Meet The Author Monday – Jenn Bregman

Today, my Gentle Readers, I have a lawyer turned author for you to meet. Jenn Bregman’s first book, The TimeKeepers, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. As usual, I will have my questions/comments in BLUE and Jenn will be in GREEN.
jennbregman.jpg
Jenn, Thank for coming to visit us today. Let’s jump right in and get to know you. Tell us about your early reading experiences.
I have been a voracious (yes, think giant dinosaur teeth!) reader since I was a kid. During elementary school, I would hop on my bike, go to the library every day in the summer, check-out as many books as I could fit into my basket, pedal home, read them all, and then repeat the next day. I just couldn’t get enough books! And I had friends, so go figure? It must have been whatever secret sauce was in those books . . .

That sounds like a great summer to me. After you finished devouring whole libraries as a kid, what genre did you settle on as a favorite?
I love my genre — thrillers! I also love the subcategories — legal thrillers, mysteries, historical thrillers. And I love biographies of people I admire.

What made you cross that line from just devouring these books to creating one of your own?
It really was the process of writing on Law Review in Law School and then writing my article that got published in the UCLA Law Review. The reason, I think, was that it was SO hard. Every part of it was hard. The research, writing, and editing were incredibly demanding and I didn’t know if I could do it. But then, when it was done and published, I thought maybe, just maybe, I could write. And I was proud of the effort and the product. “Trial” so to speak, by fire!

Very punny for a lawyer *wink*. I’m guessing on your particular flavor to write, but do you find yourself dabbling into other areas or sticking with the one path?
I only write legal thrillers, with perhaps some elements of mystery and history mixed in. That is my voice.

Admirable that you have found your niche. Run with it. We can’t let Grisham have all the best legal thrillers. Tell us a little about your journey as a writer.
I love that you use the word “journey,” because it is. First, you need to have something that you “have” to write, it’s not enough to “want” to, you need to “have” to. Then, of course, is the actual writing followed by editing, editing and more editing. After that initial process, I contacted an agent who I knew through a friend, who was wonderful and supportive and gave me some very good ideas about how to improve the work. I implemented those and then was lucky enough to receive even more helpful advice from other agents and friends. My biggest surprise about the whole process was the kindness many showed me by people in the industry. Criticism was truly constructive and given gracefully and with a generous spirit. These people gave me the greatest gift of all — their time — and for that, I am forever grateful.

Sounds like you have some great connections. Maybe I can borrow them one day. Just kidding. When you aren’t taking the legal world, literary and for real, by storm, what keeps you busy?
I am a crazy adventurer and love running marathons, hiking fourteeners, scuba diving and other physical pursuits that challenge me and scare me. I adore my family and friends and spend a lot of time with both. And, although I’m not practicing law anymore, I enjoy working with my bar associations and their causes. I also try to do one thing that stretches me (either physically — ha!, emotionally, intellectually or spiritually) every day.

That sounds like a great philosophy. Did you have anything else you wanted to share with my readers?
Finally, it seems that a lot of us crazy readers are also crazy closet writers. As I answered the question about the “journey” above, it struck me that we all have our journey and our story to tell. So, whoever, is reading this, I encourage you to tell your story if you at all want to. Write it. Don’t criticize it, just finish it. Who knows? It might be really good.

Sound advice, Counselor. Something that everyone should take under advisement. Thank you again for stopping by, Jenn.

thetimekeepers.png

If you want to find out more about Jenn or her book, The TimeKeepers, you can find her at the following links.

Website
Facebook Page
Twitter
Instagram

If you would like to be a guest on Meet The Author Mondays, just Click Here to find all the details and submit your information.

 

Advertisements

Guest Post – Beyond “The Cost of Survival” by J.L. Stowers

Behind “The Cost of Survival”

Survival isn’t about who’s right_ it’s about who’s left..png

The Cost of Survival is a science fiction thriller exploring the dark side of human nature from a world on the brink of destruction. Author J. L. Stowers asks the question, “What if humankind could no longer reproduce?” The answer is shockingly disturbing, but perhaps not too far from the truth if our dark history repeats itself.

The main character, Walt Marshall, is cynical and distrustful of the very government who hired him. Yet he can’t say no to a once in a lifetime mission to a remote area devoid of the masses and their overwhelming use of technology. He makes his new home outside a military camp in a war-torn valley in hopes to restore the area to its once fruitful nature. However, Walt quickly realizes things aren’t what they seem.

Walt stumbles upon an unspeakable secret regarding the truth as to why this valley was selected for colonization. Readers are emerged in Walt’s journey and internal conflict. The closer he gets to finding answers, the more he’s reminded of the emotional anguish he tried to leave behind.  His path to the truth leads through espionage and treason all while forcing Walt out of his comfort zone. The long time loner is forced to trust and rely on the people around him in order to uncover the facts.

This story is filled with twists, turns, and symbolism to keep readers on their toes. However, the best thing the first book in the Genesis Rising series has to offer is a glimpse at the lore fueling the trilogy. In the short story prequel, Project Genesis, we witness the discovery of the Genesis documents and the formation of the secret organization behind the translation. In The Cost of Survival, Walt Marshall experiences the mysterious language once more. We learn some of the information uncovered in the Genesis documents and more will be revealed throughout the series.

This incredible journey will take readers beyond what they’ve expected and it all starts with learning the secrets within The Cost of Survival.

Buy The Cost of Survival on Amazon here.

 

Book Review – The Eighth Day Brotherhood by Alice M. Phillips


The Eighth Day Brotherhood
Alice M. Phillips
5 Stars

Riveting historical thriller…

My Gentle Readers, Alice has given us a gripping page turner that I had a lot of trouble putting down to deal with real life.

It’s Paris, 1888, and someone is committing heinous murders by turning artist models into sculptures of mythological figures. The police are baffled, but occult bookstore owner Rémy Sauvage thinks he sees a pattern. Driven by revenge for one of the victims, Remy eventually joins forces with Claude Fournel, a second generation artist, and his mental hospital patient turned muse, Margaret Finnegan. The trio tries to stop the murders and clear the suspicion that has fallen on them directly. As Paris prepares to reinvent itself in the world’s mind, they can scarcely bear a black eye such as this.

Murder, love, history, and a touch of the occult, “The Eighth Day Brotherhood” is a page turner you won’t be able to put down.

Grab you copy on Amazon Here.

You can find Alice on Facebook Here.

Meet The Author Monday – William Fietzer

Today my Gentle Readers, I have a new author for you to meet. His name is William Fietzer and he has three titles available on Amazon exploring such topics as crime and technology, with his latest adding in paranormal and the concept of a collective unconsciousness. As usual, my comments/questions will be in BLUE and we will have William’s responses in GREEN.

missionsoulrescuemetadatamurderspenalfires

 

William, thank you for stopping by to talk to us and share a little about yourself and your work. You have some diversity in your portfolio already. What got you started in the literary world?
Gosh, I think it goes back years ago to my babysitter (a elementary ed teacher) who read to her own slightly older children (before the age of day care) and I wanted in. After that, my parents, grade-school teachers, and librarians encouraged me to read and I had them read (and later on read myself) all of Aesop’s fables and Black Beauty (wotta tear-jerker) to me.
After I discovered Walter Farley‘s books and devoured all of them in print, I began to write my first novel, “Black Phantom,” a story that never got beyond the cover design though I still promise myself to fill the covers with a manuscript.
After that I read anything that came my way and decided to become an English major in college. But it was really during my stint in the army that I completed reading all the popular writers like Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, and Ken Kesey along with “disreputable” ones like D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and William Burroughs to complete my literary education.
Since then, I’ve come to consider Marcel Proust (for his style and breadth of thought), Graham Greene (for the variety of his characters and settings), and Colin Wilson (for his concept of the outsider and his investigations of the paranormal) as role models. Oh, and Raymond Chandler just because.

Bit of a whirlwind tour of great authors there. I’ll have to link them up for my readers to follow along with your journey if they choose. Do you find yourself gravitating towards a particular genre these days?
I don’t consider myself a genre reader. I just read what interests me at the moment. That may be anything from metaphysical fiction to forensic anthropology. My reading may not be as broad as it was earlier in my life, but I read much more deeply and intensely.

All this reading seems to have inspired you, as you started a novel early in your life. What truly pushed you over that line from just reading great stories, to wanting to put your own into the world?
I mentioned before my first (unsuccessful) attempt at writing a novel. Though I aspired to become a writer during my undergraduate days, it took me years to shake off the inhibitions incurred as a graduate student of English before I gained enough confidence to write and complete a work of fiction.
I edited and wrote for several pre-professional library publications during this period, but it was only after I submitted (one minute before the deadline) a teleplay to a local PBS station contest that I gained the confidence to complete a full-length fiction manuscript. And then it was another fifteen years before my first novel, “Penal Fires,” was published.

Sometimes it takes awhile to get that first story into the world before the floodgates open. With the breadth of your reading history, do you find yourself drawn to write any particular genre, or are you looking at diversifying there as well?
I’ve written in several, starting out as a traditional mystery/thriller writer and graduating (some might say devolving) into a metaphysical writer.

