Welcome to the place where I rant, rave and discuss books, writing, the town of Cobourg Ontario and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Unorthodox Interview with Author SB Knight

Not your average interview! SB Knight, the sweetheart you see in the picture to the left, has offered himself up as the sacrificial lamb/lab rat for my own little interrogation process. Not long ago, I was asked to interview an author and thought to myself huh, this could be fun. So I fretted away to find questions that not all people would think to ask. Something zany, something different, something slightly out-of-the-ordinary. Below you will find such questions, though some are typical and mundane (hey, there are things we need to know from successful authors, and things we just wanna know about people in general but never thought to ask) and some that are fairly far-fetched but reach into the recesses of ones soul(or that's the idea anyway).

Without further ado, I present to you a somewhat unorthodox interview with the very good sport, SB Knight!!! (applause, applause, applause)

First let's start with the basics. Who IS SB Knight?

SB Knight has seen his poetry and short stories published in both books and magazines. Now, with the publishing of his first novel, Born of Blood, he has achieved a goal and dream set many years ago. Currently he is working on the sequel to Born of Blood which will be the second novel for the Blood Chronicles series.

SB Knight is the creator of ‘The New Author;’ a blog that started as a learning tool but has since grown into a community of friends and peers. He is also co-owner of Premium Promotional Services where authors can find the help they need to promote their book(s) on the Internet.

More about the book/s later - let's get into the Q&A portion of our program, shall we?

#1 – Do you have a routine when writing, if so, what is it?

I’m not sure you could call it a routine but I do most of my writing from 9 p.m. to 12 or 1 a.m.... I seem to focus better on the story during that time. I’ve tried writing earlier with some success but nothing that compares to that time frame. I’ve actually started my computer and opened my manuscript at 8:50 only to wait until 9:00 to start writing.

#2 –What possessed you to start writing?

Ha! Possessed is a good word to use. I like to think that my muse (inner writer) has always been locked inside but I’m not sure. I never thought of being a writer until my late 20’s. It took some difficult situations in my life to finally break my muse free and start to write. I started writing small things like poetry and journal entries; soon it morphed into short stories and novels.

#3 – What is your favorite quote?

There are a number of them. I find quotes that I enjoy almost everyday. However there is one that caught my eye. I believe it says everything that need be said.

“I can't believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.” – Lou Holtz

#4– How long did it take you to write your first novel?

Well that depends. Are you talking about my very first novel or my very first published novel? It took me a year to write my very first novel which will never see the light of day. My first published novel took about eight months to finish. I learned a lot while writing the unpublished novel. The lessons I learned saved me time and energy while I worked on my published novel.

#5 – What books have influenced your life the most?

My life, in general, has been and continues to be influenced by one book – the Bible. Now when it comes to writing I would say books such as The Wheel of Time series by the late Robert Jordan and The Lord of the Ring series by J.R.R.Tolkien have influenced me the most.

#6 – Do you have any writing quirks? (like having to walk around your desk 3 times before
sitting down)

My only writing quirk would probably be the 9:00P.M. thing I mentioned in question #1.

#7 – If you could spend an afternoon with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

It would be my dad. He went to Heaven three years ago. To talk to him and get more advice would be amazing.

#8– What do you like most about your book?

I like that it holds true to some of the old myths and lore of vampires (namely Dracula) yet adds some fresh new twists and ideas to it. I also really like some of the reactions I’ve been able to get from a select few people I ask to read it and provide feedback.

#9 – If you didn’t write, what would you want to be doing with your life?

Along with being an author I am also an engineer and business owner; to add to that I am a husband and a dad. I have to be honest; it is hard to imagine my life without writing. However, if I didn’t write I would be a chef. I love to cook. Ha, that might surprise a few people.

#10 – If Dante’s Inferno were real, what level of hell would you be stuck in if you were sent there and why?

Well, if the test is of any measure I would be in purgatory. I will be the first to confess that I am a sinner but I work every day to be otherwise. Why would I be in purgatory? Let’s just say the skeletons in my closet are not gone completely.

#11 – If Heaven is a real place, and you were sent there with the opportunity to ask God one question, what would it be?

