Author Interview with @BenjaminGilmour

Many months ago,  I learned of a book (and film) called Paramedico written by Mr. Benjamin Gilmour.  My thoughts were, “Cool – sounds like a book I’d like to read” and then immediately filed the thought under ‘maybe someday, if I’m lucky’…  Forward  several months….  I’m at my local library looking at a variety of Public Safety related books and to what do my eyes appear?  It took me all of a nano-second to grab that puppy…err… book up.   Ok, it’s not the same as actually owning my own copy —  but hey, I’ll take what I can get; And there’s still that “some day” 😉

While the way in which Mr. Gilmour (no, not that Gilmour – Mr. Benjamin Gilmour (“Benja” if your Dr. Aquarius – you’ll have to read the book) is in itself entertaining it is also a glimpse into the differences in ambulance services around the world.  

Mr. Gilmour was kind of enough to agree to answer a few questions about his writing journey….  So let’s get started, shall we?

Paramedico Cover 1DSCF0305

Tell the readers when it was that you first know you wanted to be a writer and why? What, or what events, decided this journey for you?

Hard to know the precise origins of an urge for sure, but I had various school teachers who inspired me and got me into the habit of writing. My parents and their religious nightly reading sessions with us had plenty to do with my interest in story-telling. I actually started off on the slam-poetry circuit in Sydney and Newcastle (just north of Sydney) in the late nineties. I think this helped me improve the craft of language and set-up my future in prose, allowing me to write musically, if you know what I mean. Readers might not realize  why they like reading what they read, but I think music in the writing, a certain imperceptible rhythm, works its magic on a reader and makes the difference between a book you can put down and a book you can’t. 

What Inspires your writing?

Human stories. Truth is stranger than fiction. I really believe that, especially after nearly 20 years as a full time paramedic.

What do you like to do while you are writing to help you write (other than writing)?

Take time out in the sun, beach, surf, swim. While writers are so often depicted as pasty white loners sitting at type-writers indoors, that is not me. The effect of the sun on my brain is essential to my writing. It makes my mind buzz. 

Do you have a favorite beverage to drink while writing?

I would love to be that writer who takes a whisky or gin while at it. I love both. But after one glass of either, my writing becomes complete nonsense and sometimes utter gibberish. So I stick with Earl Grey Tea. Yeah, boring. But at least Earl Grey has the same hint of bergamot that gin has…..

What advice would you give to those who think they might want to be a writer?  And also to those who already know and have just started out on the journey of writing?

It is extremely rare to be able to make a living off writing, unless you’e making your money off writing for newspapers, online content or magazines and so on. I have a few journalist mates who write books, but it’s their journalism that allows them to do it because only that really pays. Times are pretty bad for writers when it comes to money as book advances are worth so little nowadays. So, as your Daddy might have said, ‘get a real job!’ and that will take the pressure off you to feed a family from your next novel sales. Moreover, if you can use your ‘real job’ as a means of collecting inspiration, all the better. Hence my chosen career as a paramedic. I see life at its most intense and have plenty of material. My advice to aspiring writers is to keep a little note book in which to record all manner of snippets of life, things you’ve heard, read, experienced, conversations, observations and so on. It all adds up and will help you later when you’re stuck for material.

Tell us a little bit about the very first book you wrote (or remember writing).  Briefly, what was it about  and why/what made you decide to write it?

My first book was a collection of poetry. But my first prose book was a memoir about making a film while living among the tribes of Pakistan’s frontier region. I hung out with these scary looking bearded turban-wearing guys who were actually the nicest, most generous and kindest people you could ever come across and I realized then I would always have to be wary of how people are depicted in the news, on TV and so on. My crazy experiences living in this region along the Afghan border, taking tea with Taliban and so on, was very book-worthy and eventuated in ‘Warrior Poets’ which has sold out.  Although you can still find copies available on eBay and second-hand on Amazon if you’re lucky.

Tell us about the latest book you wrote.  Briefly, what was it about and why/what made you decide to write it.  Also what makes this book different, in your mind, than your first book.

Paramedico: Around the World by Ambulance pretty much speaks for itself. Its my adventures riding ambulances in ten different nations, from Venice to Mexico via Iceland and Macedonia. There are wild times in here. My wife and I were nearly bowled over by the 2004 Tsunami in asia, and I narrowly missed being blown up by a suicide bomber in Pakistan. There are chapters that read like an Ian Flemming James Bond novel. But that is my life at times, honestly. Although Paramedico is different than Warrior Poets because it concentrates on ambulances paramedics in crazy places, it is not so different in that it is still about inviting the reader to join my on my madcap adventures and share these wild times with me, the writer.

Any new or upcoming books in the works?  Briefly, what is it about and why/what made you decide to write it.  Also what makes this book different, in your mind.

I am hoping my next book, about being a paramedic in Sydney, will be coming out soon.

Anything else you want to add that I didn’t ask about?

If you read either Warrior Poets or Paramedico please do put up a review on Amazon or Good Reads!

Where can people connect with you? 

Author’s blog www.benjamingilmour.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paramedico/209861479024436?ref=hl

Twitter https://twitter.com/BenjaminGilmour

Good Reads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13149198-paramedico

Author Interview with Jane Carroll (and of course Bertha)

By now you’ve probably started to wonder if I was planning on doing anymore “Author Interviews”…  The answer is yes.  I’m doing my best to work out a schedule that times for reading and for blogging (and writing).  I won’t bore you with the details of all that vie’s for my attention – some of my own doing, some that of my family.  One thing that has become a big factor is the need to either find work or a way to make money (file that under: easier said than done)…  Unfortunately Blogging, Writing, and Social Media venues don’t {Dammit, I hate when a word I want slips away} don’t bring in money…  But you’re not hear to listen to me wine about the financial woes of my family (and likely some of you are in the same exact boat)….

Recently I’ve been reading Jane Carroll’s book Becoming Bertha which I’ll be featuring in my Thursday Review this month).   And we can’t forget Her first Bertha Book:  Bertha-Size Your Life

becoming bertha

Ms. Carroll was nice enough to answer a few questions a while back for which I would like to thank her for taking the time to do so.

Tell the readers when it was that you first know you wanted to be a writer and why? What, or what events, decided this journey for you?

I really don’t remember a defining moment which created the desire to write I know that started sometime in my teenage years. But it was after my daughters were grown and away in college that I seriously began to want to write a book. I guess I just finally had the time and space to write and I haven’t stopped since.

What inspires your writing?

I write life lessons and I am inspired by any and everything from cleaning the gutters to riding my bicycle up a hill…there’s always a deeper lesson lurking.

What do you like to do while you are writing to help you write (other than writing)?

I can’t say that I do anything in particular to help me write. Although, I am a multitasker so I’m usually doing several other things at the same time… like the laundry or cooking. I’ve moved my desk into the kitchen which has really been a great thing as it makes it easier to tend to dinner and capture a few words.

Do you have a favorite beverage to drink while writing?

I’ve mostly drank water for the past five years or so…sometime with lemon or lime and sometimes plain. I enjoy my very weak coffee in the early morning and that’s about it.

What advice would you give to those who think they might want to be a writer?  And also to those who already know and have just started out on the journey of writing?

Writing is just that…a journey. It is so easy to fall into the mindset that you are going to write a first draft and it will become an immediate bestseller. My advice is…don’t skip the major steps…like the editing process. Working with a great editor makes all the difference in the world. It may slow down the process and cost a bit of money upfront but it is well worth it.

Tell us a little bit about the very first book you wrote (or remember writing).  Briefly, what was it about  and why/what made you decide to write it?

When my youngest daughter got married I thought I’d write a book of self-discovery for women who were experiencing an empty nest. It’s like one day your full identity is your children and the next day…you don’t have a clue whom you are. I started on a collection of exercises…they mostly began with…get quiet and make a list. The only thing about it was…it was boring. Thankfully this zany character, Bertha, took over the book and these uninspired exercises became lively vignettes with Bertha, in spandex and high-heels, perched on a soapbox teaching fun lessons about Law of Attraction and getting to know yourself…and Bertha-Size Your Life! was born.

Tell us about the latest book you wrote.  Briefly, what was it about and why/what made you decide to write it.  Also what makes this book different, in your mind, than your first book.

Becoming Bertha is the sequel to Bertha-Size and it picks up where the original book left off. Bertha is still up to her zany antics and outfits that could have her picture posted on Facebook as ‘what not to wear’ but Honey is really coming into herself and discovering that she’s a lot more like Bertha than she ever would have guessed.

Any new or upcoming books in the works?  Briefly, what is it about and why/what made you decide to write it.  Also what makes this book different, in your mind.

K.D. Emerson and I are kicking around a cozy mystery featuring Bertha and a cast of teenagers, some great shoes, and of course a pesky cat… no book would be complete without a cat. We’re hoping to get started on it by the end of the year.

Anything else you want to add that I didn’t ask about?

I would love to invite everyone to visit my blog. I write there several days each week and Bertha usually makes herself known when I do. This is a great way to see if you are comfortable with my writing style and if the life lessons Bertha shares resonate with you. I am also a life coach and love working with women who are ready to take the next step in self-discovery or who just need a nudge in the right direction…of course Bertha joins me there as well. 

