• My Guest Today is Children's Author Rachel McRoy

    Hi Rachel, welcome to my blog. I am looking forward to meeting you at the UK Southern Book Show at the Pavilion Theatre Worthing on 4th March.

    Rachel McRoy was born in Salford, England, to hard working parents, grew up in Manchester, and spent some time in Dublin, Ireland. She works in a school as a financial controller. Her first book, "Grandma's knitted kingdom," is a children's picture book written in Rhyme perfect for bedtime and has already received fantastic reviews.

    ‘Grandma’s Knitted Kingdom’, a fun and rip-roaring volume that fused fantasy with magic, as a grandma knitted an entire kingdom for children to play in.

    The volume was hailed a “delightful bedtime story”, and even inspired a few readers to see knitting in an entirely new light (or take up the hobby for the first time!). Almost three years later, McRoy is back with volume two in her enchanting series.

    ‘Flutterby the Knitted Butterfly’ retains all of the hallmarks McRoy has now become famous for, while offering young readers a new and engrossing adventure to get lost in.

    Synopsis:

    Where has the lovely, loyal Flutterby gone? Explore further into the magical knitted kingdom with Ben the bumble bee overcoming obstacles as we search for our dear friend. A gentle way to introduce ideas of becoming more independent to your child in a safe, warm and comforting environment.

    “In this book, we go back into the knitted kingdom to discover that our good friend, Flutterby, is missing,” explains the author. “The story’s moral is one that empowers children to find Flutterby themselves,

    Again, readers have come out with glowing reviews. Rich Linville writes, “My grandchildren loved this colourfully illustrated, rhyming book and asked to read again and again. Many important lessons are included in this wonderful, imaginative adventure. Highly recommended.”

    Another reader adds, “Very sweet and imaginative book. I feel it sends a positive message that if you keep trying you can overcome obstacles on your own.”

    ‘Flutterby the Knitted Butterfly’ is available now: http://amzn.to/2D9dP7u.

    Purchase volume one, here: http://amzn.to/2D8XmAA.

    You can meet Rachel and buy signed copies of Rachel's books at the UK Southern Book Show - a free event. Find out more at www.uksouthernbookshow.co.uk

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  • Interview with Adam Kluger on Desperate Times: Short Stories

    My guest today is Adam Kluger, he is a is a New York City writer and artist and distant cousin of famed British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein. Kluger attended the same high school as Jack Kerouac and draws inspiration from diverse literary sources that include Charles Bukowski, John Fante, Ernest Hemingway, and Herman Melville as well as artists Jean Dubuffet, Andy Warhol, Bob Ross, Eric Payson, and Pablo Picasso. Kluger is one of the leaders of New York's growing Anti-Art movement.

    To date, Kluger has had over 35 short-stories published by various literary magazines and literary-arts outlets in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland along with 35+ pieces of his artwork.

    Welcome Adam, please tell everyone about your writing journey and your new book Desperate Times.

    Why Bukowski?

    There are a lot of reasons. The humor, the honesty, the accessibility. When you find a writer that speaks to you-- like music - you just really appreciate it. Bukowski deserves all the love he gets. His writing delivers. Post Office, Women, Love is a Dog From Hell, Barfly, Ham on Rye, Hollywood and pretty much every book he ever wrote-- I've read them all and will keep re-reading them. The prose, the poetry - so good. His film with Barbet Schroeder- The Bukowski Tapes is just amazing. I could watch it over and over. Bukowski revered and promoted John Fante, who was also a terrific writer. Bukowski, to his credit also had the courage to criticize many of the literary world's over-rated writers--as being pompous and unreadable --which was criticism that was frankly long overdue.

    Hemingway?

    Same thing. Hemingway knew how to write beautiful, sparse prose and he delivered. I loved his Iceberg theory and his other theories on writing. Old Man & The Sea is a classic but so too are most of his short stories like The Killers, A Well Lighted Place and The Three Day Blow. I also really enjoyed his Green Hills of Africa. An important writer.

    Salinger?

    Catcher in The Rye. Masterpiece. Franny & Zooey also praise-worthy. And his Nine Stories. Salinger was a good short story writer. A Perfect Day for Bananafish was powerful and memorable

    .

    F. Scott Fitzgerald?

    Love Fitzgerald. So good. So talented. Gatsby was brilliant but his short stories were also worthy of notice from Bernice Bobs Her Hair to a Diamond as Big as the Ritz to the hilarious Pat Hobby Stories. To become the voice of a generation means you're pretty good.

    What is Guy Lit?

