Interview with Joel T. McGrath!

something_eternal

  1. Could you tell us something about yourself? How you ended up writing a book or something, what inspires you to write a book?

1A) Well, I think the people I encounter every day inspire me to write. The places I’ve been inspire me, too. I’ve been writing for quite a while now. I write tons and tons of nurses’ notes, which if you think about it, are tiny eight-hour stories about a person’s life.

During a mandatory, all day nurses’ meeting many years ago, I took the seat farthest away from my boss at a large boardroom table. Everyone at the table was taking notes with paper and pen, but I just politely nodded every so often and wrote my first draft during that nine-hour meeting. To this day, no one in the room of fifteen nurses and mangers knows, well, I guess they will now.

  1. I don’t have any clue what your book is all about, can you tell us a short story about your book and something we should really look forward to?

2A) Something Eternal explores how we see ourselves, individually and collectively versus a third party roving about, hidden in plain sight sees us. It’s about raw emotions and restrained emotions. It’s about the person we present to the world versus the person we truly are inside. As for looking forward into Something Eternal, you’ll find yourself in amazing backdrops and… I bet you’ll even find a part of yourself in at least one of my characters along the way.

  1. How was your journey being a writer? What are your struggles and obstacles that you have to endure to published a book? How was it feel that you are going to be a published author in a number of days?

3A) My “journey being a writer” is my journey through life. I first faced rejection when my father left. I was three years old. Sure, we reunited a few years later, but it was never the same again. I’ve sold foreign rights through my agent abroad, but I’ve yet to land a domestic agent in three hundred and seventy-five tries. I’ve had several editors at large publishing houses and agents say, “Wow, this is really intriguing, but it’s not on our list.” I believe Something Eternal can transcend any list once readers catch a glimpse into a world full of refreshing, organically crafted storytelling. 

  1. Can you recommend us your top five favorite books?

4A)  (5) How They Croaked (4) The Great Gatsby (3) Pride and Prejudice (2) Bunnicula (1) Body Language in Literature (I know, I have an eclectic palate.)

  1. What do you do when you are in a book hangover? Is there any particular book that made you in a book hangover?

5A) I listen to music when I’m “in a book hangover.” I certainly don’t write; it screws up my writing. I also meditate or go to the ocean. I would have to say…Middle School Blues gave me a serious book hangover, and anything else that jumps around too much. Ouch, my aching head!

  1. What was your childhood like? Any happy memories or something funny that you could share?

6A) I don’t know, I grew up the eighth of nine kids. I feel kind of detached from my childhood. My parents were pretty old when they had me, so they were more like grandparents who were never around. All of my older siblings had left home long before, and they didn’t come back around much. My parents took me out of public school in the fourth grade, so I was very isolated until I left home and enrolled in college seven hundred miles, and many years later. I guess that’s when my life really began. Sorry, I’m not trying to be a downer. I have happy and fun memories, they’re just so scattered and sporadic though. I’m making my happiest memories now.

  1. Top five favorite foods! Pizza and Bacon are exceptions!

7A) Yum! (5) Lobster ravioli with Alfredo sauce (4) Shephard’s Pie (3) A BBQ burger at Breakers in Florida (2) Chicken Marsala (1) Baked Spaghetti

  1. If there is one genre that you least favorite and what is it? Why?

8A) I’m fairly open minded. I’ll read anything that catches my attention. Conversely, I won’t stick with a book if it’s the genre I like, yet is full of tropes, clichés, and is just plain stupid.

  1. What is/are your hobbies? What do you do when you are not writing?

9A) I collect Transformers, yes, the toys. I have to say, my collection has reached it’s limit. Don’t worry though, I don’t play with them. It’s much worse than that. I just look at them, all posed for action in my large glass case.

When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. Is that crazy?

  1. Your favorite quote from your latest book and why is it your favorite among them?

10A) Something Eternal: “Who are you? WHO ARE YOU?” Vincent whispered with frustration. His eyes grew large. He gasped and dropped the beaded necklace. Reaching toward the window, he sat up and yelled aloud, “She needs me!” He slid back into bed and repeated, “She needs me. She needs me.” An orange, black, and white spotted butterfly briefly rested on the glass before it flew off, and Vincent gently faded into sleep.

 

This is more of a passage. Um, but I really enjoy fleeting emotions displayed through spoken, non-verbal, and subtle environmental happenings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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Joel T. McGrath is a proud member of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project. He is a four-time top 20% choice for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award with four different manuscripts. He has sold foreign rights to his first novel through a literary agent in Turkey. Joel is currently working with a Disney illustrator on a graphic novel and hopes to release portions of the work in summer 2017.  Website | Facebook 

 

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Interview with Andrew Stanek!

