In Remembrance of Christy Thornbrugh

Christy Thornbrugh was my best friend, my sister and the missing piece of my soul. Anyone that knew her longer than 5 seconds loved her. She had the warmest heart and the best hugs. We became friends on Facebook and soon after decided that we just had to meet. I’m so glad we did. They came to my home in Southern Indiana to stay over night on the way to Scares That Cares last year. It was a house full. Christy, Steve, Aliyah and Jazz, Holly and her daughter Valerie and two other friends of Aliyah’s. What a car full that was. When the car pulled up someone ran to the front door and pressed their face against the window tapping their fingers on the glass. I looked up and giggled it was Christy. She flung open the door and ran straight across the room to the recliner I was sitting in and climbed in with me. We just hugged each other and hung on for dear life. I had met the other half of me. Someone so like me it was scary. She was the good side of this duo. Her golden heart showed in everything she did. Her love of the Indie Authors and her love of making embroidery patches for them about their books was paramount to none. She loved most everyone unless they gave her a reason not to. She was selfless, kind loving, a devoted mother, wife and friend. She was there through some really dark times for me and I for her. There wasn’t anything we didn’t talk about. She trusted me with her kids something she valued more than her life and knew I would never let anything happen to them because I love them like she did. They are smart, strong and talented you ladies because of her and she was so proud of them. I am too. The night she had the aneurysm changed all of our lives forever. Nothing would be the same. Steve lost his wife, the girls their mother, me my other half, friends a sister and confidant, the Indi world lost a true supporter. My world will never be the same and neither will theirs but we are better people for knowing her and loving her and her loving us. I can’t tell you how much she loved each and every one of you.

Attached are some of the pictures we would send back and forth to each other so it’s kinda her life in the last year in pictures. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I tried to think of a better way to honor her memory but this seemed very appropriate since this blog is for the Indie Authors and she was a huge part of our community.

 

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Getting personal with Richard Writhen

Originally from Rhode Island, Richard Writhen also lived in NYC for about ten years. He has been e-published on several notable sites such as the MightyThorJRS Blog, Techzwn.com, Grimdarkmagazine.com and Ragnarokpub.com and is the author of three novellas on Amazon KDP: A Kicked Cur, A Host of Ills and The Hiss Of The Blade. Richard also writes short form stories in the styles of Gothdark, Grimdark, GDSF and Psychological Horror, and will eventually be exploring the weird west.

Please help me welcome Richard Writhen to Roadie Notes………….

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

First off, thank you very much for having me here on Roadie Notes! I am very happy to be here. In answer to the question, I actually started out reading a lot of Stephen King and Clive Barker’s stuff even before I picked up comic books in my teens in the late eighties. Then, I tried out writing a few rudimentary stories; which I unfortunately didn’t wind up saving. I also tried to write a short piece about a cult in my twenties and a prototype version of my first independently published novella in my early thirties, both later discarded. I’m not sure why I didn’t take the craft seriously until I was in my mid-to-late thirties. It must have had something to do with focus level; after I had spent four solid years as a copywriter in real life, I found that I finally had the tools to get serious about being an author.

2. How many books have you written?

I have three existing works up on Amazon KDP presently; I am working on the fourth. The first two of them were originally written in serial form on Techzwn.com and WordPress.com respectively and are in my homespun genre that I like to call Gothdark; it’s a variant of Grimdark that is also basically fantasy, but whose influences are weird and gothic fiction, rather than the traditional sword and sorcery. The third novella, which was written over the latter half of last year, is my attempt at a purer Grimdark style, a pseudo-medieval drama that takes place on the same planet as the others, which is named Cedron, but a couple of hundred years later, when other gods have taken prevalence and thus control over it.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

I attempted to write Erotica and failed miserably. It just comes out all ridiculous, the man-root and throbbing love cave kind of thing. I can do a hint of romance, but I have no real interest in highly explicit sexuality in prose, and of course pedophilia and bestiality. I am interested in exploring modern, dark speculative fiction in many forms; if I feel that the genre is a bit milquetoast then I’m really not interested in it. I probably won’t be doing much Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy for instance, because I feel that it’s kind of all been done.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc …

I quietly turned forty last year. I have never been married or had kids; hopefully that will change someday. As for physical jobs, I have done mostly food service and retail; a few years cooking, a few years in jewelry sales, and my first couple jobs ever were actually at movie theatres back home. I really enjoyed those … hey, free films and popcorn, sure can’t beat that.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

I am currently enamored with my new one, The Hiss Of The Blade. It was very difficult to get the scene sequencing correct, and I hit over thirty characters with lines by the time it was done. Again, I was really trying to write the kind of Grimdark book that I would ideally want to read; but in many tiny ways, it came out as gothic as my other work. But, having read stuff like The King In Yellow and The White People between novellas two and three, I found a strange romance plot-line winnowing its way into the narrative almost without any conscious thought on my part. When I came to realize that I was going to self-publish it through KDP, I then re-edited the first two books in full and made sure to put them up first, for completion’s sake. They were originally intended to be books one and five of a six book cycle, but as they take place so far apart chronologically, seventy-five earth years, that I figured I’d break them up too and simply have three trilogies.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I mentioned King and Barker before; in my early thirties I read a bunch of classics, almost all of Lovecraft’s stuff, and then later on the five existing books of ASOIAF. I had been copy-writing at that point for four years, and had even begun to read the Bible more seriously, when I came across a Craigslist ad looking for writers on speculation. So, I drafted quick articles on HPL and ASOIAF for them; it was almost like a confluence of things sliding into place. But I had always toyed with the idea, and I wrote the first novella as an amateur for almost three years before beginning paid market submissions; still got my fingers crossed for a short form acceptance.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

I’m not very athletic overall, but when it comes to sports, the occasional jog or pickup basketball game is fun. I love electronic gaming, but I’m between systems for the time being. I would also like to pick up the guitar again as well; I used to play when I was younger and loved it, I’m all about stringed instruments in general.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

I’m the kind of guy who will literally go get a burrito or some pasta or something, maybe a bucket of chicken. I don’t have expensive tastes at all when it comes to food and drink. That may change someday, of course; I hear a good whiskey is especially gratifying. But the point is that I’m easy to please; though I did take a few days off when I was done with the last novella, just under a week. That was nice, because I write every night without fail usually; I try to practice “Nulla Dies Sine Linear” … not a day without a line.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or with music?

I tend to do my best work when listening to extremely heavy metal-core or death-core music. Matter of fact, that’s what I mostly listen to just for pleasure as well, and it seems to inform my work through a strange literary osmosis; and there are sometimes a few almost theatrically “aside” references to songs, films and even video games that wind up in it. But I listen to other kinds of music as well, some 80s favorites and dub-step and the like. Recently, I’ve been just throwing on podcasts while working; but that’s the exception, not the rule.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

It may be a bit heavy for some, in terms of theme. There are a lot of metaphysical, magical realism, mythical creature and personal transformation plot lines, but with the relatively new sub-genre of Grimdark’s overall trope inversions and “grey characters.” I really don’t shy away from the inherent revulsion and violence of dark genres, but in a world of extreme horror fiction and the like; not to mention the true horror of reality, anything that I may write is going to be all light and fluffy compared to most. So, I just let the content really ride, and there’s nothing truly objectionable in it that would turn off your average publisher … but it certainly won’t fit in everywhere.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

I’m just getting started out really, and haven’t thought too far ahead about where I’m going. I have three of twelve planned novellas finished and I’m currently working on the fourth one as well as four new stories for submissions. Much like any other writer, I think it would be great to eventually be able to write for a living; as I do enjoy doing it despite the time it takes and the lack of immediate rewards. Fame, fortune … of course, that would be great too, as anyone would appreciate more money, or even just some form of human approval for what they do best; but all in due time, as they say.

12. Where do you live?

I currently live in and originally am from Newport, Rhode Island. I also wound up moving to New York City for almost ten years, working in Manhattan and living first in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, Queens and then Woodhaven in the South Bronx. I also had a brief chance to visit Greenpoint, Brooklyn in May 2015 and that was really great. Since I moved back home, I even miss NYC sometimes.

13. Pets?

No, I don’t have any currently. I love both cats and dogs, but I’m unfortunately allergic to cat dander. I love mammals in general, but mis-like insects greatly … I’m probably not alone there. We had a black lab and then a dachshund when I was younger; it was really nice and I’d like to get another dog or two in future if I can.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Finishing a piece! No, but seriously, the development of the Mind’s Eye, the increased conceptual thought, has enriched my life and organized my self and personality in a way. I feel that being an author, a writer, an artist, or even what have you is something that you discover that you are as much as something that you do; I’ve even heard it likened to sexual orientation, and I find that allegory pretty much valid. In the pursuit of my work, I’ve also met so many gifted individuals online, and with my attention span, I need that; death before boredom! And at the end of the day, it’s the joy of creation that makes being an author great above all else, really … the discovery process of finding those distinctive characters and unique places, that makes the literally endless work worthwhile.

15. What is coming next for you?

All three novellas are actually each the first in a planned trilogy series; with A Host Of Ills being the first in The Shades of Cedron, A Kicked Cur being the first in The Rotes of Rena, and The Hiss Of The Blade being the first in The Celestial Ways Saga. So before I can do the three stand-alone that I have planned, I actually have to write six more novellas in those series; the first of them, which will be the second book in TSOC, is slated for completion somewhere around September 2017, and will probably then be self-published as well if my situation doesn’t change, what with representation and publishers and the like. The stand-alone novellas are set to be in the sub-genres of Psychological Horror, Grimdark Science Fiction (which there is no clever name for yet), and Weird West respectively. Anyways, in summation, thank you and the readers very much for your time.

 

You can connect with Richard Writhen here:

WordPress:

https://www.richardwrithen.wordpress.com/

FB Author page:

https://www.facebook.com/wrychardwrycthen/

Gothdark Speculative Fiction FB Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1787935258093459/

 

A Host Of Ills:

 

A Kicked Cur:

 

The Hiss Of The Blade:

 

Two other articles / features about my work:

https://mightythorjrs.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/guest-blog-the-planet-the-gods-and-the-magic-by-richard-writhen/

https://www.ragnarokpub.com/single-post/2016/05/12/3-Flavors-of-Fantasy-Grimdark-Gothdark-and-Mythdark

Getting personal with Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee has the most amazing personality. He will make you laugh till it hurts then laugh some more. I have really enjoyed getting to know him and so will you. This makes his books unique and personal. Some you don’t want to miss. Please take the time to get to know Jeff Lee and support him and his writing. Don’t forget to leave a review! Please help me welcome Jeff Lee to Roadie Notes……..

 

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I was about 12, and in the 8th grade. My teacher was a real bug about the Civil War, and he assigned everyone in the class a minimum 50-page report on the Civil War. I got about 35 single-spaced, typed pages in and started filling space with limericks and funny short stories. Got a D minus, plus a handwritten note that said, “I had no idea the Battle of Gettysburg was such a hoot. Stop making fun of our country’s history”.

2. How many books have you written?
I’ve written 5 books – four in my “Adventures in La-La Land” comedy crime series, plus a paranormal book about extreme teenage bullying and where it could lead. I’m currently working on the fifth book in my La-La Land series, as well.

3. Anything you won’t write about?
Well, I won’t write about cruelty to animals. Or non-fiction. Hey, if you want to learn the in’s and outs of building your own bookcase or fun ways to decorate with melons & cinderblocks, I’m not your guy.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
Ok, I’m 68, have two sons and I live with one of them in a suburb of L.A. that’s loaded with palm trees (how’s that for a clue?). My wife passed about 6 weeks before 911. I’m retired, having spent my entire earlier writing career in Los Angeles. I was an advertising copywriter and creative director for a number of ad agencies around town. Won a lot of silly wards for my wiseass sense of humor. But I’m much happier now, doing my own writing, and not having to fill out monthly expense reports. Or patiently explain to yet another bonkers showbiz mom why her untalented little Bree, Jennifer, Dylan, Monika or Rocki didn’t get hired for the commercial.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
Whoa…that’s a tough one. I’d probably have to say CHUMP CHANGE, the third book in my La-La Land series. I had already written a couple of comedy crime/murder stories, but this time around, I got good and ambitious. Wanted to see how many characters and completely gonzo situations I could squeeze into one book (Don’t forget – this is L.A. we’re talking about.) As a result, I had crooked TV preachers; psycho showbiz moms; naked Roman Zombies; and porn stars who sound like Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes. Plus, what’s got to be the most hysterical explicit sex scenes ever put on paper – a porn shoot that goes wackily off the rails.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
Like I said, I’ve been writing since I almost got kept back in the eighth grade. Then I spent about four decades creating and writing humorous ads and commercials. So, I’ve pretty much always been a writer.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

