Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Interview With Author Thomas McRae

Today I have an interview for you with author Thomas McRae. He's here to talk to you about his writing and his new book, Pimp in the Pulpit Part 2. Enjoy.

Interview With Thomas McRae

Why don't you begin by sharing a little about yourself? 

My name is Thomas McRae and I'm a self-publishing author who has written numerous poetry books and short fiction novels as well. I am also a hard-working young man who is trying to save and buy a nice home for myself and my parents. I don't have any kids or wife but I do look forward to the day I have both just like my buddy Islam Martin who by the way is a phenomenal father, loving husband and a genuine true friend. I only hope when I do find that special lady in my life and we become husband and wife and have kids of our own I sincerely pray I'm half the man Martin is.

Could you tell us a little bit about your latest book?

My latest book is titled Pimp in the Pulpit Part 2 which is the sequel to the first. Both are fictional short novels inspired by my life and the lives of several friends of mine who was generous enough to share some stories about their own families as well. Both Pimp in the Pulpit 1 and 2 are samples of several stories from different sources blended together along with a splash of imagination and creativity.

Who is your intended readership?

My intended readers are anyone and everyone who can appreciate a good and entertaining book filled with drama comedy and suspense. I sincerely believe this book and the original one has all the trimmings in being turned into a Motion Picture film. I only need the right person to read it and see the vision that I see every time I read the books.

Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

The reason why I wrote this book is because I like telling stories that are entertaining and hilariously funny. What inspired me was when I was talking to a friend of mine and we both was sharing stories about each other's family. After that I started talking to other friends who had similar or more funnier stories than I. Which led to a vivid imagination and a uncomprehensible story that needed to be told.

What advice would you give a new writer?

The first piece of advice I would give a new writer  is to be patient and focus because your blessing is coming your way. My second piece of advice would be don't allow anyone to discourage you because everyone has a talent and no one has the right to kill a dream or break a soul. And last but not least always give it your all because life is too short to have doubts or regrets.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

I enjoyed a great deal first I really like writing things down and rereading it out loud. So I could get a feel of what was going on with the characters and the lives they portrayed and wanted to be. I also enjoyed just being in my own personal headspace living in my own little fantasy bubble and building a story that was not only sincerely entertaining and funny but extremely well said.

What did you hope to accomplish by publishing your book?

My main objective was to expand my horizons and branch out. Most people see me as Thomas the poet which is fine, there is nothing wrong with that but truth be told there is so much more about me I want people to see. And that is why I'm working hard to promote my short fiction novels and any and every book I write from this point on.

What's your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to review?

I have so many book projects in the back burner but I'm sincerely leaning towards putting out my newest poetry book I've been working on and its title is fatal impact. Which is going to be a combination of love poems, spiritual poems, personal poems and even a couple of Street Anthem poems. The point of this project is to push myself into a much more deeper and more profound level in regards of my poetry writing. I'm quite certain most people will enjoy this book especially if they keep an open mind.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

My greatest challenge as a writer is mostly promoting and marketing myself and trying to get as much exposure as possible. That is one of the tough parts about being a self-published author. But on the plus side you reap the benefits of being independent and self-sufficient at the very least you control what happens with your book and your marketing and you don't have to answer to anyone.

Thomas McRae is an accomplished  poet and author who has written numerous poetry books and short fiction novels. He has been writing since the early 2000s.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Fireside Chat with Travis from the Hell Bent series

Today I have a treat with another Fireside Chat. Our fictional interviewer, Richard Dale, sits down with Travis from the Hell Bent graphic novel series by K Matt. Enjoy!

Fireside Chat with Travis

“Welcome everyone, to another Fireside Chat. I’m Richard Dale, your host. Today, our guest is the genetically enhanced human Travis. Welcome Travis.” Richard Dale holds out a hand in greeting.

Travis’ tail twitches, and he’s clearly appreciative of being considered a human. He reaches forward to shake Richard’s hand. “Hey, thanks for having me here,” he replies with a grin.

“Why don’t we begin with some details of your life. Exactly who is Travis and how did you end up embroiled in genetic experimentation?”

He chuckles slightly at that. “Who am I, you ask…Ask some people from around Hell Bent, they probably know me as ‘that one guy at the comic shop with the tail’. Restaurants see me as a damn good customer. But how would I describe myself?” He shrugs. “I guess I’m just kind of a genetic freak. I dunno. As for how experimentation came into play…well, my sister and I grew up in kind of a shitty home, and I got us both thrown out. See, one of the things we have to deal with back in my hometown is being experimented on if you’re, say, a criminal or a runaway. But lucky for us, we were picked up by this one scientist that sort of adopted us. She had a few things to prove, and we agreed to help her out with it. Fast forward to…” He gestured to himself.

