Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Victoria Bernadine on Her Family, Writing & Personal Traits #AmReading #AmWriting #ChickLit

1. Tell us a bit about your family.
I have four brothers, three sisters, six nephews and one niece. I, personally, have never been married and I have no children, unless you count the cats.

2. How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
By reminding myself that I’m really not as bad as I think – LOL. And if I get too panicky, then I put what I’m working on away for a while, then come back to it, and read it over. I usually find myself saying, “you know, this is actually...almost...kinda…good...” My ego is overwhelming, I know.

3. What scares you the most?
Spiders. And heights. Spiders in high places really mess me up.

4. What makes you happiest?
Writing, and cats.

5. What’s your greatest character strength?
I’m stubborn.

6. What’s your weakest character trait?
I’m stubborn.

7. Why do you write?
I enjoy it. I enjoy everything about it – even the editing, if it hasn’t been going on forever. I love creating characters and a world and situations and events and seeing what happens.


For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she's questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she's passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny's life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she's quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she's leaving town on a six month road trip.

After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she's joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke's true goal is to expose Manny's journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.

Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny's on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Victoria Bernadine on Twitter
Blog victoriabernadine.wordpress.com

Friday, September 26, 2014

#Excerpt from MAKING WISHES by Marilyn Holdsworth @M_Holdsworth #WomensFic #BookClub

(from the novel MAKING WISHES by Marilyn Holdsworth)
Elloree’s hand tightened around the receiver. “I know you have a very large and capable staff now, Mark,” she said. “Alex Tenner is one of the best, and I read you stole him from Hallmark just last year.” Mark laughed, the deep bellowing sound shaking the phone. “You’re right there, but we call it ‘making an offer he couldn’t refuse.’ Yeah, we’ve got him on our side now. But between you and me, the guy’s a light-footed ass who spends too much time thinking with what’s below the belt. No, this operation needs someone special.”​How very like him, Elloree fumed, pacing the kitchen, still clutching the phone. Today, without warning, one phone call had transformed an ordinary Saturdaymorning into something that was anything but. Impulsive, aggressive Mark Williams had always known what he wanted. And as he phrased it this morning, “I want and need you to come back to work, El. This project can’t fly without you.”
​ I wish I’d just let the answering machine pick up the call, she thought, I wouldn’t have had to talk to him and hear those persuasive words. Just like that, go back to work. Damn him. But even as she thought it, she knew she’d made her decision when she’d heard his voice. Still, she answered carefully. “You know I can’t just come back, Mark. I would need time.” She hesitated and then added, “Time to talk to Tom. And there are things here to work out before I could even think of it.” She tried to sound firm and in control, but her heart was racing with excitement.

​“Fine, fine; take all the time you need. Call me on Monday with your answer.”
​She wondered if he could detect the quiver in her voice when she promised to call on Monday.
For more, please see Making Wishes by Marilyn Holdsworth at: http://marilynholdsworth.com/making-wishes/

As a novelist, I draw on many real life experiences to provide background for my books. After completing studies in Literature and History at Occidental College, I became a staff writer on a travel magazine, and throughout my career I have traveled extensively all over the world. Because I love horses, I owned and trained them. I support horse rescue and wild mustang preservation. Based on my experience with horses and my research on abuse issues, I wrote Pegasus.

As a descendant of James Monroe, I did extensive research at the James Monroe Museum in Virginia about him and his wife Elizabeth Kortright Monroe. I also visited their home, Ashlawn/Highland in Albemarle County. This resulted in my novel, The Beautiful American. Making Wishes, was based partly on my experiences as creator, owner and operator of a greeting card company.

Elloree Prince is an attractive, creative young woman who marries a wealthy businessman, Tom Randall. After courting his bride with unrelenting determination, Tom moves her into old-moneyed Oak View, where generations of Randalls have lived for years. Outwardly, Elloree appears to settle into raising their two sons within Oak View’s stifling social structure, but inwardly, she yearns for her artistic work. An unexpected phone call from Mark Williams, her former employer, offers her the career opportunity of a lifetime, and she must make a choice. She is torn between her devotion to her sons and her love for her work. Her decision to return to Wishes, Inc. brings dramatic life changes to her and the people she loves.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Women’s fiction
Rating – PG-13
“Abby Long is thrilled when she offers the winning bid for an antique desk at an auction. With its intricately inlaid woods and elegant style, the desk is perfect for Abby; it is the gift she promised herself to finally celebrate her thriving antique business. She has no idea that the antique desk holds a secret that will lead her on a fascinating, life-changing journey back in time.

When Abby discovers a hidden diary stuffed inside a secret compartment in the desk, she can hardly wait to read the spidery, faded script. As she carefully turns the tattered pages, she reads the captivating story of two remarkable women from opposite backgrounds who somehow manage to form an unforgettable bond against the backdrop of a fledgling America struggling to find its place in the world. Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, the wife of James Monroe, and Jasmine, a young slave girl, develop an extraordinary relationship as they are united by pivotal historic events, political intrigues, and personal tragedies.

From a bucolic Virginia plantation to the bloodied, starving streets of post-revolutionary Paris, this powerful tale follows the lives of two courageous women from the past as they quietly influence—and inspire—a woman of today’s world.”
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Historical fiction
Rating – G
Widowed at thirty, Hannah Bradley is a successful journalist focusing on animal abuse issues. An accidental meeting introduces her to lawyer, Winston Caughfield III. Drawn to Hannah’s gentle beauty and fierce commitment to her work, Win joins her in a fight to save wild mustangs from slaughter. Together they rescue a badly injured horse with a mysterious background. 

Hannah’s search to discover the animal’s true identity leads them into a web of black marketeering and international intrigue. Action packed with crisp colorful dialogue the story propels the reader to a race against time conclusion. Marilyn Holdsworth delivers a gripping tale of mystery, adventure and romance guaranteed to hold the interest and capture the heart. She brings true-life characters together with real-life issues to create a fast-paced irresistible story.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary fiction
Rating – PG
More details about the author
 Connect with Marilyn Holdsworth on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, September 25, 2014

