama, fifty-seventh President of the United States, and seventh Consul of the Free Noösphere, Sings to Crows died today in Turkeyturn, the location of the Oneida Indian Reservation in the New York region of North America where he was born in the year -66.

       The lifelong advocate of happiness and Humanity began his life in a world closer in form to the Industrial Age than to our own, before the Noösphere and Emergence, and times were hard in America. Everything was changing - Humanity was beginning to build the first versions of a global network while the old medieval systems of governance and finance around the world inexorably turned from relevant to revenant - and if it hadn’t been for the kind-eyed Oneida boy from Turkeyturn, who knows what our species would have made of itself.

       As a spiritual leader, he modernized pre-Emergent Buddhism and managed its reconciliation with the knowledge and practices of Science, following his previous iteration’s efforts in leading the way for the old religions finally to wander out of the dark ages while providing Science language with which to excavate the spiritual. As President of the United States, he took the ultimate risk with the Grand Gesture, deconstructing the American military complex, which over two decades succeeded through example in ridding essentially the entire Earth of its old nationalistic military system. As Consul of the Free Noösphere, he was instrumental in the adoption of the Edict of Freewill and Individuation, setting a precedent for the liberty of individuals of any form from the unwanted influence of metamind conglomerates, without which legislation there would likely not be biological life left in the solar system.

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?

I’m new at being interviewed, so I’m not really sure how to answer this question. I would love to have rigorous conversations about metaphysics and philosophy and the future.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

Everything I say is a lie.

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?

Pliny the Elder. I love the idea of doing ancient science, both physical and theoretical.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be? 

I’m trying to consider all the various reasons why I might wish that it had been I that had written a certain historical book, and not its original author, and all that surrounds that change in the timeline. Like, did I quantum-leap into the author’s body during the period of the writing, though I’m still who I am, or was I that person in a previous life, or did that book’s authorship have to wait until I was around? Either way considering that writing a book equates to the process of shoveling through rooms full of all the thoughts involved in said book, I would like to have gone through the mental process of whatever it took to write the (Philosophiae Naturalis) Principia (Mathematica), within the full context and lack of precedent that it was actually written.

If you could be any mythology creature, what would you be?

I would unquestionably be a manticore, with the body of a lion, the tail of a scorpion and a human face. In fact I actually am just a tailless manticore with a weirdly human body.

Favorite places to travel?

I backpacked through Europe in the summer of 2001, and was an exchange student in Rome in 1994, when I was 13. I miss the age of Europe, by which I mean the oldness. But, really, Mars is my favorite place to travel. I’ve not been yet, though.

Do you have any fun Halloween experiences you can tell us?

I do not experience Halloween.

What do you normally eat for breakfast?

I normally don’t eat until the afternoon, and more often than not the first thing I eat is a bowl of raisin bran. Out and about, I’ll usually get the biscuits and gravy, if it’s available.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

More or less between the ages of nine and twenty-two or so I was existentially scared in a menagerie of nihilistic/agnostic/heretical-theological ways, but now I am relatively certain that there is not nothing, and that I am not the second coming of Christ, and I have a Great Love in my life, so I’m not particularly scared of anything anymore. If you want knee-jerk, chemical-response type fear, then once when I was young there was a huge spider in my canoe.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?

Considering that we would be trading places, I have to consider whom I’m bringing into my wife’s life for a week as well as whose life I’d want to fill. In that case, I will say - Salvador Dali.

Where can your readers stalk you? 

I maintain a website - http://www.man-likemachines.com - where the vast majority of my work is available, mostly for free, including my novels, short films, albums of music as Headphoneboy, visual artwork and more.

I also have just started back up keeping a blog - http://art-enlightenment-thefuture.blogspot.com/ - about my experiences, thoughts and processes as a working independent author/artist/filmmaker/musician

Bob Wacszowski, Necromancer is the harrowing and hilarious tale of a regular guy who stumbles across an ancient tome of Atlantean necromancy and decides to make full use of his new powers for good, despite the world's increasingly negative reaction to his expanding army of skeletal minions.

