Getting personal with S.C. Burke

“  I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, but was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had a youth shrouded in perpetual 80s themes, cartoons, toys, comic books, and most importantly- film. I studied film well into my 20’s, hoping to have a career writing or directing. However, my attention kept fall to writing, mainly experimental prose, something that slowly seeped into everything I did. So, it was then that I decided to devote myself entirely to the art of words.  This was the birth of NihilismRevised – an independent literary collective of underground writers, all coming together to create books in basements, then distributing our labors at live readings and street corners. After several years, the collective went their own ways in life, and I decided to take NihilismRevised out to the world to see if we could publish collectively on the world’s platform.”
Please welcome SC Burke to Roadie Notes………
 
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I feel like I’ve been creating stories my whole life – but I distinctly remember around age 10, I set out to create a comic-book character – by the name of Milton – and the first thing I would do before drawing the panels was create a small plot for each adventure. I’m pretty sure the inspiration was Bart Simpson, as all I ever did with the character of Miltonwe’re acts of deviance. He was nothing more than a social misfit.
2. How many books have you written?
Officially, I have 2 book lurking amongst us. Most recently The Weird: A Strange Novella, and id Cancer, both being transgressive/experimental stories.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
Ultimately, no. Absolutely not. There are no limitations in the art we create – it’s why we do what we do. Though, I tend to find anything that spreads the ignorance and idiocy of hatred to be incredibly disposable – like a human without a soul, it has no point or place.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I am 32 years old. Not married, though I can safely say my soul is spoken for. One child, my son: Vincent Hadrian. I do art/design, as well as directing the publishing label NihilismRevised with my partner-in-crime Zak A. Ferguson.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
As far as favorites for my own personal works, I’d have to say the favorite lies with a book called 1985: A Neon-Drenched Novel. I have yet to publish the book at this point, though it is currently my main focus, and I’m hoping to have it out in 2018. The story is without a doubt my most personaland precious piece.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
While inspiration is something I take from almost anywhere and everywhere, there are two that have impacted my psyche with an imprint that’ll never disappear. The first being the book Helter Sketler, a true-crime novel documenting the Manson family murders. I went through a phase in my youth where reading was the last thing I wanted to be doing, and it was reflecting. So, I spent about 3 hours in a Barnes and Noble bookstore, browsing, my mom surging with stress to the point it was tearing up in her eyes. Once the struggle was over, I read the book for an English class report. The paper had received a great grade – an A, though it also earned me a suspension from school, due to its content. This moment taught me the power of words, and even more the power of fear towards intellectualized horrors. The second biggest influence comes in the form of William S. Burroughs, a writer that will never stop educating. This is where I learned there are no limitations to art or creativity – the literary structure, like any other, is meant to be torn down and rebuilt upon. And most importantly – “Exterminate all rational thought.”
7. What do you like to do for fun?
Sex. Film. Music. In no particular order. Just as long as they’re constant while not in the throes of creating and living like a regular human-being.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

 

Smoke something sweet and serenading to the soul, while listening to Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures and Closer albums back-to-back. Always.
9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
I’ve grown used to writing anywhere I can set up my laptop and just GO. Though I am absolutely incapable of writing in the presence of others. It’s something I must do entirely alone. Music is always key as well – practically required. I can only listen to instrumental tunes, as I find voices and vocals to be rather intrusive.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Absolutely everything, always. Writing is a never-ending process of evolution – of the mind, the soul, and existence as an artist. I think it’s safe to say all writers live in pursuit of that one perfect sentence.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I don’t really think it’s my position to dream in the face of fame. I’m not that big, nor will I ever care about anything that it comes with. As a kid, it was my dream to be big enough to make art that affects the soul absolutely – it’s a dream I’ll die without achieving, and that’s profoundly perfect, as nobody should ever truly achieve their dreams. Without them, what is the point of existence?
12. Where do you live?

 Salt Lake City, Utah is where I currently call home.

13. Pets?
My friend Krieger. A miniature pincher.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Society and the human-psyche, or the lack of. Documenting decadence and degradation. Our existence in the Cosmos, amongst the Stars and the Universe.
15. What is coming next for you?
Firstly, I am working alongside a full line-up of insanely talented writers to make an anthology called Strange Behaviors: An Anthology of Absolute Luridity. After that, I am hoping to settle all loose ends on the aforementioned book 1985: A Neon-Drenched Novel, and get it released to the world.
16. Where do you get your ideas?
Waiting. Watching. Being an audience member to this fucked-up wonder we call Earth.

