‘Robert Brown’

shatt-rbToday, I’d like to welcome Robert Brown, author of “Shatterbones” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

Robert Brown is a member of the Horror Writers Association and is passionate about writing. He is a happy husband, proud father, and is a traveler. Born in California, he learned not to live in one place for too long as his family passed along restless genes. After six months in California he lived in Germany, Texas, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Illinois, Hawaii again, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and finally has chosen Oregon as his place of permanent residence. He enjoys shooting, hiking, apocalyptic/horror/zombie media of all sorts, and chick flicks. His perfect world would be filled with firearms, chocolate, whiskey, cats, and English Bulldogs.

OK – HERE WE GO !!

No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why? I would absolutely break the law to save a loved one with a few caveats. If they did something malicious such as blowing up a building or setting fires and hurting people, any major violent crime, I would have to let them face whatever punishment or danger they placed themselves in and keep my background clear to care for the rest of my loved ones.

No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Being alive is what any amoeba, plant, or parasite can do. It often requires minimal effort, no intelligence, and living things that are just alive, including some humans aren’t necessarily useful in a positive manner. Truly living is continually finding things to give joy and fulfillment in life and deciding to pursue them in spite of the obstacles and pitfalls that we may run into because of previous decisions we have made.

No.3 What motivates you to write? Writing gives me an outlet for the crazy or obscure ideas that enter my mind while dreaming, daydreaming, or just considering the complexities and weirdness of the world. Without writing, I would have to find people willing to sit down and listen to me tell a story for eight to twelve hours which is not an easy feat.

No.4 Why do humans want children? For immortality, curiosity, and to perpetuate a legacy in flesh so to speak. Artists of all sorts have creations that live beyond them, whether a writer, architect, painter, builder, musician, etc. And even artist understand that their creations will have a limited audience and finite life as well. For curiosity, I think people are genuinely curious what a version of themselves and another person would turn out to look and be like. In a way like throwing two colors of paint at a canvas to create a painting.

No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book ”Shatterbones” ? Doing the research to find the right setting locations around the world and finding appropriate names for my characters that not only felt right when naming them but were appropriate for the area they came from. Naming my characters is a grueling process that I spend almost as much time on as when picking names for my real children.

No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far? Everything that happens to me in life is the result of decisions I have made. No matter the outcome, bad or good, every choice I have made led me to the life I am living. Even the simple things like shaving or not shaving changes the outcome. Choosing to shave may keep me of the road for an extra five minutes allowing me to avoid a car accident. Buying a new videogame may keep me from finishing my next book as soon as I like. No matter what the outside forces are in the world, my place in it is a result of my own making.

No.7 How did you come up with the title “Shatterbones”? It was a struggle at first coming up with a way to describe what happened to the people in the book. The Shattering was the original name and is the proper term for the condition in the story, but Shatterbones is the slang name the kids with Vampirism call their change so I used that.

No.8 How do you handle personal criticism? Personal criticism I handle fairly well if it is justified. I am decently self-reflective and know many of my faults on a first name basis at this point in my life. I am less accepting of criticism that is designed to be mean or non-constructive and am apt to throw twice as much criticism back at someone who was intentionally trying to be cruel for no justified reason.

No.9 Why should people read your book? It is a great story. Shatterbones is an exciting, action packed tale of loss, survival, distrust, love upheaval, destruction, and renewal. It has good villains, bad heroes, and a unique story of how vampires, werewolves, and other monsters of folklore came into existence. People should read my book because it is entertaining and will take them to a familiar yet starkly different world.

No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing? It’s a matter of perspective in a science fiction sort of way. Perhaps in another other universe or a different dimension there is so much activity and action of a sort we cannot comprehend that by comparison our Earth and the universe it resides in is considered nothing by whatever beings reside there.