1. What is your motivation and inspiration on writing Wild Sky? What made you write a science fiction novel for the first time? (as stated at the end of your book)

I’ve been writing for a while, and I’ve been trying to find a genre that suits me. While searching, I’ve written fantasy novels, mysteries, political fiction, historical fiction, comedy, and more. My foray into science fiction was just me trying to write in a new genre.

2. Will there be a sequel or a prequel for this book? If yes, How many are you planning to write?

I have not planned any sequels or prequels for Wild Sky, unfortunately. When I wrote my first published novel, Empire, I got very excited about it, and I was convinced that everyone was going to love it, and I’d have to write lots of sequels to satisfy the demands of fans. I planned lots of sequels. No one ever readEmpire. I don’t plan sequels in advance anymore.

3. Based on your letter for your readers, you said there that you have no intentions to write Wild Sky the way it has, what is your original plan on writing it?

My original plan for Wild Sky was basically this: I wanted to explore the implications a one-way teleportation device would have for humanity. Would it be useful for industry? Transportation? Art? Science? I suddenly realized that a gate would actually be an extremely dangerous thing if used for military purposes. Hence Wild Sky.

4. Halen is a mysterious man and has a disciplined personality. Will we know more of Halen’s past on your future novels if there will be (it has to be!)? Where did you based Halen’s character? Are there some characters of yours that you put into Halen’s p

Halen’s character was based on an earlier character of mine from a novel called Ambition. The main character in this novel was also named Halen, and he was a hero general operating in 19th century Europe. Unfortunately, I was not able to publish this novel because I got into a copyright dispute over it, so I decided to at least reuse Halen’s name. His personality somewhat carried over.

5. Instead of asking Sir Andrew Stanek, I wanted to ask Halen’s 5 favorite books and his personal favorite quotes from those books.

I don’t really have an answer to this question because I haven’t thought about. In Wild Sky, we get the sense that Halen really likes quotes from famous speeches rather than books (although he also has a lot of books). At one point he quotes Martin Luther King Jr. I would say that quote is his favorite. His second favorite quote would probably be Noam Chomsky’s “War does not determine who is right, only who is left.” Then, “On the day when two army corps may mutually annihilate each other in a second, probably all civilized nations will recoil with horror and disband their troops.” (Alfred Nobel). I don’t know what the other two would be. There are many good quotes about war.

6. Let’s say that you’ve been given an opportunity to dine, talk and have a one day opportunity with someone who is already dead. Who would it be and why?

I’d probably choose to dine with my grandfather, who died when I was very young. I didn’t get a chance to know him, and I have a lot of questions I’d want to ask.

7. What was the difficult part on writing Wild Sky?

Wild Sky was pretty easy to write. My biggest problem was that I actually don’t know anything about the navy or running a vessel, so I had to try to come up with jargon and procedures that sounded realistic.

8. Deaf_mute is mysterious. What is on your mind when you are building his/her character?

The entire character of deaf_mute is based on a character called “the Laughing Man” from the anime series Ghost in the Shell. The Laughing Man is a genius hacker who is pursued by the main characters in that show. The name deaf_mute is based on a quote from The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, which is itself written on The Laughing Man’s emblem in Ghost in the Shell.

9. Top 5 Favorite Foods!

My five top favorite foods are pasta, pizza, ice cream, sesame balls, and soup.

10. Your favorite quote on Wild Sky and why you chose it?

“If I have a gate, you can’t shoot me, but I can shoot you.” I’ll leave it to the reader to read Wild Sky and find out why it’s my favorite quote.

11. How many hours of research did you do to write Wild Sky? What kind of reasearch do you do?

Zero. There was no research involved in writingWild Sky. The only research I recall doing was looking up the names of various naval bases in the US, which only took 15 minutes at the most.

12. Share a story of your daily life!

No stories from my daily life spring to mind. Most of what I do is writing.

13. A little message for those who wanted to become a writer in the future.

Write a lot! If people don’t like one of your novels, then write another and another. Also, promote your books. Otherwise, people won’t read them.

14. What do you think the most sensitive subject on your book? I think it was killing without the feeling of guilt or hesitation on doing so. Your thoughts?

I thought the most sensitive subject of the book was mankind developing an escalating capacity to destroy itself. I don’t really have a lot to say about this except that I don’t like the idea of militarized gates, which Wild Sky is all about.

15. What made you choose to be a writer?

Even I don’t know that. I just couldn’t not write, and I didn’t like the path I was on before I became a writer. So I became a writer.

Book Review: Wild Sky by Andrew Stanek

What really caught me off guard every time I read a science fiction books is when the protagonist of the story question on the middle of the book about his principles, strategies and morality along the way when in fact it has been decided that he won the fight.

