Thursday, July 20, 2017

Interview with George A. Bernstein, Author of 'The Prom Dress Killer'

George A. Bernstein is the retired President of a Chicago appliance manufacturing company, now living in south Florida. He spent years attending writing seminars and conferences, learning to polish his work and developing a strong “voice.” Bernstein is acclaimed by his peers as a superb wordsmith. He works with professional editors to ensure his novels meet his own rigorous standards, and all of his books are currently published by small indie press, GnD Publishing LLC, in which he has an interest.
Bernstein’s first novel, Trapped, was a winner in a small Indie publisher’s “Next Great American Novel” contest, and received high praise, gaining many mostly 5-star reviews at Amazon (reaching their “Top 100”) and Goodreads. His 2nd novel, A 3rd Time to Die (A paranormal Romantic Suspense) has also garnered mostly 5-Star & 4-Star reviews, with one reader likening him to the best, less “spooky” works of Dean Koontz & Stephen King.
The Prom Dress Killer is the third of his Detective Al Warner Suspense series, with the first, Death’s Angel, and the second, Born to Die, already garnering rave reviews. Bernstein has the fourth Warner novel already in the works, to be published in late 2017. Readers have likened Bernstein’s Detective Al Warner to Patterson’s Alex Cross.
Bernstein is also a “World-class” fly-fisherman, setting a baker’s dozen IGFA World Records, mostly on fly-rods, and has published Toothy Critters Love Flies, the complete book on fly-fishing for pike & musky.
All of Bernstein’s books can be found at: http://suspenseguy.com and http://amazon.com/author/georgeabernstein

INTERVIEW:
Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about The Prom Dress Killer and what compelled you to write it.
Author: The Prom Dress Killer is the third of my Detective Al Warner suspense novels. It was just a natural progression for the series, and I had this concept of a woman trying to stay alive by telling stories, much like Shahrazad, in The Thousand and One Nights. I wanted to continue the Warner series, and this was the next story.
M.C.: What is your book about?
Author: A psychopathic killer lurks in Miami’s shadows, snatching and murdering young auburn-haired women. Strangely, they are killed without trauma and left clad in frilly prom-style dresses.
Miami’s crack homicide detective, Al Warner, is on the case, but the killer has left few clues. Why were these girls taken and then executed? Was he intent on killing redheads, or was there some other connection? And why were their bodies so carefully arranged in peaceful repose, wearing prom dresses?
Warner’s hunt for this clever psycho is stymied by a lack of clues as he desperately searches for the latest victim. The suspense ramps up when the murderer finally makes one tiny error.

As Warner and the FBI doggedly zero in on their fleeing prey and his newest captive, the action escalates. Unlikely players are drawn into a tense, deadly game. As the stunning climax plays out, Warner is trapped in a classic Catch-22. In order to snare this lethal psycho, he must make a decision that may haunt him forever.
M.C.:  What themes do you explore in The Prom Dress Killer?
Author: The protagonist, Detective Al Warner, hunts a clever psychopath that leaves no clues as to who he is or why his is abducting and then killing young auburn-haired women. Warner’s personal and interpersonal relationships are woven into the story as he tries to balance his hunt for this elusive madman with his developing and very surprising love affair.
M.C.:  Why do you write?
Author: It was originally suggested by my wife, Dolores, when I was able to retire relatively early. I’d written several articles for fishing magazines, and a few short stories, so novels seemed a logical step. I love telling a good story, using elegant words, and finding an ending that shocks my readers. I have to admit that every time I reread the end of Trapped, I still manage to get choked up. I seem to have an endless imagination ... something that often got me into hot water as a kid.
M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?
Author: At two different times. I do most of my writing in the morning, often finding I missed lunch by an hour or two. And I get many ideas on how to deepen the plot and intensify the tension at night, while awaiting sleep ... and sometime in the middle on the night, after I’ve awakened for a “call of nature.”

