Book Review: Remote by Lisa Acerbo

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Synopsis for Remote:

When technology fulfills every dream, reality becomes a nightmare.

Below the streets of New State, the undergrounders fight to remain free of the technological control of the world above. Every night, Yara risks her life fighting New State’s deadliest weapons, the drones. Half human and half machine, their living half tortured until everything human is gone, the drones have only one objective. Kill. And they do it with exacting precision.

Yara is good at her job and committed to her raids on New State. Until one of those raids brings her face-to-face with Joshua, a New State citizen who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. After a couple of awkward encounters, he shows her the meaning of hooking up—a computer simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies—without the complication of emotional entanglements or physical reality. But what Yara feels for Joshua is very real. And it’s punishable by law.

As she and Joshua grow closer, she convinces him to leave New State for her underground cause. But as the unrest between New State and the underground escalates, and the drones move in to destroy her world, nothing goes as planned. Families are arrested, loyalties are strained, and Yara’s forced to choose between her people and her feelings. The wrong choice could mean the end of her people, and reality could slip away—forever…

REVIEW OF REMOTE:

This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.  I discovered this author when she published her first novel, Apocalipstick. I enjoyed Ms. Acerbo’s first book so much that I connected with her on social network just so I wouldn’t miss further work. It delighted me to learn that she published Remote. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book and will tell you that I was NOT THE LEAST BIT disappointed.

I enjoyed following Yara on her raid missions and held my breath each time she risked her safety by visiting Josh, the tech-head.  This modern day West Side Story with a sci-fi twist provides the right about of romance, drama and action.  Not only does Yara struggle to make her first romance work, she must fight half human-half machine monsters designed to kill and protect her community by leading a war against the enemy.  The fight scenes are suspenseful and well written.  It was easy to imagine myself in the action and to feel each character’s pain.

The author did a fantastic job creating three-dimensional characters that readers care about.  At the same time, the suspense keeps readers turning pages. This young-adult, sci-fi novel is one that parents and their teens will equally enjoy.  The characters are rich, the plot is exciting, the writing is intelligent and the story is without foul language and sex scenes.  I strongly recommend this book for adults and teens, alike.

photo1About the Author:  Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and two horses. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education. She recently completed her EdD.

Other books written by this author:

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Synopsis:  Life is bad after the apocalypse…the undead just made it worse.

Jenna should be having the time of her life at college. Instead, her one desire is survival. She lives in a world gone insane after a virus kills most of the population. Being alive after the apocalypse is bad, but when the undead return, hungry for humans, times turn darker. For Jenna and a small group of survivors, the goal is to reach the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna develops feelings for Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is notquite human. Will this new utopia last?

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Book Review: Desert Son by Glenn Maynard

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Synopsis:

Carter Spence is a 26 year-old accountant out of Boston who has an out-of-body experience following a car accident that kills his parents.  He views the chaos from above the scene of the accident, then passes through the tunnel and reunites with relatives who have long been dead. A woman he does not recognize approaches him and says, “Welcome, son.” Her message to him is that he needs to be aware of his true identity and should follow signs that will lead him there. She mentions mountains, but Carter is jolted back into his physical body before she can finish. After burying his parents, Carter heads west and meets a free-spirit named Brenda, whom he is drawn to on many levels. She becomes his travelling companion and leads him to Boulder, Colorado, and to an old white house of an old man named Martin. Diaries, hypnosis, and past-life regression reveal a bizarre connection between these three. Carter discovers that the truth to his identity can only be found by pursuing the answer to whether he is the reincarnation of his biological father in what is shaping up to be a love affair rekindled beyond the grave.

Review:

The author gave me a copy of Desert Son in exchange for an honest review.  My intention was to forward this book to one of my fellow readers, but the synopsis captivated me.  I requested an extension to read it myself.  The story begins shortly after a car accident.  Mr. Maynard did a fabulous job describing the accident through the eyes of the main character who left his body moments after the crash.  The next scene brings the reader to Heaven.  Again, the author’s writing style blanketed me in the warmth and love of Heaven.  I was just as disappointed as the Carter to return to earth.

The story is fast-paced, yet the settings are described perfectly. I imagined the long car ride and the house while reading.  It was enjoyable discovering this new author and recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fiction.

