Saturday, December 31, 2011

Something Exciting to Report

I have been busy over the holiday's and have published three books in the last month.  Details can be found on my Published tab but here's a quick peek.

All Joe’s father wanted was a grandchild. All Joe wanted was to run his own research facility. All Jennifer Rose wanted was to raise Mustangs. When Jennifer Rose agreed to teach Joe how to ride a horse, she had no idea the lessons he would teach her. Joe was resigned to getting the horseback riding lessons over with so that he could pursue his real desire; getting out from under his father and becoming the scientist he knew he could be.

But was that really his only desire? What about this young, capable, beautiful woman that seemed to know his very thoughts? She was unlike anyone he knew and he found himself thinking about changing his dream to include her. But what about her grandfather? He was just old fashioned enough to shoot him for even thinking about his granddaughter.

And Jennifer Rose? Could she ever be tamed? So who was going to get what they wanted out of this deal, anyway? Could there be more than riding lessons taught at Prescott Farms?

Book Patch (Paperback)

In a small town it was next to impossible to keep a secret but Jessie had a big one.  She loved country life and had established herself as a foremost breeder of champion boxers.  She was happy.  Until Vic Morris took over the local vet practice.  He disturbed her in a way that she wasn't prepared for.

But he had a secret of his own.  Vic wasn't sure how receptive this amazing, self-sufficient lady was going to be to his 9 year old daughter.  Would they accept each other and become the family that he came to the backwoods of Kentucky to find? 

And what about Jessie's secret?  She was about to be discovered and her life changed irrevocable.  Would she go back to the life that she was born to or would she stay with the man she had grown to love?  Would Jessie's secret prove to be too much for either of them to overcome?

Have you ever wondered where socks go when they don’t come out of the dryer? So did Billy Kelton after G-pa Marq asked. Only Billy was determined to find out. Enlisting the help of his friend Allison, Billy sets out on an adventure taking him through the streets of Yakima chasing a striped sock. Where will it end up? Will Billy and Allison be able to solve the mystery or just find a dead end? Where do socks go when they disappear?

Thursday, November 3, 2011


It is my pleasure to interview Indie Author Jon Reisfield.  Welcome Jon ....

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a newspaper reporter, probably the result of watching too many episodes of superman on TV in the afternoons. I didn't want to be "cub reporter" Jimmy Olsen, mind you. I wanted to be Clark Kent!

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I go to the movies, normally with my cinema-fanatic son, preferably to see new Sci Fi, Action/Adventure or indie releases.  I also watch my home team, The Ravens, battle it out -- but sometimes that's anything but relaxing. And, of course, I read.

What are your current projects?
Well, in addtion to launching/marketing The Last Way Station, I'm finishing up an expansion of my novella, The Reform Artists, into a novel, scheduled for rerelease in January 2012. Then, when I'm not doing marketing consulting work, I'll be researching and writing a sci-fi trilogy, set on earth and spanning several hundred years of human history.

Are your works based on someone you know or events in your life?
In some cases, I'd say the books have been "inspired" either by individuals in my life, my life events or both. For instance, The Last Way Station was inspired both by my Jewish background and by my knowledge of Hiter and Holocaust deniers.  The Reform Artists was inspired by my own experiences relating to divorce. But in other cases, such as the sci-fi trilogy I'm working on, the characters and situations are completely unrelated to real-life. However, in that instance, the idea for the book came from musing about very specific scientific interests.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes. I find it difficult to separate the writer from the editor in me. If I could, I'd sedate the 'editor' so I could write my drafts with reckless abandon. Then, I'd slip a micky to the writer and let the editor have at it. Unfortunately, these two opposing forces seem locked in perpetual combat when I busy myself at the computer keyboard.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
I want to do more sci fi and in longer format. (I really like the idea of trilogies, rather than endless serials.) But even here my trilogies seem to share the multi-generational structure of the Foundation trilogy, rather than the more commercial single-generational format. Beyond that, I want to continue to refine my craft and build my audience.

How long have you been writing?
Since I was in second grade. That's when I started writing poems. Short rhyming ones like, The Car Wash: "We go into the car wash/And watch the water spout/But we don't see it very long/Because the car comes out!" I still like that one a lot, and it was one of my first.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
If we're talking about writing in a "technical" sense, the most important elements are to use active construction, i.e., "the dog bit the man" vs. passive construction, "the man was bitten." I owe my appreciation for active construction to my professors at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. They also taught me not to "back into" sentences. I came there believing introductory clauses made sentences flow smoothly. Now, I know careful construction is what creates smooth, exciting prose. Almost every sentence I crafted as a high school senior used an introductory clause. After a year of training at Medill, reading a paragraph of such sentences left me feeling "sea sick."

