Horror Poetry (Author Interview)




Horror Poetry looks like a unique book that contains both scary stories and poems. You have a collection of similar themed books, what sets this one apart?
It was the first, it was written over several years, so the work is well planned out and I believe features two of my best short stories. I think if people would like Horror Poetry, then Scary Poetry (which comes out later this month) is a good follow up. I really did enjoy writing the poems as well. It gave me a much-needed diversion from my frenetic and often chaotic life.

How did you come up with stories and poems in Horror Poetry?
 I drew the short stories from real-life. Gone Before Me is pretty much a story that grew from a car accident. One early morning, I hit a deer that darted out in front of my vehicle. The deer lived, but in the inky blackness of the morning I turned off the lights and just listened. Then this crazy idea came to me. It just might work, I thought. It did. Bride of the Lake was about something I read online one day after I heard of a person drowning. The ideas just raced from then on.

What will readers get out of your book?
I think for their dollar it will be a fun ride. I tried to amp up the Suspense and make it more a Thriller in parts. From what people who’ve read it told me, I succeeded in my attempt to entertain.

What inspired you when writing Horror Poetry?
It wasn’t done intentionally. I just began writing poems while waiting in the parking lot for my sons at school. Eventually, it bubbled over to short stories. I merged them together to complete a simple theme. I have always been a big aficionado of Horror. I remember in my youth watching horror movies when I was a kid every Friday and Saturday night. One of my first books as a teen was Stephen King’s “Carrie”, followed by “’Salems Lot”. Both exceptional work even to this day.

When did you decide to become a writer?
Writers write. I write poetry. So, does that make me a writer or an author? What’s the difference? I think it was around 2001 when I got serious about writing and really pushed myself to write grammatically correct sentences. My wife always told me it lacked the emotion and power that some authors pack into their words. I read more and took classes. Ultimately, I found my way there, but it wasn’t as fast as I’d like.

When writing Horror Poetry did anything stand out as particularly challenging?
Time is always an issue. We never have enough and when we find free time, there is always something or someone else who occupies it. I get frustrated knowing I have a million ideas but until the kids go to sleep or until I wake up do, I truly have “free time” to write. That is when I write best. I am up with the spirits haunting my laptop with frightfully dreadful things. Also, I am older so what frightens me at my age, won’t frighten someone younger. The closer to the grave you get the more you realize that time is of the essence.

What do you like to do when not writing?
I am an artist type. That means that I have an insatiable urge to be creative. It doesn’t always have to be poetry or short stories. It can be painting or playing my guitar. Just something to feed the creative pangs that constantly badger me to do something constructive with my time. I am a father and husband so that occupies quite a lot of my time. I am also a full-time employee too. So, I work a regular job as well as write. Indie authors live a lean life, and at this point there is no way I could do this full-time unless I won the lottery. I am a realist too, I think that it shows.

Where can readers find out more about your work?
Readers interested in my work or knowing more about my work can visit my website (always a work in progress). The url is http://hunterlynn.com. My books can be found on Amazon. I am also on social media but have a small presence there presently. There is only so much time to do all of the necessities to promote a book successfully, so I pick my battles accordingly. Thanks for the interview, I am grateful for this opportunity and appreciate any feedback you wish to share.

x

Night Whisperers! (Author Interview)





‘Night Whisperers!’ is the third book in the Rick O’Neil and Ted Troutman series.  Can you tell us a little about the title and what night whisperers are?  

“Night Whisperers!” was the hardest and most personal book I’ve written. “Night Whisperers!” deals with two main themes. The first theme is PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I believe that every veteran that has experience combat, has PTSD. Some handle it well and live normal lives, while other veterans are paralyzed by PTSD, and require medication, therapy, and even electrical shock therapy. Sadly, after Vietnam the Veterans Administration was ill-prepared to help these veterans.

The second theme is how returning Vietnam Veterans were treated upon returning home. Thanks to the media and Hollywood portraying us as drug-addicted baby killers we were spat upon, physically attacked and treated with hostility. There is an incident in “Night Whisperers!” where Rick is denied free tuition. This incident actually happened to me and we did march on the college registrar’s office.

The way we were treated, is a national disgrace and has scarred many Vietnam Veterans. It took nearly fifty years before the government and the public began showing some respect and now everyone is tripping over themselves trying to make up for treating us badly so many years ago. For many veterans, it is too little and too late.

How comparable is Rick’s adjustment to civilian life to your own experiences?

Fortunately, I wasn’t subject to some of the abuse that many veterans were. As I did mention in the first question, I was part of a group of veterans that stormed the registrar’s office demanded free tuition and we almost threw the registrar out of a window, fortunately, he was saved by the Dean of Students. After that incident, we formed our own veterans fraternity. The word got around not to mess with us and we were left alone. There were still hostile stares and cold shoulders, but mainly I think the students were afraid of us.

There was another time when I was told by a World War II Veteran, “You guys didn’t fight in a real war.” The VFW didn’t accept us into their ranks, because we fought in an undeclared war. Because of this. I like other Vietnam Vets kept a low profile. So, it wasn’t just the college students who saw us as outcasts. We didn’t wear our uniform or talk about our involvement in the war, except with other ‘Nam’ Vets. One of the promises that a lot of my fellow Vietnam Veterans have made is that never again will our nation treat returning veterans the way we were treated.

How does the 3rd book differ from the other two?

As I mentioned this book is much more personal and harder to write. Each of my books in the Rick O’Neil - Ted Troutman Series has some real-life experiences from my past. However, “Night Whisperers!” really did open up old wounds.

The reason I wrote the book is that a number of my readers wanted to know about Rick and Ted’s experiences when they returned from Vietnam. I hadn’t planned on writing about it, but upon reflection thought it would help fill in some gaps in their history, fill out Rick and Ted’s character profile and explain why they are the way they are.

Although difficult to write, I am glad I did write it. It served as a sort of therapy for me and from the responses, I have so far, both non-veteran readers and veterans, readers enjoy it.


There is a Klu Klux Klan scene in the book, can you tell us a little about racial tensions after the war?

As an old history teacher, I believe that the late 1960s and early 1970s were some of the most traumatic times in our country’s history. Cities and college campuses were in flames. Martin Luther King & Bobbie Kennedy were assassinated. This and the Vietnam War protests combined to make this period one of our nation’s worst.

Racial tensions were very high in the Sixties. Despite the progress that was being made with the Civil Rights Act, segregation was still common in many Southern & Northern Cities. The assassination of Martin Luther King in March 1968 was the spark that enflamed Blacks. There were violent protests in nearly all the major cities. National Guard troops were sent to restore peace.

The Klu Klux Klan openly held rallies. I grew up in the North and remembered having Black children in our schools and on our sports teams. We really didn’t think much of it and just accepted them as part of our community/school. I, of course, knew about the problems in the South, but even in the service, I did not see the kind of hatred and discrimination that was common in Southern States.

To Hold the Throne: A Novel of the Last Maccabee Princess and King Herod the Great



www.amazon.com/dp/B07RGS3LTZ/

AMAZON BESTSELLER

Historical figures and events meet page-turning fiction in Joni Okun's compelling debut novel. To Hold the Throne breathes life into the extraordinary story of King Herod the Great and Mariamne, the last Maccabee Princess, told in alternating points of view. 
Fueled by shifting political tides in Rome, the Triumvir Marc Antony disrupts the longstanding Maccabee Dynasty of Judea when he crowns Mariamne's new husband, Herod the Great, as King, setting off a firestorm of power-grabbing, betrayal, and tragedy in the quest for the ultimate prize: the throne.
Mariamne never surrenders her belief that her brother Aris, scion of the royal line descending from King David, is the rightful King of Judea. She wrestles with her conscience and with family expectations about how far she is willing to go to oust her husband the king, who loves her with great passion even as he grows increasingly paranoid about her fidelity and suspicious of her disloyalty. 
When a Maccabee family member is found murdered, Mariamne is thrown into a whirlwind of accusations and terror. 

Da Nang Damned! (Author Interview)





“Da Nang Damned!’ is the 1st book in your O’Neil - Troutman action-adventure series.  Do you recommend reading the books in order or are they all standalone?

No, each book stands on its own, as the main storyline is different in each book. There may be a reference or two to events that occur in “Da Nang Damned!” however, these don’t interrupt the storyline.
I actually intended, to only write one book, it was readers’ positive comments after reading “Da Nang Damned!” that persuaded me to turn it into a series.

What kind of character is O’Neil?

Rick O’Neil is the kind of person we all strive to be. He’s honest, loyal, and although conflicted over events and mistakes he has made is determined to do the right thing.
Rick is by nature stoic and someone who keeps his emotions bottled up tight. This is one of his strengths, and a major weakness, as Rick tends to shut out those he loves.
In creating the two main characters Rick and Ted, I wanted to have two men who although polar opposites, form a strong bond of friendship. I think the differences between Rick and Ted make for a more interesting story.

You pulled a lot from your personal experiences.  Tell us a little about that.

Well, I was always told to write about what you know. My experiences in Vietnam and how returning veterans were stereotyped in the media and Hollywood have scarred a lot of veterans. Each Vietnam veteran has been affected differently and I tried to reflect that in my book.


 Vietnam serves as a backdrop to the story. The book isn’t so much about the war as the effects of the war on the four main characters.

I guess you could say writing “Da Nang Damned!” has been a sort of therapy for me. In 2014, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I was told the cancer was caused by Agent Orange. Agent Orange is a toxic chemical that was sprayed from planes over Vietnamese jungles in an effort to kill the vegetation. American servicemen and Vietnamese were exposed to this defoliant. Currently, there are fourteen diseases ranging from cancers to Parkinson’s which are caused by exposure to Agent Orange. I say it took me fifty years to write “Da Nang Damned!” and in a way, that is true. I always wanted to write a novel and it was the idea that even after all those years that Vietnam was still playing havoc with my life that compelled me to write.

I also lived in northern New Hampshire, so I’m familiar with the area, the lakes, towns, and mountains. Because New Hampshire and Canada share a common border, and because much of the border is remote and heavily wooded it makes a great backdrop for my stories, opening up a lot of possibilities.


The image on the back of the book of the airplane, does it hold any specific meaning?

Yes and thanks for asking, the photo is one I took on January 18, 1968, as we were boarding a Navy C-141 at Quonset Point, Rhode Island. It was a cold, blustery, snowy morning. Twenty-six hours later, we would land in Da Nang, Vietnam and walk out into a hot, steaming airfield tarmac. It was quite a shock.



I was originally going to use the photo of the plane for the cover but opted instead for the map of Vietnam.

You donate a portion of the profits to veteran charities.  That’s amazing.  Your readers can also donate directly.  What are the top two charities you would like to mention here?

Right now, I am donating a portion of my books’ profits to a local organization called the Carroll County Veterans Independence Project. This project is one of the first in the nation whose goal is to provide housing and training to returning veterans and assist them in transitioning back to civilian life. Currently, CCVIP is searching for a suitable facility to house and train the veterans. For more information, you can visit carrollcountyvip.org.

Will there be a third book or another series started?

I just finished and published on Amazon, “Night Whisperers!” This book takes place in 1972. A number of readers asked that I write a book about how the guys coped with all the turmoil in the United States after returning home. “Da Nang Damned!” and “Death Is Never Pretty!” focuses on the present day. Night Whisperers!, fills in the gap between the men’s Vietnam tour and the present and deals with how Rick and Ted adjust to civilian life and the challenges they faced. Here is a brief description:

“After Vietnam, Rick was eager to forget about what he’d seen on the battlefield and go back to living a normal life. But upon returning home, he soon discovers it isn’t that simple. Haunted by the images of the past, and the incessant voices he calls the ‘Night Whisperers’, the memories of war color his every waking moment. With his marriage crumbling and his anger rising, Rick takes to the road in search of answers.”

I have at least one more book planned in the series and I am also working on a Western about an older Texas Ranger.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?  

To learn more about my books and to purchase one they can go to https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B075Q3SL3X. Readers can also visit my Facebook Page @ Peter A. Turner - Author.



From Thrown Stones (Author Interview)




Will From Thrown Stones be part of a series or do you plan on writing additional books in the fictional politics realm?
It’s a trilogy. Second book is “enemies in the ranks” last book is titled “Kairos moment”


How long did it take you to write From Thrown Stones?
18 months


What inspired you when writing From Thrown Stones?   
True life events, my life took a turn and I resorted to my natural ability – writing. From the moment I accepted writing over everything else, everything else changed for the better



Why did you decide to become a writer?
I have enjoyed writing since I was a small child. I always wrote science fiction but the autobiography was my first move in the arena


How did you come up with the story and ideas in From Thrown Stones?
I just told the truth, the format was the creative part. I had to tell the story from the past as well as the present



Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing From Thrown Stones?
Remembering how everything played out and piecing it back together



What do you like to do when not writing?
I’m a chef and musician



Where can readers find out more about your work?
Miiq.org



The Mars One Incident



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TX9NQ8J 

Technology is the Temptation
The year is 2635, the people of Earth live in a tech-free utopia. Captain Alma Johnson is one of the few permitted to use technology as part of the human fleet. In a starship that has been rebuilt more than a dozen times, she faithfully protects humanity’s holdings in the solar system overpopulated with aggressive aliens and marauding pirates. Now she finds herself on a doomed mission that she’s been set up for from the very beginning. On Mars One Station she investigates a strange starship and learns of a coup threatening Earth’s peaceful way of life. She only has minutes to act and she knows she will be damned for either choice she makes. And what’s worse is that a small part of her wants the coup to succeed. But she must make a choice and make it now.

Death is Never Pretty (Author Interview)




‘Death is Never Pretty!’ looks like a great 2nd book in your Ted Troutman Adventure Series.  How many books do you have planned?
Thanks, ‘Death Is Never Pretty!’ is the second of four planned books in the Rick O’Neil - Ted Troutman Action - Adventure Series. These books are about two men, Rick, and Ted. Ted is the sheriff in Carroll County, New Hampshire and Rick is his part-time deputy. The men met in the military years ago and formed a strong bond of friendship. The third book ‘Night Whisperers!’ was released on Amazon September 2019. I am also working on a western about an aging Texas Ranger.


How did you come up with the story in ‘Death is Never Pretty!’?  
I am always looking for ideas for stories, and when I read about Human Trafficking, especially the abduction of children, I thought it would make a great story. New Hampshire shares a border with Canada and the idea of smuggling abducted children across the border just seemed like a natural.        


What will readers get out of your book?
I hope that readers will enjoy the book, and become aware of the great tragedy that is Human Trafficking.


What inspired you when writing ‘Death is Never Pretty!’?   
I was inspired after learning more about Human Trafficking and in particular about the abduction and selling of Inuit Children. The Inuit are a Native American Tribe living in Canada. The children, unfortunately, are in demand as sex slaves and laborers. Learning about this inspired me to add their plight to my storyline.

I am a Vietnam Veteran and I contribute a portion of the profits from my book to various veteran charities, so the more books I write the more I can donate.


When did you decide to become a writer?
I always wanted to write, but it wasn’t until I retired in 2012 that I finally wrote my first book ‘Da Nang Damned!’ This was the first book in the Rick O’Neil - Ted Troutman Series and deals with their experience in Vietnam and a secret that they kept hidden for forty years. A friend’s suicide forces them to reveal the secret, exposing a rich and powerful crime boss.


When writing ‘Death is Never Pretty!’ did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  
Well, writing is always challenging. I think the biggest challenge is creating likable, interesting characters, characters that readers will enjoy getting to know. In addition, I try to weave two or three sub-stories into the book and make it appear to be seamless and a natural part of the story.


What do you like to do when not writing?
Being retired allows me the time to pursue things that interest me. One of my hobbies is woodcarving and for the last seven years, I have been a volunteer at a local senior center teaching woodcarving. I also have been researching my family’s history and have found many fascinating things about my ancestors.
When I turned seventy, I finally fulfilled one of my dreams and bought a Jaguar S-Type, which I enjoy taking on road trips with my wife. I also enjoy fishing in the local lakes and ponds. I believe the secret to a long and happy life is to stay active, be socially engaged and intellectually stimulated.


Where can readers find out more about your work?
My books are available on Amazon @ https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B075Q3SL3X
On Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/pete.turner.56
 My blog @ https://writerandraconteur.blogspot.com/


Silent Strike (Author Interview)




Silent Strike looks like a great suspense thriller.  How many books are set to be in the series?  
The series could have dozens of books. Troy Stoker, MD and the other characters have unlimited potential for stories and adventures.


How did you come up with the story in Silent Strike?  
We wanted to write a second story after we had success with our first book, American Jackal. We wanted to take our character, Troy Stoker, into a world where he took on a higher challenge. Of course, our lead author is a doctor, so you know we’re going to come up with medical intrigue. And while Silent Strike is fiction, we want to tap into the realities that confront our great nation.


What will readers get out of your book?
We all read because we want a story to give us an adventure and rouse our intellect. Our book will take readers into the mind of a gritty, hard-hitting psychiatrist as he goes from Mexico to Chicago and beyond to confront the schemes of evil men. The plot weaves in the medical and biological worlds with international tensions and conflicts.


What inspired you when writing Silent Strike?   
The desire to write a great story always inspires us. We’re motivated by the aspiration of putting that story into the hands of people who want to read their way into an adventure. Then we want to make readers ask themselves, “Could this really happen?”


When did you decide to become a writer?
We teamed up as a writing duo in 2013. Dr. Bandettini had some life experiences that we exaggerated into huge tall tales to become our first thriller novel, American Jackal.


When writing Silent Strike did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  
We have immense respect for Iranian people living in Iran, here in America, and in other parts of the world. It is always challenging to celebrate the people when you are pointing out the aggressions and intentions of their government.

What do you like to do when not writing?
We have day jobs. Dr. Bandettini works as a psychiatrist in South Dakota and Matt works in community relations at a hospital in Arizona.  Even with our jobs and writing careers, we still find time to do some cycling and spend rejuvenation time outdoors.


Where can readers find out more about your work?
At Dr. Bandettini’s Amazon author page:



x

RAIN



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y8NG6B1/

HEROES ARE REBORN!

What
if I told you they are real?

What if I said that when
they came back, it was me who stood in their
way?

Would you believe me?

Grab ahold of your
FAITH.
Fight for your
REDEMPTION.
And at all
costs,
Protect your
POWER.

Introducing the first installment
in the RAIN trilogy, An action-packed and
unpredictable YA SUPERHERO
FANTASY. 

Plus One Plus None (HUGEOrange Publication Review)





HUGEOrange Publication Review
Plus One Plus None, by Emica Mao

Plus One Plus None is filled with good advice with wit and humor to boot.  There is nothing better than finding a book that offers helpful practical advice and is fun to read in narrated story form. 
Author Emica Mao talks about her life with a focus on her introvert personality through a character named Zita. If you’re an introvert, you will instantly connect with her upstream swim through life and growing older. If you’re not an introvert, there will be insights and ah ha moments when you recognize how introverts you know must feel. Extroverts feel there’s something wrong with women who do not crave the spotlight, the married life, and kids underfoot. Many make it the focus of their friendship (or if family, relationship) to change anyone who can’t yet understand why these things are essential. Well, they’re not, really, are they?
One thing I learned about making decisions is sometimes deep within us, we have a secret answer already even before we seek advice (though we would probably never admit this).  
This is a must read for single women and a recommended read for everyone else. From dating tips to relatable and funny stories, Plus One Plus None will offer a juicy gem of something to remember on every page.
It’s empowering and motivates you to embrace the single life for all it has to offer.  After reading this book you will be happily content in your own cozy cocoon.
Maybe as the number of people who remain unmarried increases generation after generation, more people would realize that being single is as mainstream as being married.
Entertaining from front to back there isn’t a dull moment.  Zita is a fun character to follow, blunt and no holds barred.  The story, like it says from the start, is about breaking the linear path we all feel we are on as we grow up.  School, job, kids and happily ever after.  She writes about her attempts to find Mr. Right and get on the path she’s ‘supposed’ to be on. Many women get on that path knowing that’s not what they really want. Zita will not be one of them, she is true to herself and frank about what she wants and it’s not diapers and commitment. She’s happy with herself, her life, and her future. Anyone wondering how to get off the hamster wheel of expectations will find resolve and motivation with this wonderful book.
You are fully accountable for your life. How your life has turned out so far and how it is turning out to be, that is on you.  There is nothing or no one else to blame.   In as much as there are a lot of external factors in your life, the primary driver of your life is no one else but you.  
I found myself relating in some way, either directly or indirectly through a friend, to all of Zita’s ups and downs.  I think the main thing I got out of it was comradery.  I didn’t feel alone in being single or that I’ve made the wrong choice anymore. You have to be brave to make the right choice sometimes and this lady is as brave as they come. Introverts do not like to share information about themselves, but she shows the good and the bad, the ups and downs, successes and failures. She’s a success in my book!