 

You can connect with SC Burke here:

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

 

 

 

Some of SC Burke’s books:

 

Getting even more personal with Jason Parent

One thing I love to do is to go back and talk to the amazing authors I have interviewed in the past. I get to see what they have been doing and what new books they have out now. I am honored to get to read for so many incredibly talented people. Jason Parent is one of these writers that I love to read. His books are superb and his plot and characters are always on point. To say he it talented is putting it mildly. His winning combination of smart, funny and charming makes him one of the best in my world. His latest release of They Feed is just another notch in his belt of proving me right. He is one to watch. He is going places. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. With a demanding day job and finding time to write I don’t know how he does it all. I have nothing but love and respect for him. If you haven’t tried any of his books please do so immediately.

 

Please welcome Jason Parent back to Roadie Notes……..

 

1. It’s been awhile since we talked what new books do you have out now? Latest release?

My latest novel, They Feed, just came out from Sinister Grin. It’s pure, old-school horror, a creature feature mixed with slasher-flick tendencies. I hope it’s as much fun to read as it was to write.

 

2. If you could pick any author alive or dead to have lunch with who would it be? Why?

I’d like to pick fantasy author Michael Sullivan’s brain. In addition to writing good books, he knows how to engage fans, market appropriately, and just be a class act all around. Though, he answers fan questions on Goodreads, and I might be able to do it there… hmmm… I’m changing my answer to any author who drinks.

So yeah, just about all of them.

 

 

3. What is the strangest thing a fan has ever done?

 

The real question you should be asking is: what’s the strangest thing I’ve ever done to (or with) a fan?

Yeah, my life’s not that exciting.

 

 

4. What is the one thing you dread to do when writing?

 

Fall asleep. I write. On paper. In the bathtub.

 

5. Did you have imaginary friends growing up? Tell me about them

You want to hear something sad? I remember next to nothing about my childhood. I don’t think I had an imaginary friend, but I did have a blanky.

 

 

6. Do you go to conventions? If not why?

 

Yep, I go to conventions. Usually, they come in spurts. I’ll do three, then none for half a year. And I’ve never done one alone.

 

 

7. How many times did you have to submit your first story before it was accepted?

 

My first novel (published later, after many revisions): to just about every agent out there. My first published novel: once.

8. Ever consider not writing? If so what made you continue?

 

I don’t think I would stop writing, though the day job is doing its best to keep me from it right now. I have considered not publishing. We all have ups and downs, good days and bad days, and we’ve all taken hits in this business. It’s a rollercoaster for sure, but deep down I never want the ride to end.

 

 

9. Ever thought about writing in a different category?

 

Yep, and I have. Seeing Evil and A Life Removed are both crime thrillers (with elements of horror) and People of the Sun is a science fiction thriller.

 

 

10. Any new additions to the family? 

 

Nope, I’m an army of one. Think I may get a dog or a cat or both (or a sloth, if you can own one) soon.

 

 

11. What is coming up next for you?

 

They Feed just hit stores on April 15, so I will be promoting that for a bit. I also have two sequels of other titles coming out this year, Hearing Evil and Victoria (sequel to What Hides Within). I should also have one or two or three short stories coming out as well. But after that, I suspect things may slow down a bit.

 

12. Do you do release parties? Do you think they work? 

 

I have done release parties. I also hosted an event for others. They can be effective, if done right. I would have liked to have done something for They Feed, but I just haven’t had time to prepare it.

 

 

13. Do you have crazy stalker fans? Have you ever had one you wish would go away?

 

Yes, and yes. But just the one, and she did go away. Well, just the one that I know of…

 

14. Do you still have a “day job” ? If so what do you do? 

 

Ready to be bored? I am the manager of a team that primarily negotiates IT contracts for a corporation you probably know well. I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal.

That was a joke. And also a quote from Anchorman.

 

 

15.  What is your process for writing? Do you have a voice in your head?

 

I don’t have much of a process these days. I need quiet or restaurant background noise. When I really get going, I lose track of time, living in my head and in the story until something jars me out of it.