Link to Purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/Desert-Son-Glenn-Maynard/dp/1612963129

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If you are interested in learning more about Katie McKnight, her suspenseful-romance novel or how your book can be featured in the Author Spotlight, visit http://www.katie-mcknight-author.com or visit her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/katiemcknightauthorpage.

Eternal Press Valentine Blog Hop – Come Feel the Love

1601236_823052204376839_948399950_nWelcome to the Eternal Press Valentine Blog Hop! Readers have the opportunity to discover new books, converse with authors and WIN FREE E-BOOKS.

* Leave a comment and your email address anytime from February 9th through February 15th at 5 p.m. eastern time for a chance to win 1 of 3 grand prize packages of 7 e-books from the 20 fabulous and talented authors listed below.

*Be sure to visit each author and comment to increase your chance of winning. …
just by liking or commenting on this post. Want to increase your chance of winning, hop to the other blogs using links below and like or comment on their post too. The participating authors provide a variety of genres for your reading pleasure.

Don’t forget to keep hopping and commenting at our Eternal Press authors listed below.  Scroll all the way to the bottom for another little surprise…….

First stop:

secretsrevealedBroadway actress, Melanie O’Shaughnessy and her new husband, Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Carlisle, lived on opposite ends of the country a good part of the year. With their latest projects completed, they leave work, fans, and the paparazzi behind to enjoy an overdue holiday vacation.

When a secret from Melanie’s past brings the celebration to a horrifying halt, Melanie fears a public scandal. What she doesn’t realize, is someone in her life is masterminding a plan for murder.

Eternal Press has kicked in some swag for our wonderful hoppers and each author will be drawing for that awesome give away!

I hope you’ll show your love to the following authors.  Leave a comment for your chance to win our love in the form of free e-books!  Good luck!

Andie Lea
http://andieleabooks.com/

Barbara Winkes
www.barbarawinkes.blogspot.ca

Briana Lawrence
https://www.facebook.com/BrianaLawrencesPenAndPaper

Em Epe
Somer’s Rising, Book 2 of the McRaidy Clan
http://www.emeperomances.blogspot.com/

Fiona McGier
For The Love Of His Life
http://www.fionamcgier.com

Giana Bruno
The Journey
http://giannabruno.blogspot.com

Jeremy E. Elwell
http://jeremyelwell.com/

Katie McKnight
Secrets Revealed
http://www.writergirlkatie.wordpress.com/

Kimberly Tipton
Passion Surrender releasing 2014
www.kimberlytipton.blogspot.com

KZ Riman
Kissing Another Grimaldi
kzriman.wordpress.com

Laura Dasnoit
Forgotten Legends
https://www.facebook.com/LauraDasnoitAuthor

Linda Hays-Gibbs
Angel in My Heart, Devil in My Soul
http://www.lindahaysgibbs.blogspot.com

Lisa Acerbo
Apocalipstick
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Apocalipstick/131636053705754

M. Homer
Dare to Breathe
http://mhomer1.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/M-Homer/468371479942921

Rachel Robinson
Escaped
www.racheljrobinson.com

Roberta Hoffer
Silent Heart
www.asilentheart.com

Rose Montague
Jade
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000712227923

Ross S. Simon
Red Dahlia
www.facebook.com/samuel.ridings

Stephanie O’Hanlon
Affaire de Coeur
www.stephanieohanlonauthor.blogspot.ca

Trisha Haddad
Deep Green
http://www.happybookreviewer.blogspot.com/

Another little gift for you! Hop over to http://www.eternalpress.biz/  and use promo code 20EPdb14 at check out for 25% off your entire ebook order.

Em Epe is in the Author Spotlight

emepecoverI recently met Em Epe through our publisher Eternal Press and am excited for you to get to know her. The best way to familiarize yourself with someone new…interview them! I hope you enjoy our chat.

Welcome to the spotlight, Em! In my internet journeys I discovered that you wrote and published six books. Congratulations on your success!

Today we are going to discuss All of Me, A McRaidy Son. Please tell us a little bit about it.
It’s a sexy little story about a woman with a hurtful past that impacted her self-confidence until her old high school sweetheart comes back into her life. He is the “Ultimate Bad Boy” reformed but still turns their world upside down.

How did you come up with the idea for this book?
Its part of a series and his personality started edging through in the previous book. Den McRaidy just evolved!

It took five years for me to complete my book. How long did it take you to write All of Me? Hmmm, on this one, I worked on it, then let it simmer and then came back. Overall, it was about a year.

