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All posts for the month January, 2014

Interview with Author Patrick James Ryan!

Published January 31, 2014 by glgiles

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“Patrick Ryan grew up in Columbus, Ohio and started writing after graduating from college with a Bachelors Degree in Communications and Marketing. After marrying Molly and living vicariously through the sports and activities of their children ~ Colleen, Michael and Patrick ~ while balancing work in the financial services industry, Patrick recently reignited his writing passion in earnest cranking out Blood Verse in a little over a year while working on two novels and a second short story collection at present. An avid sports and music fan, Patrick enjoys Football, Basketball, Baseball, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and hard rock. In addition to writing, Patrick is a voracious reader, taking in an eclectic swath of fiction and non-fiction across many genres, with horror being a favorite. A practitioner of martial arts for over 25 years, he holds a second degree black belt and is a huge fan of Bruce Lee” (downwarden.com/blackbedsheetstore/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=81_139).

 

 

GL:  How many of your short stories are included in “Blood Verse?” And, which ones were the most difficult to write. And, why?

PR:  Blood Verse contains fourteen short stories varying in length from 3 – 45 pages and thirteen short verse poems averaging a couple of pages each. While each of the stories are designed to be thrillers that disturb and hook the reader with an element of horror and suspense, there were several story ideas that were challenging to navigate from idea to completion.

For example, “Pain and the Boxer” tugged at my emotions on a couple of fronts as the story premise was a personal favorite of my father’s prior to his death. It remained incomplete for several years and, after he died, I wrote it with a passion and dedication unequaled in anything else I have composed to date. “Pain and the Boxer” is also somewhat autobiographical as I have been involved in athletics and martial arts most of my life and have had my share of annoying injuries. On one such occasion after smacking my elbow badly with Nunchucks flying around with them at a maniacal speed, I was so exasperated with the injury I fantasized what it would be like to conjure up pain as a physical entity to battle with and the crazy story idea of “Pain and the Boxer” was born.

            One of the most controversial stories in Blood Verse is “Road Rage Bigot.” It was difficult to write because I wanted to take on prejudice and bigotry head on in the context of a horror story. My desire was to create an utterly obnoxious character that basically hated and resented everything that was not a straight W.A.S.P., while at the same time weaving in empathy for the character. Not an easy task! It was challenging adopting viewpoints of racial, gender and social bigotry to an extreme without alienating or offending my audience. Imagine Archie Bunker on steroids, but much more repugnant as a protagonist in a story. Not a terrific way to build audience support for the character! Suffice it to say when my Bigot goes to Hell and locks horns with Lucifer he has a chance at redemption, and I’d like to think the audience is rooting for him at that point!

            I deliberately took a few risks with a couple of stories by challenging popular norms and trends. In “Veteran of the Craft” I sought to trace the origin of vampirism ~ (not sure if any other writer has tried to tackle that? A challenge in and of itself!) ~ back to its beginning with the oldest, most powerful and vicious Vampire on earth who takes contemporary romantic Vampire lore as a personal affront, and sets out to make a point that punctuates the horror associated with Vampirism. I wrote this knowing many readers are enamored with current slants on the subject, which is fine, and they may not like my nasty, nefarious Vampire in lieu of what they are accustomed to! I think it was a risk worth taking based on feedback thus far! 

            In “Spelling Bee” I took another risk and made a statement on the country’s infatuation with Reality TV. Blending this infatuation with a futuristic extension of the economic woes we all see every evening on the Nightly News, I used a standard American Academic Hallmark and twisted it into a reality show harkening back to the days of Gladiatorial Rome with the mob zeal for a bloody reality spectacle. So far, my readers love it!       

GL:  Speaking of readers, do you have more than one target audience?

 

PR:  At the risk of being overly idealistic, I think a well written story with empathetic characters that a reader can relate to, and a fast paced plot that makes the reader want to keep flipping the pages to see what happens next, can transcend genre. Obviously, the main theme of the Blood Verse collection focuses on the horror/suspense/thriller genre, but there are elements of irony, subtle satire, a dose of humor occasionally, and certainly settings with ordinary people in normal everyday situations placed in extraordinary circumstances that I hope a mass audience will enjoy!

GL:  Has your book had much media coverage yet?

