“Surviving the Fog — Kathy’s Recollections” by Stan Morris

KathyWhat is your story?

Surviving the Fog-Kathy’s Recollections. These crazy people started a camp that was supposed to preach sexual abstinence, but at the same time teach us about methods of birth control. Who would send their kid to a camp like that? Answer; my parents. Of course, by doing this, they saved my life.

Who are you?

My name is Kathy. I’m fourteen. And a half. I was born in Clayton Valley, California, and until I was sent to this camp, I was living in Morgan Hill, California, which is a bedroom community south of San Jose.

Are you the hero of your own story?

I’m not really sure there are heroes in this story. I am the narrator. Mike might be the hero. If we stay alive, it will probably be due to him and his gang; the Spears.

What is your problem in the story?

My main problem is that I’m trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with forty eight other teenagers, by a mysterious brown fog that seems to be covering the earth below us. We don’t have enough food, and we don’t have any place to live when winter arrives. And if that’s not bad enough, our camp was attacked by some bad men. I know one boy is dead, and two girls have been kidnapped.

Do you embrace conflict?

No way! The biggest conflict I want is my Mom telling me to put down my ereader and go to bed. If my Mom and Dad were still alive, I would do anything they told me to do.

Do you run from conflict?

Yes. When we were told to run across the bridge to safety, I ran as far as I could.

How do you see yourself?

I’m blond, blued eyed, and about sixty two inches. Sorry, I don’t know what that is in centimeters. I’m not really that good at math. I shy, and I don’t really like to be around boys that much. They’re too loud, and sometimes they look at you weird.

How do your enemies see you?

Well, Dumb Douglas calls me Scardy-Cat, and now a lot of the other boys are calling me that, too. I didn’t cry that much, and I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m not going to cry anymore.

Do you have a goal?

Staying alive would be nice.

What are your achievements?

Achievements? Well, I one day I got sick of how the kitchen was so filthy. No one was doing the dishes, and there were Styrofoam plates and bowls left on the counter along with utensils. I started cleaning, and some other girls and boys came in, and they saw me cleaning, so they started helping too. It was totally clean when we finished, and I think that boosted everyone’s morale. The Chief gave me the responsibility of creating a cleaning roster, so now it’s always clean.

There was a big knot on one of the wood slats that surround the girls’ shower, and someone, probably, Dumb Douglas, made a little hole next to it with an ice pick. That loosened the knot, and when some stupid boy put his thumb on it one day, it popped out. Desi and Erin were really pis… angry, because they were in the shower at the time. Desi told the Chief that he had better fix it, or else, and when he and John couldn’t figure out how to do so, I showed them how. My Dad taught me that. It wasn’t really that hard. They just had to attach the knot to a piece of wood and screw the wood to the surrounding slats.

What do you want?

I want to be back home, listening to my brother and sister fight over what cartoon to watch. I want to hear my mother scolding my father for caressing her in the kitchen instead of waiting until they were in their bedroom. That used to make me uncomfortable, but it wouldn’t now.

What do you need?

Everything. More food would be nice. Some adults that were kind to us instead of killing us would be great. At the moment, I would really like to know where the Chief is, and if he and the Spears have rescued Jackie and Maria.

What do you want to be?

Fifteen

What makes you happy?

I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy again.

What makes you angry?

Well… I know this is weird, and I know it’s stupid, but I’m angry at my parents for dying. I’m angry at everything.

What, if anything, haunts you?

Okay, this is embarrassing, but sometimes I wake up from a dream where my parents DIDN’T send me to this camp, and I know I’m going to die when the Fog comes. I feel so ashamed when that happens.

Are you lucky?

I’m still alive. I suppose that counts.

Have you ever had an adventure?

Oh, I’ve had an adventure, all right. I just wish it would stop.

Amazon book link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CSY4FSY
Amazon author link: http://www.amazon.com/Stan-Morris/e/B004KB2HG0/
Website link: https://sites.google.com/site/stanandrene/home
Google Plus link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111760564349050005094/posts/p/pub?partnerid=gplp0

Chris Hedges, Author of Average Joe’s Story: Quest for Confidence

Average Joe's StoryWhat inspired you to write this particular story?

I chose to write Average Joe’s Story: Quest for Confidence because it was the book I never saw on the bookstore shelves. Every book based on a person’s life experiences I have ever seen has always been written looking back on the past. I found it difficult to relate to the author’s journey because I couldn’t overlook how he or she was labeled…billionaire, legendary coach, or world-renowned expert. I think the Average Joe will be able to relate to the story better if the story is not written in hindsight, but rather in real time.