I don’t know – I love to cook (that’s how the Army trained me to be a dangerous human being). I also enjoy watching documentaries on Netflix; ridiculing Republicans; playing online Scrabble with my sister, who’s also a comedy-based advertising writer. And if I’m REALLY bored, I’ll put on my best cargo shorts and t-shirt, then go to the nearest LAPD precinct headquarters and confesses to famous unsolved murders and crimes that happened more than a century ago. Almost had them convinced that I was the Sundance Kid.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

Not a tradition so much, as a feeling that always comes over me. Five minutes after finishing work on another book, I always feel like I’m at a big picnic and I’ve been engaged in a massive tug of war – and the other side has let go of the rope. Could be worse – I could feel like I was trying to find someone to partner up with for the 3-legged race. Or the ‘no-handed’ pie eating event.

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?

I write in a lot of different places – at home; at Starbucks; at Mickey D’s. The only limit is the length of my extension cord and my USB cable.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Well, I wish more people knew about it. But other than that, not really.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

I guess my dream would be to see one of my books turned into a movie. That, and maybe saying something at a party that puts Woody Allen on the floor, laughing so hard he’s in tears.

12. Where do you live?

I live in an apartment in one of the L.A. suburbs that’s named after one of the long-dead generals from my old Civil War report.

13. Pets?

One dog and one cat – in that order.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Like I said, I’m about 60 pages and 25,000 words into the next book in my La-La Land comedy crime/murder series. And this puppy is taking on a life of its own. Like the other books in the series, it stars Fish Fishbein, my heavily tattooed, Harley-riding repo man and bounty hunter to the stars. It also features a ton of Republicans and the Sioux nation. But that’s all my handlers will let me say right now.

15. What is coming next for you?

Probably dinner…but I’m just guessing here.

 

Anything else you would like me to include please feel free to tell me!

Let’s see…I’m 6’1”, blind as a bat, and I’m a double Leo. Which means I make a heck of an entrance—when I’m not colliding with door frames.

 

You can connect with Jeff Lee here:
Amazon Author Page: amzn.to/20j8CQp

Facebook Author Page: on.fb.me/1QPczqQ

Website: bit.ly/1uHEmSo

Farewell Tour’s Amazon link: amzn.to/1KEN8U3

Twitter: @jfredlee

 

Some of Jeff Lee’s books:

You Only Get One Shot review by: Mandy Tyra

This was fabulous, a highly enjoyable read!
It was like a really clever collection of shorts disguised as a novella, it’s basically four short stories with a wrap-around/weaved-through tale, for a total of five stories.
A unique approach with an original backdrop, I was impressed by how they arranged it all out.
Yea, the set-up, lay-up, and execution of this was spot-on, I just loooved the whole concept.

We open up with a mysterious gal at a coffee-house, compiling a special email for a group of four, she is not interested in any sort of chatty cyber chinwagg’n though.
Civil corresponding is not on her agenda.
Her reasoning is simple; she had a writer friend who was trying to break into the business and ended up succumbing to his own insecurities and self-doubt, it destroyed him and she blames these four writers in particular, for not being more supportive of a new author.
Her only resolution is simple; they must write a winning story.
Entry is mandatory, noncompliance is an automatic swift elimination.
Primed and poised for a bit of wrath, our mystery gal masterminds a little game.
A bona-fide battle royal of the written wits.

One winner, three losers ~ no participation trophy, no consolation prize.

We meet our reluctant contestants who hope it’s all some sort of sick joke but they aren’t gonna take that chance, this is not the type of rejection letter they wanna get…
Adhering to that strict deadline and with the ‘you only get one shot’ warning playing on a loop in their heads, they submit their best life-sustaining story for the win.
Then wait with bated breath for the inevitable hoax to reveal.

First up is Fiona, bit of a drinker, seems sweet enough and she can’t for the life of her remember the writer in question. She’s always nice to everyone.
Her coerced submission is The Wrong Girl ~ about a resilient young girl kidnapped who hopes (who knows) her father will find her in time. She has a lot of inner strength and doesn’t take too well to being cornered.