Thank you 🙂 For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book:

Shatterbones

The first day of The Shattering nearly becomes an extinction level event when the hope for humanity’s future mutates into ancient monsters of folklore. Size, strength, and speed are among their abilities. A hunger for human flesh or blood are among their needs. Rounded up and placed in camps, the survivors of the apocalypse are helpless against the abilities their captors now possess. The choice to allow humans their freedom or keep them enslaved and used as cattle is made independently by mutants around the globe. A vampire called The Angel, decides she will not allow the world to remain a place where the slavery of mankind is permitted to exist. If she is successful in saving humans from their oppressors, how will she and her kind be able to coexist with man? If she fails, what future remains for the human race?

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‘Shaan Ranae’

shaanToday, I’d like to welcome Shaan Ranae, author of “Just Live” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

An Ohio native who brings a small taste of her home state to each story. She’s happily married with two amazing children. She found her love of romance after reading a very popular romance series. After that she was addicted, a self proclaimed romance book junkie. Her love for the written word has grown and with that love so has her writing style.

OK – HERE WE GO !!

No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why? My mother would probably kill me for admitting this, but yes, I probably would. I am a mother and a nurse, so my instincts will always lean toward saving someone. I have this ability to put others first and I wouldn’t fear facing the consequences if it meant I could save someone that I loved.

No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Great question. I look at it like this. Being alive is simply existing, going through the motions. Waking up just to perform the same routine every day. Actual living consists of taking chances and gaining new experiences. Attempting to live your dreams and going on adventures.

No.3 What motivates you to write? Honestly, I wait to become inspired. If a story pops into my head, I write down a vague outline and then build on it from there. Then I build the story as I go, sometimes I’ll follow the outline, but then I completely veer of the track. The story may unfold in a different way than I thought.

No.4 Why do humans want children? Sometimes I wonder that myself. Ha Ha. I love my spawn. Sometimes I think people have children because they feel they should and others do it for the wrong reasons. I can only answer for myself and truthfully both of my children were unplanned. Neither time was I trying to get pregnant, but when it occurred my husband and I viewed the pregnancy as a gift.

No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book ”Just Live” ? Time. The time to complete every little task that goes along with publishing a book. Now that I am a little seasoned, it wasn’t as frustrating but of course there are always bumps in the road, but those are the thing that I’ll remember. On another note, editing will always be my biggest challenge. I try to edit myself a few times, before I send it out. I think that I am learning so much, but I recognize that I still have more to learn.

No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far? Don’t take life too seriously. Life is fleeting. I deal with life and death every day. I decided to start writing since I knew that life was too short not to take a shot at my dream. A life full of regrets leaves a heavy heart. I don’t like that feeling. I know that I am showing my children to go after what they want in life.

No.7 How did you come up with the title “Just Live”? The story came to me one day at work and I ran the idea by my co-workers. I gave them the plot I was thinking of and how I thought that I could either make the lead character a shut in or I can make her take her life by the horn and live. My brain kept repeating the words Just Live. Once I thought of changing the name to Perfection, but this name fits better.

No.8 How do you handle personal criticism? Not everyone will like what I write and that’s okay. Everyone has a right to like what they like. Although a side note to the overly critical critic out there, I hope they remember that when they leave a nasty review that they are picking apart someone’s dream. It’s okay if they don’t like it but hopefully they use tact and class. However, when you enjoy a book, I highly recommend leaving a review. I love hearing when a reader couldn’t put my book down or I made them feel every emotion. It’s so heartwarming to know that I made someone happy with just following my dream.

No.9 Why should people read your book? I write to give readers an escape into a world away from their own. To get away from the drama in our lives and take a mini vacation from reality. I write to entertain the reader with a little drama, a little steam and a little humor. All the best qualities of life. My stories will hopefully be fast fun reads that will make the reader smile and will tug at their heart strings.

No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing? Well isn’t it obvious, something is a lot more fun than nothing. As human beings, we are programmed to want something, do something, or be something. Nothing is dull. If we did nothing we would be existing.