COPYRIGHT: A NOVEL by Lori Lesko @LeskoLori #AmReading #Authors #AmWriting

“Enjoying your morning, babe?”
I looked up at Karen and smiled. “Yes,” I said, “The sunrise was so picturesque this morning, the colors were stunning.”
Karen motioned for a sip of coffee from my mug, and I obliged as she looked me over. “You gonna get dressed today?” she asked. She passed the mug back to me then lifted her knees up to her chest one at a time, stretching her muscles ready for her jog.
“Smartass,” I replied. It was our long-standing joke. She knew full well I would have a shower then dress in my typical uniform of comfortable sweats. I was glad I didn’t have to dress to impress anyone; it was one of the great benefits of working at home.
“I think I heard some noise from Danny’s room, but little Miss Kira is still sound asleep.”
“I’ll go get her. Have fun!” I yelled, as Karen dashed off the porch and jogged toward the beach, after flipping me the finger first, of course.
As a writer, I cherished the still, quiet beauty of the sunrise, and would get up every morning before dawn to meditate while the rest of my family still slept. I’d sit out on the back porch, breathing in the ocean air, drinking my coffee, and listen to the pounding waves.
Karen, on the other hand, usually slept in, but not today. She was due in Miami tomorrow for a photo-shoot and had to look her best. Jogging kept her slim, even though she constantly bitched about doing it.
It was time to play tag team. For my part, I had to make sure Danny and Kira were up and dressed for school. Easier said than done, especially when the two of them habitually fought me. I always made their lunches the night before, so it never became an issue in the morning.
I tended to Kira first, because she drained the clock of time more than any other human known to man. I pushed open her door and saw her blinking at me.
“Hey there, little girl,” I whispered. She wasn’t impressed by my kindness and pulled the puppy dog patterned covers over her head.
“I don’t wanna…” she said. Time for blackmail. I went and picked up Sammy, her favorite stuffed bunny.
“Really? Sammy wants to get up. Look, he’s already walking into the bathroom to wash his face,” I said, while bending over bunny’s legs and making him walk.
“Not without me he isn’t!” Kira yelled, jumping out of bed and running after me. Works every time, but that’s only because she’s four. New tactics would have to be discovered when she got older. Contemplating my other child, I wondered what Danny was doing. Judging from the odor permeating from outside of his room, there’d be trouble this morning.
“Danny, you functioning?” I yelled down the hall toward his door.
“Yes, I’m getting ready, Your Highness,” he shouted back.
“Thank you, my prince.” I lowered my voice when I saw Kira covering her ears.
“You’re too loud, Mommy,” she pouted.
“Sorry, you’re right.” I knelt down to help her get dressed. “No more caffeine for me today.” There was something so cute about her that morning. After washing herself and brushing her teeth, she ran back into her bedroom and pulled on her new black jeans and a pink shirt. She pretended to be a young adult with her choice of clothing, which made me worry that she was growing up too fast. Wasn’t she just born yesterday?
“I’m ready,” she proclaimed.
“Wait a minute, come here,” I said. Kira ran back into the bathroom and jumped up on the bathroom stool, so she could see herself in the mirror. I brushed her hair until it was glossy and smooth, and then we both looked into the mirror and flung our hair over our shoulders. “Hey, you’re beautiful. You know that?”
“No, you’re beautyyyfffall,” she said. We took each other’s hand and left the bathroom. Kira placed Sammy on her bed, to await her return, and then we walked down the hall. I knocked on Danny’s door and opened it.
“Shit, Mom, I’m getting dressed,” he chided me.
“Sorry, sorry,” I said, averting my eyes and stepping back out of his room. “You know I can smell it. There’s no use trying to hide it with air freshener. Last warning.”
Danny came over to the door and peered out, dressed in just a pair of jeans. His long brown hair wildly disheveled. “No more, I promise. I really mean it this time.”
“That’s good; otherwise you’ll be grounded for a month. Which means no seeing Alice.”
“I promise. I’m done with grass,” he said, cracking a smile at Kira and me.
“Okay, downstairs in five,” I told him. He disappeared back into his room and Kira looked up at me in bewilderment.
“Mommy, why does Danny not like grass?” she asked. I heard Danny laughing in his bedroom.
“It’s a long story, honey,” I said. Karen came jogging upstairs, passing us.
“Good morning, all! I’ll be in the shower,” she said, stopping to give Kira a kiss.
“You’re all sweaty, Mommy, yuck!” Kira pulled back.
“Yes, I am, but I love you anyway!” Karen said, laughing. “And you can smell the pot all the way down on the beach, Danny! You’re on my shit list!”
“I know, I know,” he called out.
Kira and I made waffles for breakfast. Correction, I made the waffles while Kira watched. Danny joined us, still looking a little rough around the edges, but trying to hide it. He looked a bit smarter in his navy blue shirt and had brushed his hair. I did my best to make as much noise as possible, just to irritate him.
We all sat at the kitchen breakfast bar and had milk and waffles. Karen appeared, clean and dressed and, as always, in white. White jeans and a sleeveless white top, showing just enough cleavage to distract me and cause impure thoughts to flit through my mind. I closed my eyes and forced myself to focus on the tasks at hand.
“Tag, you’re it,” I said to Karen as I brushed my hand gently across her arm. “Have a great day guys, I’m off to work. The grocery list is on the fridge,” I told Karen, and gave Danny and Kira a kiss.
“Would you at least try to consider a different outfit?” Karen pleaded.
“No, but I am going to take a shower.” I smiled and left for the second floor. I showered and got dressed in a pair of cream shorts and a maroon t-shirt. It wasn’t worthy of business attire, but compared to my usual sloppy sweats, it was a step up. I heard the van door close and pull out of the driveway. That was my cue to go to work.
I poured myself a glass of lemonade and went to my office, which was my sanctuary from the outside world. I opened the window and let the sounds and smell of the ocean seep into the room. Once I felt in sync with my surroundings, I turned my laptop on and typed a few sentences. In contrast to the extremely gruesome topic, I played symphony music that perfectly matched the crashing sound of the waves.
When typing really fast, I tended to look at the keyboard rather than the computer screen. After about twenty minutes of typing, I realized that the keys were floating, swimming before my eyes. I blinked a few times and tried to focus, but my vision became blurry. I stopped typing and rubbed my eyes, hoping it wasn’t a migraine forming; I put my glasses on, and tried to concentrate on the screen. Before I could begin typing again, pain shot down my spine, making me gasp. Waves of nausea came over me, and I knew that I would have to stop working until it passed.
At that point, the unthinkable happened. I felt a shooting pain travel up my left arm. Ignoring it didn’t make it stop. I thought to myself, carpal tunnel? Surely it couldn’t possibly be anything else. I only had a few more chapters to write and thebook would be finished, I didn’t want to stop now.
I stood up and felt the pain deepening in my lower back. This never happened with my headaches. What the fuck was going on? I ignored the voice in my head that told me to dial 911, and I bent over to perform my usual morning stretches, thinking that would help. When I lifted my head and stretched out my arms, Karen walked into my office. I barely recognized her face. The only reason I knew it was her was the golden haze of her curly perm and the white blur of her clothing.
“Babe, are you okay?” Karen asked.
“I can’t see very well and I feel nauseous,” I replied. My hand reached for her, and I knocked over my glass of lemonade. It wouldn’t be until much later that I’d realize the damage that this one motion would cause. I collapsed onto the floor.
“Amber!” my beloved screamed. That was the last thing I heard before the blackness engulfed me.

