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What can loneliness drive us to do?

Sheila English Author Interview

Adam Frankenstein: Search for a Soul is a collection of thought-provoking short stories. What were some sources that informed your writing?

First, I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus. I knew the Universal Studios and Hammer films weren’t true to the book, as movies often aren’t, and I wanted my Frankenstein to be based off the book. In the book he is a sympathetic character, but becomes a murderer. He’s not given the chance to redeem himself and I wanted that opportunity for him.

Next, I read about Mary Shelley. It was important to me to get inside her head and understand her motivations. I watched the movie about her life and I read several books about her including Mary Shelley: Her Circle and Her Contemporaries and Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein. I read university papers about her life and spoke to professors and other experts.

I’ve always been a fan of horror. I love the classics. I’ve read and reread so many classic horror tales that I plan on tapping into as I write. I read modern horror as well. I want to be able to appeal to the modern reader while intriguing them with classic stories.

Adam is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

I’ve always felt especially drawn to two fictional characters in my life; Frankenstein’s monster and Jane Eyre. There’s something about a person who is all alone in the world trying to be better even when no one else might care about their life. I admit that Adam has some traits you may find in Mr. Rochester. Rochester warred with himself, justifying what he did even when he knew it was wrong. But, he had such passion the reader forgave him his past deeds and wanted to see him become the man Jane deserved.

In the novel, Frankenstein, the monster, who I’ve called Adam, is intelligent and realizes his own plight. He’s not the green-faced monster of the movies. His acceptance of the world’s rejection of him drives him to insist on a companion so he won’t be alone. I think we can all relate to feeling alone in the world at some point in our lives. What can loneliness drive us to do?

I knew immediately that the only way to keep Adam from becoming a true monster was to give him love and let him experience love for someone, or something else. A life totally devoid of love will certainly make anyone a monster. I gave him Bella, his little dog who also happens to be immortal. It wasn’t just the fact that dogs will love you no matter what you look like as long as you’re kind, but it was Adam’s experience of loving and of knowing he had the capacity to love that changed the trajectory of his life.

The Madame and the Madman is my favorite story from the collection. Do you have a favorite, or one that stands out from a writers perspective?

Although I admit to loving any story Victor Dracula shows up in, such as The Madame and the Madman, my personal favorite to date is Marked. It can be difficult to show character growth in short stories. And though I hope to show a little of that in each story, I felt Marked showed the greatest growth. Adam starts out a total brute willing to kill someone for kicking his dog. He’s calculating and unsympathetic to Seline at first. But, the little girl and her acceptance of him change things in Adam. Knowing that Sabine is not the girl’s mother, but is risking her life for the child change something in him. I love who he is at the end of this story.

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

I recently signed a contract with an amazing agent who is excited about Adam and the other stories surrounding Mary Shelley’s League of Supernatural Hunters. I’m doing the final edits of The Deadly Pieces, which is the first full Adam Frankenstein novel. It’s set in modern times and he has become a U.S. Marshal in Houston, TX. He’s secretly after a witch conducting unsanctioned experiments on the homeless population. So, there’s still the paranormal element though I do work with an actual U.S. Marshal to ensure any procedural parts of the book are correct.

I do have Adam Frankenstein comic books and am currently working on his origin story according to my own mythology. That should be out the first part of next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Adam Frankenstein believes he is immortal because he has no soul. As life gives him opportunities to prove his worth he finds that doing what’s right isn’t always made clear and that being a monster is sometimes the only way to survive. Marked – A woman, her face half covered by a golden mask, offers herself in exchange for Adam’s help. A mob has mistaken a child with special powers as a witch and look to kill her. Adam may have taken on more than he bargained for as the child marks him in ways that will change him forever.Last Man Standing – Adam is accused of murder and a group of men hunt him down until Adam is forced to become the monster he’s accused of being. But, sometimes the worst thing that can happen is to find yourself the last man standing.Freak Show – Adam looks to fulfill the dying wish of his business partner and goes to America to find Jericho Nivens, the man’s estranged son. The house where Jericho lives is made of magic and offers to make every dream come true. However, once the bargain is made, you can never leave. The house wants Adam and will give him everything his heart desires. As the cost becomes clear Adam tries to convince Jericho to leave with him… if they can.The Madame and the Madman – No one loves revenge like Victor Dracula. When Adam asks his vampire friend to help stop a brothel that abuses children Victor’s wrath extends to Adam. Adam is left with a terrible choice; take revenge or let revenge take him.”Creepy as hell!” – Karen Rose, New York Time and International Bestselling Author

Tribulations of the Marginalized

Richa Gupta Author Interview

Richa Gupta Author Interview

Slices of Life is a collection of stories that explore life from various perspectives. Where do you find your mind often wandering when writing?

