Authors' Spotlight

Interview with author Miles Davis-Majors|Author Interview

It is my pleasure to host author Miles Davis-Majors on my blog today. His book The Basketball Story is available for purchase now.

What made you pen down The Basketball Story?

Two years after the basketball season the story is based on, I walked home and reflected on the season we had. I was shocked that our story was so similar to the legendary story Tortoise and the Hare. I thought this story could be like the real-life basketball version of The Tortoise and Hare.

How long did it take for you to publish it?

It took about two years to find a publisher.

What according to you was the most difficult aspect of publishing?

The difficult part of it was having to wait about two years of saving my minimum wage checks to pay for the images while in a pandemic.

What message does it deliver to children?

The message I want to deliver to kids is to be humble and always stay focus.

Tell us a little about Coach Miles and what makes him special.

Coach Miles is me. So this story chronicles that time in my life. Which I really enjoyed. It was my first time coaching a team. It was one best times of my life.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Like to play video games. Also be creative. Write and try to come up with another book.

Are there any new projects underway?

My next book. Its like 25% done right now. So in a year time look out for that.

Miles Davis-Majors is a 23-year-old first-time author from Long Beach, California. His debut book “A Basketball Story” is based on a true story. In 2017, Miles Davis worked for the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach/WRAP program. Where he got to coach basketball for the first time at Long Beach School District’s Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School in Lakewood, California. Years later Miles decided to make a children’s book about his experience with his basketball team’s season with a touch of life lessons for young athletes and kids.

Connect with Miles on:

Instagram

Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR PETER CHIKA|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author Peter Chika on my blog today. His book Condom and other Stories is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I discovered a gift for writing very early when I would excel in primary school essays and the like. There was no conscious decision however to become a “writer.” I’ve always written for fun, whether fiction or non-fiction.

What made you pen down Condom and other Stories?

I’ve been writing short stories in my spare time for a while and finally decided to collect them into a book.

Tell us a little about the theme of the book.

It is a collection of short stories on relationships, love, life, and laughter involving contemporary Africans (and others) at home and abroad.
The stories are mostly light-hearted and told in the entertaining style that the likes of Jeffrey Archer made popular. They feature a cast of colourful characters that readers will love and loathe at the same time.

~ How does a philandering London lawyer explain the condom his shocked wife found in his clothes that morning?
~ Can sophisticated Ada hold her breath—and misgivings—long enough to finish consulting the musty mystic healer on her childlessness?
~ Why does nonchalant Nez seem to be doing everything she can to fail her visa interview at the US Embassy?
~ Will straitlaced Susan, a chorister and prayer warrior, come up with a ruse in time to stop her partner from yielding to the rapacious preacher?
The intrigues keep coming apace. As the heroines and heroes navigate testing encounters and relationships, their inflamed passions, conflicted moralities, and cunning schemes combine to produce a series of amusing results.

How long did it take for you to finish the first draft?

The stories have been written over time. Excerpts of one or two have been published in anthologies previously.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Watch football (soccer)! London’s Arsenal football club is where soccer starts and ends. I collect African traditional art and a book on that is in the works too. I am a culture aficionado and love museums and galleries, exhibitions, fashion shows, concerts, etc. And I read a lot on any and everything.

The cover is fantastic. How did it come to be?

I described a theme to my publishers that I felt evocative of the book—their book cover designers then came up with two different covers, one yellow and one red. We tested the two designs out among my friends and beta readers. The feedback was heavily in favour of the yellow cover (even though I preferred the red). So we settled on the yellow design and I’m happy that it’s been so well received.

What else should readers expect from the book?

Titillation. Cheating spouses and conniving friends. Strong women, shrewd operators, and a strongman (or two). Crooked police and clergy. Artful dodgers. And quite a few twists.

There is the story in there where we experimented with the clapback concept, popular in hip-hop music—a reply to another artiste’s work. The story, Headstrong, is fashioned as a tongue-in-cheek reply to Birdsong, a story by Chimamanda Adichie, that was published in the New Yorker magazine years ago. Ms. Adichie’s tale was of a young woman ruminating over her relationship with a married man and told exclusively from the mistress’ pained viewpoint. Headstrong responds from the man’s bemused perspective and we tell it in first person, with the character speaking to the reader in authentic voice—that is, as he would in casual conversation.

