It was a tour that author Eric Johnson took about a decade ago that inspired him to come up with his first-ever novel. In an exclusive interaction with the Literary Express, the author said that his first novel fictionalised the time he had spent in Afghanistan, a country he happened to visit ten years ago. The forty-four-year-old Maryland-based writer, who has an Associates degree in Business Management and Arts, stated that he had published twenty-three books and that his later book is entitled ‘Operation Crescent Moon’. ‘It is the fourteenth book in the 2-4 Cavalry Series. It takes place in the future and is about a future conflict that the unit goes through in the book,’ he explained.
Vatsarah Stavyah is the nom de plume of an Indian poet, storyteller, and former journalist. He is the founding editor-in-chief of The Literary Juggernaut and dwells as an English coach and writer in Delhi, India.
Have thou beheld the greatness of this land, my child?
Ours is a realm that none may’ve hitherto usurped.
But this land of brave hearts now diseased stands still, beguiled.
Writing had become a true passion for author Lanie Goodell by the time she was a teenager. As a matter of fact, she would narrate stories to her mother, who would, in turn, write them down before Ms Goodell could spell. ‘I have been writing for as long as I remember,’ begins the Denver-based author, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. She tells us that somewhere in a box in the state she grew up, she has her first manuscript. ‘It is all handwritten, and the story follows a girl who falls in love with a ghost,’ she says with a smile, adding, ‘Even at that age, I was writing non-conventional endings, so it is a strange story, but I still enjoy it… as much as I can remember.’
Indie author Tamuna Tsertsvadze was just seven years old when she wrote her first ten-page story. And since then, there has been no looking back. The Georgian author, who primarily writes in Georgian and Englishes her works, says that although writing was a hobby of hers for a long time, she eventually decided to make it her career. ‘When I was fifteen, I self-published my first book, The Young Pirate, on Amazon. And I have been self-publishing my books since as well as pitching short stories to various websites,’ she begins, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. ‘Besides that, I’m a game writer and a screenwriter. The main genres I write are juvenile fantasy, Sci-Fi, and historical fiction,’ she lets us know.
Fourteen nights he spent at the Himalayas great,
each night speaking about one world;
He touched topics good and bad, spoke at length of fate;
A ‘secret’ the last day unfurled.
‘We have our souls quite well covered
by a layer we all call body,’ he declared.
Then as if smitten by thoughts, roared:
Life’s uncertain, what matters is now, not how you fared.
While Mr Martin makes it clear that he never really thought of becoming a full-fledged writer until Pretty Flamingo happened, he says now it has become next to impossible for him to stop writing. ‘When I came up with the concept for my first novel, I believed that would be the only novel I would write. But then I found I enjoyed the whole process and I started getting ideas for other novels, so I figured I might as well keep at it. Now here I am working on my fifth novel,’ he shares with a smile.
The men who dwell on land theirs state they have an open mind;
No trouble may happen upon they feel; ‘We are always kind!’
Some biding with those men but sense there is something amiss;
They say they’re having a tough time; ‘A thing or two we miss.’
When author Vince Stevenson was just twenty-nine years old, he’d moved to London, and for the first time, began living alone. That was exactly when he felt he’d all the time in the world. Before relocating to London, the author, now sixty-two, had worked for big companies and was heavily involved in communication. ‘In the old days, we had large dictionaries on our desks. I attended meetings and was often responsible for disseminating and documenting material, and it had to be accurate. If anything left my desk with a typo, I’d be cross with myself,’ begins Mr Stevenson, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. That was exactly when he started attending writing classes and meeting people with similar interests. ‘And I found that incredibly inspiring. I began to write short stories about the IT world, and I had many published in Computer Weekly,’ he tells us with a beatific smile.
While being grateful for having a micro-press publisher that enjoys his Kink Noir series, the author emphasises that without a contract from the big-five, becoming a full-fledged author is not about to happen. ‘That is because self-publishing has led to a deluge of books hitting the market at a daily rate. The competition is fierce, and there is a bottleneck of novels to choose from. I can only hope that writing non-traditional neo-noir thrillers with erotic elements will carve out a niche,’ he explains.
Two weeks was what it took renowned Kenyan author, entrepreneur and keynote speaker Laban T M’mbololo, Esq to write the manuscript of his debut book Influence: The Secret of Selling. The author says that the book was received so well that he happened upon many a person who complimented him for bringing about a transformation of sorts in their lives.
What makes a woman a mother?
Oh, pain and patience will I say;
She sure knows not how to other
or to keep care and warmth away.
Oh! A mother hits not the hay
when her kids are hungry or sad;
Embodies love, for kids does pray.
A mother’s selfless, with love clad.
Indie author Jamie Sonnier, a trans male and a vehement advocate of LGBTQA+ rights, avers he is a plotter. As a matter of fact, before putting pen to paper, he has everything figured out. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, the author says he is quite wont to take extensive notes before setting about writing a book. ‘Occasionally an idea might come to me while I am writing the story, but typically, if I sit down to begin writing, the entire story is already thought out,’ he tells us with a smile.
Hangs a mirror on the wall of the abode seen
with a demeanour mystic, queer, fine, indiscreet.
Shows it to each who sits in front a stolen sheet,
telling truths revealed to none, a shaming scene.
Oh! The past returns to haunt those who there have been.
On the question of what he would like to tell budding authors who lose motivation if their works don’t do well, Mr Merkel, who works tirelessly for thirteen hours each day, pronounces he would want them to know that doing well is relative. ‘Write what you want to read and do it with passion and pride, and you cannot go wrong,’ he suggests.
Homographs, homonyms and homophones might make the English language funny and intriguing, but beyond a shadow of a doubt, they give a tough time to learners who don’t have English as their native language. Even native speakers, at times, tend to struggle with them, but being native, they are naturally inclined to understand them without having to get into the nitty-gritties. However, when they face challenges, they do try to seek help from reliable sources.
The author says that his previous short story collection, Dark Journeys, was his first experience with self-publishing. ‘It is mostly original fiction, except for two stories that were previously published in magazines. It also contains one of my favourite stories, Sunwalker,’ he tells us. Making it clear that he was initially hesitant to publish Dark Journeys because he wasn’t sure how it would be received, he states that while some of the stories in the book are straightforward sci-fi and horror, he also included some speculative fiction. ‘These were writing experiments, attempts to try something new and different. Luckily, I have received some nice reviews on it, and it has sold well,’ he lets us know, adding that prior to Dark Journeys, his fiction was published in a variety of magazines and anthologies throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s.
Author M Sheehan may have just one book to his credit at the moment, but he is well convinced that narrating stories to the world is something he will never stop doing. Telling the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction that his debut book is only a part of a series, which will comprise a total of seven books, the forty-three-year-old Canadian writer says that each of his books will go on to depict a century.
Have ever thou enquired what brought us here?
This place with no end seems fraught, strange, and odd.
The stars at night witnessed do not appear
at morning when the Sun above glows hard.