Author Robert Stubblefield started writing around the age of ten. As a matter of fact, he began composing poems at the time as a way to cope with the loss of his grandmother. Speaking exclusively to The Literary Juggernaut, the twenty-eight-year-old American author and poet, who is currently residing in Maryland, the US, says poetry has always helped him express his feelings towards the world around him. Emphasising that he usually writes when he has the urge to pen down his thoughts and whenever he feels low, Mr Stubblefield, who holds a bachelor’s degree besides two master’s degrees, says he composes poetry so he may articulate the deepest of his thoughts in ways he cannot do when he happens to be speaking.
Author Robin Gregory’s first and recently published novel The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman sprung from a desire to bridge the Eastern and Western philosophies and spirituality. Inspired by her son, who is challenged with disabilities, the book, we learn, is set in Western America of the early 1900s. ‘Writing it was part of my own awakening process,’ begins Ms Gregory, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. She tells us that while this book of hers is the first fiction novel she has ever worked on, she has written creative non-fiction and articles for several magazines including Modern Literature, Ginosko Literary Journal, Massage Magazine, and Coast Weekly.
Love. Hate. Betrayal. Romance. Horror. Hope. Separation. Reunion. Perry Martin’s debut novel Pretty Flamingo promises all of this and much more. It’s a sublime tale that oscillates primarily between two time periods and two places: the late 1960s set in Brisbane, Australia and the early 2000s largely set in California, the US. It’s a poignant story of loss and separation where, in the end, love reigns supreme. The central idea, nonetheless, revolves around one question: Is it possible that people have ever lived before?
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.
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.
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.
Indie poet Daljeet Kaur believes in being direct, crisp, and to the point. And this quality of hers only shined when she gave the Literary Express an exclusive interview after the launch of an anthology of inspirational poetry titled ‘Catharsis’, which, on the side note, comprises three of Ms Kaur’s prolific works. Although we did find her answers pretty straightforward, the thirty-one-year-old came across as a light-hearted soul. Very much at the threshold of becoming a well-accomplished author, Ms Kaur told us with a smile that she felt jubilant to have finally become a part of the literary world, a dream she had cherished since her college days.
Indie author Kristifer Ann may have begun writing just about a year and a half ago, but she knows deep within her heart that creating stories is something she will do for the rest of her life. In an exclusive interaction with the Literary Express, the fifty-year-old author of House of Marchetti fame, states categorically that she absolutely nourishes the goal of becoming a full-fledged author. ‘I just submitted the last three chapters to my editor for Rise of Marchetti, which is my latest book. I also put the first chapter down of book three lately. It is titled Marchetti,’ she lets us know, going on to exclaim, ‘These Marchetti men won’t let me do anything else!’
Upon being asked if she has something to tell budding authors who lose motivation in the starting phase of their career, Ms Swartz points out that selling is hard and that half the job of an indie author is marketing. She stresses, ‘Once you are sure your cover and blurb are good, it’s all about ads, social media, and promotion of all kinds. It is the toughest and most stressful part of the job, in my opinion. It takes money and a ton of time and effort. Finding your readers can be the most difficult thing in the world, but with enough determination, you will find them, eventually.’
Sweet Southern Charm begins with an interaction between Janet Cramer, a ‘trashy’ woman living in a posh locality, and Chester Barfield, a guy masquerading as an employee of a company that offers a free assessment of personal security. The latter manages to make an entry to the former’s house, and it is what ensues that makes the story. Janet is found murdered, and investigator Georgia Beaumont and her subordinate Collin Cavanaugh are consequently roped in to figure out who perpetrated the crime. While the story on the one hand fast unravels the mystery, it also details the love-hate relationship Georgia and Collin share on the other.
Upon being asked to give a glimpse of the life he had led before turning into a full-time writer, Lovejoy divulges that college was a place he never went to. ‘Notwithstanding, I have worked in the criminal justice system. First as a cop and then a private investigator where I specialized in criminal defence and helping the families of missing persons. I spent two years as an investigator for the defence team of a federal capital offence case,’ he explains.
Talking about his very first book Zumanity, which he started working upon two years ago, the 26-year-old, who often jokes his blue veins are filled with ink, says, ‘Every zombie story has the one character that holds onto its humanity for a bit longer than everyone else. But what if that continued for a longer period of time? The main character in Zumanity falls to her death shortly after being bitten by a zombie, so she has an odd transformation.’
His second book, which happened a couple of years after the first, is titled ‘Keeper of the East Bluff Light’. It is a murder mystery that deals with the use of electromagnetism and light-wave technology for dastardly purposes.
Explaining the storyline, Duvall says, ‘There’s an alien force that’s looking to stop the destruction of the universe, and they’re looking for any intelligent life in the cosmos that might hold an answer. They land in a small Floridian town that resembles the one where I grew up, and they unleash chaos, and no one knows why.’
While it is true that Mystical Greenwood is the author’s debut novel, what is interesting is that Mr McDowell started writing when he was all of eleven years of age. ‘But it was just little stories for the fun of it. I fantasized about writing more, but I didn’t truly get serious about it until I was thirteen,’ he explains.
In an exclusive interaction with B Sudharsan, the author of the book ‘Let Sleeping Pharmacists Lie’ talks about everything under the sun – from her routine to her blog to the country she has lived in all her life. But most importantly, Ms Soong, who has a First Class Honours degree in Pharmacy (MPharm) from King’s College London, gives me an insight about her debut book, which was written during the lockdown, and says why budding authors should not be cowed down if they face rejection or if their works get broadsided.
‘I think writing doesn’t work that way. At least for me. I write when inspiration strikes though I wake up by eight in the morning and go to bed by midnight. It’s just that I don’t feel obliged to follow a schedule,’ says Robbin whose favourite author happens to be Kurt Vonnegut.
‘If we don’t fail, we will never learn how to be more successful than those who haven’t faced any failure. You got to make mistakes, but whether you learn from them or not, that’s under your control. So, write and write more. Don’t rush, and take your time. The first draft is never a final draft. Take feedback from fellow readers and writers. And most importantly, work on that feedback.’