A View from Memory Hill, an Interview with the Author Paul Toolan

BooksGoSocial

This week, we’re talking with Paul Toolan about his new short story collection A View from Memory Hill: Stories ‘of a certain age’.

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I’m a bearded, left-handed, non-swimming Piscean.

 

How did you get into writing?

Very early – stories at school, then years of writing short plays for my students. When I retired, I had the time and space to write longer prose works, and I’m enjoying it.

What are you currently working on?

Book 3 in my Inspector Zig Batten series, set in the apple-orchard landscape of Somerset, UK. It’s called ‘An Easter Killing’. Yup, should be ready for next Easter.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your new book A View from Memory Hill?

From tiny grains of observation, expanded by imagination. For example, one story came from noticing an old man, alone and out of place in a pub full of young people. I live in a part of the word with an aging population, so I see and feel the effects of age, the past and memory – and these themes link the stories.

I like the idea that stories are simply pieces of the lives you might have lived, good or bad, had things been different.

 

Tell us more about the main characters in your short story collection.

Each story has a different lead character, providing a great variety of voices, male, female, old and young. The first and last stories follow Maeve and her Alzheimer’s husband, Jack, on their journeys into the half-shaded landscape of memory.

 

Who is your favorite writer and why?

So many! I was brought up on the classics – Dickens, Conrad, English poetry etc – but Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories had a big impression on me, and still do.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

What an impossible question! Three I’ve returned to more recently would be JP Donlevy’s A Ginger Man, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. We’re lucky to have so many top books to choose from.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

I mostly write standing up, using a desk extension. Better for one’s health [we use 300 muscles to stand upright, apparently], and quite satisfying once you get used to it. Having said that, I tend to be most productive when on holiday in Greece, in warmth and sunshine, near the sea and sitting up on a sunbed, shaded by an umbrella.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

If I don’t do it, I don’t sell. Even better is getting professional help so I don’t have to do it all myself.

 

Do you read your book reviews?

Within reason, and thankful even for the odd negative one because readers don’t have to write reviews. I mostly ignore one-off comments and instead look for patterns because they tell an author something that can be worked on.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

Read your work-in-progress out loud, to yourself. You’ll hear the gaps, wonky dialogue and the dead parts.

 

What are you reading now?

Groan. I’m reading about orchard trusts, planning applications, and rural development law. It’s research for crime novel 3, because the plot involves conflict between housing developers and an orchard preservation society. Got to be done!

 

What’s your next step?

I’ve got several short stories on the go, even while trying to finish An Easter Killing. Story ideas won’t behave. They don’t wait while the crime novel gets written. They whisper ‘write me’, and I have to.

 

You can follow Paul on Twitter.

Yes, God is a Mathematician – Interview with author Dhanesh Kumar M

Books Go Social

Today we are chatting with Dhanesh Kumar M, the author of Yes, God is a Mathematician.

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I always stood out in a crowd, rather the other way round. For instance, during my engineering days, I would go to the gym, around five in the morning and would do yoga, when others were toiling and sweating profusely with their push-ups and sit-downs.

 

How did you get into writing?

The writing – God blessed me all of a sudden during my early thirties. It started with poetry, when all of a sudden, words came like a “battalion of saints”.

 

Where did the idea for your current book come from?

I was fascinated by the huge temple towers of South India and always thought that there are some mysteries shrouding within those huge structures. I started researching on it and got into many relevant texts. The ancient Indian writings have a touch of secrecy embodied within them. Nearly as old as the civilization itself, it concerns itself with one of the most fundamental questions faced by any society. That question is – what is the relationship between the Creator and human beings? Indeed, this question appears to be a frequent point of debate. There is a whole bunch of different ways to refer to it.

Surprisingly, the scriptures of Vedas have an answer to this fundamental perplexing question. Unfortunately, this idea could be understood only by those who got initiated into a spiritual life. What I unfold here through this book, ‘Yes, God is a Mathematician” is that another scripture, Vedic architecture really encodes a mathematical and physical model of this relation.

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

Writing this book has been a rich, intriguing, challenging, puzzling, and exhilarating experience. It involved a lot of research. Not to mention, the research consumed a lot of time.

Further, to complicate the situation, I have decided to make this idea accessible to all in a story format. All these factors culminated in consuming six long years to write this book. However, Research has been an extremely delightful experience for me, and I had the opportunity to learn many exciting new things.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

Yeah, I need complete silence to write. Mostly, I write during the night.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

Marketing and social media are certainly unavoidable in the current scenario. For a writer, this is challenging as well, because after getting exhausted with writing, he or she has to divert to a totally different footing. It was difficult for me at first to attune to this challenging proposition.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

Writing is mostly a challenging profession. Building a successful book requires one to see the big picture. At the same time, one has to go into the minute details. Coincidentally, I’m explaining about this procedure in my book, ‘Yes, God is a Mathematician’.

“A book,” Dharman said, leaning backward on his desk, his arms crossed. “What a concept! First – a single idea. Ideas start to flow, one by one. Then clearly several ideas – all connected to one another. If all these ideas, characters, and actions are in perfect unison, then there is the possibility of a great novel. This possibility becomes a reality if the author is able to transform all these into great words, sentences, and paragraphs. Then, a great book is born.”
Last but not least, if you have an unshakable confidence in what you do, no one can change your course.

