Here are the authors that have left this earth in 2019. May they rest in peace and a great thanks to them for sharing their gift to the world. Now we can always respect these authors by reading their great work. They made a lot of fans escape into their world and will probably help countless more in the future to appreciate their unique writing gift. Hail and farewell to these gifted authors, hail and farewell.
Mr. Lee Bacon started writing children's book when he stayed in Germany for two years. He has written Joshua Dread series in which it got nominated for 2015 Nutmeg Award. It was also selected for the Spirit of Texas Reading Program. Joshua Dread was translated numerous language. He also wrote a middle-grade series titled Legentopia. Now, his latest book titled THE LAST HUMAN is here. Here is the goodread's synopsis for The Last Human:
In a future when humans are believed to be extinct, what will one curious robot do when it finds a girl who needs its help?
In the future, robots have eliminated humans, and 12-year-old robot XR_935 is just fine with that. Without humans around, there is no war, no pollution, no crime. Every member of society has a purpose. Everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Until the day XR discovers something impossible: a human girl named Emma. Now, Emma must embark on a dangerous voyage with XR and two other robots in search of a mysterious point on a map. But how will they survive in a place where rules are never broken and humans aren’t supposed to exist? And what will they find at the end of their journey?
So, take this time to get to know Lee Bacon and his compelling story that is now being made into a film by Phil Lord and Chris Miller(Artemis, The Lego Batman Movie).
1. What is the genesis of The Last Human?
I was walking home from the grocery store, listening to Ezra Klein’s podcast. He was interviewing Yuval Harari, the author of Sapiens, which is a book I really love. During the interview, Harari was asked whether he thinks human beings will be the dominant life form on Earth in 300 years. His answer came instantly: "Absolutely not!" According to his prediction, humans will either destroy the world or we'll be surpassed by our own creation: technology.
When I heard this, I nearly dropped the bag of groceries I was carrying. I was startled by what he said. And inspired. My imagination immediately began conjuring a future world. A world in which humans have gone extinct. A world ruled by robots.
I decided, right there on the sidewalk: I HAD to write this story. That same day, I began writing The Last Human.
2. What research did you do when writing The Last Human?
One of the challenges of researching robotics and AI is the rapid advancement of technology. Even books that were published in the past few years feel outdated. But I still managed to find a few books that were really helpful in researching The Last Human. One was Yuval Harari’s follow-up to Sapiens, Homo Deus, which actually offered the epigraph for The Last Human: “Organisms are algorithms.” A statement that’s both simple and deep. Whenever I worried about losing my way on The Last Human, I’d go back to this quote. Organisms are algorithms. Both simple and deep, it seemed to cut straight to the heart of what I was trying to do with the novel. To tell a story about finding a connection between two very different worlds.
My research also involved listening to a lot of tech podcasts, talking to friends in the tech industry and watching videos of robots, especially the wonderful YouTube channel from Boston Dynamics.
3. What was your writing schedule when you wrote The Last Human?
I’m a morning person. I’m at my best when I’m on a routine of waking up super-early (sometimes as early as 3am), making myself a green tea, and sitting down at my desk to write. I love feeling like I’m the only person awake in the world. Like time doesn’t exist. I’ll usually write for four or five hours, sipping green tea and tapping away on my keyboard. I generally finish up by 9 or 10am. By the time everyone else is just starting their day, I’m pretty much finished!
Sometimes, I also hit a second wind in the afternoon—around 4:30pm. If the weather’s nice, I’ll go out on the back deck with my laptop and try to write a little more.
4. How long did it take you to write the first draft of The Last Human?
About six months.
5. Did you know how The Last Human would end or did it come to you while writing the story?
On that first day, when the idea struck me while listening to a podcast, I had no idea how The Last Human would end. I only knew the basic premise. A book narrated by a robot, who unexpectedly discovers a human—even though humans are supposed to be extinct. It was only later—as I was writing the book—that I gradually figured out the ending.
6. What was the hardest chapter to write and why?
The Last Human has over a hundred chapters, most of which are only 2 or 3 pages, so I don’t really think about which individual chapter gave me the most trouble. I can only think about it in more general terms. The middle. That was the hardest part. Which is the case with every book I write. The first fifty pages usually (hopefully!) hum along on the momentum of a new idea, building the world, exploring the characters. And if I manage to make it to the final fifty pages of a novel (which isn’t always the case—some books get abandoned halfway through), I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Definitely a source of motivation. But the middle . . . that’s where things get tricky. You’ve got to do all the hard story stuff, moving things forward, maintaining the velocity of the story while also hitting all the important landmarks on the plot. If I lose steam on a book, it’s usually somewhere in the middle. Luckily, with The Last Human, I managed to make it to the end!
7. How do you continue a flow of creativity day by day?
Writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t think about the entire novel. Just the passage you’re working on that day. Little by little. One foot in front of the other. If I’m in a good routine, waking up early and writing for 4-5 hours a day, I’ll make steady progress. Not all of what I write will be pure gold, but that’s what revisions are for!
8. Silly-Game question: from The Last Human novel could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
I don’t have the final versions of The Last Human yet. Only the advance reader copy. So the page number probably won’t match the final edition. But here goes!
“Most humans could withstand several minutes/hours in direct sunlight before their skin burned.” Page 95 of the advance reader copy.
