Author Interview with Megan Tennant and upcoming Book Release

 

 

 

The Official Aletheia Book Trailer!

 

 

 

 

 

AVAILABLE SEPT. 7, 2017

 

 

Aletheia

 

 

Book Blurb

 

The first book in The Seventh River series, Aletheia, takes the young adult dystopian genre to new, and often dark, places. While coming highly recommended to fans of the Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Divergent, readers will find a gut-wrenching, original plot that dares to stand apart from what is expected of the genre. Brilliant and brutal, Aletheia is praised for tearing deep emotions from even the toughest reader. Whether you enjoy post-apocalyptic, dystopian, or general science fiction, reviewers agree, Aletheia is a must read.

Nearly two decades after the fall, the transcendent city of Iris is the only place rumored to have a cure to the disease that decimated the world. Beyond Iris, are the remnants of the old world, crawling with the Depraved. Infected with Lethe, they no longer remember the people or dreams they were once willing to fight for, and are left instead with familiar voices that whisper dark and unfamiliar words within their minds. Instinct is all that keeps the diseased struggling to exist another day.

Deep underground, below Iris, exists a compound, prison to the Nameless who traded their freedom for the cure to Lethe. It is here that 736 fights to protect those she loves. Not against the Depraved that she’s taught to fear, but against the society that saved her from that fate. She was willing to trade away her rights to regain the ability to form memories, but she won’t let the cult that cured her treat the lives of the Nameless like a resource to be used and discarded. At least, not without a fight.

How much is 736 willing to sacrifice for revenge against her captors? For those she cares about? For freedom? Everything has a cost, what would you be willing to pay?

 

Amazon | Goodreads 

 

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

 

 

interview-1018332_960_720


*Where are you originally from?

I’m originally from Angels Camp, California. A cute little town near Big Trees State Park.


*What’s it like living in Silicon Valley?

Expensive! But other than that, fairly nice. Silicon Valley is very diverse and full of science and art. It’s my kind of place, though cost of living could definitely improve.



*Is anyone else in your family a writer?

My mother has written some published children’s poems and stories, and my father is an aspiring science fiction writer. My brother is a great graphic artist who also dabbles in shadow boxes, but never caught the writing bug.

 

*Did you really spend half your life exploring wild jungles in Costa Rica? Have pictures?

I did, and it was incredible. From the age of roughly 8 to near 16 I lived on the Nicoya Peninsula, surrounded by jungles, beaches, and waterfalls. It was an amazing experience and has fueled many of the more fundamental aspects of my writing. And I do have pictures, which is a good thing, because I might not believe all of my stories if I didn’t have proof.

Costa Rica 3

 

 

Costa Rica 1

 

 

Cost Rica 2

 

 

 

*Why did you choose to be an indie author?

I chose to be an indie author from the very start, before even querying a publisher. For me, the choice was easy and ultimately came down to control. I knew what I wanted my novels to be, and I didn’t want them being twisted to fit into the market norms. A lot of beautiful things are lost from art when parts are carved away so it can fit in a more ‘market friendly’ box. I don’t recommend this route for everyone. But for those who can afford it, and want a high degree of control over their work, it’s definitely something to look into. My partner and I actually started a company (Cloud Kitten Publishing) to publish Aletheia, and we hope to one day soon offer services that mesh the experience and support of traditional publishing with the creative freedom of self-publishing.

 

*How do you personally define dystopian, or Post-apocalyptic fiction?

I believe there are many different ways to define a genre, but personally, what I take most out of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction is the way humans handle disaster and immense societal shifts. In both of these genres, we commonly see a society that was once our own but has been forced through a rapid set of changes whether due to disaster, war, disease, power shifts, or a combination. We see societies torn apart, and sometimes rebuilt. In these settings, characters are pushed to their limits and forced into gray areas that test them on levels we don’t often experience ourselves.

 

*Why did you decide to write this genre?

I decided to write my first series in the dystopian genre in part because the idea I had for Aletheia was dystopian by nature, but also, because I’m passionate about the genre. I love to see stories where humans are pushed out of their comfort zone and forced to face and overcome their fears. I love stories where characters are very real and have a gray range to their personality. The dystopian genre contains many of these stories. I also believe that it’s very important to write what you love. If a writer is truly passionate about a story, it will show and make for a better read. Also, writing a novel takes a very long time, so I reserve that level of dedication for genres I’m passionate about. In future projects, I’ll be exploring alien science fiction and fantasy, since those are genres I’m passionate about. But I don’t expect to stray much beyond the three. And you will never find a contemporary novel written by me.