 

 

16. Is there a book you want to make a sequel to you haven’t yet?

 

I’ve been toying with the idea of a sequel to Where Wolves Run. And I will definitely write a third book with Sam and Michael, my characters from Seeing Evil. If people like They Feed and want more, then I’d be happy to provide it to them.

 

You can connect with Jason Parent here: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jason-Parent/e/B008XMAMBY

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

Twitter: @AuthorJasParent

 

Some of Jason Parent books: 

 

Getting even more personal with Jeff Strand

 

Jeff Strand is always a delight to speak with. I love his wit and I’m always giggling. He is a brilliant writer who always has me spellbound when I’m reading his latest novel. He has also been the host for the Bram Stoker Awards for the last 10 years running. His many friends and fans will all tell you what an amazing man and writer he is so if you havent read anything he has written shame on you! Get to it!

 

Please help me welcome Jeff Strand back to Roadie Notes……..

 

1. It’s been awhile since we talked what new books do you have out now? Latest release?

My latest young adult comedy, HOW YOU RUINED MY LIFE, is coming very, very soon as I type this but should be out by the time this interview is posted. Earlier this year I published the “home invasion with ghosts” horror novel SICK HOUSE.

2. If you could pick any author alive or dead to have lunch with who would it be? Why?

Is the author still dead while we’re having lunch? Because my choice is Douglas Adams, but that doesn’t mean I want to have lunch with him if he’s deceased and untalkative. Assuming he’s come back to life and isn’t too annoyed about his demise, I’d want to have lunch with him because the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books were a huge influence on my own writing and I think it would be fascinating to listen to him.

3. What is the strangest thing a fan has ever done?

Went around to all of my old hang-outs from when I attended Bowling Green State University. Took pictures of herself in front of them…dressed as me, with a wig, fake mustache/goatee, etc. (To clarify: this was for an online article, posted for public viewing, and not something she sent to me in creepy private messages.)

4. What is the one thing you dread to do when writing?

I hate writing synopses. Hate it. I hate writing them for books that don’t exist yet, and I hate writing them for books that I’ve already finished. Synopses suck.

5. Did you have imaginary friends growing up? Tell me about them

Nope. I had a vivid imagination but no imaginary friends.

6. Do you go to conventions? If not why?

I love conventions! I’m a regular at StokerCon and Necon, and I was a regular at the World Horror Convention before they stopped having ’em. This year I’m also going to Scares That Care, KillerCon, and Monsterpalooza. For me, they’re a lot of fun. For newer writers, they’re an invaluable way to make contacts; social media is awesome, but it doesn’t compare to hanging out with authors/editors/agents face-to-face.

7. How many times did you have to submit your first story before it was accepted?

Just once.

Of course, that answer is completely misleading. I racked up hundreds of rejections before anything got accepted. But I was very prolific and tended to take things out of circulation pretty quickly, so no individual short story ever got rejected by more than a couple of markets.

8. Ever consider not writing? If so what made you continue?

Never. I don’t know what I’d do with my life!

9. Ever thought about writing in a different category?

Oh, yeah. I love writing horror, but I also love writing non-horror stuff like KUMQUAT. There are plenty of other genres I’d love to tackle. I’d write the hell out of an epic fantasy.

10. Any new additions to the family?

Nope. My cat Chaos has been with us for three years now.

11. What is coming up next for you?

My novella COLD DEAD HANDS will finally be out very soon, at least in e-book form. And then a very, very dark novel called BRING HER BACK.

12. Do you do release parties? Do you think they work?

They certainly don’t HURT, but I’ve rarely done them. I did one for PRESSURE because it was my first mass market release, and I did one for BLISTER because I wanted to do an event at the Wordier Than Thou bookstore in St. Petersburg, Florida. For the most part, I do a lot of promotion when I’ve got a new book but not an actual release party.

13. Do you have crazy stalker fans? Have you ever had one you wish would go away?
Considering the weird-ass stuff that I write, I have remarkably little in the way of crazy stalker fans.

14. Do you still have a “day job”? If so what do you do?

I did boring insurance stuff for eighteen years, but now I write full-time.

15. What is your process for writing? Do you have a voice in your head?

Yes, I “hear” the book as I’m writing it. My process involves a lot of revision as I go; I’m definitely NOT one of those writers who believes in just getting the first draft out and worrying about fixing it later. By the time I type “The End” the book is usually in 99.9% of its finished form, at least until the editor gets a hold of it.