9. Which fictional character (besides yours) would you like to sit down and chat with?
Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby. He seems like the kind of person you’d want to meet at a party. An eloquent speaker with a good story to tell. But also an excellent listener. And I bet he makes a good cocktail.
10. Congrats on the news that Mr. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are adapting your novel, what scene are you looking forward to seeing on the big screen?
Lord & Miller are my favorite comedy filmmakers. It’s such a thrill to be working with them. I can’t wait to see the ideas they bring to a film adaptation. All the ways that their zany, brilliant vision will shape the story. I’m really curious to see how they’ll depict the scene of the two main characters meeting for the first time, when XR_935 encounters Emma.
11. Also, congrats on having Mr. Henry Gayden, writer of DC super movie SHAZAM!, writing the script, have you ever consider writing screenplays someday or in the near future?
Absolutely! I’ve actually already dipped my toe into these waters. I’m working on an audio original story with Audible called Interview With The Robot. It’ll have voice actors portraying dialogue from different characters. I wrote the entire story as a script. It was great to have the chance to work in a format that’s both familiar (storytelling) and new (screenwriting). While I was writing the first draft, I thought of it like writing a full season of a TV show. Each chapter was another episode. And like TV, I wanted these individual chapters/episodes to feel like their own distinct stories, with a beginning, middle and end that would keep the listener engaged. But of course, each part also needed to serve the larger story.
I really enjoyed working on Interview With The Robot and hope I’ll have the chance to write other scripts in the future!
12. What is your favorite book as an adult? What is your favorite book as a kid?
My favorite book as an adult is The Great Gatsby. I re-read it every couple of years and always find something new to appreciate. Maybe that’s why I chose Nick Carraway as the fictional character I’d like to meet.
My favorite book as a kid was James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. It was funny and dark and weird. When I discovered it back in elementary school, it opened my eyes to what books could be. They could be anything!
13. You lived in Munich, Germany in the past, what meal would you consider everyone to try if he or she visits there?
Well, you’ve got to get some authentic German food! I’d recommend a sauerbraten with knödel (potato dumplings) and red cabbage. My wife is German, so I go back once or twice a year and always look forward to a big German meal while I’m there.
14. Could you give an interesting fun fact about your Joshua Dread book tour?
After the first Joshua Dread book came out, I did lots of school visits. Including at my old school, Oakwood Intermediate School in College Station, Texas. It was a surreal experience to walk back through that same front door, to walk down those same hallways—twenty years later. Everything was the same, and different. Including me.
15. What did you wish you knew when you started your writing career as you were hoping for publication?
If I could go back and give myself one piece of writing advice, it would be “Keep it simple!” This can be a challenge in those early days. Many ambitious young writers have a tendency to overwrite. I certainly did. I was eager to prove myself, to show off all the spectacular things I could do with words. Which meant long, flowing sentences, vivid metaphors, poetic turns of phrase. At the time, I thought readers would be blown away by my shimmering language. Now I realize how overwrought those early stories were. These days, I understand that a writer can do a lot with less.
16. What was the last story (fiction or non-fiction) you read?
I just finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It was my second time, and I think I enjoyed the book even more this time around! I hope she publishes another novel sometime soon. Although—I’m not holding my breath. A new Donna Tartt novel comes along every decade or so. But it’s always worth the wait!
17. Last question, if you discovered that you’re the last human on earth what is the first thing you would do?
Mr. Lee Bacon's The Last Human should be on your to-read pile. You should definitely check it out. It will also make a wonderful gift for any child that loves to read science fiction books.It's available on amazon. Thanks once again for visiting my blog and I hope each and everyone of you have a superb Saturday. Take care and happy reading.
Here is a bone-chilling synopsis (from amazon) of Paul Burston's novel The Closer I Get:
Tom is a successful author, but he's struggling to finish his novel. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won't leave him alone. Evie is smart, well-read, and unstable; social-media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has. When she's hit with a restraining order, her world is turned upside down, and Tom is free to live his life again, to concentrate on writing. But things aren't really adding up. For Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he feels powerless to change things. Maybe he needs Evie more than he's letting on.
A compulsive thriller, The Closer I Get is also a searing commentary on the fragility and insincerity of online relationships, and the danger that can lurk just one "like" away.
1.What is the genesis of The Closer I Get?
Some years I had a stalker. The harassment started online, where the person hid behind various screen names and avatars, and later spilled over into real life. It was deeply unsettling. Eventually they were identified, arrested and convicted. But it took me a long time to get over the impact of the crime.
2.What research did you do when writing The Closer I Get?
Not much. I’d lived a lot of it. I did speak to lawyers about court process and to other victims of stalking about how it impacted on them. Most of the stories were very similar to mine. 40% of people convicted of harassment or stalking breach their retraining order. My stalker didn’t. The book imagines what might have happened if they had.
3.Did you have writer’s block on The Closer I Get? If so, how did you get over it?
No, the book came quite easily - the Evie chapters in particular. Tom took a bit longer. I didn’t want him to become my alter ego in the book. He and I have very little in common. I actually found it easier to empathise with Evie than with Tom, at least at the beginning.
4.What was the most surprising thing you learned after writing The Closer I Get?
I learned to forgive the person who caused me so much distress and anger. That surprised me and also freed me, so it was a win-win.
5.Did anyone or anything inspired The Closer I Get?
See previous answers! There’s also a bit of Stephen King’s Misery in there, a bit of Morrissey, a bit of Fatal Attraction and a bit of Blondie. I’m a pop culture junkie. This often filters into what I write.