Richard Dale smiles. “So, what are your feelings now towards the genetic DNA experiments you participated in? What are the advantages, or disadvantages, to in essence being part monkey?”

Travis thinks on that one, his finger-like toes flexing a little. “The ones mom did weren’t too bad at all. She did sort of warn Gemmy and I both about some minor discomfort. And I love having the tail and opposable toes. Ooh, and part of the experimentation involved a regenerative factor. I was an X-Men fan as a kid, and always thought that power was kinda cool. On the downside, I tend to get, like, REALLY hungry after I heal from something. The other huge downside of the healing ability is that everyone seems to want to find out how it works. They don’t always ask permission, and when they do, they don’t seem to take no for an answer. But the good points of the experimentation in general? Increased agility, for sure. Plus, it’s kinda nice to know that if I break a leg or something, I’ll be fine in a few hours.”

Fascinating. And what of the difficult situations you’ve found yourself in? I believe you’ve experienced violent run-ins with a serial killer and a maladjusted mage. Do you feel your life has been cursed, or unfair? And how have you dealt with these terrible experiences?”

He cringes at the thought of THEM again. “…You do NOT want to get me started on Jesse or McManus,” he grumbles. “There are a lot of good points about my life, but sometimes I do have to wonder if I’m cursed. As for dealing with this shit? I have the best support system, like, ever. I also tend to stress eat from time to time. But my girlfriend is psychic and has helped me go into my mind to deal with whatever’s going on in there. So it’s thanks to my family I’m not as much of a wreck as I probably should be.” 

"A psychic girlfriend? That must be challenging at times." Richard taps the arm of his chair with a finger. “Tell me about your childhood, your relationship with your father? I know it was troubled. Have you resolved your feelings in regard to that relationship? Any lingering issues?”

Travis’ eye twitches, and his tail begins to follow suit. “Walter…yeah, I’ve always hated that guy. When I found out that making your kid sleep on a closet floor wasn’t normal, that made it even worse. You wanna know how my sister and I got kicked out? It happened when I throat-punched that son of a bitch. Yeah…our childhood wasn’t exactly great. We got put under house arrest for three years for going to a friend’s house. I’d like to say I resolved my feelings, but I really haven’t and am just glad to have gotten out.”

Interesting.” Richard smiles again. “Let’s try a lighter note. What do you like to do for fun?”

Relieved to be on a subject that does not involve his issues with his father, the half-monkey brightens up. “Well, I love comics. So it’s a good thing that the one place that offered to hire me is a comic shop. I also like spending time with my friends and family, spending time with my girlfriend Ivy…OOH, movies. Also like watching those. Especially terrible ones! And then there’s food. I generally like eating.”

“I see. Now for a little introspection. In your own opinion, what is your best trait? Your worst?”

Travis taps his chin for a moment. “Like, physical or psychological? Because if it’s physical, that’d be my hair. Psychological…probably the fact that I don’t believe in giving up. Like, ever. Worst would be either my way-too-big nose and…well, I do kinda have some degree of self-loathing sometimes, where I start thinking that Walter was right about me…”

A sudden interruption of clinking cups and the jingling of bells halts the conversation, as a distinguished gentleman enters the room carrying a festooned tea tray.

Ah, I believe it’s time for some refreshment. And I see you put a bit of holiday cheer on the tray.” Richard frowns slightly. He turns toward Travis. “This is our indispensible butler, Jenkins.” Richard Dale nods at the butler. “Jenkins, our guest Travis.”

Travis offers a small wave to Jenkins, his tail flicking a bit.

“A pleasure, sir, to make your acquaintance. In honour of the season, I’ve prepared some hot chocolate, and cookies fresh from the oven. Would you care for a cup and a bite to eat?” Jenkins sets the tray down and waits.

The half-monkey’s green eyes light up as he notices the hot chocolate and cookies. “Yes, I would, thanks,” he said with a grin. He was something of a chocoholic.

No tea?” Richard stares at the silver pot and sighs.“I’ll suppose I’ll try a cup of chocolate. And a cookie.”

Jenkins pours two cups, serves both men, before retreating back to the adjoining room.