Then we meet Diane, also a nice lady who is just beside herself with stress over all this. How can any of this be true??
Luckily she already had a story almost finished and hoping upon hope it’s good enough, she completes then submits Rezerection ~ about a military man (an almost family man) who in his grief and disbelief is task with new orders to contain a small town in the throes of an outbreak.

Next up is Drexl, ughhhh Drexl….a deceitful, despicable, scumbag! You seriously can not stand this sham of a man. No jittery nerves shake him up after he opens his threatening email, he’s too damn arrogant and ignorant to take anything seriously.
His story is called Feral ~ about a deceitful despicable scumbag of a man, still living off rich daddy’s dime. Bored but with a purpose; to chart the nature vs nurture of babies left in the charge of wild wolves.

And lastly, thrust into this cutthroat competition, we meet Simon, who is struggling in life and finances. He only just recently discovered he has a gift for writing. He seems like an all around nice bloke.
He offers up Summoned ~ I don’t wanna say too much about this one, only that it’s brutal and upsetting until you find out what’s going on, then you’re like ~ YES!

So…who wins?? Oh the game has only just begun.
Personally, I’d say my favorite story was probably Summoned, so, Simon for champ!!
But honestly, all but Drexl seemed like nice decent folk, he is the only one I wanted to die Die DIE a horrible death, twice.
And all the stories were really good too, yes…even *cough-cough* Drexl’s.
You’ll have to read and decide for yourself who the winner should be.

You literally had no earthly idea what was gonna happen next, it took a lot of twisty turns, was completely unpredictable, and what a shocker of an ending…..!!

But now, come on guys, J.C., Kevin…fess up, this is an autobiographical tale, ain’t it??
And big props changing it to a female antagonist…clever.
Yes, clever indeed. 😉

I’ve been a fan of Kevin for a while now, since reading his amazing The Tale of Sawney Bean and his two holiday themed anthologies (Xmas and then Easter) from the past year that he put together and contributed to.
He’s a captivating writer, really draws you into his world.
So far, I’ve only read two short stories by J.C. (in the above antho’s), I’ve searched him out and noticed he has a highly rated book that came out a few years ago called Discordia, about a rave, a new drug, and all the chaos that ensues. That sounds awesome and will most likely be my next read from him….well, unless this devious duo come out with a new one, that is.

Because YES, they definitely should write together again, their differing styles complimented each other nicely. You Only Get One Shot was very well written, intense and intriguing, with interesting characters, you can’t ask for much more than that! Except…I did wish it was a bit longer, they easily could have gone another 30 pages or so of pure non-padded storyline.
There were two parts in particular I wished were fleshed out a bit more, you’ll know them when you get there. Not a big deal at all and it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment or anything BUT for their next book, well….I’m devising a little game.
Entry is mandytory, noncompliance is…. * cue maniacal laughter *
HAHAHA Cheers guys!! 😀

 

You can buy the book here:

Getting personal with Collette Metcalf

The first thing I should tell you about this amazing lady is that she writes under the pen name Sam West. Her husband has been the face of Sam West for years. She recently decided to tell her secret and we couldn’t be more thrilled that she did! I’m sure that is a scary place to be and wonder if everything you have built will crash. She has been supported through this by all of the amazing horror authors and fans. If you haven’t read anything by her you are missing out on an experience. Her books are extreme horror and full of blood, guts and gore just the way we love them. Please get one of her books and read and review it and support this amazing woman! So proud of her and what amazing talent she has. Please welcome Collette Metcalf to Roadie Notes ……..

 

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

Young. I can’t remember not loving writing.

2. How many books have you written?
Twenty-three novels and novellas under Sam West with lots more coming. Plus countless short stories over the years, some published, some not.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

Child cruelty. Even I have my hard limits. Although many brilliant authors have tackled such a harrowing subject with grace and compassion, I feel my writing style is entirely inappropriate for such a delicate subject. Like the best kind of horror movies, I write to entertain, with my (metaphorical) balls to the wall. I am all about the gore and sex with a side-helping of black humor.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I am old. Older than time. I drink the blood of virgins to keep young and vital. (39 and 14months.) My husband used to be ‘the face’ of Sam West, so you know what a handsome dude he is. I have also produced one child. She’s lovely, and erupted out of my stomach five years ago in true alien style. Writing is my fulltime job.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