Wild Sky is intriguing, fascinating, unique and interesting science fiction novel that will divert you to a new kind of terrifying technology, advanced knowledge of hacking and outstanding power of deduction. With the absolute definition of war and understanding the complexitiy of the space cruise, it will lead you to a magnificent warfare.

What I liked about this book is how great minds empower and gather information in a simple statement, combined with collision of great ideas, opinions and perspective. This book made me awe, shocked and stunned. It is indeed terrifying and crazy.

I couldn’t fathom that Sir Andrew Stanek’s first Science Fiction Novel is this great. How could he write something so good and destructible at the same time? Pointing out that this was his first time on trying a science fiction novel that turns out really great.

Honestly, Wild Sky is an exhausting book. There are a lot of words that may be confusing if you are a reader that is not familiar with scientific literature. However, you’ll learn the gist of it along the way. I actually found this book interesting. I never knew that I will love it.

And I tell you, one of the mind blowing book that I have ever read! All I could think of at the end of the book was this author is so fucking brilliant. How would he turn those events upside down?! I was mesmerized, thrilled and amazed. Andrew Stanek brought us a possibility and a theory that may haunt the entire humanity in the future.

Along with Omnilogos by Michele Amitrani, Wild Sky by Andrew Stanek are the first two books that will definitely on the top of my best books of 2016. You will never know what a indie author has to offer in the book community.

My ratings: 5 stars!

Interview with Pintip Dunn!

1. What made you include sensitive subjects like suicide, bullying, and pedophilia on your book, The Darkest Lie? What do you think would be the impact of it to your readers?
Honestly, I didn’t set out to write about these topics. They grew organically out of my concept of writing a story about a girl who was grieving her mother’s death — but whose feelings were complicated by the scandal that surrounded that death. In addition, I’ve worked as a counselor for a crisis hotline and wanted to include that setting in my plot. I suppose those topics also flow naturally from such a setting. When I was writing the book, my focus was on telling the story that was the truest to CeCe’s character. My hope is that the story will resonate with readers, as such topics are prevalent in our world today.
  1. After reading your book, I noticed that you have a soft spot for family. You really love your family, do you? If you are going to thank your family for one thing, what would it be?

This is such a lovely question! Yes, I love my family very much. They are, in fact, the most important thing in the world to me. I would thank them for the unconditional love they’ve given me my entire life.

  1. What made you write The Darkest Lie? I think it is completely different from Forget Tomorrow, did you have any difficulty in changing genres?

I wrote The Darkest Lie because I wanted to try a new genre. I agree that the two books are different, but I hope that my readers will see the same complexity of emotion in both novels. I actually did not have difficulty changing genres. It was different, to be sure, but I found it challenging and fun. I love alternating between the two genres now. I think it helps keep my writing fresh.

  1. What is your inspiration for writing The Darkest Lie? Any difficulties in writing the book?

I wanted to write a novel about a girl grieving the loss of her mother. My own mother passed away when I was five years old, and I have felt her loss like a hole in my heart my entire life. I wanted to explore that grief, especially when it has been complicated by the anger and confusion that comes along with a scandalous death. (Just to be clear, my own mother’s death was completely scandal-free!) The writing of the book was not difficult, but in some ways, the subject matter feels a little riskier to me. So, I think there is more difficulty for me in putting this book out in the world to be judged (compared to Forget Tomorrow).

  1. If you will be given a chance to have a date with anyone, dead, fictional or alive, who will it be and why?

If I weren’t happily married with three kids…then I would love to go on a date with the fictional Bellamy Blake, from the tv show “The 100.” I am completely obsessed with this show, and I have a huge crush on Bellamy. He will do anything to protect his sister. (Gee, wonder why this quality appeals to me?)  He’s asked to make really difficult moral decisions, and he’s conflicted about what is right or wrong. Plus, he’s really cute. 😀

  1. What books do you love to read when you are in a book slump?

If I’m in a book slump, I love to read my tried-and-true authors and preferably something light and funny. A Kristan Higgins book never fails me!

  1. Random Question: Top 5 Favorite Foods!!

Ha, I love this question because I’m a total foodie.

salmon toro sashimi

seared foie gras

roasted bone marrow

raw oysters

kir royale of mojito (can I put a drink? If we’re talking my absolute favs, I have to put a drink!)

8. What made you pursue the path to be an author?

I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I was six years old. I didn’t pursue the path; I think it pursued me. I went to law school, got my degree, and was a practicing attorney — but the need to write just wouldn’t let me go.

  1. Share a happy memory of yours when you were a child!

I was perhaps three or four, and I adored roasted chestnuts. There were some cooling on a tray on our kitchen counter. “I want that,” I said to my mom. “What?” my mom asked. “That!” I cried, not quite remembering their name, and for some reason, not pointing, either. “What?” my mom asked again. “That, that!” I repeated.

