My latest interview is now LIVE! My guest this time around is Harry Hunsicker.
I have put together a new cover for my novella DEAD PRETTY. Here it is:
In case anybody missed the first promotion, I’ve made the novella FREE for all of today.
Tutti Frutti, my erotic/romantic novella is now LIVE in the Amazon Kindle Store and priced at only $1.99
Early reviews are starting to come in, and they’re very positive. I think I hit just the right balance of explicit sex and romance.
Over the course of one hot summer, Marty learns how to make love to a woman. But the summer can only last so long, and eventually all things must come to an end…
Erotic/Romantic Novella, approx. 110 pages.
In a way, I write this as a response to Eoin Purcell’s excellent article, ‘Why The Kindle Fire Worries Me’ which you can read HERE.
In his article, Eoin expresses his fears of the new Amazon tablet device, and how Amazon are now hedging their bets not only in making ebooks available to the masses ‘within 60 seconds’ but also other media. The Kindle Fire is definitely geared toward delivering movies, TV shows, music, etc, directly into your hands, and rightly so Eoin expresses his concern that with that content becoming instantly available in the same way that the Kindle made ebooks as readily available, it just means that there is further distractions to people actually reading a book.
“There is only so much audience attention to go around and as mobile gaming, tv and film watching and web browsing become possible for everyone, it is just possible that digital books will lose out*. Of course maybe the audience that moves digital will be big enough for this to not be an issue, but even so book publishers and authors will need to compete with movies, games and music much more directly and immediately than they have in the past.”
My response is: Don’t worry.
Reading suffered with the advent of Radio. It suffered with the arrival of TV sets into everyone’s homes. And then came home computing, and the internet, and mobile phones that could surf the web and play movies… and now tablets…
What I’m trying to say is that it’s always suffered. As our society develops, and our technologies along with it, the act of reading comes under more and more pressure. But what I think is ‘Does it really matter?’
I love books, and I hope they’re around at least for my children’s lives and the lives of their children’s children. But one day they won’t exist.. at least not in the form you’re used to.
It matters a lot to us right now that people aren’t reading enough, but one day it won’t matter all that much. Books will probably become integrated with movies and music to become an entirely multimedia digital-only experience. That’s most likely going to happen. And when it does, books as we know them will be dead. They will be something else. Perhaps just the further evolution of the ebook medium, which even now in its early stages of creation is a separate entity to traditional books.
Centuries ago, we conceived of taking what we were writing on paper and binding those pages of text into volumes of text. This act shaped the future of our race in many ways. We’re doing the same thing now. We”re combining movies, music, the internet, gaming, and books together into one device… and one day, one medium.
I don’t think it’s anything to be worried about. It’s nothing to fear. It’s just evolution.
But saying that it doesn’t stop you feeling a little sad knowing that one day Dicken’s ‘Bleak House’ will be integrated with the TV series of the same name, the soundtrack, the wikipedia entry…. etc…. Maybe even in 3D! (Argh!)
The future of ebooks will be change. We just have to accept it.
Eoin, don’t worry!
You will remember that not so long ago I designed a logo for the Kindle All Stars project.
Well since then it has been re-developed between Glendon Haddix of Street Light Graphics and myself, into a new and improved high rez version. This new logo has now been put onto mugs, t-shirts, etc, all up for sale – with all proceeds going toward covering the overheads of the Kindle All Stars project and Charity. You can view all of the items available HERE.
My first logo:
My second stab at it:
The NEW and IMPROVED logo:
I love the ribbons at the top and bottom, just over the edges of the circle, and that we’ve retained the blue and red with a touch of royal gold. I also like that the circle is an off-white. Glendon has taken the original inspiration of the logo – Converse All Stars – and given it a shot of royalty and prestige. It looks sort of like a Presidential seal.
I hope you enjoy this interview with Donna Carrick, an author I’ve become aware of from twitter. I’m enjoying this aspect of the site at the moment, especially when it comes to getting writers opinions of the e-book market – where they stand with it right now and where they think it’s headed. As a bit of a writer myself, the success of e-books has a natural fascination for me.
For people with an interest in Donna Carrick and her books, there is an excellent post HERE and also please see the links at the bottom after her bio for her sites.
Hi Donna, and welcome to fringescientist.com!
DC: Thank you, Tony. I appreciate this opportunity to talk about my writing.
I know you almost exclusively from twitter. And I have to admit that as yet I haven’t read any of your books. For people like me, who haven’t read your work yet, can you explain your books and what they’re about?