Practically all who have read or reviewed the book so far have also commented on the poignancy of Martyr, describing it as a bit disturbing or even distressing. Martyr is perhaps the one story in the book that is ultimately not a laughing matter and concerns two teenage suicide bombers, their enabler, and the guards trying to pre-empt them at a house of worship on a blisteringly hot Friday afternoon. The story was difficult to write for many reasons but was meant as a paean to the victims of those horrific incidents in Nigeria’s northeast and the bordering regions in Cameroon and Chad.

Are there any new projects underway?

We are currently starting a world book tour for the book. Our first stop is London, on May 21, 2022, where we’ll be doing a book performance. We don’t want it to be just the same old book reading routine where the author reads excerpts. Instead, we’ll have video trailers, a DJ in the house and voice actors reading – “performing” – dialogue from some of the stories.

After London, we already have tentative dates for cities in the US and Africa.

Peter Chika lives in Houston and is the winner of international writing prizes including the Amex Bank Review Awards (special merit) and the Shell-Economist Prize (bronze). Of his half dozen degrees, he considers an MSc from Oxford and PhD from London his favourites. He writes short stories in his spare time—on planes, in cafes, anywhere and everywhere—and has been published in anthologies such as Tunnel of Lost Stories and Dear Leader Tales. Chika is a pen name.

Connect with Peter Chika on:

Website|Twitter|TikTok|Instagram

Authors' Spotlight · Bookish Corner

Interview with Natalia Krogul, the co-founder of the Uncover app

It is such a pleasure to host the co-founder of the Uncover app, Natalia Krogul on my blog today. Her app Uncover is the reader’s dream. Download it from Play Store.

What exactly is the Uncover app?

Uncover is for sure a new way to explore books. In the app you can find book recommendations from other users grouped by them into themed collections. You can scroll trough them as on any other social media like instagram or pinterest.
It is the only mobile app which allows users to search books by tags so it’s exceptional book finder for every occasion, need or mood.
But all in all this is the platform that gathers creative people passionate about their favourite topics, genre or characters who are inviting you to take a look on their bookshelves.

How is it different from Goodreads?

I don’t think there is even a need to compare Uncover with Goodreads. We’re now in a perfect moment for book lovers, finally bookish apps are flourishing! There was a time that there was no alternative for Goodreads, now the market is changing. Readers can choose the platform that is tailored to their needs. Uncover should be a go to choice for curious readers who are craving connections with other book lovers like them. You can find and follow users that match you taste with ease. If you like to read at your own time and pace without a pressure to read fast or write long reviews, if you are seeking inspiration and want to have some fun, we are the alternative for you.

What made you create it?

Our everyday world is very efficiency- driven. I’ve noticed that lately it spread into reading habits as well. I couldn’t find any app that would just make me feel joy of collecting and recommending books without putting an effort. I imagined endless stream of little book worlds and a database that can find you a book on every topic or mood. And that how Uncover became an idea for a product.
Without paid reviews and stars, without dull genres, immense categories or another bestseller lists but with the community of people who are sharing their passions, knowledge and stories with books they are reading. Let the topic bring people together.

Is this the first app you’ve created?

For me that’s the first one, yes! Having my own bookish app was kind of my dream for a long time. The idea was flourishing in my mind a while. I’m so happy that it actually happened! Andrew, Uncover cofounder on the other hand is an experienced app developer, creating android apps for years.

Tell us little about the brainstorming sessions.

It is much harder than we anticipated. Lots of sleepless nights and constant idea changing is just the tip of the iceberg. But it is very rewarding at the same time. When you finally get to this one idea that makes you smile, everything changes and you know that this time and effort was worth it.

What languages does the app support?

Currently we only support English as the main app language but we do encourage all people to come in and test it out. Of course you can still make collections in other languages and get discovered by everyone.

From where can readers download it from?

For now it’s available only in Google Play but everybody keeps asking for iOS version, so we will do everything that’s in our power to make it happen as quickly as possible.


Tell us a little more about the app and your vision regarding it.

Of course. The Uncover community is still growing but we’re creating safe, non-judgemental space to chill out being surrounded by books. For now the features we’re building are focused around creativity. We want our users to have fun and create something special. Of course we will develop the platform according to our users needs but the goal stays the same- to bring back the pleasure of reading!

