Archive for the ‘Authors’ Category

David (Dave) Maine joins mandythebookworm’s author profiles.  Please get more acquainted with Dave by clicking here where you will find links to his blog, Goodreads page, links to his work and much, much more.

Dave’s On Tour!!

Exciting news, Dave’s on tour.  He is set to tour one of my favourite blogger’s and friend’s blog next week – the now very well known Lori over at TNBBC’s The Next Best Book Blog.

Click here to read all about the upcoming tour.

And if you haven’t navigated Lori’s blog then you must and you can do that by clicking here.

It will be well worth your time, loads of reviews, interviews, guest posts and interest in indies. 

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Hi everyone!  Are you ready to learn a bit more about Mr David (Dave) Maine?  You are?  That’s great!  Sit back in a nice chair with your favourite drink, get comfy and let’s see what Dave said in our recent interview.  Awaaaaay we go!!


So, Dave, I’m very interested to find out why you chose to switch genres for your new book The Gamble of the Godless

Well, to everyone else it’s a switch, because my first four published novels were mainstream literary fiction. But to me it’s more of a homecoming. I grew up reading fantasy and SF—my older sister got me into it and I’ve been at it ever since. In high school I devoured books like Lin Carter’s Callisto series, and Paul O. Williams’s Pelbar cycle. After college I was reading Melanie Rawn and Katherine Kurtz, and of course had already gone through Tolkein and Terry Brooks and Stephen R. Donaldson. I’ve always had this weird schism in my writing, with the “literary” stuff and the “popular” stuff at odds with each other; it just happened that my literary stuff got published first. But as far back as 2005 I was showing my fantasy novels to my agent, and he was getting excited about them, he was saying, “We have find a way to publish these.”

In other words, I’ve been writing fantasy for years, just as I continue to write literary novels even now. Next year my fifth literary book, An Age of Madness, will be published by Red Hen Press in California. And sometime before that, in all probability, I’ll be releasing the sequel to The Gamble of the Godless.

So you enjoy writing fantasy? Will you continue to do so in the future?

Yes! And yes!

Fantasy, as I said, was my first love, along with science fiction of the “space opera” variety. Writing The Gamble of the Godless was an exercise in pure fun. I got to create a wildly varied cast of characters, most of whom are not human, and send them out into this alternative world populated with creatures and species whose approach to life is, to say the least, unfamiliar—both to my hero and to my readers. Then I got to throw in magic, and then, of course, a deadly threat to the entire known universe! Oh and there’s a pantheon of gods too. How could I not love all this?

As for continuing in the future: The Gamble of the Godless is just Book I of The Chronicles of Avin. There are two further volumes already finished, and number four is half-written in my head. So there’s plenty more in the pipeline.

Do you have a total number in mind for the series? Four, seven, ten?

Yeah—but it’s a secret.

Harrumph. How about a title at least?

The Rime of the Remorseless.

Catchy! I don’t suppose you can give us any hints about it?

Nope! But let me say this, because it’s important: every book in the series will be a self-contained story. I’m not doing this Game of Thrones thing, where you read a thousand pages just to be left with a cliffhanger that you have to wait six years to resolve. You’ll be able to pick up any book in the series, read it, enjoy it, feel satisfied with it and move on. Obviously it will add to your experience if you start at the beginning and get to know the characters and so on. But in terms of plot, in terms of knowing what the heck is going on, I have no desire to string readers along for years.

I don’t mean to pick on George RR Martin, he’s awesome. But people forget, even The Lord of the Rings took decades to complete—The Hobbit came out in the ’30s sometime, and maybe the first book of the trilogy. Then there was the war, you know? I think he finally finished the thing in the ’50s. Don’t quote me, but it was something like that.

And now, let’s go back to where and when it all began.  How did you begin your career in the world of writing?

I was the sort of kid who, if he read a story, he would want to write one, and if he saw a movie, he’d want to make one, and if he heard a song he liked, he’d want to hum his own. I read a lot of comics and tried to draw them. In junior high I got a secondhand movie camera. So I was one of those so-called creative kids. I say so-called because I think kids are naturally creative… I had a short attention span and jumped from idea to idea, but sooner or later I always went back to what I’d been doing before. I’m still kind of that way, actually.

As for when it started—in the third grade I had a teacher named Mrs Christensen who did the most remarkable thing ever: she assigned every one of her students to write for 20 minutes every night, at home. We each had little blue books and had to write until the time was up. Sometimes she assigned a topic, sometimes not. After 20 minutes we were to stop, and if we were in the middle of the sentence we were to just leave a dash, like —  And then the next day she’d read through them and leave comments and hand them back. I loved it. Other kids didn’t. You want to know something? I’m pretty sure she’s the reason I’m a writer.

After that there was no stopping me. For a long time I was obsessed with Star Trek, so I wrote a Star Trek parody called Scar Trek, featuring Captain Jerk and Mister Schlock. And other stuff too, like post-apocalypse stories in high school. It was the late ’70s so people were thinking about that kind of thing. I loved Harlan Ellison’s “A Boy and His Dog” and Roger Zelazny’s Damnation Alley.

Describe your perfect place to write.

It’ll be a snug room with a lot of bookshelves and a big desk. Also a rocking chair, which is where I’ll be sitting, next to a window that will look out on some greenery, trees and shrubs, a scrap of lawn. Nothing too industrial or jarring—a rural setting. There will be birds flitting around, and enough sky that I can see storm clouds rolling in above the treeline. The room will be done in teal and dark blue, the furniture will be stained dark, and there will be stereo and a couple guitars.

Who and/or what has been most inspirational in your life on a writing level and also on a personal level?

My wife Uzma Aslam Khan is a tremendous inspiration both as a writer and as a person. She is the most principled person I know, and it shows in her work. She writes beautiful, artful, demanding, rewarding novels that will transport you.

In college I had a teacher for a semester named Mary Robison, a well-known writer, who influenced me hugely as far as looking at words and sentences and recognizing when they were good, when they did the things I wanted them to do and when they didn’t. A lot of writing teachers focus on character motivation and fuzzy stuff like that. Mary just talked about the sentences. “Here, where you say the aliens ‘sloshed through the door’—I like that, I like the word ‘sloshed’ there.” She helped me realize that everything starts with the word choice, and it’s pointless to talk about other stuff until you’ve focused on that.

Growing up, my parents and sisters and brother all gave me lots of encouragement, but the person who stands out is my Aunt Margaret, my godmother. She was a crusty Irish former teacher who never gushed about anything, but in her reserved way she let me know that she thought I was something special.

A little more of the personal stuff – given you live on a beautiful island do you ever want to leave and actually go on holiday somewhere else?

Well, sure. Wherever you are, you know, there are good points and bad points. Hawaii is beautiful but it’s rather isolated. Sometimes I just want to spend some time tromping around a city with a little more verve, or I should say with a verve that’s unfamiliar to me. Sometimes I like to experience different types of wilderness too, like deserts or pine forests.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

That’s a tough one. Generally speaking, it’s wherever I find myself at the moment. Bangkok has astonishing food, Kathmandu has jaw-dropping temples, and northern Pakistan is the most ruggedly beautiful wilderness I’ve ever seen. I’m also partial to deserts—the Sahara in southern Morocco, the Sonora in Arizona, the Thar in eastern Pakistan. But if I had to pick just one place to go for a week, it might be Istanbul. It’s such an astonishing city, with layer upon layer of history, of east-meets-west, of architecture, art, food…

As a youngster and now as an adult have you and do you have pets?  If yes, what kind were/are they and do you have a favourite?  Tell us, what is the happiest memory you have of said favourite pet?

Growing up our family had a somewhat neurotic coonhound named Rocky. He was the runt of the litter and a little jittery. As an adult, though, I grew to love cats with a passion. An Abbysinian-tiger mix named Abbie allowed me to take care of her for many years. She was a sweetie, though also a little neurotic maybe. But hey, she was a cat. I loved her very much. She was extraordinarily loud, which I guess Abbysinians are famous for.