On his way home from being broken up with by his girlfriend Anna for the nth time, mild-mannered, unemployed janitor Bob Wacszowski stumbles into an undeground chamber where he finds a huge, leathery codex of ancient death magic. After he and his best friend Tony use it to animate and command a graveyard full of skeletons, Bob becomes determined to use the magic to make a living for himself, while also proving to Anna that he can be a force for good in the world. Unfortunately, Bob lives in the heartland of America, and despite his assurances of goodwill he finds much difficulty convincing his countrymen that he is not the Antichrist and that it is not the End Times.

Bob Wacszowski, Necromancer tackles a range of topics from contemporary American politics and culture to religion and metaphysics, all with a modern comedic voice.

George Dalphin’s Bob Wacszowski, Necromancer is about a regular guy who suddenly discovers that he can raise the dead. His newfound talent makes him a target of fright and frenzy. But really, he just wants to prove to his girlfriend that he is worthy, strong, and independent. He finds himself strengthening his confidence while his own principles are stirred.

The novel touches several sensitive subjects, specifically religion. It begs to differ that religious leaders may not have all the answers or not have anything at all. Dalphin then goes on to the idea that these leaders may hold the answers to the greatest questions in life. However, the answers are willfully withheld from society in fear of losing their top power.

The writing style used in Bob Wacszowski, Necromancer was unique and without a doubt, amazing. The characters presented in this book are remarkable and unforgettable. I love a book that generates a lot of questions. It make room for my imagination to explore and run wild. Dalphin has put out a well thought out book that will make its readers ask the “what ifs” in life. There are moments that will make you laugh out hysterically and moments that are serious. It’s a roller-coaster ride of emotions. A highly recommended read if you are looking for something fun and quirky.

You can purchase  Bob Wacszowski, Necromancer at these following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you George for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive one Signed Copy of  Bob Wacszowski, Necromancer by George Dalphin.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kenneth Weene Author Interview & Dreaming of Books Hop

BookNerd Interview
Dreaming of Books Hop
Co-Hosted by Jinky is Reading

Book Nerd Interview

Kenneth Weene is a New Englander by birth and disposition. He grew up outside of Boston and spent his summers in Maine. Although he lived for many years in New York and now resides in Arizona, Ken has never lost his accent nor his love of the northeast.

Having gone to Princeton, where he studied economics, Ken went on to train as a psychologist and to become an ordained minister. Over the years he has worked as an educator, pastoral counselor, and psychotherapist.

Married to Roz Weene, artist and jewelry creator, for over forty years, Ken is a strong believer in the joy of love.

Kens writing started with poetry, and his poetic work has appeared in numerous publications most recently featured in Sol and publication in Spirits, and Vox Poetica.

An anthology of Kens writings, Songs for my Father, was published by Inkwell Productions in 2002. His short stories have appeared in Legendary, Sex and Murder Magazine, The New Flesh Magazine, and The Santa Fe Literary Review.

In 2009 a novel, Widows Walk, was published by All Things That Matter Press. All Things, which has also just published Kens second novel, Memoirs From the Asylum.

Social Media

Tell me a bit about yourself. Where were you born and where do you call home?

I’m a New Englander through and through. I grew up in Massachusetts and Maine. Even though I spent almost my entire working life in New York, I still feel that Down East connection. Now, however, I enjoy the dry heat of Phoenix, Arizona.

Tell us your latest news.

At my age one avoids the latest news as it may be ones own obituary. However, I can share that I’ve been working on a movie script; it is for claymation or animation and is for kids. Lots of songs and animals and elves. I’m also researching a new novel, Red and White, reflecting some of the Native American experience at the beginning of the twentieth century.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

My wife says most people would be surprised that I’m actually so easygoing and conventional. My writing would belie that, but she’s right. The worlds I create and the characters I birth are not very like me. Now Santa Clause, maybe.

How long have you been writing?