Tena, I would like to thank you so much for including me and Bertha on your blog. It has been a privilege and an honor to share a bit about me and my writing with you and your readers. 

Where can people connect with you? 

Website http://www.janecarrollauthor.com

Twitter  https://twitter.com/janecarroll10

Facebook https://facebook.com/janecarrollauthor

Facebook https://facebook.com/berthagratitude

Amazon Author  http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Carroll/e/B007M0TY44

Google  https://plus.google.com/u/0/111626067284485985128/posts

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/JaneCarroll

Linkedin  www.linkedin.com/pub/jane-carroll/50/610/535/

Author Interview with G Mitchell Baker

With things getting behind schedule and a tad crazy around here (Wish I could blame the holiday season on this),  It looks like I won’t be getting to this months Thursday Book Review (I’ll be returning to that in January).  However, I do have an Author Interview for you.

This time around my interview is with G Mitchell Baker, author of Soccer Tommies and Baseball Mommies
soccertommies

Tell the readers when it was that you first know you wanted to be a writer and why? What, or what events, decided this journey for you?

Writing became a curiosity when I realized it was something my father wanted to do before he died early on our lives. Then I started writing fiction to balance my writing technically as a lawyer. I wrote as a hobby and in private for about fifteen years, before some author friends and clients encouraged me to submit novels into the public domain. Within 30 days, I had a five year and three year deal with two different publishers. What has kept me in the public domain is the very positive experience I have had with my third publisher, Master Koda Select Publishing.

What Inspires your writing?

Today, as it was in the beginning, writing is something I enjoy doing no matter what is going on in the rest of my life. It is my ‘go-to’ activity. An activity I can always feel comfortable with regardless of everything else going on. I guess the inspiration is that there is such an activity available… to look forward to in the course of living life both publicly and privately.

What do you like to do while you are writing to help you write (other than writing)?

I tend to insist on lots of natural light when I am writing. My typical drink when writing is sweetened coffee.

Do you have a favorite beverage to drink while writing?

My typical drink when writing is sweetened coffee.

What advice would you give to those who think they might want to be a writer?  And also to those who already know and have just started out on the journey of writing?

Few realize how much work is involved. Even when the author takes on the fullest of responsibility for producing and submitting a strong manuscript (substantive and technical)

The rest of the publishing/marketing team will have a lot of work and effort to contribute as well. My ‘advice’ for all authors who expect to be published (it’s actually a privilege) is to respect the process and those who choose to engage with you in the process of producing works for the public. If that is accomplished, the public will respond to the mutual respect with a very nice respect as well. It can be a wonderful experience.

Tell us a little bit about the very first book you wrote (or remember writing).  Briefly, what was it about  and why/what made you decide to write it?

My first novel will never see the light of day. One working title was ‘Terrier’ … a play on the term terror. The working title thereafter was ‘Breath in the Bullet’. The work was a cliché driven story about FBI agents and domestic terrorism that was a lawyers writing (me), who had certain experiences. And while the work was not created by a heeled writer of fiction, I was writing about what I knew (which was good). It took many years to begin to write good fiction and to unlearn writing as a lawyer. Thankfully, I stuck with it and continue to learn how to write better with each session.

Tell us about the latest book you wrote.  Briefly, what was it about and why/what made you decide to write it.  Also what makes this book different, in your mind, than your first book.

Just submitted to Master Koda Select Publishing is the third novel in the Lethal Believers series entitled ‘Cave Ravens’. Malachi Danta, an obsessed paederast hunter is joined by key actors in Greek mythology to battle those who would set out to harm The Innocents. This fast paced novel has an energized funeral procession that races through various settings and dimensions as a growing, discerning flock of ravens closely observes.

Any new or upcoming books in the works? Briefly, what is it about and why/what made you decide to write it.  Also what makes this book different, in your mind.

Master Koda Select Publishing has asked me to prepare a submission based on the original publication of the young adult novel “Kerby ‘Webb’ Webster & Kinny the Rodeo Hound”.  This story is about a grandfather who takes in his grandson after both parents perish in a car accident. The broke down cowman and the urban teen end up riding a ‘lucky’ streak that takes them on a quirky adventure that ultimately helps them define their new family.

Anything else you want to add that I didn’t ask about?

Tena I want to thank you for inviting me to this interview. I enjoyed the questions and hope my responses can be both helpful and entertaining.  Hope all stays well with you through this holiday season and wish you the very best in the New Year ahead. Cheers…

Where can people connect with you?

Facebook:

G Mitchell Baker

G Mitchell Baker Author

Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies

Lethal Believers Novels

 

Twitter

LinkedIn

Amazon Author Page

Thank you to your readers for taking the time to check this out and to you Tena for being kind enough to want to share my story. 🙂

(First) Author Interview with Brenda Perlin

Came up with a new thing to add to my blog repertoire.  Once a month I will be doing an Author Interview.  As much as possible, I will try to make it so the author interview will correlate with the Thursday Review posted the month prior.  I am working, also, on interviews with authors whose books I already reviewed and will be fitting them in.

