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Into His Psyche

Eli Pope
Eli Pope Author Interview

The Judgment Game follows a boy who tries to escape a sadistic father while also struggling to escape his own demons. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Originally, I wrote this novel and it ended with a happy ending, everything with Jay was neatly tied into a happy bow of his character accepting Jesus as his savior.

A friend of mine suggested that becoming “saved” was rarely such a quick and instant fix. Often the one involved, especially one such as Jay’s character, regresses and battles with their acceptance of faith. She also suggested to make it into a saga or series because its thriller genre would probably grow my reader base.

I went back to the editing and rewriting phases and really connected deeper with the characters. I found the darkness of Jay’s world intriguing and wondered just how many lives were in the shadows of most us who never recognized their existence. I wanted to entertain but also cause the reader to become drawn in to subject matter such as drugs, homelessness, mental illness, faith, and dysfunction along with the way some might deal or react to these situations—from both sides of the coin. Viola. This story grew and has become much deeper and defined in the continuing saga of the Cader family.

Billy Jay Cader was an interesting character that I enjoyed watching slowly evolve. What were some driving ideals behind the character’s development?

This is partially explained in the above answer, but honestly, Jay was a character that began evolving on his own. My original thoughts of giving him more or less an instant cure was now dashed, so I needed to give him more depth and mystery to draw the reader into his psyche wanting to know more. I liked giving him some areas in the story that might push the reader into some form of compassion or understanding of him because of where he’d come from. I also wanted to twist that feeling back and forth where the reader was truly involved in the battle of which side would “win him over.” Good or evil. It’s really a battle each of us experience in different ways, hopefully not to the extent of Jay’s internal war.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Life in general and how people choose to deal with it. People come from every corner of wealth, poverty, love, and abuse, and I wanted to take different characters from those standards of living, and twist them into situations thrown together along with the possible outcomes from making their decisions, good or bad. Again, we all make choices and most of us surround ourselves with like-people and similar upbringings. What happens when one such as Ben, who was given everything in life, but still makes harsh choices and fails, yet still has the compassion for someone else enough to put his life on risk to help. The human conditions. That is what my focus was. To not only entertain, but maybe educate in some small way of a life that most of us never see, but could be going on even next door to us.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I actually have the second offering to this story completed and just recently sent to my narrator Paul J McSorely, who is the voice of Jay and all the other characters from my world. He’s been incredible to work with and I can’t picture anyone else making these characters come alive like Paul does. The Spark of Wrath, which is book 2, will be out middle of this April, 2021. I have book 3 written and it is in my wonderful editor’s hands currently. My hope is to have it published by November of this year. I am writing the fourth and fifth future offerings, simultaneously. I’ve come up with a neat idea to make this series just a little different than others. I can’t give that away, so readers will need to stay tuned in and read or listen to each book on Audible as I release them to find out. I am enjoying these characters and have no plans to retire this series any time soon. As long as this story stays fresh, I plan to continue on with new characters possibly branching out into sister series down the road.

I do have some other plans mixed in the pot of keeping creative change in my writing. Possibly a book of shorts in the future. My first novel was published in 2019 and was more of a Christian fiction with less language and adult situations within. It was written under my birth name Steven G Bassett. The title is The Waning Crescent, and is available on Amazon. I chose to write my darker themes, such as The Mason Jar Series, under my pen name Eli Pope so readers who read my first book wouldn’t purchase book one of this series expecting the same kind of content. I do share my faith throughout The Mason Jar Series, but it isn’t the intent to be preachy. This series is definitely on the dark side mixing mystery, murder, romance, erotica, dysfunction, and twisted thrills. Faith is merely is another facet in life and mixes well within the story of one man’s struggle dealing with his demons.

Author Links: Facebook | Eli Pope | Steven G Bassett | Website

Billy Jay Cader came from an abusive past. Self-preservation forced him to run away at the age of fourteen. His daddy was full of demons and played a sadistic game in a lottery-type punishment with his boy. When Billy Jay ran from his daddy, he hoped to outrun those demons as well. As time passed, he realized he hadn’t been able to flee fast enough to escape them. Now those mental monsters were tightly nestled within. He was the new vessel to carry his daddy’s wrath. This is the story of how that monster from his past propagated into Billy Jay’s psyche and took over, compelling him to become the next generation of evil. Billy Jay’s young sons, Billy James, and Darrell Lee were now the recipients of his wrath as his hopeless, drunken wife watched from a distance. The story begins from the early Cader family traditions and the morally depraved control that the game of the Mason Jar truly possesses. The twisted and deranged values of retribution for wrongs committed, through a game of chance. This series is the one to compel you to binge listen and then crave the next allocation to see where the madness takes you. Full of mystery, evil, twisted love, erotica, lies, and murder. Billy Jay Cader is pure evil incarnate, drawing a small forgotten coastal town along the Gulf of Florida, circa the 80’s, into the web of a sociopath on a journey to destruction. His own? Or everyone that he encounters? Buy a ticket and ride a rollercoaster of fear battling faith, the past conquering hope, and the unforgiving allure of a simple game constructed of wood squares and a glass Mason jar. A game capable of destroying lives with a simple shake and release of the small wooden punishment tile. THE MASON JAR SERIES written by ELI POPE Book 2 THE SPARK OF WRATH is com

The Victims of Sudden Fame

Douglas Wood
Douglas Wood Author Interview

Ladies of the Canyon follows two women who get caught in a complex and twisted relationship that turns violent. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

As a child, the film, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? terrified me. No monsters or anything supernatural for that matter, just two women whose relationship is toxic. I wondered how such a story might play out in 2020 as opposed to the early sixties of the film. We’re now so familiar with child stars gone bad via reality shows, TMZ, etc. but I wanted to explore the details behind the lurid headlines and hear the story from one of the victims of sudden fame.

Devon and Nikki’s characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?

I aspired to keep things real regarding the characters’ motivations and to delve into their pasts to help explain their current behavior.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The need for acceptance, surviving trauma, past and present, the effect of sudden fame and how a lack of self esteem drives our actions.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Not currently working on another book.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Sometimes it’s deadly at the top…

Devon O’Keefe, star of the popular streaming TV series Beverly Hills Banshee, is losing her grip on life and her sudden fame. When substance abuse and erratic behavior cause production of her show to come to a halt—and after burning through all of her money on drugs and legal fees—the young Midwestern transplant finds herself alone and homeless in L.A.

Enter Nikki Barnes, notorious aging child star and Hollywood survivor with her own tabloid exploits, who waylays Devon after a twelve-step program meeting. Nikki sees a younger version of herself in Devon, having battled addiction, eating disorders, and the effects of personal tragedy for decades. She offers to share her decaying Laurel Canyon mansion with the troubled young actress, determined to help her avoid making the same mistakes she’s made. But soon a series of mysterious and disturbing incidents occur and the two women find themselves locked in a complex and twisted relationship that spirals downward into violence.

Ladies of the Canyon explores the universal need for family and acceptance, and how a toxic environment can affect the choices we make.

The Only Antidote

Sarudzai Mubvakure
Sarudzai Mubvakure Author Interview

The Mirror Without Reflection follows Sofia as she struggles to escape an abusive relationship while losing her reflection. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

I have a particular interest in motivational speakers and inspirational content. In particular I was interested in self value and the impact it has on interpersonal relationships.

In my study of the interpersonal relationships of the individual with the narcissistic personality disorder I found the dynamic of one individual gaining power through the devaluation of another. Thus the abused would lose themselves and their ‘new’ identity could only be painfully defined by their abuser. The other devastating dynamic to these relationships was that the abuser and the abused were drawn to eachother like a magnet. The only antidote being that the abused was to find themselves and to love the person they found. This was the fuel I used to craft Sofia’s story. I wanted to see her gain that inner strength that would ultimately lead to her freedom.

