The Journey of Princess TIA (Author Interview)




What inspired you when writing The Journey of Princess Tia?
Two things inspired me.

1: My journey through hardship in life. Coming from a very wealthy, powerful family, and meeting the almost perfect Prince (ex-husband to be) and having a dreamy family to losing it all one day was very difficult life task for me to face. Thus, a small white mouse in the storybook helps me to find my way back home to the castle, and that is my current status… help with a higher calling.

2: I’ve been working with the special needs for several years in the unified school district system and I wanted to give back something special to the kids, and my book was perfect!

Can you tell us a little about Tia?
My background story can be clearly viewed at:
https://ourlifelogs.com/2019/02/19/once-there-was-a-princess/

How did you come up with the story in The Journey of Princess Tia?
It is inspired by my real walk of life…

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing The Journey of Princess Tia?
The Rhyming part and how to make the story easier for kids to understand was challenging,

What do you like to do when not writing?
I love to sing! I’ve got an album out!

Where can readers find out more about your work?
tiaspage.com instagram.com/tiaspage facebook.com/tiasjournal

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The Manifestation Formula (Author Interview)






The Manifestation Formula looks like a great philosophical and metaphysical book.  What will readers get out of your book?

I believe readers will find a new and practical technique that will help them successfully achieve their goals by managing their thoughts, choices and actions. The category of self-help, self-improvement, positive thinking and the law of attraction programs is immense. The conventional practices recommend techniques for people to use to help transform their thoughts into successful outcomes, whether it’s obtaining something specific like financial security or a lifestyle or wellness goal.
 When  I became interested in the self-help category, as I was facing some personal challenges, the first and most popular concept I discovered is the law of attraction. I got enthusiastic about the promises about how I could achieve my goals. But like many other people, I discovered that while most of the programs had great and positive advice, they never really worked for me, and did not connect at a level of common sense and believability.
My background is in communications and behavioral research. I  worked for 50 years identifying how information influences people, how we learn and how we pursue our interests. I decided to apply my professional research experience in answering a single question — how do I transform my ideas and thoughts into successful outcomes?
I discovered two things:
First, most everything I read or listened to was based on centuries of wisdom, but there was never a convincing explanation of how the programs actually worked and how I could adapt them to the way I learn and do things.
 Second, there was one fundamental concept that was present in almost all advice, but never explained; the secret to manifestation success was to be positive “most of the time” - to have a positive outlook, to maintain my belief in the success of my goals. But no one could explain what I felt was the central point – if I had to have positive thoughts most of the time, what did most of the time mean? If I had any negative thoughts, was I doomed to fail?

I did my research, I interviewed people, I read and reread dozens of books and blogs, and I reassessed people I’ve known and worked with. I also analyzed what many people in public life have said about their secrets of success, and it also was very consistent. I organized all the information into a targeted concept of how we can successfully transform our thoughts into successful goals. It is a very simple formula and is based on the basic math of the universe that describes the statistical probability of everything that occurs. The bottom line is that we do have to control our thoughts. And the formula is simply a mechanism to ensure we have a specific balance between our positive thoughts to our negative thoughts, to ensure that we are not overwhelmed, disappointed and discouraged by our doubts, uncertainty and fears which drive our choices, emotions, and actions.

How long did it take you to write The Manifestation Formula?
It’s a two-part answer to how long it took me to write the book.
First, I’ve always been interested in philosophy and many aspects of metaphysics, and my research profession used many of the principles of communications, influences, and human behavior. So, the personal and professional foundation for my book is 50+ years.
The catalyst for the book was about 15 years ago. Someone recommended a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Manifest Your Destiny. I was going through my own challenges and I was looking for ideas about how I could psych myself up to be positive, productive, and believe I could achieve my goals.
In the Dyer book, I discovered that he gave full credit to the thousands of years of philosophical teachings about the power of our thoughts and our connections to some broader universal energy or intelligence. I didn’t know that I had always been a practitioner of metaphysics philosophies, but that book started me on a personal quest to find a formula worked for me. As I noted, I never did find a book, a writer or teaching that turned me into a full believer. Thus, I started my own research to find a method that would work for me. And the proof is that once I discovered the formula for managing positive thinking with a simple feedback process, I was able to proceed successfully. For the Manifestation Formula, I had notes going back many years, and once I started writing, it took me about 6 to 8 months to create the first draft.

Within two years, I wrote three books, was asked to do radio interviews, joined an organization as Director of Personal Transformation — so I manifested my goals of transforming my interests and postretirement career into this new field of personal transformation programs.

While writing The Manifestation Formula book, I realized that there was one more missing piece to bring the book to life. I’ve read a lot of books, but a book alone may not be enough to help you reach your manifestation goal. I also needed a way to put the concepts into practice and to get immediate feedback about how I was doing. So, I created a mini-course, with a workbook that covers the principal recommendations for the reader to use, and one other critical tool, the Thoughts Scorecard. The scorecard is a simple way to keep track on a regular basis of how you are thinking about your goals and to track your levels of positive and negative thoughts so you know how you are progressing to reach the necessary level of positive thoughts and enter the successful manifestation zone.


What inspired you when writing The Manifestation Formula?   

