RELEASE: North Dark by Lane Kareska

Fabulous book – you should check it out!

The Sirens Song

Announcing North Dark by Lane Kareska

NorthDark_Cover_Final

Set in a lonesome and barbarous failed state, North Dark is the story of a lone man traveling by dogsled across a frozen wasteland in pursuit of the fugitive who destroyed his family.

Haunted by predators both physical and spectral, the musher’s journey takes him across a deadened tundra, tortured cities and the remains of civilizations long-lapsed into madness. All the while, his enemy slides in and out of striking distance, always one step ahead, always one act of violence away.

About Lane Kareska… Lane Kareska was born in Houston, Texas. He studied writing at Columbia College Chicago and his MFA is from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he was also awarded a Fellowship to live and write in Ireland. Lane traveled Europe and South America to research his graduate thesis. He teaches creative writing and works in technology and new media. His fiction…

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Nine Questions with… Steve Vernon

Today I’m asking nine questions to fellow Canadian Steve Vernon. Welcome Steve, why don’t you take a moment to introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

Author's photo, with beaverHi folks.

My name is Steve Vernon and I’m a writer and a storyteller.

I’m what some folks call a hybrid author – in that I write both for a traditional publisher as well as a line of my own independently published e-books.

I know. I know. Your Aunt Winifred has released her own e-book. So has her cat. And that ball of magenta yarn in her basket – has its own particular yarn to tell.

I’m not saying that I’m unique.

I started out my writing career writing short stories for the North American small press. Little tiny basement magazines – and some that I think were published in somebody’s sub-sub-sub-basement – for as much as one quarter of a cent per word.

I’m not saying I was making money at it.

In 2004 I pitched a collection of Nova Scotia ghost stories to a regional press up here in Nova Scotia. They liked my pitch and in 2006 they published my first official book Haunted Harbours: Ghost Stories from Old Nova Scotia. It’s a great collection of stories based on regional history and folklore that has gone on to sell about 10,000 copies – which is considered pretty good for a regional Canadian press such as Nimbus Publishing.

Only that wasn’t REALLY my first book.

My first book – a novella entitled Long Horn, Big Shaggy – A Tale of Wild West Terror and Reanimated Buffalo was released by Black Death Books way back in 2004.

Since then I have released SEVEN books through Nimbus Publishing – including four ghost story collections, one children’s picture book, one YA novel and a collection of historical murder tales from Nova Scotia.

In addition I’ve released about two dozen e-books and I am writing just as fast as my fingers can tackle the keyboard.

Wow… You really are a storyteller! Tell us about your writing process?

I get up every morning and check my e-mail. Then I check Twitter and I check Facebook. I have breakfast. I pet the cat. I look out the window and try to predict the weather for today. I check my day-timer and figure out if I have a shift at my day job to worry about or not. I bring my wife coffee. I pet the cat some more.

In between all of that elaborate procrastination I somehow manage to write a line or two.

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I ought to be honest with you folks. I really wish I could write Fifty-One and a Half Shades of Grey – an unofficial sequel to the multi-multi-billion copy bestselling series.

Here’s a fun and/or depressing little fact. Did you know that one in five books sold in 2012 was a part of the Fifty Shades Trilogy? I tell you – if I could write something that would sell like that I would have to hire me someone to fold up my folding money for me.

But seriously, I really would love to make more headway in the field of young adult literature. There are just so many kids out there who are putting off reading in favor of texting and computer gaming and You-Tube and all of those other Borg/Dalek/hive-mind diversions that are rampant in today’s society. I would REALLY love to write something that would catch the mind of all of those reluctant readers and turn them around.

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

Wow!

Only five?

For starters – Dracula. My grandmother gave me a paperback copy of that novel way back when I was knee-high to a short knee bone. It was a battered old copy with a photograph of Christopher Lee looking all ominous and moody and gothic. That had to have been the FIRST horror novel I ever read and I loved it.

Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King, was another powerful inspiration. I read that when it first hit the market – alright, so it was after I read a comic book that showed Ben Grimm – The Thing from Marvel’s Fantastic Four – reading a copy of it. I read that novel and I said to myself I have got to grow up and start writing books like that.

Sharpe’s Tiger – by Bernard Cornwell. I read that after reading a recommendation by Stephen King and I still would like to someday sit down and write me a big military adventure series such as the Sharpe series.

Joe Lansdale’s work has inspired me a lot – no book in particular – but I truly admire his comfortable uncensored style of relating a story to the reader that both enlightens and puts a strong tug on your funny bone at the same damn time.

