Author Interview: Richard Paolinelli

Book Squirrel chats with Richard Paolinelli

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#IndieAuthors

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Book Squirrel sat down recently  to chat with sci-fi author, Richard Paolinelli.
Welcome, Richard.

Thanks, Book Squirrel. It’s great to be here.

You’re right. It IS great to be here! 

*both laugh*

Tell me, Richard, what inspired you to write?

 Even as a kid, when we would be moving to the next stop (my Dad’s drilling business moved us all over the country), I would pass the time by writing these little stories in my portion of the back seat. I’ve always enjoyed writing about the worlds and characters I created.  

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

From The Fields

 My non-fiction sports history, From The Fields, because it not only told the story of high school football in my home town of  Turlock, California, it also shared some of the town’s history off the football field. In a way, it was the best thing I could do for my hometown. So many people have reached out to me since it was published to thank me for doing it and to share their experiences with the events in the book.

What are you working on writing now?

I am helping finish ‘Eerie’, the final book written by my friend Gibson Michaels, who passed away last year before he could finish it. It would have been his fourth book and we want to make sure his readers get to read it. I am co-writing a western novel with Jim Christina, with whom I co-host an online show about writers and the craft of writing – The Writer’s Block on LA Talk Radio. I’m editing one of the 11 books in the Planetary Anthology series (and have stories in several of the others) and I am helping start up a new organization for professional creators in science fiction and fantasy, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Creators Guild. By April I am hoping to start my next sci-fi novel, When The Gods Fell.

 Who designs your book covers?

 Aside from Escaping Infinity, which I had a great cover artist do for me, I have actually designed every cover of the books I have written on my own to this point. In the future I’ll probably still do some but try to find a cover artist for others.

Forest, country, beach or city?

A small town in the country. I’m finding that the older I’m getting the quieter and less hectic I want my surroundings to be.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

I’m going to lose my man card over this, but answer is: The Princess Bride.

I’ll lend you my squirrel card if you like. Nobody ever questions if we’ve got nuts. 

Hey, thanks!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

 Oddly enough, what I am today, a writer. I dabbled briefly with being an astronaut but I don’t do heights so good and that is a pretty big issue for an astronaut to have. So that didn’t last too long.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

Winter, especially when it is snowing in a rural setting. There’s a clean beauty to fresh snowfall and the cold air in a clear blue sky that really appeals to me.

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

 H.G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe as early writers I read and enjoyed in my youth. Jack McDevitt is the third because after I read his novel, Time Traveller’s Never Die, I became a fan of his work. I discovered his path to becoming a novelist at a later age was similar to my career path and that inspired me to try to give fiction writing another try at the age of 46 – which was the same age he was when he started. A highlight for me was being a part of a Sherlock Holmes anthology and we have corresponded a few times since it was released. Him saying he really liked my story in that anthology was something I’ll not soon forget.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

 We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away.” – G’Kar (Babylon 5)

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

 It is not an easy path to walk by any stretch of the imagination. It is not without its pitfalls and perils. There is no guarantee of success. But the rewards, at least to me, are well worth it. No one else has any semblance of creative control over your work other than you and when success does come it will taste sweeter than the finest wine.

Where can readers find your books?

All my books are on Amazon.

And where can readers follow you on social media?

You can find me at my website, on Twitter and on Facebook

Thanks for joining us today, Richard.

Thanks for having me!

 

 

 

Author Interview: Eva Pasco

Author Interview: Book Squirrel chats with Eva Pasco, author of contemporary “lit with grit”.

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Book Squirrel chats with Eva Pasco, author of contemporary “lit with grit”.
Welcome, Eva! Eva Pasco - author

Book Squirrel, seeing you go nuts over authors, I’m in the right place. Thank you for the warm welcome!

It’s great to have you here. What inspired you to write?