16. Is there a book you want to make a sequel to you haven’t yet?

I’ve played around with sequel ideas for various books, and even started writing some of them, but it’s usually difficult for me to get truly excited about a follow-up. I do have an idea for a “companion piece” to DWELLER that would take place during the same timeframe, but I make absolutely no promises that it will ever happen. There will definitely be a fifth Andrew Mayhem novel and a WOLF HUNT 3, but I’m not sure there will be any other sequels.

 

You can connect with Jeff Strand here:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Strand/e/B001K8D3F0

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

Twitter: @JeffStrand

Website: https://jeffstrand.wordpress.com/

 

Some of Jeff Strand’s books: 

 

Getting personal with Ben Jones aka: Benedict J Jones

Benedict J Jones is a writer of crime, horror and western fiction from south-east London.

His debut novel “Pennies for Charon” has been described as a “masterful mix of crime and the occult…”.

His work has appeared in magazines such as One Eye Grey, Pen Pusher, Out of the Gutter and Encounters, on a variety of websites including Big Pulp and Shotgun Honey and in anthologies from Dark Minds Press, Crystal Lake Publishing, Full Dark City Press and Dog Horn Publishing.

 

Please welcome Ben Jones to Roadie Notes……. 

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
That’s hard to say. I wrote a lot as a child and then even more when I left school and college but I rarely sent anything out and very few of them have survived. The first story I had published was a horror short about cannibals attacking a tube train called “Goin’ Underground” and that was published in a ‘zine called One Eye Grey in 2008.

2. How many books have you written?
Five with just my name on the cover. Skewered and Other London Cruelties (a novella and ten shorts) which introduced my recurring character Charlie Bars, Pennies for Charon (the first Charlie Bars novel), The Devil’s Brew which followed on from Pennies, Slaughter Beach (a splatter-punk novella and ode to 80s video nasties) and Ride the Dark Country (which collected some of my weird westerns).

3. Anything you won’t write about?
Not if there’s a story in it. I think writing is a great way of discussing social taboos. I can see why readers might not want to read about certain things but I believe a writer should be able to write about anything. Like a lot of things it is all about how you do it rather than what you are doing. I tend to write about the darker parts of human nature and while I would write about anything I would try not to glorify or glamorize it.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
No problem at all. I’m thirty seven and from south-east London. Not married but I live with my partner. I have a little girl from a previous relationship that I see a lot of. I work for a University providing distance learning to students all around the world.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
Oh, that is a difficult question! There are elements to them all that I really enjoyed. The one that gave me the most enjoyment to write was probably “Slaughter Beach” but I think the one that I think is the best might be “Pennies for Charon”. Although the extended climax of “The Devil’s Brew” came out exactly as I had imagined it and remains a favorite as well. Ask me again next week and it will probably have changed.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
Quite a few different things and people really. I have always loved to tell stories in one format or another. The early writers who inspired me were people like Robert Westall, Arthur Conan Doyle, James Clavell, and Stephen King. I had a real epiphany around the millennium when I read the works of Clive Barker and Chester Himes which made me actually write things myself.

One of my sisters, Geraldine, was a huge inspiration to me. She typed up a lot of those early stories that never saw publication and without that, and the feedback she gave me, I’m not sure I would have kept going with it.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
All sorts really – reading and writing (obviously), cinema and film, cooking, socializing. I really like travelling as well and seeing as much of the world as I can. Exotic locales rarely feature in my work at present but I am working on a few things.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Usually I’ll try and start another story and not be able to get into it. It usually takes a couple of tries to “freshen my palette” and start on a new work after completing a long piece. But no, nothing really – not like the Paul Sheldon character at the start of Misery.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
Usually at the kitchen table with the radio on. I like having something going on in the background, it seems to help me concentrate.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I’d like to get more finished and not worry so much about things not being exactly perfect – I’d be more productive that way. But no, on the whole I’m just happy to be doing things in my own style.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
Maybe once, maybe still, but I think aiming to be happy is more fulfilling.

12. Where do you live?

These days I live in west London rather than the south-east. A different place to that which initially inspired me but I absolutely love it.