Amber Tyler is living every author’s dream: her books are all best sellers and she writes full time. She has worked hard and is well-accomplished in her career, and she has the support and love of her beautiful children and girlfriend. 

But the dream soon turns into a terrible nightmare when her latest manuscript is stolen. She decides to fight for what is rightfully hers, only to find that the harder she tries, the easier it all slips through her fingers, putting her career, her family, and her life in jeopardy.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lori Lesko on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SUPERHUMAN NATURE by Brandon Overall #AmReading #SciFi #MustRead

Neil and Bryan spent a couple hours playing games together, gloating when they won, and calling the other a cheap bastard when they lost.  It was about 8 o’clock by the time Alex came home and joined in on the beer drinking.  It was only a Thursday evening, but no one had any classes until at least noon the next day, so Thursdays were officially changed to Thirsty Thursday. The rule was, if you didn’t go to bed without proving that you were drunk, you had to do the dishes for the whole weekend.  No one had broken the rule in about two months.
The three enjoyed several beers and they each partially enjoyed a glass of cheap, pre-made Long Island Iced-tea out of a jug they bought at the store.  As he drank, Neil’s tongue began to loosen. He told Bryan and Alex about the dream and about the weird things that happened to him that day.
“Holy shit Hitchenator, you’re turning into Spider-man!” Neil hated the name Hitchenator, but was too drunk to care.
“No, you idiot.  Spider-man got bit by a radioactive spider.” Exclaimed Alex, as if Bryan’s comment was meant to be taken seriously, “I think Neil would have told us if that happened.  Maybe you’re starting to get schizophrenia and you’re just imagining shit.  You should get yourself checked out.”
“I’m not crazy, seriously.  The shampoo bottle and the water fountain I was alone for, but the clock thing everyone saw.  There’s no way that part was a coincidence.  I almost felt like…like I made it happen.” Even as he said it, Neil realized how ridiculous it sounded.  How could he possibly make something like that happen?
“Haven’t you seen A Beautiful Mind?  It can seem perfectly real and still be a hallucination.  Seriously man, that’s not a good sign.  You should really talk to a doctor if you really think you somehow made all that stuff happen with your mind or something.” Alex said, and Bryan nodded in agreement.
Neil started to feel frustrated.  Of course he wasn’t crazy.  Why wouldn’t they agree with him?  His temper started to rise at the thought of his best friends not believing what he was saying.  If they wouldn’t believe him, who would?  All of that talk, and perhaps all of the alcohol, was starting to give him a headache.  He thought back to that dream again, the one that felt so real…
“I said I’m NOT CRAZY!”  Neil slammed his beer bottle down on the coffee table, and as he did, he was startled by a deafening sound in front of him.  He looked up, and saw the source of the noise.  The screen on the TV in front of him was completely shattered, and smoke rose from the back of the set.
Superhuman Nature is Brandon Overall's first novel. It was written and published during his first deployment to Afghanistan as a 2nd Lieutenant in late 2013.
Neil Hitchens was a senior ROTC Cadet in college. He was just weeks away from graduating and becoming an Officer in the United States Army, until a strange dream set off a chain of events that would twist his life into something he could have never prepared for.
In the days following his dream, several strange happenings occurred that he began to suspect were the result of his own actions. Before long, he discovered that he had the ability to control the world around him with his mind.
What started out as an unpredictable ability quickly evolved into an extraordinary power that had the capacity to change the world. It didn't take long for the government to find out what Neil could do.
They knew having such limitless potential on the side of the US Military could give them limitless political influence, and they would stop at nothing to get Neil to do their bidding. They would find out what happens when you back a dangerous animal into a corner.
Neil spent his whole life believing he would amount to greatness, but he never expected how greatness could corrupt even the most innocent of minds.
Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Brandon Overall on Facebook

HJ Lawson Shares Her Writing Journey @hjlawson1 #AmWriting #YA #WriteTip

A few tips I have learnt on the way to becoming a writer.