Well, we went through several more rounds of this, and I ended up clinging to my mom’s neck and crying. Not once did she lose her patience. She painstakingly figured out what I wanted through the process of elimination, and I ended up with my chestnuts, after all.

This is one of the five or six very clear memories I have of my mother.

  1. What is your favorite quote from your book, The Darkest Lie? And why?

“My mother was chaos and passion, devastation and joy. My dad used to say you could reach deep into her eyes and pull out a song. Well, her eyes are closed now, and I’m not sure there’ll be any music in my life, ever again.”

I love this quote because it gets right at the core of the book: CeCe’s grief for her mom.

  1. What does your name, “Pintip”, mean?

It is a Thai name and it means “harp in the heavens.” “Pin” is an ancient Thai harp, and “tip” means heavenly.

  1. Name 5 books and authors that influenced you as a person.

The following are the books that have influenced me most as a writer:

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

The Host, Stephenie Meyer

Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

Harry Potter, JK Rowling

  1. If you are going to define what love is, what will be your own version of it?

To me, romantic love is someone who will inspire you to be the best possible version of yourself.

Family love, to me, is unconditional. I will continue to love the person no matter what he or she does or doesn’t do.

  1. How do you plot the events, clues, codes and messages on The Darkest Lie? Was it like spur in the moment and you continue on typing the story or you plot it chapter by chapter?

I had a pretty complete outline of the events in the story, but most of the clues came to me while I was actually writing the story. I just went with it, and after I was done writing, I had to go back and layer in the details that would result in those clues making sense.

  1. What do you do in your daily life if you are not writing?

I take care of and play with my kids. I work out on the elliptical machine in my gym while watching one of my reality shows (Top Chef, Survivor, Amazing Race or The Bachelor/Bachelorette). I go out to fabulous restaurants with my husband and friends. And I read!

Lastly, any message to your readers and readers-to-be?

Thank you so much for reading my books! It means the world to me to be able to share my stories.

Super big thanks to Rafael for this interview and blog tour! Simply put, you are the best!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Pintip Dunn.jpg

When her first-grade teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, Pintip replied, “An author.” Although she has pursued other interests over the years, this dream has never wavered.

Pintip graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

Book Review: The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

Darkest Lie Header

I would like to apologize for posting my book review late. I was at my Internship in a far away province whereas internet is limited for a month!

The Darkest Lie

What I noticed about this book is about mentioning sensitive subjects and discussing it through the course of the novel which are: suicide, pedophilia, physical violence and bullying. These are some topics that have been tackled on the book and there are a lot to mention. I just don’t want to spoil everything.

I believed that Pintip is writing this book for everyone. She wanted to raise awareness both at the same time to help the victims to stand on their own and find their voices to find justice. And I am delighted that this book is something light and captivating. I keep on reading because I just need to find answers.

Despite on predicting and guessing who is the predator, I didn’t managed to find out. I don’t know why. She’s that good. I barely figured out who. There was a point that I was confused who to accused of, then, in time, I always changed who is the person behind on CeCe’s mother’s death/suicide.

I liked it how Pintip shift from a different genre and write a completey different one. And she did write a good one on top of that! I also noticed in every book of her that the love of family always comes first. And she hasn’t failed to point out the flaws and the changes on the relationship of the members of the family.

Personally, I think its actually good. You wouldn’t know when will you have time for your family, you wouldn’t know what could happen. She made me appreciate my parents more. There was a line that strucked at me.

“I love you, sweetheart. I’ve always loved you. I just didn’t know how to show it.”

You would realized that each one of us have different kind of ways to love. There are people who are showy and there are those who don’t. There are those who give you little messages and there are those who support you on the back even if you aren’t aware. People just show different kinds of love and we just have to appreciate how they do it because we wouldn’t never know if someone knows how to.

I like Pintip’s writing style, as if you are in the mind of a teenage girl. Feeling her grieve and anger, her sadness and humiliation, her embarassment and her pain. What I learned from reading this book is to learn to stand up on your own. You wouldn’t move on if you don’t look forward and face your fears. Life is full of choices, whether you suceed or fail, there has to be something to learn and what matters is that you experience something out of your comfort zone.

The Darkest Lie is a light novel that will held you captive with Pintip’s words. It will caught your curiosity and will make you read it till the end. You’ll just love how her protagonist change and discover herself in a new perspective.

My ratings: 4.5 stars

The Book Depository | Amazon

You might also want to check their book reviews:

Aika from AikaLoraine

Jennylyn from The Witch Queen’s Realm

Erika from The Nocturnal Fey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Pintip Dunn

When her first-grade teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, Pintip replied, “An author.” Although she has pursued other interests over the years, this dream has never wavered.

Pintip graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.