Every author enlists the help of a friend, family member or professional to read their WIP. Who reads the drafts of your novels?
I have a “Beta Listener”. My wonderful cousin lives on the other side of the country from me. We get on the phone and I read her the manuscript. I love this process because if she can sink in and a visual begins in her mind, I know I’m on the right path.
Your method is fantastic. Reading your work aloud is a great tool. I wonder how many writers realize that errors we miss when reading work silently, often stands out when you read it aloud.   Your novel is written and polished; now it is time to submit your manuscript to publishing houses. Tell me about the process. Was publishing easier or more difficult than you initially believed?
Publishing is an awesome experience. It’s much different than I anticipated. The notice that your book was accepted for publication can’t be described. It’s a combination of so many emotions, but mostly, “well damn, they liked it!” When you get your first round of edits back, sometimes, it’s lit up like the Vegas strip with suggestions and corrections!

Ah, the dreadful editing process. When you are not writing and editing, what TV shows do you enjoy?
My entire Wednesday night is planned around Survivor! I have been a fan since season one. I always get a pizza, silence my phone and shut off the computer. I am also addicted to Big Bang Theory! I have all the seasons on DVD and watch them frequently. Other than that, a few random cooking shows when I have time since I love to cook.

Season One of Survivor – Richard! Who can forget Richard? Where can readers find you?

emepepicOh yes! Come visit me! I love to meet new readers and writers.

https://www.facebook.com/emepeauthor
https://www.facebook.com/emeperomances
http://www.emeperomances.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/EmEpeRomances
http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615729272

Thank you for joining me in the spotlight. I look forward to the Valentine’s Blog Hop.

Readers:  Em and I will participate in an Eternal Press’ Valentine’s Blog Hop from February 9 through February 15. I hope you will join us, along with some of our fellow Eternal Press authors, for this fabulous event.  Followers have the opportunity to win free books!  Forget candy and flowers — you’ll enjoy this prize for months.

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Katie McKnight is the author of Secrets Revealed, a suspenseful-romance novel. For more information in Katie, her book or to find out how you can enter the author spotlight, visit www.facebook.com/katiemcknightauthorpage or www.katie-mcknight-author.com.

Brian Francis is in the Author Spotlight

Brian Francis Headshot-1-1Pretty much everyone on the East Coast woke to a blanket of fresh snow.   You may have shoveled the snow already or are looking out the window dreading the task.  Either way, I think you should curl up with a warm blanket and a good book.  How about a horror novel with some comedy mixed in?  What did you say?  That sounds like a great idea.  Grab a warm beverage or a bottle of scotch and keep warm in the author spotlight with Brian Francis.

Welcome Brian.  Please tell us about your new release.

It’s called Merry AXmas and it’s a horror comedy. The main character, Barry Higgins, is a down-on-his-luck part-time Santa wrongly accused of being a serial killer. It’s also about a competitive eater, a hermit crab on ecstasy, and a CEO on the brink of financial ruin. Lastly, I’d say the book is an ode to my hometown of Philadelphia.

How did you come up with the idea for this book? 

I wanted to write a satire, and I thought the overblown nature of Christmas would be an easy target.

 What can you tell us about your main characters?

 Barry is a bit of a loser with a big heart. He’s a relative “straight-man” surrounded by a bunch of wacky characters and strange events.

How did you begin your writing career?

Writing jokes, songs and poems in college. Writing for college and local newspapers. Basically, taking on any writing gig that sounded fun…paid or unpaid.

Who is your book published through?

Damnation Books, Santa Rosa CA

Where can we find your book?

On-line (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes etc.) and through the publisher’s website.

Where did you get the inspiration for this book?

My last book was a horror novel so I wanted to do something lighter, sillier. People were concerned about my mental health after reading my horror novel, so I wanted to assure everyone that I’m okay by writing a comedy. After reading Merry AXmas, they’re even MORE concerned about me.

How long did it take you to write your current novel?

About a year.

I am excited about your book and you make me laugh. I want readers to experience your humor.  If you wouldn’t mind, I have some silly questions for you to answer.  Let’s go.

Did I mention the snow?  We are all dreaming of stretching out on a tropical Island right now.  If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?

 Water.

 Tell me something about yourself that might be funny to others? (other than writing)

 I’m a bit of a “germaphobe” and use way too much hand sanitizer on a daily basis. I realize my habit is contributing to the creation of a “super bug,” but I just can’t help myself.