 

Do you read your book reviews?

Yes, I do. They are valuable because they act like a mirror for you. They give many valuable insights and provide one with another perspective of one’s own writing.

 

What are you reading now?

To tell the truth, I’m not reading anything now. Marketing consumes a lot of my time. I’m into writing my next book as well.

 

What’s your next step?

 ‘Yes, God is a Mathematician’ has a religious tone in it. It’s also in a story format. That makes it difficult for a section of readers. I’m now trying to make it accessible to the scientific fraternity. There, you have to change your verbiage. You have to use ultimate reality instead of God (laughing) and have to make so many changes accordingly. In this book, I’m introducing a ‘new theory of everything’ which is easily accessible to all. Surprisingly, my theory of everything proves Max Tegmark’s hypothesis.

 

Yes, God is a Mathematician by Dhanesh Kumar M is available here 


 

30th Century: Escape, an Interview with the Author Mark Kingston Levin

BooksGoSocial

In 1989, Dr. Levin invented the biomimetic CO sensor. His company, developed, manufactured and sold over 31 million CO sensors in the USA before he retired in 2014 to write science fiction his true calling.

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

 

I am a scientist first fiction next

 

How did you get into writing?

 

My mother was a poet and my grandmother a journalist and editor of Vermont Life Magazine

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

 

The Prince of Nantucket, The Martian, 20 thousand Leagues Under the Sea

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

 

2 years

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

 

No

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

 

Top priority for most writers including me

 

Do you read your book reviews?

 

After breakfast

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

 

Follow you heart

 

What are you reading now?

 

The Prince of Nantucket by Jan Goldstein

 

What’s your next step?

 

Find a publicist

 

Brave New World: Why iAuthor Exists

iAuthor

Credit: Carl Warner

 

“The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, and familiar things new” — Samuel Johnson

What the 18th century lexicographer didn’t say, was that the author should seek to make “new things new”. Pure originality of thought would presume too much of the reader. Ideas, like seeds, need fertile ground in which to germinate. Favourable conditions. Nourishment, not a vacuum.

250 years later, applied to the cut-throat realm of tech startups, we see market timing as a consistent prerequisite for success. Besides macro-economic factors, market timing encompasses “social climate”: user expectations, user behaviour, online trends. Only when this Zeitgeist is receptive, can the germination process truly begin.

Here we examine 3 reasons why today’s book market is ripe for iAuthor:

  1. An unsolved book discoverability problem: The number of books is increasing exponentially. This increase is not matched by a commensurate increase in readers, so more books are competing for fewer reader eyeballs. Readers are swamped by digital noise.
                      Credit: Creators Syndicate, Inc.

The result is a discoverability problem compounded by:

a) A scarcity of attention. Mobile and tablet readers are more time-squeezed than ever, so unknown authors have less time to capture and maintain reader interest.

b) Saturated genre categories. Many book categories have a surplus of books on every topic, particularly in the case of non-fiction. The resulting overlap makes it harder for individual books to stand out.

c) Poor user-experience. Annoying file downloads, restrictive DRM and awkward page navigation deters many readers from sampling books online. Unless readers can “try before they buy”, the likelihood of an impulse purchase drops significantly. Millions of books are left undiscovered.

Put differently, the gap between talent and opportunity is widening. iAuthorseeks to narrow this gap by connecting authors and publishers to readers. How? By making books not only “searchable” but “discoverable”. Amazon-style metadata will make a book searchable in seconds … if the buyer already knew of its existence. But what if they didn’t? That’s where iAuthor’s “serendipitous discovery” comes in. Bookstore-style browsing on a single, immersive interface … user-generated book samples … mind-expanding book themes … and a splurge of secret sauce.

2. The self-publishing phenomenon: By 2020, an estimated 50% of all eBooks will be self-published. Perceptions are changing fast. Indie books are entering the industry bestseller lists, and already make up around 25% of Amazon’s eBook bestsellers. Self-publishing is no longer dismissed as a tainted route-to-market, but a respected strategy for a new breed of author.Publishing conferences and trade fairs (most notably the London Book Fair) have opened their doors to self-published authors. Where once indies were ghettoised, now they are accepted.

This current of democratisation runs deep through iAuthor. All content is author-generated. No editor’s picks. Authors have an equal chance of their book cover or blurb being liked, their book being recommended, their book samples being browsed, their themes being followed. Put simply, authors have equal access to readers, regardless of their route to publication. The once quixotic notion of New York Times bestsellers sharing promotional space with edgy indies is real and manifest. A true democracy of opportunity.

3. Enhanced social media literacy: Fuelled by this self-publishing boom, a new species has arisen: the “authorpreneur”. Tech-savvy, agile and resilient, these author-entrepreneurs share more traits with startup founders than with reclusive bohemians. In a saturated book market, their survival depends on it. They have grasped the nuances of social media: brand-building, cross-promotion, analytics. They have exposed the fallacy of the ultra-passive “build it, and they will come” approach to reader-acquisition. They have embraced Eric Ries’ lean startup methodology — that products should be built iteratively, with customer validation at every milestone — and applied it to book marketing.