Already having typewritten a mystery and a spy series by the age of twelve, and composed a romance novella in high school, I shelved my creativity during college and throughout my teaching career in elementary education. On my last day of school, I left a handwritten farewell note to my colleagues near the sign-in area of the main office. Many of the teachers let me know how much my note moved them. At least two told me I should write a book.
Inspired, I revived my dormant imagination. In 2007, I published my first novel in the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction, based on my fragrance addiction—Underlying Notes. Several years later, in 2016, I published An Enlightening Quiche, where I incorporated aspects of my summer job at a bookbinding factory to the fictitious, impoverished mill in the story.

Wow! An author by twelve! That’s impressive!

I guess so!

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

ScreenHunter_437 Feb. 03 11.37Always enamored with my latest published work, I’d have to say my favorite at this point in time is “Mr. Wizardo”. This novella is part of the co-authored collection of reimagined fairy tales for grownups, Once Upon a Fabulous Time, in collaboration with the Indie Fabs: Aliya DalRae, R.M. Gauthier, J.B. Richards, Lyra Shanti, and Joanne Van Leerdam.

Oh, I just got my copy of that! It looks fabulous indeed!

It really is!

I can’t wait to read it. What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

Thus far, my steadfast answer is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The effects of intense suffering between two passion-driven characters with a toxic love-hate relationship who torment themselves, each other, and those around them tug at my heartstrings.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Although the year has just begun, I will give a shout out to my current read. I’m 79 per cent through ‘Sandhills’ by Alan Vanderoot. It is a Contemporary Coming-of-Age that nails the protagonist’s teen angst living with a verbally and physically abusive father, and the outlet he finds to come into his own.
I also want to heap praise on the latest published paranormal short in the “Fallen Cross” pack, ‘Bitter Challenge’ by Aliya DalRae.

Oh, I’ve read ‘Bitter Challenge’! That’s a really great series. 

Isn’t it, though?

What are you working on writing now?

At the onset of 2018, I began writing my next Contemporary, Aida’s Fishing Ground. I’m currently in the midst of drafting chapter 2.

Who designs your book covers?

Now that I am going full-tilt boogie as an Indie—none of this hybrid stuff for me any longer—it’s Renee Gauthier, courtesy of her enterprise, R.M. Designs. Her covers and banners are fabulous!

Forest, country, beach or city?

It always has and always will be the beach!

What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?

One of my pet hates is that “exploitation” for monetary gain, power, or control whether perpetrated by usury, intimidation, pretense, lying, cheating, humiliation, preying…
As of yet, I haven’t brought it to light in my writing.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

My all-time favorite movie to watch over and over is Casablanca because it reinforces that there are no painless resolutions in life. The choices we make often come at a personal sacrifice of love and happiness.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

Hard to choose, but I’ll cite this one by Khalil Gibran—“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

No two Indies are the same, therefore there is no well-trodden path which leads a writer to becoming a successful author. Success is based on your own criteria and not anyone else’s.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

I wish it were easier to recover from heartbreak.
And, although, I have been blessed with good health thus far—I wish ageing were easier.

Those are sobering thoughts indeed – and you have expressed them beautifully.

Thank you. You’re a lovely squirrel.

Careful, you’ll make me blush! Tell me, Eva, where can we find your books?

They’re on Amazon and you can also get signed/personalized copies at Authors Den.

 

Where can readers follow you on social media?

I have a Facebook Page: where people are welcome to follow me, and I’m on Goodreads, too.
I also have a blog titled Eva’s Bytes – An Indie Author’s Blog on WordPress.

Thank you for being here today, Eva. 

It’s been fun! Thank you, Book Squirrel!

Author Interview: Lisa Hofmann

Book Squirrel chats with Lisa Hofmann, author of fantasy and medieval dark fantasy books. 

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Lisa Hofmann Books 4

 

Book Squirrel chats with Lisa Hofmann, author of fantasy and medieval dark fantasy books. 

Hi Lisa, welcome! 

Hi, Book Squirrel! Thanks for having me here!

I love chatting with authors, so it’s great that you’ve joined me today. Tell me, Lisa, what inspired you to write?