What is your goal for the book, ie what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

I want to inspire the reader to confront the adversity in his or her life that is keeping him or her from reach his or her dreams. I want the reader to pursue those aspirations that for whatever reason he or she thought were out of reach.

What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?

Being a cancer patient on disability the two major hurdles I faced were physical and financial issues that impeded my progress as I wrote Average Joe’s Story: Quest for Confidence. Fifty percent of this book was based on conversations I had with other people. All of those conversations were done face to face, and the cost of going to places like Nashville, San Antonio, and Atlanta on my budget was taxing. Then once the trips were arranged the physical toll on my body from actually taking them left me all, but bed ridden for days when I made it back home.

Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?

No. I don’t think writing the book has changed me at all at this point in time. However, since I’m writing in as close to real time as I can I think the changes I’ll experience will come with book number two and all of my subsequent books. The potential success, or the possible lack there of, that I experience with this first book is where I think my life will be changed. I don’t think writing the first Harry Potter book changed JK Rowling’s life, but the success that came after it was finally published surely did.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Not really. I stumbled into writing by accident after I let my mentor look at the first 8,000 words of my first book hoping he would say it was terrible and I should give up. He did just the opposite though. He not only told me he liked what he had read, but I needed to push forward to get the book finished.

When were you first published? How were you discovered?

I was/will be first published on August 1st 2014. I sent a book proposal and a partial manuscript to Morgan James Publishing in August of 2013. I had a conversation with David Hancock, the founder of Morgan James publishing, and one of his acquisition editors. Two or three weeks later there was a contract for my book sitting in my inbox. One book submitted and one contract offered. I’m batting 1.000 so I guess there is nowhere to go, but down from here.

What is the most difficult part of the writing process?

Based on the way I write I am subjected to prolonged periods of dead time as I wait on people for interviews. These periods of inactivity are the worst part of the writing process for me. I really don’t like being alone with my thoughts.

What author influenced you most?

Malcolm Gladwell. I love the way he tries to find a new and creative way of looking at the same old questions and subject matter. I don’t think you can or even should try to mimic another person’s style, but I would like to think that the direction of my writing is comparable to Malcolm.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

I think that depends on where the author currently finds himself in his career. What I would say regardless of where the author finds himself is that you need to treat writing as a business. Think about where your final destination is, and ensure that any energy you expend always moves you closer to that goal.

Who designed your cover?

Morgan James Publishing put together five different cover proofs for me to look at. The one I chose to use was based on the feedback I got from a dozen people as to which one they thought was best. However, the cover art came courtesy of my good friend Chris Hirata of Chris Hirata Photography in Hawaii. I called Chris and told him the name of the book, what I thought I wanted, and asked him to come up with a good photo. Two months later he delivered two shots. One of which is the cover art for my book.

Books will be on sale at Barnes & Noble August 1st. They can be pre-ordered or digital versions can be purchased via Amazon.com now.
http://www.amazon.com/Average-Joes-Story-Quest-Confidence/dp/1630470422/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395083225&sr=8-1&keywords=average+joes+story+quest+for+confidence

These are the various ways I can be reached:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chris.hedges.3726
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/chris-hedges/25/a36/614/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thechrishedges
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116825480490539031226/posts
Website: averagejoesstory.com (work in progress).

The Morrigan, Goddess of Battle from Jack Darkness’ Story “The Morrigan”

What is your story?

I am a part of Jack Darkness’ Story The Morrigan, as this story is named after me it really should be my story.

Who are you?

I am The Morrigan, Goddess of Battle, also known as one of the Tuatha Dé Danann .

Where do you live?

I live in the Realm of the Fey with all the Tuatha Dé Danann , but I’ve been known to come to the mortal realm for some pleasures of he flesh and some personal agendas of my own.

Are you the hero of your own story?

Not this particular story, But another in the future. In this Story I am more seen as a monstrous villain.

What is your problem in the story?

The Problem is the fact that that idiot Christopher O’Riley, he didn’t even notice that I wasn’t his beloved Brighid, his ancestors would have known immediately.

Do you have a problem that wasn’t mentioned in the story?

I have a major issue with the fact that I was displayed as such a monstrous being when in reality I care greatly for all my Human children. The problem is the Insipid poison that humanity has left on this world, my forests are cleared and my rivers are polluted.

