The morning writer, whose list of favourite authors changes all the time, has had her short stories featured in the award-winning anthologies Elmwood Stories to Die For and Mayhem in Memphis as well. ‘My stories also appear in Low Down Dirty Vote VII, Stories Through the Ages: Baby Boomers Plus 2019,’ she says. We also learn that the online literary journal Backchannels published one of her stories in the spring and another story won second place in the online Short Storyland 2019 competition.
While becoming an author was not something the author had thought of in her childhood, she stresses that because she always possessed a vivid imagination, she could not but put pen to paper. ‘As many ideas constantly swim around my head, it is only natural for me to feel the only way to eliminate the thoughts is to write them down,’ she tells us.
While Mr Mana tries to keep a schedule, writing from 10 AM to 5 PM, with a short break for lunch and several pauses, he concedes that many unexpected events tend to shatter his schedule. ‘But that’s life I guess,’ he states. ‘Also, I sometimes just sit at the keyboard and write for the fun of it – without a deadline or a target market, or a contract. Especially when the going gets rough, and it happens, writing is a good way to clear the mind and stop worrying about those things you can’t control anyway,’ he adds.
She wrote the Christian superhero series entitled ‘Science, Meet God’ while being crippled for four years after having undergone knee surgery at the age of twenty four. ‘I was on the verge of paralysis before a doctor finally figured that slipping disks had severed my spinal cord in half. I had spinal surgery in 2014. The healing process was slow and painful, and I would like to thank Cliff for being the best nurse a girl could ever hope for,’ she shares with us.
The author tells us that Nevada Noir is a dark, atmospheric trilogy of intertwined tales of greed and temptation in the Nevada badlands. ‘In these three dark and brooding short stories, set in and around the US state of Nevada, a cast of disparate characters struggle with greed and temptation and the cursed lure of easy money. An old man goes in search of his son in the aftermath of a terrible storm, a couple down on their luck make a life-changing discovery, and an ex-cop has one last impossible decision to make,’ he explains, adding, ‘It’s an action-packed meditation on death, temptation and flawed humanity.’
Her second book entitled ‘A Storm of Magic’ happens to be a YA Fantasy. Speaking about the book, Ms Laino says, ‘Being brought back from the dead is an impressive trick, even for magician Darien Burron. Now he must try and use his sleight of hand to swindle modern-day witch, Mirah, to sign her power away, or end up a tormented demon in the afterlife. Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Mirah is starting to lose control of her powers. After an incident at her aunt’s Witchery store, Mirah is sent to a secret coven to learn to control her abilities. While she is away, Mirah meets up with a soft-spoken clairvoyant, a brazen storm witch, and the creator of dark magic itself. The young woman must learn to trust in herself before she loses herself entirely to the darkness that hunts her.’
Letting us know that she is a pantser, meaning she tends to start with a concept and characters and allows the story to unfold thereafter, Ms Martine, who used to be fluent in Spanish but has now lost touch with the language, says her debut romance novel entitled ‘dibs’, a finalist for romance in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards, came to her almost fully-formed, and she simply had to write it down as she saw the movie in her mind.
Author Marc Cavella might have begun writing at the tender age of ten, but he’d never taken it seriously until 2015 when he decided to leave a Clinical Psychology doctoral program to focus more on writing books. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, the California-based author , who is looking for a cabin to rent in the general vicinity of Georgia and the Carolinas as one of the stories he is planning to work on is set there, says he generally writes at night right after he finishes with work. ‘I don’t really have a schedule. though. If I get inspired and I’m not near my computer, I’ll write notes in my phone so I can work on them later,’ he lets us know.
Speaking about his published novel entitled ‘King’s Signet’, the author, who lives in North Carolina, says it was initially intended to be a short story for a fantasy magazine. ‘That was in 2018. But I kept on getting ideas while writing other pieces, so what was supposed to be a short story turned into a novel which I finally published in June this year,’ he tells us.
Author Christian Towers began writing stories at the tender age of nine. That was also the age he began creating short comic books incorporating superheroes and other types of action heroes of his creation. ‘This eventually flourished into a love for films and film making. Also, I decided to become a director of films when I grew up at about the same time. Despite opposition from the family, the dream persisted several years. However, as the years passed, and when I entered high school, I felt what mattered to me was not so much making films but being a storyteller in general. That is when being a film director became less important to me, and the author life grew more appealing,’ the Florida-based author, who hails from Puerto Rico, begins, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction.
