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Interview with Author G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive)

Yes, you read the header right. His name is G.P.A., and his poetry earns a 4.0 for its spice and titillative flow. He has several books on the market, but his most recent publication, Revenge of the Orgasm, is the star of the interview and available in paperback and Kindle edition.

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Check out my interview with G.P.A. as he discusses Revenge of the Orgasm and his poetic works, one of which he refers to as “raw” (hubba hubba 🙂 ).

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Tell us more about you. Where are you from? When did you first get that desire—the calling—to write?

My name is G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive), the Phenomenal Poetic Unsub, and I hail from the South Side of Chicago. My desire to write came when God spoke to me telling me to write and saying I would be the greatest.

Revenge of the Orgasm—the title itself could make a reader eager to hit the “Buy” button. What inspired you to write about such a stimulating (pun intended) topic?

I wrote Revenge of the Orgasm because it is a detailed account of my adventures with beautiful women. Besides, the world, literary and otherwise, needed a “tell all” book that was spicy but also had a gentlemanly touch to it. (No names are disclosed of the women I had these adventures with.)

Revenge of the Orgasm is part of The Lust Series. Is this the first in that series? What other tantalizing topics do you plan to discuss in future book in the series?

Revenge of the Orgasm is the third book in the series right after The Book of 24 Orgasms and The Land of Multiples. The Orgasm Strikes Back is the next in the series, and it will be more intense than ROTO with a couple of short stories.

Can you give the readers a little tease of what they may find in the book? What about Revenge of the Orgasm should make them want to read it? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0cifCTA-9g  Here you go. Everyone has had Revenge of the Orgasm. Whether it be some event with the person they are with or with or something from the past, and it can be intimate or sexual, but the memory pops up in the mind. And you cannot shake it.

Your name—Greatest Poet Alive—it may seem self-explanatory, but most pseudonyms are rarely just that. So, tell us. Is there a deeper story behind the name?

Greatest Poet Alive came to me years ago when I was performing at a wedding and left what I had written down, but I performed off the top of my head. I remember saying that I might be the Greatest Poet Alive. After that on my first book, I meant to place my government name along with the moniker, and the company left my real name off. It has been with me ever since.

I see that you’ve written four books thus far. Can you tell us a little about the other three?

The Confessional Heart of a Man is my first book that I wrote in thirty days in 2007. It is gritty, raw, and in your face. I was able to rid some baggage from me in that one. The Book of 24 Orgasms was a surprise hit because one, I do not enjoy erotic Poetry plus this was my first time writing that way, and two, it is a chapbook. But boy, did it spawn some memorable poems and great sales!! It was a sensual escapade. Next, what I believe is my ambitious book is The Mind of a Poetic Unsub. I say that because I put a lot of muscle and personal situations in into the book right when things were not going as well as I would’ve liked. There are many styles of poems there, as well as themes.

If you weren’t a writer, what could you picture yourself doing instead?

If were not a writer, I’d be teaching or coaching.

Are you working on any new projects that you would like to share with readers?

I am currently promoting Seductions Lips, a book by my partner, Kottyn Campbell, and at the end of the year, I will release GPApocalypse Forever, my second cd.

For those who may have questions or just want to follow your successes and progress, how can you be contacted?

The easiest place to join me is on Facebook at G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive). I post daily there.

Do you have any final words for your dedicated fans and prospective readers? Anything I may have missed that you feel the reading world should know about Greatest Poet Alive (GPA), the author?

Thank you Yvonne for interviewing me. It has been an honor. Let me leave everyone with this. Aspire to perfection. Clothed in excellence. Burdened with greatness. Mediocrity is a disease that does not exist in my reality. Fear only God. And nothing or no one can stop me. My name is G.P.A. #teamGPA

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You’re quite welcome, G.P.A. I’m sure that my readers will be as intrigued as I am about your poetry and written works. Congratulations on your continued success, and I look forward to hearing about the release of The Orgasm Strikes Back (catchy!).