I can assure you I will approach humbly as I ask – May I sit by you and listen?

#12 – If Heaven is a real place, and you were sent there with the opportunity to tell God one thing, what would it be?

When I get to Heaven I will kneel and say – thank you for your love, mercy, patience and salvation.

#13 – What would be the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

THINK! Many will tell you to write, write and then write some more. That is true and good advice but I recommend you take it one step further. Think about your story as much as you possibly can. Turn it over in your mind; look at it from all angles. Ask those ‘what if’ questions. Don’t be afraid to allow your story to show you new directions. If what you find works and adds to your story great; if it doesn’t then discard it and move on. The important thing is that you thought through as many aspects of your story as possible. It is better to ask ‘what if’ while you are writing instead of after you submit it.

#14 – If there was a major motion picture made of your life, who would play you?

My wife asked me this very question not long ago and the debate continues. To tell you the truth I’m not really sure who would play me. You see, they would need to have or mimic a really good southern accent to begin with and not many have that quality. Okay, I just asked my wife again and she said Matt Damon so I will go with that.

#15 – Is there a question that people never ask you that you’d like to answer? If so, what is it?

This is a hard one. I get presented with different questions often but I don’t ever recall thinking ‘I wish someone would ask about this or that. I’m pretty open so I will answer just about anything. I mean I just finished answering some really unique and interesting questions in this interview.

That concludes our question and answer period!

Thanks for the awesome answers SB, though I would love to learn a little more about those skeletons, and the difficulties that brought about your "possession" to write. I think we got personal enough for one sitting though... for now...

Here's a little info about SB Knight's novel: In, BORN OF BLOOD, Jesse Banks, unknowingly, steps in the middle of a battle between good and evil that has raged on for decades. As the danger escalates she begins to put the pieces of her clouded past together.
Jesse discovers the truth about her real ancestors and the horror that relentlessly pursued them;a horror that now pursues her. For her to survive she must join the fight. But the immortal monster that stalks her has other, more sinister, plans and will stop at nothing to see those plans accomplished. Can Jesse escape a fate worse than death and defeat an age old evil?

Born of Blood is set to release in March of 2012.

Finally, last but not least. If you are interested in contacting SB Knight, or adding him to your social network (and really, why wouldn't you want to? Southern Gentlemen like him don't grow on trees ya know!) his contact info is below.

You can find SB Knight at:
Website: http://www.sb-knight.com/
Blog: http://the-new-author.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @thenewauthor
Google+: +Brian (Brian Knight)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FansofSBK (I would really like more Likes, thanks)

So be a sweetie and send him a tweetie! Be a sage, and Like his facebook page!

Want to have an unorthodox interview with yours truly? Just drop me a line or leave a comment with the request below. Stay tuned for more zany author interviews!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fire Sale Husband

Beverly Diehl is doing a blogfest with the prompt "Fire Sale Husband". Check out the fest info here.

And here is my submission, hope you enjoy:)

Two days into our honeymoon, I snuck down to the resort’s restaurant while Gilbert slept. I sat at the bar and charged a coffee and two chocolate croissants with extra butter to our room.

A young woman, sitting alone beside me who didn’t look like she’d ever indulged on a pastry in her life, spoke up, “The Honeymoon Suite? How adorable. I’m not married myself, not for a lack of trying of course,” she tapped a perfectly manicured nail on her coffee cup. “Tell me, how did you two meet?”

I had never told anyone how I’d met Gilbert, but I remembered it like it was yesterday. The morning sun shone through the window of my one-bedroom apartment, catching dust mites in its rays. I’d just sat down in my cluttered living room with a cup of hot coffee, double cream and double sugar, to flip through the local Sunday newspaper. While scrolling through the obituaries, my eyes caught an ad under the personals section on the opposite page.

All stock must go!

Fire sale remains. Only one hot item left.
Minimal damage, all parts in working order.
Slightly dirty interior, some melting around the middle section.
Only smells bad after it runs for a while.
Once in a lifetime deal, no down payment, expects some interest,
No taxes!!!
Act now and you’ll get this amazing deal at the low low price of
Your hand in marriage!!!
Made in America, Gilbert Brand Name
905-555-0152 serious inquiries only please

My hand was steady as it reached for the phone.