6.Where is your favorite place to write?
Hastings, where I have a small flat I go to when I need a break from London. I write best there.
7.What is your writing process in general?
I start early, before breakfast, work for a few hours, take a break and maybe go for a walk or run or to the gym. Then I go back to it for a few hours later. On a good day. On a bad day I’ll leave it until the next morning.
8.How do you balance between being a journalist and being a best-selling author?
It’s all a question of planning. And I’m good with deadlines - I’m used to them, having been a journalist for 30 years. Sometimes it’s hard to juggle the two, but not often.
9. What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing?
To aim to write every day, however little. I don’t always manage it, but if I write most days I find it easier to keep going. If I leave it too long, it takes a while to get back into it. It’s like an actor forgetting their lines and slipping out of character. Only the author is playing all the characters.
10.What was your favorite book when you were a kid? Do you have a favorite book now?
I had several - Winnie The Pooh, The Magic Faraway Tree, Carrie. My favourite books change all the time, depending on my mood and what I’m looking for in a book. Right now I’d say Tales of the City, The Talented Mr Ripley and Lisa Jewell’s latest, The Family Upstairs.
11.Who is your favorite superhero?
Batman. Ever since I was small.
12.What show would you like to make a cameo?
Better Things. It’s my current favourite TV show.
13. Have you ever considered writing a screenplay?
I’ve worked on a few but never really dedicated myself to it. My other writing takes priority.
14.What is your favorite condiment?
15.Silly-Game question: From The Closer I Get could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
Rose thou art sick! Evie, thou art sicker! Page 153
I truly appreciate Mr. Burston for taking his time to do this interview. The Closer I Get is now available at amazon, just click to link to get your copy today. You should definitely put it on your to-read pile as well. Thank you for stopping by here to read another interview. Thank you for your time and have a fantastic day.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
Ms. Toni Morrison has sadly passed away on August 5, 2019. She was eighty-eight years old. She died from complications of pneumonia in New York. Her books and other works will influence generations of writers. Her talent and gift will forever be treasured by her fans.
Ms. Morrison's inspirational quote (written above this very post) should be appreciated by everyone especially would-be writers. Every writer should not take his or her gift for granted.You should share that gift with the world, whether your work reaches only one person or to millions of people. Every and any stories that's yearning to come out from you should be written and share. Ms. Toni Morrison has shared her gift with the world and I hope you get read her works to appreciate yet another fantastic author. She will be missed.
And with that, please watch the YouTube clips on how Ms. Toni Morrison started to write below. I hope it will encourage you to write right this very minute. Tell someone you know that might be enlightened by these clips to watch them. Take care and RIP Ms. Toni Morrison.
The blurb of Between The Lie from the author's website:
The truth is hiding between the lies...
What would you do if you woke up and didn't know who you were?
Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She doesn't recognize the strangers who call themselves family. She can't even remember her own name.
What if your past remained a mystery?
As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life.
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they're keeping dark secrets - and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.
What if the people you should be able trust are lying to you?
I'm pleased to have Ms. Michelle Adams here again for another blog interview. Her latest novel, Between The Lies, is a gripping thriller that will keep guessing till the very end. But before you get your hands on this brilliant psychological thriller, get to know the author's take of her work.
1. Could you give a brief summary of Between The Lies?
Between The Lies is the exploration of one woman's history when she wakes up to find herself in a coma with not only no recollection of the crash, but also her family. The people around her say they are there to help, but as she returns home with them it becomes increasingly clear that somebody is hiding something. The question then, is who.
2. List three adjectives to describe Between The Lies?
Moody, cold, and claustrophibic
3. Are experiences in Between The Lies based on someone you know or events in your own life?
A few years ago I ended up in ITU after a bad reaction to some prescribed medication. For a short while I couldn't remember my own nameor where I lived. Afterwards it took a while for all the pieces to fit back into place. That is where this story was born.
4. Was there anything you find particularly challenging in writing Between The Lies?
Well it was my first book written under contract, and that was a bit of a challenge for me, sticking to deadlines, and writing with an editor in mind.
5. That’s a striking-nice book cover, who designed it? Was it collaboration afford?
All artwork is courtesy of my publisher. I think they did a great job, and I really hope people like it.
6. What was the hardest part of writing Between The Lies?
The editorial stage, because my new baby came home at the same time. It wasn't easy editing on her nap schedule and after she slept, but we got there. I like to think of it as a joint effort.
7. Which part of the research on Between The Lies was the most personally interesting to you?
In the outset I read a lot about the Milgram experiments. It was really interesting to see how people would react, what they might believe, and how far they would be prepared to go to hurt another person if they believed that they were absolved of responsibility.
8. What is your writing habit? Do you write in the daytime or night?
I write between 8 am and 2:30 PM while my daughter is at nursery.
9. What are your top five favorite books and why?
I recently read A LITTLE LIFE and it has taken my top spot. I think it was quite simply the most beautiful exploration of what it means to live alongside others, to love without bounds, and explore the deepest places in your own heart. I absolutely loved it, and still think of those characters. To me it seemed that they were so real. I also love CAPTAIN CORRELI'S MANDOLIN, THE HANDMAID'S TALE, A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series, and GONE GIRL because it was inspirational to me when writing my earliest thrillers.