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Interview with Author Alice Dee

Happy June, everybody! Summer is almost here, but the weather is screaming “Summer is here NOW!”, and this gal right here is stoked! Pool days, BBQs, less to no clothing…

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TMI? Okay…let’s move on then.

To start June off on a fresher and cleaner note ;), I got the chance to interview Author Alice Dee as she discussed her newly published novel, Dance for Me.

Dance for Me is available today on Amazon in Kindle format but will be available for FREE download on June 10 and June 11.

Dance for Me

Hi, Alice! So…tell us more about yourself. Where are you from? When did you first get that desire—the calling—to write?

I was born in Los Angeles and have lived in southern California all my life.

I realized writing was my future when I was nine years old. I think I was in the third grade and I remember crying over this three paragraph dictation I had to write ten times for not doing my homework. I thought I couldn’t stomach writing of any kind until we were given a writing assignment where we used symbols and words.  It was only supposed to be like one page but I couldn’t stop writing. I went on to write about seven pages. That’s how it all started.

What inspired you to write Dance for Me? Was any part of the story written from your own experiences?

I had two finished novels sitting on my hard drive while I was researching the industry. I wanted to move on from those two novels—published or not—for the time being and start the next project. I began by thinking of places I’ve been and Las Vegas came to mind. So I had a setting but no characters or even a story.  I was watching a UFC fight on TV one night and my MC Dominic just sort of manifested. My stories have a little somberness to them, and though my female MC was shaped for a completely different project, she brought that melancholy feel to the story. She was perfect for the novel.

The only experiences in the novel that are my own would be being in love and how it feels. The characters take what I know and do their own thing. I just let the story unravel and dramatize it while trying to keep it as real as possible.

Although you have written two other novels, Dance for Me is your first published one. Do you have any plans to publish the other two?

I’ll be releasing my first novel, Dark Liquid Blue, sometime this summer. My second novel will most likely be released this fall.

Dance for Me is Urban Contemporary fiction, but you have also written a children’s book. Will you continue to write children’s books or is your writing passion more so in the Adult category?

The children’s book was originally a school project for my little sister. I really liked how it turned out and it was a lot of fun to write. Now that I have small kids of my own, I definitely want to write more children’s books. I also plan to write at least one Y.A. novel. As I get older my material and characters seem to age with me so adult fiction will probably be my main genre.

What is your favorite part of the book? What was the hardest part for you to write?

My favorite part of the book is Night at the Flamingo. This is the chapter where all the MCs are thrown together for the first and last time in the book. The setting, situation and tension were perfect. It was really fun to write.

The part I had most trouble writing was a hookup scene with Hope and Shane. I couldn’t bring myself to write it. It’s strange, like Hope had strong feelings for Dominic and I couldn’t write in sharing that passion without another character. It just didn’t work. I had to do a lot of reevaluating and rewrites to get things to flow.

I noticed that you went the self-publishing route. Did you consider trade publishing at all or did you prefer the control of self-publishing? How has the process been for you thus far?

About a year and a half ago I snapped out of this haze I was living in and decided that I REALLY want to put my work out there. Slowly my dreams were being crushed when I realized I would most likely have to land an agent to link me to a publisher. It’s like you need a middle man to link you to another middle man to link you to readers. That was discouraging for me. I tried the query thing but deep down I felt like it was a gamble with odds not in my favor and like most, I have no time to waste. I’m not ruling out traditional publishing in the future, but for now, self-publishing is for me.

So far, self-publishing has been arduous but I’m really enjoying it. I like that I own all rights to my work and am in charge of everything down to cover art. The toughest part is no doubt self- promotion, but it is a lot of fun and therefore doesn’t seem like work. It also helps that I’m kind of an entrepreneur at heart.

If you weren’t a writer, what could you picture yourself doing instead?

I could see myself designing clothes and shoes or maybe owning a thrift store. That would be awesome.