Even before I started writing the book, I was always fascinated and inspired when I would hear other people, primarily celebrities, who were asked about the secret to their success - how did they achieve their goals in entertainment, business, sports or academics or science? By far, the most common answer was that the celebrity said that someone in their life told them that they could achieve anything they wanted, they could be anything they set their mind out to do, and anything was possible if the really wanted it.  Many of these high achievers had some positive mentoring and support, and they also had a clear focus for what they wanted to achieve and remained incredibly persistent until they achieved their goal.

Why did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve been a writer all my life. I enjoyed literature and writing in school, in business I’ve written thousands of reports, business plans, proposals. And I have always read extensively.  I like the idea of being able to identify concepts in my mind and transfer them to a written format that clarifies the concept, and we can share these ideas with others. I’ve learned so much from reading thousands of books over the years, just as someone might watch a sports figure or entertainer and aspire to similar achievements. In my case, I was in love with great writing, and I wanted to find out if I could pursue an interest in writing that was not mandatory as it was in my business but as a way to express my own creative ideas.

How did you come up with the ideas in The Manifestation Formula?

I mentioned that I'd read hundreds, maybe thousands of books, blogs, listened to webinars and so on. But I still never found that single fundamental concept that explained how I could manage my ideas and thoughts and transform them into a successful outcome. At the same time, I’ve been interested in many popular science developments, and particularly quantum physics. As many people now know, quantum physics investigates how things work at the most fundamental level in the universe. There are many variations of the quantum theories, but fundamental principles seem to be universally recognized -the most fundamental level of everything in existence is in the form of energy which contains information about its nature. Everything in existence is composed of the same energy, which can be combined and organized in an infinite number of ways to create everything that we know. What I discovered, as many people have over the past nearly 100 years, is that some of the earliest philosophers and scientists, going back to the Greeks and Chinese, intuitively understood that there was a connection between our human nature and consciousness, and inner energy and emotions, that is part of and connected to something in the universe. We are all part of one continuous field of consciousness or energy. Even though we may not have the ability to measure or prove every metaphysical concept, over the centuries, many of ancient observations about human thoughts, consciousness have eventually been proven true by traditional science.
As Nobel Prize physicist Leon Lederman said, “to believe something while knowing it cannot be proved (yet) is the essence of physics.”

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing The Manifestation Formula?

There were endless obvious challenges that are common to most writers, but only one is worth mentioning. I had an idea, I was doing the research, I was writing the book, but the persistent challenge was to really believe in what I was doing. Was I pursuing a hypothesis or a fantasy? Would I be able to prove my method by actually practicing it and manifesting my goals?  So, my research and writing for The Manifestation Formula was both a project and a very personal effort to use the techniques I was writing about in order to achieve my goals.

Where can readers find out more about your work?
My website is being updated, but it’s still available and has the book information and more. It’s at:


or

The book is also on Amazon, both print and kindle.



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I Am Rahab: A Novel (Trilogy Box Set) (Author Interview)



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083N7LVLQ


I Am Rahab looks like a great coming of age trilogy.  Can you tell us a little about the main character Rahab?

Rahab Auguste is a sweet and innocent young girl from Louisiana who happens to be a part of a dysfunctional family hiding dark secrets. When Rahab loses her grandmother, she's abruptly removed from the comforts of home and embarks on a journey down a path she never saw coming, with a mother she never knew. Thrown into the heart of the ghetto and forced to carry her family's burdens, Rahab must learn how to hustle for a living. Her soul cries for freedom. Ultimately, she has to decide either to continue dancing with the devil she knows, or take a leap of faith into the unknown.
           

How long did it take you to write I Am Rahab?

Five years, I wrote it while caring for my mother.


What inspired you when writing I Am Rahab

The characters came to life while I was writing. They entertained me and kept me from focusing on the fact that my mother's life was slipping away. The thought of creating a world where I could hide from this one provoked me to write as long as I did. The characters kept me company up until the very end.  My mother passed away but left me with a series to share with the world.


Why did you decide to become a writer?

Writing chose me. I'm shy/quiet so I have a lot to say.


What do you like to do when not writing?

I bake cakes. I'm a baker by trade. Owning a bakery is definitely on my bucket list of things to do.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

All of my work is available on Amazon and via social media and my website www.authorjcmiller.com




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Dying to Meet Jesus (Author Interview)





Dying to Meet Jesus is an interesting personal journey.  Can you tell us a little about your accident?

I was returning from a long flight, and to relax after the journey I went bicycling along the ocean in San Diego. When I returned home, my calf began swelling and there was a dull ache and heaviness as though I was lifting a large brick whenever I walked. I continued doing my daily routine, planning for a long awaited vacation with my family after months of stress having lost two jobs due to layoffs and the failure of a biotech business I had started. I had been offered a great position with the largest healthcare company in the world, and things were looking up. But, the swelling and pain walking continued. Not wanting to interrupt our vacation, I decided to see an orthopedic physician thinking the calf pain was a muscle strain from exercise. Instead of giving me an anti-inflammatory prescription, the doctor rushed me to the ER at the nearest hospital. By the time an ultrasound, blood tests, and CT Scan were completed, it was discovered that there were six large blood clots obstructing my pulmonary artery, the main airway to the lungs. I was suffocating to death. The nurse told me that I was a “dead man walking.” Most people in my condition die. I was immediately placed on anticoagulants and a breathing apparatus. I continued gasping for air. The doctor came into my room to draw blood, but he could not draw any blood from my veins. An infection had set in through my intravenous line causing infection throughout my body, and compounding the blood clotting, causing blood clotting throughout my body. I started convulsing from septic shock and being depriving of oxygen. That is when I passed out, and my heart stopped for approximately thirty minutes.     
           