13. Pets?

No, although I have vague memories of an aged spring spaniel, Jamie, that we had when I was born. One day maybe but city living isn’t really conducive to giving a pet a good life (unless it’s a goldfish or something) if you’re working. Maybe one day…

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

It’s probably a combination of research and world building. I also like to take the reader to places that unsettle them, to reveal things about the world – both real and imagined that may be far outside their own comfort zones.

15. What is coming next for you?

Well, I’m just redrafting the third Charlie Bars novel – a potent mix of politics, crime and secrets from out of the past. I’m hoping to get a joint weird western novella finished that I’ve been working on (for far too long) with my good friend Anthony Watson. There’s a World War two horror novella and some shorts that will hopefully be out in 2018 as well.

 

You can connect with Ben Jones here: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Benedict-J.-Jones/e/B00BAI8QBQ

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

 

Some of Ben Jones’ books: 

Isobel Blackthorn takes over Roadie Notes

One of the things I love is finding out where the ideas for the stories we read come from. Some are real places, some dark dreams but most are from the incredible creative minds of my writer friends! What follows is Isobel Blackthorn telling us all about her newest book, it is one you want to read! The link to purchase this awesome book is following her telling of how it all started……

 

The Making of The Legacy of Old Gran Parks

Stories come from mysterious places, and are often a combination of a number of factors and ideas that come together and form a synergy. Sometimes the story behind the story is special and worth telling in its own right. I think the story behind The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is one of those.

The idea to write a novel set in a remote town in Australia’s south-eastern corner occurred to me over and again every time I stopped on my regular journey up and down the Princes Highway, a road that tracks all the way around the coast of Australia. That southern-eastern section of highway runs between Melbourne and Sydney and takes in rolling green pastures, mountains and dense forests, rivers and an exquisite and pristine coastline. It’s wild, largely untameable, and was passed over by the colonialists in favour of more accessible locales such as Port Phillip and Botany Bay. I’ve had family connections to that wilderness area since the mid-1970s when my grandmother settled in the small country town of Cobargo, New South Wales.

Back in 2014, I moved from the forested outskirts of east Melbourne and returned to live near Cobargo. It was the fifth time I’d lived there. I bought a cottage and planned picking up the pieces of my life after five years away.

My daughters were living back in Melbourne and every few months I’d make the ten-hour coach trip to visit them.

The coach stops for half an hour in a town called Cann River, a tiny town situated midway along a stretch of the Princes Highway that wends its way through two-hundred miles of forest. Cann River lies on the edge of a UNESCO biosphere reserve, but I didn’t know that then. All I knew was I felt travel weary and happy to get off the coach and stretch my legs.

I had my routine. The coach pulled up in the roadhouse car park at a crossroads in the centre of the town. Across the road was the hotel. I would head off across the highway to use the facilities in the local park. I’d noticed the small church tucked on the corner of another street, go back across the highway to the bakery for a pie, and stroll back to the coach where I would stand and survey my surroundings.

Gum trees towered all around. The road heading inland went straight into the mountainous wilderness. There was nothing much out there for a hundred miles and I was told the road was treacherous, the forest full of deer. I hadn’t a clue what secrets lurked down the road to the south. It turned into a dirt road and disappeared into the bush. I knew the ocean was out there somewhere, but I had no idea how far or even exactly where. Somehow, in Cann, I lost my sense of direction.

Every time I stood at that crossroads I thought the place would make the perfect setting for a thriller. I could smell death in the air. Although that probably had a lot to do with the music I listened to every single trip I made. To while away the hours travelling that lonely stretch of highway, I played Nick Cave’s ‘Murder Ballads’. I would play it twice. It put me in a gritty mood.

My life didn’t work out in New South Wales and after two years, I moved back to Melbourne. I didn’t give Cann River another thought. Then in early 2017, a former neighbour who’d moved to Cann made a comment on Facebook that went along the lines of, ‘Isobel, you should write a novel set here.’ Something went click and I messaged her and told her I would do it.

Cassarndra Skarratt, who could well be a name to look out for when she finally has a chance to learn the craft and put pen to paper herself, was bursting with ideas and suggestions. She told me all about the local environment. She sent me photos of key areas I’d never heard of, like Tamboon inlet and Point Hicks lighthouse. She told me she’d field dressed a deer. I asked for a full description. She kept bees. She has a market stall. She knows how to fish. Above all, it was her devilish and infectious sense of humour that merged with mine and we had a hilarious time developing the characters as a result.