10. Silly-Game question: From Between The Lies novel (with your eyes close) could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
Page 133 - I was awake enough to see Joshua lying lifeless on the forest floor.
11. What is the one book you would give to anyone and everyone as a gift(besides yours, of course)?
A LITTLE LIFE. I'm not sure everybody would love it, and it has a difficult subject matter. But I think everybody should have the chance to read it.
12. What’s your favorite song?
MY GIRL by The Temptations. We spent time in ITU with my daughter and I used to sing it to her and she would always relax when I did. I still sing it to her now, most nights, and she always doses when I do.
13. If you could pick a day to relive over and over again, what day would it be and why?
That's a really hard question. I have many wonderful days in my past. But I'm a firm believer in not looking back to much. I would never choose to go back. I've never been happier than I am now, so why would I want to go back?
14. Last question, If (or when) Between The Lies does become a movie, who would be your dream casts?
I'd love Bradley Cooper to star and direct. I think he is superbly talented.
I'll definitely watch Between The Lies if(or when) it ever gets a film adaptation. Meanwhile, you guys should give this novel a try. It's positively should be on your wishlist. Thanks again to Ms. Michelle Adams for stopping by here again. If you want to check out her first interview on novel pro, just click "here." Take care and I hope you are having a great day. Happy reading:)
Interview with Mr. Tim Waggoner, author of Kingsman: The Golden Circle( movie novelization) and numerous novels
Bram Stoker Award-winner, Mr. Tim Waggoner, has written over thirty novels along with novellas and three short stories collections. His writing has received Honorable Mentions as well as finalist mention at the Scribe Award and Shirley Jackson Award. When he isn't writing, he is being a full-time tenured creative writing professor at Sinclair College.Mr. Tim Waggoner has also written articles and media tie-ins novels such as XXX: Return of Xander Cage , Resident Evil: the final chapter, supernatural series, etc. This blog interview will mainly focus on his experience writing Kingsman: The Golden Circle as well as his life as an author. So, get to know a very talented author and check out his numerous publication as soon as possible.
1. First off, what is the scariest book you’ve ever read?
It’s a tie between Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel.
I was in junior high when King’s novel first came out, and a friend recommended it to me. I was a huge horror fan, and I was excited to read the book. But King’s horror was different than any I’d read before. His focus on what his characters were experiencing inside their minds as opposed to what was happening outside them made the horror far more impactful than anything I’d ever experienced. King’s approach taught me that horror is about what people experience, and it’s something I always keep in mind when writing my own fiction.
The Mothman Prophecies is a supposedly true account of paranormal events. I read it more or less around the same time I read Salem’s Lot. While the stories recounted in the book were scary, it was the last line of the book – a quote from Charles Fort – which absolutely terrified me: “If there is a universal mind, must it be sane?” That quote has resonated with me throughout my life and has formed the central theme of most of my horror fiction.
2. What is the scariest story you have ever written?
I don’t know what story readers might find scariest, but the story that scared me the most did so for a reason you might not expect. In the early nineties, I’d only published a handful of stories in small-press magazines. I was working on a story called “Mr. Punch” that I planned to submit to an anthology called Young Blood, which would feature stories written by authors younger than thirty. Up to this point, the horror I’d written was fairly run of the mill, but I had a different vision for this story. I wanted to write a horror story that used nightmarish, surreal imagery that (I hoped) would have a greater impact on readers than anything I’d done before. When I got two-thirds of the way through the story, I realized it was the best thing I’d written to that point, and I got scared that if I kept going, I’d screw it up. I stopped writing, but after a while, I forced myself to go back and finish it. I sold the story to Young Blood. It was my first professional sale, and Ellen Datlow gave the story an Honorable Mention in that year’s edition of Best Fantasy and Horror. Most importantly, “Mr. Punch” is where I found my voice as a writer, and if I hadn’t overcome my fear, that might never have happened.
3. Do you recall the first story you ever wrote?
The very first story I remember writing is a cartoon version of King Kong vs Godzilla. I’d seen photos from the film in Famous Monsters magazine, but I hadn’t seen the movie. I took a stenographer’s pad, turned it sideways, and drew what I imagined the movie might be like. In a sense, it was my first (unofficial) tie-in story!
4. Do you recall the first book you ever read that made you want to become a writer?
I don’t know if any book did that for me, but an article did. When I was in high school, I read an interview with Stephen King in an issue of the B&W comic magazine Dracula Lives. The Shining had just come out, and King wasn’t super-famous yet. It might have been the first interview with a writer I ever read, and before this, it had never really occurred to me that being a writer was something a person could choose. Something I could choose. I later told my mom that I thought I might like to be a writer, and she said, “I think you’d be a good one.” Her simple encouragement meant the world to me, and it still does.
5. Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most?
I know this sounds like a cop-out, but all of my characters are drawn from aspects of myself, so I can relate to all of them. But many of my characters find themselves caught in a world that’s weirder and more dangerous than they imagined, and they struggle to understand it and, if possible, find a place in it. That’s pretty much my experience of life, too, so I’d say that type of Tim Waggoner character is most like me, and therefore, the one I can relate to the most.
6. Describe what your ideal writing space looks like?
I can write anywhere. All I need is someplace to sit and my laptop or a notebook. I do a lot of my writing in Starbucks cafes. I like having a certain amount of noise and activity going on around me as I write – not too much – but enough so that part of my brain is constantly stimulated while another part produces prose. I’m not sure why this helps me, but it does. Or maybe it’s just the caffeine.
