Writer Interview: Phoenix Williams

Phoenix Williams

Phoenix grew up as the middle brother of three in Salida, Colorado, a tiny town with less than 6,000 people. At the age of just 15, he self-published his debut novel called Alfred Arnold. He currently works at mobile app Inside.com where he curates news articles. In between that and working on a reboot of his debut novel Alfred Arnold, he finds time to play guitar, video games and look after two pet rats, Tyrion and Oberyn.

INTERVIEW

1. What are you working on right now?

I am currently writing the second book in my Alfred Arnold series. The first book (which is rebooted from a poorly written version I self published in 2009) is still in the early stages of pre-launch, but I figured I might as well get started on the sequel.

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

The Alfred Arnold saga follows an eccentric loner who wakes up one day to find himself in the fantastical world of Serdame. With his friends Sir Procrastination and Lavandra, Alfred Arnold is appointed as the first ambassador for Villedge, a town disconnected from the rest of the world. The series details his adventures.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Writing is probably hereditary, in my case. My father has been a freelance writer for most of his life, and my mother was an editor who writes for fun on the side. It started with ripping off Dr. Seuss for an unofficial “Lorax” sequel.

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

For me, I have to have a candle burning and ambient music in the background. I can even write while watching reruns, but there’s something about pure silence that clogs up my thought process. The candle helps give the room a unique ambiance, one it only has when I am writing. That way, I can feel much more like I have left the real world for a more fantastic, seclusive realm.

5. What is your favourite book?

Hand’s down “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller. That book is so insanely genius and profound from start to finish in a beautifully cynical humour that captivates me. John Yossarian is the greatest literary character I’ve ever encountered.

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire most, and why?

Douglas Adams. The “Hitchhiker’s” series is probably the one I’ve read the most, and there are no words to describe my love of his keen wit. The BBC radio series precedes any of Adams’ books, which in a weird way means that the “Hitchhiker’s” story is older than his career as an author. Also, he played “Brain Damage” with Pink Floyd on his 42nd birthday.

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

I love to play guitar, but even after 11 years of practice, I am nowhere near as skilled as my friends who have played for less years (though ultimately more time). I can pretty much only get away with playing chords, but that makes things like the Beatles and Bob Dylan pretty fun.

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

My personal blog is http://www.thephoenixwilliams.com. The best place to get news, however, is my Twitter: @FeenicksW

9.What are your writing plans for 2015?

I will be continuing work on the Alfred Arnold series, and hopefully launching the first installment before the year’s end!

10. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

As a Yank, I have very little exposure to Jaffa cakes, but I have certainly picked some up during a long trip and remember the deliciousness if nothing else. Call on your fellow countrymen to send us more!

To follow Phoenix and his work please use the links below:

Website: http://www.thephoenixwilliams.com
Twitter: @FeenicksW

Interviewing Phoenix was excellent because I’ve yet to meet someone who self-published their debut novel at such an early age, so getting an insight into his life was awesome. Thanks Phoenix!

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Writer Interview: Harper Dimmerman

Harper Dimmerman

Harper Dimmerman is a lawyer and an adjunct professor at Temple University. Somehow, he manages to find time to write, and has written 5.5 novels so far and he’s not stopping yet. Harper was born and raised in Philadelphia, USA, and still resides there today, where he spends his time writing legal columns, playing the occasional game of chess and reading.

INTERVIEW

1. What are you working on right now?

A supernatural thriller set in Philadelphia. At least that’s what it’s intended to be . . .

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

Sure . . . The protagonist is a big-firm lawyer and courtesy of supernatural stuff, things start to fall apart for the poor guy.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I’ve been doing this mostly every day for years and so by now, one might refer to it as a compulsion. I would say it’s mostly because I know I have stories inside of me that I don’t know what else to do with. Inspiration is probably 1 part confidence and 2 parts routine. Having a muse on command could be an extraordinary thing — I fantasize.

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

Just my laptop really . . . I’m sort of low maintenance (when it comes to relationships with myself). I lied. Once in a while I blast NIN etc when I write. I can hear the commitment and drive in the music and I let it seep into my eardrums.

5. What is your favourite book?

IQ84 period.

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire most, and why?

Tolstoy because he’s arguably one of the most brilliant novelists the world has even seen. Martin Amis because he’s a badass and writes the way he is. Murakami because he isn’t a badass and doesn’t try to write like one — his writing is hypnotic (he’s a magician).