Do you embrace conflict?

I am the Goddess of War, what would you expect to be my opinion on conflict? I enjoy it

Do you run from conflict?

Never in my Long life.

How do you see yourself?

I see myself as needing to be the necessary evil of this world, I am wicked according to humans so they remember to respect my Fey and the Natural world in which they do not understand.

How do your friends see you?

I don’t have friends, I have allies, and as all alliances they are only temporary.

Harry Margulies, Author Of The Knowledge Holder

TKHFrontsmallWhat inspired you to write The Knowledge Holder?

I’d been itching to write a full-length novel for many years. When I finally found the time to get serious about writing, I chose a subject that has continually piqued my interest – the afterlife. As I tend a bit towards gallows humor anyway, the storyline came together for me and I found the process of writing, re-writing, and editing – over and over – rather enjoyable.

What is The Knowledge Holder about?

An everyman sort realizes he’s the only one on earth who knows what happens to people after they die.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

The protagonist, Greg Simon, does share my old career as a swimming pool salesman, and lives in the Phoenix area, as I do. Fortunately for him, he’s not only younger than me, but much more handsome. Also, he has two daughters enrolled at the University of Arizona, as I did. Here’s one difference between Greg and I: I’m not really giving anything away here, but Greg’s wife, Jane, dies before the book begins in a horrible accident. My wife, Joann, is quite alive. I’ve tried explaining to her that The Knowledge Holder is not autobiographical, but for some reason the Jane thing kind of irritates her.

Do you have a favorite character from the book?

They’re not all endearing I suppose, but I love them all. They each have their own agendas, some hidden, some not, which I think makes them interesting. If I had to choose, I guess I’d say Bart Josey, a 94-year-old rustic sort of guy who’s a bit unrefined and somewhat naïve. Other than the discrepancy in age, we’ve got a lot in common.

What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?

Aside from the fact that I’m not the speediest writer, I’d say my biggest challenge was having three cats disrupt my focus every five minutes. You’d think kitties would be more interested in naptime than play time, but not mine.

Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?

Yes! Every day is significant; even the ones that suck. Make the most of them, enjoy them, and look forward to the next one. Oh, and above all, enjoy the read!

Where can we go to learn more about The Knowledge Holder?

My website http://hmargulies.com/ has plenty of interesting stuff about the book as well as some not as interesting stuff about me. You can also find me on Facebook, and if you Like my page, I will be eternally grateful. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harry-Margulies/451978504928208?ws&nr

L.A. Kragie, Author of “Vampire Chimeras”

Vampire ChimerasWhat is your book about?

It shows how a medical research doctor and her lover, a Navy Aviator, try to save the world, and their loved ones, from a horrific hemorrhagic fever.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

Almost half the world’s population is at risk of harm or even death from Dengue Fever. I wanted to create a thriller that drove readers to turn pages and at the end, find they know the critical aspects that can save them and those they love from danger.

Why will readers relate to your characters?

The reader can relate to intimate danger- their loved ones are put at risk and must be saved.

 Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?

I write thrillers to be entertaining and to teach the science. But there is also a layer of metaphor and symbolism for those who seek these.

How has your background influenced your writing?

I am an experienced scientist and physician. I draw upon that training.

Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?

I especially want to inspire young adults to pursue science. This is what Michael Crichton did for me and I want to pay it forward.

Does writing come easy for you?

No. But I enjoy doing it.

What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?

How much I LOVE doing it.

What do you like to read? What is your favorite genre?

Medical thriller suspense and historical thriller suspense.

What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you’d written yourself?

Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing?

Just gotta do it.

What genre are your books?

Real science mashup to produce tense medical thrillers, with a bit of romance and humor thrown in.

Do your characters ever take on a life of their own?

Oh yeah! I have a movie in my head.

Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

Someone who is hungry to learn and follow the mysteries and ecstasies of science, and apply their knowledge to saving their fellow man.

What one word describes how you feel when you write?

Ecstasy

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

What do you wear when you write?

Yoga pants, Tshirt, sweater

Who designed your cover?

Joleene Naylor is awesome.

Where can people learn more about your books?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GKQD154?ref=betheraibrihe-20

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/vampire-chimeras-medical-thriller/id753057538

Please like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VampireChimeras

J. Conrad Guest, Author of “500 Miles to Go”

500 Miles to GoWelcome, J. Conrad. What is your new book about?

JCG: In a nutshell, 500 Miles to Go is about the importance of, and the risks associated with pursuing our dreams. Alex Król made his dream come true to drive in the Indianapolis 500 eight years after seeing his first 500, in 1955, the year Bill Vukovich was killed in his bid to become the first driver to win three consecutive 500s.