 

PR:  My publisher, Nicholas Grabowsky, at Black Bed Sheet Books (Go Black Bed Sheet Books!!! Yeah!) does a terrific job getting authors on the popular Radio Blog Show ~ Francy & Friends that boasts an audience of 300,000 listeners. I’ve appeared three times on the show and had the opportunity to promote Blood Verse. Additionally, the book has been promoted on the Black Bed Sheet Books affiliate, Black Hamster TV ~ a web television show featuring Black Bed Sheet Book authors and other matters pertaining to the horror genre. I also have several pending reviews that I hope to receive by the end of the first quarter 2014. I am certainly open to other avenues of media coverage. Any takers? LOL!

GL:  LOL! And, I had the good fortune of meeting Nicholas in person at World Horror Con. in New Orleans last year. Are you attending any conventions in 2014? If so, then which ones?

 

PR:  I would love to attend some of the book and media conventions in 2014 if I can overcome the challenge of balancing day job demands and commitments with my alter ego writing passion schedule. I will be working with Nick Grabowsky on tailoring the best forums for appearances and promotions.

GL:  Hopefully I’ll see you at one soon. Switching gears, how have you created narrative tension in your stories? Please give examples.

PR:  Narrative tension is a key ingredient to spin a successful yarn, especially in a short story where you need to get from point A to point B in a condensed fashion, as opposed to a novel. It is common in horror sometimes to substitute sheer gore and shock for the reader in lieu of real tension. However, use of gore just for the sake of gore is vacuous. I do feel that in order to craft a good horror story you must be very descriptive about things that readers find disturbing or scary, and there is a time and place to be graphic. I honestly tried to use both gore and narrative tension in Blood Verse, and I would like to think that narrative tension has been successfully employed in all of the stories! Horror has a special place in creating narrative tension because the subject matter itself is intrinsically fraught with tension! I do believe, however, that the more the tension is prolonged, the better you will hook your reader.

 

In Road Kill for example, my character is placed in a horrible situation where he crashes his car on a desolate highway, is thrown into the brush with fractured legs in a barren southwestern topography too far from the road. He is immobile and contending with injuries when he passes out. The baying of the first vulture wakes him up from unconsciousness an hour later. The reader knows something horrible is going to happen, but I make them wait as the character ponders his options as the menacing threat grows with the arrival or more vultures laying in wait like a vigil. By the time the cataclysmic battle ensues, the reader is more than hooked! 

In Elevator the reader knows early on the setting is an outpatient psychiatric clinic. As four patients with incompatible phobias get trapped on an elevator, their thoughts looking back and forth at each other build tension as a foreshadowing of something terrible that is about to happen. By the time those thoughts turn to words and ultimately actions, the reader should be squirming. When the situation explodes, the reader will be appalled at the action. Just when you think it over, the reader is thrown a curve ball with an unexpected ending that will reveal a deeper evil than previously described.  

            In the Milkman Cometh, I introduce an eminent scientist who is ruined by jealous and self-serving colleagues, and reduced to a homeless vagabond. The audience feels huge empathy for the man as the tension mounts with all the terrible things that have happened to him before I pull the rug out from under the reader!

GL:  Where can readers go to connect with you and your work? (social networking sites, etc.)

PR:  I can be found at the Black Bed Sheet Book Store below and on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and several foreign booksellers. Additionally, I maintain presence on several social media sites:

http://downwarden.com/blackbedsheetstore/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=81_139

https://www.facebook.com/BloodVerse

Twitter: @PjrRyan

WordPress.com

Buzznet

Fictionpress

Linkedin

GL, thank you for working with me on this! I am thrilled and honored!

GL:  My pleasure! Great answers.

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Interview with Artist Winston Blakely!

Published January 18, 2014 by glgiles

“Winston Blakely was born in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. He has a B.A. degree in Fine Arts…He worked with Jackie Robinson Center’s students to achieve 1st Prize in a City Wide Art Contest…His primary artistic influences include fantasy illustrators Frank Frazetta, Richard Corben and Fine Arts greats such as Salvador Dali, Romere Bearden and Jacob Lawrence. Mr.Blakely has also produced his own sci-fi character, Pozitron, the black cosmic hero who can be found in the anthology called Immortal Fantasy which features an introduction by award winning author Charles R. Saunders, creator of Imaro. Both Pozitron and Little Miss Strange are available at Amazon.com. He is also a book cover illustrator and interior 
illustrator…contact him at pozitronman@gmail.com for private commissions” (http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/winston-blakely.html). 