Would you please share an odd behavior you’ve picked up while writing? (An example: during intense scenes, my fingers pound the keyboard.)

Umm…I talk out loud to myself when trying to get the rhythm of dialogue, although I don’t know if that’s odd. They say, “The ear is the best editor.” And I believe it!

Share a pet peeve of yours (related to writing or otherwise).

The only kind of writing I don’t like is stuff that’s boring. If you’re entertaining me…you’re a good writer.

Do characters invade your head the moment you stumble on a new writing idea?  If so, how long did you fear that you’d gone insane before realizing this is the norm for writers?

As for characters…I feel like my characters are in my novels to carry ideas. And when my characters clash, they represent a clash of ideas. I also try to give the reader something pleasant or weird to envision. A hot chick. A drunken part-time Santa, etc.

What is your day job?

High school English teacher and guidance counselor to gifted students.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Happy. (Okay…I stole that answer from John Lennon.) I don’t know…I’m STILL not sure what I want to be when I grow up.

If you could change lives with any of your characters for a day, which character would you choose and why?

I don’t really think about my characters in that way. In fact, I rarely think about them at all after the novel is published.

What are your favorite TV shows?

I don’t watch a lot of TV. I watch the Family Guy. Documentaries on Netflix. And Philadelphia Eagles football games.

I am pleased to meet you.  I wish you the very best and look forward to reading your novel Merry AXmas.

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SecretsRevealed_200x300_dpi72Katie McKnight is the author of a suspenseful-romance novel titled Secrets Revealed. To learn more about Katie, her novel or spotlighting your book, contact Katie at www.katie-mcknight-author.com or www.facebook.com/katiemcknightauthorpage

Book Review of Apocalipstick by Lisa Acerbo

Apocalipstick_150dpi_eBook (2)Synopsis

Life is bad after the apocalypse…the undead just made it worse. Jenna should be having the time of her life at college. Instead, her one desire is survival. She lives in a world gone insane after a virus kills most of the population. Being alive after the apocalypse is bad, but when the undead return, hungry for humans, times turn darker. For Jenna and a small group of survivors, the goal is to reach the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna develops feelings for Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human. Will this new utopia last?

Review

I enjoyed Apocalipstick from the first page and found myself reading it slowly because I did not want the story to end. The characters were as genuine as the emotion. I chuckled when the protagonist’s regrets in her post apocalypse world were missing shopping and listening to music. The character’s thoughts evidenced Lisa’s ability to write from the point of view of a teenager. The love triangle will have readers picking a “team” – either Team Caleb or Team Quentin.
I enjoyed the story, bit my fingernails during the zombie scenes and grew sad when I reached the last page. I hope the author is busy writing book two, because I look forward to reading it.

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Review posted by Katie McKnight, author of Secrets Revealed.  To learn more about Katie, her book or to be featured in the author spotlight, visit www.facebook.com/katiemcknightauthorpage or www.katie-mcknight-author.com.

Review of Innocent Monsters by Barbara Doherty

innocentmonsterSynopsis

When Kaitlyn dies, young writer Jessica Lynch loses not just a sister, but the calm centre of her stormy existence, the compass that guided her through a life disturbed by memories of their abusive father.
Confused, despairing and struggling to piece her broken life back together, Jessica meets reclusive William Blaise. He is an awkward and introverted man who has isolated himself from the rest of the world, battling terrible childhood experiences of his own. Their similar pasts bind them together and they become lovers, comparing scars and hurts, exposing their true nature to one another and finding a private kind of truth.
As investigations into her sister’s death continue, Jessica senses a growing awareness that William is not the man she wants him to be. But then, is she really the woman she thought she was?

REVIEW

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. The story of Jessica Lynch and William Blaise is a dark romance. The book is not for the faint at heart — but for the rest of us, it is a fantastic read. I will admit I almost stopped reading after page 3. The story of William’s abuse was more than I could handle. The thing that kept me reading was the author’s writing style. She drags you into the scene with her poetic voice. It took me a little while to read the book because of the emotion the author evokes. Some people may view that as a bad thing. When I read, I want to taste their food, I want to feel the fabric of the dress the character wears and I want to experience their emotion (no matter how difficult). I am thrilled to find this author and look forward to future work. Congrats on Innocent Monsters.