7. What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
I can’t remember if I researched this for a book or I just heard about it and got curious, but I learned that some people have a fetish where they like to read about people being boiled alive. I found website dedicated to fiction in which people – usually women – would be boiled alive and were turned on by the process and the knowledge that their flesh would be eaten. The site’s owner also offered to write boiled-alive stories featuring celebrities that readers chose. I’m very much a consenting adult can do whatever they want kind of guy, but the psychology behind this fetish fascinated me. I’ve never found the right opportunity to use this knowledge in a story, but it’s still in the back of my mind, waiting for the right story to come along.
8. How has Lawrence Block influenced you as a writer? Did you watch the film-adaptation of his novel A Walk among The Tombstones?
I first became familiar with Lawrence Block through his fiction-writing columns in Writers Digest. I then bought his books on writing and devoured those. I learned more about writing fiction from Block than I ever did from a teacher in class. He offers solid, non-nonsense advice about the craft that is never too prescriptive. His approach has also helped me become a better teacher of writing. After a time, I decided I should read Block’s fiction to see if he practiced what he preached, and he definitely did. He became one of my favorite novelists, regardless of genre, after that. I named the zombie PI protagonist in my Nekropolis urban fantasy novels after Block’s detective character Matt Scudder. I haven’t seen the film version of A Walk Among the Tombstones yet, but I’m looking forward to it. Liam Neeson seems like a perfect choice to play Scudder.
9. Reading from your blog post about your experience writing Kingsman: The Golden Circle (http://writinginthedarktw.blogspot.com/2017/09/kingsman-golden-circle.html), what did you wish you knew when you started writing media tie-in books? How did your experience help you now and in the future?
I wish I’d understood the glacial pace the approval process takes and the insane lightning-fast pace you have to write once an outline is approved in order to make a deadline. For example, years ago I wrote a tie-in novel featuring Freddie Krueger called A Nightmare on Elm Street: Protégé. My original pitch was that Freddie has accidentally returned to life as a human and another force takes his place in the dream realm. The editor loved it and sent the outline to Newline for approval. The approval process took so long that, in order to make the deadline, the editor told me to start writing. I wrote sixty pages before the studio killed the idea, saying they didn’t want Freddie to return to life because that would raise the specter of Freddie having been a child molester/murderer when he was alive and they didn’t want to deal with that issue. I had to come up with an entirely new plot ASAP, and once it was approved, I had to write very fast in order to hit the deadline. Now I know not to write a single word of an actual tie-in novel until the final outline approval comes through, even if that means the publisher will have to reschedule the book’s release.
10. Did you do a book tour for Kingsman: The Golden Circle? If so, where was the furthest you traveled for it or any book tour in general?
I’ve never been on a book tour. In general, publishers usually send their best-selling/highest-profile authors on tours. The whole point of book tours isn’t for authors to sell books and meet readers. It’s to get media coverage of their visit. This coverage reaches far more people than authors actually meet on tour, which hopefully translates into more sales. I think social media has taken the place of tours, especially for midlist, small-press, and indie authors. Social media allows authors to engage with readers directly and has the potential to increase sales in a more cost-effective way than a tour.
11. What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? Any resources you would recommend to other authors?
It’s difficult to say if any marketing strategies have any real impact for individual authors, but we still have to try. I think social media can work well if you can be authentic, provide interesting content, and don’t overwhelm your audience with constant sales messages. Interacting directly with your audience on a regular basis is important. Promoting and celebrating other writers – being part of a literary community – is a vital part of marketing in that it helps build your support network and makes you seem less like a totally self-involved marketer of your own work. A blog can help, too. My blog, Writing in the Dark, provides tips and insights for writers. It’s an outgrowth of my teaching career, but it also works to promote my own writing. I have a newsletter that I send out once a month, and along with the sales messages, I give writing tips and a list of favorite movies or books. A resource I always recommend is Guerilla Marketing for Writers by Levinson, Frishman, Larsen, and Hancock. There’s a ton of great advice in the book.
Guerilla Marketing for Writers: https://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Marketing-Writers-Low-Cost-Guerilla/dp/1600376606/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544033553&sr=8-1&keywords=guerilla+marketing+for+writers
12. Do you have any fun, interesting fact to tell when or after writing Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, or Supernatural series?
The movie before Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ended on a huge cliffhanger: Alice and her companions were preparing to battle a horde of zombies and mutants in Washington, DC. The Final Chapter begins with that battle already over and Alice is the sole survivor. All of her companions, including the young girl she unofficially adopted in the previous movie, are never mentioned. This is the kind of thing I hate as an audience member, so I decided to write the battle that occurred off-screen, and hope the studio wouldn’t cut it from the finished novel. The battle turned out to be several chapters long, but the studio let me keep it in. In fact, they let me keep everything I added to the script – including my tying the book into previous novelizations in the series. I’m so grateful they gave me that artistic freedom. It’s rare in novelizations.
13. Silly-Game question: From Kingsman: The Golden Circle novel, could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
Pg. 121: But before the man could pull his half-eaten feet out of the tank, Charlie’s robot hand – moving faster than any human eye could track – took hold of Angel’s neck and gave it a swift, savage twist.
14. Which movie would you like to do a novelization to and why?
I love the old Universal horror films of the 1930’s-40’s, and I think it would be amazing to adapt one of them as a novel. Frankenstein vs the Wolfman was the first one of these I saw. I was four at the time, and the idea that these two monsters inhabited the same world, could meet and interact, fascinated me. So I guess I’d pick that film.
15. Which of your short stories, novella, and novels would you like to see made into a film?
I think the Nekropolis series would make fun films, and my Bram Stoker Award-winning novella The Winter Box is one of the best things I’ve written, and it would make a wonderfully bizarre film. My novel The Teeth of the Sea would make a great creature-feature movie. Although I’d honestly be happy if anything of mine was adapted for film. I’d love to see how a director and actors would interpret one of my stories.
16. Have you ever considered writing a screenplay?
I’ve toyed with the idea on and off over the years. I wrote a couple plays in college and even directed one, and I enjoyed the experience, but a script isn’t a thing in and of itself: it’s a blueprint for a performance. It’s only one aspect of a larger creative process. Writing fiction is a deeper, more complete experience for me, and I have complete creative control. I think the highly collaborative nature of scriptwriting – one in which the screenwriter is often on the bottom rung of the ladder – would drive me crazy.
17. Would you considered an aspiring author to write a media-in novel or be a published author first before taking that route?
It’s almost impossible to get started writing tie-in fiction if you haven’t written and published your own original fiction first. You need to have a track record as an author before a publisher will hire you to write a tie-in novel. Publishers need to know that you can write successfully at novel length and that you can write to deadline. They also need to know that you can work well with editors, since tie-in fiction has to hew closely to the established universe and rules of the original IP and editors have to make sure this happens. Publishers also need to know that you’re open to revising and can revise successfully, since the IP rights holder will review a tie-in project and require changes. The only way publishers can be sure if writers have the necessary skills and experience to write a tie-in is if they’ve already proven themselves as published authors.
18. Can you inform us about your latest story?
Right now I’m working on a tie-in novel set in the Alien universe called Alien: Prototype. It deals with a former space marine who’s training a security force for a corporation that’s a rival of Weyland-Yutani’s, and of course an alien infestation breaks out in the training facility. I hope readers will enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it.
19. What is your favorite joke?
Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: The fish.
20. Last question, what is your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant?
Saag paneer and chicken tikka masala (with rice and naan) at my Amar India Restaurant in Dayton, Ohio.
You all should, no question, check out those valuable links that Mr. Tim Waggnoer offered, especially if you want to know more about his novels/novellas/short stories. My sincere appreciation for him in regard to answering my questions and for his time. His insight was informative and will probably help other writers in their writing journey. Thank you for stopping by to read this latest blog interview. I hope you visit here again. Take care and happy reading.
Here are the authors that have left this earth in 2018. May they rest in peace and a great thanks to them for sharing their gift to the world. Now we can always respect each and everyone of them by reading their great work. These authors have made a lot of fans escape into their world and will probably help countless of others in the future to appreciate their unique writing gift. Hail and farewell to these gifted authors, hail and farewell.
Mr. Henrik Tamm has worked as a conceptual designer in Hollywood for such film as Black Panther, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Edge of Tomorrow, Shrek, The Chronicles of Naria and much more. He's also an illustrator and, at times, an artist. For now I'll mainly focus on his superb talent as a children author in which he wrote about a Ninja named Timmy. This outstanding book series has been translated in eleven languages and so far there has been four books in the series with more to come. So fellow readers, thanks for stopping by to get to know Mr. Henrik Tamm and his current work.
1. How did the idea of Ninja Timmy came to you?
While visiting Beijing, some friends and I were eating cake one evening on the roof of a building in the oldest part of the city. A grey cat approached us from across the rooftops, insisting on having a taste. It made me wonder what his life was like, who is friends were, and what he might look like in a ninja suit.
2. Do you ever get writer’s block when writing Ninja Timmy series? What do you do to get back on track?
Sure, of course I do. I often just skip the section I’m having difficulty with, and write a scene that’s clearer in my head, or simply more fun. That in itself will often inform the section I left behind.
3. How many drafts did you do for the first Ninja Timmy novel?
I wrote the first draft very fast, while hanging out at Lake Como in Italy. After that followed countless revisions and many rounds with my editor. I forget how many.
4. What’s your favorite sentence/dialogue from Ninja Timmy series?
I like the Blue Rabbit’s inner monologue. His reasoning for justifying his actions. I think it’s good because it’s truthful - anybody can identify with wanting a real soul. I tend to have the most fun when writing the antagonist point of view.
5. Do you have a goal to write a certain number of words a week or when inspiration strikes?
I don’t, really. But if I’m not on a film, I do write every day. Sometimes I write three thousand words, other times fifty. A good day for me is a thousand words. I’d love to say that I have a strict schedule, but I don’t. I tend to write in spurts. A whole chapter in a single evening, then spend several days tinkering with it. I do want to get to a place where I have a regular work-schedule.
6. Is there a possibility that Ninja Timmy series could be in visual media?
Yes, and I’d love that. My background is with film, and I think the books would make a wonderful kids television series or even a film. There has been talks with various studios, but nothing has materialized yet. I’ve been approached about computer games as well, and am open to that.
7. What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?
How lonely it can be. In film, I was always surrounded by other creatives, and we were all working together to create something bigger than one person could ever produce. I love being the sole author/creator, but I miss the camaraderie of film.