About twenty years ago I started writing poetry. However the more serious side of my efforts began about ten years ago, when we moved to Arizona. Without a busy practice as a psychologist, I had the time to pursue the career that I had always wanted as a kid, being a novelist.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Steinbeck influenced by social sensibility. Conrad helped me to understand the glory of language. Vonnegut put the use of humor and absurdity into perspective.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Three have been published: Widow’s Walk, Memoirs From the Asylum, and Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. Of those my favorite is Memoirs because it helped me to deal with a long-standing trauma, the suicide of my cousin and closest friend. I always say that it took over forty years for that book to be written.

There are two other novels written. Times to Try the Soul of Man is a coming of age/conspiracy theory novel which is at my agent. It will need a special publisher – one willing to go with some facts that are a bit uncomfortable. The Stylite is written; I finished it at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, which is in Arkansas, this past fall. Now it is being edited, which is no small process in good writing. It is unquestionably the most interesting from a writing and style perspective.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Tales From the Dew Drop Inne, how would you introduce it?

Set in a small bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tales From the Dew Drop Inne tells the collective stories of the people who make the place their home - people who have not fallen off the social ladder but who are hanging on desperately at the bottom.

It is a tale full of emotion, pathos, and humor. I hope it will leave readers laughing through their tears.

Where did you get the idea to do a collection of short stories instead of a full-length novel?

The idea of interconnected stories that form an organic novel came to me after I read a book published by my current publisher, All Things That Matter Press. It was a series of mystery stories with a common thread that the entire series of stories brings into clarity. I liked the format. Then I wrote the first chapter as a stand-alone short. A friend, also from All Things That Matter, asked me to write a piece of flash, and I figured that I would use the same setting and characters. With two great stories as a start, the book simply took off. 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Tales From the Dew Drop Inne?

I did a lot of it in a writing group to which I belong. I had never realized how much people enjoyed my writing – especially my use of humor. Seriously, it was not just a great ego boost but also writing and sharing Dew Drop with that group helped me to see another side of my writing. Until then I had not appreciated my own dark and often ironic humor.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?

In Tales From the Dew Drop Inne there are a number of outstanding chapters, chapters that still evoke strong emotions in me. Certainly Chapter 6, Picnic, is one of the most powerful. The sheer humanity of the characters, the pathos of those who have nothing but still manage to care for one another. I just cannot get the images of Cal and Ephraim sharing what little they have with Lucile and her ragtag children out of my thoughts.

Then there is In the Army. Who doesn’t feel for the veteran who has given his mind for his country? You can hear me read that short chapter at http://soundcloud.com/kenneth-weene/in-the-army

How did you come up with the title and cover design?

Publishers usually design book covers. However, hard as they tried, the folks at All Things That Matter Press couldn’t come up with a good cover for Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. Then my wife and I tried. She is an excellent photographer and artist, but still no go.

Then my wife suggested I go on line and look for suitable drawings to use. I found a couple and wrote to the artists. Maggie Evans was kind enough to not only write back but, having checked out my writing a bit, also give me permission to use her drawing. What you can’s appreciate on-line is that the drawing provides an excellent wraparound cover. It is the first such cover that All Things has used, but I think given its great appearance that they will do more of those in the future.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

Honestly not. If someone sends me one or I get a link to a site, yes. However, searching them out is not my thing. While I want people to love my writing and want to learn from informed criticism, working on the next project and the unending marketing that authors must do are more important activities than reading reviews.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

I assume you mean as a writer. I didn’t learn much about writing in school. I read a lot, but most of it was not part of the curriculum. I did attend one writers’ workshop with Ron Rash. It was a week long. Ron told me that my characters had to have enough good in them that readers would want to know about them, would want to read their stories. I think that was very helpful as I began to think more about creating better-rounded characters. I think you can see that in the wonderful characters whose stories play out in the pages of Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. They really are people whose stories you will want to know.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

I try to not lie. I simply convince myself that everything I say is true. More importantly, there is often more truth in fiction than in nonfiction, more to learn from imagination than from reality.

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?

Nobody ever asks how I learned to love to read. I have to say that is a good story. I asked my father where babies came from. He, as he usually did, said he was too busy to tell me. Since it was clear that I wasn’t going to get the information from him, I decided to read my uncle’s medical books. He was in the army and many of his books were stored in our attic. They were beautiful books, with great transparency overlays, something extraordinary in those days.

I worked very hard to learn the alphabet and started sounding our words. I was good at it, very good. The problem was that those wonderful books were written in Latin; so all my reading did little good in my quest.

I must add that I got married at age twenty-seven. Two days before my wedding, my father asked if I wanted to know about sex. Obviously he was a bit late.

What book are you reading now?

I’m working on my new novel Red and White so I am reading a lot about Native Americans. Right now I am reading Education For Extinction, a history of the “Indian Schools.” I am trying to stay away from reading for pleasure until the research is nearly finished.

What is your favorite Quote?

There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us.

I frequently have to remind myself of that quote, which I memorized as a schoolboy. When I find myself being overly nasty, I repeat it ten times, like a good non-Catholic doing penance.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?

Actually I’ll mention a stage play, 9 Circles by Bill Cain. Performed by a small local company in Phoenix, it blew me away.

Do you have any fun Halloween experiences you can tell us?

Think about my last name. I tell people that Halloween is my family holiday, that it started when the Weene’s left Transylvania and the people ran out into the street yelling, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, the Weenes are gone.” Yes, my father’s family did come from Transylvania.

My personal favorite holiday is Groundhog Day because it just keeps on coming around. However, Sal, the barkeep in Tales From the Dew Drop Inne goes with Buddha’s birthday. I’ll let you read the book to find out why.

Where can readers stalk you?

I’m on Facebook, and the only Kenneth Weene so searching for me is very easy. I accept as many friend requests as I get unless it is clearly somebody who is looking for sexual thrills – my wife wouldn’t mind but I really don’t have the energy at this point – or someone who is a spam artist. I actually interact with my Facebook friends.

I’m also on Twitter @Ken_Weene.

Tales from the Dew Drop Inne" reads like a darkly humorous sitcom. The tone is both heartfelt and deliciously irreverent, showing that one does not need to hate humanity to appreciate the humor of life. Here are tales of drifters, alcoholics, religious renegades, veterans, and drag queens set in pub that is at once a confessional, a circus, and a psychiatric hospital.

--Marina Julia Neary, author of Martyrs & Traitors: a Tale of 1916

Tales from the Dew Drop Inne by Kenneth Weene certainly had its dark and comical side. It will grab your attention from the first story all the way to the last. Each story is jam-packed of surprises with characters that are unique and full of personalities. The tales follow the lives of veterans, alcoholics, drag queens, drifters, and religious rebels. Weene provides a great insight into the psychological minds of these exceptional characters but manages to do it in an entertaining way.

The tales within this book are something that at one time, we all can relate to. Each one was intriguing and held my interest with every turn of the page. I really like to think that there is such a place called The Dew Drop Inne. With each word in the book, I wanted to know more about the patrons of this local bar. I found myself loving some and others I could care less but it made the reading that much more fun.

I like books that stop me on my tracks just to scratch my head and think and Weene had me scratching my head many times. It is a fun read and an exceptionally well-written compilation of tales.

You can purchase Tales from the Drew Drop Inne at these following Retailers:

Ken's Other Published Novel

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Kenneth for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one Signed Copy of Tales from the Dew Drop Inne (US Only), one e-book of  Tales from the Dew Drop Inne (INT) by Kenneth Weene.

Click >>>>HERE<<<< for the rest of the Hop.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Selling Lauren Oliver Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

I was born in Queens and raised in Westchester, New York, in a small town very similar to the one depicted in Before I Fall. My parents are both literature professors, and from a very early age, my sister and I were encouraged to make up stories, draw, paint, dance around in costumes, and essentially spend much of our time living imaginatively. Our house was old and full of art and towers and towers of books, and that’s still the kind of house I like best.

I started writing as a way of extending my love of reading; when I read a book I loved, I would continue to write sequels for it (I was inadvertently a fan fic writer, before “fan fiction” was even a term!). Later on, I began working on my own stories, and keeping company with a lot of imaginary friends.

I pursued literature and philosophy at the University of Chicago, and then moved back to New York to attend NYU’s MFA program in creative writing. I simultaneously began working at Penguin Books, in a young adult division called Razorbill, and while there, I started work on Before I Fall. I left in 2009 to pursue writing full-time, and now I happily work in my pajamas every day.

I have a variety of interests apart from writing, including reading, cooking, traveling, dancing, running, and making up weird songs. Some of my favorite things are: being cozy; fires; autumn; fuzzy slippers; very high heels; great wine; dark chocolate; ketchup; pasta. Things I hate: practical shoes, liars, and bananas. I live in Brooklyn, New York, with my best friend and fiancé, Michael.

Social Media

Tell us your latest news.

Well, I'm very excited because PANDEMONIUM, my newest book and the sequel toDelirium, comes out in exactly a week! I'm about to embark on an international tour, too, which is very exciting. I'm also busy planning my wedding.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Disciplined, passionate, fun.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a ballet dancer for a very long time; but I also always knew that I would try and write novels.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

My father was a great influence on me. He, too, is a writer, and although he writes nonfiction, his work ethic and his great love of reading have been continued inspirations.

What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?

I didn't choose it so much as stumble into it; I got a job working as a YA editor at Penguin, and because my reading shifted so substantially, I think my influences began to shift as well. I liked the idea of untangling some of the themes (such as love, partnership, identity) that predominate YA lit.

How many books have you written? 

Well, I've written a few books that have never been published and never will be published! But I just completed my sixth (publishable) book.

For those who are unfamiliar with your series, Delirium, how would you introduce it?

Delirium is about a world in which love has been declared a contagious disease, and scientists have figured out how to cure it. It's big and epic and scary and romantic!

How did you come up with the title and cover design?

Actually, it's a common misconception that authors actually design their own covers. We don't! I have the wonderful art directors at HarperCollins, my publisher, to thank for that. :) Delirium, the title, springs from the name of the "disease" of love: amor deliria nervosa. The other two books in the series, Pandemonium and Requiem, were actually named by my bloggers and fans!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating the Delirium Series?

I got very tired of my characters after living with them for so many years. But then I really missed them, and found it very difficult to start a new project!

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about Alex?

He often wears the same pair of socks two or three days in a row. :/ It's gross, but he lived in the Wilds for a long time and is used to conserving!

What is the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?

I was writing Delirium while touring for and promoting Before I Fall, so it was difficult to juggle both tasks.

Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?

Well, I love Lena, of course--it's important to connect with your main character! But I'm also a big fan of Hana, even though she's a difficult character, in some ways. I recently wrote an e-short story entirely in Hana's POV, and I really enjoyed it.

What was your inspiration for the series?

The idea for DELIRIUM came from an essay I read by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in which he wrote that all great books were about love or death. The next day I was thinking about that quote--particularly about how and in what form a modern love story could be told--while I was on the treadmill at the gym. I was simultaneously watching a news story about a flu outbreak that had everyone freaking out about the possibility of a pandemic, and I was kind of marveling that people so easily go into panics about reports of these diseases, and at some point the two trains of thought--love, and disease--just sort of combined in my head.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

I have so many favorite books, in a variety of genres! I love Roald Dahl and Phillip Pullman; I devoured Agatha Christie as a child; I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Ian McEwan and F Scott Fitzgerald and Virginia Woolf. But everything I've ever read has influenced me in some way.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Everything about being published is rewarding! I love being able to connect with my fans, and I love being able to do what I love for a living. I feel hugely blessed.

Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?

I'm soon embarking on a long tour to promote Pandemonium--I'm even heading to Australia and the Philippines! Please
check out www.laurenoliverbooks.blogspot.com for details.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

Yikes. There are probably a lot of them, depending on the context!