Others were involved in the novel’s creation. My daughter, Liz Blackthorn gave shape to the male characters in the story in her typically astute and conceptual fashion; and my mother, Margaret Rodgers, was my sounding board when it came to developing a plot. Margaret is a former police officer who has lived in the region for over forty years. She’s also an avid reader of thrillers. She was the perfect litmus paper.

With these three powerful women invested in the work, I wrote and wrote. Each day I became a different one of the four protagonists: Miriam, Frankie, Pearl and Emily. I wrote in first person and became each one in turn. Never had a story been easier to write and I loved every minute of its composition.

For a long time the work had no title. It was just my ‘Cann River book’. Then another character emerged with the help of Cassarndra and Margaret, one that had been haunting the story all along, and once she appeared I had the title. She was Gran Parks, and she had left a legacy.

I kept Cassarndra in the dark for a few months as I wrote the first and second drafts. I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. When I finally let her read the results of her huge contribution to the work’s genesis, I was nervous as hell. What if the plot didn’t work? What if I’d captured the setting all wrong, or the vibe was off kilter somehow? What if she simply didn’t like it?

Days later she gave me her feedback. She was blown away. She later told me she read that draft five times. In her imagination, I’d managed to install Miriam, Frankie, Pearl and Emily in Cann River, and she was seeing those women everywhere she went. I thought if she’s the only person who ever reads my book, it will be worth it just to have given her so much pleasure. She made some crucial suggestions too, ones that demonstrated to me a deep engagement with the story and hinted at her own creative potential.

We now argue over who is going to write the sequel.

My gratitude to Cassarndra is boundless. To Margaret and Liz as well. There is something that binds us four women, and I have a sneaking suspicion it’s the spirit of Gran Parks.

 

Getting personal with Xtina Marie

Xtina Marie is an avid horror and fiction genre reader, who became a blogger; who became a published poet; who became an editor; who now is a podcaster and an aspiring novelist—and why not? People love her words. Her first book of poetry: Dark Musings has received outstanding reviews. It is likely she was born to this calling. Writing elaborate twisted tales, to entertain her classmates in middle school, would later lead Xtina to use her poetry writing as a private emotional outlet in adult life—words she was hesitant to share publicly—but the more she shared; the more accolades her writing received. She is also someone you will absolutely adore. Someone near and dear to my heart!

 

Please help me welcome Xtina Marie to Roadie Notes……

 

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

I was around 12 when I started writing stories. The first one was about twin sisters who shared a connection even in death.

2. How many books have you written?

3 poetry books. Although the 3rd has not yet been released.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

I suppose that would depend on what I was interested in writing about. If it interested me, even if it was controversial, I’d still write it.

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

I am a 43-year-old mother of 2 in a serious relationship. I work as an editor for HellBound Books Publishing, and other various freelance proofreading and editing jobs.

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

This is kinda like asking me what child is my favorite. Wait, no it’s not. I don’t either of my kids. J/K LOL. The poetry books I have written are all very close to my heart, but I think that Dark Musings will always be my baby.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I loved to be scared. Loved scary movies, and all things creepy. When I first started reading, there really weren’t too many scary books that were any good. This was before I discovered Christopher Pike and RL Stine. So, I think that is what inspired me to write. I wanted to write the kind of books I wanted to read.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

Fun? What’s that? I’m too busy for fun! Uh, I love to read, of course.

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

No. But I soooo need to get some! I’m thinking something Hank Moody (Californication) style. Whiskey, weed and Warren Zevon.​

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

Usually on my laptop, so that I can write whenever the mood arises. And it depends on what I am writing. If it’s a story, I can really crank the music and just let the words flow. If It’s poetry, I need silence.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Change? No. Improve up? Always.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

Tropical island with my sweetheart, (mainly because he will not agree to my log cabin in the snowy mountains dream) a fruity cocktail with a colorful umbrella to sip from, and no worries.

12. Pets?

I have an ankle biter named Charlie.

13. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Creating. Making something from nothing.

14. What is coming next for you?

Oh, who knows? I do suffer from whimsy artist syndrome. I fly from one thing to the other (I’ve been told I flutter, LOL) with breakneck speed. I have a romance novel started, and also a horror novel about a succubus in the works.

