Testosterone Dublin 8 follows a man that uses testosterone to escape his unhappy life and in the process gets caught up with Dublin’s criminals. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
A doctor suggested I start taking testosterone, and that prompted my interest in the hormone. As I observed changes in my own mind and body, and read more about it, I realized it could provide the foundation for a very interesting book.
Most people associate the hormone with sex and athletics, but it influences so much more, particularly mood, ambition, drive and confidence. That makes it a very interesting issue to write about, but I could find no other novel about it.
There was a time when only elite athletes took anabolic steroids (which means testosterone), but now millions of ordinary men (and some women) around the world are juicing. There are myriad advantages and dangers to this.
In addition, I live in a part of the Irish capital called Dublin 8, which is going through the gentrification process – just like other cities throughout the world such as San Francisco where I used to live.
Gentrification provides a very interesting energy in a place as ‘old’ and ‘new’ residents live side-by-side, usually together, but separate. Occasionally hostile. I wanted to comment on this in a book. A law-abiding man who suddenly becomes a drug dealer was the vehicle to do this. He had felt a little superior to his new neighborhood, but as time goes by, it’s clear he isn’t that much different from the people he lives among.
Jimmy is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that drove his character development?
He is disappointed in his life. He was from a middle-class family and middle-class community, but didn’t achieve this in his adult life. Losing his job is confirmation of this. Frequently he feels the judgement of his late father, who reminds him of his failings during his lowest points. He is ashamed, angry and suicidal.
Jimmy’s enhanced manliness leads to a drug-dealing business, and his pride is gradually restored. But when the money starts rolling in, what is his ambition for it? To move to a middle-class area; to finally be the person his late father wanted him to be.
The story takes place in Dublin. Why was this time and place important to your story?
Dublin has a gangland problem and there have been many murders in the Dublin 8 area that is described in the book.
In addition, this area is changing as new people who have middle-class aspirations arrive, displacing lower-class families who have been there for generations.
So the time and the place are important because they generate a natural environment for stories like mine to emerge. The reason Jimmy is living there is because of gentrification. The reason he can get involved in the drugs business is because that business is all around him.
More generally, Dublin is celebrated in many novels, and is most famously linked to works that were published 100 years ago. Nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to describe the Dublin of here and now.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am not working any but have several in mind involving the characters of Testosterone, Dublin 8.
TV producer Jimmy Fyffe starts taking anabolic steroids to restore the ‘manliness’ he has lost in a high-pressure career and unhappy marriage. His plan works – a little too well. Soon he is a cocaine dealer, carving out a market in Dublin’s more affluent suburbs. This draws him into conflict with two established drugs gangs. He is kidnapped, beaten and terrorised, and is linked to the killing of a drugs-lord and two Gardaí.
Is Jimmy next to die, or will the same newfound machismo that landed him in trouble also help him escape it? Things get worse before they get better. The extra testosterone in his system hardens him both mentally and physically, but he also becomes reckless and arrogant. Ultimately, redemption is found during an ayahuasca ceremony in the Wicklow mountains, when Jimmy confronts his past through a conversation with his dead father.
Testosterone, Dublin 8 describes the effect of the ‘male hormone’ on an individual, and on wider society. It is told against the backdrop of a gentrifying Dublin, where the two main tribes – locals and blow-ins – live side by side. It is a moral tale wrapped in a classic thriller that gets to the heart – and veins – of modern Ireland.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, crime, crime fiction, ebook, fantasy, fiction, Gerry Mullins, goodreads, historical, interview, ireland, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, Testosterone Dublin 8, thriller, writer, writing
Evah & the Unscrupulous Thwargg follows a young girl who must contend with bullies while being haunted by disturbing visions. She slowly uncovers a connection she has with an ancient tribe of people who were exterminated. She must find out why she’s been chosen, overcome the strange phenomena plaguing her life and take control of her destiny.
Longoria Wolfe has written a compelling science fiction story that is supported by a curious mystery which unravels through a thrilling adventure. When the book started I thought Evah was a fairly straightforward character, but I was pleasantly surprised when her character quickly gained complexity as her connection to the supernatural tribe was revealed and events are set in motion which provide compelling obstacles for her to overcome.