DC: First and foremost, I write crime novels. My books have a literary leaning, but they are mystery/thriller/suspense. I enjoy setting my work in unexpected locations. The Noon God is set in Toronto, Canada. Gold And Fishes is set in post-tsunami Indonesia and Phuket, Thailand. My most recent novel, The First Excellence ~ Fa-ling’s Map, is set in modern-day China.
And how did inspiration hit you for your novels? What’s the story behind the stories?
DC: My first inspiration always comes from character. I see a character in my mind’s eye, fully developed. I see his face, the trouble in his past, the conflict he or she is facing at the moment.
In The Noon God, my novella and the first of my published works, I was driven to explore a handful of dark social issues: addiction, narcissism… the impact of these factors on a family. I could feel the burden carried by Desdemona Fortune after the murder of her father, renowned author J. Caesar Fortune.
The idea behind Gold And Fishes rose out of my deep concern following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Southeast Asia. We were celebrating Boxing Day in our northern home, 24 hours after the disaster, when the news came on CBC that something significant had occurred. At that point no one had a clear picture of the event, as phone lines were down and no one could access the region. As the news began to trickle in, I literally felt chilled inside my soul. I knew I would write about this event. When my character, Ayla Harris, came to life, there was no turning back.
The First Excellence grew from a short story I started to scribble in my note book on the plane when we were returning home from China in 2003 with our adopted baby daughter. The original story title was Fa-ling’s Map, about a grown adoptee who returns to China to connect to her past. It naturally evolved into a novel of mystery and political intrigue, but I could never bring myself to abandon the original title or the theme of finding one’s self that had inspired the book.
What are you working on at the minute?
DC: Always a loaded question for a writer! Well, Tony, at the moment I’ve got three distinct projects underway. Thanks to the wonderful reception The First Excellence has been given lately, there is some urgency to complete the sequel. I also have a futuristic “sci-fi” crime fighter with whom I’ve fallen in love. I’m about half way through that novel. But the story I’m really focusing on right now is a new one – a new character who came to me a couple of months ago. She simply won’t let go of me, so she will demand priority.
To budding writers out there, what would you say are good practices for a writer to adopt? I asked Meg Gardiner and Emma Newman a similar question. It’s sort of your advice for budding writers out there.
DC: My advice may not be the norm. Most writers will say “write every day”, or “create a quiet space”. The reality of our lives these days often doesn’t allow for such luxuries.
My best advice to any new writer is to ask yourself what you really want to accomplish. Try to understand your true motivations and embrace them boldly. If you’ve always wanted to write novels, for example, then do so to the best of your ability. Finally, strive for excellence in all you do. A strong passion for excellence will overcome most obstacles.
I recently brought a Kindle, and I love it. Do you think that ebooks are the future of the publishing industry? Are traditional paperbacks headed for extinction? Or will we find ourselves in a world that can have both?
DC: Another loaded question! I will likely land in hot water with my fellow-writers for saying this, but I do think e-reading in one form or another will be the norm before very long. There may still be a ‘shelf’ for print, but my guess is that it will be limited. I say this with all deep regard and love for the printed word. I think it’s a force of reality that can’t be denied. And yes, I too love both my Kindle and my Kobo. I also sometimes read on my iPhone.
On the subject of publishing digitally, how successful have you been so far? Without me sounding too nosey! I saw on twitter the other day that one of your novels was a fair way up the charts on Smashwords. Can you make a living writing and publishing digital books? How have you found it?
DC: Let me say unequivocally and right up front that both my husband, author Alex Carrick, and I have day-jobs. We likely will keep them, right up till the day we retire to become full-time writers.
With the recent success of The First Excellence, which reached #16 on Smashword’s Bestseller list today, I may retire earlier than initially planned. But let’s be clear. The business of writing, editing, revising, editing, formatting and selling e-books is not an easy one. Alex and I have been having some modest successes lately. That success has been hard-earned, and we are keeping our day-jobs.
Coming back to the routines of writing, how do you split your time between writing, and family life? Is it a difficult juggling act?
DC: Yes. Both Alex and I write because we have a passion for it. Otherwise, we simply wouldn’t do it. It has challenges that the uninitiated can’t imagine. Like many writers, I’m almost always plotting. The act of fleshing out stories in my mind usually overlaps with any other task, except for the most engaging ones.
Right Donna, I’m going to ask you five questions!