Then there’s the girl: Gail, as in Gail Russell. No, not the Gail Russell, who starred opposite John Wayne in Wake of the Red Witch and was in her own right downright gorgeous. Just not as gorgeous as Alex’s Gail. Gail had been Alex’s girl since high school. She fell for Alex before she learned that he risked his life on dirt tracks during the summer months to the delight of fans who paid to see cars crash—the more spectacular the wreck the taller they stood on their toes and craned their necks to see the carnage.

By the time she learns the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth—that Alex had vowed to one day drive in and win the Indianapolis 500—it was too late. She was in love with him.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

JCG: This story was born from a part of my youth that I shared with my dad, recalled with much fondness. Dad took me to my first Indy 500 in 1966, and I’ve been hooked ever since. The 1960s are considered the golden era of motorsports. At that time Indy had a pure formula, and innovation was encouraged—unlike today, where, to keep costs down, the cars pretty much come out of a box.

Today’s sport is all about technology—wind tunnels, engineers, two-way communication with the driver and pit lane speed limits. Unlike the days of yore, when a good driver could put a mediocre car into victory lane, today a winning combination is maybe 40% driver, and their on-camera appeal as spokesperson for their sponsor is as important as their talent behind the wheel.

For 500 Miles to Go I wanted to capture the glamour and the allure of what was once known as the greatest spectacle in racing, so this my tribute to that bygone era, before television and technology turned a sport into a beauty contest and a science.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

JCG: A lot. Sadly, my father wasn’t very nurturing to me in my youth; as a retired marine and drill instructor, he was more disciplinarian than a dad. He taught me to throw and hit a baseball, but left the finer nuances of the game for me to learn.

Most of my novels depict rather dysfunctional relationships between fathers and sons. In 500 Miles to Go, the relationship between Alex and his father is one I wish I could’ve had with my own father. Fortunately for me, in the final year of his life, Dad and I connected; but I’m grateful for what we had during that final year. So many fathers and sons don’t get even that.

Why will readers relate to your characters?

JCG: Who doesn’t enjoy a good love story? Alex and Gail never consummate their love in their youth, and she is largely absent from the middle pages, except in Alex’s mind, in his yearning for what might’ve been. The reader is left to root for them to achieve their happily ever after.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

JCG: I mixed real life figures—the actual drivers from that era, Foyt, the Unsers, and Eddie Sachs, who befriends Alex and is killed during Alex’s first race at the famed Brickyard—with my fictional characters, which was challenging. I tried to stay true how the races played out in reality, and I found some great Internet sources on specific races, the starting fields and how the drivers finished. What I found most challenging was getting the drivers to “sound” like their real life counterparts. I don’t have a particularly good ear for dialect, so getting A.J. Foyt’s Texas drawl was intimidating to me, but I think I managed it quite well, recalling interviews with him that I heard on TV. I’d never heard Eddie Sachs speak, so I had only my research to go on: he was a prankster, so I created him as a fast-talking wise guy who speaks in quips and laughs at his own jokes.

Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?

JCG: I think each novel I complete changes me in some way. Certainly I feel each book leaves me a better writer as I continue to hone my craft. In 500 Miles to Go, I learned that love, and marriage specifically, isn’t about me. It’s about my partner. When I focus on me, my needs, I doom the contract. Successful marriages are between partners who understand that it (the vows) is about their teammate and not about themselves.

Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character in your story because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you, his creator?

JCG: I killed off Joe January, the protagonist in One Hot January, at the end of the book. Since he lives in an alternate reality, it wasn’t difficult. Talk about your time travel paradoxes, One Hot January begins where its sequel, January’s Thaw, ends, and January’s Thaw ends where One Hot January begins. How’s that for a teaser?

Which is more important to your story, character or plot?

JCG: My plots tend to be tightly focused, while my characters are everyday people dealing with the everyday issues of love, loss and regret. That said, most important to me are my characters. They must be real and easy for my readers to connect with.

What has been your greatest internal struggle to overcome in relation to your writing career?