Robert Parker’s Spencer series also rocked my world – at least the first dozen or so books in the series.

I don’t know if that’s five or not. Math was never one of my strong points.

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

Let’s see – I would love to see Donald Sutherland and Gordon Pinsent cast in a movie version of my vampire and hockey novella – Sudden Death Overtime. Gene Hackman would probably fit as well – even though he’s not Canadian. Tommy Lee Jones would be another great pick – if he could learn how to skate.

I’d love to see what Ray Stevenson would make out of my tough guy anti-hero Captain Nothing. I really thought Ray did a great job in Punisher: War Zone – even though the critics and the box office tally would disagree with me.

And I can’t tell you about casting – but if some Canadian studio does not hurry and pick up the movie rights to my young adult novel Sinking Deeper OR my questionable (sometimes heroic) decision to invent a sea monster and start working on it I may break down and scream.

What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

I would promptly pay off whatever bribe I had offered.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

Coffee. Cold and black and strong enough to break a spoon off if you are foolish enough to attempt a stir.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I garden. I have a day job. I pet the cat. I have an addiction to old black and white movies and cheap cheesy horror flicks.

And in between all of that I think about writing.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

Okay – so here are the opening lines of my upcoming YA novel – Big Hairy Deal.

Chapter One – The bear, the Bigfoot and Me

One moment I was standing here in the Cape Breton highlands – and why in the heck did they call them highlands, anyway? I mean, they didn’t look all that high to me. Everything I could see was all rocks and rolling terrain and it seemed more of a humpy-kind of hill country.

“This is Bigfoot country, Adam,” Warren told me. “So you had better keep your eyes open.”

Warren is my stepdad – which is another way of saying that he was a bit of a total dork.

I mean, just take a look at the guy. He’s about as thin as a skinny reed with an Adam’s apple that sticks out from the skinny of his neck and bobbles up and down like he was constantly trying to swallow a live bullfrog inside of his throat.

The man looked absolutely gorky.

“But Adam,” my Mom would always tell me. “He’s your stepdad. You’re just going to have to learn to get along with him.”

Baloney.

As far as I was concerned – all that him being my stepdad meant was that he had accidentally married my Mom six months after my real Dad was killed by that baby carriage.

Which sucked.

Was that more than nine lines?

I told you that arithmetic was NOT my strong point.

Now let’s take a sneak peek into Steve’s Sudden Death Overtime – A Tale of Hockey and Vampires

Sudden Death Overtime - final artMeet Sprague Deacon – one of the toughest old-time hockey players who ever skated upon a rink of hand-poured ice. Sprague was born and raised and he expects to die here on the Northern Labrador coast. What he did not expect was a tour bus full of vampires – none of whom glitter in the least bit – to pull into his town and begin lowering the population level – one corpse at a time. Sprague and his three best friends – an over-the-hill never-say quit bush league hockey team from Northern Labrador go toe-to-tooth with a tour bus full of vampires in an immortal-stakes showdown of street hockey? For the answer – throw Paul Newman’s Slapshot into a blender with Steven Niles 30 Days of Night and hit frappe!

Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you directly to Amazon!

I’d like to thank Steve for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with Steve you can find more information about him, including all of his novels on his website.

An Odd Way to Determine If You Have a Life…

I saw this on Facebook today and I had to give it a try.

SUPPOSEDLY if you’ve seen over 85 of these 239 films, you have no life. I had to see…

( x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
(x) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(x) The Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 9

(x) The Princess Bride
( ) Anchorman
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
(x) Saw
(x) Saw II
(x) White Noise
(x) White Oleander
(x) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
( ) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 18

(x) Scream
(x) Scream 2
(x)Scream 3
( ) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
( ) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
() American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 22

( ) Harry Potter 1
( ) Harry Potter 2
( ) Harry Potter 3
( ) Harry Potter 4
(x) Resident Evil 1
(x) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
(x) The Village
( ) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 26

( ) Finding Nemo
(x) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
( ) The Grinch
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
(x) White Chicks
(x) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
() Robots
Total so far: 34

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
(x) KING KONG
Total so far: 47

( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
( x) Final Destination 2
(x ) Final Destination 3
(x ) Halloween
(x) The Ring
(x) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber
Total so far: 55

(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
(x) Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
(x) Secret Window
(x) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
() The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 61

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
(x) Child’s Play
(x ) Seed of Chucky
(x ) Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
(x) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
() Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
(x) The Grudge
(x ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 72

