Self-Publishing Podcast: Getting Paid for your Passion

SMILE IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY!!

 

 

 

tv APPLE

 

 

SPF podcast 75: Getting Paid for your Passion

 

 

 

 

What’s your story? Are you getting paid for your passion? Tell me in the comments!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

Mobile, Multimedia And An Audience Of Voracious Readers. Talking Wattpad With Ashleigh Gardner

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY!!

 

 

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Mobile, Multimedia And An Audience Of Voracious Readers. Talking Wattpad With Ashleigh Gardner

 

 

 

 

What do you think of Wattpad? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Exclusive Interview with Author Alexandria Szeman

 

Exclusive Concept.

 

 

 

Somebody get out the red carpet!

 

 

 

Red Carpet Festival Glamour Scene

 

 

 

Welcome Alexandria!

 

 

Alexandria Constantinova Szeman, Ph.D. is the auuthor of several critically acclaimed and award-winning books, including THE NEW YORK TIME BOOK REVIEW’s “Best Book” and Kafka Award Winner “for the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman,” THE KOMMANDANT’S MISTRESS. Her true crime memoir, M IS FOR MUNCHERS: THE SERIAL KILLERS NEXT DOOR, about surviving a serial killer, heals and empowers abuse victims.

Other award-winning books include LOVE IN THE TIME OF DINOSAURS, WHERE LIGHTNING STRIKES, NAKED WITH GLASSES, MASTERING POINT OF VIEW, LOVE IS A MANY ZOMBIED THING, MASTERING FICTION & POINT OF VIEW, among others.

 

Hmmm….Let us begin shall we?

 

 

How did you come to love literature and writing?
I’ve always loved books, ever since I can remember. When I was 6, I decided I wanted to be a writer. I fell in love with T.S. Eliot’s poems, then with Chaucer’s work (when I was 8), and with Shakespeare’s plays (age 12).  I just never thought of doing anything other than being a writer.

Wow, you had excellent taste at an early age!

 

 
What exactly is world literature?
When I was in college, most Literature majors studied only American and British literatures, unless they took advanced foreign language classes where they read the classics in their original tongue. When I was working on my PhD, it was in a department that called itself “English and Comparative Literatures.” We were encouraged to study the classics of the entire world, in addition to those in the American and British Lit canons. I really loved that approach, and when I taught University, I taught the World Literature class. I tried to include novels, stories, and poems from many different countries, by men and women, to make the students become more literate.

That approach is amazing. Sounds like it really broadens the literary mindset. Wish I had a course like that in college.

 

 

global image

 

 

 

 

 
What did you like most about teaching?
My students. They kept me young. With all their popular culture references, slang, clothing, hairstyles, music, and jokes, they forced me to be “hip.”

Love it. The teachers who care about their students are the best. 

 

 

Teacher

 

 

 
In your years of teaching what are some common problems that plague writers?
The most common problem new creative writers have is a lack of Urgency: what keeps the readers turning pages. They learn it quickly, though, even if it’s only urgency in plot. After that, the biggest problem for writers is not reading enough literature that is classic, non contemporary, or outside their preferred genre. That lack of reading shows up in their writing as poor or unimaginative plotting, weak character development, and stilted dialogue.

Oh, I love this. Food for thought for us newbies. 

 

 
How did you begin writing poetry?
I can’t even remember not writing poetry, though I’m sure my juvenile poetry was just atrocious. As I got older, I read more modern and contemporary poetry, like the work of T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Theodore Roethke, Walt Whitman, W.S. Merwin, Sharon Olds, etc. and my own work improved.

Wonderful, keep writing!

 

 

 

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” –Robert Frost

 

 
What is poetry to you?  
Poetry is like a photograph of a moment in a character’s life.
The characters could be completely imaginary ones, like those who came from unsuccessful short story attempts: Eddie Madison in the poem “Eddie Madison and the Theory of Evolution” or Auggie Vernon in “Auggie Vernon and the Eclipse.” The characters could be mythological, like Ulysses’ wife Penelope who relates her feelings after her husband returns to her after 20 years of wandering; or the characters could be biblical, like Cain, who rages against God’s injustice.
The most frequent character in my non-Holocaust poetry is the woman-poet persona, who is either the second or third wife, with children from her husband’s previous marriages: she feels isolated, alone, and unloved, despite now being part of a large family.
No matter who the characters in my poems, the poem is like a photo of their lives, frozen for a moment, but telling a definite story about them.
My short stories are like little videos, so they have more plot than my poems. My novels are like feature films or mini-series, so they have more complex plot, usually multiple perspectives, and often multiple Points of View.

I love seeing the answer to this question. Poetry is particular to each individual. 

 

 
If you had to write a poem to your younger self, what would you write?
I have to admit that I would never have thought of writing a poem to my younger self, even if that “younger self” was only a persona who appeared in my early poems. It took me over a year to write “While the Music Lasts”, if only because I hadn’t written anything in the Voice of the woman-poet persona in almost a decade.
I had a tremendously difficult time “hearing” that Voice again. After months of very bad drafts, I finally treated the poem and that Voice as I treat a novel which I’ve been away from for a while: I began re-reading Portrait of the Poet as a Woman, Part 2 of my book Love in the Time of
Dinosaurs, where that persona appears. I read that section over and over and over, trying to reach that Voice again. Eventually, that Voice came back, but then it took me another few months to get the poem itself right. The title was easy once I found the epigraph: it took me at least a month to find the epigraph (from a T.S. Eliot poem) that felt as if it fit the poem.
Here’s the poem to my younger self, “While the Music Lasts.”

 

 

 

While the Music Lasts

 

For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment… or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.

T.S. Eliot
Four Quartets: Dry Salvages
5: 598-604

 

to my younger self

 

Each night, standing in the hallway at the open
door of the bedroom, I see you lying in the
fading light, his arms around you, your head on his

chest, his lips against your hair, and I want to tell
you how he takes your words – wrapped in ribbons of poems –
and gives them away to others. I want to tell

you how his own words change depending on whether
his sons’ crying woke him in the night, on whether
his first wife called again to complain that you have

moved into her house, on the color of some strange
woman’s eyes in the village market when she looks
up at the sound of his deep, burring voice. Standing

there each night in the hallway, I want to tell you
that one day, when his children are grown, they will seek
you out because you gave them seeds to plant in their

own corner of the garden, because you chased them
through piles of brittle autumn leaves, because they told
you they hated you more than they hated the sound

of their mother’s weeping. And they will offer you
their own children. Because you helped them build a fort,
so very long ago, in the cold and bitter

snow. Standing there each night, watching you sleep, I want
to tell you that he will do worse than meeting your
best friend three afternoons a week at motels while

you make dinner for him and his sons. One day, he
will toss out your heart with the coffee grounds, wrapped in
yesterday’s newspaper. Standing there in the dark,

leaning over you in the deep dark night, I start
to tell you, to whisper you all these things, but the
chill of the night air, the chime of the clock in the

downstairs hall, the look on our face when you open
your eyes to gaze at him lying there beside you,
and once again my tongue stumbles and goes still. The

unbearable weight of your happiness steals all
my words and buries them deep underground in some
faraway place, some place not marked on any map

but the map of our own heart, some faraway place
where you will have to find these words and dig them up
yourself, one day, many years from now, on your own.

Alexandria Constantinova Szeman

 © Copyright 2017

 

 

“Poetry is like a photograph of a moment in a character’s life.”–Alexandria Szeman

 

 

 

 

100 percent quality

 

 

 
If your life were a metaphor, how would you describe it?
I survived the fire.

Love your spirit of survival here. Actually, you’ve done much more than that dear friend.  I wrote a poem. 

 

 

Life after the Flame

 

the fire consumed

but I survived its wake

for the ruin of flame

was powerless to take

my withering soul

laid bare

 

Nor ashes to ashes 

or dust to dust

could bury my will 

to live I must 

ascend within

the embers of the flame

 

the fire consumed

yet could not earn

the precious ether of life 

in turn but rather proved 

that hope can never burn

 

-Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

You not only survived. You lived, and you exceeded.

 

 

 

Hope. Inspirational quote typed on an old typewriter.

 

 

 
If you had to give a quote to the world, what would you say?

If you can imagine it, it can happen.

I love this one! According to Einstein, imagination is the true intelligence. 

 

If you had to give a quote to the next generation of young writers, what would you say?
Read everything you can, learn your craft well, and never, ever give up on yourself.

Amen to that! Love it.

 
What’s the best part of being creative?
As soon as most people hear that I’m a writer, they think I’m weird, and that keeps them guessing.

I got a kick out of this one 🙂

 

 

Thanks Alexandria!

 

 

Links

Blog & Website
The Alexandria Papers
Poetry
Love in the Time of Dinosaurs

 

Love in the Time of Dinosaurs (cover)

 

 
Where Lightning Strikes: Poems on The Holocaust

Where Lightning Strikes Poems on the Holocaust (cover)

 

 

 

Connect with Alexandria!

Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

ACS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for ridin’ the train folks. Don’t be a stranger!

 

 

 

black train

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

Determining the Genre of your Book

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS!

 

 

TV cartoon image

 

 

 

 

Determining the Genre of your Book

 

 

 

 

What genre are you writing? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

Books & Blurbs with LT Vargus and Tim McBain

Books & Blurbs!!

 

Open Old Book

 

 

 

Please Welcome Bestselling Authors LT Vargus & Tim Mcbain

 

 

 

LT Vargus Headshot

 

 

Authors of Awake in the Dark, Scattered and the Dead, and new Violet Darger series.

 

 

Her body is broken. Wrapped in plastic. Dumped on the side of the road. She is the first. There will be more.

 

 

Image in a Cracked Mirror LT Vargus                           Dead End Girl LT Vargus

 

A new thriller series following Special Agent Violet Darger.

 

 

 

business future uncertain?

 

 

1. What led you to write a serial killer thriller?

We’ve both always been fascinated by serial killers, both in fiction and non-fiction. I remember reading Red Dragon by Thomas Harris years ago and thinking, “Man, I wish I could write like that.”

2. What was your experience writing this genre compared to your other books?

Our first novel, Casting Shadows Everywhere, is basically a thriller. Since then, we’ve written an urban fantasy series, a post-apocalyptic series, and a slasher horror novel. So going back to a straight thriller felt a little like returning home.

 

3. Tell us about FBI agent Violet Darger.

She’s tough but damaged. Violet is hard-nosed and driven in her work, and sometimes that intensity is directed at the people around her and results in conflict.

 

 

FBI

 

 

 

4. Why did you decide Violet would be a rookie agent?

We wanted the first few books to sort of serve as Violet’s origin story, so starting at the beginning of her agent career just made sense.

 

 

 

rookie, 3D rendering, metal text

 

 

 

5. Do you know how many books will be in this series?

Right now we have solid plans for three full length novels, as well as a few novellas. But we intend this series to be open-ended and for each book to be a standalone that could be read out of order.

 

 

Connect with LT Vargus and Tim Mcbain

Amazon | Goodreads | LT Vargus | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

KING’S CAGE by Victoria Aveyard Official Book Trailer Red Queen Series

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY  TRAILERS!

 

 

Amazed couple watching tv at home

 

 

 

 

 

KING’S CAGE by Victoria Aveyard Official Book Trailer Red Queen Series

 

 

 

 

 

Kings Cage by Victoria Aveyard

 

Goodreads

Red Queen Series book #3 

 

 

Have you read King’s Cage yet? Are you a fan of the Red Queen series? Tell me in the comments!! I actually haven’t read them yet.

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Choosing the Point-of-View and Tense for Your Book

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS!!

 

 

 

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Choosing the Point-of-View and Tense for Your Book

 

 

 

 

 

What point of view do you enjoy the most? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.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

 

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS WITH SASHA ALSBERG

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY!!

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS WITH SASHA ALSBERG

 

 

 

Stylish retro TV. More TV in my portfolio.

 

 

BOOKALICIOUS BOOK HAUL!

 

 

 

 

What are you reading this month? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Changes In The Publishing Industry And Launching Non-Fiction Books With Dan Blank

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS!

 

 

 

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Changes In The Publishing Industry And Launching Non-Fiction Books With Dan Blank

 

 

 

 

 

What changes have you seen in the publishing industry? Tell me in the comments!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com