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Reviewed by Katie McKnight.  Katie McKnight is the author of a suspenseful-romance novel titled Secrets Revealed.  To learn more about Katie, her novel or to be featured as a author spotlight, contact Katie at www.facebook.com/katiemcknightauthorpage or www.katie-mcknight-author.com.

Review: Littlefield Chronicles: The Gift

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Synopsis:

Transformed by a primitive magic beyond a civilized man’s understanding, I was given a horrible gift that no man should possess… It held me, twisted me, turning me at its bidding. I was enslaved by its power, compelled to devour the souls of the dead until I became the monster of my fears. I have seen things I wish never to see again. I have done things of which I wish never to speak. Yet I must if I am to find the answers to fulfill my hope. I have walked upon blue ribbons of molten stone to peer into the depth of a man’s soul. I watched as a promise made at birth brought my friend Enon to sacrifice everything to become whole again – all in an effort to save the life of his child. I have cried without shame for the loss of all I hold dear and for fear that the future will hold more than I can bear. I am Tucker Littlefield. Know all that I say now is true-spoken.

Review of Littlefield Chronicles: The Gift by Tegon Maus

 By: Maryann Gross 

 The Gift was an engaging read. Although I was confused in the beginning since the author just throws the reader into the lives of the characters, the Tolkienesque quality of the book captures the imagination. The story takes place in a land where magic and alternate species and races live. Bigotry and prejudice abound and Tucker and Enon band together unwillingly when Tucker becomes Enon’s soul bearer. They go on a quest to save the King’s niece and along the way meet new friends, fall in love and fight epic battles. The battle scenes were especially engaging and I found myself speed reading through them to see how they end. The love story between Tucker and the Governess Eloise was very funny and touching. It’s not just men saving the day, there are plenty of strong women characters, both good and evil. Every hero needs to have a flaw and Tucker has several, which he freely admits to. However, his fear of the dark is what makes him real. He insists on sleeping with a candle lit and that is mistaken for a signal which gets him into the whole mess. He does not overcome his fear but manages to push through it in order to help save the child and his friends. Overall, this was a very entertaining tale of good versus evil.

Author Biography

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Tegon Maus

I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn’t friendly, I just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.

The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after inventing games and prototypes for a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.

It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.

I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it’s making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not. If I can make people think “it could happen,” even for a moment, then I have them and nothing makes me happier. When I write, I always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.

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Maryann Gross holds a BA in English Literature.  She will read just about anything that is well written and engaging. For more information about Maryann or to request a review, please visit http://www.katie-mcknight-author.com.

Clark Zlotchew is in the Author Spotlight!

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I’d like to welcome Clark Zlotchew today to discuss his book Once Upon A Decade: Tales of the Fifties. This book is a short-story collection and was a FINALIST for NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS, 2011.

Welcome Mr. Zlotchew Please tell us a little bit about the book you wrote.

The narratives in this collection paint a picture of the 1950s. A man with a tortured psyche keeps a pink teddy bear on his food tray as he watches the Olympics on TV. A waitress in New Jersey puts a curse on a sailor; his behavior becomes increasingly irrational. Two shipmates –one white, one black– learn firsthand about segregation in 1950s Savannah. A sailor who wants no more complications in his life falls in love with a young prostitute in Havana on the eve of the Castro Revolution. A timid adolescent boy suffers the pangs of unrequited love. A young high school teacher attempts to withstand a female student’s powers of seduction. An academic meets Jorge Luis Borges and uncovers the mystery of an American writer with three different names. A high official in a banana republic uses a military man to help overthrow the President, but his plan takes an unexpected turn. These are the premises of just some of the 17 stories in this collection. Almost all of the narratives take place against the background of the 1950s, a very different culture from that of the present.

The narratives in this collection paint a picture of the 1950s. Many of the elements of this culture will repel: racism, sexism and homophobia, for example. Yet this was an era in which neither the threat of terrorism nor the scourge of AIDS existed for the average American. These stories deal with love and death, triumphs and defeats, adolescent angst and the tension between ethnicity and assimilation. Some present adventure on the high seas as well as a glimpse of Havana night life on the eve of the Castro Revolution.

How did you begin your writing career?

First of all, I love reading from childhood. I’ve been writing off and on from the time I was in my mid-twenties. I’ve had 17 books published, including fiction and non-fiction. For this interview I’d like to focus on my fiction.