(x) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
(x) Ocean’s Twelve
( ) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremacy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
(x) The Fog
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far: 78

(x) Independence Day
(x) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
(x) Darkness Falls
(x) Christine
(x) ET
(x) Children of the Corn
( ) My Boss’s Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 86

( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She’s All That
( ) Calendar Girls
(x) Sideways
( ) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x ) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 96

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
( ) Spider-Man
( ) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
(x) Jeepers Creepers
(x) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
(x) Reign of Fire
(x) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
( ) Shrek 2
(x) Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
(x) The Notebook
(x) K-Pax
() Krippendorf’s Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
(x) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 114

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 120

( ) Baseketball
(x) Hostel
(x) Waiting for Guffman
(x) House of 1000 Corpses
(x) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
(x) Highlander
(x) Mothman Prophecies
(x) American History X
( ) Three
Total so Far: 127

(x) The Jackel
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
(x) Night Watch
( ) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
(x) Willard
Total so far: 133

(x) High Tension
(x) Club Dread
( ) Hulk
(x) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
Total so far 139

( ) Kill Bill vol 1
( ) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
(x) Wolf Creek
(x) Kingdom of Heaven
(x) The Hills Have Eyes
(x) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
(x) The Last House on the Left
(x) Re-Animator
(x) Army of Darkness
Total so far : 146

( ) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
( ) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
( ) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
() Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 149

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
(x) Jumanji
(x) Evil Dead
(x) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
(x) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
(x) Hannibal
Complete Total: 158

So apparently I don’t have a life… How many have you seen?

Nine Questions with… Matt Schiariti

Today I have the utmost pleasure of sharing an interview with new(ish) author Matt Schiariti. Matt has just released his first novel – Ghosts of Demons Past. Welcome Matt, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you. (Great place to inset your bio and expand on it)

MattSchiariti_pictureHi! I’m Matt Schiariti and I’m an Engineer by profession, guitar legend in my own mind, and would-be author, time permitting.  When I’m not writing, I’m reading.  When I’m not reading, I’m enjoying a beer sporting a fancy name on the label.  When I’m not enjoying a fancy-named beer, I’m most likely reading some more.  Sometimes I do all three at once, to disastrous effect.

I live in southern New Jersey, with my wife, two children, insane dog, curious guinea pig, and three reclusive hermit crabs.

I’m currently working on another novel (first one I’d ever written as a matter of fact—cleaning it up and getting it ready for beta readers as we speak) as well as several short stories.  Ghosts of Demons Past is my first full-length book, but not my last.

You have been warned

Tell us what is your writing process?

Prodigious outlining isn’t my bag.  To date, everything I’ve written has been by the seat of my pants.  A few of my short stories were written around bare-bone outlines, but for the most part I’m a ‘pantser’.  That being said, I always have a good idea of where the story starts, ends, and what happens in between in mind before I begin any story, no matter the length.  Not sure how long I’ll be able to get away with that because once I get into more complex stories, I’m going to need something to work from, something with more detail.  Will I be a pantser forever?  Time will tell!

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

  1. What?  Don’t look at me like that!  I’m not kidding.  Mostly.  Sorta kinda.  Hey, I need some way to pay for my editorial fees, right?  😉  Seriously, though.  I’m very much a ‘write what I feel like’ type of person.  If I think I have a good story to tell, whether it be contemporary, horror, sci fi, paranormal, urban fantasy, I’ll write it.

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

This is a difficult question to answer.  I read in just about every genre so nailing down specific influences would be next to impossible.  Funny thing is, some of my favorite books/authors aren’t even in the genres I’ve been writing up to this point!

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

I suck at this!  But, for Ghosts of Demons Past, my cast would consist of the following people:

Seth Gabriel: Hugh Jackman

Jamie: Tatiana Maslany

Sim Peters: Todd Lasance

Rene Gabriel: Joelle Carter

Mitch Gabriel: Dylan Minnette

Amanda Gallagher: Rachel McAdams

Evan Gallagher: David Tennant

Tom McKinty: I have no idea!

Great choice in cast, Matt! What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Ask my wife to pinch me.  Then, after determining I hadn’t been dreaming, I’d call my mommy!

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

  1. I smoke entirely too much when I come to a sticking point or a part that needs some serious thought.  (Pssst…don’t try this at home, kiddies!  Smoking is bad for you, the surgeon general says so.)