The dishes clanked down on the counter in front of me and I turned to see the young woman staring at my face. “Well”, she asked expectantly.

I forced back a wicked grin as I stuffed the first croissant into my mouth. I balanced the other croissant and the coffee cup in my hand and licked the chocolate from my chubby fingers. Through a mouthful of sweet goodness I managed to spit out the words “fire sale” as I turned and headed back to my room.

In word I had the add centered. Sadly I couldn't figure out how to do it on blogger:(

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Personal Story/Review of The Gargoyle By Andrew Davidson

I can say straight up, this is going to be an odd post. Anyone who has read my bio, or who has followed me for a while, knows my sister was murdered. But what I have not shared up until now, is that she was murdered by her son, my nephew. From here on in I’ll refer to him as CB. Yes you could easily Google my name and find out his, he was a minor who was sentenced as an adult, so his name has been released, but for some reason, I feel weird using his name here. I’m constantly squashing the urge to go into explicit detail about everything that’s happened regarding this event over the last 3 years so that the full extent of pain and suffering and surrealism can be understood – and I will be squashing that urge today as I get to my point.

Because I was a witness for the Crown Attorney (District Attorney) I was not able to speak to my nephew for the 2.5 years from the day of his arrest to the day of his sentencing. We started exchanging letters in the past few months. We discussed books, and he recommended I read his favorite fiction novel The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I rushed to the library and got it right away. Let me tell you, it was so worth it.

The writing is superb, the characters are fleshed out so very beautifully and the storyline is spell-binding, horrific and beautiful all at the same time. I don’t want to give away any of the plot because simply, I couldn’t do it justice anyhow. That’s pretty much the same way CB described it to me. He said “it’s about a burn victim who meets a crazy chick in the hospital and she tells him stories. I’m not doing it justice, but I can’t explain more without giving anything away”. I agree with his statement 100%.

This book is a must-read folks, especially if you read and enjoyed Dante’s Divine Comedy (though it’s not a requirement.)

Have you read The Gargoyle? What did you think?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Books to Movies, Novels to Films Part 2

Books to Film – Novels to Movies Part 2
Look below for part 1 of this post

It has come to my attention that some of my favorite novels are coming to the big screen.

One such anticipated film is Friday Night Knitting Club By Kate Jacobs. It was a very good read, but I’m jumping out of my skin to see what they do with the movie. Why? Well according to internet sources, Julia Roberts was cast for the starring role. And I personally love Julia. But that movie was originally scheduled for release in 2010… now it’s been pushed back to 2013 and I’m wondering what happened to the original idea.

Next on the list, and I have an all consuming urge to travel to the future so I can see this one TODAY, is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. According to IMDB.com, it is scheduled for release this year! But hey, see above to understand that might not happen. Anyone who has read this series and contemplated a movie version has agreed on two things. One: It would need to be a mini-series to capture even a smidgen of the storyline and character development. Two: There is no actor on earth who could play the scrumptious role of our beloved Jamie and do him justice. So far, the finished product of this film is only a rumor. Only time will tell if it will ever hit the big screen. Time machine anyone?

Last but not least, a project I’m super-stoked about (probably because it actually looks like it will happen) is Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” series coming to the big screen! What makes this different than the other two promises above? Well, according to IMDB.Com One for the Money: A Stephanie Plum Novel is completed and due for release on January 27th 2012. Katherine Heigl will star as the beloved and quirky Jersey girl, Stephanie Plum.

Will these novels-to-film projects produce chair-rumbling applause and standing ovations of new cult followers, or sighs and heads shaking in bitter disappointment? Will those who have read these pieces of art enjoy the films more than those who haven’t? Or will those fresh to the storyline, without expectations, enjoy the movies more than the readers? Only time will tell.

Has any book-to-movies moved you in a special way? Leave a comment below on your hits or missed.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Books to Movies, Novels to Films Part 1

Books to Film - Novels to Movies

This post was originally a 2 part article for Ezines, but I got sick of waiting for it to be published so I deleted it from there, to serve it here.
We've all seen it happen; we've all grunted and groaned when a favorite novel has been blasphemously skewered into a film. I personally almost cried when my most beloved novel Bless the Child was made into a b-movie that followed none of the characteristics of the book I had grown to love and honor.
But there is this little thing inside, this little spark of need, of want, of desire, to see if the images that floated across our minds while we read the tales woven on page, match up with the visuals of what others decide goes on our screens. It seems to be that, now more than ever, the films are living up to the books delivery.
My first novel-to-film happy moment was with the movie "The Green Mile
" I enjoyed it as much as the book. Then came the "Twilight" series. Yes I am a fan of the books, they pulled me in. I also loved the movies. A note on this though, I loved the movies because I knew the books. I watched the movies with people who had not read the books and they were not nearly as impressed. Interesting is it not? I feel the same way about the Harry Potter movies and books. I read the first Harry Potter, and enjoyed the first movie to no end, because I knew what was going on in the heads of the characters. The later movies, the ones whose books I did not read, I found far less entertaining. In fact, I found myself thoroughly confused during the last few films.
I can't compare "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy because I never read the books, but I know the die-hard fans were pretty much 50/50 when it came to their appreciation of the films. But again, I watched these movies with people who had read the books, and they were completely stoked about scenes I didn't quite get. They would say things like "Oh, I wonder how they are gonna do this part?" or "Wow, wait til you see what's coming up next!" only to find myself slightly moved by the scene they spoke of.
Let's move on a little to a favorite book series and TV series that is near and dear to me: "True Blood". The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris is fantastic. It's fast-paced and moves along nicely. The characters are fresh, three-dimensional people that easily invite the reader to love or hate them, sometimes both. But to be honest, I enjoy the HBO show based on the books so much more. I did watch the show before I found the series.

Though the quality and interpretation of the novel to the filmmakers is an obvious necessity in deciding which is better, what I think it comes down to in the end is; which came first to YOU, the movie or the book?
Which books to movies moved you or betrayed you?
Part two to this post will appear tomorrow, discussing up-coming books to film.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Winner and Writing Block Dissolver

Pink Pittsburgh Penguins Hat
First, a big congrats to Stacy Coles for winning the 50th follower giveaway!! WOOT WOOT STACY! That’s the Pittsburgh Penguin hat I drew your name out of, cute isn’t it? Maybe not as cute as Mario Lemieux or Sidney Crosby, but cute nonetheless. Email me your address sweets, and the book will be sent out by the weekend! Thanks to everyone who participated and commented. I’ll try to make a better book selection at the 100th follower mark. Suggestions are appreciated!

Writer’s block and a quote that pushed me forward

So today, actually for over a week now, I’ve had a horrible case of writer’s block. At one point, I believe Jonathan Gould’s muse and my muse were off hiking together in the woods while he and I were stuck in a traffic jam of biblical blocking proportions. Regardless, two days ago I had an epiphany: a new lead on my story. Brilliance struck as my muse returned to me from the green muddy depths or the forest. Sadly, she didn’t stay long. I got going for awhile today, getting my new ideas down, and then SMACK! I hit a new block headfirst. Ouch.

So I did what any internet savvy writer would do. I put my laundry away. I checked twitter. I did some dishes. I checked my email. I stared at my WIP. I checked twitter. I played Gourmet Ranch. I stared at my WIP. I checked twitter. I whined on twitter. Then finally, I looked up some inspiring quotes and came upon one that I just needed to share.

“When I was in the middle of writing Eat Pray Love and I fell into one of those pits of despair that we will fall into when we’re working on something that’s not coming and we think ‘this is going to be a disaster, this is going to be the worst book I’ve ever written — not just that but the worst book ever written … So I just lifted my face up from the manuscript and I directed my comments to an empty corner of the room and I said aloud ‘ Listen you, thing! You and I both know that if this book isn’t brilliant that is not entirely my fault, right? Because you can see I am putting everything I have into this, I don’t have any more than this, so if you want it to be better then you’ve got to show up and do your part of the deal, OK? But you know what? If you don’t do that then I’m going to keep writing because that’s my job and I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up and did my part of the job!” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Not bad hunh? Now if you leave this post picturing me screaming at an invisible being in the corner of my living room – you’d be… well yeah you’d be right.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Movie Theme Song Linky Fun

This post originally would have been a little difficult, because some of the songs I used could have been for any number of movies. But there is a theme here. Can you figure out what it is?

Song #1 – Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel

Song #2 – C’est La Vie by Chuck Berry

Song #3 – You’re So Cool by Hans Zimmer (my sister loves this song so much, she used it as her walk-down-the-aisle song at her wedding.)

Me at my sister’s wedding

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Poetry Schmoetry Blogfest Entry

So I’ve entered the Poetry Blog Fest. I don’t “do” poetry, (how snobby does that sound? LOL) but Shelly is such a cool chick, I had to join this. So here’s my attempt at a poem:

There once was a man from Nantucket,

Nyah, I’m just kidding… the real attempt:

When writer’s block occurs,
And you find yourself in a fog,
Don’t worry about your word count,
Get your inspiration from a blog.

It’s not a waste of time
To go to Shelly’s site,
She’s the grooviest gal around here,
And alas, she’s always right!

You won’t feel alone staring at a blank white screen
When visiting Diego’s page
You might find your writer’s block demolished
By a zombie-eating mage!

Lily Childs' Feardom

Is the place to be,
If you like macabre horror,
She’ll set your imagination free.

This concludes my poem entry,
I hope I didn’t waste your time,
It may not be blissfully poetic,
But hey, at least it kinda rhymed!

Nina Pelletier-Powers


Fun new Linky List Quiz - movies and soundtracks. Check out RJR Daydreamer's site to sign up and have fun!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

50 Followers Giveaway

Oh my! What is that? 50 followers? Well WOOT WOOT! I have to do something. I have to show my gratitude to those who make my life worth living! I have to be unique and original in my celebration!
Or, on the other hand, I can do what most blog authors do, and give away a book! Yes a book! Because writers can never have enough books! But which book? That's a toughie. Thinking... Thinking... pacing... thinking... pacing... going to the fridge to grab a Diet Pepsi... thinking... pacing.... AH HA! The first book to ever make me pull an all-nighter to finish!
**story** I went to bed on night one, read one chapter of The Da Vinci Code. Went to sleep. The next night, I settle in to read one chapter. At 1:00am I move from my bed to my living room. At 7:00am I'm still going strong. Finally, at 8:00am I finish the book and crash for the day. Now THAT is a good book. ***story over***
So that is it then. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown shall be my giveaway. Relief. No more pacing.
But wait! There must be some sort of way to decide who gets this coveted copy! Sigh... I've already worn out a path on my carpet from my previous bout of pacing. I don't think my flooring can handle any more. So here's the dealio, let's do things the old fashioned way. Reply to this post, I will put everyone's name who replies in a hat (My pink Pittsburg Penguins hat to be precise) and the name I pick out, a week from today, will get the book!
Thank you to all my loyal followers. I appreciate the commitment involved in following me, since most of the time I have no idea where I'm going.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

750 Word Brain Dump

verbal diarrhea
750 Word Brain Dump

I spent the last hour running through my blog list trying to figure out who turned me on to this amazing site. I’m at a loss. I can’t find you dear blogger! If you are reading this and have posted about this site in the last week, please leave a comment so I can give credit where it is deserved.

With that said, after multiple self-smackings of my forehead for losing the post, I’ve got to say This Site rocks! It allows you to gush out all of the clutter in your head without worry of critique. It’s a brain dump. Out with the garbage so the creativity can flow! It invokes free writing at its very best. It also rewards your verbal diarrhea with pretty little badges, and who doesn’t like a pretty little badges?

It’s not all fun and games (ok actually it is but regardless…), the site also takes your random spewing of words and “predicts” your mood, thoughts, what’s really on your mind and so on. It’s not necessarily what I use it for, but it’s a fun little tool nonetheless.

Check it out if you get the chance and let me know what you think. It has helped me immensely in pushing out the cluttering garbage, sweeping up the dust bunnies from my brain, organizing my tasks for the day and leaving room for the good stuff to just flow.


post note: I did finally find the person who posted about this site originally. Thank you SO MUCH Kathleen! If you get the chance, check out Kathleen's original blog @ http://curatedwriter.blogspot.com