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

I used to speak Japanese but learned that forgetting something you earned is part of life. It prepared me to be a writer. I’m sort of a bore. I do things like read, play chess once in a while, draw . . . I used to exercise but I gave up on that a couple years ago. I’m sort of busy during the day and so my nights are my life and my writing. I also have a lot of bad habits which I’m certain are terribly annoying to the people who call themselves my loved ones. And for those — I apologize.

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

Not really although I probably should. I post some stuff on createspace and try to give away Justice Hunter once in a blue moon. Otherwise, I’m pretty close to the vest with my stuff. Call me paranoid.

9. What are your writing plans for the rest of 2014?

For the rest of the year, I plan on continuing on with this fourth (1st draft) of my latest thriller. After that, I have some edits to do on the 2nd and 3rd in the Hunter Gray series. I’ve got 2 perfectly good manuscripts just waiting for some TLC. I lost some time this year to a stillborn effort that I needed to do. I’m always learning my flaws, which sort of sucks but it’s got to be done. If I owned a fireplace . . .

10. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

Never heard of them but they sound delicious. For you though, I would say love (I have license: I’m a lawyer by trade).

Harper Dimmerman

Please support Harper’s work and keep a look out for his novels, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks Harper for taking the time to do this interview.

Writer Interview: Adrienne LaCava

                                                       Adrienne LaCava  

 

Adrienne is a loving wife to an amazing, comical husband, and is a mother and grandmother. She has a big heart and shares some of the love within it with two rescued mutts who amuse her all the time. Adrienne spent the sixties growing up in Central Texas where she adored Nancy Drew, and that’s when she got her taste and passion for literature, and aspired to be a writer. At the University of North Texas, she took Journalism as a business minor and went on to pen corporate PR and training pieces in healthcare and banking careers. After ten years, she went on to study Fiction at night. She now calls Dallas, Texas home and is a contemporary history buff and self-labelled Camelot junkie.                     

1. What are you working on right now?

 I’m in the early months of selling my debut novel, No One Can Know, so it’s all about indie marketing right now. That’s a whole different aspect of writing, boy oh boy, but I’m also beginning the serious task of page production on my next book.

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

Also a thriller, and something of a sequel to No One Can Know, it takes place in explosive ’68. Certain characters reappear, and again, the flash point is political assassination, this time Dr. Martin Luther King.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

 I’m pursuing a lifetime dream of writing novels, making up characters in unexpected crisis is just passionate fun. I also have regard and affection for history; I embrace its value and impact on our lives and world today. And I am just smitten with the Sixties. It was a pivotal time in America; endless personal stories were affected while the nation came apart. With the cold war and the bomb, racism, media, and greed, the era was a genuine good-guy vs. bad-guy heat. Sadly, I think the bad guys won.

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

This made me smile and although I’m something of an Anglophile I had to look up Jaffa cakes. Good to know! I binge on junk food when I’m in a writing frenzy too. Largely unconscious of it, I alternate salty and sweet, like popcorn then caramels then beef jerky then coffee ice cream… until I’m literally sick and craving wholesome nourishment.

5. What is your favourite book?

 Only one? It’s tough, but being a southern, homespun girl I’d have to say To Kill A Mockingbird is the ultimate comfort literature. I am Scout Finch when reading that book, down to the embarrassing freckles on her nose.

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire most, and why?

Another tough one to narrow down, but I’d say Mark Twain (pen name of Samuel Clements). A lover of words and naturally clever, Clements set out to entertain through story. He adventured to get experience for his tales, and wrote nonfiction while seeing the world. I admire his humour and wit most of all; he could spontaneously entertain a crowd with words.

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

I have many annoying habits. And being immersed in the writer’s life these last years I’ve thickened that catalogue! How about an obscure tidbit of personal back story? Many years ago, I modelled garments for an amazing young designer in the house of Anne Klein… Ms. Donna Karan (DKNY). It has been a thrill watching her star rise.

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

I’m begging for Likes and Followers, like everyone else. My blog is on my website: adriennelacava.com. The site is pretty dense with personal information, actually 🙂 I’m shamelessly open. My Facebook page is Adrienne LaCava, Author; and on Twitter I’m @adriennelacava. You can look me up on Linked In, GoodReads, all the usual places by name (or title of first book). Most importantly, No One Can Know is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1491228067 (Dysfunctional family gets caught up in dark business occurring after JFK’s assassination and their weekend at the ranch turns deadly). Please take a chance on an emerging author!

 
 9. What are your writing plans for 2014?

I plan to submit a fully self-edited manuscript of book2 to my professional editor by year end. The working title is Dreamweaver. It’s about restoring broken dreams, as you might imagine with MLK’s assassination at the core.

10. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them? 

I’ll have to get back to you on that. From what I read, I’ll bet I’m a lover. And I’ll always think of you when enjoying them 🙂

Thanks Adrienne, for taking the time out from writing and eating coffee icecream and beef jerky to sit down and do this interview with me.

To follow and support Adrienne and her work please follow the links below:

Website: adriennelacava.com

Facebook: Adrienne LaCava,

 Twitter: @adriennelacava

 

Writer Interview: Joe Leslie

                                                     Joe Leslie

                               

A fan of Winnie the Pooh, dark crackly chocolate and TED, Joe Leslie is a retired police force worker.With forty years experience his duties included training recruits and dealing with homicides to name just a few. He is a man who admires genuinity in people and both this and his experience on the force have been his inspirations for his triliogy:  The Secret to Being Frank. The second novel of which, he’s working on now.

   At the tender age of 3, Joe lost his father and was raised by his mother. He currently lives with his lovely wife in Carmarthen, the heart of Celtic mythology. He continues to write with passion, experience and a fire in his belly.

I was lucky enough that this man agreed to take the time and be my Christmas interview.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

 

1.    What are you working on right now?

In essence, my insanity, in truth working on the second novel of the trilogy that follows ‘The Secret to Being Frank’. As an apprentice author, I like standing on the edge, it can be an extraordinary experience in the rain. The next novel, ‘Being Frank’ has somewhat defined my approach to this interview. Honesty can make you vulnerable. However, The Phantom Writer deserves nothing less.

2.    Can you tell us a little something about it?

Although we all live in an essentially beautiful world, I decided that in order to appreciate the lighter shades of reality you have to appreciate the darker sides of human behaviour. The trilogy follows the protagonist Frank Macleod from adolescence to maturity when he joins the police force. His experience of social mayhem introduces the reader to his personality. At the point where he joins the police, Macleod is headstrong, somewhat aggressive with an addictive personality. His unusual and unorthodox style of policing facilitates his progress to CID where he confronts a serial killer Samuel John. For the first time an adult fictional psychological thriller taking place in Wales, explores the heritage of that nation. The Myth and legend of ‘damashealladh’, second sight and the immortality of the Gaelic soul has found a home in modern storytelling. This novel is more than a dark thriller; genre is the clothing that every novel wears. In this book, the clothing is merely a disguise. It answers the paradoxical question of the ‘who, why and what if’ regarding the characters.

3.     Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration?

After spending forty years in the police force, I still care about the safety of the public. Understanding will never cure evil intent but it could help to cope with the incomprehensible dark side of human behaviour. Story telling can also be a powerful tool to understanding. Creating anything that has personal meaning requires courage. When I started writing an uncompromising voice whispered in my ear. It told me to reject the safe way of writing, tell it like it is, and treat the reader with respect.

4.    When I write, I require Jaffa cakes. Do you have a writing must have?

Believe it or not, when I write I have the X rated version of ‘Ted’ the talking teddy bear from the movie on my desk. When I make a mistake or question my ability, I gently press his right paw and ‘Ted’ delivers the most obscene critique imaginable. Peter Griffin’s voice always triggers the laugh centre in my brain. I can feel the urge to laugh fizzing like champagne on my tongue.

5.    What is your favourite book? Which author’s career do you admire the most and why?

The Winnie the Pooh books written by the genius A.A. Milne. The adorable bear continually shares his sublime wisdom about character and personality with the reader. My favourite quote shows the quintessence of Pooh:  ‘If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart I’ll always be with you.’

6.    Tell us something about yourself.  Any annoying habits or hobbies?

The diversity of my experience in the police included; – Training recruits and officers to the rank of Inspector, the Toxteth riots, double homicides; and the IRA burying arms and explosives on the shoreline of my rural patch. In later years, with the Criminal Justice Unit, I worked closely with the local Crown Prosecution Service to deliver the DPP Guidelines on Statuary Charging. I live in the heart of Celtic Mythology in Carmarthen, the birthplace of Merlin the Magician. My addictive personality is in the novel.

7.    Do you have a blog; website or social networking account people can go to learn more about you?

Yes, my website is located at joe-leslie-author.com my twitter address is @joeleslieauthor

8.    What are your plans for 2014?

To finally complete the second novel in August 2014 and then start the last of the trilogy called ‘Let’s be Frank’.

9.    Finally, Jaffa Cakes – Love them or hate them?

I love dark crackly chocolate, as you can see I also love to wear their Tee shirt.

Footnote.  To all the genuine guys at The Phantom Writer Thank you for the interview,

 

 

Thank you to Joe for taking the time to do this insightful interview.

To follow Joe’s work please follow the links:

 

www.Joe-leslie-author.com

Twitter: @joeleslieauthor