Are you working on any new projects that you would like to share with readers?

Right now I’m preparing my first novel Dark Liquid Blue for publication, and hopefully by early 2014 or sooner I’ll be hard at work on novel number four.

For those who may have questions or just want to follow your successes and progress, how can you be contacted?

I can be contacted through any one of these sites:
www.alice.co.nr
http://www.writerscafe.org/AliceDee
http://alicedeenovelist.blogspot.com/

Do you have any final words for your dedicated fans and prospective readers? Anything I may have missed that you feel the reading world should know about Alice Dee, the author?

As an author I feel it’s my duty to take the reader out of his/her element and kind of catapult him/her to another world. For anyone who’s ever been in love but wasn’t loved back, who was loved but couldn’t love back, or anyone who likes an entertaining drama filled story… this is for you.

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Alice Dee is an independent novelist. She is the author of three novels, one children’s book and several short pieces. While the majority of her work is intended for an adult audience, her ultimate goal is to reach readers of all ages by infiltrating various genres with her psychedelic writing style. When Alice is not hard at work crafting quality fiction for her readers, she enjoys spending time with her family, blasting underground hip hop, having fun and sleeping. She currently resides on the West Coast. (Courtesy of Alice’s website)

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Alice, thank you for granting me such a detailed and honest interview. Congratulations, and I look forward to hearing about your upcoming releases! Good luck to you!

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Interview with Author Agustin D. Martinez

Please join me in welcoming first-time published author Agustin D. “Gus” Martinez to the TPTW lounge.

Agustin Martinez

Gus’s debut novel The Mares of Lenin Park was published by Hollywood Books International and won the Prize Americana for Prose 2012. It is available today in Kindle format and will be released in hard copy within the next few weeks.

The Mares of Lenin Park


Hi, Gus! Tell us more about you. Where are you from? When did you first get that desire—the calling—to write?

I was born in Panama after my family fled Cuba after the Revolution. They lived in New York for a short period, but they just couldn’t acclimate to the cold weather, so my father found work in Panama, where they lived for five years before finally moving to Miami. I went to Miami as a baby and grew up there. I was lucky to have grown up in a bilingual home where stories of Cuba, past and present, were common. Having family that still lives in Cuba gave me great insight into the challenges that post-revolution Cubans experience. I was an English major at Florida State University, after which I became an English teacher in Miami. After moving to the DC area, I became a translator for a short period before returning to school and returning to teach High School English and Creative Writing. I received my Master’s from Johns Hopkins University and began my career as a school administrator. I became a high school principal and now work as an educational administrator in suburban VA (just outside DC).

I guess I’ve always wanted to be a writer. My sister Maria used to buy me books when I was a kid. She bought me everything from Sidney Sheldon to V.C. Andrews to Stephen King. We would discuss those books, which we devoured as if they were potato chips, for hours. My family is a family of storytellers. No matter when or why we get together, tall tales are told! So I guess I was born into the tradition of oral storytelling.

This is probably why I started my writing career as a playwright. I just loved dialogue, and I loved seeing my characters come to life on stage. That was a magical experience for me. I went on to write short fiction which focused mainly on life in Miami, specifically the unique experiences of exiles. The Mares of Lenin Park is my first novel.

What inspired you to write The Mares of Lenin Park? Was any part of the story written from your own experiences?

Although the novel is fiction, I made sure to dedicate time and effort in portraying the realities of Cuba today. Told from the eyes of a 14-year-old boy named Uli, the novel incorporates many of the stories I heard from family, friends, and students who had just arrived to America, fantastic stories that oftentimes seemed unreal. I just knew I had to write all those details down, and the product was my novel.

The Mares of Lenin Park seems like a heavy, emotional, and serious novel. What was it like writing it and how long did it take?