Probably my fondest memory was looking through the window of my house one day in 1991 and seeing her playing with a woman who was going to be staying with me as a house guest. I was in grad school and had agreed to put up this person, a new student, for a few days while she looked for a place to live. Two years later we got married. I’ve always thought that Abbie, who was not a particularly outgoing cat, gave me the go-ahead by welcoming my Uzma into our lives.

Now, a little opinion piece if I may.  E-books have broken out of the starting block and seem to be gathering speed. 

I’ll say!

What are your thoughts on e-books  and how their emergence has changed the way we read?  Do you like this technological development and step into the future? 

To take your second question first: whether I like it is irrelevant. Other people like it enough to buy it, so it’s a done deal. Personally, I have some reservations about books that you need to constantly upgrade, books that you’ll need new software to read every 18 months. With paper books, you can set one aside for fifty years, pick it up again and read it. Try doing that with a Kindle! But then, I feel the same reservation about computers, and I seem to have been outvoted.

As for how they’ve changed our reading habits, I don’t know, because I don’t have an e-reader. I do however have students with them, and they all claim that they read more than they used to. They say it’s easier to access books, to buy books, to take the Kindle or Nook around with them instead of a bulky hardcover, so they can just read a few pages while waiting for the bus or whatever. Is this true? It’s tough to say, but who am I to say that they’re lying? And let me tell you, it’s difficult to get angry about any innovation that actually results in people reading more.

And, last but not least, why did you decide to publish “The Gamble of the Godless” as an e-book?

To be honest, it’s a bit of an experiment. If eBooks are the wave of the future, then it’s self-defeating to be a Luddite and deny their existence. There are inarguable advantages for everybody: they’re cheaper to produce than conventional books, they don’t consume paper or trees, they can be sold at a lower cost to consumers with an equal profit to writers, and so forth. Sure, I could shop around and try to convince a publisher to take Gamble of the Godless, and then watch as they sold it to readers for ten or twelve bucks. Why bother? This way I can sell it for 2.99, make a liveable royalty, save a few trees, save readers a bunch of money and—I hope!—bring them back for Book II. Seems like a win-win for everybody, no?

Thank you, Dave, for giving us an insight to your life – thanks for taking part in this interview.

So, readers, did you learn something new about Dave today?  I most certainly learnt a lot.  How gorgeous was the story about the cat?  And Dave is right isn’t he, as long are more people are reading it doesn’t really matter which format it’s in.  A teacher who makes homework each night 20 minutes of writing sounds like a good one to me.  And that perfect writing place sounds perfect!  I could go on with my observations but let me just say this was a great interview!  Thanks again, Dave!  I look forward to reading The Gamble of the Godless.

Want to hear more about Dave, stay tuned, an author profile will be coming your way soon.  In the meantime visit him at:  http://davidmaine.blogspot.com/


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Many thanks to Peggy Tibbets for providing this interesting guest post.  I hope you all enjoy!  Thanks, Peggy!

How does a book get noticed?

Natalie Collins and I often discuss marketing techniques and run promotion ideas by each other. Book reviews. Interviews. Booksignings. School visits. Advertising. Blog tours. You name it. What works? What doesn’t work? Okay, some days we agonize over book promotion.

“If there was some magic bullet, we’d all be doing it,” I always tell her.

When it comes to Natalie’s books there does seem to be a magic bullet that definitely has an impact on sales. Her books get noticed.

Ever since the reality show Sister Wives gained national attention, Natalie’s book Sister Wife has been selling remarkably well. It’s the most amazing thing. Sister Wife is a great story, solidly written by the master of behind-the-Mormon-veil mysteries. But the book has been around a few years.

We had seen this life-imitates-art thing with her book Wives and Sisters. Natalie signed the contract with St. Martin’s after Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped. Wives & Sisters, which was penned long before the famous abduction in Utah, just so happens to be about the disappearance of a young Mormon girl after an encounter with a stranger [cue Twilight Zone theme].