*What is Aletheia about?

In Aletheia, the world has been ravaged by a disease that causes a range of psychotic behavior, but most notably, interrupts the reconsolidation of memories. The latter means that when infected people remember things, the memories aren’t restored, and are thus partially or fully lost. The nature of this disease leads people to try to avoid thinking about the things most important to them, but there’s a catch.

Don’t think about the white bear.

You thought of the white bear, didn’t you? The memories people most try to avoid recalling are the first they lose, leading to a rapid breakdown of their mental well being.This is only further fueled by the voices in their heads, the deep set paranoia, and the very real fact that society has crumbled around them and they can’t trust anyone.

Aletheia starts roughly two decades after the fall of society. The protagonist was infected with the disease as a child, and in exchange for the cure, she traded her freedom to the Prophet, who is the main antagonist. She, along with thousands of other Nameless, are now imprisoned underground, working for the Prophet and the elite city of Iris, paying a debt that can never be repaid. 736 lives like this for a decade, until the game changes and the risks of staying in the compound, outweigh the risks of escape. But plans are underway, and 736 soon meets someone on the outside who promises a chance of freedom, not just for her, but for all of the Nameless. But freedom will come with a great deal of costs, not just for 736, but for those she loves.

Aletheia is all about a very gray and realistic portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world, the costs of survival, and the choices we make when trapped. In Aletheia, you’ll find a diverse cast in terms of ethnicity, sexuality, disabilities, motives, and more. Characters clash and plans Interweave, leaving a thread of difficult decisions that cost lives. In a world where no one can really be trusted, but alliances are the only way to win, Aletheia delves into the nature of sacrifice and victory.


 

 

*Is there a central character or protagonist?

Aletheia is written in first person present tense from the point of view of 736. Our protagonist, 736, is a strong female lead with a murky past. Having contracted the disease as a child, she has no real memory of her time before being infected. Living in the underground compound, and doing the Prophet’s bidding has left 736 stronger in some ways, but weaker in others. 736 struggles with PTSD, guilt, and anger, but she also has a lot of love for those she trusts.

 

*Can you tell us a little about the setting of Aletheia?

Aletheia is set in the crumbling remnants of a city built around science, art, and nature. The compound where 736 spends much of her time is deep underground and made of cold concrete. High above, the land is split between the magnificent, wall encased, city of Iris, and the nature strewn ruins beyond. Aletheia is set in the future, so you will see some slight technological advancements, but after two decades without society, most of the environment is in a state of partial ruin.

 

 

*When is the next book of the series due?

You can expect to see Aletheia’s sequel (The Seventh River #2) out sometime in 2018.

CONNECT WITH MEGAN TENNANT!

 

 

Megan Tennant Author

Main siteAletheia site

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Youtube

 

 

 

 

Thanks Megan!!

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

Books & Blurbs featuring David Baldacci

IT’S TIME FOR BOOKS AND BLURBS

 

 

Girl  reading a book

 

 

 

Featuring books by Author Juggernaut, David Baldacci

 

 

 

Light

 

 

 

 

The Fix David Baldacci

 

Goodreads

 

I like what D. Baldacci has done with the Amos Dekker series, although this wasn’t my favorite one. The best part was the last 1/3 of the book. The first 2/3’s IS well written, intriguing, with a killer hook, but still felt lacking. Having said all of that—David Baldacci still writes the best plots! They’re absolutely off the charts, cerebral, and entertaining. Also enjoyed the introduction of a new character, DIS agent Harper Brown. She played a vital role throughout the book and I can sense she’ll be back in the future.

 

Other points…

 

  • I wish Melvin Mars played a bigger role in the book.
  • Enjoyed Melvin’s developing relationship (no spoilers!)
  • Can’t say that I really like Alex Jamison that much. I know she’s a well written character, but I’m not impressed with her role suppose.
  • I’m guessing Jamison is there to bring out the human side of Amos Dekker and provide some level of conflict. If that’s the case, then it worked.
  • I would’ve loved to see Baldacci go deeper into Dekker’s personal worldview. Maybe see more of his motivations. It came out more in the last act of the book. His sense of humor, boldness, quirkiness was revealed more.
  • The hook in the beginning was AWESOME. The solving of the crime took a TON of deduction, investigation, and deliberation from multiple sources. I think this was somewhat overdone, although the plot was excellent.
  • There was one subplot that could’ve been eliminated in my opinion. It didn’t bear any weight on the story, conflict or overall story goal.
  • The Climax wasn’t the greatest I’ve seen from Baldacci, but there was a nice twist at the end.
  • Finally, I felt the first 2/3’s lacked somewhere, but I can’t say what. Take away the subplot, beef up the role with Melvin Mars, polish the climax, and I would’ve given this 5 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Innocent David Baldacci

 

Goodreads

 

 

David Baldacci is a master storyteller on steroids.