When writing, my mind wanders to several places, people, events and incidents I have either witnessed or heard about, any of which may trigger my imagination to create a plausible scenario. Sometimes, an idea or an issue I feel passionately about acts as the trigger, and I develop the characters and events subsequently. Writing each of the 12 stories in the collection from October, 2018 to April, 2020 has been a distinct process usually based on contemporary incidents. While the initial episodes described in ‘The Young Visitor’ are inspired by my own experiences while searching for a suitable cook, ‘Dusk’, written in April, 2020, is based on the tribulations of migrant workers during the lockdown due to the pandemic in India. My mind also wanders to the different genres of fiction I have read. So, while ‘Future Love Story’, in the tradition of Sci-Fi, depicts a future dystopian society in the year 2090, ‘Knots’ is a whodunit, in the genre of detective fiction, in which the murderer’s identity is revealed at the end.

My favorite story from the collection was ‘The Incomplete Story’. Do you have a favorite story from the book?

It’s like asking a mother who is her favourite child. I am deeply invested in each story and want my readers now to tell me which story appeals to them most. Each reader gives me a different answer. So, I would like to believe that there’s something in it for everyone.

What were some themes you wanted to explore while creating your characters?

Some themes I wanted to explore include the suppression of a woman’s individuality (‘Mother and Daughter’ and ‘Watershed’), the aftermath of infidelity (‘Disclosure’ and ‘Knots’), a society based on eugenics and social distancing (‘Future Love Story’), tribulations of the marginalized section of society (‘Dusk’ and ‘The Theft’) and misguided priorities in life (The Choice). In a few other stories, the intention was to create authentic vignettes of life that evoke hilarity and social satire (‘The Young Visitor’ and ‘Bridal Wear’).

Are you continuing to write short stories? Will you be publishing another collection of stories in the future?

I love the process of writing short stories, which is a different experience from writing a novel. The gestation and maturation of a story is a shorter process, and I can write it on the go. I will definitely bring out another collection of stories in the future, but I am still deliberating on what will be my next publication.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon | Amazon.inFacebook

Slices of Life’ is a collection of short stories or vignettes that provide an immersive and entertaining experience of diverse scenarios of life in motion. They are slivers of existence with the ingredients of plot and characters, sprinkled with human emotion, pervaded by the aroma of human dilemmas and served in the platter of lucid language. Sometimes searing with agony and often pervaded with beauty and yearning in the midst of travails in a contemporary or futuristic reality, they explore relationships and the human struggle to find meaning amidst chaos. They describe the consequences of our choices and characters who are at the threshold of a discovery or have reached the zenith of tolerance. The universal themes and enduring images of commonplace individuals in the swirl of life are embedded in a mixed bag of genres ranging from bathos and futuristic SciFi to grim Realistic fiction and a suspenseful Whodunit.

Her World: A Compilation of Women’s Works From Around The World

Women in literature shape both poetry and prose in unique ways. The experiences they bring with them and the depth to which they feel and are able to express are unmatched. Within the pages of Her World: A Compilation of Women’s Works From Around The World, you will find a vast array of literature, compiled in one anthology and ready for consumption by eager readers the world over. If it is inspiration you seek, Her World delivers. If you are looking for someone who shares your story, there is no doubt the authors within have a shoulder for you.

Her World: A Compilation of Women’s Works From Around The World, an anthology of various types of reading complete with artwork and photography, packs a powerful punch. From the first pages of Her World, readers are taken on journeys of self-discovery and introduced to reflections on trauma and how those events have shaped the writers’ lives. In addition, readers find themselves immersed in a world of strength and advocacy where the very voices of the writers carry weight.

I was most impressed by the variety of text within the anthology; it captures readers’ interest from the beginning and never wavers throughout. Each and every voice, no matter the length or type of writing, stands out as bold and resilient. From stories of traumatic childhood events to cancer diagnoses and seizure disorders, each and every author and poet stands tall in the end as an individual with a story and voice worthy of being heard.

Much can be learned from the journeys of each of these women. While not every poem and story is necessarily autobiographical, there is an intense feeling of life experience that emanates from each. Relating to the authors’ works will be unavoidable. They are all of us.

There is a sense of empowerment that rises from each and every selection. While some can be triggering for readers, the authors’ intent is clear, and the cathartic effects are strong. I recommend Her World: A Compilation of Women’s Works From Around The World to anyone looking for a different take on empowering women. Looking at the journey of women via their own life experiences, their prose and poetry, and their artwork is as enlightening as it is powerful. This is a collection of artists that should not be missed.