Sofia is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

I wanted to develop a character who was strong internally but with flaws that allowed the inexplicable disrespect of ones own boundaries. I wanted to show how childhood wounds have a major impact on ones overall development to adulthood and the ability to navigate relationships. I wanted to show how an independent, accomplished individual can make some of the most astounding misjudgments in life.

What were some themes you wanted to capture in the relationships that Sofia has with men?

Mainly an expert ability to ignore red flags because of an internal signal that tells her that she can’t manage on her own. This is a protective strategy that helps her to avoid rejection.

A desire to please in order to gain accceptance.

The opinion of these men is the one that matters the most.

What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?

At present I have taken a very short break from writing. I will resume to begin the sequel to The Mirror Without Reflection. Could Uche return to destroy Sofia’ happiness?

The are two other novels I have started outlines for and will be able to share on these in the future.

I am also working on some genealogy research for my family which will be documented shortly.

Author Interview: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Sofia Blackwell is a passionate horticulturist who loves a plant until it flourishes. This love has spread from the thyme on her window sill to her mother’s secret patch of cannabis at the bottom of the garden. So much love but unfortunately her world has not treated her in quite the same way. People have conspired to crush her spirit until when she looks in the mirror she sees no one there.

Uche, the Nigerian hustler says that he never married Sofia for British papers and yet it’s a wonder as to why he tried to break her. But he is just one of the many players in the game of spinning Sofia in a spider’s web of lies.

But then there’s Michael. He bumps into her twice but she doesn’t see him. He falls for her but he doesn’t know where to find her. Then to his astonishment the next client that shows up in his therapy practice is her. She’s looking for help. As he listens to her painful past he struggles to not cross the threshold to loving her and as the truth in her life unfolds will their struggles rob them of stepping into a love where their lives will bloom.

THE OTHER CHEEK

THE OTHER CHEEK: Boy meets girl. Girl beats boy. Just your typical love story... by [JAFE DANBURY]

Rich has everything going for him: a job for which he has been well-trained and loves, a family who loves him unconditionally, and a beautiful and talented wife. Rich has just one thing going against him–his beautiful and talented wife. Their life together was supposed to be ideal. Her budding career as an actress and his job as a trusted member of television production crews should have combined to form the perfect union. But all is not as it seems in Rich’s life, and try as he might, he can’t seem to crack the code to Tami’s mood swings. The not-knowing is killing him–literally.

The Other Cheek, by Jafe Danbury, is the story of one man’s struggle with domestic abuse. Rich faces the unknown every day since his marriage to Tami. He wakes and sleeps only according to her inner demons, and his battle is one for the record books. No one is more patient or giving than Rich. Time and time again, he chooses to face the barrage of insults and the physical abuse that seem to stem from something deep inside Tami’s very soul. Never knowing what will trigger an episode and always scraping the bottom of the barrel of excuses, Rich grows increasingly haggard and mentally defeated as he rides out one horrific day after another.

Danbury’s portrayal of a husband being abused at the hands of his seemingly less physically intimidating wife is captivating in every way. As I began reading, I wondered why the author chose a third person point-of-view. It didn’t take long to realize that the story is all the more horrifying from the outside looking in. Danbury does a truly fantastic job of drawing readers into Rich’s life. Wanting to reach out and rescue Rich, I found myself increasingly stressed and anxious for a positive turn–just anything to make his life with Tami more bearable.

As someone who fled an abusive relationship, everything about Rich’s ordeal hit home–from Tami’s fits of rage to her manipulation of his emotions and attempts to distance him from his family. Danbury’s writing is spot-on. Every ounce of fear, every second of Tami’s attacks, and each and every moment of Rich’s hesitation to share his experience with anyone. I can relate to Rich’s unwillingness to reach out for help, and I know I am not alone. Danbury is reaching an audience not often addressed in realistic fiction.

I absolutely flew through Danbury’s work, absorbing one of Rich’s emotions after the other and fearing Tami right alongside him. I recommend this book to anyone who has survived abuse, thinks they may be a victim, or knows and loves someone who is dealing with a controlling significant other. Danbury is making important strides with The Other Cheek.

Pages: 288 | ASIN: B07YWC791R

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