There are certainly parts of the book that are emotional and very serious; however, because the narrator is a 14-year-old boy, I couldn’t help but include some humorous details as well. That’s the beauty of the novel. It depicts how Cubans today, no matter how much they struggle, still find time to laugh, still have time to celebrate. At times, it was difficult for me to write because I continued to interview my father and siblings, as well as my family who still lives in Cuba. The stories they shared with me were sometimes heartbreaking, but I knew in order to be honest with readers, I had to make sure to include these details. At other times, it was quite easy, especially when it came to Uli’s and his cousin’s mischievousness.

The novel took me several years to write. I went back to edit the novel several times, making sure the themes I intended to make up the novel were well structured. Developing characters takes a long time, but I think the book is the better for it. If I had any advice for a writer is to walk away from the book or story for several days, even several weeks before going back to the editing process.

What is your favorite part of the book? What was the hardest part for you to write?

My favorite part of the book is when Uli and his cousin, Nestor, visit the compulsory work camp known as “trabajo voluntario.” It’s ironic that the compulsory camp is known even today as “voluntary.” That part of the book shows boys just being boys, regardless of the politics and philosophies that ensnare their daily lives.

Without wanting to give too much away, the most difficult part for me to write was when Uli finds himself alone on a boat at night, the fog engulfing his small boat. I wanted to make sure that the themes of lonesomeness and death and illusion v. reality were well crafted and infused with the plot. Uli’s loneliness and confusion in this part of the book was painful because it reminded me of all the stories my students told me about when they lunged out to sea just for the small chance that they’d make it to Florida, some of their families not even making it across safely.

How long did it take you to get published? What was the experience like for you?

That was an arduous process. I wrote literary agents and small publishing houses for over a year. Luckily, after winning Prize Americana for Prose in 2012, Hollywood Books International offered me a contract. I thought I would need an agent to get my book published, but the publisher worked directly with me. After signing the contract, the editing process between my publisher and me took about eight months. That was a rigorous and worthy experience. My editor pushed me to really take a look at the story I was trying to tell and made sure we had the best book possible before it went to print.

If you weren’t a writer, what could you picture yourself doing instead?

If I wasn’t a writer, I could see myself teaching again. I loved being a teacher, especially an English teacher. I was very passionate about teaching literature, and my students saw that. I can’t really see me doing anything else – other than being a world traveler! 🙂

Do you have any current projects that you want to share with readers?

I’m currently working on the sequel to Mares. The setting of the second novel takes place in Miami after Uli makes it across the Straits of Florida alone. This novel explores Uli adapting to a new life, to a new world. He struggles to fit in an American school yet, like so many immigrants, overcomes these challenges. Uli feels like an “in-betweener” in America, especially at school, but he learns to adapt as best he can and learns that he doesn’t have to give up that part of him that is still Cuban.

For those who may have questions or just want to follow your successes and progress, how can you be contacted?

Readers can contact me directly at gusmartinez67 (at) cox (dot) net.

Do you have any final words for your dedicated fans and prospective readers? Anything I may have missed that you feel the reading world should know about Agustin D. Martinez, the author?

I hope my fans love the characters, the themes, and the story itself. I think that no matter where the reader’s from, no matter what background he or she comes from, they will relate to the protagonist and to the challenges he faces. I would love to hear from fans, who can reach me at my personal email. The book is currently out on Amazon.com for Kindle and should be out in print later April/early May. Some readers have asked if they could have a signed copy of the book. I can give them details on how to receive one if they email me.

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Thank you, Gus, for allowing me to interview you. It’s always refreshing to see a writer make his/her debut with the talent and ambition to excel. I, as well as my blog followers I’m sure, appreciate you sharing your heritage within your works and giving us insight as to how you got published, something many writers strive for daily. Many wishes of success to you, Gus, and thank you again!

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Interview with Author W. Edward Woodward III

Please join me in welcoming first-time author W. Edward Woodward III to the TPTW lounge. His debut novel is entitled Jesse James and the Dragon’s Egg and is available today in both Kindle and Nook formats.

So, Edward…tell us more about you. Where are you from?