Pages: 186 | ISBN-10: 173457044X

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Woman: A Collection of Short Stories

Woman: A Collection of Short Stories by [Evans, V.P.]

In WOMAN, V.P. Evans demonstrates that great things come in small packages. In a collection of short stories, Evans is able to open the eyes of her readers to the violent experiences of women all over the world no matter their backgrounds.

In 60 pages, she is able to explore an expansive range of the incredible strength many women have in simply persevering day to day at a disadvantage which they inherited the moment they were born, both physical and systemic. She makes the reader understand that though the women in her stories are victims of such violence, these same victims are also heroes.

The stories, together, explore the unique experiences of women and do so in a way that doesn’t simply lay sensationalized snippets at the readers feet. After finishing the collection, the reader will ponder what it means to give birth, to go through the awkward realizations of a young girl going through puberty, to be raped, to lose yourself as the dependent spouse, to survive by any means. Perhaps as powerful as what she says in her short stories is what is unsaid. The stories are also about the silences which are accepted among women as their burden to bear. They will leave the reader horrified, angry, but most importantly aware of the danger that women face just for being a woman. Hopefully, it will leave the reader with a desire to educate others and dismantle the societies which drive such horrific acts. WOMAN is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about the experiences, and resulting strength, of women throughout the world.

Pages: 69 | ASIN: B07NS3G5V9

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The Contest and Other Stories

The Contest and Other Stories by [DiBuduo, Joe, Robinson, Kate]

The Contest and Other Stories by Joe Dibuduo and Kate Robinson is an amazing book about finding yourself and doing what you love. The book has some amazing and inspiring stories such as one that introduces a man named Peter. A banker who longs to have a career in art and the approval of his uptight father. He may get the chance with an untimely death in the family that will send him on a journey of self-discovery. There are also stories that tie into the main story. One, in particular, is about Vincent van Gough and the struggles he had to overcome to become the artist we know today. This book examines the struggles, trials, and accomplishments we all face and delivers a positive message that no matter what life throws at you, you have to make yourself happy. Don’t let what someone else thinks or feels about you matter because at the end of the day it’s about what you think or feel about yourself.

The Contest and Other Stories written by Joe Dibuduo and Kate Robinson is very inspirational and heartwarming. I love how the writers captured the struggles that each individual character went through, the longing for approval and acceptance of others and their fears of the unknown. I felt that the layout of the book could have a better structure. One moment I was reading one story and then the book jumps into another. Without some orientation, this can be a little jarring. One example of this is in The Contest; there is a painting of Van Gogh that was used in the contest and then immediately we go into a story about Van Gogh.

After each chapter the authors leave you with a cliffhanger that makes you want to keep reading. Even though this book jumps back and forth between stories, it’s a minor quibble, and I find this book worthwhile in all aspects. I would recommend this book to anyone that feels like they aren’t good enough or feel like they need some encouraging words. This is an engaging and entertaining read that will leave you with a positive feeling.

Pages: 250 | ASIN: B07HY21GKS

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Seven Ghostly Spins: A Brush with the Supernatural

Seven Ghostly Spins: A Brush with the Supernatural by [Bossano, Patricia, Gerard, ft. Kelsey E.]

Patricia Bossano and Kelsey Gerard’s Seven Ghostly Spins is an amazing collection of paranormal stories, some based on true events. Each of Bossano’s stories takes on a life of its own and features vivid characters engrossed in intricate story lines with the perfect blend of suspense and mystique. Featuring varying story lengths, Seven Ghostly Spins contains seven stories ranging from the story of a little girl who dies tragically in a theater during its construction phase to the more lengthy tale of a young man torn between helping a friend beat a drug induced mania and the fear of further enraging him. Each with its own unique set of characters, Bossano’s stories never fail to engross readers and transport them directly into the setting.

Perhaps the most touching tale in Bossano’s collection is that of “Alison.” Bossano tenderly relates the story of Alison’s fall from the scaffolding where her father is working to build the Egyptian Movie Palace in 1924. The first-person account is moving while at the same time beautifully tragic. Alison sees her own death, and readers are offered a look at the events leading up to her final moments through the little girl’s eyes. Bossano’s conclusion to the short story is especially lovely considering the present-day accounts of sightings of the little girl’s by theater patrons.