As long as it is the stories you want to tell, who cares whether the critics think you graduated or devolved, right? So, three books under your belt but that’s not all for your literary career. How did your journey play out?
If you’ve read this far (Good for you–such endurance!), you’ll notice a progression in content from literary fiction to what I call visionary thriller. My first story, “Special Training,” was based on a tragic experience witnessed during the Vietnam War. My teleplay, “A Question of Benefit,” was based on a person I encountered during this same period. Both of them are what I’d say were in the mainstream literary tradition.
But as with graduate school, I chafed at the restrictions and conventions placed upon the writers of this genre. My life experiences showed me there were many more interesting people and topics to write about than sensitive loners learning to expiate the slights (real and imagined) against them through writing.
That’s when I discovered Raymond Chandler. Though in retrospect I realize his writing is as stylized and conventional as much of the stuffy stuff I was reading in graduate school, his attitude (or voice) and subject matter were a breath of fresh air to me. I could never write about the mean streets his characters explored, but I could adapt those situations to my own experiences and find my own, not-so-sardonic voice.
My first novel, “Penal Fires” was the result. An outpouring of my experiences in Madison, Wisconsin both before and after the bombing of Bascom Hall, the book is a conventional mystery thriller.
A few years later, my second novel, “Metadata Murders,” extended the tropes of the mystery thriller into the realm of the Dark Web where the hidden, almost fantastical powers of the Internet could make anything possible in real life–even murder.
And finally, my latest novel, “Mission: Soul Rescue,” takes the almost mystical possibilities of the Internet one step farther by exploring the potentials and complexities of accessing and releasing the power of the unconscious mind, not to mention the danger from the psychic vampires who feed off such energy.

Fascinating journey William. I’m sure you have more ‘devolving’ to do as you continue your writing path. When you put down the keyboard, or pen, what do you like to do? What keeps you busy outside of writing?
I’ve been retired for several years from my roles as a cataloger and bibliographer for the University of Minnesota Libraries, as an instructor of English and business writing for Rasmussen and National American Universities, and as a contributor and reviewer for the online news site, examiner.com.
Currently, on those days not devoted to writing, I play golf and serve as president of the senior league at Highland Nine golf course in St. Paul, Minnesota. My wife and I also visit our sons and daughters-in-law on the East Coast and recently welcomed our first grandchild, a boy, into the world in March of this year, all of which has made our Norwegian Forest cat, mightily perplexed and annoyed by our occasional abdications of fealty to her needs and desires.

Cats can be fairly territorial when it comes to the loyalty of their subjects. Congratulations on the grandchild. I’m certain he will keep you busy. I know you have an interesting tale to tell with regards to your latest work, so let’s hear it.
This is one of those situations like being in an elevator with an agent and you have 90 seconds to “wow” him/her with the essence of your story. When I attended ThrillerFest the first time, I managed to be successful in convincing eight agents to look at my manuscript. But each of them returned it, saying something noncommittal like it didn’t meet their current needs.
But one advised me to join a writing group and get other people’s reactions to what I’d written. Their comments and those of the editor my future publisher recommended helped me realize the limitations of the manuscript I originally submitted.
With their comments as a guide, I converted a promising manuscript into one acceptable enough to a publisher for me to sign a contract. From there it was only a short 18 months and numerous rewrites that transformed that unmarketable manuscript into “Mission: Soul Rescue.”

That is great, William. Sometimes a rejection can open a different door and I’m glad it worked out for you. If anyone would like to get their hands on more information about William Fietzer and his works, or keep up with any future releases, you can find him at the links below.

Website
Facebook Page
Twitter @ELstir1
William Fietzer on Amazon

 

If any of you are thinking, “Hey, I would like to be on Meet the Author Monday” then you can check out the details HERE.

Book Review – Antholocaust by Justin Osborne

antholocaust

Antholocaust
By Justin Osborne

5 stars

Justin put together a collection of the macabre and insane in this collection of short stories. From the opening poem, you know that this is a trek into the nightmares of a deeply creative mind. As you read through the stories you will see what a great storyteller Justin is. Some are cute and campy but with a horrific twist, others are downright thrillers to chill your blood. He tackles man versus himself, as well as Man versus beast. I am not going to go into much detail about the stories because that would spoil it for the rest of you gentle readers.  However, I will say this. I need a Muffinz. That’s with a ‘Z’ you know. For Street Cred.

The only downside for me and I had to bring this up is that there are several places throughout the stories where I think it could have benefited from one more read through. I found cases of word repetition in the same sentence, and a few cases where it was clear something was missing. They weren’t many, and I have seen big name author’s with just as many, if not more. For this reason, I still give it 5 stars, only because a 4.5 just doesn’t work on the rating pages.

Go out and pick up this great little e-book on Amazon a the link below.

Antholocaust by Justin Osborne