I was born and raised on a farm in Havana Florida. I currently live with my wife and family in Tallahassee Florida.

When did you first get that desire—the calling—to write?

I’ve always had a creative bent. I used to think that I wanted to be a visual artist. I drew and painted (oils and some water color) extensively when I was a kid and wanted for the longest time to be a comic book artist or an animator. But, in spite of what I was told, I knew that I just did not have it in me. Oh, I could put some lines on paper and have them roughly equate to something you’d recognized, I did some decent portraits, some passable landscapes, and got a knack for figure work, but the fire was just not there. The desire to create however, was insistent. I tired some voice work for a couple of podcasts and did pretty well with that, I have a decent ear for accents and silly voices, but, again, it just wasn’t quite it for me. Intensely fun, but just not right. So, one day, I had this crazy idea…

Very…resourceful…of you to use scrap paper and even grocery bags to write Jesse James and the Dragon’s Egg.

This was as much an act of self-preservation as anything else. There’s only so much mall time a man can stand. This particular trip I had forgotten my pad and I was desperate.

Where did you get the idea for the story?

I always have ideas. All the time. This particular idea came from one of the many comic book ideas that I had as a kid, an idea that stemmed from a childhood wish to find a baby dragon somewhere on the farm. I would raise her and she would protect me. My idea for the comic was… well, pretty much just that, but it’s one of a few ideas that really stuck with me through the years. When I first took it up again a couple of years ago it was for a writing challenge at the Digital Webbing forums. From that short story I was going to script a comic book (I say this is the first writing I’ve ever done but that’s not entirely true, some years before this I had scripted a super hero property with the intention of selling it to Mailbu Comics). In the process of working up a bible for the comic a story was born.

Do you still have the original papers, perhaps in frames somewhere? ( :: snickers :: )

LOL! No. I have them but they are in a hundred different places around the house. I am the most disorganized person you’ve ever met and it is a true miracle that this thing ever got done.

(Cringe! I have a mild form of OCD, so please excuse me.lol)

I see that Jesse James and the Dragon’s Egg is available in e-format [Kindle and Nook]. Do you have plans to make it available in paperback?

Simple answer: Yes. By or before the end of March.

When you’re not writing such fabulous young adult fiction, how do you typically spend your days?

Working. I am a grunt and I work all week and most weekends. Even at that I don’t work nearly as much as I used to. That’s part of what lead to the novel. I finally found a job where I could support myself and not have to work 85 hours a week. 85 down to 45 to 50 hours a week opened up a ton of free time, energy and brain cells.

(I cap my work week at 40 hours, but yes…working writers…unite! :))

What is your favorite genre to read? Would you consider writing in that genre one day, if it’s different than the genre you currently write?

I’ll read anything as long as it catches my attention. I guess if I have a favorite genre it’s pulp action/adventure as my biggest influence is Doc Savage. Doc Savage, for those that don’t know, was a series of pulp novels published in the ’30s and ’40s. Doc was created by Henry Ralston and John Nanovic but the true brilliance of this super-scientist/ millionaire-adventurer came from “Kenneth Robeson”. Robeson was a pen name under which some of the greatest writers in science fiction wrote for Doc Savage. Lester Dent and Philip Jose Farmer to name two. These were simple, amazing science fiction adventure stories that affect me to this day. I’m a huge fan of modern mythology, UFO’s, Ancient Aliens, Bigfoot and the like. I love history. I read some Gaiman and was heavily affected by Neverwhere, but I will always return to Doc Savage. As far as writing genre… I’m not sure that I’m cut out to write anything other than pulp adventure, but I certainly intend to try.

If you weren’t a writer, what could you picture yourself doing instead?

I will always be a husband and a dad first but in answer to the question I would say searching for something else to do.

Do you have any current projects that you want to share with readers?