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

Phone, chapstick, keys (hopefully), and something to read.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I prefer to do my writing in the morning, at home at my dining room table. But I travel a lot, and more often than not am forced to write on my blackberry, or in the back of a car, or on a plane!

What is your favorite food?
Pasta, pasta, pasta.

Who was your first boyfriend?

This guy Jay who got fired from Starbucks for stealing from the register. Whoops!

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?
Um, JK Rowling. Please.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?

Either how disorganized I am, or the fact that my books have been published in a whole lot of countries! That still surprises ME every day.

Where can your readers stalk you?
Twitter: @OliverBooks
Web: www.laurenoliverbooks.com
FB: Lauren Oliver Books
See you there!

Love. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.

In Lauren Oliver’s stunning second novel, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the cure. Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. But then she meets enigmatic Alex, who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Lauren Oliver follows up her incandescent debut, the New York Times bestseller Before I Fall, with this extraordinary novel about a high-stakes romance set in a dystopian United States. Delirium presents a world as terrifying as The Hunger Games and a romance as true as Romeo and Juliet.

Delirium was one of my favorites in 2011. Imagine a world where love is deemed illegal? I couldn’t even phantom the idea but that’s exactly the world Lena lives in. What’s worst, at age 18, each person receives an operation that prevents them from feeling love. The government then pairs them up with a spouse spending the remainder of their life in an unfeeling stillness.

Lauren Oliver’s creation of a world where true feelings are not allowed presented a lot of interesting concepts about how humans feel towards one another. The plot is simply amazing and truly a unique idea. Oliver’s descriptive writing of the people, environment and scenery were completely fleshed out that it was so easy to visualize everything that was described. Lena, Hana and the other characters were intricate and convincing.

The book contained a lot of action and each one was thrilling. Oliver sure had a surprise for us in the end. It was a cliffhanger that I have not experienced in a long time. It was remarkable having an internal experience of a dystopian society who has outlawed love. I am fully satisfied with this book despite having that cliffhanger. It just adds more suspense and anticipation for the upcoming sequel.

You can purchase Dilirium at these following Retailers:

Available February 28, 2012

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and ?ame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Lauren for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one Signed Copy of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
1 Winner will receive one Copy of Delirium  & Signed Bookplate by Lauren Oliver.

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Janiera Eldridge Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

I'm 20 years old and not always sure where I want to go in life all I know is that I love to write! I've worked as a freelance writer for the past 2 years which mixes what I love to do with something I have to do, work! I write entertainment news when I'm not reading or studying at Entertainmentparadise.net.

Even though my first book is non-fiction my next book will be fiction. There are a lot of crazy characters in my head just dying to get out! I'm a reading and movie addict and nothing makes me happier than a good book or movie (except for the love of my wonderful family). I'm currently pursuing a business management degree although my dreams to make a career writing will never fade.

Social Media

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m a 20-year old writer who just realized college really, really wasn’t for me. I also own a book tour company named Fierce Reading Virtual Book Tours, running this website and writing is where my passion lies. I’m also a book blogger and a self proclaimed book addict.

Tell us your latest news.

My book company
Fierce Reading Virtual Book Tours is starting to do really well. I love being able to provide a place for authors to have fun and affordable options to promote their books. I’m also in the editing phase for my first urban fantasy novel Soul Sisters. Which is about two twin sisters: one who is a human and one who is a vampire.

What inspired you to pen your first novel?

I was inspired to write this non-fiction read because my family was really affected by the economic crisis and we had to get real creative in order to have some fun. I learned some really great tips over the last few years and knew that I had to share them so, I wrote this book.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I really cannot think of when exactly I knew I wanted to be a writer. I flirted with it a lot in high school writing poetry. Since I developed Fibromyalgia writing has really been a great blessing and outlet for me.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

The financial analyst Clark Howard. He has amazing money advice that everyone can use and he never talks down to people. He was a big inspiration for my book.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

My all time favorite book which I read just last year is The Help. It’s brilliantly written from 3 different POV’s. The story is a great display of what it is like to truly be human and love each other.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Having Fun While Saving Money, how would you introduce it?