Hands down, ‘Djinn’. It’s the book that helped make my name as an extreme horror writer and I’ll always be grateful to it. Personally, I think it’s the darkest, and funniest thing I’ve written. A whole lotta love went into that book.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I grew up on a diet of Shaun Hutson, Richard Laymon and Edward Lee. I love those guys. I’m buggered if I know why I love horror so much. I always have, and I always will.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

Play with dead bodies… Either that or hang out with my family and spend too much time gossiping with girlfriends. My daughter’s levity is hilarious; humans are so special when their brains aren’t yet fully formed. I read a lot, watch horror movies, go for a swim, go for a walk… You know, the usual stuff. I’m also a secret perfumista, or ‘fume-head’. I spend far too much time reading about perfumes online, it’s my ‘thing’. Plus perfume covers up the smell of the dead bodies I keep sitting around the kitchen table, in my bed, etc…

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

Cry with relief, usually. Then stagger outside into the daylight, hissing “my eyes doth burn.”

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

I write in the bedroom, at my desk. Mainly, I like total quiet, but now and then, if I get a dose of writer’s block, I’ll stick on some music to unclog the old brain-drain. Marilyn Manson, Depeche Mode or Joy Division usually do the trick. I am most partial to industrial metal, electro-pop, and alternative rock.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

In some ways, I wish I could ‘tone it down’. But I can’t, so I guess that’s that.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

My dream is to live in the Maldives, in one of those over-water bungalows as I churn out my books. Alas, this is not to be.

12. Pets?

No. I have enough problems looking after a child.

13. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Everything. I live and breathe writing. It’s how I make sense of my emotions and the world around me. I also like the freedom it gives me to set my own working hours.

14. What is coming next for you?

There are a couple of anthologies in the pipeline, which I’m incredibly excited about. And I’m always working on my latest book.

 

You can connect with Collette Metcalf here: 
http://amzn.to/2tIXJgD

 

Some of Collette Metcalf’s books: 

 

Getting personal with Robert Smith

I’m going to start this interview off a little differently. This is a short blurb from Robert Smith’s new book coming out in October. The book is called What Lies Within.  please enjoy……

This is a story about; duty, revenge, murder, and horror.

The system failed Tyler McDermitt. He and his brother have vowed to protect unfortunate youth from a similar fate—or at least make those responsible, pay.

The McDermitt brothers, victims of child abuse and molestation, escaped their hell and have decided to clean up after the failings of a flawed justice system.

The rough streets of Dorchester, South Boston, have hardened two aspiring vigilantes and prepared them for a mission. Their mission will not be easy.

One brother has a good heart, a conscience, and a burning compassion. His twisted sense of morality has burdened him with a deep sense of responsibility. Responsibility, that he first took for his brother, is now compelling him on a grander level.

The other brother is as hard as nails and as cold as ice. He is hell-bent on revenge and aims to ensure the other stays the course.

A motivated young detective is on their scent; she and her veteran partner look to foil McDermitt brothers’ plan.

Something from the boys’ past—something dark—is also closing in.

Please help me welcome Robert Smith to Roadie Notes…….

 

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
​Most of my early expressions were visual. I spent most of my life focused on visual art; drawings and paintings. Like most, I wrote creative pieces for school, but nothing more until 2014. While on vacation, I began writing a short story. I acted on an idea that had been swimming in my head for a few days. I wanted to flesh it out. I had a blast—really enjoyed it. Immediately after I finished the short (Breakfast is Severed), I started on a follow-up novel (Society for Supper).

2. How many books have you written?
​I’ve written two novels (working on third) and about twenty shorts (varying lengths and formats).

3. Anything you won’t write about?
​Hell no. I’d love to try some other subject areas. In fact, I have a ton of story ideas jotted down. Different genres.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
​I’m 49. I have a beautiful wife who I fell in love with in high school. We married twenty-seven years ago (very young), and had two beautiful girls (beauty due entirely to their mother).
I manage a team of IT Forensic Analysts supporting investigations. I’ve worked my entire career in IT, and shifted to IT Security about seven years ago.
​I love to work around the house, and on my old Jeep TJ, Lucy (Lucy, because her front end was so damn loose when I got her)

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
​What Lies Within (so far), but I’m diggin’ What Lies Beneath more and more as I go.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
​I’ve always loved to read but I cannot say reading inspired me to write—until after I wrote my first story. Now, I read scenes that are written so beautifully, I’m inspired to better my own writing. I love (and am inspired by) Stephen King, Dean Koontz, to name a few.
I draw inspiration from ideas that percolate in my head, usually as I’m trying to fall asleep. I curse knowing I’ll forget them, and then get up to jot them down. Sometimes I’ll be in and out of bed a half-dozen times.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
​Hang out with my three girls, write, read, golf, run.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
​Some bubbly. The same champagne my wife and I have used to celebrate since our first weekend away together (Henkell Trocken). It’s been the go-to for all our traditions.