Can you share a little of your current work with us? 
One of my favorite passages is the dream sequence in which Hitler meets his grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber, for the first time. Here's a segment:

What a hideous state she had fallen into, Hitler thought. He looked but could find no trace of the young woman she once had been, a woman comely enough to have inspired the advances of a teen-aged boy. He felt embarrassed about confronting this aged visage with questions about such an indelicate and ancient matter. But he could not let the opportunity pass.  

Over tea, in her dreary parlor, he began to press the issue. “Oma,” he began. “I heard some disturbing talk about you today and not for the first time.”  

“What?” she said, rattling her teacup, “someone has been speaking ill of me? Who would dare! I have done nothing to be ashamed of." She arched her back and fiercely shook her head from side to side. "I’m an old woman. I mind my own business. I bother no one!” 

“No, Oma,” Hitler said in an attempt to soothe her. “This is not about anything recent. It’s ancient history, really.” 

“Then, why would anyone be dredging it up now?” she glared. 

“I suppose, because people like to gossip,” Hitler said, “and because, if true, this story still has relevance for the family ... even today.” 

Slowly a look of recognition, and resentment, grew in her eyes. She pulled away, cocked her head to one side and pointed an accusing finger at her grandson. "I know what this is about!" she said, in a voice suddenly small and mean. She squinted and began to quiver as a line of white spittle appeared on her lower lip. Then, she leaned forward just enough for Adolph to get a whiff of her sickly sweet breath and she poked him in the chest. "It's about Frankenberger, isn't it? You heard some talk, and now you're worried that you may have Jew blood in you, aren't you? You’re no better than your father!"  

The sudden attack surprised Hitler. "No, I never −" 

"Then, you think your granny's a whore, boy?" 

"No. Of course not!" 

"Do you believe Frankenberger's son took advantage of me? Raped me for his pleasure?" 

"I don't know what to think,” he said. “But to hear people talk about it, you either were a victim, a liar, a whore or a very shrewd woman who tricked the Jew out of a lot of money!" There, he had said it. 

His grandmother stared at him for a moment, sizing him up. "What do you think I was, boy?" she finally asked. 

Who designed the covers?
I did. I created the artwork and the design for "The Last Way Station," and I selected and applied artwork purchased from others for the cover design of "The Reform Artists." This is an area I hope to turn over to others in the future.

Is there a message in your novelette that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. There are many messages embedded in "The Last Way station." But I prefer that readers discover those messages for themselves through the reading process. 

What books have most influenced your life?
That's a tough question, which, I assume, also makes it a good one. As far as writing a book like "The Last Way Station" goes, I would have to say Elie Wiesel's books "Night" and "Dawn." I also found "The Last of the Just" by Andre Schwarz-Bart and "House of Ashes" by Oscar Pinkus particularly moving.

What are you reading now? 
Well, I just finished reading the advanced proof of a friend of mine's debut novel about the ad business, but it's "classified." I'm not at liberty to talk about it. At least, not yet.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Sue, I know you may find this hard to believe, but I really don't have a single, favorite author. I will tell you this, however. When it comes to epic-length novels, three writers stand out for me: Tolstoy, Clavel and DeMille. All three of them have incredible story-telling skills. These guys are the cathedral builders, in fiction. Yet I like each of them for different reasons. I like Tolstoy for the breadth and complexity of his plotting and his brilliant writing skills; Clavel for similar technical abilities and his great gift to absorb and relate a deep understanding, and appreciation for, foreign cultures. DeMille scores high in his technical, story crafting and writing abilities as well as for his irreverent sense of humor (See, "The Gold Coast.") But DeMille primarily is an entertainer. His books seem to lack the philosophical scaffolding, and depth of messaging, that one might expect from a writer with his natural talents.


Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble
Apple Store

Interview by Sue Owen

This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite.  Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions.  Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books.  They are the best of the best.  /Sue Owen.

Monday, October 17, 2011

RJ Palmer, Indie Writer

No, this is not RJ Palmer's site ....  we are just lucky to get to interview her twice this month.  This time, however, we are focusing on her new book.  Check this out and order your copy now!