15. Where do you get your ideas?

That’s a difficult question to answer. And one I asked on the radio show every week. It’s strange what will make an idea pop into my mind. Sometimes the most normal of things. And BAM! An idea for a story or poem. So, sometimes I think, I do not come up with my ideas, I am given them by the universe. Deep, huh? LOL

You can connect with Xtina Marie here: 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/XtinaMarie4031/
Twitter https://twitter.com/Xtina0321?lang=en
Website https://xtinamarie746334456.wordpress.com/
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Xtina-Marie/e/B01E1QNI3O/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1521237441&sr=8-1
Panic Room http://www.panicroomradio.com/

 

 

Some of Xtina Marie’s books:

Getting personal with Luc Vors

Luc Vors is a native Texan with education in Art, Psychology, Biology and Music, and with advanced education in Clinical and Industrial Psychology. He describes himself as “an artist, first, and a scientist, second,” and “obsessed with finding the truly unique.”

“I kind of never stood a chance at being normal,” said Luc, who champions his parents as creative and educated in multiple forms of science, computer engineering and art. “Growing up, I was constantly exposed to creative ways of thinking and seeing things. My father is a computer engineer, known for his inventiveness, and was instrumental in solving several computer programming problems that major industries are still using today. My mother, a potter and a nurse, comes from a long family history of artists and writers… and while they insist that they are boring and mundane, they are both quite weird.”

Growing up, Luc’s parents encouraged him to explore and experiment, whether in science, music, theater or art. As an artist, Luc has applied his talents to a multitude of media, including professional works in photography, graphic design, drawing and painting. And in science, he contributed to academic studies in human consciousness, free will, and creativity theory, furthering the understanding of such hot topics as synchronicity, ecological consciousness, aesthetics, existentialism and the fate versus freewill dichotomy.

Luc is currently working on his books, Tether, and The Prophet, and putting the finishing touches on two board games, Conspiracy and Quadrangles.

 

Please welcome Luc Vors to Roadie Notes……

 

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

Seventh or eighth grade, so around 12. It was about a kid who lost her legs in a car accident and a dolphin just died. They used the lower half of the dolphin to replace her legs and she became some kind of Frankensteinian mermaid.

2. How many books have you written?

Two down, ten to go. So far, that is.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

I doubt it. My goal is to do something incredible for each genre, as well as literary fiction and non-fiction. I’m in the pursuit of the truly unique, so my mind is open. At one point, I thought I’d never write a zombie novel, but all these zombie books that are coming out made my mind wonder. Now I have this badass idea. It’s still a zombie book, but with a major twist.

Twists are an absolute must.

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

Not married, no kids. And, yeah, my age is somewhere between 32 and 56, depending on whether I’ve worked out in the last few days. My current job is complicated. I do a lot of consulting. Business, marketing, people, research. I really enjoy consumer psychology and how people relate to one another.

I’m still a kid, at heart. My indulgence is Legos, usually the Star Wars and Technic kind. I’m a popcorn moviegoer, and a Pitchman. Yes. I’m not ashamed. Anna Kendrick is as beautiful as she is smart and hilarious… and talented, and precious, and unique, and… Well, you get the picture. She’d be my dream date. I’d take her on a mission to have the goofiest date possible.

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

Lord! What a question! Where Sleeping Dogs Lie was really fun and complex. I got to put my creativity to the test. Hopefully, people will see it as unique within it’s genre, and qualify it as a piece of creative literary fiction. It has a lot of research in it about PTSD and the addictions.

Tether, however, was more fulfilling than fun. It was a lot of hard work, and took years just to research. I had to learn everything from Buddhism to quantum physics, to neurophysiology and artificial intelligence, to psychology and art history. Did you know Freud, Carl Jung, Einstein, Salvador Dali, and Picasso all hung out together? What a mix. Art, physics and psychology, all in the same room. When time travel gets invented, that’s where I’m going.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

This is going to sound really cocky and superficial, but bear in mind, I’m a popcorn moviegoer who can’t stop creating and gets bored really fast. The answer is no one inspired me to write, and, here we go, I have a confession to make. I’m not a reader. I don’t have the patience. So the ‘what’ part is really the creative process. I have a huge bucket list when it comes to creativity. I want to have a real art show one day, an album of my music, and write the great American novel. Writing was a strategic decision. I can sink my teeth into it, because of the creative process, and should I truly make it in the industry, it can afford me the time to fulfill the others.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