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
​Computer desk in the bedroom. I prefer quiet but like to have a fan running (for white noise and for the breeze).

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
​Writing has been a real journey for me. I‘ve experimented with different techniques (free flow vs plotting), different formats and lengths (poetry/flash/short/novel), I’m enjoying the voyage and wouldn’t change a thing. I’m learning as I go and believe I’m getting better each step of the way.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
​My writing dream (I’m sure is like most) would be to write a novel that receives critical acclaim and immense popularity.
​My day-to-day dream is to win the lottery so I can write fulltime.

12. Where do you live?
​Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, but my family moved around quite a bit. We ended up back in Prince Edward Island in time for high school, and so I could meet the woman of my dreams.
​Now we live in Constance Bay, Ontario, just outside Ottawa.

13. Pets?
​I have a Tibetan Terrier named Cheeky-Monkey. She adores my wife and tolerates me well enough. She’s great.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
​Getting lost in the story. It’s even better than reading a great story. Being caught-up in the excitement, becoming the characters while having some control over the outcome, is a thrill.

15. What is coming next for you?
​I’m currently writing a follow-up to What Lies Within (What Lies Beneath). Tyler is in for some fun in this one.

Anything else you would like me to include please feel free to tell me!
I really enjoy bacon 😉

You can connect with Robert Smith here: 
http://www.robertsmiththrillers.ca
https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Smith/e/B06ZZBCC9Y
https://www.facebook.com/Robert.Smith.Thrillers/

 

Some of Robert Smith’s books: 

 

Getting personal with Richard Alan Long

Richard Alan Long is a very kind man. He has a great sense of humor and always seems happy. He is a family man with twin girls. I can’t imagine how he gets any writing done. I can tell you he adores his family and loves to talk about them. He is passionate about his writing and wants to make sure his books are as perfect as they can be before he releases them. If you haven’t read his stories please pick one up and don’t forget to leave a review. Make sure to say hello to him and send him a friend request. Please help me welcome Richard Alan Long to Roadie Notes…….

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

I was always writing stories as far back as I can remember. When I was a kid it was these crappy comic strips based on the ‘Garbage Pail Kids’ which I was obsessed with. I’d draw them with marker pens and crayons. I wrote a whole series based on the characters. As a kid I obviously didn’t know the movie was considered the worst movie ever made, me and my friends thought it was awesome. We’d trade the cards at school which probably lead to me being a completest later in life.
As I got older I’d write stories. Always had a good imagination. Although my teachers at school said I was a daydreamer. One day I wrote a poem. Teachers didn’t believe it was me. Kids came up and said ‘no way did you write that poem’ It got put in the school newspaper and I’d still get kids coming up stamping a finger into my chest saying ‘You didn’t write that!’ But I was always creative. I am an only child and like most only children I spent a lot of time alone, creating worlds with toys and drawings.

2. How many books have you written?
Two novels, three novellas, fourteen plays, about sixteen short stories and hundreds of poems…getting them where they need to be is another story. Some are published and some I doubt will ever see the light of day but I like to look back over the old ones to see how much I’ve developed as a writer.

