Interview with Rick Haynes

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Interview with Rick Haynes

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Firstly, may I extend my sincere thanks for the invitation.

I was born in southern England when food rationing was still the norm. Coming from a working class family times were tough, but my I really enjoyed my childhood. That has to be down to my parents and I can’t thank them enough. My dad told me a story every night, all from his amazing imagination. I remember the tale of the dragon, he even made me a sword, but mum was none too pleased when I hacked down her giant sun-flower.

I wrote a few poems at school and over the years a few more, probably from boredom, to be honest. I enjoyed reading but it was spasmodic until I read The Lord Of The Rings. All my birthdays had arrived in one day and hooked I was.

Over the following decades I began to write one or two lines, made a few notes, going nowhere, you know what I mean. But after several operations in a short space of time, the walls closed in and stir crazy I became. I asked my best friend what I could do, but when she, my wonderful wife, suggested the ironing or washing up, I groaned. Luckily she followed up with the magical words. “Why don’t you write a story?”

The rest is as they say, history, and I do love writing. Medieval fantasy is my passion but I write short stories and Drabbles in any genre.

I abhor man’s inhumanity to man and loathe any cruelty to children. Last year I was asked to contribute a story to highlight the plight of missing children in the USA. I was delighted to offer a poem come Drabble, called My Little Runaway, which I believe was published.

My motto is LAUGH LOUD-LOVE ALWAYS-LIVE LONG.

And have fun.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

Without any doubt, J.R.R. Tolkien is my idol. His work changed my life. The genius of the man will live forever. He created not only a massive story, but races of believable people, fantastic plot lines, a world and a language. Wow!

The late David Gemmell has also inspired me. His mastery of heroic fantasy has kept me awake well into the early hours on many an occasion.

  1. Tell us a bit about your books.

My first offering was entitled Bolt Out Of The Blue, a contemporary family novella with a little bit of magic. As soon as I had written a few lines I knew what I wanted, and also what I didn’t. I was fed up with tales of violence, sex, bad language, and characters with no courtesy or compassion for those around them. It seemed that good manners were passé.

I wanted a family story, a story that brings them together in adversity, a story of love without histrionics. And most of all I wanted a tale that children and grandmas could read, maybe together.

As one reviewer posted.

It was also nice to read a short novel totally lacking in cynicism. In this day and age that is a rare thing indeed.

That made my day, as I had achieved what I wanted to do.

Set in Dorset, a secret is uncovered along with an old American tale.

Since then I have written two collections. Drabbles ‘N’ Shorts and Shorts ‘N’ Drabbles include stories in many genres with fantasy and humour prominent.

Having completed my apprenticeship I decided, in August 2015, to release my first novel. The ideas for Evil Never Dies had lain dormant for many a year and it took nearly eighteen months to finish once I started writing. It is a classic tale of good and evil, but I have tried to show the strengths and weaknesses of the characters for none of us are perfect; all of us are flawed. I have a professional cover and was delighted with the work of my editor. The book also has a YouTube video, courtesy of my son.

I am very proud of my book.

  1. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?

My interest in the Second World War has never waned since childhood. So many died, I believe it was close to 50m worldwide, to give us the freedom that we take for granted today. If my father had been unlucky then I wouldn’t be here today and I guess that applies to many others.

So, to answer your question, I would love to be a ghostly spirit hovering over the events as they happened. Although they couldn’t hear me I can imagine me screaming “Don’t push on to Arnhem. It’s a bridge to far.” Or, “Send more troops to the Ardennes, the Germans are going to counterattack.”

Reliving the events would give me a unique insight into the war years.

I would be able to write a totally true story and maybe it would become a best seller.

The title of, ‘Small Fly on Big Wall’ comes to mind.

  1. What attracts you to writing in your genre?

Without a doubt, I believe it is the creativity and expansion of the mind that first attracted me. I wrote a Drabble called Welcome to the World of my Imagination which I use as a marketing tool, and that’s me.

I have always had a vivid imagination and fantasy allows my mind to be unconstrained by, almost all limits.

With my background I wouldn’t want to write novels in any other genre. Drawing a map, creating characters and the world they live in – I love it.

 My passion is … my spice of life.

 

  1. I see you like to delve into many different genres.

Yes indeed. Those wonderful little self contained 100 word stories, called Drabbles give an author the opportunity to experiment. If I see something of interest, say a picture, I’ll normally write in the appropriate genre but sometimes I turn it around to a fantasy tale.

I also belong to two writing groups. Their input and support has been invaluable. As an example, the ladies decided one week that romance would be on the agenda. Me? Write romance? Naturally I succumbed to the ladies desires; I do anything for a quiet life. But, when I wrote my book I used some of the knowledge that I had gained and it seemed to work. My fantastic wife agreed, so I learnt an invaluable lesson.

Another time we were given a picture. I was the only one who turned it upside down. Well I had to; otherwise the fantasy tale in my head would have remained hidden.

I also love humour, and I firmly believe that laughter is the best medicine in the world.

Other genres give me the opportunity to have FUN. The old saying, ‘A change is as good as a rest,’ comes to mind, and that’s what it’s all about.

  1. Are you planning to participate in any anthologies? Any hints about your story?

Last year four of us joined up to write Happy Halloween which we published on Amazon for charity. Each of us created a character, using firstly 100 words, which grew in the latter stages to 200. Chaos and mayhem (I think I was chaos) ensued in a large mansion. Fantastic fun it was, but alas there will be no repeat this year as we are all involved in other projects. I have so many short stories written that I’m sure something will arrive over the next year.

Maybe it will be a fantasy collection.

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

If I have writer’s block, then I’ll do anything else than write. Working in the garden, or any activity outside is good. I do ask my granddaughter to come out and play and as she is only aged one, she hasn’t said no so far … thank goodness. Otherwise I love football, and if the truth be told, most sports if England is competing.

Apart from that, my family means the world to me and time spent with them is worth more than all the money in the world.

 

 

  1. What are you currently working on?

My follow up novel is entitled Heroes Never Fade. Many of the characters from my first book will grace the pages, and like the first it will be a standalone tale. I’m struggling with a major plot line at present so progress is non-existent.

C’est la vie!

I recently won the FantasyCon International Drabble award, with a tale called Spectral Morning, which made my day. Their big event starts at the beginning of November and I have an author booth on Wednesday 4th of November, which is Epic Wednesday.

The first international Drabble Festival is also running in November so I think I may be a bit busy.

 

  1. How can readers connect with you?

I would love to speak with readers on any subject or answer questions. They can use the following to contact me or see my work.

Thank you very much for your interest.

Stay happy folks – you know it makes sense.

http://profnexus.wix.com/rickhaynes

http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Haynes/e/B00CK8IXFO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1445012681&sr=1-1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrO0UkG-ZWU

 

 

Interview with Drew Wager

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Interview with Drew Wagar

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a quiet little village in the east of Kent which is little changed even today, buried in the heart of the Kent countryside. It’s a beautiful part of the world. I work in the city of London by day for ‘Lloyd’s of London’ – the insurance market. The commute gives me a chance to write, I exclusively use the train journey to put my stories together. I’m married, with two teenage sons, a dog and a cat. My favourite colour is dark green!

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

Anne McCaffrey is probably top of the list, with Arthur C. Clarke a close second. I adore Dickens, but my favourite book is actually ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier.  Tolkien is in there of course, along with some lovely books from my childhood written by Diana Wynne Jones.

  1. Tell us a bit about your books.

I primarily write character stories. I’m not big on description, preferring to let readers’ imaginations do all the heavy lifting. What I do like is creating interesting but flawed people and putting them into extraordinary situations. I’m not a genre writer, I’ll give anything a go, but I tend to always have my characters taking part in big events, which are often beyond their control. I love the conflict, the angst and the adventure this can give.

I’ve done SF and contemporary drama and both work well for me. It would be straightforward for me to move my stories into any epoch or setting; ancient, modern or futuristic. It’s all about the people.  That said I do tend to clash different world views together in my stories to act as scene setters. Religion against science is a common theme for me.

I’m also very keen on avoiding gender bias in my stories. I feature a lot of female leads, because I find they’re under represented, particularly in SF. These women aren’t  defined by the men around them, they lead and drive their own adventures.

  1. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?

Assuming I could be who I wanted to be I think I would travel back to Edwardian or perhaps late Victorian England. I’d love to be the Lord of a Manor somewhere, several hundred acres of manicured gardens to tour about, with staff at my beck and call for tea and cakes whenever I might feel the need. I’d still want my laptop and a wifi connection though!

  1. What attracts you to writing in your genre?

Well, I try not to be defined by genre, but most of my output has been in SF to date. I’m a big fan of SF regardless and I adore the whole ‘going where no one has gone before’ vibe. I’m also an amateur astronomer, so space has a certain allure. SF often gives you a chance to poke at certain biases and moirés in society without it being immediately obvious that is what you are doing, so you can make quite serious statements under the radar and get people to think.

  1. Tell us a little about your books. I see you like to delve into many different genres.

The first book I had published, Torn, was something of a response to the religion vs science debate that was raging in the middle 2000 years. I found that both sides of the debate weren’t really being fair to each other and it had descended into rancor and flame-baiting in most places I reviewed online. The story took a proponent of each side; a young Christian woman newly ‘born again’ and a rather jaded scientist who had recently lost his wife to a car accident. In short, they meet, the sparks fly and they try to work out where they’re both coming from.

In the world of SF, I was fortunate enough to be in the right place and time to pick up an official licence to write for the famous computer game ‘Elite’. It’s a major UK franchise, with the first installment being launched back in 1984, and the latest incarnation ‘Elite: Dangerous’ coming out in 2014.

My story, ‘Elite: Reclamation’ is set in the year 3300, with big empires, space battles and overarching politics of the ‘Dune’ and ‘Foundation’ flavour. My book fleshed out the ‘Imperial’ faction, with a young spoilt brat of a woman in the upper echelons of that society being brought low by intrigue. Through many perils she not only sees the strange and wonderful ‘Elite’ universe, but she also learns humility and the value of friendship through her adventures.

My latest book ‘Emanation’, is a SF adventure much in style to Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon series, (minus the dragons I might add). Here we have a people lost on a strange planet, lacking the understanding of the technology that brought them there, and unaware that a huge calamity is about to descend upon them…

  1. Are you planning to participate in any anthologies? Any hints about your story?

I’ve done a couple already actually. I had a short story published in the anthology ‘Fusion’ a few years ago, and I’ve got another coming out later this year.

As for my current story, it’s kind of a mix of post-apocalyptic SF, mixed with some fantasy elements in a rather strange, but scientifically plausible world in orbit around a very strange star. It should appeal to the scientists, the adventurers and those who love seeing characters grow, change, overcome difficulties and in one particular case, suffer a drastic psychosis.

It also features a strict matriarchy, which gives me a chance to explore a society where men are not the dominant decision makers. The women of this caste have a unique ability which sets them apart.

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

I’m fortunate enough to own a small woodland not too far from my house. A walk there with my dog gets me away from the crowds and the technology. It’s a great place to escape from modern life. It’s very much off the beaten track, so lovely and quiet.

In other times I have an old convertible car which, when it’s working and it’s not raining, provides a pleasant way to tootle about Kent’s beautiful countryside.

  1. What are you currently working on?

I’m working on the sequel to the book I’m just about to launch – 24th of October to be precise! I plan on it being a 5 part saga. The first book is ready to go and I’m working on book two right now. The whole thing should take me until 2019 to finish… and then there could be prequels. We’ll see how it goes!

  1. How can readers connect with you?

I have my main website and blog at www.drewwagar.com,  an FB page at facebook.com/drewwagarwriter and you can tweet me at @drewwagar . My website has a mailing list from which I punch out a newsletter every couple of months when ‘big’ news happens.

BOOK READER MAGAZINE Interviews Author John Reinhard Dizon

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Featured Interview With John Reinhard Dizon

Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Here’s my bio: John Reinhard Dizon was born and raised in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, NY. He participated in local and high school sports at Bishop Loughlin MHS, and was a key figure on the Brooklyn rock scene during the Punk Revolution of the 70′s. Relocating to San Antonio TX in the 80′s, he moonlighted as a pro wrestler before pursuing a BA at UTSA and degrees in Korean martial arts during the 90′s. He currently lives in KC MO where he is studying for his MA in English at UMKC. Mr. Dizon has been studying and writing about American and European society and culture for over twenty-five years.

At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I started writing dialogue for my stick figure cartoons when I first got out of diapers. My Mom caught me reading the newspapers when I was three years old, that’s true. It became a lifelong addiction.

Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I collected the entire James Bond anthology by Ian Fleming as a boy and the Conan the Barbarian series as a young man. They had a great influence on my technique. I went on to Shakespeare in University, and am currently studying Franz Kafka.

Tell us a little about your latest book?
Here’s the blurb (coming in May 2014 from Assent Publishing)…

Transplant is a shocking tale of murder and mayhem that unfolds as a missing athlete turns up at a NYC brownstone described by police investigators as ‘an indescribable pit of hell’. A missing supermodel found in the streets of NYC leads the police to the residence, where four renowned neurosurgeons are trapped in a basement under siege by NBA superstar Jerome Browne and a victim of horrific experiments known as Combo. Victims of ghastly transplant operations rescued from the building lead police to believe that the doctors are responsible for the demonic experiments. Yet the doctors’ alibi proves airtight as they assign blame to a mysterious Dr. Cyclops who lured them to the brownstone and framed them for the frightening atrocities. Homicide Detectives Tommy Jackson and Orrin Rampersad are being pushed to their limits in solving the case, coming across ever greater abominations as the truth is gradually revealed. They are faced with the choice of indicting four doctors considered pioneers in their field, or a phantasmal surgeon no one can prove actually exists.

Culturally it’s a narrative on three social levels. The ‘Mad Doctors’ live in an upper-class environment, four yuppie Jewish doctors. Tommy and Orrin are trying to raise their families in Lower Manhattan’s middle-class sector. The underground lab is in the high-crime areas of East Harlem. The detectives are symbolically and literally establishing the link between the disparate societies that the Doctors are involved in.

Adam Rauch is the major antagonist, having sacrificed everything in pursuit of knowledge. He cuts a deal with drug lord Django Tamsulosin to have fresh subjects provided for his projects. Yet he sincerely believes that his bionic limbs and transgenetic skin grafts will revolutionize the medical industry. He personifies the ideal of ‘the ends justifying the means’.

Tommy and Orrin are a righteous version of HBO’s True Detective. Tommy is a two-fisted, hard-drinking cop, but would never cheat on his wife. Orrin is the laid-back voice of reason but is absolutely fearless. They would probably prefer a violent arrest but end up with time as their major enemy.

The part I enjoyed most about writing this one was the research that got me back in touch with Manhattan, where I spent half my life. The other part was working with Tommy and Orrin. Quite a pair of characters!

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