Photo Credit:  Luis Sierra

Photo Credit: Luis Sierra

GL:  I really enjoy your pieces at Fine Art America. In particular, your “Golden Dawn,” “Moonstone” and “Still Life Blue.” Please tell readers the inspiration behind each piece mentioned.

WB:  Ah, Golden Dawn is simply a tribute to Bob Ross, the happy painter. Now, when I did that piece his art kits was all over the place. I took an unusual road for this art chore, because I did it in acrylic paint not your traditional oil painting technique. My allergy to the turpentine and other solvents put me in a situation to show present my artistry in a different medium. I learned how to paint in acrylic like an oil painter while being inspired by another artist named David Hodge in his studio.

As I heard his words while working I could feel the art come alive and the finished product is one of my favorite fine art pieces.

Moonstone is a metaphysical piece laced with all kinds of occult themes that I won’t got into otherwise we will be here all day. This version is about the universe and crystal -like space ships passing by like the classic phrase two ships in a night. Still Life Blue is a homage to any of the great painters that you would know or heard of, like Salavdor Dali, Picasso , Romare Bearden or Jacob Lawrence.

During my experimentation with acrylics, I began to mix natural combinations of color to make the color black. The piece looks black but it’s really a carefully crafted hue that is blue, hence the obvious title.

So in a sense it’s a sly tribute to Dali the master of surrealism.

GL:  Very cool, and I like that phrase:  “sly tribute.”  Which mediums do you work in? Do you have a favorite?

WB:  Everything, acrylic, water based oil paint ( Love That !), color pencils, color markers, grayscale wash tones. There is one medium that I only tried once, years ago, and wasn’t too good at it:  pastels.

But now, I might tried it again, just for fun.

Whew, I haven’t done sculpture in very long time either, may give that a whirl as well.

I even made short animation films using my art with Dr.Martin watercolor inks. That was wild but it got me an A+ for a project. Maybe I got that mark because there was wine and cheese at the screening and they were bugging out from viewing the film and it became a part of their getting high experience.

Whatever… glad I got a good mark, makes for wonderful inspiration… don’t you think?

GL:  LOL! Yes, I’m all about some vegan wine & cheese, and my muses seem to like them, too. Now, you also created your own science fiction character named Pozitron. He appears in “Immortal Fantasy” (reviewed here: http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com/uploads/2011/immortal_fantasy.php). Please explain why he’s an important role model.

WB:  Pozitron was the collaboration between me and co- writer Robert E. Fennel.

The hero is a person of color, so to speak, and probably one of the earliest science fiction characters created in that genre that is a black man.

Since the co-writer was also a musician who is well versed in 16th century composing and a studio session performer, he thought that a quirky twist of making Pozitron a member of a rock band would work, not to mention being a secret agent as well.

Fortunately, Mr. Fennel started reading pulp science fiction novels by the father of space opera:  E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith.

With this classic source material the character was able to move forward in a more logical way. Soon, we were able to create the story that you are referring to in the anthology named “Immortal Fantasy.”

Pozitron will be back in Immortal Fantasy 2; I already started working on that project.

Immortal Fantasy book review Target Audience Magazine www.targetaudiencemagazine.com

GL:  You also created Little Miss Strange and have illustrated for a number of books. Please tell readers about Little Miss Strange and other projects you felt strongly about.

WB:  Miss Strange, AKA Scorpia of Satu, was given shape and form after my leave from Valiant comics while working in Visage Studios headed by Rich Buckler of Marvel comics fame. It was a faithful call from a comic book promoter named Rusty Gilligan who got the ball rolling. He wanted the studio members to do female versions of their favorite characters and mine was Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts.

And so, Little Miss Strange was born with a hidden tribute to Jimi Hendrix as well. She is the first black alien sorceress and that is something that I will keep doing, making heroes out of persons of color. Scorpia’s abilities are of meta- level strength, reflexes and stamina.

You can find out more about her in upcoming projects not only from me but other comic companies who are planning to have her appear as a guest star in a special series of books. I will speak more on this and other assignments in a little bit.

GL:  If you were approached about your characters coming to life on the big screen, then which actors/actresses would you cast (given the choice)?

WB:  In a sense, I already had a brief encounter with Hollywood.

There was a website that was looking for properties to turn into film and Little Miss Strange was the topic of discussion. But they wanted to change too much about her and I decided it would be better to forget about it and move on. These were the same people who brought us Cowboy and Aliens.

But I digress….

Gabrielle Union is my first choice for a Hollywood actress. Mostly because she looks like my character. But I also know she is a great performer and I have seen snippets of her acting in certain indy films and she is definitely admirable. Sanaa Lathan and Erica Tazel of FX’s cable tv show, Justified, would be nice, too.

Garry Dourdan of CSI fame would make and excellent Ishtarr, after seeing him in Alien 4. Idris Elba, and my dark horse for this role is Blair Underwood. Regardless of his unfulfilling TV assignments, he is a fine and brilliant actor.

By the way Ishtarr is Scorpia’s husband…I have a whole history and plot for their meeting and his origin story as well.

Supporting characters can be played by numerous people and I feel confident about that without mentioning any names.

GL:  Great choices! Gabrielle Union is gorgeous and a Scorpio, I believe—-would be pretty cool if she were cast as Scorpia! And, IMO, Idris Elba is one of the finest actors out there! I would love to see that come to fruition. So, when you were growing up, who were some of your favorite superheroes/heroes? And, why?

WB:  I would say Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Green Lantern, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and The Flash. Of course, I have already mentioned the good doctor several times in this interview, so let’s take a look at the other heroes.

Batman was mysterious and dangerous and had a strong sense of purpose and all those cool gadgets.

Superman had some amazing abilities and that sci-fi vibe was interesting enough to keep me coming back for more.

Spiderman was so down to earth that it was hard not to like him and he was a misunderstood outsider and somewhat a loner in the super hero community and that fitted his persona along with endless wise cracking in the face of danger.

It was unique that Green Lantern was able to produce objects with his Power Ring and use them as weapons against his foes. And that oath he used to charge his Battery of Power was the coolest thing in the world.

It was an honor to read the first appearance of the Black Panther in the pages of the Fantastic Four. It was an uplifting moment to see a hero of color and his African background was inspiring to me.

The Black Panther certainly lived up to his namesake with a pulp-like origin and a super cool supporting cast. He was a master of all combat arts and a scientist as well. Plus, he was a ruler of a pseudo-African kingdom.

Now, that is very nice.

Speed and brains was the norm for scarlet speedster known as The Flash. His Rogue’s Gallery had some classic villains in it. Among them was The Trickster, Captain Cold, Weather Wizard and my favorite:   Mirror Master.

This particular enemy would create these elaborate traps for the speedster that only a Sherlock Holmes could escape from.

The Flash was intelligent as well as a superhero so the adventures were fantastic.

GL:  What are you currently working on?

WB:  I have been putting together my first art book. It will include a lot of my freelance assignments and some new original characters that I will publish in an upcoming anthology. As stated before, I am working on Little Miss Strange 2 and it’s more than half way done. But I would still be adding grayscale tones to the second volume of the sorceress of satu or Little Miss Strange.

General, I use art markers to tone copies of the original pages and it seems to fit—thanks to my fine arts training.

Once I have one of these project done, I will announce on my blog and other Social Media sites.

GL:  What’s in the works for 2014?

WB:  A bunch of stuff, but some projects have a gag order on them so I can’t even speak about [them] because it would ruin the surprise.

There is European interest in one of my characters for a special publication that is similar to Heavy Metal magazine. Also, I will be working with British writer Paul H. Birch on a collaboration for a new pulp hero. That should be fun.

One of my freelance gigs is about to show up on the radar. It’s from Bare Knuckle Press and features my illustrations of ancient Roman/Greek poems. I have Eddie Vega of Vegawire and Noir Nation to thank for that assignment.

Two children books are done:  “My Father Found Bin Laden” and “Jello Pudding Pops.”  Both deal with children who have abandonment issues…this is written by a client named Donna Matthews.

Personally, I would love to get a fine arts exhibition going this year. I miss seeing my paintings hanging on the wall with people making introspective comments about my work.

GL:  Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work?

WB:  My blog is always available for comments and exposure. My website has some interesting pieces from various jobs for clients and links to other assignments.

It’s been a pleasure to share my experiences in the art world and I will continue to explore more with new and repeating clients, hope you check in on me from time to time.

Thank you and take care.

Links:

http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/

http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com/uploads/2011/immortal_fantasy.php

http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Winston-Blakely/e/B0081S6WSC

GL:  I’m sure many readers will be checking your sites out, too. Great having you here, and I’d love to have you back.