JCG: My greatest struggle came early in my literary career: dealing with rejection letters. I found myself questioning my talent and ability. Each rejection was a personal affront to me and my work. Once I learned how to enjoy the creative process—to simply write because it gives me great joy—I became a writer. Perhaps not so surprisingly, once I learned to enjoy the process, publication followed.

Do your characters ever take on a life of their own?

JCG: I think they have to, if they’re to come to life in my readers’ heads. Any book is only as good as what its words make happen inside the reader’s head, and so my characters do take on a life of their own. Corny as it sounds, I’ve said that I act only as channel for them. They tell me their story, and I put it down in words. If I have them say or do something that is out of character for them, they’re the first to voice their discontent.

Describe your writing in three words.

JCG: I love language and words. I can’t listen to a book on disk. I prefer seeing the words on a printed page (or my Nook). A three-word description of my work? A literary feast.

What one word describes how you feel when you write?

JCG: Euphoria

What is your favorite place, real or fictional? Why?

JCG: I love a good pub, a place where I can go with my fiancée to sip a black beer and simply relax, letting the world around us go by at its furious pace. My favorite pub is the Dead Poet, on New York’s Upper West Side. Its mahogany-paneled walls are adorned with black and white portraits of writers long since deceased but remembered for what they left behind, literary quotes, and poetic passages pertaining to the universal quandaries of life. Ah, nuts. Now I’m thirsty.

J. Conrad GuestWhat do you wear when you write?

JCG: In the winter I wear sweats and a hoody; in the summer, shorts and a t-shirt.

Where can people learn more about your books?

JCG: I have a website, an Amazon author page, and a page at my publisher’s site.

Pamela Q Fernandes, Author of “Seoul-mates”

seoul-mates-155x232Welcome, Pamela. What is your book about?

‘Seoul-mates’ is a romantic suspense set in present day Seoul. The marriage of Anglo-Indian Katia Rosario to Jihan Kwan, Seoul’s most eligible bachelor, sounds like a fairy-tale romance. Their union, rather than being celebrated, is scorned by those closest to them. And to top it all, a shadowy nemesis is making its presence felt, endangering both their lives in a quest for revenge.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

Katia and Jihan are the main characters at the heart of Seoul-mates. She is an Anglo-Indian doctor, a down-on-her-luck foreigner struggling to fit into a close-knit society in Seoul and Jihan is a typical Korean Chaebol heir to one of Seoul’s largest business empires. Both of them are hard headed and strong people looking for some acceptance in a very critical society.

I like Katia’s character because she’s gutsy. It takes guts to follow your heart out to an unknown place with a very different culture plus going it all the way alone.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

I am an Indian who went to college in the Philippines and had many Korean friends there. I spent a lot of time with them. So I would watch Korean dramas, movies, listen to their music eat their food. And through them I learned how different the Korean culture was. That’s what helped me build the exact structure of Korean tradition and mannerisms in the book.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it?

Yes, plenty. (laughs) I’ve honestly never visited Korea, so I had to speak to my friends, look up photographs of Seoul, study the different traditions they have at weddings and otherwise. It was truly eye-opening. Seoul is one of destinations to go to this year.

What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?

“Your journey uphill can still be worth the trip, if you do it with me.”

Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received and what was it?

It was my brother who pushed me to write and it’s his advice I adhere to even today. He said, ‘don’t write depending on what’s the flavor of the market. Write what you would like to read. The market trends will change, but a good story always lives on.’ And I’m grateful for that advice.

What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

I want people to feel as if they’ve rediscovered Seoul. The book should open the audience’s eyes to a new culture, a new place with all its trivia. I want them to be blown away by all things South Korea.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

I know I would want Daniel Henney and Mickey Yoochun to play the men from the book partly because they’re bilingual in Hangul and English, Katia on the other hand – I think Diana Penty would play her well.

What are you working on right now?

Currently I am working on my next novella which is also a romantic suspense. This time however its set in Ireland. Yes I do have friends in Ireland as well.;) As of now I’ve just completed my first draft so its very raw.

Where can people learn more about your books?

pamelaqYou can read more about Seoul-mates and me on the Indireads website. https://www.indireads.com/ir_author/pamela-q-fernandes/

News about all my other writing projects are posted on my blog -http://pcatherine30.blogspot.in/.

You can also connect with me on Twitter https://twitter.com/Pamelahasspoken

If you would like to purchase a copy of Seoul-mates on Amazon its here – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GFEVO5K. It is also available on Smashwords, Pothi, and Barnes & Nobles online stores.

Thanks Pat.  Happy New Year

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