Thank you 🙂 For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book:

Just Live

When Kathryn James was a little girl she wished for true love in the fairy dust that resides in each ray of light. Now as an adult, she only finds pain and neglect from the ones who are supposed to love her. After she escapes a two year long torture, she proceeds cross country to start a new life. She attempts a life without fear, pain and possibly love. While upon her journey, Katey will meet people who teach her lessons on love, however Jaz Carter will teach her the most important lesson of all. Will she be brave enough to follow Jaz on his unorthodox path or will fear keep her from the things she wants most?

Will Katey hide away from the world or will she learn to Just Live?

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‘JP Cawood’

crawfordToday, I’d like to welcome JP Cawood, author of “Love from Mars” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

JP Cawood has developed television series & pilots for Syfy Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Destination America, History Channel, Lifetime Movie Network, and Pivot/Participant. Now telling stories through books, JP writes science fiction/fantasy because the future is now and imagination is the key that unlocks all great mysteries. As a lifelong student of the mystical unknowns, JP has traveled the world in search of truth, beauty, and goodness. JP has lived in France, Britain, India, and many cities across America.

OK – HERE WE GO !!

No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Yes, especially if I didn’t believe in a particular law. There are some really absurd limitations in the law books, and history shows us that might makes right – which is not always the morally correct thing to do.

No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
To me, truly living means to be fully present in any given moment, not worrying about anything from the past or in the future. This is very hard to do, but meditation helps. I find the more I meditate, the longer bursts of purity I experience.

No.3 What motivates you to write?
I’m inspired to write when I am struck by a story I feel I must tell. I’m less motivated when I want to write, but don’t know what to say. Going outside for a walk, sitting down to meditate, or having a conversation with a friend are all good ways to spark the creative flow.

No.4 Why do humans want children?
I think the desire to procreate happens on multiple levels; biologically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We all have a natural bodily instinct toward sex. Mentally, we’re driven by the idea of keeping our lineage alive. Emotionally, it’s the desire to love and care for another unconditionally. Spiritually, it’s giving another soul the opportunity to experience life, which also teaches you new life lessons in return.

No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book ”Love from Mars” ?
This might sound strange, but the biggest challenge was dealing with formatting bugs! The writing part is enjoyable, but spending hours in a software that isn’t doing what you want it to do is infuriating. Luckily, my fiancé was kind enough to help me. I’ll probably pay someone to do it on the next book so I can focus on more writing.

No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
Life is full of duality, and I’ve learned to be thankful for the contrast, or so called bad aspects, because that is the fodder that puts change in motion. Without the “bad” we’d have no motivation to strive for the good. When we focus on the bad, we get more bad. When we focus on the good (without attachment to the outcome) we manifest more good in our lives.

No.7 How did you come up with the title “Love from Mars”?
I wanted something short and sweet that clearly stated the premise of the book. It’s a love story about the first six people going to Mars so it felt right. I also checked to make sure there weren’t other books with the same title.

No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
This is a constant learning experience for me as I love to please other people. But I also love improving myself so I try to look for the constructive part of the criticism. Can I improve in that area? If so, I try to take active steps to do so. If the criticism seems unwarranted, then I just try to forget it and move on. I love this Andy Warhol quote: “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

No.9 Why should people read your book?
People should read Love from Mars because it’s a look into the near future and what it might be like for humans to begin colonizing Mars. But more than anything, it’s a love story about the power of human connection, which is something we’ll need to remember and hold dear as we move out into the cosmos.

No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Everything exists because consciousness is alive and constantly changing, constantly creating. Consciousness wants to experience itself over and over again, in new and surprising ways. I’m fascinated by the meaning of life (and even made a documentary about it at Burning Man) and I personally believe that the ultimate purpose is to realize the self and merge it with the supreme consciousness – which is no easy task!

Thank you 🙂 For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book:

“Love from Mars”

Six people have been chosen to colonize Mars, including the charismatic and noble Ryan Clarke. Emma, a headstrong reporter, meets Ryan at the Martian Six press conference. Despite the fact that he has a one-way ticket to another planet, they can’t resist their undeniable connection. When their secret affair is uncovered, they must suffer the consequences of the scandal they’ve unknowingly created. The day of the mission launch, their whirlwind romance is rocked by another shocking revelation. Can their love transcend all space and time?