  1. Write an outline of what the book is about, around one – three pages. Start middle & end
  2. Write out chapter outlines – one sentence per chapter.
  3. Character build – write out simple things; name, age, hobbies, looks, features, education, dreams etc
  1. Take your chapter sentence and expand it to a full chapter.
  2. You do not have to write chapters in order, some are easier, some are more difficult.
  3. Don’t go back over your work to edit it, this wastes a lot of time, and you lose the rhythm – save editing to the end.
  4. Write everyday – even if it’s only 100 words
  5. The goal is to have first draft of the book completed - it will be very rough, and that’s okay!
  6. Celebrate that you have written a story!
  1. Leave your book for a couple of weeks.
  2. Then read and review every line.
  3. Then once you are happy, ask people which will be honest with you to read it. www.goodreads.com – Beta groups that can help.
  4. Gather all feedback, and review/edit

Professional Editing

Hire an editor to review your book, it can start at $400 and depends on how much editing you need to be done.  They send it back to you and you approve their comments.

Professional Book cover

You have to make your book stand out and look professional, check out 99desgins, they offer a great service starting at $299.

Self-publishing and distributions
Amazon has a company called www.createspace.com where you can upload your word document, and they format it into an ebook or hard copy. They ship the products out and you get a royalty.

Interesting pod casts to listen to is www.selfpublishing.com


Hayley Lawson is the author of War Kids. She has written a young adult contemporary novel set in Syria; a story about the Syrian Civil war though the eyes of children.

She was born in Lancaster, England. Growing up in a single parent household with five other siblings; was hard, and also character building.

As a young child she found a passion for drawing, and continued this into adulthood, graduating from the University of Central Lancashire, England with a BA(Hons) in fashion design.

At aged twenty seven, Hayley and her husband packed up their belongings for a lifelong dream to move to California. Her America dream was complete with the birth of her daughter. Her love for traveling, continued after the birth of her daughter traveling around America with the family, and the best travelled dog.
A new job positioned opened up New York, and the family decide to relocate to Long Island, NY, which is where she currently resides.

On August 21 she was moved by the images of the Syrian conflict, and embarked on an unlikely journey of writing her first novel.


All profits from the book will be going to the save the children charity.

When fourteen-year-old Jada wakes up in a hospital, the last thing she thinks is that her life has completely changed forever. But when the very real civil war forces her to flee from every open space, she must use the firearm skills her father taught her to reunite with him and protect herself. Armed with a single gun and a key to an unknown locker, Jada crosses Syria on a journey with a group of children called the Fearless Freedom Fighters. With the leader, Zak, they mount a plan to rescue their fathers while they try to cope with the merciless murders of their families. As Jada and Zak lead the group together, love blossoms, but with soldiers hot on their tail, they need to stay vigilant in the face of war.

Reviews from Wattpad

Very interesting story, very powerful. I can really feel the emotion...Peter

This book really touches my heart because there is so much truth is in this book. The detail is so brilliantly displayed, its beautifuly written. There are pretty intense chapters, its good... scrap that its excellent. Loe the work ...although I am upset. I know this is a fictional story, but I just can't help but feel extremely bad for all the lost lives especially the innocent and young ones...Saddy

A REMARKABLE BOOK, DEMANDS TO BE READ Goodreads review from Joe Eliseon

Buy Now @ Amazon | Smashwords | CreateSpace
Genre - Young Adult 
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with H J Lawson on GoodReads & Facebook & Twitter

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Roland Hughes on Being Unfamiliar with Writer's Block #AmWriting #Dystopian #Fiction

What inspired you to write your first book?
A lack of usable documentation.  Software companies, particularly those who develop large scale libraries for computer programmers, are very good at producing large volumes of detailed documentation and a pile of hokey little examples.  What I mean by that is the documentation tends to be expert friendly reference material.  They provide a lot of “call this function with these parameters and it does this” type of documentation.  Where they fail miserably is in providing complete examples.  There was no documentation out there which told someone new to the product/library “here is how you create a data entry screen which adds record to a database.”
Nearly everyone reading this has went to a Web site and filled out an order form, or has gotten some form of computer generated bill/invoice in the mail.  What most reading this won’t know is the “how” behind creating all of the less than sexy programs behind that isn’t really taught.  Designers, artists, and management simply say “We want these graphics with those fonts to have this look and feel while doing this.”  Developers are left twisting in the breeze when it comes to the “how” portion of actually achieving that.
What made you want to be a writer?
“Word Processor of the Gods.”  It is a Stephen King story which first appeared in an issue of Playboy during my teenage years when Playboy was still considered cool.  It later appeared again in “Skeleton Crew” and was the primary reason I got my hands on a copy of that book.  The story was written early on in what later became known as “The Computer Age” and it sucked the reader in from the beginning.  Those scant few paragraphs (compared to a novel) really pulled the reader in and took them to a place where they seriously considered “what if?”
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
One thing which always intrigues me is the phrase “writing this book” being in a question.  I am not alone when I say I didn’t write this book, I simply recorded what the characters told me.  I have seen the same statement from many other successful writers.  When I am working on my geek book series I actually am writing the book.  I’m choosing what needs to be in it and developing all examples.  They are very deliberate creations.  My fiction, and this book in particular, are created primarily by “watching” and “listening” to the characters as they show or tell their story to me.  My duty is to write it down as completely as possible.
That said, there was a lot of history I had to look up when John Smith chose to talk about it.  Most readers are quite shocked to learn just how much of the story is actual human history.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
I intend to make it my last career, audience willing.  There is a lot of truth to that retirement commercial when they ask “shouldn’t retirement be paying yourself to do what you love?”
What is your greatest strength as a writer?
My ability to type.  That may sound odd, but it is true.  I have encountered so many writers and computer programmers who cannot type.  They hammer away with two fingers and bemoan every day at the keyboard.  Some writers still write on paper and have someone else do the first keying for them.  Others have openly stated they purchased dictation software so they could speak their first draft instead of having to manually enter it.
I was lucky in my IT career.  One of the languages I had to work with was COBOL.  Even if you have never used a computer in your life you have probably gotten a bill or paycheck generated by a system written in COBOL.  If you have heard anything about the language you will have heard it is the wordiest programming language ever created.  We didn’t have speedy desktops and soft touch keyboards back then.  Many of the keyboards were closer to a manual typewriter than anything the younger generations would be familiar with today.  Typing required a lot of effort.  We morphed the famous French Foreign Legion motto “March or Die” into the COBOL programmer’s motto of “Type or Die.”  It was nothing to have a single module weigh in at thousands of lines of source.  Most applications (payroll, order processing, etc.) needed dozens if not hundreds of modules to achieve their task.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I have never called it writer’s block.  In truth I am unfamiliar with the concept.  I have periods of time where the characters simply choose to rest.  During those times I occupy myself with various physical labor tasks which leaves my mind free for them to start talking again.
Another thing I do, which may sound odd, is change out keyboards.  Even when I’m writing with my netbook instead of my desktop I still use a full sized keyboard.  I keep a stack of spare keyboards I’ve accumulated over the years.  Some are the older “mechanical” or “clicky” keyboards.  Most have different layouts.  Each requires a bit of re-learning when it comes to the size of the backspace and return keys as well as the key spacing.  This tiny act seems to use a different part of my brain which gets the characters speaking again.
When I’m between consulting contracts and writing for days on end I will swap them out a couple of times per week.  Some of them are quite nostalgic for me, like an original IBM PS/2 keyboard and a Chicony keyboard from the days when they were second only to NCR in quality.  It was a sad day when NCR left the PC market.  They still make customized keyboards for their point of sale systems, or at least I still see them.  Most of you don’t bother to read the little booklet which comes with a new keyboard, you simply start typing.  If you did read it you would find most of today’s keyboards have a rated life span of around 1 million keystrokes.  Point of sale systems can have a million keystrokes in a year, if not a month. Quality is something most people don’t seem to care about these days.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The book currently out for first round editing is “Lesedi.”  It fills a large portion of the gap between the end of “Infinite Exposure” and “John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars.”  At some point next year I hope begin work on “John Smith: The Last Gift of Atlantis.”  Some of the characters have made themselves known but others are just kind of lurking in the shadows.  Perhaps they are simply waiting for me to start telling the stories of the others before they feel confident enough to come forward.
How did you come up with the title?
I listened to the characters.  This was the story they told.
Who is your publisher?
I self-publish my work these days.
Will you write others in this same genre?
I plan to write/co-write another “John Smith” book to be the base for a series.  Hopefully I will be able to hand that series off to some young and talented writer.  The fleshing out of a new world rising from the ashes of the old should really be done by someone who hasn’t lived a long time in “Earth That Was.”
How much of the book is realistic?
A significant portion of “John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars” is actual recorded human history.