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I work a 9 to 5, but when I’m home and not in the midst of family stuff (changing poopy diapers, or badgering my 6 year old, etc) I read.  A LOT.  If I’m not reading I’ll be playing my guitar, watching TV, or hanging out with friends on the weekends.  I’m not very adventurous.  No skydiving or mountain climbing for this guy!  I’m happy relaxing with friends at each other’s houses, seeing movies, keeping it simple!

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

The following is from a book I’d written BEFORE Ghosts of Demons Past.  I’ve recently revisited and am about 60% through the cleaning up process, getting it ready for beta readers.  It’s not horror, it’s not urban fantasy, and it’s not a thriller.  This WIP is a complete and total departure from anything else I’ve released to date.  It’s a bit of a life story with a slight paranormal twist—a VERY slight paranormal twist:

Funerals.

Nobody likes a funeral.

Funerals are a necessary evil of life, kind of like paying taxes or waiting in the line at the DMV or going to a Chuck E. Cheese’s kid’s party.  For most people in the civilized world, they’re damn near unavoidable.

When you get to thinking about it they’re really a brutal ritual.  The bereaved, whether they are husband or wife, mother or father, son or daughter, are on display more than the deceased.  On the worst day of their life they’re forced to endure a barrage of sympathy from family and friends, coworkers and acquaintances, their naked grief and sorrow front and center.  Perhaps the last thing anybody wants to do when they lose a loved one is to shake dozens of hands, hear the words ‘I’m so sorry’ over and over again.

Fantastic Matt! Thank you! Now let’s take a quick look into Ghosts of Demons Past

MattSchiariti_Cover“Well, Mr. Gabriel. What do you know about…demons?”

For most people, that’s a question that never comes up. Medium Seth Gabriel isn’t most people and for him, it’s another normal day in an abnormal life.

It’s bad enough that his love life has seen better days but his personal problems are only the half of it. Seth’s ghost hunting business, SG Cleaning Services hasn’t seen a client in weeks and he’s desperate for a paycheck. Things look up when two potential clients seek him out.

Courtney Reeves hires Seth to investigate a paranormal disturbance in her home. On the surface it’s a run of the mill cleaning job but when you deal with the dead for a living, there’s no such thing as routine. The close of the case is the start of even bigger problems and Seth will find that, while there’s nothing to fear from the dead, the living are another story.

When the nervous and persistent Evan Gallagher enters his life, Seth sees the promise of a big payday. There’s only one catch. The wealthy lawyer thinks his wife is possessed by a demon. Seth doesn’t believe in demons…not anymore, but the money is too good to turn down. Is Evan crazy or is he one hundred percent sane? As Seth digs deeper, he’ll ask the same question of himself.

For a guy who’s coasted through life on not much more than Greek takeout, tequila, and attitude, Seth’s going to have to dig deep to survive what will turn out to be a very bad week.

Don’t forget to click on the cover to be whisked away to Amazon!

Thanks Matt for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with Matt, you can find him on his blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Nine Questions with… Greta Burroughs

Today I’m asking author Greta Burroughs nine questions! Welcome Greta, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

GretaBurroughsI first fell in love with books when I was a teenager and read “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. I can still remember where I was while reading the mesmerizing story and the affect it had on me. Since then I have read all different genres, concentrating mostly on science fiction and fantasy.

My imagination was sparked through those stories but I never attempted to write anything on my own until 2005 when I created a series of children’s stories entitled “Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat”. I had just been diagnosed with an autoimmune blood disorder called ITP and could not work so I started writing the silly short stories to fill in my long boring days sitting at home. The stories were not too bad but my attempts at finding a publisher proved fruitless, so Patchy and Calico were packed away in a drawer not to see the light of day until a few years later.

I started writing for a local newspaper and that’s where I learned what all is entailed in being a writer. I found out there was more to it than putting words on paper and discovered that writing was my new passion. That led me to take the plunge and to try writing a full length book. It took several years to complete but when “Gerald and the Wee People” was published, I was on cloud nine.

During that time, dealing with my ITP was a big challenge. The relapses and treatments were tough to deal with and trying to understand this relatively unknown disease brought about my second book, “Heartaches and Miracles”. I wanted others who suffer with ITP to have the information and encouragement to fight and not give up, and to inform the general public about this little known blood disorder. Writing this book also helped me to accept my limitations and live a normal life in spite of ITP.

Patchy and Calico had lived in my desk drawer for a couple of years and I finally retrieved them. I’m glad the stories were not published earlier because they needed a lot of work. After editing and getting illustrations, “Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat” was released. Since then, two more Patchy and Calico books have joined the series and a sequel to Wee People was published entitled “House on Bo-Kay Lane”.