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‘Donna Steele’

dsToday, I’d like to welcome Donna Steele, author of “Before You” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

I’m delighted to say I’m now writing full time! Yes, I retired from the campus and now go to my own little office every morning and write! Ever since I learned to read—from Superman Comics, Dick, Jane and Sally held no appeal—I’ve wanted to write. I finally got up the courage and I’m delighted that I finally get to share it with you. I write science fiction, paranormal usually with an eco-twist, and small town romance – who knew? I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, FF&P and the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. I live in North Carolina as an empty nester now with my beloved best friend and husband, who actually encourages this mad passion of mine.

OK – HERE WE GO !!

No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one?
Short answer, yes. Don’t even have to think about it. My loved ones are my reason for living-of course the law I’m breaking would take some consideration – speeding (sure!), grand theft – (I’d have to think hard).

No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
For me it’s the happiness factor. When I’m truly living I’m motivated, energetic, happy and it shows in everything I do and write. I admit I get frustrated and have to continually learn to shove that aside – this year working with the builders of my new condo (Keystone Home, Greensboro, NC) and then finding out they never intended to honor the contract we signed pulled me down, and it didn’t feel like I was truly living at all, just existing and waiting for that light at the end of the tunnel. However on the positive side it gave me writing fodder and the names of some great villains to write in the future.

No.3 What motivates you to write?
Breathing I guess – I write constantly though I don’t always have a pen and paper around. Stories flow through my head so even the most boring thing can entertain me and hopefully morph into a story – like standing in line at the grocery and wondering the motivation of why she bought that.

No.4 Why do humans want children?
For my part it’s the immortality. Of course I fall back a little on my science fiction roots here – my genes will continue to inhabit the planet or maybe be part of the expedition for the next planet. In any case, I’ll continue in some form.

No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book ”Before You” ?
Getting people to see what I want to show. I get an idea that needs to crystalize in my head before I can even begin, then I have to make sure what I see is what ends up on the page – that’s why there are so many edits and rewrites. When I succeed it’s the best feeling in the world.

No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
That high school was not the peak of my existence (or any other milestone you might set). It felt like it at the time, but it was only a blip on the radar, not the end all and so many many more things were/are ahead (and better!)

No.7 How did you come up with the title “Before You” ?
Everyone has a past, some have a past that goes back before this life. That’s what I explore in this story, through the possibility of reincarnation. Just a little twist in a romance that gives it the paranormal and what-if feeling. It would certainly explain love at first sight, just recognizing the person you’ve always loved.

No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I admit, it’s tough. For me, it depends a lot on how it’s delivered – snarky, condescension doesn’t help, but mature, thoughtful feedback can make me reach and grow. I’ve been extremely lucky with my beta readers and I know I can trust them to be honest and helpful, even when they don’t like something or think it can be improved (they’re usually right).

No.9 Why should people read your book?
In the case of Before You, to explore a new idea that might be outside their reference. The idea behind the book, reincarnation, came from my father’s ideas and beliefs, which were different from most of the people I knew. I wanted to give those ideas a platform that could entertain but also make people consider other ways of looking at such a possibility.

No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Nature (and I) abhor a vacuum. The tag line on my blog is “there’s always something” and I believe that, even if it’s only my imagination – which can lead to some really fun ideas (and books) to explore. And in the case of this book, there’s something that comes around again and again until we get it right. I like that idea, it’s somehow comforting to me.

Thank you 🙂 For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book:

“Before You”

When Jocelyn decides to take a two-week vacation away from the chaos of the city and work, she expects to just relax and enjoy. Instead, after taking an impromptu exit off the highway the car quits and she’s stuck in some Podunk town in nowhere North Carolina. But the scenery is great – especially the guy who tows in her car.

Noah is helping his cousin out for the afternoon at the garage and is more than pleasantly surprised when the city girl shows up needing help.

Neither can foresee what drew her to that exit or what they will uncover trying to discover what has frightened her so. But they will do it, together.

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