Friday, January 20, 2012

Mustard, Lasagna, and Apostles: Interview with author Richard Godwin

Jill: “Apostle Rising.” Love the title!  Give me the one sentence pitch for the novel. 

Richard:  You have just met the darkest hybrid imaginable and your world will never be the same again.

Jill:  More on titles.  Some of your story titles include: “I’m a Lasagna Hog,””Go Hang a Salami,” “Kentucky Ketchup,” “Okie Onion,” and “Fresh Bacon.”  Do you write when you’re hungry?  I’m suddenly craving a hoagie.

Richard:  No I think food is essential to narratives, we are all part of the feast, the question is who is the host?

Jill: In addition to writing short stories and a novel, you’ve also written a play. “The Cure-All” was staged in London.  Is it hard to switch between forms/styles/genres of writing?

Richard:  I love doing it. The truth be told if I had to write one genre all the time I would get bored.  I like my writing to stay fresh, vital, like freshly baked bread.

Jill:  You’ve published a number of works in online periodicals.  What is the most satisfying thing about publishing on the internet versus in good old dead-tree print?

Richard:  I think it’s the feedback. There is an army of fine readers out there who are immensely supportive.

Jill: You’re a member of “International Thriller Writers.” What have your learned about your craft from this organization?

Richard:  It’s not so much a matter of learning from them. It’s more a useful vehicle for getting your name out there, as is the CWA, which I am also a member of.

Jill:  What has been the most surprising thing to you about the business side of publishing?

Richard:  Learning that the distributor is key.

Jill:  Somewhere in a desk drawer or at the back of a closet, you probably have an early, unfinished draft of something from when you were just starting out.  What unfinished project would you like to finish someday?

Richard:  There is a novel about a retired Detective who moves to the English countryside. Say no more but a nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat.

Jill:  What authors have influenced you the most?

Richard:  Dostoyevsky and Leonard.

Jill: What part(s) of writing (i.e. plot, dialogue, character, etc.) are most fun for you to work on? 

Richard:  When the novel comes alive and takes on its own route.  You have to listen to what the characters are telling you.

Jill:  You’ve got a lot of stories out there, and it’s almost unfair to put you on the spot, but I’m going to anyway:  Name two of your favourite works.

Richard:  In terms of online publications The Mustard Man and Pony Trip.

Jill: The last question is kind of a freebie: What question do you wish I had asked you? Now go ahead and ask & answer that question.

Richard:  What do I see as the future of publishing?
The breakdown of the economically driven search and sell mechanism that has reduced sales to celebrity books that are not fit to read, eventually this will change. And I say this as someone who has been traditionally published and continues to be.  The big houses got greedy and fat and lazy and stupid. Apostle Rising sold foreign rights as a debut, so it has been successful as a first novel.  I think the E Book will shake things up. It will make the industry re-evaluate what publishing is really about. Economics dictates certain lines of reasoning. And decisions based on it are not in favour of Art.

For more on Richard Godwin, check out his website or follow him on Twitter @stanzazone 

Richard's books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other sources.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Awesome review of "The Lies Have It" in the Globe & Mail!!!

The Lies Have It

By Jill Edmondson, Iguana, 252 pages, $11.95

Been to a fetish party lately? Even if you aren’t a habituĂ©, you’ll like this stylish, smart novel set in Toronto’s downtown arts and culture scene.

This series, featuring aspiring musician-turned-private eye Sasha Jackson, has been optioned for television and it has all the hallmarks of success. There is a winsome PI, a sexy cop for a potential love interest and Hogtown as we would all love it to be: racy, witty and full of interesting, polymorphous perversity.

The mystery is a nicely plotted whodunit, but the real charm here is the setting. Edmondson, a communications professor, knows her town intimately. Even better, she knows how readers want it to be.

Review by Margaret Cannon.  Link to the Globe and Mail review column here.