M.C.:  How picky are you with language?
Author: Very. I try to use more colourful and descriptive words, rather than just tear through a scene. I’m careful not to repeat words, and can spend many minutes on finding the best way to describe a scene. It’s a trait I find many authors don’t do enough of. My unknowing guru for this is Dean Koontz, whom I rate as one of fictions’ top wordsmiths.
M.C.:  When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
Author: Not from afar, but by the characters. I outline where I envision my story going, writing a few sentences for each chapter, but find, once I begin, the characters seem to take over. They often talk to me at night while I’m awaiting sleep, telling me surprising things about themselves, and taking me in unexpected directions, doing things I never imagined and changing in ways I never planned. The villain in The Prom Dress Killer became far more sinister than I originally conceived that way.
M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?
Author: Trying to turn from an author to a publicist. Authors write, but few of us are skilled at getting the attention our work may deserve.
M.C.:  Your best?
Author: Getting a call from the editor of TAG Publishers, telling me that my novel, Trapped, was selected as the winner of their “Next Great American Novel” contest. Also, when I get rave reviews from professional reviewers
M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
Author: Only if I became too ill. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of unique story ideas.
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
Author: Winning TAG’s award, and meeting people who tell me they read my novel because they know me and they were “shocked” at how great it was. They often go on and on about how engrossed they were in the story and how surprised ... and please... they were by the ending.
M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?
Author: Pretty much. Dolores sometimes gets upset at how many hours I spend at the computer, writing. I’ve got to make time to balance family life.
M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
Author: Only in a sense that I often create characters from people I’ve known, and I use locals where I’ve lived and am familiar with the surroundings. Knowledge for the equestrian and Grand Prix jumping scenes from A 3rd Time to Die came from Dolores’ experience as a champion rider in Open Jumper classes in suburban Chicago.
M.C.:  Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Thoughts?
Author: I guess. Suspense writers tend to live in another world while writing. Nothing else impinges on that
M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
Author: My personal web site is: http://suspenseguy.com
and all my work can also be found at: http://amazon.com/author/georgeabernstein



Monday, July 17, 2017

Meet Phil Kimble, Author of 'The Art of making Good Decisions'


Born in Atlanta, Phil Kimble went to school in Utah, lived for 2 years in LA, then moved back to Atlanta.  He and his wife Julie live in Conyers.  Mr. Kimble is an avid motorcyclist and competitive distance runner. 

Connect with Phil Kimble on the web: Facebook / Amazon

INTERVIEW:

What got you into writing?  I was an avid journal keeper, but, frankly, I got bored with it.  When my wife abandoned me to write her dissertation, I re-channeled my writing to manuscripts. 

What do you like best about being an author?  Being able to share ideas, not from a “look how smart I am” position, but a “look what I have found”.  I always invite, and hope for, comments from the readers. 

When do you hate it?  I hate it when people think you are arrogant because you have tried to write something. I suppose some ego is necessary to believe you have something worth sharing, but it is disheartening when you are accused of writing because it makes your head swell..

What is a regular writing day like for you I collect ideas relative to my project.

Do you think authors have big egos? I have no idea, but I can understand why a bit of ego is necessary to believe you have something worth sharing.



How do you handle negative reviews? So far, I haven’t had any.

How do you handle positive reviews? I am appreciative of any honest feedback, positive or negative. 

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?  They say “ooh”, and then they try to change the topic of conversation, or back out of the room altogether.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Q&A WITH MIRI LESHEM PELLY AUTHOR OF SCRIBBLE & AUTHOR




Miri Leshem-Pelly is the author-illustrator of 14 children’s books. She’s also illustrated 14 books for other writers. When Miri isn’t writing she can be found speaking at schools, kindergartens and libraries. She is invited to do more than 200 presentations with her books per year. Miri is also a Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s book writers & illustrators).

Miri is represented by Olswanger Literary Agency.

Miri’s works have won awards and her illustrations have been shown on several exhibitions.

Miri lives in Israel with her husband and two children, and loves reading books and going on nature hikes.

Her latest book is Scribble & Author.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





Scribble & Author is written as a dialogue between the main character, Scribble, and the author who created her. 