Evah & the Unscrupulous Thwargg is an immersive story that efficiently handles backstory so that we can focus on character development as well as the eerie mystery at the heart of this riveting novel. I admit that I had to stretch my imagination a bit because some of the things, and places, Evah encounters along the way superbly capture a fantastical surrealism that I wasn’t prepared for.
What I enjoyed the most was how everything is kept grounded by motivations I could understand. Even the strange aliens had desires I think readers can relate to, and with that I was reeled into a fast paced story that I heartily enjoyed.
Exceptional storytelling elevates this odd story line into a novel that is unique and hard to put down. I hope there’s a sequel in the works as this story left me wanting more of this world. Longoria Wolfe is able to twist common story tropes and prose into something that strangely intriguing. This is a thrilling science fiction story that I would recommend to readers seeking an adventure unlike any other.
Pages: 384 | ASIN: B07ZDLZP9V
Tags: adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, Evah & the Unscrupulous Thwargg, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Longoria Wolfe, metaphysical, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing, young adult
My Name Is Saul follows the life of the apostle Paul and expands his character. What was the inspiration that motivated you to write this compelling story?
I had planned to return to my Lindsey McCall mystery series after publishing, I, Claudia A Novel of the Ancient World, but then Saul-quite literally- showed up in my head.
Saul of Tarsus is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some themes that guided his character development?
It took me a while to recover from the implanted idea of writing a book about the Apostle of the Apostles. I wrote this in the afterword of the book: Upon completing my last novel, I was stunned to “hear” that my next book would be about St. Paul … Apostle of the Apostles. On more than one occasion, I complained to my husband that this was one of the most foolhardy efforts I had ever taken on. I could only console myself with the fact that it was not my idea but Someone Else’s. As I sat reeling from the implanted idea and began to research Saul of Tarsus, I grew more and more enthusiastic …excited, even. Perhaps I could penetrate the obscurity with which the early life of St. Paul is shrouded. How could I manage such a task? Because, as I continued to study, search, think, I realized that Saul of Tarsus is a man I get. Get as in, AHA! I know what certainty tastes like, and Saul of Tarsus was a man of certainty.
I enjoyed the well researched content in this book. What kind of research did you undertake to ensure the books accuracy?
In two words, a lot. But very quickly I realized that no one knew about the early life of Saul other than the barest of details. Most scholars did not even attempt to guess. That left me a vast open field of conjecture. There were a few books which were enormously helpful, particularly on the prayers of the time, Gamaliel and the Sanhedrin. I reference those at the end of the book.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Plausible Liars– A Dr. Lindsey McCall medical mystery, available late this year.
St. Paul the Apostle is a towering biblical figure, but almost nothing is known about his early life as Saul of Tarsus.
As death loomed over him at Mamertine Prison in Rome, under the watchful eye of his jailer and final follower Aurelius, he wrote:
I will die tomorrow. In the morning, around sunrise.
There are two things for which I am eminently grateful: That I have been permitted to have fought the good fight and finished the race marked out for me; and that I will not have to endure another winter in this place.
Starting from that pivotal moment, blending historical fact with audacious creativity, the author of the award-winning I, Claudia propels us back through the life of the man who would become St. Paul. Her vividly imagined, well-founded tale of loss, transformation, and divine intervention will captivate believers and non-believers alike who yearn for the human truth and drama behind the scriptures.
Sinners Cross, by Miles Watson, is a deeply captivating historical fiction novel of the Second World War. This is an action packed story detailing the horrors of war and the people that must endure them.
This is not a watered down version of war, the battles are chaotic and gritty. I appreciated Mile Watson’s ability to place me in the field with the soldiers. The story focuses on a collection of well developed characters, each with their own issues not completely unique but well drawn and expertly unraveled before the reader. Having such well defined characters made me appreciate the terrible way in which war changes people.
The book is set in Germany during the Second World War and told from the point of view of soldier on the ground. We get to know what they fear, their motivation, how it feels to take the impact of a sniper bullet to the head only for it to be stopped by a M1 Helmet. How one would survive the cold in a fox hole knowing the chance of living to see the following day comes down to an unhealthy probability. To how your ears ring when you are accidentally within the range of an explosion. Sinner’s Cross is full of these types of details only soldiers can tell you.