1. Favourite Book/Series of Books
DC: There are so many, it’s really impossible. Dickens always comes to mind first: A Tale of Two Cities and anything else by him. Tolkien, of course. For mystery, Martin Cruz Smith has developed a particularly engaging character in Arkady Renko.
2. Who would play you in Donna Carrick: The Motion Picture?
DC: Uh-oh. Really, no idea at all.
3. If you could stipulate an inappropriate song choice for your own funeral, which would it be?
DC:That’s easy. “My Way”, written by Paul Anka, committed to eternal social memory by Frank Sinatra.
4. Which website(s) would you say you visit the most on a regular basis?
DC: Amazon and Smashwords – I love books and ebooks.
5. This is the last question, I swear! Where do you see yourself in five years time? Or what do you see yourself doing.
DC: Five years may be a little early, but sometime in the next 10 years I do see myself retired. By retired, I mean writing full time and marketing part time.
Before we go, is there anything you’d like to say to your readers or the people who frequent your blog or interact with you on twitter?
DC: I’d certainly like to thank all of my Twitter and FaceBook friends for their on-going support. I’ve always been a writer, but in the early days I wrote in isolation. Now I have friends all over the world who ‘get’ me and my work, and who share their work with me. I’d also like to thank the readers who have been so very kind, especially those who have taken time from their busy lives to express through reviews how they’ve enjoyed my work.
And we’re at the end! Donna I wish you all the success in the world with your books, and I’ll see you in Twitter-ville!
DC: Thank you, Tony! It’s been a real pleasure. Your questions have given me a lot to think about!
Donna Carrick is the author of mysteries, including The First Excellence, Gold And Fishes, The Noon God and her short-story anthology Sept-Iles and Other Places. When not writing, publishing or at her day job, Donna enjoys spending time with her husband, author Alex Carrick, and their children at their home on Georgian Bay.
Recently I interviewed author Russell Brooks, writer of the hit thriller ‘Pandora’s Succession’
I’d like to say a big thank you to Russell for agreeing to it, and taking the time to answer my questions. I wish him continuing success with Pandora’s Succession, and with his forthcoming work, Unsavory Delicacies.
Here is the INTERVIEW:
Hi Russell, and welcome to fringescientist.com!
RB: Thanks, Tony. I’m glad to be here.
Firstly, tell me a little bit about your book Pandora’s Succession.
RB: It’s a fast-paced spy thriller that has been compared to The Bourne Identity. There are several plot elements that range from Cold War references to modern news events that will make the story appeal to both young and older generations of readers.
How did you arrive at the story for Pandora’s Succession?
RB: I read about the sarin gas attacks that rocked Tokyo, Japan, back in the mid-1990s by a cult. Not too long after there were the Anthrax-laced letters that were mailed to members of congress. It occurred to me that some of our greatest threats don’t originate from the outside but from within. In other words, people we normally trust to help us are actually the ones who are working against us. I thought that would be a scary plot idea for a novel.
The Pandora of Pandora’s Succession is a deadly microbe thought to have wiped out ancient civilisations – do you see so-called ‘germ warfare’ as a major threat to the civilised world?
RB: Of course, it’s already happened. The late Doctor Bruce Ivins, a senior biodefense researcher, was the main suspect believed to have orchestrated the Anthrax letter attacks in 2001. Working at Fort Detrick, he had access to deadly viruses, microbes, and other pathogens. Not to freak you out, but I believe that it would just take a deliberate oversight from food inspectors or members of the FDA for tainted food products to get onto grocery shelves across the nation.
As a writer with experience of the ebook market, what do you think the future holds for traditional ‘paper’ publishers?
RB: I don’t paper will disappear. I was in Barbados last September and most of my family and friends down there haven’t heard of eBooks. When I asked them if they’d be willing to read a novel off of their computer, blackberry, or any other handheld device, they all said they wouldn’t because it didn’t seem natural for them. That’s the common answer for someone who hasn’t tried eBooks. As they say, old habits die hard. It’s in those countries that traditional publishers still have a chance. But they’re only buying themselves time with those markets because eventually they will evolve too. Unless the traditional publishers evolve too then they’ll all go the way of VHS and BETA.
Staying on the theme of writing, when did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
RB: It was about ten years ago. I was fresh out of university and I had aspirations of being a world-class sprinter. Since I had difficulty getting a sponsor I thought that if I had a published novel, then it might bring me some much-needed income to help me out. What I thought I’d end up doing part-time wound up being a passion of mine. Eventually I saw myself coming up with more ideas for other stories, some of which I’m currently working on.