Scribble's journey starts on a peaceful shore called THE BEGINNING, continues to the rough, adventurous MIDDLE, and leads finally to the gate of THE ENDING, but it’s not at all what Scribble expected… Scribble is a scribble and Author is an author, but who really gets to tell the tale?

A picture book about finding your own voice, making your own decisions, and writing your own story.

Watch the book trailer at Vimeo.

ORDER YOUR COPY:




What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

Truth is that I started as an illustrator of children books, and only later I decided to start writing my own stories and became an author-illustrator. I learned in art school and realized that illustration of children books is my biggest passion. The problem was that I was given at first some un professional books to illustrate and I didn’t like it. I knew I could write much better than those books, since writing has always been a hobby of mine. And so, at the age of 25, I wrote and illustrated my first book and I realized that this is what I want to do.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a child I loved writing and drawing. I have at home stories that I wrote even on first grade. On my notebook of stories from age 9, I wrote that I know for sure that I’m going to be an author when I grow up! I didn’t remember that, but a few years ago, long after I became an author, I discovered this childhood notebook at my parents home, and I couldn’t believe my eyes… So I guess my answer to your question would be: when I was nine years old.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

When I’m reading or watching a movie I don’t take notes, because I want to feel the story and be inside of it, instead of analyzing it. But my genre is picture books, and I read many of those. And I find it very helpful to study picture books that I love. I analyze their structure and try to learn what makes them work so well. So, sometimes I do take notes when reading picture books.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I don’t have a day job. But I can’t say that my income as an author is enough (at least for now). Most of my income today comes from school visits. I do around 200 school visits a year, and for me this is the perfect job. I love meeting my young readers and inspire them to read more and maybe even write themselves. It also helps me with my own writing when I get to know my audience.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

I can recommend some of the things which help me most on my writing career.
1.   Critique group - I can’t begin to explain how helpful it is to be a part of a critique group. I awe so much to my wonderful Red Pencil Critique Group! I learned so much from them and got a lot of support too. It takes some extra work to critique the stories of the other members, but it is worth every minute of my time.
2.   Join SCBWI. If you write for children or youth - you should join this wonderful organization. I’m a member of SCBWI for many years, and I’m the regional Advisor of the Israeli chapter for several years now. SCBWI is a community, and you get there a lot of information about the craft and business of children books, you meet others like you, and you get many opportunities to help you grow.
3.   Never stop learning. Go to writing conferences, participate in on-line courses and workshops. It will keep you fresh and inspired. There is always some more to learn.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a new picture book now. I’m on the very first stages so I can’t say too much about it, but I’m really enjoying this one. It is a funny story with a monster character, something I never tried before, and I have lots of fun drawing this monster. I hope it would become a book, but it is too early to say.

BOOK BLAST: YOU GOT THIS! BY JAMES KADEMAN & GIVEAWAY! @drawincustomers



Title: YOU GOT THIS! A MOTIVATIONAL GUIDE FOR ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS
Author: James Kademan
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 256
Genre: Self-help / Motivational




You Got This! A motivational guide for achieving your goals. Written by renowned business coach James Kademan of Draw In Customers Business Coaching. This is a quick read that will drive you to achieve what you have been working on. Sometimes you just need a kick in the rear to get you moving, this is that kick.

For a preview, check out this video:


ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble





James Kademan hails from a distinct past that includes a number of experiences that brought him to the point of feeling it was necessary to write a few things down. Like most writers he started with chunks of paper that were strewn all over his desk, house, garage and under more than a few car seats.

After realizing a bit of organization was needed he resolved to grab those notes, combine them, type them, edit them, polish them and ask the world for some honest feedback. That led to a couple books being written. James' first real book, You Got This! A motivational guide for achieving your goals was a small slap in the face of typical motivational books. Not through intention, just in its simplistic content.
James Kademan's upcoming soon-to-be bestseller, The BOLD Business Book will hit the shelves in couple short months.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





James Kademan is giving away three individual 1 on 1 business coaching 1 hour phone sessions and 3 YOU GOT THIS books!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway ends midnight July 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 29.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

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