I’ve always loved to write, but I never had the courage to really do more than outline my ideas and set them aside for “some other time” before I discovered that indie publishing isn’t so complicated that I couldn’t learn to do that. The concept of submitting my work to a big publishing house put me off the entire process for a long, long time, thinking that the odds were stacked so high against someone with no background in the industry, I truly believed it would be next to impossible to ever get a book out there via the usual channels. I’m a teacher by profession, and I worked at the local university for several years, translating non-fiction specialized books, and that made it seem so unlikely I’d even be any good at writing fiction, never mind fantasy fiction – until a friend began to encourage me, telling me that the little dabbles I was putting on a free reading site were really good, and worth working with.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

I think I always like the book I’m currently writing best, but I have to say that my favorite story as such is the one I most recently published. It’s a dark fantasy novel titled Trading Darkness, which is set during the time of the witch trials near my own home town. There are historical elements in it which really took place, and the setting is real, of course, and I really lived inside the main characters’ heads for the time I was writing this. Not only is it my most recent publication, though, but also my oldest work. I began outlining this while I was still attending university as a student majoring in (local) Women’s History. I think it took me over 20 years from the first draft to actually publish it.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I think I’d have to differentiate there in terms of genre. I like reading Horror, and I love anything by Stephen King. Blaze would be way up there on my list, next to Koonz’ Lightning. YA Fantasy: Reckless – The Golden Yarn by Cornelia Funke. Historical: John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

Legacy of Hunger by Christy Nichols, who is an indie author. I like reading books by fellow indie authors, and I remember this one because it was quite captivating.

What are you working on writing now?

The third book of my fantasy series. It’s a medieval fantasy fiction about a group of people who have magical talents, though nothing I’d define as sword-and-sorcery in the classical sense. It’s more about the conflict that arises in that particular society, and it’s very character-driven.

Do you have a favourite food or drink that helps you write?

Definitely chocolate. And cappuccino.

Who designs your book covers?

I usually have an idea, or choose the basic raw image from a stock photo site myself, and then I look for someone who I think can work it out for me. I’ve worked with different artists over the past two years.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

Rock music, but I also like classical music, and movie scores.

Forest, country, beach or city?

Always the beach. But not the Mallorca kind. I prefer the rugged west coast of Ireland.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

Ireland, of course. I try to go there with my family every other year. It’s the quiet, the landscape, the ocean, the people. It’s just the perfect place to wind down.

What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?

Arrogance. I think you can find it in most of my villains.

What’s your favourite TV show?

I don’t really watch a lot of TV, but I do watch most episodes of Game of Thrones when they air here (that can take a while in Germany). I like the quality of that production – the actors are great, and the computer generated images are awesome.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Hm… National Lampoons Christmas Vacation annually. But The 13th Warrior was great, and I must have seen that about five or six times now.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher or a pilot. I was too short to become a pilot.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

Summer. I really, really, really hate snow.

You should try hibernation! It’s great!

That’s a very good suggestion!

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Cornelia Funke for the get-up-and-go, Stephen King for the success, and any and every indie author for the guts to go and do what they do.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

“There is magic within every beginning, and it protects us and help us to live.” – Hermann Hesse.

Name three people you admire, and give reasons.

I admire so many people for various reasons, but it’s never anyone famous. It’s people I’ve met who deal with their lives in ways that I find inspiring, so I try to adopt their way of handling things for myself.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

That it’s difficult to find the time to write while you’re working in your day job and taking care of those everyday things that arise when you have a family with children – you’re always in between things, and you have to set priorities. Very few indie writers are able to make a decent living from their books, and I’d love for both readers and writers alike need to know that someone who does this is investing a lot of “stolen” time, sweat, and money in their work. Readers seem to expect to get lots of books for free or really, really cheap nowadays, due to the huge choice of books on offer on the internet, but that is ruining the market in a big way, really, and you get what you pay for – both readers and writers do.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Just two? *giggles* No, I love my life just as it is. I wouldn’t change a thing, except for maybe that I’d love to have more time to write without developing a bad conscience for not having done this, that, or the other properly or more patiently with or for the most important people in my life: my kids.