You can order "The Lies Have It' on Amazon here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Flash Fiction: Interview with Paul D. Brazill, author of 13 Shots of Noir

Jill: Writing is a fairly new vocation for you; your bio says you began writing flash fiction and short stories in 2008.  What took you so long?

Paul: It’s something that I’d wanted to for a long time but never got around to. I’ve always been a procrastinator, though I’ve heard it makes you go blind. 

Anyway, at the end of 2008 I discovered a handful of online venues for flash fiction. Most notably, Six Sentences and Powder Burn Flash. I realised that I may actually finish something if I wrote a piece for one of those places. And I did, which was a shock in itself. What was more shocking was that the pieces were accepted and received some good feedback. So I just kept on at it!

Jill: You’ve written quite a number of short stories.  Where do you get your inspiration?

Paul: I just take snippets and slices of life and take them to a more absurdist extreme.

Jill:  “13 Shots of Noir”, “Drunk on the Moon...” -  Alcohol and references to intoxication are a predominant theme in hardboiled crime fiction.  Why do you think this is? 

Paul: These stories are about people in extreme situations. Usually normal people trying to cope with extreme situations. Or abnormal people trying to cope with ordinary situations, maybe.
Booze is the most commonly available anaesthetic for the aches and pains of life and it can, of course, make a bad situation a lot worse, which lends a story more possibilities for twists and turns into dark corners.

Also, ‘Noir’ in particular is about people knowingly boarding a runaway train that’s bound for disaster, which is what intoxication is, more than somewhat.

Jill:  What is the most satisfying thing about being an author?

Paul: Well, I  certainly don’t consider myself an author –more a dilettante - but doing anything that puts a smile on people’s faces is pretty satisfying.

Jill:  The flip-side of the last question: What is the most frustrating thing about being an author?

Paul: To me, it’s only a positive thing. It’s not working down a mine.

Jill:  What can you tell me about your work(s)-in-progress?

Paul: A  few things at the moment but the first finished will probably be a novella with the working title The Hit Man and Her, which features a private eye character that  I created called Peter Ord. Ord gets his first ‘proper’ case and black comedy and slice-of -life absurdity ensue.
I’m also fiddling with Guns Of Brixton, a novella that’s due to come out from Pulp Press later this year.

Jill:  Writing crime fiction is tough: playing fair with the reader, coming up with motives, researching ballistics and police procedures... I can only imagine how much harder this is to do in the limited space of a short story versus a novel.  Or maybe the length makes it easier?  What are your thoughts on this?

Paul: Well, although my stories take place in a crime fiction milieu, I don’t think most of them are proper crime fiction as such. The plot is always a McGuffin to me, for example and I’m sure a fan of someone like Ian Rankin or Val McDermot would feel very, very short changed by my stuff. Even when I read crime fiction I don’t pay that much attention to things such as  ‘ballistics or police procedures’ so I can’t imagine spending time researching it. It’s my own world, no matter how realistic it is. It’s not Robert Fisk!

Jill:  Is writing dialogue fun or a challenge?

Paul: Always great fun but I suspect I avoid writing flat, informative dialogue, as I avoid reading it.

Jill:  Who are some of your favourite characters in crime and detective fiction?

Paul:  Highsmith’s Tom Ripley, Jim Thompson’s Lou Ford, Sherlock Holmes, Ray Banks’ Cal Innes. Normal, well-adjusted people.

Jill:  Taking over for a dead guy:  Robert B. Parker completed and added to the works of Raymond Chandler.  Vincent Lardo carried on the “Archy McNally” series started by Lawrence Sanders.  Robert Goldsborough added to the “Nero Wolfe” series by Rex Stout.  What are your thoughts on this? 

Paul: Sounds like a lot of hard work, doesn’t it? But why not? The BBC and Guy Ritchie have both got different spins on Sherlock at the moment and both work, on their own terms. Not much fun for purists, I suppose, but purists should just stick to the original books. Or get out more.

Jill:  Some wildly successful authors now partner with (or subcontract to?) other, lesser known authors.  What are your thoughts on this?  (James Patterson is a prime example).

Paul: Again, why not? A piece of writing is only finished when someone reads it and the name of the writer should really only mean as much as the typeface. I handed over my werewolf PI Roman Dalton to a number of writers for a series of short stories under the Drunk On The Moon banner and a veritable cornucopia of interesting stories came out of it.

Jill:  What was the best bit of writing advice you ever received?

Paul: I try not to give or take advice!

Jill: The last question is kind of a freebie: What question do you wish I had asked, but didn’t?  Now go ahead and ask and answer that question.

Paul: Q: Which crime books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?
TV: The recent BBC Sherlock series was great  fun.
Film: The Australian film Snowtown was fantastic, though incredibly bleak.
Books: Graven Image by Charlie Williams was in turns delirious and realistic but completely of its own world.

Thanks much for the interview!

For more on Paul's thoughts and his writing, check out his blog:
or follow him on Twitter @PaulDBrazill

Find Paul's works on Amazon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recent Reads: Wicked Newton Shepherd Sugar

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
I read just about everything Evanovich puts out.  Her books a pure fun, escapism... Cotton Candy for the brain!

Newton and the Counterfeiter by Thomas Levenson
A fascinating story about the other - lesser known - career of Sir Isaac Newton.

The Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas Starr
Basically, this is the history of forensics.  Should be required reading for all crime or mystery writers!

Sugar: The Grass that Changed the World by Sanjida O'Connell
The first 3/4 of the book were really interesting: ancient history of sugar, plantations, sugar and the colonies.  The last section of the book is on sugar and the body, and on sugar and government regulations (re: trade) and those topics are not really of interest to me.  But the colonial days and plantation economies, etc. made for excellent reading!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Some Private Eye Slang

The crime fiction genre has some fun and colourful expressions.  
Here are a few faves:

Chicago lightning: Gunfire
Chicago overcoat
: Coffin 
Chicago typewriter: Machine gun  (Wow - Chicago offers a lot to the hardboiled lexicon!)
Flivver: A Ford automobile 
Giggle juice: Liquor
Hammer and saws: Police (rhyming slang for laws)  
Harlem sunset: Fatal injury caused by knife
Have the bees: To be rich 
Highbinder: Corrupt politician or official
Johnson brother: Criminal  
Kicking the gong around: Taking opium   
Lullaby cocktail: Drugged drink
Orphan paper: Bad cheques 
Oyster fruit: Pearls 
Portrait of Madison: Five hundred dollars
Rats and mice: Dice (more rhyming slang)
Roundheels:  A woman of easy virtue  
Soup job: To crack a safe using nitroglycerin
Sunday School picnic: What this caper isn’t turning into

Sources for above: and and 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interview with author Phil Rowan

Jill:  When I began research for this interview, I immediately came across the cover image for Weimar Vibes.  Love it!  How and why was this image chosen for the book cover and what does the image say about the story?

Phil: This is a fabulous shot of Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg’s 1930 movie, The Blue Angel. I licensed it for the cover of Weimar Vibes because I think it gives a feeling for how it was in the final years of the Weimar Republic – decadent and crumbling, yes, but with a lot of enticing temptation in the night life! My Weimar Vibes story is a dark humour thriller that mirrors elements of 1930s German chaos in the UK and the rest of Europe tomorrow, and I think that Marlene in The Blue Angel gave a great snapshot of this period – as indeed did Lisa Minnelli in Cabaret.  

Jill: If Rudi Flynn had a profile on one of those internet dating sites (i.e. Lavalife,, eHarmony, etc.) what would it say?

Phil:  Age: 39. Height 5’11”; flat(ish) stomach; good but occasionally nervous eyes. Empathetic with women, who frequently feel he needs their guidance. He enjoys occasional windsurfing, followed by lively discussions on the beach about politics – with intermittent gossip. Salsa in the evening with wine and emotional good humour (with maybe whisky later). Flynn is separated from his previous partner who’s now writing a novel about their relationship, which worries him a little. No kids yet – but he’s often had dreams about families. Well ... it’s a lovely thought, of course ... and he’s definitely trying to become more decisive about things generally ...