 

 

Little Miss Strange

Interview with Tracey Edges, Radio Host at Siren 107.3 FM!

Published January 14, 2014 by glgiles

To say that Tracey Edges is a multifaceted artist is truly an understatement, for she is a visual artist, writer and has her own radio show at Siren 107.3 FM! She vividly explains how her visual artwork will oftentimes organically flow into her pieces of written work at her blog with, “I am a fine artist who primarily paints. My work is based upon the reality of my external experiences. I then abstract this reality to varying degrees. As an Artist I continuously observe and these observations sometimes materialize into the written word. This blog is a mixture of my personal reality and my imagination…” (http://www.traceyedges.blogspot.co.uk/).

Tracey Edges

GL: So great to be ‘e-viewing’ (e-mail interviewing) you, Tracey!

TE: It is lovely to be e-viewed, thank you!

GL: Please tell readers about your ‘Sunday Girl’ show at Siren 107.3 FM.

TE: Sunday Girl is 2 very packed hours where I feature an eclectic range of music from any decade, any genre, right up to the latest in the charts. I also make sure I play lots of indie artists as I love to promote them and get their great music ‘out there’. I have an Artist of the Week, where I play two tracks and inform my listeners about the Artist. I also have a Book of the Week feature and The Sunday Girl Triple Play which are three back to back tracks with some connection. As I make up the connection it can either be quite obvious – such as the colour ‘blue’ or be a bit weird – such as ‘songs with titles I particularly like’! I tend to think of the connection first and then try to find tracks to fit it. That can throw up tracks I’ve forgotten about or, alternatively, frustrate me when I don’t have suitable ones and have to think up something else. I also feature famous people who have birthdays on the day of the show and there is always the Quirky Question – just for a bit of fun! I work really hard at my research, listening to all the music and writing all the features so it is rather time consuming but I do love doing it so that makes it easier. Although an eclectic mix I try to make my playlist flow as much as possible and tie tracks in to the features or people mentioned. It is a privilege being trusted to have total control over a show. It is definitely my baby and I do my best to look after it and it is great to watch it grow!

GL: Does it air every Sunday morning between 9-11 a.m.? It’s based out of the UK, so when and how can USA listeners tune in?

TE: Yes, it is 9-11am but UK time so GMT or BST(GMT+1) depending on the time of the year. You can listen direct from my show page on the radio station’s website: http://www.sirenonline.co.uk/section/shows/sunday-girl or via the free TuneIn or Radioplayer apps on any mobile device (or online). If within the Lincoln, England, area you can also listen in on 107.3FM

GL: Besides featuring cool bands and their music—like Blondie, Erasure, etc.—you also feature a Book of the Week and an Artist of the Week. How do you choose the featured book and the featured artist?

TE: Whether I am doing my Art, my writing or my radio show, I work in a very organic way this happens with the Artist and the Book features as well. Often people will message me on Facebook or Twitter and send me mp3s or books. I have accumulated both book and music mountains! I may have a book or track for months and then something will remind me of it and I will go in that direction. Sometimes it happens that, for example, a musician will send me tracks just as I am thinking about writing that week’s feature and, if I think they are good, I will go with them. I will often get my Kindle out for a flick-through to see what books I have on there. For any e-book Authors who think that a cover isn’t important – I beg to differ. A good, or intriguing, cover can get my attention and make me want to explore within the pages and possibly feature it. A bad cover will have the opposite effect. It’s the very same as to why one book displayed in a bookshop will shout to you and make you pick it up over its quieter neighbours. I also have two anthologies called Off The Record. The first one is based on Record titles and the second, movie titles. Each book contains brilliant stories from about 40 different Writers. I often will go and have a delve in those to choose someone to explore further. I have to admit to having a short story in At The Movies and it is called ‘Memento’. It is also on my short story blog and can be read here: http://bit.ly/1hTx3Od I have another blog which is a continuous story called PI GY. It explains what that means in the first part “The Beginning” which can be read here: http://bit.ly/19mi8WH These stories really need to be read in order. My first experience with Siren FM was when I recorded the first 8 episodes of PI GY for a radio series. That can be heard here: http://bit.ly/WnwZJO With typical Tracey-Timing, I had a really bad fluey cold when I recorded those and lots of coughing, croaking and sneezes had to be edited out!

GL: I love your organic and timely unfolding process, and I look forward to reading everything! Switching gears, have you ever had any negative feedback from your so-called “cringeworthy jokes?”

TE: No, I have been very lucky (or it may be due the permanent cotton wool stuffed into my ears so I don’t hear any!) It tends to be more cringeworthy connections, than jokes as I will often connect tracks to features and they can be rather eye-rolling/tenous ones!

GL: I love that you employ humor like that! Now, what kind of local events do you cover? I know that you’re a bit ‘canine-crazy’, like me, so are any of them animal adoption events?

TE: It tends to be events such as gigs/workshops/exhibitions and city-centre things to do. I did cover a request for people to take their animals to see how intelligent they were. The university (where Siren FM is based) was doing a research project about what dogs ‘read’ from their environment/your face etc. As much as I love ‘causes’ I try to keep the content light as it goes out on a Sunday morning. 2 of my 3 dogs are rescues and I feel very strongly about that issue. If I won the Euromillions I would love to open a rescue home for dogs.

GL: Awesome! I think I’d swim ‘across the pond’ to be able to hang out in a cool canine rescue home like that! I know that you’re also a great exhibiting artist. Where has your artwork been displayed? Which mediums do you work in?

TE: I have had work displayed in Galleries both locally and nationally and had several solo exhibitions. I have received fantastic feedback from them so that is definitely one achievement ticked off my bucket list from being young. My Grandfather was an Artist so I grew up with the smell of oil paint. I am far too impatient for oils though, even though I do like using them. I find I use a mixture of high quality heritage emulsion paints and acrylics plus whatever I feel is going to enhance a painting as I am doing it. I may suddenly start scribbling over the paint with pencil or throw ink at it. I just go with the flow and what feels right at that moment. I usually start off from an experience that I have photographed. I mess about with the photograph on my computer and take it away from the visual reality. I then use this photograph as a start to my painting. I always know where I am starting from but never how it is going to finish, or when – it may be in 5 minutes or 5 weeks. I am the same with my writing – I let the story unfold as I go along. I did an interview for Estuary Radio and a slideshow of a smaller exhibition – called Eclectic and this can be seen here: http://bit.ly/UwF1on

GL: Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work?

TE: All of my work is in my photo albums on my Facebook profile which is: Tracey Edges. I have a page for my radio show: http://www.facebook.com/traceyedgespresenter and I have a woefully out of date website at: http://www.traceyedges.co.uk All my links can be found on my http://www.about.me/traceyedges page.

GL: What’s on the horizon for 2014?

TE: Firstly, to update my website! I also need to sort out my time management skills so that I have time to put into all 3 of my main projects: Art/Writing/Radio. I’ve tried to sideline one or two but I just can’t do it – I love doing them all and have wanted to do all since my schooldays. If anyone has a day-stretcher please let me borrow it. I wouldn’t sleep or eat if I didn’t have to. Lots of Art, Radio and Writing ahead – watch this space!

GL: Thanks so much, Tracey! Truly my pleasure!

TE: You are welcome and thank you very much for asking me.

Interview with Author Blakely Bennett

Published January 9, 2014 by glgiles

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“Blakely Bennett grew up in Southeast Florida and has been residing in the great Northwest for over eight years. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a degree in psychology, which accounts for her particular interest in crafting the personalities, struggles, and motivations of her characters. She is an avid reader of many genres of fiction, but especially erotica and romance. Writing has always been her bliss. She is attracted to stories of self-struggle and ultimate recovery.

Blakely is married to a wonderful, loving and supportive husband, also a writer, who helps to keep her grounded. She is a mother, a communitarian, a lover of music (always on while she is writing–thank you, Pandora), and a good friend. An advocate of love and female empowerment, she is a facilitator for a women’s group. She loves to walk and hike for exercise and finds that, since moving to Seattle, WA, she is now one of those “crazy” people who walk in the rain” (Amazon link:  http://www.amazon.com/Blakely-Bennett/e/B009LB3420/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1).

 

 

GL:  Who did you co-author “The Demarcation of Jack” with? Why did you decide to pair up for the book project?

 

BB:  Before I wrote novels on my own, my husband, Dana Bennett and I wrote novels together. Once I became published we decided to kick the dust off The Demarcation of Jack and rework and edit where needed.

 

GL:  What are some of the ways you’ve created narrative tension in your books?

 

BB:  Since I don’t know where the story is headed, neither does my reader and that makes for good suspense and tension. If you were looking for a more sophisticated answer, I don’t have one. Writing for me is about getting in the zone (essentially getting myself out of the way) and letting the characters take me on their journey.

 

GL:  Please tell readers some of the ways you’ve tackled tone shifts—with specific examples.

 

BB:  I don’t consciously tackle this at all. In the My Body Trilogy (My Body-His, My Body-His (Marcello), & My Body-Mine) the story is told from Jane’s viewpoint and from my perspective, the tone shifts as she gets further sucked into the dysfunction of her relationship with Luke and again in My Body-Mine when she starts really owning her life and her choices.

 

In The Demarcation of Jack the tonal change can be felt as Jenna lets go of some of her stored up anger and gets more in touch with her carefree self. Then, towards the end, there is a huge tonal shift when Jack meets up with his line of demarcation.

 

In my most current novel, Stuck In-Between, due out sometime in February, we follow Jacqs journey through her friends, family and love relationships. Each relationship reflects a different tone and overall Jacqs becomes more powerful throughout the story, even when in crisis.

 

GL:  What are some other devices you’ve used to pull readers into your storylines?

 

BB:  Showing, not telling and making the story compelling from the start. Short of that, I don’t have devices. I just tell a story I would want to read and follow my muse.

 

GL:  You’ve written dark erotic suspense, a contemporary romance, and erotic romance, but have you ever experimented with writing historical romances? And, why are you drawn to writing erotica?

 

BB:  I have not written an historical romance and don’t have any plans to on the horizon. Dana, my husband is getting ready to publish Jones Whitman, Time Traveler, Geared to the Present, which is a time travel historical romance and an awesome read.

 

I think sex is a really important part of any romantic relationship and I like being able to use sex to explore the developing dynamics. Plus, I love to read romance and erotica and part of that is getting turned on by the story. I hope to do the same for my readers.

 

GL:  You listen to music while you write, but do you choose different musical genres depending on whether you’re writing erotic scenes versus romantic ones? Please name some bands, etc. along with tracks and/or albums.

 

BB:  I definitely listen to music when I write and the type really depends more on the tone of the story I’m writing. For instance, while writing My Body-Mine, I predominantly listened to the Alex Clare station on Pandora. You can find the list of the bands I listened to under the acknowledgments. With my current novel, Stuck In-Between, I will have a soundtrack listed in the front of the book. I primarily listened to Pandora stations: Corinne Baily Rae, Florence + The Machine and John Legend. The music for the My Body Trilogy was harder and darker, just like the stories.

 

GL:  Now for a fun question:  Do you believe that it’s an example of ‘arrogant gifting’ to give friends and relatives copies of your books for holiday gifts? 

 

BB:  Arrogant gifting? I don’t know if I’d call it that, but I’d never do it. We go to a White Elephant party each year and some people were surprised this year that we didn’t use our novels as our contributing gifts. I figure if my friends and family want my books, I’ll either give it to them or they’ll buy them.

 

GL:  And, another fun one:  Besides the last question <LOL>, what’s the strangest interview question you’ve ever been asked?

 

BB:  “Please tell readers some of the ways you’ve tackled tone shifts—with specific examples.” 😉 Okay, maybe that’s not the strangest, just the hardest to answer.

 

The strangest one was what I had in the refrigerator that had the longest expired expiration date. LOL!

 

GL:  Touche! LOL! Great answers! Where can readers go to connect with you and your work?

 

BB:  Thanks for asking!

 

Amazon: http://goo.gl/CLLfZu

B&N: http://goo.gl/F2t3tL

Smashwords: http://goo.gl/DLyW0o

Kobo: http://goo.gl/iIeVsR

 

Facebook page 

Twitter

Goodreads 

Amazon Author page

Pinterest

 

Blakely’s website

 

 

GL:  What’s in the works for 2014?

 

BB:  Publish four more novels {Stuck In-Between – the first novel in the Bound by Your Love Series, Jenna’s Rubicon – sequel to The Demarcation of Jack and second book in the Fractured Fidelities Trilogy, Lainie’s Story (working title) – the second book in the Bound by Your Love Series, & the third and final book in the Fractured Fidelity Trilogy. Wish me/us luck!

 

In addition, we will be publishing Dana’s Geared to the Present in the next few months.

 

Thank you so much for hosting me. Your questions were very interesting and made me think. 🙂

 

GL:  Truly my pleasure, and I’d love to have you back.

 

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