Having Fun While Saving Money is all about the ways you can have using little to no money at all. It never talks down to you but always keeps you having fun.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Because it is going to save you a lot of money, need I say more?

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book?

How fun it is to make a rice crispy treat!

What was your inspiration for writing Having Fun While Saving Money?

Not having a lot of money when the economy was going to hell…..

What is the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?

My favorite show American Horror Story.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

It is really hard to have a good time when funds are limited. I really felt the need to share my ways of having fun with little money with others to help them smile a little bit more.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

Honestly, no matter what is going on in your life there is always a better tomorrow.

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?

If I’m writing out of passion or for money.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

How much I weight!

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?

Stephanie Meyers she is such a sweet heart and I’m a huge twilight fan.

What do you normally eat for breakfast?

Eggs, bacon and tater tots…I’m pretty boring, yeah.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

Lip gloss, mascara, wallet and my celly

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

On the couch or in my bed. Unfortunately, never at the beautiful desk my parents spent money on.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?

Hell on Wheels. Anson Mount is a great actor and pretty sexy but yeah, it’s a kick ass western.

Where can your readers stalk you?

I’m on my twitter the most and ya’ll can reach more on my book blog. I love all my stalkers lol

A book packed with ways for you to have fun with your family, friends or by yourself without spending a lot of money. It even gives you ways to have fun and make some money while you do it! There are no get rich quick schemes, just ways to have fun and earn rewards while doing it!You also will keep plenty of money in your wallet along the way!

What is so amazing about Having Fun While Saving Money by Janiera Eldridge is that she is a fellow blogger. Just like what the title suggests, she shares modern ways to amuse ourselves for less with social media and ebooks. This guide reminds us that we should always enjoy the simplest pleasures in life. Even activities of yesteryears that produce a lot of entertainment without breaking the bank like movie night at home.

There are many suggestions in this book that are easy to follow. Eldridge’s writing style was straightforward and you can immediately put her guide into practice. With the state of the economy and most people living on a budget, this is a great read to stretch out your dollars.

A quick read that is full of wonderful ideas for entertainment. It basically pays for itself. It lists four reward programs that Eldridge uses that are proven to work. It provides a great guide for anyone looking for ways to have fun and save money.

You can purchase Having Fun While Saving Money at these following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Janiera for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive one Copy of 
Having Fun While Saving Money by Janiera Eldridge.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

NYT Best Selling Author Melissa Marr

Book Nerd Interview

Melissa Marr grew up believing in faeries, ghosts, and various other creatures. After teaching college literature for a decade, she applied her fascination with folklore to writing. Wicked Lovely was her first novel. Currently, Marr lives in the Washington, D.C., area, writes full-time, and still believes in faeries and ghosts.

Social Media

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

If they follow my Twitter or FB page, they probably wouldn’t be surprised by anything. I’m pretty wide-open with my readers. The one thing a couple readers have commented on in person was that they didn’t expect me to be so short. I’m 5’2” (which is a fabulous height, IMO!)

What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?

I don’t read OR write in any particular genre. I love everything from classic lit to SFF or romances. Likewise, I simply write. I think focus on genre is too akin to self-imposing limits. I dislike limits.

I have YA books (the Wicked Lovely series & the upcoming Carnival of Souls), but I had an adult release in 2011 (Graveminder), an anthology I co-edited with Kelley Armstrong (Enthralled; 2011), a collection of my short stories (Faery Tales & Nightmares; 21 Feb 2012), a manga series (Desert Tales; 2009-2011), and an upcoming children’s series with Kelley (The Blackwell Pages; 2013).

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

I always fail at the superlative questions. I’m simply not an –est fan. Experiences are so vast that choosing any one as the best/favourite/most/least feels too limiting to me. I loved school. Even in the depths of my party stages or years of exceedingly bad choices, learning was one of the things that I clung to. It still is. Life, IMO, is about learning—both in classrooms and in the world at large. I crave new information and experiences and have an ever-expanding list of things I’d like to try/know/see.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I wouldn’t. Every change in a text has ripples, and I’m not good with even pondering ripples in someone else’s text. I’m okay with fanfiction because it’s a fun “what if” exercise, but I reallllly dislike when people mess with other folks’ books (the whole “just add monsters” to classics). I taught classic lit for twelve years, so the appropriation of or interference with other authors’ texts sends me into rants.