Jill: Your novels are set in far-flung locals (Greek Islands, Cuba, Middle East, Ireland...) What are the challenges to you as a writer of using various settings

Phil:  I guess it helps if you’ve been to wherever it is you’re writing about, but a brief trip to almost anywhere can offer exciting writing prospects for both fiction and journalism. I think the challenges are almost entirely emotional, in that you probably need to go with your feelings, so intuition and interpretation are important. It’s only in my third upcoming story ‘Under Cover’ that I’m writing about India, where I spent almost eighteen months. But Cuba, the Middle East, Greece, the US/UK and Ireland (where I was born) all offer marvellous possibilities, which I constantly want to return to. 

Jill:  If Hollywood were to make a Rudi Flynn movie, who would be cast in the lead role?

Phil: For Flynn I’m thinking of a slightly wayward/uncertain Daniel Craig – with maybe an alcoholic weakness extension of his performance in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But if Craig wasn’t available, then a more flustered Dominic West from The Wire would be fine; with maybe Penelope Cruz or Rachel Weisz as Flynn’s illicit love interest, the gorgeous and almost saintly Julia Stein ... and I’d want a star turn for the cool Glenn Close as Flynn’s ice cold and very focused US Homeland Security controller.

Jill: What was the best thing about your stint as a tabloid journalist?  What was the worst

Phil:  On the up side, I loved meeting a whole range of interesting people – from dodgy politicians, villains and often venal celebs to nice ordinary folk who had somehow become involved with difficult and occasionally quite worrying situations. On the downside, there was a constant pressure/expectation for one to deliver, and if one couldn’t do it legitimately (and I hate to admit it) then it was frequently seduction/inducements, temptation, provocation and outlandish fabrication.   

Jill: Part two of the above question (and you had to have seen this coming!) What comments do you have on the Murdoch & News of the World scandal?

Phil:  Disgraceful, of course. But it’s been building over quite a while and the NoW practices are now rife with most tabloids + some quite prim broadsheets – all of whom would deny the charge. However, if you can bring in reasonably experienced phone hackers – and it’s not that difficult to find them – then you either do it or your competitors get the stories.   

Jill:  You’ve written fiction and nonfiction.  Which one is easier to write?  Which is more fun to write? (These aren’t necessarily the same things.)  

Phil:  I’ve always found it easier and more fun to write fiction – starting with little magazines when I was a student at Trinity College in Dublin. More recently (as Jack Jameson),  I was commissioned to write a serious story for the UK New Statesman about British National Party (far right) goings on near their leader’s farm in Wales. I called it Weimar in Wales, and I wrote it as an allegorical piece with factual elements. It caused a media furor, with the local Chief Constable and publicans demanding to know where exactly were the pubs and meeting places I was alluding to where British Nationalists were sieg heiling with Nazi salutes to Deutschland uber Alles? I couldn’t really say as the locations and characters were all composites and the piece was essentially allegorical – so on this occasion the journalist became a scandalous story, and my editor refused to pay me!

Jill:  What do you wish you had known about the publishing world before you became a novelist? 

Phil:  To know a little more about how difficult it was going to be might have helped (or diverted) me. Not long ago, I had a good agent who sent my Dark Clouds story to, I think, six publishers.They all liked the story and the writing, but didn’t feel they could publish it because I seemed to be dealing with a potentially very serious matter (al-Qaeda trying to nuke London) within a dark humour framework ... and who knows what the jihadists might have lined up for such a cheeky publisher!  

Jill:  Who are some of your mystery author influences?

Phil:  My big influences early on were Hemingway, Fitzgerald, James Joyce, JP Donleavy and Henry Miller (the latter three were all banned in Catholic Ireland for quite a few years!). The mystery/thriller writers I’ve enjoyed are Raymond Chandler, Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver and Stieg Larsson.

Jill:  What are your thoughts on the rapid changes in the book world (that is, digital books a la Kindle and such)?