Excerpt from Sins of the Father

Lucian whispered something in that nebulous language that Aaron didn’t understand, “Bendithia 'r blentyn , achub 'r blentyn.”
Lena had only made it a few steps when Lucian stood and began to make his way to the front of the church and Aaron was at first completely confused until he thought that perhaps someone in Lucian’s past might have been a practicing Catholic and taught it to the boy.  Aaron sat back and observed despite his trepidation to find out what would happen next.
Lena watched Lucian walk past her without acknowledgement and turned to watch him as he made his way to the front of the church.
Aaron began to feel a heavy, electrified feeling in the atmosphere and began to become alarmed though he carefully suppressed it and continued to watch.
Lucian walked up to the front without so much as a bow or a by-your-leave and made his way past the Father who was intoning the prayers.  The Father stopped for a moment and looked at Lucian mildly askance and then seemed to smile beneficently and indulgently and tried to speak to Lucian in greeting.
Lucian ignored him completely and walked up to the cross hanging prominently centered on the back wall of the church behind the pulpit.
The Father trailed off in complete confusion and turned around to watch.
Lucian laid his small hands on the cross and screamed his words with his head thrown back and his body tense and taut as a bowstring, “Bendithia 'r blentyn , achub 'r blentyn,” And smoke began to rise from the cross on which Lucian’s hands rested.
A few people rose and began to mutter, some cried out in surprise and fear as the cross at the centerpiece on the back wall of the church burst into flames.


A minister losing touch with his faith…

A severely autistic child with no past, no present and no real future…

An evil older than time itself…

When the boy Lucian is thrown into Aaron’s life with nowhere else to go all hell breaks loose and Aaron confronts things he never actually imagined could really exist in an effort to save one small, tortured child.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Indie Author R.J. PALMER

I never tire of the excitement I get out of interviewing fellow Indie authors.  They are always so ready, willing and able to produce such great works as this author and yet have time to site down and chat about their daily lives.  It seems once a writer gets paper in hand, you just never know what you are going to end up with.  Thanks, RJ for giving us this insight into who you are. Without further adieu, RJ Palmer:

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I can remember wanting to be a nurse until I found out about all of the math involved.  Truthfully, I can’t remember wanting to be any one specific thing for any length of time and as a matter of point, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life until I was in my early twenties and really started writing.
What are your current projects?
My major current project is called Sins of the Father and it is a far more complicated project in the writing than I had originally thought.  I relish the challenge though and hope that my skills improve and that this novel shows growth and maturity when compared to Birthright.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would have to say Dean Koontz because he has dished advice to me.  Some of it I scrapped completely, like getting an agent because in my own words it’s “something akin to a fate worse than death” which is a little melodramatic but hey, that’s what it feels like.  Some of it I took to heart, like being stubborn.  Okay, so the word he used was “persistence” and it sounds a lot better but it doesn’t change the fact that you have to grow a thick skin out here in the world of writing.
What is the hardest part of writing?
I absolutely loathe proof reading.  It is such a necessary evil because proof reading means I have to go through my own work after I just finished it, see all the little mistakes and boo boo’s and struggle with saying to myself, “What the hell was I thinking?  I can’t sell this crap!” It’s horrible and drives me crazy because to me, that’s the self-doubt stage.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I do my best to translate the story that’s going on in my head onto the paper.  Characters develop as you relate to them, they start to show texture and personality and dimension.  I do my best to remember that I’m just the storyteller, the characters are the story.  As far as plot is concerned, I knew how I wanted Birthright to end before I started writing.  Sins of the Father has been far different and I knew how I wanted it to begin from the first moment but the ending has been a little nebulous.  I think developing a plot must be subjective according to the work or at least that’s my best guess.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t realize that I wanted to be a writer until I was in my early twenties and started writing because I was bored out of my mind.  Everything just sort of came out then and it was so very liberating and quickly became habitual though I have to say it comes in handy because to be able to write intelligently is quite the asset.
What do you think makes a good story?
Wit and wisdom are the elements that come most quickly to mind as well as an ability to actually tell the story, naturally.  I just think that a dash of wit and a sprinkle of wisdom are essential lest the story fall completely flat.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do because it’s one thing I can do and I do it well.  I also happen to love writing and seeing where the creative process takes me.  It’s like a roller coaster that you get on and don’t know where you’re going but the story is in the journey, not in arriving at the destination.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
In Sins of the Father, Aaron is a minister struggling with questioning the feeling of emptiness that’s been creeping up on him regarding his faith and Lucian is a severely autistic child who takes a liking to Aaron from the first.  Aaron soon begins to discover that there’s more to Lucian than what he’d thought originally and discovers the horrible abuse that Lucian has suffered and determines to help in any way he can.  He gets just a little more than he bargained for though and he must learn what happened before he can do something about it which puts both he and Lucian in mortal danger.
How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
Birthright took some mulling over because I had another title at first and didn’t really like it but the title Birthright kept going through my head and I finally thought about it and decided I liked it.  I knew what I wanted to title Sins of the Father before I started writing and I’ve kind of built the story around the title.  Does that sound at all bizarre to anyone but me?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Vengeance always comes at a price and sometimes the cost is not worth the satisfaction.  It’s not worth it anymore when you figure out the long term consequences of your actions.  I can’t really say much more about it, it would give too much of the story away.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
This might sound kind of sappy but I thank God for the tools and talent to be a writer and the sheer dint of will to keep doing it.
What books have most influenced your life?
I am a huge fan of Dean Koontz and even I can tell the influences his writing style has had on my developing style.  I love the works of Madeleine L’Engle, as well.  She taught me how to stretch my imagination out and not be afraid to write about what may seem really unusual.  Charles Wallace is one of my favorite characters in any series and one of my favorite lines in a book comes from A Wrinkle in Time when Charles Wallace is told, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”  This is of course quoted almost verbatim from the Bible but it’s powerful nonetheless.