3. Anything you won’t write about?
Not interested in torture porn and gore just for the sake of it. It has to fit in with the story. Story is number one for me. I like to go on a journey with characters. I don’t like books where characters are merely created just to be killed off in outlandish ways. That gets boring for me very quickly.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I am married with two kids. Besides writing I’ve worked a spectrum of jobs. Mostly retail and hospitality. It gave me some great characters. At the moment though, being a stay at home dad and writer is the best job I could ask for.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
I quite like ‘Words Apart’ I wrote it when I was young and it has a young person’s conviction and determination. I did a play over ten years ago. I wrote it, a mate directed it and some friends acted in it. It was a great time. Rehearsing and performing. We did it purely for the love of it. I remember all the plays in my region at the time were either comedies or Shakespeare and I wrote this play that was like a Stephen King book if David Lynch had directed it with the budget of a Troma movie. It was great working with such dedicated people, many I’m still friends with.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I think I was inspired by being told I couldn’t do it. School had told me I was better off leaving, my grades were awful and I felt completely useless and the education system reinforced that. If you segregate kids and tell them they are the bottom class, that the most they can ever achieve is a E grade then unfortunately at a young age you start to believe you are worthless. I remember one teacher used to shout at me as I walked into to school ‘Not be long before you can sign on the dole.’ So it made me think, especially at a young age that I was a failure and I was stupid. But the best advice I got was the school telling me to leave and go to college. I went to college and it was a joy. The lecturers knew how to nurture talent and get the best out of students. They made you feel like you mattered.
In terms of writing and inspiration it came from a few different writers.
The first book to truly inspire me to want to write was ‘Salem’s Lot’ by Stephen King. It is beautifully written. It is scary. I remember reading it late at night and I felt right there with Ben Mears when he’s exploring the Marsten house. It’s still to this day my favorite book.
At college I started writing and studying plays and I was very inspired by Harold Pinter. I still am. He inspired me to write better dialogue. I love his plays. Everything appears normal and English but there is an oddness to it all.
Off the top of my head some writers or books that made a massive difference and inspired me where ‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins. Collins had such a way of capturing human emotion. ‘Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger is another book I found inspirational. I read it and I was blown away. It is sublime. I think I read it in two sittings. Also I must mention William S Burroughs. I have read most of his books and I think he was a genius. So yeah I was a kid that got told I was thick and useless but I was reading William S. Burroughs and Wilkie Collins for fun without realizing I was actually self-educating myself.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
When not writing and not looking after my family I enjoy playing Nintendo. I am a massive fan of the Legend of Zelda. Have been since day one when I used to play it with my late father. I’m a bit of a geek for Italian horror cinema but don’t get much chance to have Dario Argento marathons anymore with my kids in the house.
Obviously I read. Loving Richard Chizmar’s work at the minute.
I also and this is very rock n roll, but I have a favorite chair in my garden and I love a cup of tea on an evening and get the chance to just to sit and stop everything. To take a moment to think about my late parents, to remember the good times and too think about my friends. My dad passed away just over a year ago and the end was tough. It’s nice to just take a moment and remember the good moments we shared.
On a lighter note I love a Monday night when the family goes to bed and I relax and watch the new Twin Peaks. David Lynch is my favorite director. The guy is a legend. I like music too, don’t go to gigs as much anymore. I’m still old school. Still buy my music on CD’s.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
None. I just think…fuck me this is going to take some editing.

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I generally write to music. Rock music or soundtracks. But when I’m second drafting or working over a scene I prefer silence.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Not getting kicked out of school and being told I was a failure from every educational body at a young age might have helped. It took years for to meet people who had confidence in me and my writing. Advice for any writer. Find someone who believes in you. My wife has been a rock of support for me.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
Don’t really think much in those terms. All I want is to make a living at it and hope I can entertain people. Everything else is a welcome bonus.

13. Pets?
It’s a tough one. One of my daughters is terrified of dogs, cats, Kermit the Frog and anything that moves. Yet my other child is like Steve Irwin, grabbing any bug or slug and holding them close and saying ‘Hello cutie pie’ My wife wants a dog but I’m still undecided.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Freedom. Freedom to just get lost in a story. That all its about at the end of the day. I suppose it’s not even about getting published. It’s a therapy. Some people take drugs, others drink. I write.

15. What is coming next for you?
Preparing to release a novella ‘About A Witch’. I’ve got a few short stories due out too with different publishers. and then hopefully once they’ve done the rounds I’ll have a deal for a novel on the table. Also I’ve never collaborated with another writer before so hoping to work with someone soon.  ‘About a Witch’ is out soon as well as my work with Hellbound Books Publishing LLC 

 

You can connect with Richard Alan Long here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth?_encoding=UTF8&author=Richard%20Alan%20Long&searchAlias=digital-text&asin=B00AKU2RS8

 

 

 

Some of Richard Alan Long’s books: