Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR G. M. SAVAGE| AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Today it is my pleasure to host author G. M. Savage on my blog. His debut novel Jack Mathias and the Boonetown Bandits is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer consciously, but it would spontaneously happen. I’d be reading a story and become somewhat upset by the turn of events in the plot. I’d be like, “Why would they do that? This would’ve been so much better if etc.”

What made you pen down Jack Mathias and the Boonetown Bandits?

I think it was a longing to write the story that I always wanted to read. There were many stories I grew up loving, like; Hatchet, Maniac McGee, My Side of the Mountain, and Where the Red Fern Grows, but I wanted to take all of the things I loved about those stories and somehow roll them into one.

Tell us a little about the plot and themes the story deals with.

The plot is straightforward. It’s your classic adventure story quest. It was something that I struggled with at first since there’s that part of my brain that feels I need to make things overly complex. But in time, I just said yes to the simplistic nature of the story. On the surface, it’s super simple and fun, but there’s also a deeper metaphorical layer to the story that some may pick up on.

The theme is all about finding oneself and innocence. Growing together and realizing that the moment holds what we’re searching for.

What are your favorite genres to read?

Without a doubt, it has to be Middle-Grade. I love the innocence and how the world still feels new and exciting.

How long did it take you to write Jack Mathias and the Boonetown Bandits?

It took about three months to write the first draft but about two years to edit and get things how I wanted them. The easiest part of writing for me is the first draft. Drafts 2, 3, 4, etc..… are what I feel is the difference between just a good idea and good/great story.

Did you have a writing schedule?

I don’t have a schedule. I write when I get the urge or the impulse.

I will say that the wintertime seems to be when I’m most apt to write for hours on end. But with that being said, I do write all year long.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My favorite things to do are nature based. Hiking, mountain biking, fishing and snowboarding are all things that I enjoy.

Are there any new projects underway?

I am currently working on the sequel to Jack Mathias and the Boonetown Bandits. I also have a kid’s picture book in the works.


G.M. Savage is inspired by nature, and his writing is no different. He enjoyed classics like Where the Red Fern Grows and Hatchet growing up but didn’t know he wanted to become a writer until reading A River Runs Through It in college. Mr. Savage loves writing fun adventure stories set in picturesque landscapes. He encourages young readers to go on an outdoor adventure, even if it’s only to the backyard.

When he’s not writing, G.M. Savage enjoys spending time with family and friends. He also enjoys fly-fishing, hiking, and mountain biking in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Connect with G. M. Savage on:

Website | Instagram

Authors' Spotlight

Interview with author and retired medical researcher Arthur Hartz | Author Interview

It is my pleasure to host author Arthur Hartz on my blog today. His book Winners and Losers: Heretical Cartoons about the American Religion of Winning is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No, I was medical researcher. However, when I retired, my interest shifted to how people relate to each other. I like to keep things simple so I put what I learned into aphorisms and cartoons

What made you pen down this book?

When I tried to market my cartoons to newspapers, the newspapers told me that all their cartoons had to come from syndicates. My only way to get people to see my cartoons was to put them in a book.

What are your favorite graphic novels?

I grew up before graphic novels, but I loved the comic strips for Peanuts and Pogo. In addition, I became interested in a cartoon book, Up Front, that was about life of the GIs in World War two. As an adult I liked New Yorker cartoons and political editorial cartoons in newspapers.

What age group are you targeting with your release?

I don’t have an age group as much as an attitude group. My ideas are anti-establishment. I would like to find readers who are interested in unconventional ideas about how people relate to each other.

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What message do you want to impart through your book?

I believe that most of the important assumptions we make about how people do and should relate to each other come from our culture. These assumptions are so ingrained in us that we are not even aware of them and do not challenge them. What I want to do with my cartoons is to present different views about how people actually interact. Then we can think about how these interactions can be improved.

What is your writing process like?

Sometimes I work for a long time about the best way to present an idea I have. Mostly, my ideas jump into my head pretty well formed. If I still like the idea after a few weeks, I ask a cartoonist to try to draw it. Sometimes my ideas are too complicated to draw, and the cartoonist and I work on how to simplify it.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Since I can’t make a living with my writing, all the work I do on my books is in my spare time. Much of that work is with other people scattered around the world. Those interactions are very fun for me. I also spend a lot of time reading the news and following up on articles about how people relate to each other. I love traveling to Latin America, and I have a few friends from there who are willing to regularly talk to me in Spanish. Recently, my wife and I have taken up square dancing again.

Do you have any other projects underway?

I have started on new cartoon books and have plans for others. I am also planning to write a book based on a research study I’m doing.

Arthur Hartz is a professional medical researcher and hobby anthropologist who observes quaint customs in primitive cultures, such as the one you live in. His series of cartoon books for adults, The Slings and Arrows of Mundane Fortune, uses cartoons and aphorisms to show our constant struggles to find and maintain self-esteem and meaningful relationships. In the present book this theme is continued in his heretical observations about the American religion of winning.
Collaborating with Hartz are talented artists from Serbia, Salt Lake City, and Peru; Hartz describes what he wants, the artists draw what they like, and then they work it out — amicably.
Hartz was born in Baltimore; was raised in Farmington, New Mexico; and worked in medical schools in Milwaukee, Iowa City, and Salt Lake City. Currently he and his wife, Ellen, live in St. Louis near their grandchildren. He enjoys talking with people, especially Latin Americans who can tolerate his Spanish.

Connect with Arthur on:

Website

Authors' Spotlight

Interview with author Jordan Spicer|Author Interview

It is my pleasure to host author Jordan Spicer on my blog today. His book Tales of Reverba: A New Ripple is available for purchase now.

Tell us a little about Tales of Reverba: A New Ripple.

Tales of Reverba: A New Ripple is the second book in the Tales of Reverba series and the first book in The Story of Water series. It introduces Aditi, a young woman from India, with dreams of sailing the sea. A New Ripple provides readers with another point of view of the large, colourful and at times dangerous world that is Reverba, while also building on what New Ember introduced.

Describe your main character, Aditi, in three words.

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Driven, Playful, Smart

Does the plot pick up from where Tales of Reverba: A New Ember left?

No. Think of New Ember and New Ripple as two different stories in the same universe/series. Think Iron man and Thor movies two different storylines in the same universe where eventually both will intersect with each other. We just need to introduce a few more characters before they start “assembling”.

How is your writing your second book different from your debut?

I would say I had a better roadmap for the book. It took significantly less time to write compared to New Ember. I would say New Ember provided a pretty solid foundation for the next books in the series. Outside of that I also had a better grasp of post writing steps such as editing, proofreading, marketing and just overall confidence in both my story and the process.

Did you have a writing schedule?

Mostly I do a little in the mornings before work, then at night after work. Sometimes I’ll find a little time to write at work, but rarely. I did a lot of my writing on Saturday. I typically reserve that day for long stretches of writing in between doing chores like laundry or dishes.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Play Dungeons and Dragons, play video games, watch anime, look at artwork and share it with friends, fencing, rock climbing, going on walks, I also daydream a lot, I would say that makes up a lot of my spare time depending on the situation. So if you ever see me just staring off into the distance randomly I’m probably deep in a daydream.

When should readers expect the next book in the series?

It’s difficult to really say. On one hand, as I get more experience, I’m producing books faster. On the other hand, life is unpredictable. I would say the best bet is around this time next year, if not sooner.

Jordan Spicer is a young African-American, who longed to write stories with faraway worlds filled with gigantic monsters, developed cultures and species, exotic foods and lots of magic. When he is not writing, leading his D&D group into battle (Or deadly traps), you can either find him rock climbing, clashing swords in a fencing match, watching anime or simply enjoying a good game. If you wish to support him on this journey you can find out more about him and his books by going to https://www.jspicerwriting.com/ or by following him on Amazon.com.

Connect with Jordan on:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR J. R. BLACKMORE|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author J. R. Blackmore on my blog today. His book After Genocide: Awakening is currently available for pre-order.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

In a typical sense yes. Growing up I would constantly create scenarios within my head following actions of my peers. My mind began with the possible outcomes and my mind would create the story.

What made you pen down After Genocide: Awakening?

It dates back at least fifteen years. The project originally began with just After Genocide. Awakening is set as a prequel to that lost manuscript. Something just about a dystopian future always intrigued me. Basically, the story follows just a normal woman and her friends in survival mode. My previous co-worker would discuss what we would do in a zombie apocalypse. So, taking the concept of some knowledge and just basic life and voila, it was born. A constant adventure of past and present exploring how the protagonist (Anna) begins as a weak, needing protection character, to this tough Xena warrior princess woman. Loss. Fear. Survival. Just a few key features.

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How much do your story takes away from the present world?

Well aside from my imagination of creating the characters based on actual people (although some names have been changed), certain location spots are (but not necessarily in the same spot) identical, think of it like mother nature fighting back. Have a look around. We destroy habitats and force natural predators to hunt in our zones of living. The amazon rainforest acted once as the main filter for our oxygen yet that has gone up in smoke as well. We kill this earth slowly, yet above all the tiniest organisms are what kill us. We are not the ultimate species around, microorganisms are. COVID19 proved just how easily nature can fight back. Vaccines can help prevent, but not necessarily destroy. The point of this is what if nature fought back with something worse, our species would be in survival mode and yet instead of understanding, most would be fighting. Our main character attempts to understand yet defends herself at the same time.

Will this be a series or is it a standalone?

A series. Much story to explore. Each book will consist of new characters with their own storyline. For example, a family man securing his wife and children in what they feel is safe or what they have heard is safe. A lone ranger person hoping to die who finds new meaning in life by saving somebody at random. All which intertwine with our main character at some point (Anna) as their story ends. Anna’s story will continue as the main source. However, I will expand towards characters in other countries as well.

Are there any new projects underway?

Several, I am constantly flooded with ideas just not enough finger power to type them all. More in the Genocide stories, also a fantasy novel which requires some finishing touches. Expanding ideas through many genres.


J.R. Blackmore is the author of After Genocide: Awakening, the first of many in a series exploring character stories. He lives in Texas with his family and brat of a dog Monster. He currently takes inspiration from George A. Romero films when developing ideas along the lines with The Elder Scrolls games for his fantasy series.

Connect with J. R. Blackmore on:

Instagram | Blog

Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR VINCENT Z. ANGEL|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author Vincent Z. Angel on my blog today. His book The Book Modern Women Hate is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. My earliest memory of this passion was when I was a teenager reading Shakespeare’s plays and Charles Dickens’ novels. I got into a poetry phase sound that time, luckily got out of it after writing probably 150 poems. Not proud. Later in life I always thought I would write about Economics and related subjects. But my first book as it turns out is more of a self help book. However, I like that because it speaks to the importance I have placed on the subject we are tackling in the book. The way I look at it, nothing else really matters more than our personal relationships. Research by Economists, psychologists, sociologists and even anthropologists show that the quality of life of a person is more affected by the quality of relationships they have than anything else. At the center of it, we all want to do well. I thought this book will help us get closer to that ideal.

Continue reading “INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR VINCENT Z. ANGEL|AUTHOR INTERVIEW”
Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR DR. SHARRICA MILLER|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Hosting author Dr. Sharrica Miller on my blog today. Her book Verses: Lessons Learned from Foster Care is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Absolutely. As a child I kept a stack of notebooks and I would write short stories and poems in them. I always kept a journal. I looked up to Maya Angelou and wanted to be just like her. My plan was always to become a writer.

What made you pen down this book?

There are a lot of stories about how dark and miserable foster care is. A lot of stories about how individuals struggle after leaving foster care and all the bad things that happens to them. I wanted to write a book that focused on the lessons that foster care taught me and the strength I grew from my experience. I wanted to share my outcome with readers so that they could know there is hope.

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How would you say foster care impacts a child psychologically in long-term?

Growing up in chaotic and unstable environments changes how your brain is hardwired. Many former foster youth have abandonment issues and difficulty trusting others. They may struggle with interpersonal relationships and navigating life once they are emancipated. Foster care can have lasting affects and can be damaging if the individual does not take the time to address their traumas.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a TV junkie. I love watching trash reality shows and binging YouTube videos.

Each year, nearly 500,000 youth are forcibly removed from their homes and placed with strangers in foster care. Once they become of age, the majority struggle with incarceration, homelessness, and drug abuse. But one woman beat those odds. This book tells the incredible story of Dr. Sharrica Miller, the child of a drug addict mother and dope dealing father, who survived 12 years of foster care and became a nationally recognized speaker, advocate, and foster care researcher. Part memoir, part self-help, Dr. Miller tells stories from her childhood to convey relatable life lessons that will resonate with anyone who is trying to overcome adversity.

What message would you give to children who are currently in foster care?

Your background doesn’t have to decide your future. Once you become of age you have agency over your life and can make your life what you want it to be.

Are there any new projects underway?

I am very excited about my upcoming documentary, Still Waters Never Crash, which chronicles my life and journey from foster care to PhD. We recently had our first screening at the Columbus Film, Author, and Photography Festival. You can watch the trailer here stillwatersdoc.com (NOTE: the festival is this weekend).

Connect with Dr. Sharrica Miller on:

Instagram|Twitter