So you see, it was no great leap to make the connection between Sister Wives and Sister Wife. Natalie and I agreed it’s definitely the popularity of the TV show that has captured readers’ interest in Sister Wife – the book.

So what does it mean?

It means I need a TV tie-in forLetters to Juniper. That’s what it means!

One day I pitched Natalie these reality show concepts to tie in with my book:

%*$@ My Fundamentalist Extremist Gun-Dealing Dad Says
I Don’t Know I’ve Got a Secret
My Crib is Surrounded by Big Brother

She ROTFLMAO’d back.

Alas, those reality shows – however clever – do not exist. So my next option is to tie Letters to Juniper to a show that’s already on TV. I decided to build on Natalie’s theme and started with the obvious:

Brothers & Sisters – A show about a dysfunctional family with a lot of dirty secrets. That explains the Smith family in Letters to Juniper all right. Except the kids in my book are a little young to be so cutthroat – and they don’t drink.

Sons of Anarchy – The title is perfect! A tight-knit gun-dealing clan with dark secrets. Now that describes the Smith family to a T. But this show is about a biker club. No motorcycles in my book.

No Ordinary Family – Again, the title says it all. The Smith family is anything but ordinary. However this is a show about a family with super powers. No super powers in my book either.

Fringe – This is my favorite show! FBI agents investigate unexplainable phenomena and an alternate universe. Alas, as much as I’d like to tie in my book with this awesome show, it’s too much of a stretch. The closest I can come is the Smith family as a target of a Fringe Division investigation.

Gossip Girl – Another apt title. Gossip plays a big role in Sarah’s story. Problem is, she’s not a rich Manhattan teen.

The Secret Life of an American Teenager – Even though Sarah’s not quite a teen yet, she is definitely living a secret life. Same glitch as the above though, Sarah’s not a teen living life in the fast lane. She’s a tween living life in the slow lane.

Lie to Me – Adventures of Dr. Lie Detector? Don’t think so.

Smallville – Clark Kent’s boyhood? No way.

Justified – A western? Nope.

Fear not. There are dozens – maybe even hundreds – more TV shows. Like Dog the Bounty Hunter. What a great title – that has absolutely nothing to do with my book. But it’s okay. I am undaunted in my search. I know the secret. The magic bullet. There are summer replacement series, and a whole new fall line-up coming …

Peggy Tibbetts

Available in ebook & paperback @ Amazon.com
“This is a book you will want to share with your children, your parents, and your friends.”
– Natalie R. Collins, author of “The Fourth World”, “Sister Wife”, and more


Don’t forget to visit Peggy’s author profile by clicking here

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I am pleased to announce we have a new author joining us.  Please welcome Peggy Tibbetts, the author of Letters for JuniperLetters for Juniper is currently on its way and I will be reading and reviewing this book.  In the meantime please get to know Peggy by clicking here  and visiting her author profile on this website and stay tuned for her guest post which will be here in the very near future.  Welcome, Peggy!

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Now that we’ve gotten to know Shalini Boland a little more via her author profile it’s time to read her guest post.  Many thanks, Shalini, for providing this guest post.


“I have a glob!” my chic Parisian Great Aunty Joyce declares. “Would you like to see it?”

I must confess I’m not at all keen to see it. She’s ninety years old and I have a fairly weak stomach. But, there is no refusing Aunty Joyce. She leads me into her bedroom and I brace myself.

“I have met zis wonderful man,” she confides. “And he make me zis marvellous glob. You must see, you must see.”

My Aunty Joyce is what’s known as ‘a character’. She resides in a bohemian apartment on the Seine. She paints, she writes, she creates! Her home is a treasure trove of flamboyance and kitch. A leopard printed, Japanese-laquered, decoupage-encrusted jewel of a place. Her bedroom is no exception and my eyes are pulled every which way at the marvelosity of everything.

“Look, look.” She pats the chair and I squeeze in beside her. We sit at her dressing table, in front of a laptop and she shows me her glob.

“It is good, no?” she smiles. “I am fantastic, yes?”

“Yes, Aunty Joyce. You are fantastic.” I kiss her rouged cheek and she hugs me.

