Author Q&A with Tanis Rideout
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / February 7, 2013

I recently read and reviewed Above All Things by first time novelist (and Poet Laureate for Lake Ontario) Tanis Rideout. The book tells of George Mallory, an English explorer hell bent on conquering Mt. Everest and paying dearly for it. Q. As a first time novelist, how did you decide on the subject of Mallory’s Everest assent attempt? A. I’m not sure that I decided to write it – Everest, and Mallory, got into my head and the only way to get both of them out was to get writing. It takes me a long time to write, so ideas have to be things that I can’t shake, that I get obsessed with for a very long time. Margaret Atwood once referred to novelist’s ideas like an albatross you can’t get rid of. You don’t choose it and you can’t escape it. That seems pretty accurate to me. I came to be obsessed by Mallory and Everest while I was working at an outdoor equipment store after university. One of my co-workers would bring in Everest videos to show on the TV we had at the back of the store. I quickly became interested in Everest in general – it…

Author Q&A with Hy Conrad
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / February 4, 2013

Hy Conrad (web­site | Face­book) made the move from writing TV shows such as  Monk to writing mystery books. I recently read his book Rally ‘Round the Corpse which I truly enjoyed. I was lucky enough to be able to ask Mr. Conrad a few questions about his history, writing and social media. He was kind enough to answer. Q. How long have you been a fan of puzzles and mysteries? What got you started? A. Like a lot of mystery lovers, I started in my teens with Sherlock Holmes. The characters and the atmosphere made the stories unique. But Arthur Conan Doyle also established many of the great set-ups, including the small, intriguing mystery that blossoms into something important, e.g., “Why is a man, whose only qualification is his flaming red hair, hired to do useless clerical work?” If you don’t know the answer, you’re not a real mystery fan. I got my own start when a software developer asked me what kind of project might work on an interactive laserdisc. I answered, “Mysteries.” The result was the MysteryDisc and the start of my life in the genre. Q. Who do you think are the masters of mysteries among authors? A. I don’t read a lot of current mystery authors….

Author Q&A with Scott Tracy Griffin
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / November 19, 2012

Scott Tracy Grif­fin (web­site) has written and compiled a wonderful coffee table book called Tarzan The Centennial Celebration, which I thought was marvelous, a feast to the eyes and a great gift to any Tarzan, comics, movies or pop-culture fan. Mr. Griffin was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. | Q.  Tarzan has been a beloved figure since its inception to this day. Why do you think thae story has such a grep on kids and kids at heart for generations? A. Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs tapped into a primordial fantasy that speaks to many of us: the desire to return to nature and be free of the conventions and restrictions of civilization. It’s wish-fulfillment and empowerment on the most basic levels—Tarzan, a mental, moral, and physical superman, embodies the person we would like to be, living the life we’d love to live. | Q.  What prompted you to write the book? A.  I’ve been a Burroughs fan since childhood, and his writing has always inspired my artistic pursuits. After years of waiting, I finally had an opportunity to create the manner of illustrated Tarzan book I would have loved as a child—or an adult. The timing of the Centennial…

Author Q&A with Sara Blædel
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / July 19, 2012

Sara Blædel (web­site | Face­book | @sarablaedel) , the Danish author had her second book translated into English. Ms. Blædel, a fine writer has agreed to answer a few pesky question. Q. How did you come up with the character of  Inspector Louise Rick? A. She simply appeared one day. I had been a publisher of crime novels for some time while at the same time working as a journalist. First came the question: What if (I could write a crime novel myself?). Then came Louise! Both she and side-kick Camilla Lind were at first based on some colleagues I had at a TV-station where I worked, because I wanted to create some distance between myself and my protagonists. Q.If I go to Copenhagen’s and the surrounding community to where you set your stories, can I use your books as guide books or many of the local places made up? A. Everything is exactly as I describe it! We could arrange a tour for Man of la Book and/or some of his readers! It’s important to me that the surroundings are recognizable to people who know them. At the same time I try hard to describe them in a way…

Author Q&A with E.J. Runyon
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / May 22, 2012

Q. Is it true you left a career in Software to go back to University for a BA then a MFA? A. Not only that I also sold my 4-bedroom house to finance that life-change. It was a move I needed to make. My goal was to be happy for the rest of my life. So I inventoried myself to see what that required – and the realization I came up with was a complete surrender to that happiness. No half measures. No short cuts, or waffling by offering up rationalization and why-I-cant’s. For a while there, I thought I could incorporate coaching & writing into being a counselor, specializing in Art Therapy – but even that had a wiff of equivocation so I nipped that in the bud, and switched majors: first from Special Ed to Psychology, and finally to English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing. It made all the difference – committing like that. I got into a great Low-res MFA program out of Vancouver, but then I found out that distance programs like that one – out of the US – aren’t covered by school loans – so I had to rework my base-plan and find…

Author Q&A with Kathy Hep­in­stall
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / April 23, 2012

Kathy Hep­in­stall’s Blue Asylum (my thoughts) was a quick read on two very interesting subjects – The American Civil War and the definition of insane. i was glad to get the chance to ask Ms. Hep­in­stall a few quick questions. Q. There is a famous story (which I cannot recall where I heard) about a psychiatrist who was interviewing a very pleasant man who thought he was a famous figure (Jesus? Napoleon?) . The man asks “what if I’m right”? The phsychologist answered “you might be right, but there are more of us”. Blue Asylum seems t thrive on the notion of who is considered insane at a moment in time. was that the story you set out to write? What’s your opinion? A. I’m not sure if I set out to write that story, but it ended up that way – I mean, it’s ridiculous, isn’t it, when you think there were people being held in an insane asylum at the exact time we were actually fighting a war in large part, over whether we should keep other human beings as slaves? I found myself really loving and feeling empathy for the inmates of Sanibel Lunatic Asylum. Q. why did…

Author Q&A with Sebastian Gibson
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / February 9, 2012

Sebastian Gibson (web­site | Twit­ter | Face­book), author of Nitt Witt Hill (my thoughts), has a diverse career, from actor, entertainer to lawyer. His book is a biting commentary which, sadly enough, brings out the hypocritical truths of politics. Q. What made you write a fictional satire about US politics? A.  I can’t imagine not writing a satire about politics.  The things that politicians do are hilarious for the most part.  People say if it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny.  Well, it’s both sad and funny.  I don’t think I could read, much less write a dry political book.  And yet, by being funny, my book is probably more serious than most serious political books.   Q. Whenever I look at our current crop of fearless leaders, I shake my head in dismay. Is it just me or did the quality of people running for office has been going downhill? If so, why do you think that is? A. It certainly seems like it at times, though when you think about the stamina it must take on the campaign trail, you have to give those gluttons for punishment some credit.  I don’t know if anyone has really ever…

Author Q&A with Michael O’Hanlon
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / February 6, 2012

Michael O’Hanlon, author of The Wounded Giant (my thoughts), is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in U.S. defense strategy, the use of military force, homeland security and American foreign policy. He is a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Books by Michael O’Hanlon Q. Why do you refer to America as “The Wounded Giant” and do you think its fair to do so? A. It is of course designed to be a colorful term but I think it’s accurate. The United States remains far and away the world’s superpower in military (and many other) terms. But it is badly hurting and its future dominance – as well as its ability to play a stabilizing role internationally — is in question. This is less from the rise of China (or anyone else) per se, than from the wounds (largely self-inflicted) from which it is currently suffering, starting with trillion dollar annual deficits and an eroding economic foundation. Q. What is the most important thing you would like readers to take away from your book? A. That the…

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