    A label. People come up with labels. Who knows why? The truth of the matter is that Desperate Times is simply a collection of flash fiction and short stories about male protagonists who find themselves facing various conflicts. These stories do owe quite a bit to the rich American short story traditions that these previously mentioned literary giants (Bukowski, Hemingway) have already set forth. It's hard not to be inspired by their books and advice on writing. One modern writer I love just for his understanding of dialogue is David Mamet. Glengarry Glen Ross, Hurly Burly, Speed The Plow. Doesn't matter if you are writing for the stage or a short story. Great dialogue is great dialogue.

    Others Literary heroes?

    Melville and Kerouac have all impacted me in various ways. How can you not read Moby Dick over and over and over and marvel at the timeless poetry within? Oscar Wilde's gorgeous use of description in his short stories is almost like that of a painter. Capote's facility with language at such a young age, Faulkner's America , Kerouac's exuberant jazz-like explorations, O'Henry's incredible sense of humor and use of Twain-like twists of phrasing. There are so many incredible American Short Story Writers. My hope is that folks who pick up Desperate Times, might also decide to explore America's great Short Story traditions.

    Any other Short story writers that have caught your attention?

    James Joyce, I love Dubliners which I just came across recently at a book fair in Kent, Ct. Joyce's writing style is such a pleasure to read and his ability to deliver a meaningful and resonant short story is so impressive. While not a short story, I was greatly impressed recently by the classic French coming of age novel The Wanderer by Henri Alain Fournier. Also, I'm just now digging into the collected stories of Guy De Maupassant and was immediately blown away by the sheer beauty and profundity of Moonlight. I also picked up a dog-eared copy

    To date, Kluger has had over 35 short-stories published by various literary magazines and literary-arts outlets in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland along with 35+ pieces of his artwork. Those stories include such titles as: “Moira, Actually,” “Lady Marmalade & the Ratcatcher,” “Unprecedented,” “The Worst Hangover,” “The Mentor,” “Our Kind Of Town,” “The Sixth Floor,” “The Rain Washed Him Clean,” “A Weird Duck,” “Good Morning Mr. Schmertz,” “The Party,” “A Lost Cause,” "Beaten But Unbowed,” “All Around Town,” “Out of Place,” “A Lost Cause,” “Fingers & Toes,” “The Post Office,” “The Rise & Fall of Johnny Thunders,” and “A Cup of Coffee.”

    Those Literary Arts Magazines include: Blue Fifth, Story Shack, Outsider, Meat for Tea, Literally Stories, Jotters United, Turk’s Head Review, Empty Sink, Smokebox, Winamop, Spelk, No Extra Words, Former People, Flash Frontier, Third Wednesday, Zombie Logic, Head Stuff, Potluck, Gloom Cupboard & Literary Juice. Kluger is a proud dad and a terrible golfer who credits his current literary and art-world success to hard work, a willingness to completely ignore all the rules and the kindness and unflagging support of family and friends.

    Thanks Adam, it's obvious that you are enjoying being a writer. Below are some editorial reviews

    Turkey Burger Deluxe

    "This bittersweet story is as good as your art work, Adam - and that's saying something! I was sitting at a nearby table watching and feeling the whole thing. Sometimes you want to cry at the sadness of life - and a smile and a hug does help. I'd say that was the deluxe moment". -June Griffin, Editor, Literally Stories

    "This illustrates the vagaries of quotidian life - upset over small matters, while missing the wonders."

    - Doug Hawley, Literally Stories

    "Everyday heroes. Love it." -Mitchell Toews, Literally Stories

    A Walk in The Woods

    "Such a great story. I love the contrast between who we are and who we are deep down. It reminds me of the 'men's trip' from Fante's work... I wanna say Brotherhood of the Grape; and the more we obtain the more basic and existence we crave. Loved it." -David Louden, Literally Stories

    "The interaction between the characters was very real. This was well constructed, well thought out and superbly written.

    I enjoyed the observations here on a guy at the start of middle age, dissatisfied and worried with work and out on the weekend with a bunch of friends, doing something to maybe try to stay young. Interesting to start with the dream too, and then end it and throw the reader into something very different but highly relevant, I thought. And a wicked collection of character's names. Bravo!" -Richard Ardus, Literally Stories

    A Weird Duck

    "At the heart of this hilarious and perceptive story we have Franz Mugler, an unforgettable character who is indeed one weird duck!" -Editors, Headstuff

    "You have many strings to your writing bow but I honestly think that you are at your best when writing about your vast array of colourful characters." -Hugh Cron, Editor, Literally Stories

    Are We Both Broken?