I will never be in the ranks of great authors but hopefully my fantasy novels will encourage readers to let their imagination roam free and enter another world such as Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings and Isaac Asimov did for me. Hopefully, my children’s books will teach youngsters about sharing, caring, friendship and responsibility while entertaining them with the funny antics of a silly dog and cat.

My to-do list includes writing more novels and some more adventures for Patchy and Calico. My love of reading will never diminish, nor will my love of writing. I just hope my work gives as much happiness to readers as I have received from my favorite authors.

Tell us about your writing process?

I’m a seat of the pants writer, no notes or outlines, just my imagination as I type. I usually have a general idea of how the story begins but the rest is a mystery until it is written. That can lead to problems, as in ‘how am I supposed to get him out of that mess?’ but if I just let the story write itself, everything works out. I enjoy being surprised when reading my work and have the ‘wow, where did that come from?’ experience.

I’m a pantser as well and there is nothing wrong with that! Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I have written non-fiction, children’s books and MG/YA so that gives me a bit of variety but I’d like to try a little sci-fi since that is one of the genres I love to read.

I love Sci-Fi too! What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

“To Kill a Mockingbird” inspired my love of reading. Next, just about everything written by Anne McCaffrey.  Her “Riders of Pern” series was the first set of books I read where I actually imagined myself as being there as part of the story. My husband, Robert DeBurgh, wrote his first novel, “Riders of the Wind” in 2002 and he was my initial inspiration to try writing something myself. I have read and loved so many books, it is difficult to single out any others.

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

I hate to admit this, but I am not familiar with today’s big stars, especially any teenaged actors who could play the roles of Gerald and Vernon in the “Wee People’ books. I would love to see Patchy and Calico as cartoon characters. Patchy is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree and would have a voice like Sid the Sloth in the movie “Ice Age”. Calico is the smart one and would sound like Queen Latifah’s character, Ellie in the same movie.

What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Probably faint… after I come back to my senses, I would make copies of the list and send it to everyone I know and paste to every site I could on the web. No one would ever forget – probably get tired of me – but would never forget my accomplishment.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

I have to have a glass of iced tea within reach when I’m writing and I confess, when I get really stuck on something, a cigarette helps me to relax and think.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I waste a lot of time on Facebook and other social sites. When I can drag my sorry self away from the computer, I like to be outside – walking, yard work, playing with our dogs and taking leisurely rides with my husband on our motorcycle.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

Spike was a dog… or was he?

He looked like a dog, acted like a dog and barked like a dog. When he was a puppy, Spikey chewed rugs, tore up books and pooped inside the house. He displayed all the cute/annoying traits associated with dogs, but there was something different about him.

Spike was smart. Well, smarter than the average dog. He watched everything we did and listened to everything we said. It was almost like he was studying us. Then he would disappear into the woods for hours…Why?

Spike was not an ordinary dog. He was actually a cleverly disguised alien from the planet Zoomba. He was sent to Earth to study the life forms that inhabited the third plant from the sun in the XXXX solar system. Of course, we did not know it at the time but now I wonder…what kind of information did he send back to his home world?

Great excerpt Greta! Thank you! Now let’s take a quick look into Greta’s latest release Patchy and Calico Collection

The “Patchy and Calico Collection” contains stories taken from the Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat book series for you and your child to read and enjoy. This sampler book introduces the readers to Patchy and Calico and gives you a chance to share some of the adventures they have together.

The stories teach children valuable lessons while entertaining the youngsters with the silly antics of the title characters. It is a fun way for parents and teachers to talk with kids about friendship, thinking before doing, sharing, caring and giving.

If you enjoy the adventures in the “Patchy and Calico Collection”, more stories can be found in these books:

“Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat”

“Patchy and Calico’s Summer Vacation”

“Christmas with Patchy and Calico”

Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon!

Thank you Greta for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with Greta you can find her on her website, on Twitter, and via her Amazon Author Page.

Nine Questions with… Lorne Oliver

Today I feature an interview with Lorne Oliver, a fellow Canadian and author of Red Island. Welcome Lorne, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

Author PhotoI always find writing about myself to be the hardest thing to do.  Hi, I’m Lorne.  I’ve lived in almost every region of Canada.  Currently I live in Saskatchewan.  If you ever get the chance to cross our great country this is the part where you hear things in the car like:  are we there yet?  Oh look, another field…and my favorite – am I being punished for something?  Geez, can you ever tell I’m not from here.  I have a great wife and two great kids.  When I’m not writing I’m cooking or watching crime shows on TV and movies…okay I’m probably thinking about writing while doing all of that.