Where can we find your books? 

My books are all on Amazon. They’re available in English and in German.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

I have a website, and I’m also on Facebook.

 

Author Interview: Ammar Habib

Book Squirrel chats today with Ammar Habib, a bestselling and award winning author of paranormal suspense thrillers.

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Book Squirrel chats today with Ammar Habib, a bestselling and award winning author of paranormal suspense thrillers.

Ammar Habib Photo.JPG

Welcome, Ammar. It’s a privilege to have you here today. 

Thank you, Book Squirrel! It’s a rare thing to be interviewed by a squirrel!

What can I say? I’m a rare squirrel. 

You certainly are.

Thanks! So tell me, what inspired you to write?

The one book that inspired me to become a writer is Og Mandino’s The Choice. I read the book when I was seven-years-old and it is what put me onto the path of becoming a writer and inspired the dream to one day have millions of copies of my books sold around the world.

Outside of books, the other main thing that acting as a catalyst for my writing was my 2nd Grade Teacher at AP Beutel, Mrs. Scott. When I was in her class years ago, she gave me a homework assignment to write a one-page story. This was the first time I ever wrote anything. That experience breathed the love of writing into me and I’ve never stopped since!

I’ve also discovered that I’m not the first author in my family. My great-grandfather was a writer after his career as a police officer in India ended. My maternal grandmother was also a writer, having some of her works published in the newspaper. Although my own mother was not a writer, she has her Master’s degree in Fine Art. So I think this artistic capability probably runs in the family too.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

I like to say that my favorite and best book is always my next project!

What are you working on writing now?

I actually have quite a few projects in different stages of development. I recently signed a contract for a children’s picture book, which will be releasing next year. I also have a police novel releasing next year as well. My agent is shopping around a Young Adult novel and is also shopping around a non-fiction project of mine. I also have a graphic novel being read by some publishers. So 2018 will be very exciting God-Willingly!

Who designs your book covers?

As of right now, most of my book covers have been created by Fiona Jayde.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite kind of music in terms of genre. I’m more particular about lyrics and making sure that I listen to something that isn’t going to drag me down mentally. However, I definitely use music to my advantage when writing and find that listening to music that mirrors the type of scene I’m writing helps me nail down the tone of the scene!

So, you are what you listen to?

That’s one way of looking at it!

 What movie can you watch over and over again?

Hands down, it’s The Last Samurai. I love that movie from the characters to setting to plot to theme. The ending still gets me on the edge of tears, even though I’ve watched this movie many times. This film was actually the inspiration for the graphic novel script I recently wrote.

 When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Ever since I was seven, one of my dreams was to one day become a New York Times Bestselling author! I’m still excited about continuing to strive towards that dream.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

Here’s a quote from President John Quincy Adams: “Duty is ours. Results are Gods.” I love this quote because it reminds me not to worry about the results of my action. I just need to do the best I can and keep my intentions pure, and then leave the outcomes up to a higher power.

I like that. It’s very inspirational.

I agree.

Speaking of inspiration, name three people you admire, and give reasons.

There are definitely more than three people I admire and look up to, but I’ll just keep it at three for the sake of space. The first two are a couple, my father and mother. They’re my heroes in life and gave me the foundation to pursue my dream.

The third would be my brother. He is my best friend and #1 fan and I cannot explain what his support has meant to me through every step of this journey as a writer! Without these three people in my life, I would not be the person I am today and the person I am becoming tomorrow.

They sound like great people. We should all be so lucky.

Indeed!

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Here’s an answer that most authors can definitely relate with:

1) Getting a publishing deal
2) Raising awareness of your books.

Both are sometimes equally hard as the other and something to celebrate upon achievement. But thankfully as I continue to work in the industry, I’ve gotten more opportunities for both and am continuing to grow more proficient at my craft. All this leads towards growing closer to my dream of becoming a New York Times Bestselling author in the near future!