Uncover Founders:

Natalia Krogul: The right brain of the project, product owner and first of all book lover. If you check her books and collections in Uncover you would learn that she’s a plant lady with the obsession on puzzles and mysteries.

Andrew Ryl: The left brain of the project, responsible for the tech part of the platform. Find he’s profile in app to discover new books about mafia, actors and any other scandalous topics.

Website|Instagram

Email: contact@theuncoverapp.com

Authors' Spotlight

Interview with author L.M. Sizemore|Author Interview

It is my pleasure to host author L.M. Sizemore on my blog today. Her book, The Scarlet Codebreaker, is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes, when I was in elementary school, I would write little short stories about characters in my imagination. Every time I got an idea, I would write it down and it became a story. When I was in middle school, I write my first full story in a notebook. I still have it. It is in my attic in a box somewhere.

What made you pen The Scarlet Codebreaker?

I came up with the idea for the book when I was fifteen. I did not actually start writing the Scarlet Codebreaker until a few weeks after I turned sixteen. It was originally going to be called Letters from Russia. I came up with the idea for the project because I went to my high school’s public library. I saw a book about the Russian Revelation and the fall of the Romanov dynasty. I loved the movie Anastasia as a kid. I picked up the book and started reading it. I could not put it done. While I was reading it, I made the mistake and got attached to this family. We all know how the story ends. I knew the family was going to perish by a firing squad in a basement at the end of the book, but I continued reading it any way, hoping for an alternate ending. The book ended with death and discovery of the bodies. I read several other books about this family, hoping the story will be a little different than before. Well, the ends were all the same. So, I decided that I was going to write a story about this family and the story was going to be just a little different.

Do you intend to make it a series?

I did not intend on making it a series. As I was writing the first book, the story became far too long just to for one book. I knew there had to be at least three books and maybe a fourth.

Tell us a little about Ivan and Anastasia.

Ivan is a Bolshevik, which is a member of the early communist party in Russia. He is nineteen and impressionable. He was orphaned as a kid and the Bolsheviks became his new family. Anastasia fifteen years old. She is the member of the Russian aristocracy and the Tsar’s youngest daughter. She was one of the most protected girls during this time and the Romanov sisters were the Princess Diana’s of their day. Ivan and Anastasia were not supposed to meet. But a twist of fate happens and they do. One of my goals writing this novel was to bring the Romanovs back to life. I read a lot of letters and diaries of these girls. Anastasia seems to be playful but careless. She doesn’t think about the consequences before she does something, which can also make her a little bit destructive. But if someone gets hurt, then she knows that she’s gone too far. Ivan sees this about her and takes the liberty to take care of her. His goal is to protect her from herself. They start out as strangers and it slowly turns into love. The reader will see that their love and connection grow thought out of the book.

How long did it take for you to write the first draft?

It took me three years to write the first draft. It was because originally it was supposed to be a redemption story. Ivan, a Bolshevik soldier, orchestrates a dangerous mission across Europe, seeking redemption for his sins. It turned into something more than that. It became a story about love. It became a story about betrayal and friendship. It became a story about hope. Throughout the novel, the reader will meet characters who were hurt by those who were supposed to love them. There are characters who have been betrayed by enemies who started out friends. There are characters with dark secrets. There are even characters who are not what they seem. I had to re write the whole story seven times until I got the storyline right. That’s why it took me three years to write the first draft.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to read and write. I like to read historical fiction and mystery genres. My niche really is writing though. I love to write poetry. I also like to binge watch something on Hulu or Netflix with my sisters.

What is the most difficult aspect of publishing according to you?

One of the hard parts about self-publishing is making sure everything is perfect. Everything is spelled correctly, going back and looking for grammatic errors, and the format looks nice and clean.

Are there any new projects underway?

Yes! I am currently working on the sequel to the Scarlet Codebreaker. The sequel takes place the summer after the March Revolution and carries through the winter in 1917. The reader will see old and new characters along with a few surprises.

L. M. SIZEMORE enjoys walks in the brisk outdoors, finding her heart in poetry, and filling her mind with history books. This is her first novel and a passion project that sparked to life at the age of 15.

Connect with Sizemore on:

Facebook

Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR R.L. ROGERS|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author R.L. Rogers on my blog today. His novella The Curious Cases Ward is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Not always. Originally, I wanted to go into videogame development. After my first semester however, I realised my true passion was story telling. I figured if I was ever going to love doing anything, it would be writing. I’ve always had a creative mind. Its where I thrive the most.

What made you pen The Curious Cases Ward?

After my first book, a small seven story anthology titled ‘A Friendly Reminder That Sleep Isn’t Necessary’, I wanted to step it up so to speak. My goal was to write something similar to an anthology- multiple stories from various characters, but have it intertwined into a grander over-arching narrative. The Curious Cases Ward is my first real shot at this goal. Its also the first out of a planned trilogy all about chasing after the mysterious entity, Mr. Universe. I love interconnected stories, and with this, I hope to start that vision.

What exactly is The Curious Cases Ward?

Without spoiling anything, put simply; The Curious Cases Ward is a group of individuals who specialize in hauntings, monsters, and dangerous entities the universe has to offer.

Is it a collection of horror stories or a novel?

Originally it was going to be a collection of stories, but then the idea came to have everything connected, so it is a short novel.

What is the most defining aspect of a horror according to you?

For me personally, its all about the psychological aspect. Gore and monsters are great fun to write, but how they impact a character or the mind games that can torment someone are much more thrilling for me to write.

Do you intend to make it a series?

Yes. This is the planned first of three in what I’m calling the Mr. Universe Trilogy. There are also plans to tie in what happens in this series to other works, creating a large web of connectivity aimed at one end goal. But that’s a secret best kept close to the chest for now.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Other than reading and writing, I love playing videogames. Its where I get a lot of inspiration from. Also, like most others, hanging out with the people I love.

Are there any new projects underway?

Several projects, yes. Currently I’m working on the next book in this series, a special project that I will hopefully be announcing in the coming months, and my first full length novel that is a rewrite of my novella, Raven Valley Creature.

Small town author from Massachusetts. Originally, I was uploading short stories to the /nosleep subreddit and have been spotlighted on Creepypasta.com several times, but I have since moved over to self-publishing. My works have also been featured in multi-author projects, such as “A Cure for Chaos” published by Haunted House Publishing LLC. A thirty-author project, and a part of the Haunted Library series. You can also find a variety of my stories narrated on youtube.com by a wide variety of narrators. Some stories to check out would be: We Few Are Many- narrated by The Dark Somnium, and The Noir Family- narrated by Scared Citless.

You can also find me on Instagram: @rlrogersauthor, Facebook: R.L. Rogers, and on reddit @theblacksands.

Authors' Spotlight

Interview with author Daniel Bolter|Author Interview

It is my pleasure to host author Daniel Bolter on my blog today. His innovative and intriguing book, Blank is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I am not a writer. I just did it because it was on my bucket list. I do like to write. I like to think about things. But by no means I would call myself a writer.

What made you pen this down?

It kinda just happened. I always wanted to write a book so one day I just started. I had no clue what I was doing and the story formed while words appeared on the pages.

What exactly is the title of the book?

Originally I didn’t want a title. But that kinda doesn’t work. So “blank” was the closest I came to a none-title.

The cover is pretty mysterious. What is the reason behind it?

You will have to read the book to uncover that.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Well, I do many things. As of know I mainly occupy myself with programming. Which is also writing of sorts. Maybe I am a writer after all.

How long did it take for you to write this book?

It took me about 2 years. But I wasn’t really working on it non stop. I actually had a job during that time and was just working on it whenever I had the time or mood. I probably could finished it earlier. But finishing it was not the goal. Writing was so I took my time. I learned so much in the process… that was what kept me going.

How did the story come to you?

There is a lot in there I wanted to say. So basically the story encapsulates what I wanted to say. The story kinda formed around many ideas I had in my mind. There actually a lof of them. So far nobody has uncovered them all. How many can you spot?

Are there any new projects underway?

No, there are no other projects at the moment. I have ideas but the mind set is somewhere else at the moment. Maybe in the future I will write again something but no plans as of now 🙂

Author Bio: There is not much to say. 37 Years Old. From Switzerland. Have a degree in Economics and worked in IT and as an Accountant. I love the game Chess and if that all doesn’t sound boring enough, I like to organize things. Probably introverted and I want to say: I am “handsome”… but many people disagree…. But I am stubborn so I don’t believe them. I also don’t like funny people so I don’t like myself. To sum it up, I am a walking contradiction.