Tell us about your writing process?

My writing process changes subtly, but is basically the same.  I’m one of those guys who always has a notebook at arms-reach so most of my first draft is done old school with pen and paper.  As I type it up I put it through a sort of rewrite.  For the second draft I print what I have and go over it with a pen editing what is there and often writing in completely new scenes.  In RED ISLAND I added some new scenes and polished a lot, but the bulk of it is what was first written.  In RED SERGE, my second novel to be released the end of August, I wrote a brand new chapter and completely changed the ending resulting in killing off a main character.  As for the inevitable outline or not outline question, every story I have ever outlined I have gotten bored with and never finished.  I do, however do a LOT of research for these books.

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

Two really.  I’ve written a couple of good “romance from a male perspective” books.  One I refer to as a mix of Nick Hornby’s, High Fidelity and Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember.  I keep getting encouragement to polish them up and publish them but they are my first children so I’m a little protective.  The second genre would be something to do with YA.  Probably YA fantasy.

Awesome! What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

On Writing by Stephen King – It gave me insights into writing and publishing.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby – This book showed me that we all have a voice and we can use that to tell our own story.  As long as the story is good people will want to read it.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – The story is so simple and yet so grand.  There’s a good side and a bad side.  One simple action leads to a bigger eruption and in the end everything comes to a complete circle and everything is tied up neatly.

As for the rest, I can’t pick specific books.  Writer’s like Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, and Michelle Gagnon inspire my writing… Clive Cussler’s books are a great source of how to write action… there are too many.

Great choices! If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

In the past my main characters have always looked like a much better looking version of me.  When I wrote Red Island I pictured certain people in the roles of some of the characters.  For Reid I pictured Jason Wiles who played Bosco on the TV show Third Watch, for Deborah English I thought of Elisha Cuthbert, and the only other character who I thought of a real person for was the bad guy.  It’ll seem strange, but when I wrote his physical description I thought of the singer Michael Bublé.  I think he was on TV at the time I was writing it.

Bosco was one of my favourite characters on Third Watch and Jason Wiles has a great list of career credits! What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Go back to bed because I was probably still dreaming.  I’m not saying my books aren’t good enough to make the list, my Mom loves them, but the competition out there is amazing.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

My wife would say that writing is my vice.  I wake and go to the kitchen with my notebook in my hand.  I take it in the car when we go out because you never know when something will spark an idea.  I get home from work and I sit in my corner with my computer.  And when I’m not writing I am talking about the ideas or characters or my latest blog tour, and on and on.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

There is such a time?  Ha,ha,ha I’m usually cooking or watching some favorite shows on TV.  I love crime shows like Criminal Minds and Law and Order, but I’m a geek at heart so I also love The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.  I also enjoy the time with my two kids and wife.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

This is from a book titled THE CISTERN, hopefully out in December.  It’s completely different characters from the other two books.

Maeve scrunched her face as her teeth tore at the flesh of the other woman’s arm.  She chewed quickly and swallowed hard.  She tried not to think about what it tasted like.  Her stomach lurched wanting to reject what she was putting in her body.

She closed her eyes and tried to remember what daisies smelled like, what sun on her skin felt like.  She imagined the ocean’s water lapping against her belly.  She could almost feel the breeze coming in with each wave.

Her chest suddenly burned.  She felt the fire shoot up through her throat.  On instinct she turned fast.  The brick wall scratched hard against her forehead.  Pain and heat cracked through her skull.  Her body fell back.  Water splashed up over her naked skin.

Sounds great! Now let’s take a quick look at Red Island… (Clicking on the cover will take you directly to Amazon!)

Red Island CoverWas it the nightmare that woke Reid or the phone ringing in the middle of the night that brought on the dream? Sgt. Reid of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police moved his family to Prince Edward Island, “The Gentle Island,” to get away from crime and homicides. He had to get away from the nightmares and concentrate on his family.

It’s a lovely place to live. The sound of the ocean crashing against sandy beaches, sand dunes covered in tufts of dancing green grass…

…And then there is the young woman hanging from a tree. It isn’t a gentle island any more.

It’s Ben’s world. Whether we live or die is all up to him and Reid is going to have to play his game.

Thank you Lorne for taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to connect with Lorne, you can find him on his website, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and his Amazon Author Page.