The book begins with two characters, Duffy and Halleck, who have been fighting Germans for a while now. Each lost in their own thoughts, they engage in a sporadic and thinly worded conversation. Whenever Halleck’s drifts back to his thoughts, they give the reader a glimpse into the hopelessness of their predicament when he refers to their reinforcement as mere replacements. As a veteran I can appreciate the clarity with which the author paints the picture of war and how a soldiers mind might race.
This book was exceptional in it’s ability to make me question, not necessarily the motives of war, but the motives of those in charge of the battles in war. How human ineptness is either waned or magnified under such monstrously strenuous conditions.
I’m surprised Sinner’s Cross is a historical fiction novel. It’s full of historical details and military jargon that, I felt, were spot on, if not believable. This is an exceptional novel that is consistently entertaining, although dark it fits with the tone of what is a dark time in history. Any armchair historian will love this book.
Pages: 284 | ASIN: B07YS4T3TB
Tags: action, author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fantasy, historical fiction, history, kindle, kobo, literature, Miles Watson, military, military fiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, Sinner's Cross, story, suspense, thriller, war, war fiction, world war two, writer, writing, wwII
Forging of a Knight: Knighthood’s End is the fifth installment in Hugo V. Negron’s “Forging of a Knight” series. The book series takes place in a magical, mythical world drawing heavily upon folklore and where numerous societies with feudal systems reside in the greater universe. The series follows the journeys of Qualtan, a knight who wields the powerful and coveted Goldenflame blade, Glaive, his half-orcne best friend and trusted partner, and many other rulers, knights, and creatures with whom they interact in the ongoing fight against the heinous agenda of the Evil Order. The “Knighthood’s End” installment guides readers on an arguably more personal battle involving Qualtan – the events that transpire as he finds his true love in Vanessa, a Mah-Zakim, and the journey of Qualtan and Vanessa in securing their freedom to love.
This book features many different types of characters and creatures, some common fixtures and other illustrations pulled from the depths of Negron’s vast imagination. The author does a fantastic job at creating the imagery needed for the reader to conjure in mind each of these magical characters and creatures. He displays the same talent for expressing imagery in his illustrations of the different worlds that Qualtan, Glaive, Vanessa, and other characters in the story traverse. The Great Forest, for instance, with its idyllic scenery and woodland creatures roaming about, contrasts greatly with the dark, terrible, and grotesque world of the Mah-Zakim.
The development of the story is done in such a way that, even if the reader was not already familiar with the series, they not left in the dark in regard to former battles or happenings from previous installments and how they play into the current plot. My only comment is that the author could have elicited more emotion and dimension in each character; I found that the characters at times fell too deeply into their respective tropes (ex. Qualtan as the hero, Glaive as the disgruntled but loyal sidekick, and Vanessa as the hopeless lover fighting against herself). The interactions between the characters, along with references to past struggles they have mutually faced, still adequately depict the strong ties that bind the characters to each other; a great example of this bond is the brother-like companionship between Qualtan and Glaive that remains steadfast even during the moments when they have their differences.
Forging of a Knight: Knighthood’s End is overall a great read for anyone who has an interest in a well-written and carefully crafted story where knights, kingdoms, gods, magic, and other elements of folklore rule, with some seeking the greater good and some seeking no benefit outside themselves. The plot of the story is rich and enjoyable, and it should spark reader’s interest in delving into the rest of the series.
Pages: 432 | ASIN: B07DFPM1Q5
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, folklore, Forging of a Knight, goodreads, Hugo V Negron, kindle, Knighthood’s End, kobo, literature, magic, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, sword and sorcery, thriller, writer, writing
What do you find is a common misconception kids have about problems with their vision?
The MOST common misconception kids have about their vision is they don’t believe they have a vision problem. This is because they have nothing to compare bad vision to.
I thought the scenes with Tode at the optometrist were very cute. Do you have a favorite scene from the book, Sight to See: Seeing is Believing ?
My favorite scene of Tode at the optometrist is when Dr. Kitty asks Tode to come into his office and Tode thinks he is in trouble and explains, “I didn’t pull Krissy’s tail, I just held on and she drug me in here!”
This is book two in your Fargone series, what can readers expect from book three, Where Are We?: A field Trip to Paradise?
Book 3 of the Fargone Series, “Where Are We?: A field Trip to Paradise” defines a common state of boredom, where everyone wants to be on the greener side of life, a place more exciting than where they are. This historical history lesson, takes the entire class on a field trip that is only 10 feet from where they started from but 151 million years…
A children’s book with a message to parents and young readers. Tode the Turtle is one out of every five children that will have a learning disability because of a correctable handicap, that he nor his parents know that he has. Discover the ease of correcting this universal plague in minutes as this beautifully illustrated story comes to life.