The short story entitled “Abiku” is the longest in Bossano’s collection of ghostly tales and is woven from an entirely different fabric than the others. Featuring more of a paranormal vibe, the status of main character seems to fluctuate between Matthew and Sophie. Matthew is a tragic figure who is not strong enough to stand up to the friend who is slowly but surely losing control of his morals. Sophie, the ultimate heroine in the tale, is burdened by the gift of visions. Bossano succeeds in making both Matthew and Sophie highly relatable characters despite their unique situations.

Gerard’s “She Caught a Ride,” is frightening in many aspects. The idea of initiating freshmen members of a volleyball team by forcing them into facing the ghost of a fifteen-year-old girl is one that chills readers to the bone. The fear of each one of the girls is palpable as each is eliminated from the task and a single girl is left standing to face the grave in the headlights. Gerard taps into that overwhelming sense of terror and manages artfully to grab the reader by hand and jerk them headlong into that dark and ominous graveyard scene.

Patricia Bossano has done it again. Her writing always takes hold of the reader and forces them into realms from the first paragraph. Gerard, an author previously unknown to me, has definitely captured my attention. The team of Bossano and Gerard cannot be beaten; their works tap into the dark side of one’s imagination and leave the reader hungry for more. I highly recommend Seven Ghostly Spins to any fan of the paranormal and, especially, readers looking for tidbits of ghostly truths.

Pages: 175 | ASIN: B07GGRNMT7

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Characters to Love, Hate or Identify With

Lisa Diaz Meyer Author Interview

Lisa Diaz Meyer Author Interview

All Roads Home is a collection of your short stories covering many genres and topics. Did you write this collection with the intention of putting them together in a book or did you write them separately?

All the stories, poems and plays were written at different times in my life and I decided to put them together thinking to showcase the many different genres and writing styles I enjoy.

The book is split into six sections with each covering a different theme. The Enduring was my favorite section. What was your favorite from the collection?

The Outposts were my favorite to write as it was my first time trying a post-apocalyptic story line which I later I turned into a saga that runs throughout my current books.

What do you find enjoyable and challenging about writing short stories over longer novels?

I like the idea of creating short stories and many different worlds. The challenge is to pack as much of a punch in a small amount of pages and create characters to love, hate or identify with in a short amount of time.

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

I am working on my fourth book of dark fiction short stories and poems. I am hoping to have it published in the early months of 2019 or sooner.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

All Roads Home: A Collection of Short Stories by [Diaz Meyer, Lisa]A collection of bizarre short stories, poems and plays.

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Book Nomads

Some time ago my friends and I were sitting in a small restaurant near our office in Amsterdam. Food was great, the conversation was flowing, and even though I don’t exactly remember what we were talking about, a spontaneous and intriguing thought popped up in my head.

Are my books bored?

Of course, I love all my books, and every time I bought one I always treated it with the upmost respect but, was that enough? How boring must it be to sit on a bookshelf…. forever?

Some of them, like ‘The Courts of Chaos’, I keep re-reading every month, but most of them I just read once and it is over.

I thought a bit more about the reason why. I feel like it is related to latest data-driven optimizations and profiling trends in all entertainment. Movies, Video games, Anime and Books, big studios/companies/mangakas are producing so much, and so much of it looks good-ish, but turns out to be just exploitation of the market. Very few want to put themselves out there and push the boundary so they can make me re-live their story over and over again. Kind of depressing when you think about it. I am not saying that great work is less than before, it is just harder (for me) to find.

Anyway, this was a bit off topic. After I thought about my books sitting on that lonely bookshelf at home, I thought, how cool it will be if I could just share them with my neighbors?

First I would meet someone who reads things that I read, and, for purely selfish reasons, I could ask this person to recommend me some books that I might like, or at least books that I would want to get from his re-reading book list.

That seemed really awesome!

I shared the idea with my friends, and they also loved it, so we decided to build a platform to facilitate borrowing and lending books. We launched https://www.booknomads.com.

Shortly after, I shared my first book ‘The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System’ (https://www.booknomads.com/browse/book/165/1) and it felt great. I learned so much from it, it was a shame for it to sit all day long, bored and ignored on a bookshelf. Now it is on an adventure by being a booknomad 🙂

BookNomads is still quite young and you can help us improve it by giving us feedback, or adding your books.

Any feedback is invaluable.

Thanks in advance!

PS: My daughter(6 yo) also loves it, and now she is waiting for someone to borrow her books so she can make new friends.

PPS: I wonder if there is a name for that feeling you get after you finish a book, the more the book resonates with me the stronger it is. It feels like emptiness and completeness at the same time, as if I am stretched into the abyss. I want to get the books that made you feel like that!

Borrow books around you

because books deserve to travel

 

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