She is fantastic. She’s ninety years old, she looks incredible, her life has been tough and yet she has so much vibrancy and enthusiasm. She also writes a glob.

If she can write a glob, I reckon I can give it a go.

And if you haven’t already visited Shalini’s profile please do so by clicking here


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I would like everyone to please give a warm welcome to Shalini Boland, our new friend at mandythebookworm.  Please visit Shalini’s author profile by clicking here where you will find out a little more about our new author and her books.

Shalini is the author of Hidden, a book I will be reading and reviewing hopefully in the not too distant future.

Welcome, Shalini!  I hope you enjoy your stay at mandythebookworm 🙂

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Everyone, I have a new author to introduce to mandythebookworm – Lorena Bathey. Please give her a big round of applause and enjoy her guest post. Once you’ve read this be sure to check out her author profile by clicking here where you can find out more about her and her book.

Welcome aboard, Lorena, and thanks for posting!!

I’m Lorena Bathey, an Indie Author. What is that exactly? I decided to eschew the traditional world of agent/publishing house and do everything myself. Sounds daunting, huh? Sometimes it can be if you don’t decide how being a success occurs.

I love to read, which is why I probably write. And like you I often wonder what my favorite authors are like in person. Do they have a funny laugh? Do they like chocolate? What kind of personality do they have and is it like their characters? So when Mandy allowed me to guest blog on her wonderful site she told me to do whatever I wanted and then showed me that any question was a good one. Because I liked her ideas, I decided to answer them…like an impromptu author’s interview.

I’d also like to put out to all of Mandy’s followers to send in your own questions and I’d be glad to answer them. I’m pretty forthright and I don’t shock easily so ask away.

* How you are going on holiday soon and where you will be going or if posting after your holiday where you went and what you did?

Well I am going on my first vacation in several years. And it just so happens that it is the first vacation for the love of my life and my kids all together. We are visiting my nation’s capital, Washington D.C. It is cherry blossom time and since my other love is photography I am thrilled to be able to take pictures when the flowers are blooming. Even more, I’m excited to have some time off after finishing my novel to relax, laugh, and see the sights like a tourist.

* Where your favourite place to holiday is?

This is an easy question…Italy! I love Italy. My first book, Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother told of my travels to Italy after my separation from my husband. It was the perfect land to be alone and yet be around people. I walked, talked in Italian, and ate like a crazy person. Gelato every day..twice a day : ) My dream is to live there six months out of the year and learn to be fluent in Italian learning from the Italian people.

* What you like doing in your spare time?

I recently started getting serious about photography. My love gave me a new camera…the fancy kind…for Christmas and I have been enjoying capturing all different kinds of scenes. When I take pictures it’s a Zen moment where I focus (not my strong suit) and get lost in the moment. It’s very clearing for me and I think I’m pretty good. (Check out my images at http://www.facebook.com/lmbathey )

* Pets if you have any?

I don’t have any pets at the moment. But I know that one day I will own a dog named George. He will be a huge Newfoundland. It’s funny but I could see his face (and his big head lying on my lap when I write) but I didn’t know what type of dog he was. So I wrote big, dark dog and Newfoundland came up and I screamed, “Its George!”

* When you began to write and why?

Ohh…this is a bit longer of an answer. I have always written in journal format and even some poems but it wasn’t until my Mom passed away from cancer in 2001, my dad remarried within six months, and my husband left which left me facing my biggest fear – being alone. Other than my kids I had lost all the foundation and stability of my life. So I began to write about what I was seeing about me, who I was, what I didn’t like about getting stuck in roles, living for everyone else’s happiness and before I knew it I had eighteen chapters and a really great book telling about starting over. I called it Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother and a career in self-help began.

I started speaking to women’s groups, giving conferences, doing one to one work with women who didn’t know that making yourself happy is something you need to do yourself and not wait for things to happen to you. During this time I got this person in my head and started writing it down and before I knew it I had written half a novel. But I set it aside for five years until one day I got another thought and finished the rest in nine months.