What will readers get out of Dying to Meet Jesus?

I pray they will draw closer to God through a deeper understanding of His love. During my NDE, I met Jesus face to face, and that experience overwhelmed me with the consuming presence of Jesus Christ. He was Love; unlike anyone I had ever met. Also, I hope that readers will understand why suffering exists, and how God uses our brokenness. I know that is a huge question for most people – “Why does God allow suffering?” I use my stories as well as many other stories to illuminate how God helps us to overcome pain and suffering to ultimately experience joy, and a deeper relationship with God. I can certainly testify that God and heaven are real, since I have been there. Ultimately, I would hope that readers will feel closer to God, and immensely loved by God.


What inspired you when writing Dying to Meet Jesus?   

I had interviewed on GodTV. The host/interviewer had been the pastor of a church I attended, and he knew about my NDE. During the interview he asked me about my NDE on air, before an worldwide audience up to 300 million people. I cried. Just remembering my time with Jesus took me to a place of being completely overwhelmed with Christ’s love and wonder. On the flight back, I remember staring at my peanuts on the tray, wanting to tuck my experience with Jesus back into my own personal space and memory, but knowing that the ‘cat was out of the bag,’ almost 14 years after my NDE. I then distinctly understood God’s Holy Spirit speaking to me, telling me to write a book. So I began writing, just as I had done for major publications and for my self-help books in the past. Only this time I felt that God wanted me to share not my successes, but my failures. Moreover, He wanted me to share about our special time together in heaven. I resisted at first, but eventually started writing Dying to Meet Jesus.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I started writing while a student at Northwestern University, and wrote some articles for the Chicago Tribune. Then my writing turned to marketing promotions with Procter & Gamble, and then I freelanced some articles to various publications while working in marketing and sales for some medical device and pharmaceutical companies, like Johnson & Johnson. I’ve written several business articles in publications like Forbes. I wrote my first book several years ago, and then published a fiction book to test a different genre. Most of my books are in the business or self-help category, like The 22 Most Important Things, Daily Keys to Success, and The Power to Thrive. Dying to Meet Jesus is my first Christian book based on several true stories, such as my near-death-experience, my daughter’s struggles, and stories of extreme hardship that others have experienced. Dying to Meet Jesus is the most significant publication I have ever produced, because it gets to the heart of God’s love, and attempts to answer the question as to why God allows suffering in this world.


When writing Dying to Meet Jesus did anything stand out as particularly challenging?

Oh yes! I did not want to share my NDE with anyone outside of my wife and less than a handful of people, because it was too personal, and I did not want my experience with Jesus in heaven to be trivialized. Since writing Dying to Meet Jesus and meeting other NDE survivors, I have learned that many if not most have witnessed similar characteristics of heaven. Those who have met Jesus oftentimes become very emotional, because meeting Jesus is all-consuming, and unlike any other personal relationship in this life. I even tear-up thinking about it. The absolute conviction of God’s love, and the feeling that Christ was completely focused on me was extraordinary. I found it difficult to explain, but many of the experiences in heaven defy any comparison to this world. And, trying to answer the question of why a loving God would permit suffering was at times daunting, but I think the book points the way to a solution focused on drawing nearer to God.    


What do you like to do when not writing?

I enjoy time with family, teaching, and exercising as a way of countering the damage that was done to my organs and vascular system from my NDE. My favorite time is time spent with my Lord, Savior, and Friend, Jesus Christ. Our alone times together are especially close since meeting Him, and there is nothing…absolutely nothing in this world that compares to times spent with the Author of Love.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

I have an author page at randykayauthor.com, and a Facebook page for Randy Kay Author and Dying to Meet Jesus. The book can be found at any of the major outlets. I just wanted to mention that during the book launch period, we have been donating a book to charities for each book ordered. For example, we are donating Dying to Meet Jesus books to our military service men and women, and to Bridge of Hope, which supplies food, clothing, and other essentials to those facing extreme hardships. That was our way of practicing the commandment of loving our neighbors. Thanks for listening and for your interest. God bless you and yours!





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The Erotic Diary of Isabelle (Author Interview)




The Erotic Diary of Isabelle looks like a great start to a new erotic thriller series. How many books do you plan for the series?

The plan was to bring this character to life and make the readers decide how they felt about her. I would like to think Isabelle survives for another three books to make it to the end of the year but who knows?        


How long did it take you to write The Erotic Diary of Isabelle and how far along is book two?

The process, concepts and mechanics have been in the works for several years, but the book only took around a month to put together. The next book isn’t a sequel but is an alternative character’s book which exists within the same continuity, that book is a few weeks away from being complete.  


What inspired you when writing The Erotic Diary of Isabelle?   

It was actually a mixture of things, one was the way people like to consume social media daily; the challenge for me was if I could find it possible to capture that peering into somebody else’s life in a novel. With my interests lying predominately within erotic cinema and literature, people may be surprised to discover that it was a TV series and a Hollywood film franchise that most inspired me to create the book in this style. ‘The Affair’ was a tv series I felt sparked something inside me, especially with the unique idea that two people could retell the same story but recall the events so differently. The Hollywood Franchise was the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was drawn to the idea that films could be written in the same continuity sparking discussion with communities, with people speculating on what they thought might happen in future movies. 

Why did you decide to become a writer? 

I wanted to share stories with characters that people resonated with. I wanted my characters to come alive in a unique way we haven’t seen others do. I think if you’re serious about doing such things you have to write.

How did you come up with the story in The Erotic Diary of Isabelle?

I wanted the reader to discover most things at the same time as our protagonist, so having the main character starting fresh in a new city was ideal. It proved to be a simple way of creating compelling content without forcing the narrative of providing constant relationship statuses on friends and family. 


Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing The Erotic Diary of Isabelle?
The most challenging thing was keeping the continuity in tack of the other books. The one thing I wanted to do is create a book where people felt compelled to read the other books to gain another perspective or even clarity on what could be going on. If the continuity wasn’t challenging enough, each book character is also co-written.


What do you like to do when not writing?

Spending time with my partner and family; reading and watching erotic world cinema (movies like Antares, Blue is the Warmest colour, Dogtooth, etc).


Where can readers find out more about your work?
The two best places are my author page on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B083BZ715M and Youtube where I have plenty of quality free content updated daily https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKGfu2YfJSE__m_QBrV-6gA






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Still Standing (Author Interview)




Still Standing looks like a great motivational and take-charge kind of book.  What type of readers did you write the book for?
           
I wrote this book for everyone who has been abused as a child, suffered or is still suffering from depression, and those who are contemplating and have contemplated suicide. I was a victim of sexual abuse at 12 years old and it left me severely depressed and suicidal. I often felt like no one understood me or what I was feeling and thinking. So I wrote this book for people to have someone that they could relate to. I wanted to help people the way I wanted to be helped. I also wanted people to know that no matter what they’ve gone through that life can and will get better and I’d show them how from my own life experience. I wrote this book for those people who wanted to take back control of their lives, who were sick and tired of being victims and wanted to become the victors and winners of the game of life.

How long did it take you to write Still Standing?

Wow! It took a few months to write it because I had to take breaks. As I was writing it I had moments where I just broke down and cried just reliving the experiences. I would start a paragraph and had to stop midway through because of the deep pain of the memories. I’ve written several books before that took me less than a month. This book took me about four months to write.

Why did you decide to become a writer?

Reading and writing has always been a big part of my life. I’ve always felt like being a writer was my calling. But I decided in 2018 to take it seriously because I was miserable at the job I had. I think a big motivation for me was my life partner who encouraged me to follow my dreams and publish my first book. I had actually written a book and sat on it for about two years until one day we were talking. I told her I had written a book but I wasn’t confident enough to publish it. I let her read it and she insisted that I publish it. I owe a great deal of my career as a writer to her.

What sets your book apart from other self-help books?

I think what sets my books apart from others is that I’ve actually experienced what I’m writing about. This book isn’t just theory, it’s real life experience. I’ve actually been a victim of sexual abuse. I actually attempted suicide twice. Once by slitting my left wrist with a butcher knife, which I still have the scar to prove it. The other with an attempted overdose. But all of that aside, I actually overcame the depression and suicidal thoughts and was not only able to turn my life completely around, I was and am able to help other people do the same thing for themselves. I take great pride in being able to do that.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Still Standing?

Yes! The book starts with the loss of my father. It was so hard having to write that chapter. I cried like a baby. There was a lot of emotions that came up that I didn’t realize were there. When my father died I tried to bury those emotions and move on. As I was writing the book all of those emotions came back and it was extremely difficult. Another challenge was writing him a letter in the book as if I he were still alive. I cried and cried and cried some more. That was probably the toughest chapter to write. The last challenge was addressing my uncle who was responsible for abusing me. I felt lots of pain and anger. I never really addressed those emotions until I wrote the book. So working my way through those feelings was hard.

What do you like to do when not writing?

When I’m not writing I love to be outdoors and doing yoga. Yoga has become a big part of my life because it helped me through the depression and pain that I’ve experienced growing up. I also enjoy helping other people that have experienced similar trauma. I’m a good listener so I enjoy listening to people and helping them through their struggles.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

My books are available on Amazon. They can find them easily just by typing my name in the search bar, Slim Sir. They can also go to my website, SlimSir.com. Thank you so much for this opportunity! I hope this interview and my book will be of service and value to everyone in need.

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The Meaning of Life (Author Interview)




The Meaning of Life looks like a great guide to finding purpose in life.  Who is your target market for the book?  

Honestly, the audience is anyone as curious as I was about how life works.  It’s particularly useful for anyone who is lost, confused, looking for something more, or lacking direction in life, but anyone who is genuinely interested in what science can tell us about humanity’s sense of purpose will love it.  Most importantly, people who want answers to life’s big questions but don’t want the author imposing his own ideas of what the “right” way to live is will appreciate this material.

How did you come up with the ideas and concepts in the book?
           
I studied human behavior, psychology, philosophy, and related fields for decades trying to understand it all.  When I started noticing patterns across both philosophical texts and psychological studies as to how people find meaning and purpose, I knew I had stumbled upon something that everyone would want to know about: an ultimate formula for a meaningful life.  It was very important to me, though, that all my concepts were understood scientifically and had practical guidance so that people could apply them.

What will readers get out of your book?

If they are lacking a sense of meaning in their lives, they will have identified a list of growth areas to pursue and built a complete plan to get started.  This is where this book differs from other personal development books, which usually start assuming you have already identified a desired outcome and they give you a formula that worked for the author.  Those books tell readers how to approach a goal that they have; this book tells you how to figure out what that goal should be for you—without dictating what that goal should be in any way.

What inspired you when writing The Meaning of Life?   

Oh, man.  So many things—the writing and editing took almost seven years!  I needed constant inspiration.  My first and foremost inspiration was my colleague and mentor, Jitendra Subramanyam.  He encouraged me to take a shot at writing the book—after I explained it to him.  Early in writing, I was motivated by the great insights from the work I reviewed to prepare my points and the not-so-great recommendations from people who didn’t bother explaining why they might apply to someone.  The fallacies being pushed around motivated me to not refute them—though that was tempting—but rather to provide a better answer for people.  During editing, I was worried if I could do the topic justice and really help people.  When I’d watch people like Daryl Davis and Cassie Jaye put themselves out there and face the blowback that comes with speaking the truth and doing the right thing, I was reminded that anyone can make a difference.

When did you decide to become a writer?

September 2009.  I’ll never forget because I bought a MacBook Pro with the justification that I’d use it to write a book.  Unfortunately, the first outline I wrote, while not wrong, was just another book criticizing other people’s ideas and not putting forth a good alternative.  I told myself that I wasn’t going to just be another voice railing against bad ideas but that I was going to think of the best way to articulate good ideas.  When I figured it out around 2013, I knew that I had just decided to become the writer of The Meaning of Life.

When writing The Meaning of Life did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  

Interestingly enough, I was able to draw up a structure for the book in just days: chapter title, quotes, key principles, essay section, questions, exercises, outcome.  It was the essay section that was the challenge.  I found that just jotting down my string of thoughts got me going, and then I could come back and remember everything I missed when I read it.  I rewrote that section of each chapter completely about two to four times.  Trying to write about ethics without recommending specific ethics was the most difficult part.  I also had to remove any passages that were overly harsh toward other philosophies or too sarcastic for the written word.  My natural temptation to use figures of speech and make jokes when I talk had to be suppressed constantly while writing on such a serious, intimate topic.

What do you like to do when not writing?

I spend most of my days advising executives on their toughest challenges.  Outside of that and writing, I like movies, TV shows, video games, books, and exercise.  I like non-fiction material about psychology and human behavior, and I like psychological thrillers or anything that makes you think differently about the world.  It’s kind of an obsession, if you can’t tell.  Finally, I love to eat.  My favorite cuisines would have to be Italian, East Asian (e.g., Chinese/Thai), Mexican, American, and Indian.  The theme across those is that they all have delicious starches and sauces.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

I have a site, yourmeaninginlife.com, along with the usual social media pages and author pages:

Social Media Pages:

Book Pages:

Author Pages:

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Death Comes in through the Kitchen (Author Interview)




Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana and now lives in New Mexico. She has published ten novels (six in Spanish and four in English) and three collections of short stories. Her first culinary mystery Death Comes in through the Kitchen (Soho Crime, 2018) is set in Havana and features Padrino, a santero-detective. Her second mystery, Queen of Bones, was also published by Soho Crime in November 2019 and includes elements of Santeria and the Chinese presence in Havana.
Death Comes in through the Kitchen looks like a great mystery and crime thriller.  How many books are planned for the series?
Soho Crime’s Havana Mystery series has four books—up to now. Death Comes in through the Kitchen was followed by Queen of Bones, which is fresh out the oven (November 2019). It has some of the same characters, like Lieutenant Marlene Martinez and Padrino, the santero-detective that solves the case in the first novel. The other two will be released in 2020. Death of a Telenovela Star (June 2020) features again Marlene Martinez—the story takes place mostly on a cruise ship, not in Havana, though. The fourth is Death under the Perseids, which happens both aboard a cruise ship and in Havana.
Is each book standalone or do they need to be read in order?
They all are standalone but if you read them in order, you’ll see how the characters evolve. For example, Marlene Martinez goes from a National Revolutionary Police lieutenant in Havana in the first two books to the owner of a bakery called La Bakeria Cubana in Miami in the third and fourth novels.
There are thousands of mystery novels released every year. What makes yours unique?
My books, besides being mysteries, are Cuba travelogues. Born and raised in the island (I lived there thirty years) I can offer my English-language readers an insider’s perspective, from accurate descriptions of paladares (private restaurants) to the way casas particulares (private accommodations similar to B&Bs) operate. You’ll get a good picture of contemporary Cuba after reading any of my novels. Let me be your guide!
Why did you decide to become a writer?
Both my parents were avid readers so books were part of my life since childhood. Since I was what you would call “a nerd” (rata de biblioteca, library rat in Spanish) the transition from reader to writer was smooth and almost inevitable. I don’t remember a particular moment when I decided to be a writer, but even as a teenager I was writing short stories and enjoying the process.
How did you come up with the story in Death Comes in through the Kitchen?
It all started when my mom, who still lives in Cuba, asked me to preserve my grandma’s recipes in a cookbook. I told her no way, I am not a good cook—you can ask my husband. At her insistence, I ended up including the recipes in a novel I was working on. It was about an American journalist who goes to Cuba to marry a younger woman, based on a real-life case. I then added a bit of death and drama and the result was “a culinary mystery,” a term I didn’t even know back then.
You mean readers can actually follow your recipes and cook Cuban dishes?
Absolutely! They will learn how to make arroz con pollo (rice and chicken with all the ingredients cooked together, paella-style), picadillo (ground beef with raisins), a kind of stew known as caldosa, desserts like tocinillo (like a flan, but yummier) and many more.
Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Death Comes in through the Kitchen?
I ate way too much in the process. I made all the recipes prior to their inclusion in the book and gained several pounds before it was over. But my husband was very happy! His favorite dish turned out to be the caldosa because it has different kinds of meat and lots of vegetables—un poquito de todo, a little bit of everything.
What do you like to do when not writing?
I have a fulltime job at New Mexico Junior College where I teach Spanish and ESL. My husband and I love to go on cruises, which inspired Death of a Telenovela Star and Death under the Perseids. The shenanigans that go on aboard a cruise ship can provide plenty of material for several books.
Where can readers find out more about your work?

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Rising Petals (Author Interview)




Rising Petals looks like a wonderful collection of poems.  What type of reader did you write the book for?

We are busy with our day-to-day compulsions. We are anxious and fearful about our future. On the other hand, we romance with our remote past - a time of our choice and a form of our choosing. But we are not sure about our present and often miss it too. The book tries to describe our world - its inner and outer - its anxieties and fear, and springs a seed of hope. It’s all about our present. This book is for anybody who wants to get some reprieve from the cat-race, and seeks peace and solace.          


How long did it take you to write Rising Petals?

Though the majority ones are very recent, some poems are from different periods of my life. In fact, I wrote one poem among those when I was in school.

What inspired you when writing Rising Petals?   

My inspirations have been people, events, objects and nature around me. Dawn to dusk, day to night, land to sea, bells to noise, tramps to elites, places and phenomena - all have inspired me in each line and in each verse of the book. I have described my understanding and feeling in my note at the start of the book, and hopefully, this will inspire the readers to wade through the poems.

Any additional poem books in the works?

I am working on a historical fiction though I plan for my next poem book in the coming months.

How did you come up with the poems in Rising Petals?

These are my reflections, my thoughts wrapped in verses. While emotion and empathy cannot be quantified, readers will be able to match the poems with their stories of life from different perspectives. The poems in the books are organised in the alphabetic order; in fact, my wife had suggested to me for this when I decided to go for the publication.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Rising Petals?

Taking the titles from my book, I may describe. Life is a journey in a zoo. At the same time, it’s about creating a story that goes beyond any game. The feeble query about our welfare and renewal may look like a mirage or an anomaly. The hope or desire is like an Indian having coffee in an yacht in an evening while a kiss throwing a pebble and a few trinkets in a blink. We aspire for an X which can be a victory with noise saving our legacy from being unwanted - an offer difficult to ignore. And then, rising petals slowly move away making me alone to stand, struggle and hum!

What do you like to do when not writing?

When I don’t sit to write, I learn from books, people around me, from my work, nature and our history - basically prepare myself to write something.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

My website ashwinirath.com is the place where readers may track the news and updates on my writings and other activities.


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The Power of Prioritization (Author Interview)






The Power of Prioritization looks like a great motivational and take-charge kind of book.  What type of readers did you write the book for?
-I wrote this book for individuals who want to do more with their lives and improve their situation with focus and persistent actions.            

How long did it take you to write The Power of Prioritization?
-It took me about 6 and a half weeks of drafting. editing, researching and revising.

What inspired you when writing The Power of Prioritization?   
-I was mostly inspired by my own desire to achieve more in life and in business. I have so many hustles and activities I do on a day to day basis that I knew that sometimes I needed to Prioritize instead of always trying to do everything at once.

-In addition, I was also greatly inspired by my father who passed. He was so revered by his peers and one of my main goals in life is to be as loved and respected as he was. He was a professor, consultant, businessman and more. Regardless of all that he still made time to watch tv shows with us, show us classic music, take us to basketball games on weekends, and take us to workout early in the mornings before school. I always admired his time management skills and how he would prioritize us in his busy everyday life.

How did you come up with the ideas in The Power of Prioritization?
-So I came up with the ideas in The Power of Prioritization by reading other self help gurus and authors. One of my biggest inspiration from ideas for this book came from Daymond John he’s the author of Power of Broke and is most famous for being a judge on the show Sharktank. In his book that I picked up called Rise and Grind he breaks down his processes for his days and how he could quantify his activity to grow his brand to become the legendary FUBU which was one of the most popular streetwear brands in the 90s and black owned.

In addition, I also took into consideration my own experiences such as how in basketball & lifting you must prioritize certain skills and muscles everyday. You don’t just lift chest every single day and you do not just go in and work on right hand dribble moves every single day. You must prioritize certain skills each and every day or workout in order to be a more complete player.

Just like how in business you cannot spend all day making calls. You must also spend some time to do input information for applications, file paperwork; create time to go to lunch with potential clients, doing work related research, and pursue professional development.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing The Power of Prioritization?

-One challenge I had was deciding exactly how much detail and specific info I wanted to put into the book. This is because too specific info might not translate so well for many readers but I also did not want to make my ideas too broad to almost seem like common sense and a waste of time.
So in summary I did not want to cut out an audience but at the same time wanted to make sure almost any individual from any profession or walk of life could take something from the book.

Why did you decide to become a writer?
-I decided to become a writer because I like to convey my thoughts in a meaningful way as to help the next individual navigate issues or ideas that I might have come across/have been thinking about.

What do you like to do when not writing?
-When I’m not writing I enjoy running basketball workouts for youth through my training organization EZ Buckets Basketball. In addition to offering top notch skill work I also teach the kids about college and take them to college visits, college basketball games, we do video breakdowns of our games and professional development such as our Leadership & Success Camp in partnership with RAYA Foundation.

-I also greatly enjoy helping people with their finances and putting their mind at ease by knowing exactly what money will be coming from where during retirement, diversifying their portfolios, creating income saving strategies and just getting their financial homes in order.

Where can readers find out more about your work?
-Readers can find out more about my work on Amazon!

Typing in Joshua Jogwe on amazon books and they will be taken to my author page where they can find more info on myself in addition to my 1st book I wrote as well.



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DICTATES OF THE HEART (Author Interview)




Dictates of the Heart looks like a great coming of age story.  How many books do you plan for the series?  
Currently, I am working on the second installment of the series. It should be available for release by February/March of 2020. There will be three books in the series.

How did you come up with the story in Dictates of the Heart?  
The story evolved as I developed the characters and the plot, but the idea came from my own experiences growing up in Nigeria in West Africa. I wanted the share with the world, the joys of growing up in that side of the world. I also wanted to dispel some of the misconceptions that usually accompany ideas about Africa and show people the glamorous side of Nigeria, while also exploring the lives of the common people in juxtaposition with the wealthy.

What will readers get out of your book?
I want my readers to be entertained while also gaining a deeper insight about what it is like to grow up in West Africa.

What inspired you when writing Dictates of the Heart?  
I was inspired by vibrance and the richness of the Nigerian culture and I based some of my characters and the plot from that aspect.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I have always wanted to write all my life, and I was always commended for my writing style by all of my teachers at various stages in my life.

When writing Dictates of the Heart did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  
It was always challenging writing the book, especially since I had very limited time, but plenty of ideas. I often wrote through the night into the next day and would go work without any sleep and then come home for a repeat of the same. I also had a bit of a problem coming up with the title since I started writing the book without a title. But as the book took shape, the title also emerged.

What do you like to do when not writing?
I love to dance and take long walks to stay in shape. I also love singing in my church choir and to spend time with my family.

Where can readers find out more about your work?
My website will soon be available as well.

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Daydreams and Midnight Realities (Author Interview)





Daydreams and Midnight Realities looks like a fantastic collection of short stories and poems.  What type of poems and stories does the writing include?  
Daydreams and Midnight Realities include short stories – fiction and non-fiction, and poems on love and loss. The book also has a collection of Haikus. The stories and poems are loosely based on self-experience with a fictitious end.

The book has a unique name.  Can you tell us a little about it?  
I named the book with personal experiences, what I wanted my day to feel like or what I dreamt of during the day about my life, and how everything seemed so clear and frightful amid the darkness at night, the reality that it isn’t. Daydreams and Midnight Realities, sheds light on my dreams and realities, very hard to distinguish yet they exist, in my mind and in front of me.

What will readers get out of your book?
That we all share at least one experience that’s common, a feeling that most of us cannot put in words, a word of encouragement here and there. The words, they resonate differently with every person and I just hope they make a difference in some way or another. If they do, I think I’ve achieved something and for me that’s worth it.

What inspired you when writing Daydreams and Midnight Realities?
Love and absence of it. When I found love, the love I had found had already found love, in someone else. The sheer strength it took to delve into it headfirst with no net to catch me and coming out in one piece, leaves a scar and I am still healing from it. I’d say the unrequited part played a lot of role in me deciding to share a story with a fictitious end to every chapter, except for some. That’s what you do when you can’t get yourself to talk about it, you write.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I have been writing for over a decade now. I started out as an Urdu poet, then moved towards English poetry steadily. I had sheer interest in poetry since my school days and I just decided to pursue it.

When writing Daydreams and Midnight Realities did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  
Finishing the book was a challenging task. I had motivation, there was this publication house that I signed up with, it was still a paid publication but they were supposed to take care of everything for the writers and things just crashed with them eventually. The publishing house shut down and I was left with a lot of debt back then. Going through that and finding that strength again to complete the book and put it out took a lot from me. This book was supposed to be out in 2017. But hey, I was able to finish it and get it out.   

What do you like to do when not writing?
I like to read, travel and have a keen interest in photography. But when you have bills to pay, you don’t always get to do the things you like. So, I try to give them time whenever possible and however much I can.

Where can readers find out more about your work?
Readers can find more of my work on:
Facebook page: The Fickle Poet
Instagram: @theficklepoet
Twitter: @theficklepoet


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The Spookoholic (Author Interview)




The Spookoholic looks like a great scary thriller.  Any plans to turn it into a series?  
Answer:
Thank you. Yes, it’s surely a thrill ride of suspense with lots of ghosts and wacky, entertaining episodes at every turn. The feedback has been exceptional so far. And yes again, The Spookoholic is a series. Let me see if I could get you a feel of the Spookoholic here…
Surya, also known as the Spookoholic, is an Indian film director with a truckload of crazy traits to his character. He is fun loving, witty and has a habit of pulling off pranks on people around even in the midst of the deadliest of situations. What’s really special about him is, that apart from being a good hearted spiritual being, Surya is gifted with strange powers. For starters, he terrifies ghosts.
The Spookoholic has visited the mysterious ancient Indian city of Kanchi in 2017, in his first book. And he is back after 2 years, now in Mexico City. The Spookoholic: Demonic Whispers is the second installment in the series of The Spookoholic.
               
What will readers get out of your book?
An exalted inner feeling of Light, Love and positivity by the time the reader reaches the end. And a high dose of suspense, adrenaline rush, twists and scary ghosts that face their rudest nightmare called the Spookoholic. The book promises thorough entertainment in a super quick page-turner that would not leave you drained but instead bestow upon the reader, certain deep feelings of trust and tranquility, oddly, in a book filled with a battle of wits with horrific evil and myriad kinds of ghosts.

What inspired you when writing The Spookoholic?   
I am a meditator. Had been on the path since my childhood and I practice Kundalini Yoga, Mantra Yoga and as such.
I am also a kind of a misfit. I never think straight. My thinking has always been found to be wacky or weird.
And I had been into radio and visual media for long, churning out lots of creative humor all the time.
With this combination as a backdrop, one day I had a sudden flash of inspiration. We are all terrified of the ghosts. What if there is someone who terrifies them?
With that thought, and with some knowledge in spiritual practices and ancient most history, I came up with a nail biting thread of thought for The Spookoholic: Kanchi that was eventually released in 2017.
As for this one, the sequel, I honestly believe that I had been inspired by higher spiritual beings of the universe. There is a process called Mother Earth’s Ascension that’s now happening on this planet; a major, major change for humanity. And I guess, the idea and the unrelenting flow to write this book have come from higher Light sources that are fighting the dark entities. I am not kidding; I strongly feel the ongoing process.
And more so, I finished writing the novel in just 20 days, my own personal record. It wouldn’t have happened without the influence of the compassionate Gurus for a purpose, of course.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I wrote a screenplay a few years back, intending to sell it to Indian film producers. Marketing is not exactly my area of expertise and so the script began gathering dust. Inspired by my close friend one day, out of the blues, I felt I could write a novel out of that screenplay. I had only written short stories and published them in magazines at that time. Writing a novel was just unthinkable, but somehow, I was ready with it in less than a year, by December 2017. Once I published The Spookoholic: Kanchi, I understood that now no one could stop me, not even me J
Since 2.5 years, that’s June 2017 till end of 2019, I published 9 books and 6 of them are novels.  2 more novels are yet to be published and I am betting my life upon bringing one more to my readers, before the end of this year, 2019.

When writing The Spookoholic did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  
Any day, writing a sequel is very challenging. Challenging because at every turn, you tend to compare it with the original.
And with The Spookoholic, the original is a classic as far as my work is concerned. It took me 2 years to break the block and figure out a screenplay for the sequel… 2 years of constant inner struggle and thousands of wasted thoughts and efforts on the computer.
Honestly, the very fact that I did come up with a concept, finished giving the plot a shape and ended up writing the novel with 90% satisfaction was nothing short of a miracle for me.
Actually, I had taken a vow for forty days last month, in November. I practiced certain austerities, performed rituals and stuff that were accompanied by a total inner cleansing with controlled diet. And this might surely have been the reason for me to become a channel for the work to flow through me. Gratitude.

What do you like to do when not writing?
I am into a lot of things. Actually, just too many things. My personality does not let me endure the routine or sticking to just one thing, I guess J
I act in YouTube fiction videos,
I host a LIVE show for Nuke Radio every evening,
I am slightly busy as a voiceover artist too, working in my personal studio,
I compose and sing for my Neo Kirtan albums,
I do Tarot readings for clients and
on occasion I do public training workshops.
My daily routine includes spiritual practices and meditation in the morning and evening.
And I catch up with almost every movie that’s released in town on weekends, with my family.
I watch very less television, just about 15 minutes a day, while I eat. No news channels for me, I watch English movies on HBO and others.
What I had not been doing for years now, is giving stage performances.

Where can readers find out more about your work?
My website has some interesting stuff. Be it free eBooks, sneak peaks into my work, updates of my upcoming novels, intriguing information about occult, and psychological aspects in my blog as also occasional contests… It’s all there on the site.


Also, please check out The Spookoholic: Demonic Whispers here:

Bit.ly/Spookoholic2

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