I’m not kidding when I say I’m a kid. Legos are the shit; I love a good adventure; and finger painting on a big, fat canvas is straight-up cathartic. The big one is off-roading. My Jeep is a bad boy Transformer, on account of it’s rag top, removable doors, and the fact that it’s got the widest range of customizable features than any other vehicle, and goes anywhere. There is nothing like dominating a trail full of rocks and ridges, or going down a ravine with twenty other Jeeps, and of course, splashing around and doing donuts in the mud. See? Kid.

Aside from that, I’m a traveler and a cruiser. I love the beach and the water.

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

Yes! I do as little as possible for several days, vedge out in front of the TV, and return to my friends. And off-roading. I go off-roading.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

I love going to La Madelaine with a pad of paper and my ear buds. When I wrote Tether, I got the opportunity to go to Hawaii for two weeks. Sitting on the beach or in a straw hut restaurant while writing, was a cliché dream come true.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Yes! I’d write faster, and have a larger toolbox of sentence structures. I still feel like I’m painting with only two colors right now, and I will take a creative writing course when things slow down a bit.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

I really do have big dreams. If I had my druthers, I’d have the fame thing, but specifically as an artist of many disciplines.

12. Where do you live?

Texas

13. Pets?

Not right now, but I’m looking.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Creativity, baby. New ideas.

15. What is coming next for you?

I’m hoping to publish the next two within this same year. Tether: On Fate vs. Freewill and The Prophet: On Love. Then it’s off to leaning more about the craft, and getting to know Logic Pro for mixing music.

16. Where do you get your ideas?

The treadmill, on my bike, hitting the pavement, and when I can’t sleep.

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

Yes. Should you decide to read Where Sleeping Dogs Lie, go back to the beginning and see if you don’t find yourself reading it again. I designed it with a very specific purpose in mind, both in terms of introducing a new style of creative writing, and raising awareness about an important topic.

The novel is a murder mystery, which by nature involves violence, but that’s on the surface. The original title was Where Sleeping Dogs Lie: On Addiction. It is actually a commentary on the psychological roots of violence, sex, substance abuse, and what I term, ‘dysfunctional habits of the mind’. How do you spread awareness about the psychological baseness of human nature? How do you get to the cause of what makes this world so fraught with hate? Answer: Find the angst, and create an artistic statement, one that makes sure the audience doesn’t go to sleep. Then, hit them with a deeply philosophical book on the solution. Tether and The Prophet are those next books, and they are decidedly not violent. Please keep that in mind when deciding to read Where Sleeping Dogs Lie. There’s a whole other story going on, both in the construction of the book and its twists, as well as the story’s undercurrent. People diagnosed with PTSD and any addiction will know what this undercurrent is. I’ve already been approached by several who have read it in it’s entirety, and they are either saying they identify with it, personally, or ask me if my intentions were to write such a deep novel. So, I know the message is being seen. It was, in fact, intentional.

There is a way for us to move to the next stage of human evolution. Mass demonstrations of kindness. Want to protest something? Get mass associations of groups to assemble and carry out what you long for, instead of focusing your energies on fighting. Achieving what you want covers both the desired goal and covers the thing you’re protesting against.

Protests are old school. Get that same crowd to make demonstrations of the desired hope. I think we’re on the cusp of that, because people are getting more and more used to charity and getting involved in a cause. We just need to take that next step.

You can connect with Luc Vors here: 

http://www.positive.news
https://www.positive.news/2015/society/18194/positive-approach-social-change/

Here’s a quote:
“A strengths-based approach is not blind optimism or looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses. We don’t ignore problems, or pretend they don’t exist, but see them within a broader context.”

https://www.claremontlincoln.edu/engage/social-impact/4-easy-ways-create-social-impact-now/

4 Easy Ways to create Social Impact Right Now by Anita Leffel

http://www.dosomething.org
http://thesocialchangeagency.org
http://www.casacares.org
http://www.lucvors.com

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Luc-Vors/e/B07B7CJVP8

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

Twitter:  @LucVors

 

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Sleeping-Dogs-Lie-Vors/dp/0692054715

 

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