    "I found some deep truths in this, where the objects we own or surround us provide the subtle evidence of who we are, rather than who we think we are." -James McEwan, Literally Stories

    "I love this thoughtful piece in which every word counts. Thank you!" -Fran Macilvey, Literally Stories

    "My heart jumped with joy at the wonderfulness of the story, while my eyes delighted in the awesomeness of the art work. My memory knew this extraordinary submission was unforgettable, while my cup runneth over. One of your best, Adam!

    This was brilliant. It is something that we can all relate to in the fact of our objects saying more about us than we can do ourselves." - June Griffin, Editor, Literally Stories

    Unprecedented

    "Your best line EVER is within this story!!" -Hugh Cron, Editor, Literally Stories

    "Words fail me." - June Griffin, Editor, Literally Stories

    High & Low

    "Your works are always so well put together, like a fine watch." -Irene Allison, Literally Stories

    I"'ve always noticed two common traits in your work - good dialogue and well-drawn, believable characters. More of the same here and another enjoyable read." -Nik Everleigh, Literally Stories

    Better Living Through Better Chemistry

    "I enjoyed much of the writing in this, in particular how I formed my image of the psychiatrist through the thoughts of Roderick. I saw an elderly spinster lady, old fashioned, and yet attractive. An engrossing read over all." - James McEwan, Literally Stories

    What Would Breslin Have Thought?

    "Being on the wrong side of desire and Jimmy Breslin is and was like being locked in a phone booth with a rabid bobcat. McGrewster is doomed. He likes it. No doubt. Breslin and phone booths are dead. But want and bobcats live on. Very nice." - WalkingBossCooper, Literally Stories

    "You never wasted one word on this story. So much depth, so much character within a very small word count. Excellent." -Hugh Cron, Editor, Literally Stories

    If you are interest in finding out more about Adam's work, then please visit his website at www.adamklugerpr.com or to get your copy of Desperate Times, then visit Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Desperate-Times-Stories-Adam-Kluger-ebook/dp/B078JVS6PN

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  • What Inspired Me to Create the Greatest Book Show in the South

    During the cold winter months, I just love to find a quiet corner, curl up with a fantastic book and have a hot coffee on the side. I am not alone and believe that millions of the reading public do this too. By reading, we are opening up our minds, visiting imaginary worlds, juggling characters in our heads and remembering detailed plots. Without knowing it, when we read, our memories will improve and we can stave off the winter blues. Yes, it is a proven fact that our minds are developed after reading and we are less likely to feel depressed.

    I am a West Sussex author and like to think that I am an architect of the imagination. Writers, craft and create a tale to, we hope, intrigue and entertain those that love books. Tears and coffee are spilt as we endeavour to produce a book with a shiny cover and crisp pages that smells like heaven. The hairs stand up on the back of our necks, when we think of you turning to page one. Writing is a compulsion and a passion and we are delighted to share our work with you and take you on an extraordinary journey.

    Sometimes bookshops are good places to find a book but did you know that only around 1% of books published each year, are actually on the shelves. There are some amazing books to be found online and my novels are there floating by in the sea of books along with millions of others from across the world. I have attended fairs and markets but the public always seem surprised to see me there.

    It came to me one day on my way to Ikea, that it would be great if UK authors came together on a regular basis and showcased their books so that everyone had the chance to see their creations and buy some amazing books to read. I decided then and there, that I would create such an event. This is how the UK Southern Book Show came to be.

    I hunted high and low for UK authors and asked them if they would like to come down to Worthing on 4th March 2018 and bring with them their books to sign and sell. The response from authors has been phenomenal and they are all looking forward to meeting readers and aspiring authors. Much to my surprise, being quite a shy author, nearly everyone wanted to get up on stage and do readings, talk about the craft of writing or speak about publishing. The speaking programme is wide-ranging and entertaining both for young and old and is printed at the bottom of this article. They say there is a book in everyone just waiting to be heard.

    The UK Southern Book Show is a FREE event, giving an opportunity to those that love books to meet 60+ authors from the UK, listen to readings and learn about writing and publishing. This is a chance for everyone to discover and buy some great books - fiction, non-fiction, teen and children’s books. Free giveaways too!”

    Event Date: Sunday 4th March 2018 9:00am-6:00pm Pavilion Theatre (the pier), Marine Parade, Worthing BN11 1PX

    Admission Cost: FREE

    I have to say that I am looking forward to this event and the organising of it has been intensive and interesting. I really need to put this much advertising efforts into promoting my own books.

    Hope to see you all at the show :)

    Natasha

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  • Author Michael Evans is my Guest Today - Read About His Life and About His New Book Control Freakz

    Welcome Michael to my blog, please tell everyone about yourself and about your new book 'Control Freakz'

    1. What made you want to write a book?

    I have always loved to write since I was a little kid! It was one of those things that just come naturally to me and something I think I will always love to do. What inspired me to write the book CONTROL FREAKZ was my passion for neuroscience and nanotechnology. My purpose in writing the novel was to raise awareness about the malignant effects of the progression of technology on society, in hopes that it would bolster the positive effects that science can have on humanity. I also aimed to shed light on mental health problems such as depression, in hopes that those health problems may be cured with advancements in nanotechnology.

    2. Tell us about you and where you live.

    I'm Michael Evans and I'm the author of YA Dystopian novel CONTROL FREAKZ, and forthcoming novel entitled DELUSIONAL. I'm currently a sophomore in high school, and I live in Charleston, South Carolina. Since Charleston is such a beautiful, warm place, I love to go to the beach, hike, go for runs, and go camping. Besides writing my main passion is the future. I'm fascinated with the proposition of attempting to make humanity's future as great as it can be and I hope that with writing I can impact the future of humanity and hopefully make it better!

    3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

    I have written dozens of short stories, and in the past couple years have focused more on novels. I wrote and recently published CONTROL FREAKZ, which is the first novel in a YA Dystopian trilogy! Right now I'm currently working on getting DELUSIONAL edited and ready for publication, and writing the first draft of the third book in the series entitled TRIGGERED!

    4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

    I mainly market my books by doing signings and book festivals (I will be attending the Teen Book Festival in Rochester on May 19th so make sure to say hi if in the area), but I also have an active presence on social media. I like to post pretty pictures of sunsets! But in terms of marketing I like to hosts contests of signed copies of my book to garner more attention for my work. If interested in following me on social media you may do so below:

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mevansinked/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MEvansInked/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MEvansInked

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17306697.Michael_Evans

    5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

    My book is for sale on both Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble Online!

    Link to amazon page:

    https://www.amazon.com/Control-Freakz-Michael-Evans-ebook/dp/B076523XG8/

    Link to B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/control-freakz-michael-evans/1127186722?ean=9781641110334

    Attached below is a picture of my book cover and a picture of me! Thank you so much for your support and I hope you have a wonderful day!

    Best regards,

    Michael Evans

    Thank you so much :)

    Natasha

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  • My Christmas Guests today are Sema Gurun and Stephanie Rugoff - On Behalf of Kali, They Have Created 'I of the Hurricane'

    Thank you Sema and Stephanie for joining me today. Please tell everyone about your writing journey.

    What made you want to write a book?

    I of the Hurricane: Eating Up a Storm was written by Kali. Sadly, Kali died in 2012 but left her manuscript to us: her sister, Sema Gurun, and her friend, Stephanie Rugoff. Kali had entitled it I of the Hurricane. We formed Sasfork Productions in order to carry out the task of producing and marketing Kali’s writing. Her manuscript was long – long enough for a very large chapter book. We decided to concentrate this first publication solely on the sections dealing with food – and, we and Jim Whiting, the editor we hired, came up with the subtitle Eating Up a Storm. If we get a large readership for this book, we have enough material left to do several sequels with emphasis on other areas of Hurricane’s life.

    Kali based the book on actual occurrences experienced by and with her beloved dog who was named Hurricane. Kali included Hurricane’s interactions with her other pets as well: her dog named Prince and her two cats, Thunder and Lightning. She felt these incidents were so amusing that she wanted to share them with others and spread the affection shared between humans and animals with others.

    Where did Kali get the idea for her book?

    Kali based I of the Hurricane on her beloved dog Hurricane and their experiences living together in Southern California. She kept an ongoing journal of the daily adventures of her pets, especially the most imaginative one, Hurricane. Eventually, she started to pull these all together in the form of a manuscript.

    Tell us about Kali and where she lived.

    Kali was born in Turkey and grew up in New York City. After completing her fine arts studies at Syracuse University, her passionate interest in nature and animals led her to locate to the countryside and finally to California where she found Hurricane – or rather, Hurricane found her. Sema Gurun is Kali’s sister and was also born in Turkey. Sema is a psychotherapist as well as an artist. Stephanie Rugoff was a friend since childhood, of both Kali and Sema. She too is an artist and spent her professional life as a literacy specialist.

    Where can readers find your book for sale?

    Please visit our website: KaliandHurricane.com which links to all the online stores selling our book, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. You can also ask your local bookstore to order it from Ingram’s.

    Where can people reach you?

    We can be reached at Sasfork@yahoo.com and will respond within the day. You can also contact us via

    our website, KaliandHurricane.com, or like the I of the Hurricane Facebook page and contact us there.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story

    Natasha x

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