How long did Pandora’s Succession take to write, from conception to editing, to finally putting the ebook together?
RB: 22 years.
To what extent would you say word-of-mouth has had an effect on the success of Pandora’s Succession? Would you say that as an author, especially in the digital realm, it is important to reach out to bloggers, twitter users, etc, to ensure that your work gets a decent amount of coverage and exposure?
RB: Book bloggers have been a great help in to me getting the word out and it’s also the most cost efficient. The difficulty for me as a new and as an Indie author was to get reviews from the most popular bloggers who have readership in the thousands. I haven’t given up and I don’t plan to either. But I’m happy with the support I’ve gotten from all the bloggers who have helped me out with Pandora’s Succession and the additional bloggers who are currently helping me with my upcoming release.
To beginner novelists out there, what’s the best advice you can give them starting out?
RB: Always keep reading and writing. Everything counts. Don’t reinvent the wheel, there are several writers on forums such as KindleBoards.com and MobiReads.com as well as JA Konrath’s blog who share their experiences—good and bad, give breaking news on the latest scoops or technologies, as well as other opportunities for writers. Most importantly, the best way of succeeding is to be Patient, Passionate, and Persistent.
Russell, tell me a bit about ‘The Russell Show’ and how it started.
RB: The Russell Show originated from my weekly poetry recites on The Artist Lounge Radio Show, which is on every Sunday at 7PM on Talkshoe.com. It’s open mike and I’m their resident reciter. In other words, many poets love my dramatic style of reading and have asked me to recite their poems for them. As a way of paying it forward, I started The Russell Show (couldn’t come up with a better name) on YouTube. I expanded and started reciting novel excerpts, featuring some bestselling authors’ novels, such as Barry Eisler, JA Konrath, and Cheryl K Tardif. In fact I helped Cheryl during her blog tour and featured Karly Kirkpatric on my show. It’s a lot of fun and I’m slowly getting a growing platform on that show too.
Before we finish, your new work, Unsavory Delicacies is out soon – what’s it about?
RB: It’s three short stories of suspense, all of them involve someone having very bad luck within proximity of the dinner table. Readers will enjoy the fact that CIA operative, Ridley Fox from Pandora’s Succession, makes an appearance. It will be out on April 22, 2011.
Russell, I’m going to ask you five questions.
1. Favourite Book/Series of Books
RB: It’s split between JA Konrath’s Jack Daniel’s series and Barry Eisler’s Rain Fall series.
2. Who would play you in Russell Brooks: The Motion Picture?
RB: lol. I didn’t see that one coming. Wow! I guess the first person to come to mind would be Tyler James Williams, the star of Everybody Hates Chris.
3. If you could stipulate an inappropriate song choice for your own funeral, which would it be?
RB: Goodness! You’re planning my own funeral before I am? As for bad song choice, I’d have to go with Achy Breaky Heart.
4. Which website would you say you visit the most on a regular basis?
RB: My email account.
5. I know this has been painful, so last question: Where do you see yourself in five years time?
RB: Naw, it hasn’t been that painful, lol. In five years time I see myself with triplets and having to convince my mother that no alcohol nor drugs were involved. I’d obviously be living in a bigger house, plus I’d be scouting around for a fourth child so that I’d have enough for a 4×100 metre relay team.
Lastly – when will there be a follow-up to Pandora’s Succession?
RB: I have a mystery/suspense novel that’s scheduled for the Winter of 2011 and then if all goes well, the sequel to Pandora’s Succession will be out by the Summer of 2012.
And we’re at the end! Russell, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Hopefully we’ll chat again soon!
You’re welcome. I’m looking forward to next time.
About Russell Brooks:
Russell Brooks is a former Indiana Hoosier Track Champion and Canadian Track Team member in the 100 and 200 metres. He has written several essays on his blog The Big Picture, one of which was published in the online Op-Ed section of the National Post in early 2009. His suspense short story trilogy, Unsavoury Delicasies, will be available in April 2011. Brooks has also produced his own poetry/novel-themed show, The Russell Show, on YouTube. He currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.
The Official Russell Brooks website http://www.russellparkway.com.
Facebook: Russell Brooks Fans (Group)
Where To Purchase Pandora’s Succession
Amazon US HERE
Amazon UK HERE
A link to his new work, Unsavory Delicacies, will be available next week. I will update this article with the link when I get it.