This was my first Will Robbie book and loved it! Not many people can make an assassin so intriguing, appealing, and compelling. Loved the wit, charm, and sarcastic humor of Robie. His personality fully springs out of the dynamics of his relationship with FBI agent Vance, and fourteen old runaway.

Baldacci writes the most complex plots that I’ve read of any author, yet his characters are just as deep. The use of foreshadowing, characters, tension, stakes, causes you to be lost in the story.

 

Other points…

 

  • Will Robie’s personality is a winner in this one, especially for a lone-ranger assassin. Actually, you see him saving lives more than taking them.
  • He’s a great investigator.
  • His personality is more entertaining than similar types like, Brad Thor’s Scot Harvath etc. Scot Harvath is technically ex-marine, CIA, black ops, but still similar.
  • This is one of my favorite Baldacci books so far!
  • Looking forward to the next Will Robie books!

 

  1.  The Hit
  2. Bullseye (short story)
  3. The Target
  4. The Guilty
  5. End Game coming November 14th, 2017!

 

 

 

End Game David Baldacci

 

 

 

Thanks David!!

 

 

 

David Baldacci Headshot

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

BOOKS AND BLURBS: WHO A novel of the near future by Karen A. Wyle

 

 

Pages and glowing letters flying out of a book

 

 

 

 

BOOKS AND BLURBS

 

WHO A novel of the near future

by Karen A. Wyle

 

 

 

 

WHO

 

 

 

Goodreads

 

Have they changed their minds? Or have their minds been changed?

Death is no longer the end. Those who prepare, and can afford it, may have their memories and personalities digitally preserved. The digitally stored population can interact with the world of the living, remaining part of their loved ones’ lives. They can even vote.

But digital information has its vulnerabilities.

After the young and vital Thea dies and is stored, her devoted husband Max starts to wonder about changes in her preoccupations and politics. Are they simply the result of the new company she keeps? Or has she been altered without her knowledge and against her will?

And if Thea is no longer herself, what can they do?

 

 

 

 

virtual-reality-1802469_960_720

 

 

 

 

 

 

*How did the concept of this book develop?

I’ve been aware of the concept of digital survival after corporeal death since reading Frederick Pohl’s Heechee Saga, if not before. Following all the public discussion of hacking computer files, I eventually thought of the possibility that digital personalities and memories could be hacked.

This is definitely a scary thought! I’ve read some of Ray Kurzweil’s writings along this line. Cool, but scary. 

 

 

 

 

hacked

 

 

 

 

 

*Tell us about the main character, Thea. 

Thea is a tough and assertive young woman. She’s very creative but also analytical. In the latter respect, she takes after her mother, though the two of them disagree on politics. (Thea leans libertarian.) I wouldn’t call her a romantic, though she is deeply in love with her husband Max. She has a big appetite for experience and sensation.

She sounds like someone I’d like to meet! Thea is also a nice name 🙂

 

 

 

*What is the setting like in WHO?

There are two basic settings: the “real” or corporeal world, and the digital environment LiveAfter provides its clients. The latter lacks variety and interest, though this may be corrected eventually. I tried to create a contrast between the vivid sensory detail of our world and the digital alternative.

I believe settings matter a lot in stories to cement the reader and deepen the storyline. This one sounds marvelous!

 

 

 

 

*Tell us about the technology employed in your book. 

Clients are given a liquid filled with nanoparticles that travel throughout the nervous system. They are then put through very detailed scans that rely on the nanoparticles to map neural pathways and connections. That data is used to create virtual files of the client’s personality and memories. After the initial baseline data collection, clients can come in for subsequent scans to update their files.

It’s amazing what they’re able to do with nanoparticles. What will they come up next! 

 

 

 

 

 

Nerve cell

 

 

 

 

*Can you tell us something about WHO that we wouldn’t know by reading the book?

You wouldn’t know about a disgusting slob of a hacker who figured in the story until fairly late in the revision process.

You might not realize how much I didn’t already know, and had to learn, about federal court procedure in general and class actions in particular.