                  Credit: Dave Coverly

Driven by a desire for creative and promotional control, the authorpreneur is content to go it alone. Why rely on an often ponderous in-house team to market on their behalf? Social media scheduling tools keep content feeds topped up. Google Hangouts and Facebook Events make book launches virtual. Limited budgets can be bypassed. Resourcefulness is rewarded.

iAuthor is built on this exact premise: there is no one more committed to promoting creative content than the content’s creators. The result is a DIY brand-building platform catering to the full spectrum of authors. iAuthor provides the clay. Authors do the moulding.

Enhanced social media literacy is not restricted to authors — readers and literary bloggers are the true glue that binds the book discovery world. Bombarded by native ads, asked to share, review and buy books, online readers have become both the journey and the destination. iAuthor’s book discovery features rely on readers. With their social media networks acting as potent force multipliers, readers are the half that makes iAuthor whole.


 Author, publisher or reader? You can learn more about iAuthor at www.iauthor.uk.com

The Goddess & the Slaver – An Interview with the Author, John Fairbrother

BooksGoSocial

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I’m Dyslectic, therefore Illiterate until my mid forties

 

 

 

How did you get into writing?

 

I had the good fortune to suffer a mental breakdown and my psychotherapist advised me to learn to read and write and take up writing for therapy.

 

 

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

 

My Memoir “I thought even God didn’t want me”. “Daniels Inheritance.” and my current book.

 

 

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

 

Where I grew up once belonged to a descendent of the 5th century historic King Osraige, an important character in the book.

 

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

 

It has been in the process of writing and rewriting for twenty years.

 

 

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

I mostly write in early morning

 

 

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

 

As it’s so difficult and expensive to produce printed Books I see e-books as the future of publishing, especially fiction

 

 

 

Do you read your book reviews?

 

Yes

 

 

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

 

Stick at it someone is sure to see value in your work

 

 

 

What are you reading now?

 

The whistler’ by John Gresham.

 

 

What’s your next step?

 

Finish my third novel

 

An Interview with Marie Lavender, Bestselling Multi-Genre Author

BooksGoSocial

 

 

 

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

 

I’m actually allergic to dogs! I wish I wasn’t. Most of them are really cute, but if I am near one, I can’t stop sneezing. It’s the same with certain cat breeds.

 

 

How did you get into writing?

 

You could say that I just stumbled into it. All throughout my childhood, I had ideas running through my head – scenes on play that weren’t from films, but instead from my own imagination. As soon as I could write, I began to write them all down. Suddenly, I realized that I was writing stories, and that’s when I knew I wanted to be an author.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

 

Tough one! I’ll name a few off the top of my head…Dark Lover by J.R. Ward, Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill, and Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts.

 

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

 

Directions of the Heart came from current events, from countless stories of trauma that I’d read about. I also got a chance to delve into the pain of my own past with this one. I wanted to tell the stories of trauma survivors, to impress upon readers how much they deserved to find peace and happiness.

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

 

I think this one took me six months to write and polish.

 

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

 

It helps to have a good pen, preferably a pleasant color with a flowing tip like a gel pen. I also love to write in pretty journals, but if necessary, I’ll use a cheap notebook. I need complete peace and quiet to really focus on my work. Now and then, however, I have been known to play music softly. Sometimes it seasons what I’m writing about.

 

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

 

I think every author needs to have some type of web presence in order to survive the chaos that is the internet. Readers also like to have a way to follow their favorite author, to keep updated on new book releases and such. I believe we have to keep working to reach readers in different ways.

 

 

Do you read your book reviews?

 

Yes, I usually do.

 

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

 

Be patient with the journey (it takes however long it takes), but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone either. Who knows? Maybe it will behoove you to try something new with marketing or writing, to take an extra step you might not have imagined before, in order to reach your goals.

 

 

What are you reading now?

Right now, I am rereading the first book of J.R. Ward’s offshoot series from the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the Black Dagger Legacy Series. The novel is called Blood Kiss. It’s pretty good! You should try it.

 

 

What’s your next step?

 

My next step is to finish editing the sequel to Second Nature. This is book two of the Blood at First Sight Series. The novel is titled Blood Instincts, and it’s a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I should be done in a month or so, then it will go out to beta readers before I finalize everything and send it my publisher. I’m really excited about this book! 🙂

Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance, and passion…

In all of these amazing stories, there’s one burning question…is love worth the risk?

Without You

Reece and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat

Spurred by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?

Memories

Struggling to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt. As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn

Caitlyn thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)

Purchase Links

Amazon Universal link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071WVZZPV

myBook.to/DoH

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/729271

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/directions-of-the-heart-marie-lavender/1126548251

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/directions-of-the-heart-a-romantic-drama-collection

CreateSpace link:  https://www.createspace.com/7239124

Book Trailer:  https://youtu.be/4gkk4wmrtHQ

Follow Marie on Twitter @marielavender1

Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Subscribe to our RSS
Follow by Email
SHARE
LINKEDIN
PINTEREST