Richard Dale takes a sip of his hot chocolate, a surprised but pleased look on his face, and asks, “Have you ever done something in your past you are ashamed of or deeply regret, that you would undo if you could? Also, what one act in your past are you most proud of?”

Travis scratches the back of his head with a foot, both hands being occupied for now. “Flunking out of college is a big one for me,” he says. “And so was that failure to save a couple of kids from Jesse. I’d promised to protect them, but…” He shivers, taking a swig of hot chocolate to calm himself down. “I don’t wanna think about what she did to them… Now, what I’m proud of? Umm…that might be when I punched Walter. He had it coming, and it got my sister and I out of there. Had we been forced to stay with him, I have no idea if either of us would be alive right now.”

Richard takes another sip from his cup. “Who would you consider your best friend? And who would be your worst enemy?

“Ah, that’s an easy one!” says Travis with a grin. “That’d be Spencer. We’ve been buddies since we were in Kindergarten. He went on to marry my sister, and we all live together now. Spence has always been there for me. Well…except for those three years we couldn’t leave the house. Or that time that he and I got into a fight. But when my first girlfriend dumped me? He took time off from his studies to spend time with me.
“As for my worst enemy…that’s hard to say, really. On the one hand, there’s Walter. He made life Hell for a number of years. But then there’s also McManus…y’know how much it sucks to be called an abomination right to your face? Hm…I’d have to say it’s probably Jesse. She’s done more to me and the people I care about than the others.”

You do seem to be easy-going and friendly, not a loner. Would you consider yourself someone likeable? Do you value friendship and loyalty?

He chuckles a little. “Not sure if I’d be considered likeable or not. I wouldn’t be opposed, of course! And as for friendship and loyalty, hell YEAH, I value those! Seriously, if it weren’t for my friends and loved ones, I’d have cracked a long time ago. So if you guys are seen this…love you all!”

Ah, interesting. Now for the final question, where do you see yourself headed in life? What are your goals, things you want to achieve?”

Travis runs his hands through his long red hair. “I don’t really try to think too much about the future. See, the regeneration thing’s kinda made me start thinking I might be immortal, and I keep thinking of what’d happen if I outlive everyone I care about… But goals? I just want my family to be safe, happy, and as un-traumatized as possible.”

Richard Dale leans forward, holding out a hand. “Thank you, Travis, for agreeing to this interview. It has been delightful.”

Travis shakes his hand once more, smiling. “Thanks for taking the time to interview me,”

You can find Travis and the Hell Bent series at the author's Amazon page or Facebook page

About the Author

K. Matt is a graduate of Philadelphia, PA's University of the Arts. Her interests in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, comics, and anime have inspired her to both write and illustrate her own work. 
The books in the Hell Bent series are a combination of prose and graphic novels, and tend to be a mixture of (somewhat soft) sci-fi, urban fantasy, and horror. It is something of a pet project for her, a pet that she feeds with time, and that feeds on her sleep. 

Her artwork can be found at

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Book Spotlight: Even Gods Have Midlife Crises

Today I have a Christmas treat with a book spotlight for the sci-fi satire, Even Gods Have Midlife Crises by N.D. Stone. Enjoy!

Even Gods Have Midlife Crises by N.D. Stone

All Yahweh wanted was a striptease, a sandwich and admiration. All he got was a near-death experience, a pious follower called Anna, and a prissy lawyer trying to sue him. When Buddha, Odin, Thor, Krishna and Hephaestus, Yahweh's divine colleagues, catch wind of his illegal voyage back to Earth, the adventures of him and Anna become dangerous. How long can he risk the safety of not only Anna, but all of London in his quest to relive his youth? Are crisps the currency of the future? Why are gods so unbearably hungry for power, and will Buddha satisfy his hunger for doughnuts, the forbidden fruit of modern Prâwth, the home of the gods?

Never before have gods seemed so utterly human. A light-hearted and whimsical science fiction satire.

Even Gods Have Midlife Crises is available at:

About the Author

N.D. Stone is a young novelist, "Even Gods Have Midlife Crises" being his debut work. Although he has been writing novels since even before he himself was able to write (his mother was not a fan of his trashy vampire fiction), Stone started writing his first serious novel in early 2014. Stone has also dabbled in Stand-Up Comedy and Slam Poetry, but, above anything else, he loves writing satire novels.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Interview With Historical/Steampunk Author Kyle Newton

Today I have an interview with author Kyle Newton who writes two of my favourite genres, steampunk and historical. Enjoy.

Interview With Kyle Newton

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself?

Greetings, my name is Kyle Newton. I grew up in a very small blue-collar town nestled in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. My mother bred my creativity by watching Star Trek and reading Tolkien, so it didn’t take long for my interest in writing sci-fi/fantasy to bud and blossom. I indie-published my own series, “The Penny Punkers Series,” as well as having been published in several magazines such as Bete Noire. My first book to hit #3 in steampunk was “Revolution’s Reign,” a novella that came as a short story challenge from my magnificent girlfriend. Now, I write novellas about historical fiction for teens and young adults.

How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

I have been writing most of my life if you include all the time I preferred writing poetry in school rather than doing math or science (Although still important, I just found myself lost in poetry). I’ve indie-published 3 soft-covered books and 6 ebooks. “The Penny Punker Series” take up the majority of my publishings, which is a fictitious steampunk universe I created. Then there’s “Revolution’s Reign”, which is a standalone historical fiction.

Of all the books you've written, do you have a favourite?

I’d have to say my current favorite is, “Revolution’s Reign.” Having to find that sweet balance of historical accuracy, peppered with fiction so the plot still makes sense, really helped push my limits and helped me grow as a writer.

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

For “Revolution’s Reign,” I’d say my favorite character is Annie Oakley. She might not show up until later in the story, but I find her time in it to be very unexpected and full of energy. I think I reflected on more of her determination and dedication than anything else for her character. And the fact I was able to find a place for her at all made me very happy.

Why did you decide to write in the steampunk genre?

I’ve always loved the Victorian era and found myself studying different aspects of it throughout my life. And I mean it, I even did a school report about the popular clothing and what they saw as “mainstream.” I guess my love for Tolkien’s fantasy world and my fascination for the Victorian lifestyle kind of fused together one day and thus, “Revolution’s Reign,” came to be.

What is the hardest part of writing historical fiction?

First, I want to say I absolutely LOVE writing historical fiction, but the same reason I obsess about it is the same reason it frustrates me. The amusement comes from having a “bare bones” story already laid out for you. It’s then up to you to decide how much escapism you want in your story. “Revolution’s Reign” definitely holds a lot of creative licensing, but then you can find the “Dear America” books and discover there’s very little fiction in them. I find these two are good comparisons for showing how wide the spectrum of historical fiction is. It’s that amount of freedom that really makes it fun for me, testing my balance of captivating creativity and historical accuracy.

What do you enjoy most about writing in the steampunk genre?

Similar to historical fiction, steampunk has a thin line of “must haves,” and the rest is really up to you. What makes steampunk so beautiful is that it doesn’t take much to establish its presence, it all depends on how you add it to your book that makes it a worthwhile genre. Like in “Revolution’s Reign,” I may reference larger economical changes to establish a different Victorian/colonial age, but their rifles and boats are the only distinct changes the reader really interacts with. I also love hearing from readers and getting opinions through reviews, that way, I can keep elevating my steampunk game for them. No matter what, I always add a flavor of steampunk to my writings, so reader input is crucial to me.

You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?

Steampunk is easily my favorite. It’s always fun for me to add a wild west heroine, or an eloquent Victorian villain into the mix. I read a lot of historical fiction when I entered Junior High School and didn’t really stop since then. That’s what drew me to studying history, by learning how much of the book was made up and how much of it was real. My first two publications were for historical magazines, focusing on warfare. From there, I got published in Bete Noire’s magazine with my short story, “Wulver of the Highlands,” which was my first crack at historical fantasy. From there, I found adding steampunk elements to be a bit more interesting and more my style. Not long after that, “Revolution’s Reign,” was published. A month later, it hit #3 in its steampunk genre and #1 in Dieselpunk.

Who is your intended readership?

Since “Revolution’s Reign,”  I’m noticing more teenagers and young adults picking up my books. Which, I really enjoy. My interest in being a writer started around the sixth grade, but the small blue collar town I grew up in made flourishing artistically almost impossible. I hope my books can reach other teenagers to show them that if you have a passion and stick to it, you can get out and make a name for yourself.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I recently got in touch with the Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire and got to write a mystery book for them involving the train station. It was a fascinating challenge because I’ve never written in this genre before. It proved to have its own story arc-issues I never anticipated due to the unfamiliar structure of building a mystery. It’ll be the first one out before Christmas. Around that time, I am going to have another colonial fiction novella out for my teen and YA readers. The last two years I’ve been trying to get my books published in between school semesters, that way students can have something to relax with around those initial days of new classes and the stress that comes with getting used to the schedule.

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