Find her books at:  Smashwords and Amazon

Interview by Sue Owen

This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite.  Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions.  Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books.  They are the best of the best.  /Sue Owen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


It is my pleasure to welcome David Sakmyster to my blog.  I've been after this guy for a while now trying to get him to give us some wisdom.  He did not let me down.  In fact, he well exceeded my expectations.  Thank you for joining us, David.

Thanks so much for having me on the blog. It’s an honor!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Well, when I was 9 and we went on a long family car trip, I wrote some zombie-haunted-house thriller in a notebook.  Thought I was a writer then, but… well, maybe not.  But it wasn’t until about 20 years, and a lot of bad writing later, that I first made a ‘pro’ sale.  A short story win at the prestigious Writers of the Future Contest got me into the 22nd annual anthology and I found myself invited to a week-long convention leading to the awards ceremony in San Diego. Accepting an award and seeing my story in a slick paperback book was cool. And I got to hang out with SF legends like Larry Niven and Anne McCaffery and Tim Powers! So that felt like I had arrived. But still, it was another few years before I got an agent, and then a novel deal. And honestly, even when that book (The Pharos Objective) came out, I still didn’t feel like a writer because it wasn’t selling well out of the gate.  However, a few months later, after promotions and some blog tours and some great reviews and word of mouth, I was able to see it climb the charts on Amazon and get into the top 10 in several categories – and stay there.  That, and then the attention and praise from other authors, some even asking me for blurbs – that did it. Oh, and selling foreign rights. So pretty soon people in Europe will be reading my stuff!

Tell us your latest news?
A lot going on now, actually. I’ve just finished the edits on the sequel to The Pharos Objective. This one finds my team of psychic archaeologists out seeking another of history’s enigmas – the lost tomb of Genghis Khan. The Mongol Objective should be out at the end of the month, from Variance Publishing. And I just sold what may be my favorite novel, the chilling thriller Blindspots, due out from 7Realms Publishing in 2012.  And then, the really, really cool news is that I just got an option for a screenplay. It’s moving forward into development, and we hope to film it next year. Called Nightwatchers, it’s a creepy supernatural horror story set in a trailer park.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
Oh, I’ve suffered all right. Usually I don’t get it because I don’t start a project unless I can see it all played out in my head like a movie. When that’s there and it clicks, then it’s just a matter of describing what I see and hear up there. Writer’s block happens when I can’t see out beyond a few more scenes. For me, that’s usually a result of not outlining properly – and it happened recently when I was writing book 3 in my psychic archaeologist series. I actually hit something more like a brick wall, and just couldn’t go on. It took six months before I finally cleared out a dozen other projects I was working on and sat myself down to plow through the blockage; finally I saw a neat twist, and the rest fell into place.

What are your current projects?
I’ve got a couple collaborations going right now. I’m working with the brilliant writer, Steven Savile, on what we hope to be a 10-part series of novellas offered exclusively as ebooks, priced at $.99 each. Called The Lazarus Initiative, it’s about an eccentric billionaire transformed by Near Death Experience, who then recruits a team of other such survivors to study the phenomena.  Then I’m working with the very skilled screenwriter, Brian M. Logan on several high concept screenplays that we hope will be appearing on the silver screen very soon.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
I’m close – not quite there yet – to realizing my dream of not having to work a day job.  I still do consulting and part time work for my old company to help keep a stable income, but I hope to soon be lucky enough to focus on writing full time. Apart from that, my dream of seeing my ideas unfold on the written page – and then be enjoyed by others – has started to come true. I’m so humbled and thrilled when I get an email or letter saying someone’s enjoyed my work! Next, I can’t wait to have one of my screenplays take life in an actual movie.  Hopefully next year it will happen!
Thanks again for your time,

David Sakmyster

David Sakmyster is an award-winning author and screenwriter who makes his home in upstate NY.  He has over two dozen short stories and five novels published, including The Pharos Objective and The Mongol Objective, the first two novels in a series about psychic archaeologists tackling the greatest historical mysteries; the horror novel Crescent Lake, and the historical fiction epic, Silver and Gold. His screenplay, Nightwatchers, has just been optioned and will begin filming in the spring of 2012.   You can step into his mind at