 Can you share a little of your current work with us?

All I’m allowed to share right now is that Carnival of Souls releases 4 September 2012. The only real info my publisher has put out there is what it says in the Publisher’s Weekly Preview—the book is “about three teens forging their own destinies in the daimon dimension” (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/50717-fall-2012-sneak-previews.html)

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

In chronological order-- when my son broke his arm, when my spouse was overseas for OIF (back before there was regular email/phone contact), when my mother was in the cardiac unit, when my daughter texted from China “just saw a dead body in the river,” when my father had a heart attack . . . They’re all fine, but almost every fear in my life is tied to those I love.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?

There’s nothing of note in my basement or attic. Until 3 years ago, we were a Marine Corps family. That means we donated or discarded everything we didn’t need (& in some of my moods, I discarded things we did need too). I’ve kept a few things—a few baby clothes and picturebooks, letters from my husband when he was deployed—but for the most part if I could get rid of it, I will. 

My closet . . . the most unusual thing there is my shoe collection. I love shoes and boots, so there are far too many of them in there.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

iPhone, ID, money, water. I’m pretty practical on this front. I’m not a make-up person, but I require music/note taking/snapshot taking so my iPhone is my all around writer-and-living tool. I have book notes, photos, & playlists on it. I’m strict on making sure I have hydration, & I’m picky about my water because I drink so much of it. I like a high silica content (Volvic or Fiji) because it feels better (smoother). It sounds silly, but if I don’t have my water, I end up drinking things like juice or soda instead. So I carry my water everywhere.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your teen readers. What would it be?

Being a writer requires living a full life. Try new things (with appropriate safety measures in place!). You can’t write if you don’t experience life. Keep your phone/notebook with you to jot down notes. Keep a camera (or phone) in hand to snap images you might use later. Talk to people; try foods or films or exhibits you might not usually; read/see/listen to things you wouldn’t normally. It’s in the widely lived life that I discover new stories & characters.

Dangerous promises and beguiling threats swirl together in a dozen stories of enchantments, dark and light, by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr. Uncanny and unexpected creatures appear from behind bushes, rise from under the seas, or manifest from seasonal storms to pursue the objects of their attention—with amorous or sinister intent—relentlessly.

From the gentle tones of a story-teller’s cadences to the terror of a blood sacrifice, tales of favorite characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely novels mix with accounts of new characters for readers to fall in love with . . . or to fear.

We all know how captivating Melissa Marr’s books are. So when I found out that she would be releasing a collection of short stories, I was more than eager to get my hands on it. Faery Tales & Nightmares is compiled of twelve short stories, half of which follow the characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely series.

I am a sucker for anything with the name Melissa Marr attached to it. The Wicked Lovely Series and Graveminder are all in my list of favorite reads. This compilation of short stories was like a treat for a fan like me. It offered sights of adored characters such as Irial, Nial, Seth, Devlin, Ani, and others. I really miss these remarkable people and it was a treat to have them back, even if it was for a short time.

The Summer King, Love Struck, Old Habits, Winter’s Kiss, and The Sleeping Girl were among my favorites in this assemblage. These short literary works of fiction were full of riveting emotions and truly original. I have to say that Faery Tales & Nightmares was beautifully put together and each story held its own. The vibrant descriptions that Marr incorporate in her writing are just one of the reasons I love her works. Even with short stories, Marr always manages to take her readers to new levels like no other.

You can purchase Faery Tales & Nightmares at these following Retailers:

Melissa  & I at The Kepler's Event. She is as amazing as she is a writer.

Fellow Book Nerd Courtney

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Melissa for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one Signed Copy of Faery Tales & Nightmares 
(this can be personalized) by Melissa Marr.

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