• Turkish author Zeynep Unalan is my guest today talking about his book Baalzebub: To Forgive a Beast

    Hi Zeynep, welcome to my blog. Please let everyone know about you and your book '

    'Baalzebub: To Forgive a Beast'

    1. What made you want to write a book?

    Since my childhood, I have always been worried about the world and the creatures in it. I find this world to be a very beautiful place and I feel very lucky to be a part of it. However, in all its beauty, it does not seem to be sustainable if we keep our status quo. It is overwhelming to see destruction of wildlife every day. So I wanted to write a story to remind people of how lucky we are to be here together and that we must do something to keep it going; we must change something, starting from ourselves -our perceptions to be precise.

    2. Tell us about you and where you live.

    I was born in 1981, Ankara/Turkey. I attended college and university in the same city. I graduated from Ankara University's faculty of law and became a lawyer. For about 6 years, I worked as a lawyer but then realized that is not what I want to do. Then -all by chance- I started working for a small publishing company. And I have been a co-editor in that company since then. Justice and environment are what interest me the most.

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

    I have written a fantasy novella about a group of flies and their King, Baalzebub. It is the story of some creatures' turning into good from the evil. It all happens step by step: First they realize the truth about themselves, which is, "They are despicable." Then, they decide what they want to be. And then, they act on it.

    It also focuses on how we see ourselves, how we interact with our environment according to it and why hard work and good intentions are important. I intended to make it a story for all ages.

    Currently I am writing the second book.

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

    I do believe good works promote themselves. So I am only trying to reach out to as many avid readers as I can. Having worked as a co-editor myself, I know how difficult it is to make your work viewed. Indeed, it is difficult both for the authors and for those who evaluate it for there are "too many books and too little time."

    This is why, what I want for my work is to have it read by as many people as possible, get the criticism, and improve myself with each and every one of them.

    5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

    It is available as an e-book on Amazon. It is also free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

    Thanks Zeynep for sharing your story

    A short novel about the choices and struggles of an individual -be it a human or not- in pursuit of happiness.

    Baalzebub, "the Lord of the Flies," discovers the reason why humans hate flies -with the help of his weird son. Although he is one merciless ruler, he is amazed by the fact that not all creatures have to keep struggling in order to stay alive. As he envisions his folk becoming creatures that are loved and respected, he risks not only his own life but also an entire community's; without even knowing.

    Get your copy here!

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Baalzebub-Forgive-Beast-Zeynep-Ünalan-ebook/dp/B07D9SSZFJ

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  • My guest today is author, formerly a concert pianist, Eric Hausman, talking about his life and his book ‘The Lost Artist: Love Passion War (Part 1)’

    Today I welcome Eric Hausman, previously a concert pianist, to my blog. Many authors are multi talented and have amazing writing journey's to share.

    So glad you are able to join me.

    What made you want to write a book?

    I knew my father had a remarkable story, but I felt too far removed to write it. He had escaped Nazi Germany at the age of 13 by going alone to Palestine and as a WW II Commando became the highest decorated Palestinian/Israeli soldier in the British Army. But besides what he told me, what did I know about the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany, Palestine before the State of Israel, WW II’s North African Campaign, the No. 2 Commando, etc.? I’m used to researching a subject until I’m comfortable enough to write about it, but this seemed overwhelming.

    Then in 2010, I received an email from Einat Amitay, a top computer scientist with a chair at IBM Israel, saying, “You may not know this, but your father is very famous in Israel.” At first, I thought it was a scam, but my father’s passion was art and as I read on, she talked about a children’s book that he had illustrated, And There Was Evening (Vayehi Erev) (ויהי ער). I knew the book because my father had brought it back from his one trip to Israel in the early 90’s. In early 1948, he had turned in the illustrations right before leaving Palestine/Israel for New York City and never gave it any more thought.

    He showed me the book in disbelief. “It’s a miracle. The book was actually published, and this one little bookstore somehow got the leftover copies from the 1950’s printing.”

    I told Einat that during our first Skype conversation. She laughed, saying, “He could’ve walked into any bookstore and found it. It’s everywhere.” It never crossed his mind that the book could have had more than one printing, much less become a bestseller and timeless classic, now in its 42nd edition, referred to as the pearl of Israeli children’s literature. After a sixty-year ongoing search for the artist, Einat, while dying of breast cancer, had joined the mission and, against all odds, finally solved the mystery.

    The story was now too much for me to resist. Einat was a great support. I was very moved by her story of finding my dad and wanted to tell it as a present-day backdrop to telling his story. We became close friends as we chatted often on Skype. Though she made it clear that her chances of survival were slight, she was so vital, such a wonderful person, and had such determination that it was hard for me to accept. How many people dying of breast cancer would have the determination to join a 60-year search for a lost artist of a favorite children’s book and be the one to actually succeed?! I will always be incredibly grateful to her. On her blog, you can see how much she did for so many, especially for children. I can’t say how much her search for my father has meant to my family and me. I only wish my father could have known her. He died a few years before she found him, but she felt his spirit was pushing her. So maybe they know each other now. I hope so.

