Here’s the next installment of our series of author interviews. Today’s guest is Gabriel Fitzpatrick. Gabriel describes himself as a wanderer, dissident, refugee, hedonist, solipsist, and romantic. Also, indie as fuck.

Scott had the following questions for Gabriel and he was kind enough to supply the answers.

Tell me three truths about yourself and one lie.
Three truths sounds hard… I always thought three lies and a truth made more sense. Still, who am I to argue?
1. I was once wrangled into a mass bar brawl between the Ulster Scots and the Republicans in Belfast. Needless to say, my side won.

2. I spent 2 months without bathing on a bet to see if I could still maintain my string of European love affairs absent even the most basic of hygiene. Again, needless to say, I won.

3. I’ve been detained by the police over a dozen times, but never arrested and tried only once for one of those very fun, bliss-seeking crimes that writers are known for. You know the ones.

4. I once stole a horse to teach the owner a valuable lesson about the consequences of animal cruelty. There’s now a very happy farm boy with a very nice horse somewhere in Italy.

Sexiest text message you’ve ever sent or received?

I’m gonna have to go with “y do i keep liking stuf just cuz u do it to me?” It’s a fair question, and one that I enjoyed exploring the answer to quite a lot ^.^. I tried to work it into Rmnce somewhere, but the characters were having none of it. Very demanding, those two…

You enjoy pushing the boundaries when it comes to format. What the biggest lesson you’ve learned from that?

Firstly that there’s a lot that can be said simply through format, a lot of message that you can carry across even beyond the characters and plot. Secondly, at a more pragmatic level, that challenging people’s preconceptions is wildly entertaining, and that those who like it, love it. Of course, there’s a percentage of the population who hate it as well, but I’d rather see my work loved by kindred spirits than liked by everyone.

Oh, and the proper placement of commas is hugely overrated.

What’s the most fabulous thing you’ve read recently?

99 Brief Scenes from the End of the World by T.W. Grim. It’s an apocalypse book written in tiny snippets from around the world, another of those narrative experiments that went brilliantly right. I haven’t been that impressed in a very long time.

If my readers haven’t heard of you, why should they buy this book?

It’s unique and unapologetic with a message that everyone needs to hear: Namely, that the dialects of our age are anything but inexpressive It asserts itself not just as a story of love and the trials of new-found freedom, but also as a commentary on romance in the digital age. The text message format isn’t going to be for everyone, but it should be.

What one food could you live off of, if it satisfied all of your dietary needs?

Crepes. They’re a staple food for me if I can find a decent restaurant for them. If I ever get manna from heaven, it will taste like a sweet lemon crepe. Ideally it will also come with white sherry. Can you drink with manna? I don’t even know… Moving on.

Is writing a talent, a skill, or something of both?

Creating is a talent. Coming up with a concept, a story, and an approach to that story are talents; if you don’t have them, you’re just going to have to seek a new line of work. That is, unless you’re Tom Clancy. Or Clive Cussler. Or William Shakespeare… actually you know what I take that back. Maybe creativity isn’t the angle to shoot for.

Writing, the actual direct ‘putting words on a page to express something’ bit is a skill. Not a teachable skill, but one that you can and must learn through practice. I think that’s the biggest thing people don’t get, and the thing that kept me from writing for a very long time – you think of writing as something you either have or you don’t, but you really do need to sit down and write at very least 100 pages of unforgivably bad material before you can start to judge your abilities.

Finally, to crib a fascinating question from Chuck Wendig – What’s your favorite word?

Solipsistic. I will slot that into conversation at every opportunity, even if it doesn’t make sense.

Check out his newest story Rmance – Rmnce is a romance for the digital age.

It’s written entirely through the communications of the couple. Text messages, emails, and even a few old-fashioned letters make up the entirety of a story, what one early reader termed “A story not so much written as formed organically in the negative space.”

It is, in short, a commentary on love in the digital age, a tribute to the great love affairs of the digital generation, romance not lost in the sea of text-speak and instant gratification, but merely obscured from the prying eyes of those too far removed from its cultural roots.

“[A] playground for your imagination.” Grizwald Grim, Grim’s Issue
Smashwords: http://goo.gl/oIMIV
Amazon: http://goo.gl/mOeqm

The Seekrit Projekt Interviews John Lewis

Posted: 5th October 2012 by sroche in Recommendation
Tags: , ,

Scott Roche was fortunate enough to catch some time with John Kipling Lewis, author of Unselected.

John and I have been talking a bit about his book lately, and I have the pleasure of having started it last night. I’ll put up a proper review later this week. I assure you that it’ll be a positive one, but for now have a look at the Q&A session we had:

Tell me three truths about yourself and one lie.