Phil: It’s exciting, but there are problems for authors trying to self-publish on Kindle + Nook etc. If a publisher takes your book, they will usually do a lot of editing and promotion for you. But if you go for self-publishing an e-book, there’s an incredible amount of work to do, first in formatting, picture design and uploading, and then in promotion via Twitter etc – for which one needs a huge amount of time. I rather envy John Locke who says he sold a million self-published e-books in five months, which certainly is a great achievement. 

Jill:  What can you tell me about your upcoming releases?

Phil: ‘Dark Clouds’, out now on  has al-Qaeda trying to nuke London, with Flynn doing what he can to thwart them. ‘Under Cover’, which is my next, has Flynn once again working for a US/UK intelligence alliance. Only now he also has links with Israeli intelligence and the rightist French Front National. His mission is to help foil a plot by Iranian agents who are intent on serious anti-Western provocation, which includes dirty bombs with nuclear ingredients. This will be followed by ‘Harps and Tears’, which features Bronkovsky, a loopy/disappointed in love Polish American nuclear scientist whose wife leaves him for a Jewish environmentalist. He is embittered and intent on revenge against the state of Israel. When Flynn meets him, he is making a nuclear bomb in Ireland’s rural West Cork for Islamic activists in the Middle East.   

Jill:  Last question – and it’s a bit of a freebie: What question do you wish I had asked you?  Go ahead and ask & answer it.

Phil: What would I do if I were starting out again? Instead of mistakenly going for medicine and then switching to Economics & Politics, I would like to have tried for a scholarship to a London drama school. After which, I would have hugely enjoyed a bit of acting on stage and (possibly) screen. I would also have written a few more plays and tried to get screen-writing commissions.

For more on Phil Rowan, check his website:

Or follow Phil on Twitter @WriterRowan 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Interview with !!!! David Hunter !!!!

Hey Folks!!!!  
Today, I'm pleased to share an interview with Toronto author and blogger David Hunter!!!!  Read the interview below to find out why I'm going crazy with exclamation marks!!!!

Jill: A while back you did a blog post titled “When is Writing Advice ‘Bad’ Advice”.  In the piece you share 10 writing tips, followed by 3 counterclaims.  So now, for the record, what is the ONE piece of advice you would offer to aspiring authors, and what was the worst writing tip ever suggested to you?

David: One day when I was prattling on about my manuscript and my writing, my girlfriend interrupted me and said; ‘Would you please just shut up and write? Finish your book already! Stop talking about it!’  Which basically meant ‘for the love of God, finish something!’  Finish anything; a short story, a novella, a paragraph! Completion is the cheese.  Then you can call yourself a writer. Maybe.  

The worst advice I ever received was ‘Only use one exclamation mark per 100 words.’

Jill:  There are a number of writers out there who don’t bother at all with social media.  How necessary do you think it is to be active in social media if an author is just starting out?

David: These days it makes a writer seem either aloof or out of the loop not being on social media talking to their readers.  Plus, all your potential readers are online now.  Building an audience isn’t like it was in Stephen King’s day – now you have to be a ‘personality’ to stand out, to the chagrin of shy or reclusive artists.  Unfortunately the shy writer may be the new James Joyce and get no attention, while the loud and flashy ‘personable’ writer may be a Dan Brown; with apologies to him, of course.  I’m not a big fan!  

Ultimately, the work speaks for itself.  But unless people know you exist, no one will read it.

Jill:  What can you tell me about your current work in progress?

David: It’s a novel based on the ‘End of the World’ scenario, following a group of survivors as they struggle with the fact that there’s no more civilization.  There is another group of survivors, a decidedly more pessimistic group who walk the earth and kill anyone they find, because they want all humanity to end for good.  These two groups meet, eventually, and they must confront each other, and fight it out as it were.  The premise being that as long as there are two people left on earth, there will always be war.  There’s certain sadness to that, don’t you think? A social satire of sorts. 