8. Where is your favorite place to write?
Lake Como. Ha. that’s where I wrote the first book, and it was great. A bit of a once off, but it got things going. Now, I write mostly at home in my studio, but also venture out sometimes - cafes or bars. It’s tricky to find a spot that’s private, yet buzzing, if that makes sense. I’ll often wear my earphones and listen to the sound of rain where I write.
9. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
For Timmy, here and there, and not for very long. Honestly, I create most of those stories from scratch. It’s fantasy, and I love making up worlds and the characters who inhabit that world. That’s what I’m good at. Making stuff up. If there is a detail about how a submarine works, or how steam power might make a motorcycle run, I’ll read about that, or watch a video about it. But I have other book projects in the works that are much more research-heavy, involving the inter-war years, and old Scandinavian history. Too much research can bog me down, so it’s a balancing act.
10. As a young person, who did you look up to most in regard to illustrating and writing?
As a kid, I was a huge Frank Frazetta fan. Star Wars made a huge impact on me as well. I later worked with Joe Johnston, one of the main illustrators on the first Star Wars films. He was directing at the time, but I remember once he came into my office and corrected my perspective on a drawing. That was pretty special.
As I matured, I adored the painting of Anders Zorn, the Swedish artist.
For writing, I read tons of fantasy as a kid, everything from Tolkien to the Dragonlance series. And of course Astrid Lindgren! Nowadays, I love the writing of Paul Auster, Neil Gaiman (who doesn’t), and find much joy in Le Carré. His writing is just so elegant.
11. What is your current favorite book?
The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker. I also loved Pax, by Sara Pennypacker.
12. Are you a morning writer or night writer?
Night, definitely. Something about the stillness, and knowing everybody responsible is getting a good night’s rest for the workday tomorrow.
13. (fill in the blank question): If I wasn’t afraid I would_ignore this question__
Ha. Seriously, fear hasn’t really been a problem for me. Not as far as my work goes, anyway. I decided early on I wanted to be a conceptual illustrator for film, and I did that. To a very high level. Shrek is known across the world, and I had a ton to do with that film. I’m proud of that. Then I decided to start writing, and that’s going pretty well. Oh, I do love racing cars, but don’t have the balls to risk my life the way you’d have to to become really good.
14. What’s your favorite thing to do in the winter?
Just walk around in the snow, if there is any. The forest, the city, it doesn’t matter. I used to ski a lot. I live mostly in Los Angeles now, and rain is our winter fare.
15. What do you like best about yourself?
My imagination and my determination. It’s a tie.
16. What advice do you wish someone had given you when you were younger?
To be smarter with money, I guess. Buy a house, settle down sooner, that kind of thing. But I was never very good at listening. Then again, if I had been, I might not have become an artist or a writer.
17. As conceptual designer in Hollywood, which movie did you have the most difficulty creating its world and how did you overcome that challenge?
Each film poses its own unique challenge. I think you have to pay attention to the tone of the story and specific taste of the project’s helm. That said, the first Narnia film was tricky, since not much prior art had been created for C. S. Lewis’ world. I wanted to push it more fantastical, more whimsical, but the director wanted to stay more realistic, so I had to respect that wish.
18. Last question, what is the one thing everyone should eat or drink if one should visit Sweden?
Sill! Or herring, as it’s known to the rest of the world. There are many varieties, and is often locally made, cured with local spices. Goes well with snaps, a very strong spirit. Each country has its own specialty snaps.
I'll definitely try out sill (a.k.a herring) wherever I find one especially if I get the chance to visit Sweden. Thanks to Mr. Henrik Tamm for agreeing to do this interview. Everyone should look into his Ninja Timmy series. If you want to get to know more of him then please check out his website as well:www.henriktamm.com/about/. As always, thank to you for visiting my blog. Take care and I hope your day is going well so far. I hope for your return again.
At the age of fourteen, Katarina Tonks started writing stories. She would soon discover Wattpad and posted a story that would change her life forever and that story is Death is my BFF. With her hard work on the story and loads of viewership, the Wattpad team has taken notice and now this story will soon become a television series. All I can say about that is WOW and congrats on her success. So, I hope you get to know a bit about how all of this happened and read why you should keep an eye on this latest author.
1. Could you give a brief summary about Death is my BFF?
The legendary Angel of Death has spared Faith Williams’ prophesized soul. However, this merciful act comes at a price. When she turns eighteen, her soul and everything that she is, will belong to him. The problem? Faith’s not going to hell without a fight. Death isn't the only creature that has taken notice in her uniqueness. Demons, monsters, one vengeful demi-god, a notorious playboy, and AP Calculus, are all wrecking havoc on her life. Torn between two worlds, Faith must decide once and for all whom she can trust, and whom she can allow herself to love, before all of hell breaks loose. Even if it means striking another deal with Death.
2. What is the genesis of Death is my BFF?
I started writing Death is My BFF when I was fourteen, after reading a novel with a boring grim reaper character. It was the first time I had ever seen a “Death” character in a story, and it frustrated me to no end that he was so dry and uninteresting. I also wanted to bring light to a word and a subject that has a negative connotation for all of us. So, I sought out to create my own grim reaper, one who was dynamic, sexy, and wicked funny!
3. What were the challenges (literary, research, etc.) in writing Death is my BFF?
Although most of the concepts in my book stem from my own interpretations of things, this book is rich in classic mythology and legends, so I had to do heavy research into angels, demons, demi-gods, and all of the fun monsters and magic in-between. On top of that, Death is My BFF has an intricate plot with a lot of characters. I have a theme of façades in the story, which means a lot of characters are deceptive, and a lot of what Faith recognizes as her reality ends up being false. So on top of all of the plotting out all of insane happenings going on in the protagonist’s life, I had to pay attention to detail while rewriting the book, such as dropping hints about certain characters while making sure the reader understands the differences between our world and Death’s.
4. What was your favorite scene to write?
I’m torn between two scenes in the manuscript (the version that isn’t published and isn’t on Wattpad, which best reflects my current writing). There’s the corn maze scene, which is a fan favorite from the originals. It has been totally revamped/rewritten in a way that I was totally worried about initially, but it came out beautifully. You feel like you’ve been strapped into a trippy, horrifying rollercoaster from hell with Faith and there’s no going back now! The carnival scene is another favorite because it starts off as the best night of Faith’s life with a boy she likes, and then turns out to be the worst night of her life. But to me, the author, it’s still the best night because Death and her are just a riot when they’re together.
5. Which fictional character (besides yours) would you like to sit down and chat with?
JERICHO BARRONS from the Fever Series by Karen Moning. All caps because he’s the love of my life! He’s brooding, mysterious, monstrous, and yet, loveable. I haven’t seen many characters that amount to his unique complexity and powerful presence on the page.
6. Which author would you love to invite over and chat with? And Why?
Karen Moning because I have to have a long talk with her about how amazing her writing is! I’ve read all of her books. Same with Iiona Andrews, which is a husband and wife author duo. Their Magic Bites series is just incredible.
7. What was your favorite book when you were a kid? Do you have a favorite book now?
Favorite book when I was a “kid” (teen) was easily Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey. Beth is Fantastic… See what I did there? That story is a one that I always find myself going back to read again. Even as I’m writing this, I’m thinking about reading it again tonight. Currently, my favorite book is Burn for Me by Iiona Andrews!
8. How were you introduced to Wattpad?
I turned to Wattpad when I was very young and dealing with a super overactive imagination. I had all of these stories in my head, but I’d yet to really sit down and write them down. My mother recommended finding a website I could write online, like a blog, and then I found Wattpad, which is an online e-book platform. I’ve been writing my first drafts on this site ever since!
9. Did you do any marketing when you published Death is my BFF on Wattpad?
I’m constantly marketing my books on my social media. I used to spam the community forums on Wattpad, begging people to read my book. Finally, I got enough of a following that I was able to do my own thing on my social media and just post “shout outs” on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Wattpad whenever I want to get my reader’s attention.
10. How many books are there in Death is my BFF series? Are you going to do a spin-off or prequel?
This might be a little confusing because on Wattpad I’ve posted all of my first drafts, but there are two Death series. There’s the Death is My BFF (originals) series that I wrote when I was fourteen to seventeen. That series has five books and is incomplete on Wattpad. When I got older, my vision of the story obviously changed, so I wrote the rewritten Death is My BFF Chronicles, which I’m currently still posting on Wattpad. I’m two books into that. Off of Wattpad, I have the manuscript version, which is another complete rewrite of the story and is the skeleton of the Death is My BFF (rewritten) on Wattpad. The manuscript I’ve written from scratch off of Wattpad is the version that’s been professionally edited for publishing.
11. Congratulation on All in Media producing your story Death is my BFF, how did the producer, Mr. Paul Shapiro, discover your story?
The team at Wattpad got it in front of Paul. He was really passionate about my characters and wanted to see these books brought to life!
12. Congratulation on your Death is my BFF series being made into a television series, would you like to make a cameo?
Hell yes!!! I’m ready for my close up!
13. What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing?
Write because you love it. The hardest thing a writer has to battle with is the idea of writing for themselves and for the love of writing. To write for others, to write for success, or to write because you have to, is when the art becomes mechanical. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many moments where I’ve forced myself to write and held my eyes open with toothpicks at three in the morning because I had to get something done. (Slight exaggeration with the toothpicks.) But still, even in those cases, I was writing for something that I love to do!
14. What do you want readers to remember about the Death is my BFF series?
Remember my concept of light and dark, how it engages and comes together as one harmonious force. That’s how life works. Even in the darkest of times, I’ve found light through love or humor. I want my readers to know that you don’t have to be afraid of the dark and it never stays dark forever.
15. Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents?
This is pretty weird… Since I was a toddler, I’ve been able to wiggle my eyebrows in circles. I have full control of my eyebrows and can even make them arch and look like Spock’s from Star Trek. I’ve yet to meet anyone else who can do the circle trick! Lol!
16. What does your family think of your writing?
They love it! My sister has been reading my books since she was little, my mom recently got into my Death Chronicles, and my dad has helped me a lot with the manuscript! I’m so grateful to have such a great support system!
17. Last question, what type of snack (or food) do you plan to get while watching Death is my BFF on your television screen?
Cupcakes! “Cupcake” is the nickname that Death has for Faith. Needless to say, cupcakes MUST be on the menu at the premiere!
Thanks to Ms. Katarina Tonks for giving me the time of day to answer my questions. I know her fans and soon-to-be fans can't wait to read more of her stories at Wattpad. We all are also going to keep an eye out for more news about the television series. As for my readers, thanks again for visiting here and support us authors in any way possible. Take care everyone and I hope you are having a great day so far.
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