After that ideas or characters would hit me and I would see it like a movie played out in my mind so I had to write it down. Now I have nine novels percolating in my writing queue and every one of them I plan to write a screenplay for too.

* Where you see yourself in 10 years?

With many New York Times Bestsellers, most of my books made into movies that are produced by creatively authentic Hollywood people (is that possible?), living with the love of my life in our house called 100 Acre Woods and visiting Italy for months at a time. Surrounded by family, kids, grandbabies, and George with no regrets, some bumps and bruises, but a great big smile on my face!

* How you think electronic books have changed things?

It has and will continue to revolutionize the world of publishing. The old school type of publishing is not necessary to be successful as an author. And the cost factor for only having to upload a file rather than print books is huge. For the industry it allows a lot of really talented people to get a chance to show the world their work. But it also allows a lot of untalented and not detail oriented writers to also publish their work.

For now the concept of self-publishing is not completely accepted and when I say I’m an Indie author I still can get wrinkled up noses. But not as much. I will say that I will always have print copies of my book. I love books. The feel, smell, look of books is more than just something to read, it’s an experience…and not to sound trite…but an adventure.

But I believe that there are some pitfalls to electronic books. As I said before many individuals just want to publish and don’t take the time to make sure the quality is there. That is a big scar in the industry. But as you see more and more successful, I mean successful in the traditional publishing world, giving up contract and doing it themselves you know that this is something. The profits will come if you do the hard work. And I believe that the day of the agents and publishers making all the money while the talent does all the work are over.

* How you go about promoting your work?

Well, with this novel I have spent a lot of time getting familiar with the social networking world. I was already a huge Facebook fan but then I stretched it out to look more at the world of writing. There is so much available. But mostly I love to form relationships. To help each other out. So I did the legwork looking for Book Review Bloggers that had reviews, bios, and a feel I liked and contacted them. These heroes of the Indie Author world have no idea how you can make our day by being excited about our work. Mandy, has been phenomenal about that.

I had my own radio show, done talk shows on the West and East coast, been the speaker at conferences so I am not shy about talking about myself. It is a huge thing if you can sell yourself. And I never have trouble talking, ha! My first book I sold on airplanes, in stores, out to dinner. Because it’s my passion it’s easy to get me going on writing.

* Your favourite book when you were young and/or your favourite book now?

I read a lot when I was a kid because I was an only child so it was a great way to escape. But the one book that I believe made a huge impact on me was when I was about twelve years old. My Mom and I were going to visit England with my Aunt. Before we left my Aunt gave me the book, Katherine, by Anya Seaton. It’s the story of The Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt and his illicit love affair with Katherine Swynford. Their relationship and subsequent marriage made up the line of the Tudors, Stewarts and even the royal family now. It is historical fiction, which I still love, and so because it was based on fact those people came up during our trip.

I remember asking all the time, “Was John of Gaunt here?” and getting excited about seeing places I had just read about in the most romantic and wonderful of ways. I ended up reading every book by Anya Seaton and visiting the other places she wrote about later in life.

The funny thing is that until I was writing this article I never knew she was American. I just assumed she was British because she writes it with such truth.
(Anya Seaton, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anya_Seton)

*Something close to your heart?

Well this is a big question and my mind is racing to nail down one thing. I think the biggest thing that comes to mind is the needs that kids from the ages of 9 to 18 need. I believe that our future generations are lost a bit. With all the upheaval of divorce, societal pressure, and lack of interest these kids don’t get the opportunity to know who they are, what they need to become, and how to do it. When I was still doing my Fairy Godmother work I developed a program called “U Got the Power.”

This program was based on the three “R’s” of life…Respect, Reaction, Responsibility. These three words can create a whole new way to look at life, how you treat others, and what is in your hands to change.

I plan to go back some day and bring this to fruition. I would love to see this on an international level and the concept is not hard. Afterschool every week for an hour the kids come with questions that they put in a hat. Every class a question is drawn and discussed. This means no one has to be embarrassed by asking a question and chances are many kids have the same question. Then we would put the three “R’s” to the answer.

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