1. I graduated from an All Girl Catholic High School.
2. I live in Costa Rica for political reasons.
3. I have proposed to a women on the Eiffel Tower.
4. I don’t eat anything I haven’t personally gathered.

Give me a story in ten words or less.

I love micro fiction so I’m going to enjoy this one. The luxury of 4 more words than I’m used to should make this easier.

Writer’s block plagued Alan however Sarah’s stolen thoughts reinvigorated her.

You’ve just told us five stories. Why tell stories in such a concise format?

I enjoy making people think. I find the medium of a concise format to be ideal for creating pieces of fiction doesn’t give the luxury of explaining all. Giving the reader the opportunity to connect the dots or even fill in entire pieces is a great feeling.

What’s the most fabulous thing you’ve read recently?

My son wrote a story at school about being the heart of the entire world. It didn’t have zombies in it. Zombies seem to be very popular these days.

If my readers haven’t heard of you, why should they buy this book?

My writing is provocative, thought provoking, and not what you are likely expecting. It’s anything but ordinary. If you are bored of reading the same things and want to taste something spicier, then this book is what you are craving.

What one food could you live off of, if it satisfied all of your dietary needs?

Pizza, partly because it does fit all my dietary needs and partly because you could make it in so many ways. I don’t think I would want to lose the variety of taste by being locked into just one for the rest of my life.

Most interviews would ask you who your influences are. I’m going to ask who you’d least like to write like and why?

J.K. Rowling. I feel sorry for her. She got stuck in the world of children’s fiction and you could feel her trying to claw her way out of that genre by the end of the series.

I also don’t like the way she crafts her stories. Her grammer, syntax and formatting are amazing. She’s an amazing writer of prose, but I can’t stand her pace or her character descriptions.

Finally, to crib a fascinating question from Chuck Wendig – What’s your favorite word?

Liminal – I like living, being, creating in between the states most people take for granted. It’s a word that’s poorly understood but which could easily be used in so many context. It does have an unfortunate cousin “subliminal” but this doesn’t detract from my admiration of the word.

Follow John on Twitter!

Buy Unselected!

Amazon

Smashwords


Thanks for your time John!

David Sobkowiak and Scott Roche have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Canadian raconteur Jon Mirro John Miro John Mireau John Mierau. We talk about his podcast at Serving Worlds and his anthology Walk The Fire featuring himself and authors Matthew Sanborn Smith, Jason Andrew Bond, J Daniel Sawyer, Patrick E. McLean & Nathan Lowell.

Mentioned:

http://johnmierau.wordpress.com/
John’s Twitter

The Seekrit Projekt Interviews Steven Saus

Posted: 21st September 2012 by sroche in Podcast
Tags: , , ,

This week Scott Roche talks with Steven Saus about his publishing and ebook services at Alliteration Ink.

Mentioned:
Steve’s site.
Steve’s Blog
Steve’s Twitter

This week we interview Michael J Winegar about his Kickstarter – The Tome of Ideas for Writers and Roleplayers. We’re joined by Dave Robison of the Roundtable Podcast!

A color illustrated book of writing and story prompts from over twenty professional authors and over ten genres, great for RPGs.

The Book

Tome of Ideas is part genre encyclopedia, part RPG book, part writing prompt collection, and part inspirational art book. It is designed as a resource for writers looking for their next story, game masters looking for their next adventure, or anyone who simply wants to sit down and send their imagination on a journey into speculative fiction.

The writing prompts, story seeds, and adventure outlines spanning ten genres and almost two dozen sub-genres make Tome of Ideas a great read for anyone who loves genre fiction, art, or roleplaying.

Mentioned:
Michael’s site.
Michael’s Twitter
The Roundtable Podcast
Roundtable Podcast Twitter
BECOME A SEEKRIT AGENT!!!

We had the pleasure of interviewing Jim, Jon, and Kent from the Crucible of Realms podcast. Every episode they build a different world, sometimes with guests!

Mentioned:
http://www.crucibleofrealms.com/

Bait Dog – Review

Posted: 13th August 2012 by sroche in Recommendation
Tags: , ,

I love fiction that makes you want to finish it. No matter how raw, uncomfortable, or tragic the content, you can’t let go. There’s no walking away until you read the last page. This happened to me with Bait Dog by Chuck Wendig.

This is the second story featuring Chuck’s protagonist Atlanta Burns (as one character opines, possibly the best name ever). Of the first one, Shotgun Gravy, I said:

Ass kicker of a story. It’s teenage revenge kinda-sorta, served up smokin’ hot. There are several gut punches throughout and it’s well worth the price of admission.

This one’s no different. I’ll cover both books for the sake of this review, because if you buy the e-book you’ll get the whole shootin’ match. Prior to Shotgun Gravy, Atlanta was the victim of molestation at the hands of her vacuous mom’s boyfriend. She relieves him of his testicles with a .410 gauge shotgun. Thanks to the help of an understanding detective she gets counseling instead of jail time.

At the beginning of Shotgun Gravy, school starts up she finds herself the object of some unusual attention. In her time away she’s become something of a cult hero. She’s approached by two representatives of the school’s outcast population to provide some protection against bullies. Toting her handy squirrel gun and more anger and attitude than any healthy person can carry, she takes care of business. The bullies lead to a gang of neo-Nazis and she wades into a perfect shit storm in an effort to save her friends and herself.

Bait Dog has her playing the role of detective more than bodyguard. One of her classmates wants her to find out who’s responsible for killing her dog. The animal dragged its way home after having been badly mangled. Come to find out animals have been disappearing from that same neighborhood over the last few weeks. Her search leads her to a local dog fighting ring and against even her crippled judgement she takes on the whole operation.

I loved this story. The characters are all well written and I found myself caring deeply about all of them. I’d like to believe that the situations are over the top, but I suspect that they’re all horrifyingly realistic. The crime, bullying, drug use, and sexual abuse that his characters face are all “ripped from the headlines”. The main question I have (and even Chuck has) is “Who is the audience for this?”.

I’d let an older teen read this, but I’d want to read and discuss it with them. There’s a lot of violence, bloodshed, and strong language. Atlanta also abuses various substances during the course of the book. None of it’s “glorified”, and you see its effects on her life and her body. Still, not everyone would be comfortable with their kids reading this (and nor should they be, nothing about these stories are “comfortable”). So maybe the real audience is intended to be adults. It certainly shows its readers a vision of what some of the kids in our country are going through. I know I enjoyed it (if enjoyed is the right word). And I do want to point out that there are moments of brightness and triumph here. I laughed more than a few times and things do occasionally go right for Atlanta and her friends. Every victory comes with a cost though.

And speaking of cost, if my review has whetted your appetite at all, you have two days to get both stories at the low price of $2.99. Chuck says he’ll bump up the price this coming Wednesday. Buy direct from him and not only will you get both major e-reader file types, you’ll also put more of your money in his pocket. Go get it here!

Aric is the host of multiple podcasts and is an all around funny gent. He’s an actor, an improv artist, and a web designer. Have a listen to our interview with him!

Mentioned in this interview:

The Mustache Rangers podcast – www.mustacherangers.com
Better Strangers podcast – betterstrangers.com
Blank It webcomic – blankitcomics.com
Hardest Working Lazy Guy blog – hawolagu.com
Feeding Objects tumblr – feedingobjects.com
Your Notness tumblr – yournotness.com
Hey, I Found Your Sign tumblr – heyifoundyoursign.com
Least Dangerous Game social game- www.leastdangerousgame.com
Danny Washington and Educational Egg video and animation – dannywashington.com
Make Me Watch TV social experiment – www.makemewatchtv.com
Twitter – www.twitter.com/aric

We have the pleasure of interviewing Matthew Wayne Selznick about his Kickstarter campaign to fund the writing of “Pilgrimage — A Novel of the Sovereign Era”. It’s the sequel to his novel Brave Men Run and we’re very excited about it.

Mentioned in this interview:

Sign up to receive a free copy of Brave Men Run!
http://crowdfundpilgrimage.info/
Follow Matt on Twitter

 Brion Humphrey and Dave Robison are the hosts of the Roundtable Podcast.

Every great story begins starts with a great idea. But… how do you know if your idea is strong enough to bear the weight of pen and ink? You do what we all do… you tell someone about it. You talk it through, bounce ideas around, and get some feedback. You have a discussion.

Now… wouldn’t it be great if you could have that discussion with some folks who’ve been around the block once or twice, who have published a book or two, or edited a few novels? Now THAT discussion would be fabulous! Think of what you could learn about your craft, the questions you could ask and the answers you’d get!

That’s what The Roundtable Podcast is all about. It’s about nurturing ideas, fostering inspiration, and getting the creative juices flowing. It’s also about mistakes and blind alleys, harsh reality and uncomfortable truths.

Each week we invite publishers, editors, and authors to get on the line with a writer who presents an idea on the table… an idea for a story they want to write. And then everyone digs in, asking questions, pointing out problems, and proposing solutions. Characters are dissected or dismissed, plots reinforced or torn apart altogether, and hopefully what started as an idea, becomes something more.
It becomes a story… one we’d all like to hear.

Mentioned in this interview:

The Dead Robots’ Society