Poet Nirmal Parashar’s writing journey began with a quote he had read in the book ‘The Light of Asia’: Leave love for love of lovers. ‘This powerful quote has only remained etched on my mind since I read it,’ says the poet, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. He tells us that because he was an introvert, he used to spend more time with books than with friends during his school and college days. ‘Nonetheless, during adolescence, the curiosity to understand the word “love” became intense,’ he states with a smile, adding, ‘And although I was hardly familiar with this, I was curious to know how it feels to love and be loved.’
Author Morwenna Blackwood avers she doesn’t recall ever starting to write. ‘It’s just something I have always done,’ she begins, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. She goes on to state matter-of-factly that the first proper story she wrote was about a frog. ‘And that was when I was six years old,’ she tells us with a smile.
Talking about her only published book Unicorns Are Really Vampires, the thirty-seven-year-old, who holds a degree in veterinary nursing besides an MA in literature, says she decided to self-publish because she likes making all the decisions for her book on her own. She wrote Unicorns Are Really Vampires, a YA adventure/fantasy novel, so that her daughter could read and enjoy it and that it could be part of a series as well. ‘It actually started as a NANOWRIMO project in 2018 and just took off from there,’ she lets on, adding that her second novel is a YA novel too and the sequel to her first. ‘And my latest project is book three, which will be the end of the series, at least for now,’ she states with a smile.
The writer, who is also well-versed in Hindi and Punjabi, avers that she is grateful to the fans she has as followers on Twitter. ‘I’d thought Twitter was a boring app filled with rude people, but after having discovered the writing community, I have learnt very many useful things about writing and publishing. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, rude people continue to exist, but I have now learnt how to use Twitter in a way that uplifts me,’ she says with a smile.
Indie author Simran Munot is on cloud nine, for her first-ever solo book entitled ‘Cordially Yours’ is now published. Not only is the book receiving rave reviews from various quarters but is also challenging the beliefs of the twenty-two-year-young Mumbai-based writer, who had initially thought that books on letters don’t do well. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, Simran, who has previously co-written two poetry books, says the plan to pen down her thoughts and come up with Cordially Yours came long ago, only she wasn’t that confident enough. ‘Cordially Yours is basically a collection of heartfelt open letters. I have seen and read various poetry books, different kinds of novels, and novella but hardly one or two books on letters. A book full of letters is rare and definitely a recent concept. So, I was very sceptical about publishing it,’ she shares.
What you must understand is that poetry is not simply expressing oneself – not for me. That would seem more suited to an essay. Rather, poetry is a way of being and of seeing as if it were another sense in the way of taste or touch. And with this sense, it becomes a way of relating to life at its smallest as well as its largest. For the poet, it is every day and everywhere. It is who and how you are. Poetry is, at its fullest, a relationship. And the words are the bi-product of that relationship, that way of being. They are the conversations that you, the reader, are allowed to overhear – but they are not in and of themselves the whole thing. Birds stroke distance through the air, spiders build webs, and in the same way, poets write. The significant fact, though, is that what they write; poems are not about, they are not faint reflections, but rather, poems are, are the thing itself – as is the distance, as is the web.
It was not until author-entrepreneur Christian Warren Freed was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 that he wrote his debut novel Hammers in the Wind. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, the fifty-year-old former soldier, who has been to war three times, says that he always wanted to do two things in life: join the army and become an author. Having written over twenty-five science fiction and military fantasy novels, combat memoirs, a pair of how-to books, a children’s book, and several short stories, Mr Freed lets us know that his latest series is a cross amongst Star Wars, Dune, and The Malazan Book of the Fallen. ‘Under Tattered Banners is book five of the Forgotten Gods Tales. It follows the heroes and villains in a universe of seven hundred worlds as they vie for control of it all,’ he tells us.
Author Ian Barker doesn’t remember a time he didn’t write. In fact, one of the school reports from when Mr Barker was about twelve years old says he has ‘an easy style and interesting ideas’. Be that as it may, the author went on to spend almost twenty years working in the IT sector, writing short stories and poems for his amusement. ‘I then discovered that it was easier to write about computers than to fix them, and so, I combined my job and hobby by going to work for a computer magazine,’ says the sixty-one-year-old UK-based author, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction.