Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Review: ‘Bible Bands: Rubber Band Jewelry’ by Katreina Eden


bible bandsBible Bands is a fun, educational how-to book for children who love making jewelry. Not only does it teaches how to make lovely designs, but it also strengthens children’s faith by combining hands-on creativity with Bible verses and stories.
Rubber band jewelry seems to be the hottest new craze, so Eden’s book comes at the right time. Though at first glance, when you look at the jewelry, it might seem complicated and difficult to make, especially for kids, the author demystifies it with simple step-by-step instructions accompanied by colorful photos. I found the language and descriptions clear and straight-forward, easy for most kids to understand, though the younger ones will need guidance from an adult, at least at first. There are over 12 designs, from the simplest to the most elaborate.
Eden incorporates faith with verses and symbols, such as a blue and white pattern to symbolize Christ’s baptism, a heart design to remind you of God’s love, and a multi-colored weave to match Joseph’s coat of many colors, among others.
Bible Bands doesn’t come with the looms or bands, but you can find these at most craft shops. This will make a lovely gift for any child, especially those who are into crafts. It is also a good book for those long summer and Christmas holidays, as it will keep children entertained for hours. Recommended!
Find out more on Amazon.
My review was previously published in Blogcritics.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Interview with Peter Darrach, author of 'Tavern on the Edge of Time'



Peter Darrach has lived in New York, London, Prague, Munich and Vienna. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master of Arts degree in German Literature, both from Pennsylvania State University. Darrach pursued a career in sales and marketing in fields as diverse as amusement parks and retail before moving to Europe in 1991. Since then he has worked in Eastern and Western Europe, holding a series of executive positions with blue chip FMCG companies.  Most recently he has returned to the U.S. to pursue his career as a business coach and fiction author and currently lives in Florida.

His latest book is the sci-fi, Tavern on the Edge of Time.
For More Information
About the Book:

During the year 2125, former asteroid miners Max Cody and Elaine Zhou never get a moment’s rest. No sooner have they doused the flames of war between Earth and Mars or returned from their first trip to the Tavern on the Edge of Time when they are called upon to help fit out the fledging Martian colony orbiting Jupiter’s moon Callisto. In parallel, Earth extradites the war’s fomenter, ex-billionaire arms merchant Xanthus Rex, hoping to gain from his insights into Martian teleportation technology, but he manages to turn Earth’s resources toward private revenge against Max, Mars, and the Callisto Colony. In the meantime aliens are leaking into the Earth-Mars continuum from the Tavern, whose proprietor repaired and upgraded Max after accidentally injuring him during an asteroid mining expedition. Max’s enhancements help, of course, but when strange beings with the power to animate matter—the Assemblers—find their way to Earth, Max, Mars, and humanity are sorely beset. Worse yet, the Tavern itself is becoming unstable, its acquisitive host having overstretched his considerable powers. His prospecting for collapsed neutron matter has also opened portals between continua, inadvertently adding still more aliens to the mix. That’s when the Assemblers’ overlord arrives and Max finally meets his match. Oh, and Elaine is expecting their hybrid baby. Yes, you might say these are difficult times at the Tavern on the Edge of Time.

For More Information


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

We are talking about the current book, Tavern on the Edge of Time (Book Three of the Second Skin Series, www.peterdarrach.com). 

My ideas tend to come to me when I am doing something mindlessly repetitive like swimming, running, or maybe driving long distance, as if some door is opened through which the ideas flow. 

Actually, for me these three books wrote themselves, flowing as it were from some external muse.  I wrote the first of my current three books as a rough draft in 2008, but didn’t actually publish it until 2012. I do have two degrees in literature, so I’ve been involved with the medium rather a long time—with a 22 year break to go off and be a business executive in Europe.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The first book was undoubtedly the most difficult.  Although the story flowed easily enough, the physical writing, editing, correcting, continuity checking, etc., seemed unendingly laborious.  However, I learned a lot of short cuts during the process and books two and three were much easier on this technical level.  This allowed me to put much more energy into the characters and the story lines, with demonstrable results, I think.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I decided to go the self-publishing route.  These stories have been bubbling in me for some time and I simply needed to release them. Both the formal and informal reviews have been quite positive. It’s very inspiring to have strangers tell you your that reading your books is like “dreaming with your eyes open.” Who knows, a publisher may be intrigued by the positive attention.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Surprised, no, delighted, yes.  I suppose the first time you hold your book in your hands it is a little like beholding your child for the first time. The characters are my friends.  The books are my children.  But, once I’ve written and finalized a book, I am already off on the next one. 

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Book Four in the Second Skin Series is currently taking shape.  I’m on chapter 6 and creatively it’s going well.  Finding the quality time to focus on it is more of a challenge, however.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

You mean other than www.thewriterslife.blogspot.com?


Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

My books are indeed science fiction and adventure stories, but they are also testament to my love of life and I hope they help people enjoy their own lives a little more.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Well, yes, actually.  We haven’t explained what the book is about...

The action begins in the year 2125. The first book in the series (Second Skin) follows the asteroid miner Max Cody who is wounded and repaired with some unexpected enhancements by aliens while prospecting. He and his navigator / girlfriend Elaine Zhou face vicious ice pirates in the asteroid belt and on the enormous Mars Orbital Smelter Array (a.k.a MOSA) who plan to attack Mars and Earth.
In the second book (Second Skin Too) the duo is called upon to join a diplomatic effort to try and avoid war with Earth over Mars’ mining prowess, a conflict driven by billionaire arms merchant Xanthus Rex.
The latest book (Book Three, The Tavern on the Edge of Time) brings us directly in contact with the alien who repaired Max, not to mention numerous other aliens, who frequent a peaceful place call the Tavern on the Edge of Time. Unfortunately, Earth, Mars, the Tavern, and even Mars’ poor fledgling colony on Callisto come under attack both from human and far stranger adversaries—especially the Assemblers. It looks like Max has met his match this time.
Visit www.peterdarrach.com for more details.
http;//www.pumpupyourbook.com

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Writers today are deciding to forgo six-figure advances in order to self-publish. Are they crazy? #selfpub

 It’s no great secret that the world of publishing is changing. What is a secret is how much. Is it changing a lot? Has most of the change already happened? What does the future look like?

You may have heard from other reports that e-books account for roughly 25% of overall book sales. But this figure is based only on sales reported by major publishers. E-book distributors like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, the iBookstore, and Google Play don’t reveal their sales data. That means that self-published e-books are not counted in that 25%.

Read rest of article here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Interview with Tudor Robins, author of Appaloosa Summer

Tudor Robins is an Ottawa-based young adult author whose first novel, Objects in Mirror, was named a Best Book for Kids and Teens by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
She gathered publishing-related experience in her roles as a magazine editor and publishing sales representative, as well as working in offset and digital printing. Tudor currently teaches writing workshops for adults and children, as well as developing writing contests and programming to motivate young writers. Tudor loves reading, writing, and horseback riding, and spending time with her husband and two sons. Appaloosa Summer is now available in paperback through Amazon (link), and can also be purchased in the Kindle store (link). Receiving messages from readers is one of Tudor’s favorite things, so please feel free to visit her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Connect with Tudor Robins:
Website:  www.tudorrobins.ca


About The Book

Sixteen-year-old Meg Traherne has never known loss. Until the beautiful, talented horse she trained herself, drops dead underneath her in the show ring. Jared Strickland has been living with loss ever since his father died in a tragic farming accident. Meg escapes from her grief by changing everything about her life; moving away from home to spend her summer living on an island in the St. Lawrence River, scrubbing toilets and waiting on guests at a B&B. Once there, she meets Jared; doing his best to keep anything else in his life from changing. When Jared offers Meg a scruffy appaloosa mare out of a friend’s back field, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change both of them by summer’s end.

Appaloosa Summer can be compared to Heartland TV show - http://www.cbc.ca/heartland/

For More Information:

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads.




Q: Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

There are two answers to this question: the reader answer, and the writer answer.

Ever since I was very young, the reader in me has always looked for books about the things I love: the countryside, horses, some romance. When I can find those books, I’m in heaven. When I can’t, I sit down to write them!

For Appaloosa Summer in particular, I think the writer in me took some of my childhood experiences – having two weeks every summer when I could run wild, and gallop horses bareback across the fields at our cottage – and applied the “what if?” question to them. What if a girl from the city got to spend an entire summer on a rural island? What if she met a great guy? I just let the words flow and this book was the result.


Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

For both my books, and everything I write, the first writing is usually quite easy. I’m a “pantser” – meaning I don’t heavily plan, or plot out my books first; instead I write as I wish, by the seat of my pants.

However, the hard work comes in the subsequent revisions. Being prepared to throw away my favourite bits. Being willing to go back to the beginning and change an entire story line to make it fit with essential changes later. Being able to let go of a complete character, if necessary.

My advice to developing writers would be to write initially in whatever way works best for you; “plotter”, “pantser” – there is no right or wrong way. Then, once you’re done, be open to constructive critique and making changes, because you really do want to make your book the strongest it can be so you’ll love it forever.


Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I had a publisher for my first book, and securing that contract was a very long process. I finished the first draft of that novel in 2007, and it was published in June 2013. I queried, and pitched, and rewrote, and revised, and re-submitted it multiple times. In the meantime, I also kept working on my second book – Appaloosa Summer – and I believe it was reading that second manuscript that finally convinced my publisher to go ahead and send me a contract for the first book.

It was gratifying to get that initial contract, and it had always been a dream of mine, however I’ve been watching the publishing world change so quickly, and I’ve learned more about myself – I’m more entrepreneurial than I thought, and I’m pretty motivated and like to get things done – so self-publishing seemed like a much better fit for me when it came time to make a decision about Appaloosa Summer.

I published Appaloosa Summer in June and, so far, I’m completely happy with that decision.


Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Hmmm … great question! I don’t know if I was exactly surprised, because getting my traditional contract took so long, I was quite prepared, and I read up quite a bit before deciding to self-publish.

However, I would say I’ve been really impressed with the dedication, professionalism and creativity of everybody I’ve worked with on both books. Both my editors really treated my books almost like they were their own, and never took the easy way out. I’ve also been blessed to work with extremely skilled designers on both books, and am happy with the “look and feel” of both of them.


Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Right now I’m working on the second book in the Island Trilogy – the follow-up to Appaloosa Summer. It’s with beta readers right now, so as soon as they send their manuscripts and comments back to me, I’ll have major re-writing to do before sending it to my editor. I’m aiming for a tentative launch date of March 2015.


Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I have to admit, I really love being at my cottage where I have no Internet connection at all – my writing output goes way, way up when I can’t do anything else but sit in front of Scrivener (the program I use for my novels) and type.

However, I am really loving Goodreads these days. I’ve had a great experience there with Appaloosa Summer. I think this is a beautiful period in publishing, when authors can really begin to understand how readers are impacted by their books, and I find Goodreads is a nice facilitator of that interaction.


Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Rather than a message, I would say I’m aiming for an experience. Working on my books always transports me – gives me a mini-vacation – and I wish the same for my readers. One reader told me she walked around in a dazed, dreamy state for a couple of hours after finishing my book and I was so gratified because that’s exactly the feeling I would hope to be able to pass along.


Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?

My main words are THANK YOU! Self-publishing has brought me a step closer to the everyday people who love books. Some are at-home / on-the-beach / on-the-bus readers. Some are book bloggers. Some have an interest in a certain aspect of publishing.

My experience so far has been that people take their reading very seriously, and put great thought and care into the analysis and reviews of the books they read. This is great for fellow readers, and amazing for authors so, as an author, I’d like to thank all of you!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Interview with Keith Taylor, author of 'Rejected by Still Prevailing'



Minister Keith Taylor II is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana and is currently serving as the Youth Pastor at a local church. He received an Associates Degree in Leadership and Ministry from Crossroads Bible College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's of Arts in Leadership and Ministry.

Minister Keith Taylor II started preaching at the age of four and was known as "The Little Preacher Boy". At this young age, he was found to be a young man with a heart after God, preaching and praying for people all over the city of Indianapolis wherever he could. At a young age he was giving the world a preview of what was to come.  God has kept a hand on his life from his youth and gifted him with wisdom, insight and a heart for people.

He became a Youth Pastor at the age of 23. The youth ministry has grown spiritually and numerically since he took it over in 2012. He also mentors at risk youth in his free time. Some of the places God has allowed Keith to minister are juvenile detention centers, prisons, churches, and conferences.

Minister Taylor published his first book called, "Rejected, But Still Prevailing", and is working on many more encouraging books. Additionally, he is a worshiper, teacher, husband, and world changer. Minister Keith is married to his high school sweetheart, Jasmine Taylor.

Keith has been known to some as, "Mr. Inspiration", and that is one “mantra" that he lives by.

About The Book


Rejected but Still Prevailing teaches about rejection and how to overcome it. It provokes the reader in ways you never thought possible while providing some insight on where rejection starts and how to handle rejection from those close to you.

It includes biblical viewpoints to show rejection from a spiritual side. You will learn, grow and be able to deal with rejection as your perception about dealing with rejection will be changed.

Links:


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Keith: I came up with the idea, based out of a sense of need. I felt like there were not a lot of books for my generation dealing with rejection in a way that was easy to understand. I also personally experienced rejection on a consistent basis and wanted to help someone else, with some of the tools that assisted me.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Keith: For me it was not very hard to write, however it did take longer than I expected to finish and turn in to be edited. Some of the tips I would give is take your time, don't rush the process this book took me 2 years to complete. Don't force it, but consistently write, think, and meditate on your book throughout the day.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Keith: I self-published through a company called inspiring voices, I found them on the internet and built a relationship with one of their representatives before I ever submitted any work. They made me feel comfortable as if I was a value asset to them and they fully explained the process.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Keith: Yes, it is still a little strange and funny to me when people ask for my auto graph...

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Keith: I am currently working on a book about bullying; it won't be released until sometime in 2017

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Keith: My favorite place to hang out online would be facebook and you can find me at Keith Taylor II

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Keith: The main message of the book is that we will all be rejected at some point in our lives, but how we handle that rejection is of the utmost importance, in spite of whatever type of rejection you face you still can overcome or (Prevail) through faith in Jesus Christ.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Keith: Thank you for the chance to interview and be sure to check out our new website www.keithtaylorii.com also buy your copy of the new book at www.inspiringvoices.com or www.amazon.com.

We also have a virtual book tour kicking off September 1-30th be on the look at for that as well






 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Interview with Laurence St. John: 'Grow your network, write the best story you can and find a good editor'



Laurence A. St. John was born on January 11, 1965 in Toledo Ohio. Laurence has one older brother and two younger sisters. Laurence along with his parents, brother and sisters moved once while growing up to Genoa Ohio, just south of Toledo. While attending Genoa Area schools, he was active in track, football and baseball. Later, after he graduated from Genoa High School (Comets) in 1983, he worked for a few manufacturing companies.
At the age of 23 and after three years of dedication, hard work and sweat, in 1988, Laurence received his first-degree black belt (Shodan) in Tae Kwon Do. This gave him the self-confidence and perseverance needed to surmount anything that came his way. 

When Laurence was 25 years old he fell in love then married the love of his life, Julie in 1990. He then adopted her two young wonderful children Joe and Jan shortly after.
Out of high school for nearly fifteen years and after persuaded by his former manager, Laurence attended Owens State Community College where he obtained an Associates Degree in Microcomputer Business Systems while working full-time. In addition to computer classes, he enjoyed composition classes where he could free his mind and write what he wanted.

While working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, Laurence's place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for his job, again. In the same year his first granddaughter, Kendall, "Papa's Angel" was born. He described this as one of the most uplifting moments of his life. In addition, it was during this time when his emotions were running wild; he became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper. 

Nearly four years later, he had completed his first middle grade fantasy novel, Metatron: The Angel Has Risen. His latest book is Metatron: The Mystical Blade.

Laurence currently lives in Northwood Ohio with his wife of 24 years, Julie. His son Joe is married to Cari and they have three daughters, Kendall, Sadie and Harper. His daughter Jan is married to Andrew and they have a son Eli and a daughter Evelyn. Laurence currently holds the position of Administrations Manager at Precision Strip, Inc. in Perrysburg Ohio, where he works full time. He continually writes in his spare time; weekends and after work, and is endlessly inspired by his five grandkids Kendall, Elijah, Sadie, Evelyn and Harper. 

For More Information
About the Book:

Thirteen-year-old Tyler Thompson is on the verge of becoming a superhero, but he must prove himself so he can earn the remainder of his superpowers and fulfill his destiny.

When his grandfather, Benjamin, is held prisoner at AREA 51, where the eternal powers are presumed to be hidden, Tyler attempts to penetrate the base’s heavy security. However, Dr. Mason Payne, the evil scientist who killed Tyler's father, has insidious plans of his own.

Hunted by an unknown entity, Tyler races against the clock to retrieve the superpowers, rescue his family and help the others who are depending on him. And when all hope seems lost, help comes in a power he didn’t know he possessed—a mysterious weapon known as The Mystical Blade.

For More Information

  • Metatron: The Mystical Blade is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Hello and first of all thank-you for having me. I appreciate it very much!

My writing started when I was probably around ten years old. I had these cool characters (superhero and villains) and story lines in my head but I never acted on them. I was too busy playing sports and being a kid. One day about eight years ago, I sat down in front of the fireplace in my black leather rocker and began writing the old fashion way – with a pencil and a notebook. A little more than two years ago and after many edits and re-writes I published my first novel in the series, Metatron: The Angel Has Risen. My second novel, Metatron: The Mystical Blade, just released was a continuation of those thoughts. 

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

I don’t think it was hard at all. It was actually fun. I loved creating my characters, settings, dialogue, and places. It was also fun working and brainstorming with my editor. She helped me be a better writer. 

As for some tips, begin growing your network now, write the best story you can then find a good editor before you submit a query letter, a synopsis and manuscript to agents and publishers. Lastly, expect rejection, be patient and have fun.  

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher is Imajin Books.

After my first book was completely drafted, I had no idea what to do next. Ironically, the next day in the mail was a quarterly letter from the college I graduated from - Owen State Community College. In it was an article about an alumnus who was also an author. And behold, his email address was also included in the article. I sent him an email introducing myself then asked some questions. Within a few days he actually called me and provided me with valuable advice and contact information of an author/editor. After my manuscript was edited by the author/editor along with another editor and query letters sent out to over 100 agents and publishers, I didn’t receive a contract. Contemplating the idea of self publishing I sent out a help memo to my networking contacts from Facebook and Twitter. I received some great advice from many of them but most importantly a reply to have my manuscript reviewed. Finally, after a couple of months I was offered a contract with Imajin Books. I smiled so much my cheek muscles began to hurt.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Yes, I was pleasantly surprised how much input I had with the publishers editing process along with the book cover design. I figured that once the publisher had my manuscript they would make any changes they wanted with little to no input from me. Same goes for the book cover. They asked me what I envisioned the book cover to look like. Both book covers were nearly ninety percent what my minds-eye imagined.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am currently working on book 3 and book 4 in the Metatron Series. Who knows, I might also be co-authoring a book as well.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Well, when I do have time to hang out online I like conversing with family, friends, acquaintances and fans on Facebook and Twitter. Due to that I have a full time job working 50 hours a week, spending time with my family and writing, I don’t spend as much time online that I would like to.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Life isn’t always perfect. “Whatever your endeavors, Rise Above your doubts”. I believe this is a positive quote for everyone, especially kids. Many times while growing up I would hear people say, "you can't do that", "you're not good enough", "maybe you should stick with something else", etc.... I believe that if you block all those negative thoughts (doubts), work hard at something and do your best, you can achieve any goals you set your mind on.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you again for the interview; I’m grateful. If anyone has any additional questions please visit my website at www.laurencestjohn.com and send me a message. I’ll be happy to answer them. Sincerely, Laurence

Monday, September 08, 2014

What is Growing Out of Your Ear? by Angela Graham Book Blitz



 
Title: What is Growing Out of Your Ear
Author: Angela Graham
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Pages: 24
Genre: Children's Fiction
Format: Ebook
Purchase at AMAZON

It is summer and Angela eats a bowl of cherries. After she swallows some cherry pits, her Grandpa warns what will happen -- “A cherry tree will grow out of your ear.” Angela thinks that is silly. Do you believe a cherry tree can grow out of Angela’s ear? 
amazon 
 Angela Graham lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband, two lively children and their dog. She has enjoyed writing stories for her children since they were young to inspire the love of reading. Angela’s stories add a humourous twist to real life. This story is motivated from Angela’s own childhood.
 

Angela is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 1 and ends on September 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 16.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Paul Markun, author of The Big Disrupter

Paul Markun grew up an entrepreneur and dreamer, starting with his first paper route at age nine in the Canal Zone of Panama. Living in Telluride, Colorado, he started four companies with best friends before he was 24, including Fly By Night Builders, The Illusions Company, High Country Trekkers–you get the idea; great names, cool ideas, not much income. He moved to Silicon Valley, got more education and tech experience, and started SoftIRON Systems and Fullspeed Networks, and rode the wave of the late 1990s to success. He sold SoftIRON Systems to the Williams Company (WilTel), a Fortune 300 company. In 2001 his company Fullspeed was acquired by Callisma, which became Pac Bell and then AT&T. You know them, right? In the first decade of the 2000s, he joined fellow entrepreneurs to lead marketing for Netcordia, which later IPO’d as Infoblox (NYSE:BLOX). He also ran marketing for Sitecore, a web software company, growing it 10 X from an $8 million fledgling niche provider to an established global corporation. Paul continues to be involved with emerging companies to this day. Paul met his wife Rachel, an attorney, when he was 18 and she was even younger at the University of Chicago. Their fountains of inspiration are their two sons and a daughter. A passionate story teller, he turned his energies to writing about topics and characters close to his own heart.His first novel is The Big Disrupter.

Connect with Paul Markun:


About The Book

An anonymous donor creates a prize for One Billion Dollars to inspire social entrepreneurs to promote world change. Lionel Lane, an idealistic entrepreneur, partners with his brilliant ex-girlfriend Maxine Gold to turn around his struggling San Francisco-based company Double Vision Beverages to compete for the Big Disrupter Award. With the help of a venture capitalist and an eccentric financier, Double Vision expands into energy drinks using the pure water from the mountains of Telluride, Colorado. Talented 21-year-old extreme skier, Reddi Christiansen, becomes the face of their quest for the youth market. One by one the leading competitors in the Big Disrupter fall victim to unexplained tragedies. The police are mystified. The prize for social good becomes a death trap, but too rich to resist. Desperate for protection, Lionel, Maxine and Reddi enlist a former Navy SEAL cyber guru. The faster they race towards the approaching award deadline, the more the escalating dangers threaten to spin them off a cliff.

For More Information:

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Don’t you get a thrill telling a story that makes people laugh? Or gasp? Or wonder if you aren’t too crazy for comfort?

Imagine also being able to bring the beauty, creativity, audacity, genius, arrogance, sexiness, kindness, ruthlessness and insanity in the people you’ve met in your life into a story?

That’s what I tried to do, inspired by my life living in the mountains of Colorado and California, and years of starting and building high tech businesses in Silicon valley. So The Big Disrupter is present day, set in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the mountains of Telluride, Colorado.

I wanted our young heroes be social entrepreneurs and start a “Red Bull” energy drink company with a conscience because I think it’s credible, a great idea, and a useful vehicle for the drama.


Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Learn by doing. I hired a great content editor (Caroline Tolley) with years of ‘Big Six” experience in my thriller genre. She made me rewrite the book three times. By the end of those two and a half years I had a worthy product and my master’s degree.

A little late in the process an excellent copy editor (Nancy Russell) brought The Big Disrupter’s level of capitalization, punctuation and grammar to a professional level. Next book she gets it sooner.


Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I’ve never sent a single letter to an agent or a publisher. I want to spend my time writing creatively. For me today’s self-publishing opportunity is a dream come true.


Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I’m a little surprised at how obsessed I became with the tiny details– I mean really Paul, does the fleuron style between sections matter that much?


Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m doing a trilogy with my characters and am well into the second of the three.


Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I’m pretty conventional that way- Techcrunch, LinkedIn, Twitter. If you ever want to see the most amazing ski photos, however, check out Wicked Skiing on Tumbler.


Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

My dream is some brave and wealthy philanthropists are motivated by the story and decide to fund their own billion-dollar prize for social entrepreneurs. In the end I think all of us want to make a difference, and there are a surprising number of uber wealthy who could put their imprint on something meaningful, if it suits their style and sensibility. I hope some tech billionaires create their own Big Disrupter award.


Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?

In addressing The Writer’s Life, I admire the way author Phil Cousineau, author of Wordcatcher and much more, put it–as an author you are joining the long conversation in history. For me that is a real privilege.

A Conversation with Carly Duncan, author of 'Behind You'



Carly M. Duncan is a television producer by day and a writer whenever there is time. Her first short story was published when she was in high school after a writing group prompted her to begin blogging before it was cool. Carly’s debut novel, Marcie, was released in 2013. Though she’ll forever be a California girl at heart, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, two children and beloved Westie.

Her latest book is Behind You.
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About the Book:

When a mysterious attack lands Heather in the hospital on the brink of death, her family rushes to her side. Through an inconvenient maze of shadowed memory and family secrets, Heather can trust only herself to discover if her husband, parents, sister or aunt tried to kill her. During the course of their own narratives, each character confesses to their various crimes of passion, envy and ignorance, weaving Heather's mystery into an untraditional tale about seizing the opportunity to start over.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I was home alone and heard a strange noise while I was taking a shower. It sounded like an intruder in the house. I was paralyzed with fear. I didn’t know what to do. That is where Behind You’s main character’s story begins.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest part was remembering all of the little details that helped support the journey of solving the mystery. I kept having to go back over what I’d written to ensure all was accurate. I think having a more detailed outline could’ve given me better support – at a glance – and would have helped the process be more efficient.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self published after querying the book to many! I still wanted my story to be shared.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

It is surprising how much work it takes to promote a book and spread the word!

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m working on my third novel, tentatively titled The Lines, about a deep, sometimes unhealthy relationship between two women. My goal is to publish it in time for the holidays in 2015.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I love checking my Instagram feed. And, don’t tell anyone, but I may be addicted to Pinterest.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

At the core, Behind You is about seizing control of your own life, taking action and doing the work required to bring you to a place of happiness.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Please let me know what you think of Behind You when you read it! I’d love to hear from you. Contact me via my website at www.carlyduncan.com.

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com