    Tell us about you and where you live.

    I am from North Stamford, Connecticut. I now live in New York City.

    In the early 80’s, I was offered a Julliard scholarship by Abbey Simon and was signed by Global Records, who changed my name from Hausman to Houston. The producers of my first album, Beethoven Sonatas: Moonlight Pathetique Appassionata, won the Grammy that year. I did over a hundred concerts to promote my second album, Tonight and Forever, and went into serious debt. I started writing while sitting out my four-year contracts and never went back to the piano.

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

    I am a playwright, memoirist, and ghostwriter. My first play, Playing with Fire, was picked up by Earl Graham of the Graham Agency and optioned for Off-Broadway by Lois Deutchman. My second play, Sweet Deliverance, received some great reviews from regional productions and was the last play optioned by legendary Broadway producer, Alexander Cohen. When Alex suddenly died it was held up in two-year contracts. Gerry Cohen, the brilliant TV director, then produced and directed my next play, Becoming Adele, which had won the Key West Theater Festival Award. It got great reviews in LA and was optioned by Warner Bros. Television.

    I then worked in Hollywood for a bit, but my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. In order to move back to New York City to be closer to family, I began ghostwriting. The Lost Artist: Love Passion War (Part 1) is the first book I’ve written in my own voice and name, which was the hardest writing I’d ever done. It felt like the absence of a voice. But I got used to it, and it really helped me get over that hurdle.

    I am now working on The Lost Artist. Part 2, which will complete Einat’s mission of finding my father as a present-day backdrop to telling his story of becoming a British commando and highest decorated WW II Palestinian soldier in the British Army, his love affair with a beautiful English professor while recuperating from critical injuries in Italy, and his tumultuous years in Palestine after the war up until the formation of the State of Israel. As with Part 1, the research is overwhelming.

    Where can readers find your book for sale?

    Amazon in paperback and Kindle

    https://goo.gl/ckCysV

    Thank you Eric, please keep in touch

    Natasha :)

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  • My Guest Today is author Virgil Daniels talking about his debut novel 'Shifts'

    Welcome Virgil to my blog, please let everyone know about your writer's life and your new book 'Shifts'.

    1.What made you write a book?

    "I have been writing for a long time in other arenas. Mostly in the environment of music production. Writing is something I have done most of my life, and it started when I was young, around the age of 12 when I first realized the joy I have for it. The need to work and survive was really the only obstacle between me and printing my first book. I basically chose now, since there is no longer a reason to prolong it."

    2.Tell us about you and where you live.

    "I live in Chicago, IL. Born and raised there, never really lived anywhere else, besides one or two short stints just outside of town. I like food, music, and good company, just like anyone else, however, as I age I find those things more and more difficult to find, just like everyone else. I maintain a website, with tips and hints to help those who may have trouble keeping their focus. And also advice on how to be better at being creative as well as alternative avenues of entertainment."

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

    "I just published a book called “Shifts”. It’s and fiction/drama based on the lives of three people and how they interchange with each other. The novel is more for the Young Adult genre, but there is an underlying technology theme, that most people can enjoy. The book is meant to be entertaining and a good read over all. My next book is also for the YA genre, although it is more gratuitous in nature and has more of a sinister theme."

    4. How do you market your books and do your promotion efforts work

    "I am still new. My book has been published barely under a month and I am still looking to see if my current methods are working. As some of you may know, there is a space between marketing and sales and profits, that all artist must endure. I won’t really know if any of this is working for another few weeks. However, I do advise others to take the advice of their publisher and work the steps outlined by them. They are the experts when it comes to this."

    5. Where can readers find your books for sale?

    "The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The kindle version however is only available on Amazon for now. You can purchase the book at discount from me personally on my website http://subdwellerzbeats.com/buy-shifts"

    More about ‘Shifts’

    "In Virgil Daniels’s debut novel, the stories of three individuals weave together, showing that even the most different among us are connected. Though it is as sensory as a graphic novel, Shifts lends a unique positivity to pulp fiction and fantasy. The conflict we as human beings endure and the humor we find in the everyday are what make life so rich—and they are what elevate Shifts into a page-turner for lovers of fiction too."

    Take a peek in the lives of Dax, Frank, and Rita. Three extra-ordinary people, bound together by time and the goals they have set out for themselves.