You might not know how much of the plot I made up as I went along. I’m what some writers call a “pantser,” meaning I fly by the seat of my pants – at the rough draft stage at least — rather than planning ahead in detail.

Learning is always a good thing, eh? That’s one thing I like about reading and being a writer—You get to learn all manner of things. 

 

 

 

*What did you learn from researching the technology?

One of my beta readers, who’s an expert on software and related technologies, educated me about what machine-generated code would look like and how it would differ from code a human would write. He also shared with me a few basics about subroutines.

Wow. I didn’t know machine generate codes at all. That’s amazing. 

 

 

 

 

code

 

 

 

 

*Do you think there’s a  futuristic possibility of digitizing memories and personalities?

Assuming no catastrophic descent into a pre-technological era, I’d call it (pun intended) a virtual certainty.

Yikes! Digitizing memories or personalities definitely hard to fathom at this point, but I wouldn’t be surprised when we get there!

 

 

 

 

memories

 

 

 

 

THANKS

 

 

 

Connect with Karen!

Goodreads | Website | Facebook |

Amazon

 

 

 

Thanks for riding the Train folks!! Don’t be a stranger!

 

 

 

Waving bye

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

How To Make A Million With Your Books With Dean Crawford

SMILE IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY!!

 

 

Television Tuesday B

 

 

 

 

 

How To Make A Million With Your Books With Dean Crawford

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you market your books? Tell me in the comments!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Book Review: Elderhaus by Anne Carmichael

elderhaus

 

 

 

Gertrude spent the better part of her adult life scouring Europe for Helmut Klingenfelter, the father who vanished not only from her life and that of her mother but had forsaken everyone in his past.
With midlife looming on the horizon, Gertie made the decision to stop chasing the ghosts of the past and return to her childhood home of Pitch Pine, where she purchased a century-old house at 1211 Castle Lane sight unseen.
Elderhaus, as it came to be known, had a mysterious past of its own, one that would threaten more than Gertrude’s desire for finding happiness.

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

 

thoughts

 

 

 

 

There is something about this book that draws you into it’s story. Who is Gertie Klingenfelter? And what happened to her father Helmut? It takes you down a path discovering her roots and mysterious family history. Finally she decides to return to her home town, Pitch Pine.

I found the setting of Pitch Pine with it’s characters to be very endearing ! There’s something about them that sticks out begging you to find out more. Gertie’s family history is heart wrenching but makes the story that much more resonant.

Quality writing with good characters. What else can you ask for? Recommended!

 

 

 

 

recommended vintage orange seal isolated on white

 

 

 

 

 

 

anne-carmichael

 

 

Anne Carmichael

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Amazon

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

mtw-email-logo

Audiobook Review: Portraits of the Dead

Skeleton X-Ray - DJ 3

 

 

 

AUDIO FORENSICS EDITION

 

Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl

 

 

 

potraits-of-the-dead-audiobook-1

 

 

Written by: John Nicholl

Narrated by: Jake Urry

Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 10-18-16

Publisher: John Nicholl

 

 

 

 GOODREADS DESCRIPTION

Emma didn’t know how long he hid, silent and unmoving, in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered, salivating and drooling, between the two heavy dark oak doors, and watched, mesmerised, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the drab grey darkness of the night.

Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself floundering when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed at least five young women.

The greater the evil, the more deadly the game… How far would you go to save your life?

 

 

 

Hear Me Out….

 

 

Deaf man

 

 

This is one of my top audiobooks of the year so far. No one captures the twisted mind of serial killers quite like John Nicholl does. He puts you into the demented point of view of the killer throughout the story, which I think has certain benefits. You feel like you are literally there within the story seeing through the eyes of the killer. If you consider it, this is truly a remarkable skill to pull off effectively.

Another POV character was the victim, Emma, a young college student with a bright future ahead of her. In the midst of all of the dark things she endures by a sliver of hope. These kind of stories are always about hope, survival and justice.

It also brings you into the POV of the two primary detectives working the case. Clive Rankin and DI Gravel. We also get to see their quirks and personalities which I found very entertaining.

The only thing I didn’t like was the ending, but I can’t say more otherwise there’d be a huge spoiler.

 

 

 

AUDIO FORENSICS

 

 

listen to music (+clipping path, xxl)

 

 

 

Narrator Performance: 10/10

Of course you should know that I’m a Jake Urry fan by now. He does an phenomenal job of drawing you into the story. He does it so well you don’t even notice he’s narrating at all. I just felt ‘in the moment’. What else can you ask for?

