Friday, January 2, 2015

Interview with Christopher Cloud (& a Giveaway!)







Christopher, Do you have any advice for new writers/authors?

There’s an old adage in the writing business that insists writers should write what they know. Twenty-years ago that was true, but not today. The availability of the Internet affords writers the luxury of writing in-depth on any subject. Your story may require a great deal of research, but if you’re willing to invest the time, the Internet allows a writer to qualify himself/herself as an expert on any subject. The Internet has eliminated those long, exhausting trips to the library, and outshines even the Ancient Library of Alexandria.


What are your writing tips for others?


Don’t be afraid, at first, to write poorly. All writers, from Stephen King to Mark Twain, have written stories they’re not particularly proud of.  These stories are usually shoved to the back burner awaiting a serious rewrite. Most never see the light of day. I look back over stories I wrote in college and cringe, they are so poorly written. But that’s how writers improve. There can be no success without a few failures. We cannot all be a Truman Capote, who is said never to have received a rejection letter.
 


Tell us a little about your next book or writing project.     

    
At the moment, I’m between novels. I have established a few criteria for all of my novels, and my next is no exception. The story must be either middle-grade or young adult and have some social relevance. I've boiled my story ideas down to three candidates.







More about Christopher Cloud:


Award winning author Christopher Cloud began writing fiction full time after a long career in journalism and public relations. He writes middle-grade and young adult novels..Cloud graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. He was employed by a Fortune 100 company as a public relations executive, and later operated his own public relations agency. Cloud attended high school in Japan, and lives in Joplin, Missouri. His website Is: www.christophercloud.com

Where else you can find Christopher around the web:



***** Now onto the giveaway! Christopher is being kind enough to offer a print copy of Adelita's Secret to one lucky U.S. winner or an e-copy if the winner is located internationally!     *****




Here are the rules! 

To become eligible to win, all you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter form below! 


·     The winner of the contest will be announced on this blog
·     The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only for the physical copy or kindle version and international winners will receive only the kindle version

·     You will receive your choice of a physical copy or kindle version, if that is what you prefer in and are located in the U.S., of the book Adelita's Secret. If you are located outside the U.S. you will receive an e-copy. The winner will receive the book within two weeks after the winner is announced

Remember to please leave your email address in the Rafflecopter so we have a way to contact and verify the winner's information! This is important. If you do not leave an email addy then I won't be able to contact you and therefore you won't be able to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Excerpt from Adelita's Secret


With her free hand, Coronela snapped her fingers twice.
In the next instant, Adelita had the oddest sensation that her body was being painlessly disassembled, one molecule at a time. With a dreadful suddenness, she was next sucked into the pages of the hundred-year-old diary, millions of molecules per nanosecond. Her stomach lurching—the molecules had been reassembled instantaneously—she found herself in a long, dark passageway rushing headlong toward the black unknown. She was accelerating through the shadowy burrow, weightless, the wind pushing against her face and tugging at her hair—it streamed in the air like a windsock.
The uneven stone walls of the expansive tunnel were smothered with the stark, chilling images of shabbily dressed peasants in hand-to-hand combat with uniformed soldiers in pith helmets. The dark and murky visions streaked past at an alarming speed. The deadly crack of rifle fire and the choking screams of people dying resonated in Adelita’s ears. Her tongue tainted by the unmistakable taste of metal, the smell in her nostrils was so vulgar that she knew it could only be that of human blood. Too terrified to watch any longer, Adelita closed her eyes and prayed the journey would soon be over.
Quite unexpectedly, Adelita’s feet touched solid ground.








*****Want to get to know  Christopher Cloud? Want a chance to win your own copy of Adelita's Secret? Come back Friday for your chance to win!*****


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Adelita's Secret by Christopher Cloud

Adelita's Secret
By: Christopher Cloud




Lost in a superficial world of materialism and social status—and ashamed of her Latino heritage—seventeen-year-old Adelita NoĆ© is loved by two men, two men separated by a hundred years and vastly different stations in life. One man owns little more than the shirt on his back. The other, a poet at heart, is heir to a vast fortune. Their love for Adelita serves as the backdrop for the Latino girl’s quest to better understand herself and her Mexican roots. 




Come back Friday for your chance to win a copy of Adelita's Secret. Can't wait 'til then? Adelita's Secret is currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Spotlight on....

This week the spotlight is on....
(Drum roll please...)







Christopher Cloud

His current works include:





Be sure to come back later this week for a special guest post from Christopher AND a chance to win a copy of his book!


Friday, December 26, 2014

Interview with Marilyn Horowitz (& A Giveaway!)





Where did you come up with your idea for The Book of Zev?


The opening quote is what inspired me to want to write this story: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.”


Was there a person that was your inspiration for The Book of Zev? 

I was returning on a train from a screenwriting conference where I’d conducted a workshop on creating great characters using my trademarked writing system, and met a man, a religious Jew, who was having a crisis of faith. We talked for three hours and the next thing I knew, I was writing a book. 


Who would you like to thank for getting you where you are today?


 Wow, that is probably at least a novella!