Where can readers buy your books?

My books are on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

And where can we follow you on social media?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ammarahsenhabib
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmmarAHabib1
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ammar.a.habib/
Blog: ammarhabibblog.wordpress.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Ammar_Habib

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cTopbv

Thanks for being here today, Ammar. 

Thanks for having me!

 

 

 

 

 

Meet A New Author: Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams is a brand new author. His debut, Lethal As Love, released in December of 207. 

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Patrick Williams is a brand new author. His debut, Lethal As Love, released in December of 207. 

Thank you for joining me today, Patrick. 

It’s a pleasure to be here, thank you.

 

What inspired you to write?

I’ve spent the vast majority of my life as an amateur and semi-professional actor and musician with occasional forays into direction and technical theatre. While in all of those occupations one works with words and puts their own interpretation into them, they are still someone else’s words. I longed to use my own voice, to take the skills I’ve learned over a lifetime and apply them to creating something original and entirely mine. That being said, I write mostly love poetry and for that, I do best with a muse. A real-life target for the words.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I am a huge fan of the late Sir Terry Pratchett. I’ve devoured everything I could find that he wrote and enjoyed it all. But of all his work, I appreciate the Tiffany Aching series most, and of those, my favourite is “The Wee Free Men”.

What are you working on writing now?

Having just published my very first book, I have material enough to publish another and am approaching that (but I guess that really does not answer the question). As I’ve written, most of my work has been love poetry. But world events have recently shifted my focus a bit and I appear to be developing a social consciousness voice. Some of the work that I am currently writing is about the state of the world, equal rights for all people, and justice.

Who designs your book covers? Patrick Williams Lethal As Love

I am quite fortunate to know Brent Jackson from Peacehaven, UK. Brent is a musician, a visionary poet in his own right, and an amazingly talented artist. When I announced that I was going to self-publish, Brent stepped forward and asked if he could design my covers. I immediately accepted with gratitude and joy.

That is a fabulous cover!

Thank you! I’ll let Brent know you think so.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

I have yet to find a style of music in which I cannot find examples to appreciate and enjoy. There really is no way that I could pick one genre as a favourite. I do, however, love cool jazz, punk rock, and classical music.

What’s your favourite TV show?

I haven’t watched television in around fifteen years. I find myself too easily captured by television; I’ll stare at it for hours and get nothing done. I have, of late, been watching a few television programs on the internet, however, and find that I am really enjoying Anthony Bourdain’s series “Raw Craft” and “No Reservations”. Back in my television watching days, I was an enormous fan of “Star Trek, the Next Generation”.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Oh, this is an easy one. “The Princess Bride”.

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

William Shakespeare, Alan Ginsberg, and e.e.cummings. That’s quite a mixed bag, isn’t it? Shakespeare was unafraid of language, he twisted it, he invented words, and his work, all in iambic pentameter, keeps that pulse and rhythm. I strive to keep an internal meter going in my work, too. Ginsberg spoke his heart and in a new and surprising way. His work was raw yet eloquent.Of all the Beat artists, he’s my favourite. I play with word order sometimes in order to surprise the mind of the reader. And cummings? Well e. e. cummings always makes me smile.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

As ‘Lethal as Love” is my first published work, I really do not have a deep fund of experience to go into this answer. I’m finding the whole process, however, to be an enormous challenge. I had no idea how much time and energy I would be spending on formatting, publishing, and promotion. Fortunately, I have experienced friends who are holding my hand through the process. So, what should people know? This is more work than work. Every independent book you see out there is not only months and years of writing, it’s also hours, weeks, and months of constant promotion and really hard work. An Indie Author really has to deeply believe in what they’ve written.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Finding your own voice and making money.

Thanks for joining me today, Patrick.

Thanks for having me.

Read the Book Squirrel review of Lethal as Love

Find this great book on Amazon.

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