 

Story Connection: 10/10

Like I’ve said before, Urry connects very well to the characters and story as a whole. You can tell when someone is just reading text without much emotional attachment.  This is important to me as a listener. This is difference between experienced narrators and other ones. If your connection to the story is impeded by the voice or skill of the narrator that’s never good. Since they have to act as the medium this is pretty critical. The book could be a classic, but if the narration is not gelling I can’t finish the book.

 

Voice Switch over: 10/10

This is another ninja-like quality that narrators possess. I’m still not sure how they manage to do it the entire story! It’s utterly amazing. I also relate this to the narrators ability to connect with story/characters. Jake Urry does it so well his voices totally sound like different people. Their idiosyncrasies, intonation, dialect, and gender are excellent. The switching back and forth in the midst of dialogue between characters was flawless. This made it more believable and drew me more into the story.

 

Sound quality: 10/10

Definitely professional. It would show if the sound quality was poor. Not the case here.

 

Emotional Resonance: 10/10

I was really drawn into the story at every turn. Emotionally invested to everything that was happening. Whether it was being repulsed by the killer, sorrow for the victim, or hope for the detectives. I was bummed when one of the characters died! Was surprised and a bit disappointed honestly. Not sure if Nicholl is penning another in the series, but I definitely  want more!

 

Overall:  10/10

Listen to it! Author John Nicholl is a very skilled writer. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

recommended vintage orange seal isolated on white

 

 

 

 

 

John Nicholl: Amazon | Audible | Goodreads | Website

 

Jake Urry:  Audible | Website | Twitter

 

 

 

Got Audiobooks?

 

 

 

 

audiobook-image-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

mtw-email-logo

 

 

Book Review: Winter of Wolves by Marc Rainer

winter-of-wolves

 

 

A Winter of Wolves (Jeff Trask Crime Drama #4)

 

Goodreads Description

 

Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask is summoned to a murder scene. A Park Police officer has been brutally murdered at the Lincoln Memorial. As Trask and a team of local and federal investigators try to find the killer, more police officers are murdered. While attending the funeral for one of these victims, Trask and his team find themselves in a firefight with a cell of radical Islamic terrorists. Disqualified because of his involvement at the scene at Arlington National Cemetery, Trask is reassigned to Washington D.C.’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, where he discovers that the firefight at Arlington was only part of a bigger and much more sinister plot to bomb that threatens the entire eastern seaboard.

 

 

 

My Rating

 

 

 

Awesome Gold Vintage Label

 

 

 

 

My Impressions…

 

I was immediately drawn into this story from the beginning with a heinous crime committed against the ambassador of San Salvador. From there, every line, jot and tittle unravels layer upon layer until you reach the end. the level of detail is not only remarkable, but entertaining and relevant to the storyline.

The distinct effect of this book, as well as the others in the Jeff Trask Crime drama, bear a particular flavor. Marc Rainer a former Federal prosecutor has a working knowledge of law enforcement personnel at every level. Including intelligence, FBI, CIA, investigators, counterterrorism, Washington D.C, U.S. Attorney relations, and Police forces. It’s like the old Prego commercial theme “It’s all in there”.

Having said all of that, the book carried a unique ‘flavor’ to it unlike others I’ve read. It has more realism within it’s pages but not a boring kind of realism. It was still fascinating and kept me turning the pages!

The author really does an excellent job portraying a sense of family among the main characters. They really appreciate one another, play offer each others strength, and truly work as a team. The heroism of Jeff Trask was more balanced within the team approach, which I believe,  had a nice impact.

Winter of Wolves had all the necessary ingredients  for an entertaining read, including humor. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

recommended vintage orange seal isolated on white

 

 

 

 

Marc Rainer

Goodreads | Website | Amazon

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

 

 

 

mtw-email-logo

Book Review: The World Beneath by Rebecca Cantrell

the-world-beneath

 

 

 

 

Introducing the Joe Tesla Thriller Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodreads Description

 

***Winner of International Thriller Writers’s Best Ebook Original Novel award!*** Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell drops you into a vast, dark world: 100 miles of living, breathing, tunnels that is the New York City underground. This subterranean labyrinth inhales three million bustling commuters every day. And every day, it breathes them all out again… except for one. Software millionaire Joe Tesla is set to ring the bell on Wall Street the morning his company goes public. On what should be the brightest day in his life, he is instead struck with severe agoraphobia. The sudden dread of the outside is so debilitating, he can’t leave his hotel at Grand Central Terminal, except to go underground. Bad luck for Joe, because in the tunnels lurk corpses and murderers, an underground Victorian mansion and a mysterious bricked-up 1940s presidential train car. Joe and his service dog, Edison, find themselves pursued by villains and police alike, their only salvation now is to unearth the mystery that started it all, a deadly, contagious madness on the brink of escaping The World Beneath.

 

 

 

 

review

 

 

 

 

***********

 

 

 

 

My Rating

stars-720213_960_720

 

 

 

 

You’re going to love Joe Tesla! A brilliant programmer and millionaire debilitated by agoraphobia, a gripping fear of crowds and public places. Throughout his journey to discover the truth about a hidden presidential train car hidden in the depths of New York’s tunnels, you’ll see his flaws and his strengths. Accompanied by his faithful dog Edison, they embark on a journey to discover the truth that might cost them their lives.

I found Joe to be a very compelling character. The mysterious settings and circumstances make this an intriguing adventure. I actually missed him when it was over! What more can you ask for?

 

  • Characters 10/10
  • Story 10/10
  • Settings 10/10
  • Mystery 10/10
  • Emotional Resonance 9/10
  • Antagonist 8/10
  • Resolution 10/10

 

Reading this book brought to mind the importance of creating great characters. Memorable characters. It wasn’t so much the action, or plotting per se, but it was Joe and Edison. A man and his dog confined to a myriad of hidden tunnels in New York City. You throw in a mystery with that and you have yourself a bestseller.

Joe Tesla stands for a certain group of people. People who have fears and weaknesses. Yet this man became a hero when it counted most. In the midst of life or death circumstances his brilliance in programming, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and will to survive are exemplary. That’s why I love Joe Tesla.

People are a combination of strength and weaknesses. Flawed virtues and quirky traits. But I found Joe’s character to rather refreshing and teeming with originality. Simple, yet resoundingly profound. Most of the ‘flawed’ characters we see today are very heavily flawed, troubled individuals. Those aren’t bad by any means, but maybe too much on the extreme side of things. Joe was certainly flawed but it seemed within reason.

Then you have his trusty companion, Edison. You can sense the love he has for his dog. Much more than a dog to him though. As he’s resigned by no fault of his to the dark tunnels beneath the city, he’s accompanied by no except Edision. Faithful Edision. What a team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

premium-quality-100

 

 

 

 

 

THANKS FOR RIDIN’ THE TRAIN!! DON’T BE A STRANGER!

 

 

 

 

 

train-a

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

mtw-email-logo

The Story of Author Anna Patrick

 

 

anne-patrick-image

 

 

 

WELCOME ANNA!

 

 

Here we are with another story to tell.

So who is Anna Patrick? Well, let’s find out.

 

 

 

 

welcome-3

 

 

 

 

So her story begins…

 

 

 

 

*Are you originally from Northern Virginia?

Yes, born in raised in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, outside of DC.

Ive never been to northern Virginia before. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

alice-in-wonderland

 

 

 

 

 

*What do you do currently in your occupation?

I’m a Communications Associate for The Kennedy Forum, a mental health advocacy non-profit founded by Patrick Kennedy – his book, A Common Struggle, is a great read if you haven’t checked it out yet!

 Nice. Thanks for the book recommendation!

 

 

 

 

“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”

 

 

 

 

 

*Did you have a childhood fascination with fairy tales? Tell us about it and your all time favorites.

I don’t think it’s so much fairy tales, but just darker stories in general. I loved Alice In Wonderland, of course, and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe. Not your average childhood reads, but I think I had such an idyllic childhood that the dark and edgy stories captured my interest.

 That makes sense. I’ve read some of Poe’s work, but now enough.

 

 

 

 

edgar-allan-poe

 

 

 

 

 

*What genre do you write?

Fiction. Leaning toward the magical surrealist side. I think the creative possibilities there are endless, and that intrigues me.

 Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

 

 

 

 

“Imagination is the reality of the dreamer.” -Scott Ringenback

 

 

 

 

 

*Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I read a quote recently that said something like look to your childhood passions to see where your life calling lies. I’ve always written, and I think when I reached an age where you start to question what you want to do, becoming an author seemed like a natural goal for me.

 I love that quote! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

passion-pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Where did you go to school? Major?

I went to Boston College and majored in Communications. I wrote Meditations In Wonderland there my last semester.

 Wow. That sounds like a major feat. Penning a novel in your last semester of college is remarkable. 

 

 

 

 

 

*What led you to write Meditations in Wonderland? Your premise looks pretty intriguing.

Thank you! I grew up loving Alice In Wonderland, and I was inspired by the dark tones it took on over the years as my generation grew with the story. From that landscape my story manifested itself in my mind over a few years, primarily starting when I studied abroad in London, saw Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript and visited Oxford, through to my senior year of college when I finally wrote it. It’s been called Pretty Little Liars meets Alice In Wonderland.”

 

Never been to Oxford, but Cambridge is beautiful. 

 

 

 

 

 

oxford-144181_960_720

 

 

 

 

 

*Would it be classified as a psychological thriller?

I can definitely see an argument for that. As a dark Alice In Wonderland retelling I think no one would dispute that. It definitely has a lot of thriller-esque scenes and notes of magical surrealism. And, of course, a little nonsense.

 It’s amazing to see what different authors are able to craft with their imagination. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

imagination-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Tell us a little about the main character.

Elizabeth is 24, and she lives in Brooklyn and works as an interior designer in the city. I think many people can relate to the themes she’s struggling with – confronting and acknowledging the darker sides of herself, struggling with mental static and getting lost in the noise. In a sense she has to reclaim herself after giving in to a pattern of self-destructive behavior. She meditates, falls down the rabbit hole, and the rest is history.

 

Wow. Makes me want to know more about her.

 

 

 

 

 

meditations-in-wonderland

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re a writer; so whats your story, or what inspired you?

I don’t think I can pinpoint a single moment when I decided that I would be a writer – I’ve always just written, and then I couldn’t separate myself from the act of writing, it always felt a part of me. I used to carry around a composition notebook in elementary school that housed my first “novel,” scribbled in mechanical pencil between classes and after school, and eventually I graduated to my MacBook in college on which I wrote the manuscript for Meditations In Wonderland my last semester at Boston College. In terms of inspiration, I just follow that internal whisper that compels me to return to the blank page time and time again.

 

Keep following that internal whisper. And when you don’t hear it, write anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

“In terms of inspiration, I just follow that internal whisper that compels me to return to the blank page time and time again.”-Anna Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?

Having my writing published has always been the “ultimate” goal for me, and I think many writers can relate to that, however I think a more realistic goal is just to keep writing, to keep the process alive. The hardest part about writing, in truth, is the act of sitting down to write in the first place. If I can cultivate and keep my writing practice going, that’s a goal in itself that I think leads to the more penultimate dream of having your work published.

YES. I love this. The more realistic goal is to keep writing. I struggle with having consistent writing time so I completely understand this. The ‘butt in chair’ is the only way. 

 

 

 

 

 

butt-in-chair

 

 

 

 

 

What 3 things have hindered you from completing your projects? (CONFLICT)

Timing, spaces, and disconnect. As for the first, why is it when you’re about to shut your eyes and fall asleep, warm under the covers, does your muse begin to speak? I think mine might be a sadist in that way. So the first conflict for me is the timing of writing, capturing what I need to capture often against difficult circumstances for doing so, like commuting, unplugging for a night’s sleep, or while on a run. As for the second, my writing practice benefits from having a clean, creative space to work in with minimal distractions from my “to do” list, which is probably why I wrote my first novel out of my home in a local Barnes & Noble. Last, disconnect is often a gatekeeper I grapple with. Either feeling disconnected from the story, from myself, from my creative process, or just from the voice that compels me to pick up where I left off. Some days you’re just not “feeling it,” so to speak, and I think writers can all commiserate there. The goal is to at least try to make sure two out of the three are at bay on any given day to try to make writing happen, and keep it cohesive!

The writing process is so mysterious to me. Not sure if you’ve read Anne Janzer’s book , The Writing Process, but I was greatly helped by it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

struggle

 

 

 

 

 

What keeps you motivated in achieving your dream? (DESIRE)

If the story needs to be told, I’ll continue to tell it. When I don’t feel that ache in my bones to keep writing, I’ll stop, but I still have that voice that refuses to stop whispering.

Stories are great and equally mysterious. 

 

 

 

What’s your ANTAGONIST? What’s in the way?

Aren’t all of the best antagonists just reflections of ourselves, or our greatest fears? The fear that any next novel wouldn’t live up to the first, or that those new daring stylistic choices won’t engage the reader the way we hoped they would – we all have our dragon at that gate. For me, it’s scales are green, shiny, and coated with that existential “if I finish this, I have to turn it over to the business side of things” doubts. Writing is the fun part, but I think it’s important to embrace every part of the process, even the parts that we might rather procrastinate in facing.