I had originally hoped to maybe have my first “interview” be with author Jane Carroll to correlate with my Thursday Review on Bertha-Size Your Life (done earlier this month), but I don’t seem to have the answers I yet (or have misplaced said email)…  On second thought I’m thinking that may actually be a good thing since the author interview would/should be in the month following that of the Thursday Review (make any sense?  No?  That’s okay)….

So, to get the ball rolling so to speak, I thought I’d do my first “Author Interview on an equally wonderful author whose book was the first one I reviewed –  Ty The Bull, written by Brenda Perlin.

Tell the readers when it was that you first know you wanted to be a writer and why? What, or what events, decided this journey for you?

I never planned on being a writer but my mom always wanted to be a journalist or columnist, as she called it. When I was young I wrote short stories and then when I was a teen I began writing for fun on napkins in coffee shops. It felt very freeing sitting there amongst strangers spilling out my guts. I only decided to start writing my memoirs when I was getting pressure to do something with my life from my husband. This was my way of doing ‘something’.

My mom was never able to fulfill her dream so in some way a part of me is doing this for her.

What Inspires your writing?

These days I really do need to feel inspired. Not like the old days when I would just sit there until the words came. Now I write when I am processing something. A light bulb needs to go off before the words flow. If I were more disciplined I would write everyday, the way I used to. There is nothing better than when the words come together like pieces of a puzzle. It’s the best feeling!

What do you like to do while you are writing to help you write (other than writing)?  Do you have a favorite beverage to drink while writing?

I do need to be comfortable. I can’t be cold or without some kind of a drink. I drink tea or water usually and having sucking candies by my side. I like to write with music on just as much as I like writing with complete silence. When I am in the zone it doesn’t much matter. 

What advice would you give to those who think they might want to be a writer?  And also to those who already know and have just started out on the journey of writing?

I would tell them that they should not change things in their writing to please anyone else but themselves. You will never please everyone so it is best to be true to who you are. Another big piece of advice I would give is to tell them to seek out a good editor. Too many Indie writers put out books that are sloppy and unprofessional. Your reputation is at stake and people are not so forgiving. I believe we all need editors so it is nothing personal.

If they are considering a publisher I would tell them to make sure they have an attorney read over the contract before they sign anything. My first experience with a publisher was a disaster and I had to fight my way out of a bad SEVEN year contract. 

Tell us a little bit about the very first book you wrote (or remember writing).  Briefly, what was it about  and why/what made you decide to write it?

The first story I ever remember writing was in grade school called Alexandria the Great. It was about an outcast. It seems I relate to that subject even to this day. All my books deal with outcasts, rejects or people being bullied.

Tell us about the latest book you wrote.  Briefly, what was it about and why/what made you decide to write it.  Also what makes this book different, in your mind, than your first book.

My latest book is the last book in my Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles called Fractured Vows which is based on my boyfriend’s life. It is his coming-of-age story and then deals with the obstacles he had to endure while trying to get out of a bad marriage. And a struggle it was!

It is the first book that I have written from a males point of view. It’s the only book in the trilogy that is not based on my life. That made it a bit more difficult since I am not a fiction writer. I had to work hard to get this story out and keep it as factual as possible. That was not such an easy task. 😉

Anything else you want to add that I didnt ask about?

Recently I wrote a short story called Alex the Mutt: From Death Row to Cozy Home. This was the kind of story that I wrote where the light bulb was going off in my head. I had the idea and the story was pretty much written in less than an hour. This came out of the blue but I knew I had to get this story out and as it happened, within a short period of time I released it amazon.com. The subject of rescuing animals in need is very dear to my heart and that is where the passion part took over. Now my biggest obstacle is how to market this book. More than anything I want people to read it who don’t realize that you don’t need to go to a breeder or pet store to find the dog of your dreams.

Where can people connect with you? 

Amazon Author page

Website for Brenda Perlin

Website for Blossoming Press

Blog:  BrooklynAndBo

Goodreads

Google +

Twitter:  BrooklynandBo

Facebook Pages:

Blossoming Press

Alex the Mutt

Ty the Bull

Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles

Book Trailers:

Shattered Reality (Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles: Book One)

Burnt Promises (Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles: Book Two) 

Fractured Vows (Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles: Book Three)

Ty the Bull

Alex the Mutt: From Death Row to Cozy Home

 

Thank you to your readers for taking the time to check this out and to you Tena for being kind enough to want to share my story. 🙂