    Dax the inventive yet reluctant Ex-Soldier, trying to make something of his life and shed the mistakes of his past. Rita, a young scientist and researcher with the talent to be the best in her field, while still feeding the unrelenting urge to nurture her daughter. Frank, the most socially capable of them all, who carries with him a checkered past, a lust for women, even better food, and all that is good in life. He continues only to conquest the best and keep his ship afloat. Their lives will interchange and mingle with each other as the dawn of the technical era reaches its peak, and crests with the emergence of yet another technology. This one also, capable of altering the human experience as we know it.

    Thank you Virgil, good luck for the future

    Natasha :)

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  • Today meet Queen Zina a character from Jimmy Misfit's new book 'The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg: America’s Worst City'

    My guest today is Jimmy Misfit, 'The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg: America’s Worst City' is out this week as an e-book and then as a paperback at the end of the month.

    Here’s an interview between two major characters in Jimmy Misfit’s new book. Meet the mayor’s mysterious wife, Queen Zina Kakisto, and her barely tolerated acquaintance, the social climber, Mauve Mertz.

    Queen Zina: Mauve, thank you for appearing on Bustleburg Today with me, your host, Queen Zina. How are you?

    Mauve: Frankly, like most of Bustleburg, I’m frightened of you. But I’m double-extra delighted to be on TV! Are Evelyn Highchrist and Muriel Wage here? I’ve heard only the most important women in Bustleburg appear on your show!

    Queen Zina: Is that so? Hmm, they’re not here.

    Mauve: No? Well, won’t they be jealous! I’m sure I’ll have all the attention at the next Gamboge Gala!

    Queen Zina: Ah. The Gamboge Gala. In case our audience isn’t familiar with the tradition, will you explain?

    Mauve: It’s only the most important social event of the year. It’s a charity ball for something or other, but the important thing is fashion. You have to wear gamboge or you can’t get in. Gamboge is a reddish-yellow and toilsome to find. It’s a divine event. So posh and selective.

    Queen Zina: Tell us about last year’s gala?

    Mauve: Well, last year the Bromley Ballroom burned down again. You know, most fires in Bustleburg don’t faze me since they’re not in Burnsvale, which is the choicest neighborhood and where I live, of course.

    Queen Zina: Of course.

    Mauve: But when one burns down our ballroom! Goodness. Then your husband really needs to do something!

    Queen Zina: Ahem. I believe he allowed the gala to be held on our yacht.

    Mauve: Oh, true. At least the river wasn’t on fire that day. With all the oil slicks? But the gala was a smash, at least at first. I looked lovely. I charmed Evelyn and Muriel and all the big names. But then there was Aubrey Van Vorn, and her outfit wasn’t gamboge. It was somewhere between canary and saffron. It was an outrage!

    Queen Zina: An outrage? My.

    Mauve: I told my husband to throw her overboard that instant. But did he listen? No.

    Queen Zina: Thank goodness. The pollution monsters might have eaten her.

    Mauve: What? This is why we’re frightened, Mrs. Kakisto. What on earth are you talking about?

    Queen Zina: Sorry, sorry. A mental note for a horror novel I’m writing. So what happened to Ms. Van Vorn?

    Mauve: I tossed her in the brig.

    Queen Zina: I wasn’t aware our yacht had a brig.

    Mauve: Well, a broom closet. It didn’t lock, so I had to stand guard, and I missed the rest of the party! The sad thing? I overheard people say the evening improved dramatically the minute I left. That always seems to happen!

    Queen Zina: Such a coincidence.

    Mauve: A coincidence? My absence makes a strong impact. I’m a real somebody!

    Queen Zina: You certainly are something. Thanks for your time, Mauve. And if you’d like to read more about Mauve, myself, and all the residents of Bustleburg, please pick up a copy of The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg today. Our entire city can’t wait to meet you!

    (Also, here’s a link to https://www.amazon.com/That-Feathered-Menace-Jimmy-Misfit-ebook/dp/B07DK75CH from the collection)

    Title: The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg: America’s Worst City, 224p.

    Author: Jimmy Misfit

    Genres: Comic Fiction, Dystopian, Slipstream, Short Stories

    ISBN: Ebook – 9781634865876 Trade Paperback - 9781985174672

    Price: Ebook - $4.99 Trade Paperback - $14.50

    Release Date: Ebook – July 7, 2018 Trade Paperback – July 31, 2018

    Book Page Links: Goodreads, Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BD367DL

    Author contact: authorjimmymisfit@gmail.com

    Publisher contact: J.M. Snyder http://www.jms-books.com

    Websites: jimmymisfit.com, Bustleburg.com

    The Simpsons’ Springfield may be horrible, but here’s an invitation to explore a far more dreadful community.

    Welcome to Bustleburg, a dying American metropolis where the mayor has stolen the last eleven elections and polluting vampire industrialists hope to blot out the sun.