Well spoken. It’s always a constant battle. Let’s keep at it, shall we?

 

 

 

 

 

 

dont-give-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects?

I think leaving a project is a very personal choice, so the reasons could be many. The best reason is probably because the project no longer feels authentic, which I think is a noble reason to step away, and faced with the same reality I hope I have the courage to do the same if it frees me up for the better project waiting in the shadows!

Seeing the next project is always tempting!

 

 

 

What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?

Take your time away, if you need it, and return to it when you feel compelled, nagged, and eaten away to resume. Because then you’ll really enjoy it, and your reader will feel that, too.

For me, it’s a gut feeling. If I stop, then it returns begging to be written.

 

 

 

 

 

 

dont-quit-1564409_960_720

 

 

 

 

 

BONUS: What else do you have coming down the pike? 

I’ve been playing around with a sequel to my next novel, loosely based off of Through The Looking Glass, as Meditations In Wonderland was loosely based of Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.

 

Keep us posted on the release date! 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Anna!

 

 

 

 

 

 

meditations-in-wonderland

 

 

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for ridin’ the train!!

 

 

 

 

 

freight train

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be a stranger….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up for a reading challenge? Join the Book Hoarders Bucket List Reading Challenge  (Goodreads group here)

 

 

A Challenge for Book Hoarders Like Me at SallyAllenBooks.com

 

 

Don’t miss the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!! Check out Mystery Thriller Week on my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

 

 

Introducing Audio Forensics

listen to music (+clipping path, xxl)

 

 

I’m happy to announce a brand new series deemed Audio Forensics! It will exclusively be about audiobooks and everything related to them. News, reviews, interviews from the latest and the greatest. Some will go here and others will go to my other site at Mystery Thriller Week. I’ll mix it up and try to keep things interesting. It should be epic fun! There’s more interesting things I’d love to say about Audio Forensics but I’m much too pooped to say more. Another day I promise!

If you would like to do a guest post in relation to this drop me a line in the comment section. The more the merrier.

The growth of audiobooks has been steadily booming the last several years and bound to only get better. Time to give them some lovin’.  I listen to about two per week so this will be a nice outlet for what I’ve experienced.

 

 

So, on that note let us introduce my favorite audiobook of 2016. And the winner is….

 

Drumroll….

 

 

 

 

drumroll

 

 

 

 

 

CRYPTIC LINES

 

 

 

cryptic-lines-audiobook

 

 

 

Written by Richard Storry

Narrated by Jake Urry

Length: 4 hrs and 13 mins

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 03-16-16

Publisher: Richard Alan Storry

 

 

 

Goodreads

Set in a sprawling gothic mansion in a remote coastal location, somewhere in the British Isles, the elderly recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby is deciding what is to become of his vast fortune after his death. Whilst his head is telling him to leave nothing at all to his wastrel son, Matthew, his heart is speaking differently. After much deliberation, in a last-ditch attempt to try and show to his son the importance of applying himself to a task and staying with it to the end, he devises a series of enigmatic puzzles cunningly concealed within the lines of a poem – the cryptic lines. If he completes the task successfully and solves the puzzles he will inherit the entire estate; but if he fails he will receive nothing. However, from Lord Alfred’s Will it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mysterious old house holds many secrets, and nothing is as it first appears

 

 

 

 

My rating

 

 

 

 

Five golden stars isolated on white background

 

 

 

 

Performance: Narrated by Jake Urry

 

Jake had the perfect voice to go along with this story. Absolutely perfect. He has that creepy, eerie, mysteriousness to his of voice that really brings out the story to the fullest degree. His performance was off the charts in my estimation.

 

 

Story: by Richard Storry

 

This story was amazing! I honestly didn’t expect it to be as good as it was, but was pleasantly surprised. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire book. That’s probably what I enjoy most about it. The SUSPENSE was brilliant. The plot twists toward the end are even better. This one had it all. Out of all the audiobooks I’ve listened to this year, this one resonated with me the most.

 

 

 

Listen to an audio sample: Cryptic Lines

 

Have fun! Thanks for ridin’ the train folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

train-old-fashioned

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up for a challenge? Join the Book Hoarders Bucket List Reading Challenge  (Join the Goodreads group here)

 

 

A Challenge for Book Hoarders Like Me at SallyAllenBooks.com

 

 

Don’t miss the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!! Check out Mystery Thriller Week on my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

 

waving-by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com