I’m also working on a coming of age love story set in 1982 that’ll be published on my blog (and hopefully on Kindle and Kobo) called ‘The Dogwood Summer’.  It’s my first foray into this kind of thing, but I wanted to explore the subject of time and love, as they both fascinate me.  It's also a very personal story, so expect some tears.

Jill:  I took a look at your bookshelf on “GoodReads” and noticed that you only gave one star to “The Da Vinci Code” and one star to “Moby Dick”.  What was it about each of these that you didn’t like?

David: Moby Dick, while a great classic, was written in serial form and published in parts.  It was not written as a novel, so there are a multitude of repetitious passages and minutiae to wade through. Moby’s prose doesn’t translate well to modern readers, well, to my generation at least,  yet I can read Mark Twain and Jules Verne with ease.  As for Dan Brown, I dislike his dialogue, it jags on me, and his writing is rather un-artistic (Yes, I’m a writing snob).  His books seem written with movies firmly in mind, with wooden characters to match.  The Da Vinci Code itself has a great idea behind it, but a great idea can be ruined by bad execution.  Although in this case his story idea saved it.  Dialogue is the key however– if a writer messes that up, it ruins everything for me.  Robert Ludlum! You cad!

Jill:  You are a very active blogger.  What is it about blogging that appeals to you?

David: It’s free, and a great way to get my writing out there.  And, this is the key, it is instant gratification.  I don’t have to wait weeks or months (years even) to publish something.  Also, it allows me to experiment with different things; poetry, op-ed, essays, short stories, novellas, serials, and different genres of writing; crime fiction, horror, etc., to see what kind of story sticks in the readers minds.  Although I haven’t posted much of it yet; I’m still shy that way.  But 2012 seems to be my year; I’ll be posting a lot more fiction.  Another great thing about blogging; people get to know you, and you can build a trust there.  Then you can get them to read your work a lot easier. 

Jill:  Between fiction and nonfiction (and the many subdivisions within each) what type of writing do you enjoy doing the most?

David: Fiction.  Non-fiction can get mired in reality, which can be quite boring, so then you have to exaggerate it, turning it back into fiction.  There’s a vicious loop in there somewhere.

Jill:  What is your highest aspiration as an author?

David: To contribute something lasting to the literary canon.  I cite Gene Roddenberry, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and even Rod Serling as examples.  Each created something that will outlive us all.  That’s not asking too much, is it?

Jill:  Which authors do you admire and why?

David: I have to say, for pure word wizardry, Edward Abbey.  I read Desert Solitaire, and some of his descriptive passages took my breath away.  The man described the desert sky a dozen times and each was different and fantastic.  Not the greatest idea man as far as fiction went (Although his book Brave Cowboy became a movie in 1962) but he knew his way around a phrase (I think a thesaurus was planted in his head).  His prose style still shows up in my work a lot.  A surprisingly modern writer for his time, he kept a brisk pace and made good use of frags.  For learning about the more interesting mechanics of writing, he was invaluable.  It's kinda neat to have his unique style in my back pocket to pull out when I need it. 

Another influence, Stephen King; too easy, right? But what he contributes is a wonderful myth-making ability.  He is able to create stories that become lore; you know, like those campfire tales you heard as a kid that stayed with you because you thought they were real.  Not easy to do in fiction.  He has a wonderful gravitas, a weight to his story-telling that I try to emulate.  There are 5 dozen others, but I won’t go on and on.  Those were the first two that came to mind.

Jill:  What is one of the strangest/weirdest responses or comments you’ve received from a reader?

David: In response to a post about ‘writing for an audience or for yourself’, someone wrote “one needs to write for themselves. Its purpose is not to entertain,” which I found strange.

Jill:  Last question is kind of a freebie.  What question do you wish I had asked but didn’t?  Now ask and answer that question.