    The local televangelist takes credit for hurricanes through his prayer attacks, a media giant that never tells the truth just bought the TV station, and with the fire department on strike, blazes are everywhere.

    Prominent citizens of Bustleburg include mafia don Boss Vostic, who buries his victims in the only part of town where trees are legal, ditzy social climber Mauve Mertz whose fashion fiasco might get her exiled, and Queen Zina, the mystical wife of the mayor and possibly the source of all the city’s woes.

    You’ll never enjoy misery so much as your visit to Bustleburg

    Thank you JImmy for introducing us to characters from your new book.

    Don't delay - pre order your copy now :)

    Natasha

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  • My special guest today is Joan Schweighart author of 'Before We Died'

    Hi Joan, thank you so much for being my guest today. Please tell everyone about yourself and your new book 'Before We Died'

    What is your novel about and when does it release?

    Before We Died tells the story of two Irish American brothers who leave their jobs as dockworkers in New Jersey in the year 1908 to make their fortune tapping rubber trees in the South American rainforest. It is very much an adventure story, but it is also character driven with a strong focus on the relationship between the brothers, the impact various challenges have on them, and the ways in which psychological struggles can change a person generally—all unfolding against the background of the rubber boom, a fascinating historical event.

    Before We Died will be published in paperback and e-book versions in September, 2018, but the Kindle version can be preordered now.

    How did you come to be interested in the rubber boom?

    I make my living as a pen for hire. Over the years I have researched and written about everything from plumbing to astrology to inspiration to murder. Sometimes the subject matter I am asked to write about inspires me to the point where I can’t let it go even after the project is completed and in the client’s hands.

    This happened with the rubber boom. A local publisher asked me to speed-read some of their backlist books and write a paragraph for each that could be used on their website. One of these books was a slim diary of a rubber tapper working in the South America rainforest during the rubber boom. I didn’t even know there had been a rubber boom! It’s possible that I had gone through my entire life to that point never giving a single thought to where rubber came from before we got the synthetic kind. I found the rubber tapper’s story fascinating. I found the descriptions of living in the deep jungle fascinating. It was kind of like I opened a door and fell into another world.

    Have you ever been to the rainforest yourself?

    I have been in love with rainforests—as presented in books and movies—since I was a little kid, devoted heart and soul to Tarzan and Jane. But I never wanted to spend time in one because I am afraid of insects and snakes. I changed my tune when I got hooked on the rubber idea. I began to look for organizations that bring people into the deep rainforest, and I found myself a good one. My husband (who is an environmentalist and also a photographer) and I traveled with a group of sustainability enthusiasts and translators into the rainforests of Ecuador, where we stayed with an indigenous community with much to teach “Northerners” on any number of subjects, including, of course, taking better care of the planet. The experience was life-changing.

    By the time we returned I was ready to create my own rubber-tapper story. I started making an outline, and also reading every book I could find on the rubber boom, Manaus, Brazil (which was the headquarters for the rubber industry at that time), the flora and fauna of the rainforest, the indigenous people that were affected by the boom, life on the docks of New Jersey at the turn of the century, and much more. I was so deeply invested that I began to dream about rainforests and the rivers that run through them at night. I promised myself that when I finished the first draft of my novel, I would reward myself with another trip, and I did, this time to visit Manaus and then to boat down the Amazon and the Rio Negro rivers with a guide to see rubber trees, and a lot more. My book, over time, grew to become a trilogy.

    Was it hard to write a first-person novel in the voice of a turn-of-the-20th century Irish American dockworker from a rough immigrant neighborhood?

    It was at first, but I did lots of research about the slang the Irish immigrant community generated when they first came to America, and I think I got it down. My narrator’s language is “colorful” in places, but I thought it was more important to be authentic than to be politically correct. I myself don’t cuss much. But my narrator is a young high-spirited dockworker who would have reveled in the vernacular of his times. Who am I to take that away from him? The second and third book (both in various stages of completion) are narrated by women.

    Speaking of women, are there any in Before We Died, to offset all this male élan?

    Yes, there is Nora, the love interest of both brothers, and thus the impetus for some of their sibling rivalry. Although she only makes appearances at the beginning and end of the story, she is never out of mind. (Nora narrates Book Two, which will be entitled Gifts for the Dead.) And there are several other women in the scenes that take place in the city of Manaus, two of whom turn up in all three books.

    Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

    Yes, if you think my “Rivers” series might be your cup of tea, please consider signing up for my newsletter at www.joanschweighardt.com (bottom of the landing page). I promise not to bombard you with book news, just the three announcements to mark the three book launches.

    Thank you Joan, your book sounds facinating.

    You are able to pre-order Joan's book at Amazon. Please click on this link https://www.amazon.com/Before-We-Died-Rivers-Book-ebook/dp/B07FG78F85

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