Jesse James and the Ghost in the Bell Jar. Of course I have a hundred ideas, and every one of them wants out… and I am tossing around the idea giving life to a science fiction idea I’ve become infatuated with but Ghost in the Bell Jar is the only sure thing right now.

For those who may have questions or just want to follow your successes and progress, how can you be contacted?

Always happy to get emails: w.edwardwoodwardiii (at) gmail (dot) com. Twitter is also good. Look for @writefast

Do you have any final words for your dedicated fans and prospective readers? Anything I may have missed that you feel the reading world should know about W. Edward Woodward III, the author?

For readers, if you think this book was fun, just wait, things are going to get crazy. And then they’re going to get worse. For people in general: Do. Go forward. It’s my advice. Put your head down, to blazes with what other people say, and do what you will do. Oh, also, I intend to take over the world.

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A grand “Thank You” to Edward for granting me this interview. You are such a sport with a welcoming sense of humor and an honest love for words. On behalf of my readers, I congratulate you on the release of Jesse James and the Dragon’s Egg, and much luck to you on Jesse James and the Ghost in the Bell Jar as well. I KNOW that they are both going to be huge successes.

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Interview with Author Sara Stinson

Please join me in welcoming first-time author Sara Stinson to the TPTW lounge. Sara is married with two wonderful children and is a retired teacher. She enjoys teaching  and continues to substitute and tutor. She is also a laptop addict, loves to read, and enjoys animals. Her debut novel is entitled Finger Bones and is available today on Amazon.

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Hey, Sara! Tell us more about you. Where are you from? When did you first get that desire—the calling—to write?

I am from Elba, Alabama.  My degree is still active; however, I am a retired Speech-Language Pathologist.  I continue to substitute.  For Now, I have the pleasure of teaching some energetic Kindergarten students.  They keep me young!  I have taught language and reading classes through the years and writing was one of the many skills we worked on in the classes.  Students enjoyed creating and using their imagination.  Many homemade books were made.  I started writing seriously after my retirement.

I see that you were inspired by the history of your hometown, particularly a lonely townsman, to write Finger Bones. Care to elaborate on that for us?

In my hometown there was a man named Charlie Porter.   Some claim he lived to be 113 and others say he was 122 when he passed away.  We called him “Uncle Charlie”.  He is who gave me the idea to write about the book.

Yes, he lived alone, but I never have attached the word ‘lonely’ with him.  He was always happy and talking to people in town.   He was an African American.  He was born a slave and took the name of his owner.  There were several interviews about Charlie.  He claimed he was treated well.  He did have a wife.  The paper did not write about how long he was married.  There were no children.

“Uncle Charlie” is a big part of history in our town.

You went the self-publishing route—a publishing option that is becoming more embraced by the day—for this novel. How was the process? Any pros/cons you wish to share?

I did decide to self-publish.  So far, this method of publishing has been a positive decision for me.  There is a lot of work to be done when self-publishing.   You have to prepare the book yourself to be edited and loaded for publication.  I suggest researching and finding the best publisher who will meet what you want to gain from your book.  Some offer online reading and others offer publishing your book in paperback.

As a retired teacher and current tutor, does your love for teaching children influence your writing and drive your art for writing young adult fiction?

Yes, I believe being a teacher and working primarily with the younger students has influenced me to write for this age group.  I taught reading for several years.  Middle grade to young adult was my area of expertise.

What is your favorite genre to read? Would you consider writing in that genre one day, if it’s different than the genre you currently write?

I am an eclectic reader.  I do have an idea for an adult themed book about five children being raised in a foster home.  I do hope to pursue this idea one day.

If you weren’t a writer, what could you picture yourself doing instead?

I would be strictly teaching.  I do enjoy taking pictures and painting.

Do you have any current projects that you want to share with readers?

I am happy to say I am starting the second book on Finger Bones.  This book will include a ghost dog named Max.

For those who may have questions or just want to follow your successes and progress, how can you be contacted?

I have a weebly account under The Finger Bones Series.  I am also found on Facebook under Sara Stinson and The Finger Bones Series.

Do you have any final words for your dedicated fans and prospective readers? Anything I may have missed that you feel the reading world should know about Sara Stinson, the author?

Finger Bones has been on the market for a little over a month.  Already the support which Finger Bones has received is remarkable!  Finger Bones gains new family members each week. Thank you to all who have supported and read the book.

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Thank you, Sara, for doing this interview. It’s always a pleasure getting inside an author’s head and knowing what inspires their work. Congratulations on your new release, and I wish you GREAT success on it and your future projects.

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Interview with Author Brandon Carbaugh

Please join me in welcoming first-time author Brandon Carbaugh to the TPTW lounge.

He was so gracious to grant me this interview to let the world know more about him as a writer and about his debut release, Deep Sounding.

Hi, Brandon! Tell us more about you. Where are you from? When did you first get that desire—the calling—to write?

I consider myself fortunate that I’ve known what I wanted to be since the time I was 7.

I learned to read earlier than other kids, and so I never really went anywhere without a book in my hand.  But I also had a gameboy in the other hand, and I consider that equally foundational.

Maybe it’s a specific generational thing, but growing up in the 90’s, I never really drew a distinction between a book like “Lord of the Rings”, a game like “Final Fantasy 9”, or a movie like “Princess Mononoke”.  They all competed for my attention and respect equally.  I always knew that somehow I wanted to create gigantic and amazing worlds like these, to share my overactive imagination with other people.

As it turned out, designing a game or animating a movie were pretty ambitious undertakings for a kid with the attention span of a flea.  But typing a bunch of words?  That I could do.

When did you begin writing Deep Sounding and what inspired you to write it?

Like most of my projects, “Deep Sounding” had been gestating in one form or another for years.  It was originally going to be something like “Gormenghast” (for all twelve people who have ever read that), with various nations holed up in these big enchanted castles called Sanctums.  The idea was to explore ideas about ecological sustainability in a euro-medieval context.

Meanwhile, a totally separate idea had been simmering in the pot: to do a low-fantasy story which put dwarfs at the forefront, as the only sentient race, in an incredibly hostile world.  The idea here would be to explore how practical concerns boil down and become everyday social norms, cultural mores, religious practices, etc.

Eventually the ideas began to overlap, so I smashed them together: replacing the humans with dwarfs, the castles with mountains, and stripping out all the magical elements.

I tried and failed to approach the story a few times, but kept shuffling it back into the “Ideas” folder to percolate another few months.  Finally this August, something clicked, and I banged the whole book out in just a few weeks.

Considering the subject beings are dwarfs and your novel breathes comedy, was this written for middle grade, young adults, or adults? Can we expect all of your [future] books to be written for that age group?

You know, a question like “what age group is your book targeted at” probably shouldn’t be so tough to answer.  Maybe it indicates a little boneheadedness on my part as a writer, but I generally try to come at things from an “all ages” perspective.  In my most delusional moments, I like to compare myself to Terry Pratchett or Hayao Miyazaki.  But then the laudanum wears off, and I feel guilty for harboring delusions of grandeur.

Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t some naughty words and dark ideas present; and certainly I don’t think anybody under the age of 11 or 12 would get much out of the book.  But hopefully beyond those few caveats, it’s got a little something for everybody.

As to future books: it’s hard to say.  I look again at Terry Pratchett, and how the intended age-group for books in his Discworld series is all over the place (in terms of readability, if not necessarily content).  Some are for kids, some are for young adults, some border on adults-only.  Most, however, are all-ages material, and they’re rightfully treasured for it.

What is your favorite genre to read? Would you consider writing in that genre one day, if it’s different than the genre you currently write?

I love anything that shows a lot of preliminary research and special knowledge on the part of the writer: hard sci-fi, gritty crime drama, legal thrillers, police procedurals, historical epics, etc.  Anything that tells a good story while also enriching and educating the reader.  I’d love to write something like that some day.