 I would have to start with God, followed by my maternal grandparents, who wrote a book together, Faith through Reason, an attempt to reconcile Judaism and Christianity. I would thank the real person that the character of Sylvie is based on. Then there were my parents, who had a vast library, which I read almost in its entirety. I also thank my first grade teacher, Mrs. Rank, who produced my first play when I was in first grade, and Lou Stanek, a writing teacher who guided me through my first attempts at writing fiction. And finally, I must thank Mrs. Wallace, my third grade teacher, who published my short stories in the school magazine. Then there’s my ex, who helped me develop my writing system, and Michael Zam, who inspired me to write my first nonfiction book on my writing method.
If I had to thank one person above others, it would be my mother, who helped me put together that first play and even made my costume for the play. My mother also edited part of The Book of Zev before she died, and was always my toughest critic.

Tell us how you got yourself to where you are today?


I wrote my first play at six, my first “book” when I was eight, and kept going until I went to film school, where I began to write films.  A friend asked me to take over her screenwriting class, and after that I began working as a script doctor, producer, and a private writing coach. Years went by and then one day I realized I’d forgotten my dream. My mother was terminally ill, and I suddenly became aware that life is very short. Soon after, I met the man on the train, and three years later, here I am, a soon-to-be- published novelist!


More About Marilyn Horowitz:


Marilyn Ida Horowitz is a producer, writing coach, and award-winning professor of screenwriting at New York University. From her books on her trademarked writing system—now standard reading at NYU—to her appearances at Screenwriters World and The Great American Screenwriting Conference & PitchFest, Marilyn has guided the careers of literally hundreds of writers. She is currently featured in the Now Write! Screenwriting Anthology (Tarcher/Penguin) and in the upcoming The Expert Success Solution (Morgan James). Her production credits include And Then Came Love (2007), starring Vanessa Williams.


Where else you can find Marilyn around the web:



***** Now onto the giveaway! Marilyn is being kind enough to offer a print copy of The Book of Zev to one lucky U.S. winner or an e-copy if the winner is located internationally!     *****


Here are the rules! 

To become eligible to win, all you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter form below! 


·     The winner of the contest will be announced on this blog
·     The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only for the physical copy or kindle version and international winners will receive only the kindle version

·     You will receive your choice of a physical copy or kindle version, if that is what you prefer in and are located in the U.S., of the book The Book of Zev. If you are located outside the U.S. you will receive an e-copy. The winner will receive the book within two weeks after the winner is announced

Remember to please leave your email address in the Rafflecopter so we have a way to contact and verify the winner's information! This is important. If you do not leave an email addy then I won't be able to contact you and therefore you won't be able to win.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Excerpt from The Book of Zev

What a fool she had been to fall in love with a man, any man. For a brief time the way Michael had made her feel thwarted her chronic nihilism. He had filled her with that most evil thing—hope. Michael resembled Clark Kent from Superman. He was tall and muscular. Dark, curly hair fell forward on his high forehead, framing an intelligent face with a cleft chin. Horn-rimmed glasses topped off his profile. Sarah had hoped the marriage vows would be kept, and furthermore that the two of them would always inhabit that euphoric state known as “being in love.” It had lasted for a year or two, and then somehow, the connection had slipped away. Sarah found herself living with a man who would do anything for her except the one thing she needed. In short, he had stopped making love to her for over a year before the end. Once she saw that the magic was gone forever, she ended the marriage although her married friends all seemed to have accepted that it was natural for the romance to end, and that a descent into a comfortable sort of brother-sister arrangement was fine. They didn’t understand why she would give up such a good and decent man and risk being alone. Was it “good and decent” not to try to meet the other half of a relationship halfway? She wanted a life filled with romance—and she had never felt as alone as she did on those sexless mornings. The worst was knowing that he hadn’t wanted to try. He kept saying that he couldn’t, but a book she read to try to understand his behavior stated bluntly that “couldn’t” meant “wouldn’t.” She keenly remembered the dreadful recognition when she’d read those words.


Today was the worst so far. Well, it was a Sunday. She felt like the Little Match Girl in the fairytale, who is not allowed to come in out of the snowstorm until all of her matches are sold. The child dies, unloved and unnoticed. Sarah felt the Little Match Girl’s pain and could not comfort herself. She just had to wait it out, and usually this agony would pass into her unconscious because she was too busy prepping a new cooking job. Thanksgiving was the beginning of one of her busy seasons.



*****Want to get to know  Marilyn Horowitz? Want a chance to win your own copy of The Book of Zev? Come back Friday for your chance to win!*****

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Book of Zev by Marilyn Horowitz



The Book of Zev
by: Marilyn Horowitz





The Book of Zev is a political thriller that tells the story of two gentle people who change the course of history. Zev Bronfman, a strapping 32-year old-virgin, angry atheist, refugee from a religious Jewish life, and former engineer for the U.S. Patent Office in Alexandria, Virginia, drives a cab and sleeps around in New York City. After a bitter divorce, Sarah Hirshbaum, a beautiful, redheaded, depressed, God-hating kosher chef, seesaws between yoga and too much red wine. Independently, the two consult the same psychic who inadvertently sends Sarah Zev’s session tape. When Sarah contacts Zev to pick up the recording, a series of events forces them to connect with a powerful terrorist in order to thwart his plans to destroy the UN and Israel.



Come back Friday for your chance to win a copy of The Book of Zev. Can't wait 'til then? The Book of Zev is currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.