In the long ago, there was a boy named Henry. His greatest love was his little sister, and his greatest desire was to be a thief. It was a passion as misguided as it was pure.
In the coming of age story The Fortieth Thief, author Ruth Finnegan tells the lively story of Henry as he grows up and tries to pursue his dream of learning to be a proper thief. Finnegan packs a lot of literary dazzle in a short and charming story. This fantastic tale gives a new and unique perspective to Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves story. A folk tale of the natural world, and a morality story about selflessness and love. Henry can be forgiven for his ill-advised goals because of his innocence and youth, while at the same time we can all learn a little something from his passion and exuberance.
The Fortieth Thief is an adorable story that is a great addition to an age old tale that contains a great message for young children where adventures like this may be in short supply in the real world but never in our imagination, and Ruth Finnegan sets readers imagination on fire.
Pages: 43 | ASIN: B086SDJ9KT
Good Life to Perfection Perception is an autobiography detailing the hardships of living with mental illness. Why was this an important book for you to write?
It was essential for me to write this book because my writing explores the depths of the human psyche and could serve as a historic guide into the core of people. My life stories are there to help the ideal readers to experience lessons they need to learn and feel the emotions they need to contact with to reap the benefit from the uninhibited discourses on my psychology, philosophy, relationship, and the hardship of living with a mental illness. And I choose empowerment over shame and stigma.
I thought your views on dealing with mentally ill people were really enlightening. What do you think is something the medical field can change that will make life easier for patients?
I think they can encourage equality between physical and mental illness and have more honesty about treatment. Change the over-prescribing of medicines and there use on patients for far too long to cure all social ills. People who have a chronic illness related to stress, anxiety, social and economic deprivation, alcohol and substance misuse may feel hopeless and lost.
More extensive use of treatment and therapy can work best and make life easier for the patient who adds more daily goals challenges as they start to feel better. People gain back their purpose, self-esteem and self-worth.
What do you feel is a common misconception people have about schizophrenia?
Commonly believed myths about people with schizophrenia are that they are dangerous, unpredictable and unintelligent. Those misconceptions must get busted over time with education and from stories from people with lived experiences of schizophrenia.
Although the patient may be more aggressive and violent during acute episodes, multiple factors make symptom exacerbate precipitate aggressive behaviour. People with the condition have more trouble with mental skills, learning, and memory, but that shouldn’t mean they are not intelligent. Also, at times, perfectly normal responsible people may feel, think or act in a way resemble people with schizophrenia.
I found your book to be enlightening. What do you hope readers take away from your book?
I hope readers remember my profound views on the understanding of the role of Jesus as a symbol of love, truth, and hope and learn from their human spirit of God within their soul. Get inspired by my fantastic outlook on living life with integrity and ponder on my thought-provoking narratives, which covers many relevant subjects, such as religion/spirituality, and acts of terrorism which instill a sense of fear into humanity.
Good Life to Perfection Perception: An Autobiography gives insights into the aspect of my life, non-falsifying stories, and the ethics applied upheld truth, fairness and ethical values and obtained knowledge that can be trusted are the facts without biases. Personal records of the author have given birth to two books. The Memoir of a Schizophrenic offers a glimpse into the life and struggle that took place before the world learned who I am.
The second book called, Good Life to Perfection Perception: An Autobiography is memories now about the present experiences that include mental illness and future, what to do next. The science of the author’s voices in his head has a divine mind, and his body consciousness was in agony has a hell and the art in writing communicate the emotions. And the verbs of the brain gave him creative information to process and processing power.
If you’re browsing and this is the paragraph you happened to glance at sincerely consider to buy this book. It’s a necessary piece of non-fiction that promises at the end of chapters you’ll be better for reading it. I am addicted to doing the right thing, and my conscience is always saying to itself do the right thing and asked itself the right way not to get it the wrong way. So, word gets understood by everyone at any level of ability, and the truth will affect people, and lies would affect the people too.
If the things that I wrote is perfect, and the words agree with other people’s, but may not sound the same, its rule is original, and nobody will have the ability to change them, but to agree.