I’ve learned that $0.50 from each sale of Deep Sounding would be donated to the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation, which I find very admirable. Can you tell us more about that?

The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation is a nonprofit organization which helps families affected by epilepsy to get things like seizure alert and response dogs, or EMFIT monitors, which are special devices that alert to seizure activity during sleep.

My little sister Kaitlin has epilepsy, so it’s a cause that hits close to home.  She and my mother do a lot of epilepsy advocacy stuff, and have worked with the Hutchison people before, so it seemed like a natural fit.

Also, because the book is released under a Creative Commons “share-alike” license, it gives me a humorous way to approach piracy.  “Sure, you could steal the book…but you’d be CONTRIBUTING TO EPILEPSY!”

[Let me just add really quick here—when I researched the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation, Brandon’s donation hit close to home. My baby sister is an epileptic as well, and knowing that a foundation like this exists is much appreciated. I plan to forward the information to her, so thank you, Brandon!]

If you weren’t a writer, what could you picture yourself doing instead?

Enjoying life as a seagull.  Or designing video games.

[I can see how that would be a difficult choice.LOL]

Do you have any current projects that you want to share with readers?

Well at present, I’m working on two books: one is a direct sequel to Deep Sounding, and the other is a big dumb Jules Verne-y adventure story, set in the same world.  The former will be another novella, but the latter will be a proper full-length novel, a very raw sample of which can be read here.

For those who may have questions or just want to follow your successes and progress, how can you be contacted?

All kinds of ways!  I’ve got a blog of my own and I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.  I also love getting email!

Do you have any final words for your dedicated fans and prospective readers? Anything I may have missed that you feel the reading world should know about Brandon Carbaugh, the author?

To my readers: Nothing but overwhelming thanks and humility.  The response to the book, and in particular a recent “free book day” promotion, were much more positive and successful than I had any right to expect.  My sincere thanks go out to the Chelsea Hutchison foundation, the epilepsy community, and the Dwarf Fortress and tabletop gaming communities.  Now stick my blog in your bookmarks and hold on to your butts, because we’re just getting started.

To prospective authors: e-books, indie publishing, and self-marketing are not “the future”.  They’re “the present”.  In the words of Sir Vanilla Ice, “get wit it”.
To the rest of the reading world: The Hobbit is coming out December 12th, and you can bet money there will be kids dressed like Bifur and Bombur next Halloween.  The window of time in which to claim you were “into dwarfs before they got cool” is rapidly closing.

And if you don’t like dwarfs, you’re a nerd.

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Congratulations, Brandon, and thank you SO much for taking the time to allow me and the reading population to invade your writing life…just a little. 😉  Remember everyone…the Kindle Edition of Deep Sounding is available today on Amazon. Let’s show our support for a new author and the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation!

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Author Interviews Underway

That’s right, ladies and gents! I’m resuming author interviews this month. YAY!! I initially intended to do one interview a month, but due to the amount of interest I have received, I’m going to start with two. I know that the authors will feel relieved since they now only have to wait 6 months instead of 12 to see their interviews posted. (Totally kidding!) In other words, they don’t have to wait twice as long now. 😉

There will be no rhyme or reason as to how I select who is going to be interviewed when. Who knows…I could choose Sue Blue because she likes the color green and only eats green things or Jacob the Great because he collects used stamps. (Those aren’t real authors btw, not that I know of.) I respect my fellow writers; therefore, they will all receive the same amount of consideration and time. The great news is…ALL will be interviewed (if they still desire to be when their time comes).

This isn’t a popularity contest. It’s about spotlighting new words, fresh talent, different faces, and unfamiliar voices. I want to know who they are; they want you to know who they are. They may have something to offer us that we don’t even know that we need or want.

:: claps and rubs palms together :: I can’t wait to learn about some new talent! How about you? Most, if not all, of them are probably doing NaNo right now, so I’ll try not to take up too much of their time.

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