My fiction writing stems from my life experiences as well as from my imagination, which people tell me is very vivid. When I say “life experiences,” I don’t mean they’re true stories; after all, they’re fiction. But every writer has some kernel of his/her life in his/her fiction. Sometimes it’s the slightest shred of experience (a feeling, an emotion, an event) and sometimes it’s a large part of the story.

Who is your book published through?

It was originally published in 2010 by the small press, Comfort Publishing. At the end of this year (2013) I now hold all the rights of publication. I’m thinking of republishing it as a physical book and as an e-book.

Where can we find your book?

It can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all the on-line book sellers sites, as well as in libraries, both public and university, and the book shelves of people who enjoy reading fiction for pleasure. Oh, yes, and of course on the night tables of European royalty and heads of state.

Do characters invade your head the moment you stumble on a new writing idea? If so, how long did you fear that you’d gone insane before realizing this is the norm for writers?

Actually, I wondered if I had gone sane. Writing, after all, is a form of psychotherapy, I’d say. You let out your demons when you write fiction. So, I wondered if I’d gone sane. In addition, you become the creator of a new world and people them with memorable characters. (Or, perhaps they create you.) What usually happens is, a character slips into my mind, and I start to write about him or her. After setting down the character and his surroundings, he or she begins to tell me his/her story. The character tells me what he’s done and what he’s going to do. At least, that’s the way it feels. Sometimes they surprise me by their actions and thoughts.

What is your day job?

I’m a professor of Spanish. I teach the language but more primarily the literature of Spain and Latin America, as well as creative writing in Spanish.

Did you conduct any kind of research in order to write this book (visit certain locales, etc.)?

Not really, not for this book. My experiences in just living life automatically, unconsciously, provided the background for my stories. These experiences took place in different eras and in different places, from New Jersey to Havana, from Buenos Aires to Savannah. (Well, what d’ya know: it rhymes!) I’ve traveled to many parts of the world, with the Navy in my younger days, and on my own later in life. My experience on Shore Patrol in a Havana bar/brothel on the eve of the Castro Revolution was a fascinating experience (and allowed me to practice my Spanish). My experience with the Navy in Savannah in 1956 forcefully brought home to the reality of racial segregation in the Deep South in the 1950s. My interviewing Jorge Luis Borges and seven other writers in Buenos Aires taught me a great deal about life in the Argentine capital as well as the way these authors wrote. All these experiences might be termed “research,” except the experience came as a bonus. It could be termed “accidental research,” but that’s really stretching it. Short answer, no, no research as such was performed.

Tell me about the publishing process. Was it easier or more difficult than you thought it would be?

Trying to publishing fiction, especially short stories, is frustrating torture. I have the impression that there are more people writing than reading. But even harder than finding a publisher or an agent is having the public find out about your book. Non-fiction books that provide the reader with practical advice or instruction are much more likely to find a publisher than fiction, especially short stories. (I have had my books on Spanish instruction published with big name publishers.) But if you want to become an instant best-seller, first make sure you’re a celebrity. Whether you’re a Hollywood star, a well-known politician, a well-known T.V. personality or an athlete, or even a convicted murderer, your book –whatever the subject matter, but especially autobiography—will ensure you’ll be an instant best seller. Lacking celebrity status, I’m beginning to think you have to know, on a personal basis, a widely-read and respected book reviewer who writes for a prestigious newspaper or magazine for more than a handful of people to notice your book.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

I began to realize that my stories were dated, and that certain actions, reactions and thoughts would seem strange to readers in the 21st Century. After all, in the 1950s a man could expect nothing more than a good night kiss (theoretically) only after the momentous Third Date. In the 21st Century, if I’m to believe what I see in movies and on T.V., the Third Date is now set aside for sexual relations. Another great difference: Today, again judging from TV and film, a woman feels greatly honored if a man invites her to move in with him. In the 1950s a woman would be deeply offended by such an offer without benefit of marriage. At first I thought it would be impossible to publish those stories because the behavior wouldn’t be understood by the young reader. Then I decided to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat; I would use that drawback as the central feature that would unite all the stories by calling the collection, Once Upon a Decade: Tales of the Fifties.

Readers love following their favorite authors, which social networking sites can fans find you? Please provide links. http://www.clarkzlotchew.com

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Author in the 50s.

Author in the 50s.