“John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars” is one big interview. It is a transcript of a dialogue between “John Smith” (who, as the title of the book implies is the last known survivor of the Microsoft wars) and the interviewer for a prominent news organization.
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Genre – Dystopian Fiction
Rating – PG
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Day in the Life of Mikey D. B. @mikeydbii #Dystopian #Thriller #MustRead

It all begins at five in the morning.  I wake up, make a protein packed breakfast and watch parts of documentaries while I eat.  I’ve watched documentaries on Hitler, Bigfoot, social media conspiracies, economics, magic, and basically anything I can find on Netflix that interests me at the time.  Anyway, after I eat/watch I finish getting ready for my day and then make the drive to work.

Sometimes these drives to work are the best part of my day.  Anytime before six in the morning, the roads are desolate, the mornings are cool, sun is usually rising, and it is just a good time to ponder about things.  There’s something about seeing a fresh new day begin that I love.  Maybe it’s because all the angry, muckiness of the world is still asleep.  I don’t know, but early mornings, as hard as they are to get up for, are some of the best things to experience.

So, after my morning drive, I head into my day job which consists of a lot of heavy lifting and calculations of length.  I work at a labeling manufacturing business where I coat and die cut the various labels for our clients.  You’d be amazed at how heavy paper is.  In rolls of 10,000 feet and sometimes more, these things can be up to two hundred pounds.  For the most part, I like my job.  It’s a keep-to-yourself kind of job and me being the anti-social one I can be, it gives me the opportunities to listen to music and podcasts.  In fact, a lot of my research for books happens in my eight hour shifts at work.  I download a set of podcasts I think will be relevant to what I’m trying to write, and then I listen to them.  I really can’t ask for a better time because after I get off work, my day doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room.

After my shift, which ends at about two in the afternoon, I bust my way on over to the gym.  My workouts are pretty intense, two mile runs at least, three to four mile bike rides and then a half hour of heavy weights.  I’m really trying to get ready to compete in a triathlon, so my workouts have to be pretty frequent or I’ll never train my body the way it needs to be.

Now this is where it gets kind of crazy.  I’m a high school football coach as well and practice starts at 4:30.  So I have just enough time to work out, rinse off, and get a quick bite before heading over to the school to yell at kids.  I love it!  The sport, the atmosphere, the kids, the other coaches I work with.  It’s one of the best opportunities that I’ve had come across my way.  I was hesitant to take on the responsibility at first, with the craziness of my writing and work as it is, but it’s seasonal and I couldn’t pass up the chance to get back into the sport.

Practice lasts until about seven, I get home at about eight, eat, and maybe get some writing in.  Mostly though, I’ll wind down and watch an episode of the office with my wife or we’ll just talk and read together.  The evenings, like my mornings, are a chance for me to think, process what’s happened in the day.  Maybe write them in my journal if I have enough to say.  After or before the hustle and craziness of the day, it’s in these times when I’ll turn to my scriptures to get guidance, peace, and reassurance (or chastisement—it all depends on what my attitude has been that day).

After having wrote this, I realize how packed my day is.  I think the important thing, no matter how busy we are, is we need to make sure we have our priorities in the right place.  For me, it’s: God, Family, Country.  I know if I put God first, that’ll only strengthen my resolve to take care of my family, and if I know my family is taken care of, I know I can then make decisions to take care of my country and community.

Saga of the Nine

Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.

 The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.

In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.

Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.

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Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
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Website www.mikeydb.com