David: What does it take to become a successful writer? Well, a lot of reading.  Not just reading, studying prose; how authors turn a phrase, how they transition from scene to scene, how they attribute dialogue, pace the story, and build characters.  The story idea is important too; the more you read, the more you can steer away from well-trodden and clichĂ©d avenues.  There’s a lot to know.  Anyone who has ever been successful at anything has studied their craft, knows the rules, and knows their stuff.  You gotta train to gain, because there’s a lot of competition out there, and the only way to get ahead is to be prepared.  Me, I’m getting there – it’s a journey, not a destination. 

For more about David Hunter check out his blog: 
Or follow David on Twitter @TheWritersDen  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Titles that don't Quite Work

This blogpost is inspired by the excerpt below from Salmon Rushdie.

From Vanity Fair February 2012, by Salman Rushdie

"Hitch-22 was a title born of the silly word games we played, one of which was Titles That Don’t Quite Make It, among which were A Farewell to Weapons, For Whom the Bell Rings, To Kill a Hummingbird, The Catcher in the Wheat, Mr. Zhivago, and Toby-Dick, a.k.a. Moby-Cock. And, as the not-quite version of Joseph Heller’s comic masterpiece, Hitch-22. Christopher rescued this last title from the slush pile of our catechism of failures and redeemed it by giving it to the text which now stands as his best memorial."

After reading about this idea from Rushdie, I came up with a few of my own:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest            > One Flew Over the Wasp’s Nest
The Great Gatsby                                    > The Totally Awesome Gatsby
The Picture of Dorian Gray                      > The Avatar of Dorian Gray
The Hounds of Baskerville                       > The Mutts of Baskerville
Brave New World                                    > Gutsy New World
Gulliver’s Travels                                    > Gulliver’s Backpacking Trek
One Hundred Years of Solitude                 > One Hundred Years of Chillin’
The Lord of the Rings                               > The Lord of the Brooches
The Grapes of Wrath                                > The Cantaloupes of Wrath
The Wind in the Willows                           > The Wind in the Ragweed

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fan Mail

Over the last few days, I've received a number of really nice emails from readers.  It always makes my day when a reader takes the time to contact me (usually via my website, but also sometimes via Facebook).  I absolutely love hearing people's reactions to the books in general and to Sasha Jackson in particular). 

Writing can be frustrating as Hell sometimes, and it's sort of lonely and one sided, but emails from Sasha Fans makes it all worthwhile.  Knowing that readers have connected with Sashaor that they've laughed at her shenanigans is really what keeps me going.

Thanks Folks!  I truly appreciate hearing from you!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sasha's Current Playlist (from "The Lies Have It")

Random mention of the late sixties/early seventies...
Truckin' by the Greatful Dead ... Wavy Gravy is what brought it to mind.  That, and tie-dye.
The Ballad of Lucy Jordan by Marianne Faithfull.  Super Mom meets Mid-Life Crisis.
She Came in through the Bathroom Window (not really mentioned... and if I have to tell you that it's by the Beatles, then you're too young to be reading the Sasha Jackson Mysteries).

Trio of "moon" songs inspired by plumber-butt:
Moon River - forever thankful to Johnny Mercer for this one!
Moondance - Van Morrison, it would be impossible not to include this in any list of songs with the word "moon".
Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra.

Dixie Duo:
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band.  One of my (and Sasha's) favourite songs.  Check it out on video in "The Last Waltz".  Levon Helm owns it.
Dixie Chicken by Little Feat.  I love this song!  There's something very sexy about the rhythm.

Dylan Duo:
The Times They are a-Changin'
Like a Rolling Stone - many have covered this one, but a young Dylan doing it live is unparalleled.

Internet Radio:
Sasha listens to some Al Greene, Sly and the Family Stone, Marvin Gaye, and Sam Cooke.  Awesome vocals!

Drum Medley:
The Contours, The Velvelettes, Albert Collins and the Icebreaksers, Howlin' Wolf, and Randy Newman.  Sasha's drumming starts in Mowtown and ends up in Nawlins.

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
Sasha comments on Metallica, CCR, George Thorogood, and ACDC.

The Lies Have It on AMAZON