Cindy Bauer's Blog: Authors Express Promotion

May 13, 2019

Interview with very talented author, Craig T. Feigh...




Craig T. Feigh is an Author of several different genres of books.
He is most noted for his Little Bit & Big Byte Series of Children's Books.


Little Bit & Big Byte are the first "technology-related" characters in Children's Picture Books and are popular for any child who loves to use the computer, phone, or iPad.


Craig also writes Humor and Christian Living books.


You were born in Illinois, went to college in Hawaii (nice!) and now are in Kansas. There has to be a story of some kind in between the three states. Can you elaborate?




I was blessed with a little athletic talent and was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to the University of Hawaii to play baseball. After graduating, I went back to Illinois where I started my career in Telecommunications. I was transferred to Overland Park, KS several years ago where I still reside with my wife, son and dog, Bunker.





You own a Christian apparel company. So how did the lawn & garden tool patent come about?





I love to golf and love the Lord, so I blended the two several years ago and created an Apparel Company called, Christianitee. I had ten Christian golf themed logos such as “Fairway to Heaven” and “On Course for the Lord.” I embroidered shirts, hats and towels and did very well. I sold the Company a few years back. I was working in the garden one day trimming my bushes. I had just put down new mulch and the clippings were hard to remove from the mulch. I tried to put a plastic bag around the bush, but the wind blew it away. I went to the Hardware store and asked the Manager if there was a device I could wrap around my bushes to catch the clippings? He said there wasn’t and the CLIPPING CATCHER was born. I have a patent on it.


What inspired you to write the Little Bit & Big Byte stories?



I was looking for a technology-related Children’s Picture Book for my son (who was 5 at the time). I went to Barnes & Noble and they had none, so I felt that it was a great idea, so Little Bit & Big Byte were created. I want all my books to have unique characters, be fun to read, be professionally illustrated, have a story within a story with a “hidden” object to find in each picture, and to teach a life lesson.





Those are both delightfully illustrated! How did you find your illustrator?



I searched the Internet for Illustrators. There are lots, but ONE caught my attention. Patrick Carlson is the first illustrator to use Computer Graphics for all his illustrations. He is an award winner who does an excellent job.







You inherited your imperfections from your mom? What did you inherit from your dad?



From my Dad I learned to always be on time. You can set you clock to me. I think I taught my son the same trait as he is never late.


The Sure Way to Him. I've read it and reviewed it for you. What inspired you to write that book?



I’m an Evangelist at Heart. I wanted a simple way for Christians to remember the Romans Road, which in my mind was hard to remember. While reading Romans one day, the word S.U.R.E came to me. I think it is one of the best books on evangelism and the basics of our faith. My motto is BE SURE! That is on my license plate.


How did you go from telecommunications to selling Christian apparel?


I did both at the same time and worked long days.

How long did it take you to find the right publishing company for each of your books and what tips can you give other authors who are deciding on going with traditional or self publishing?


I tried to find a Publisher who did eBooks, soft and hardcover, and had excellent relationships with Amazon and other Bookstores.


Have you considered doing an audio book for the two computer books?


No, I haven’t considered it.














Craig's books can be found at Amazon in both print and kindle formats, as paperbacks and in hardcover formats.

Learn more by visiting his author's page at Amazon or by visiting:
https://www.authorsexpresspromotion.com/craig-t-feigh
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Published on May 13, 2019 12:13

Interview with Katie Sansone...


V.K. (Katie) Sansone is the author of 10 published works, most of which were written for children. She and her husband live in Kentucky. They have two daughters and six grandchildren.
With a passion for storytelling and a very creative imagination, her children's books are for readers ages 7-10, or to be read to children ages 3-6. There's also one just for tweens ages 11-12.
For the adults, she has two non-fiction works, one of which is a memoir filled with stories, poems, letters and a look into the author's personal life; the other, a very vivid recollection of a dream.
Her books are available at Amazon.






Where do you get your story ideas?


I mostly just get my ideas from my own mind. I mean, like when I was small, I watched Walt Disney and things like that, and it set my imagination afire.

How do you develop your characters?


Sometimes I just have them right there in the forefront of my mind and then other times I create them as I go to fit the story line.

Of all the books you've written, which did you find the most difficult?

“My First 24 Hours In Hell” was the hardest, because it was based on a dream that I feel GOD gave me back in 1980, I believe it was, when I prayed and asked HIM what Hell was like. Not that I wanted to go there, but just to understand it better, you know what I mean?

What are you working on now?

My mind has been blank for so many years now (little laugh) and different things happening in my life. A giant move from one state to another a few years ago and some surgeries, with illnesses and deaths in the family, so things were put on hold, you know? But I am trying to finish my kids’ mystery book titled, “The Mystery of the Secret Room”.


Are there any other writers in your family?

No, not that I know of, but some people with artistic gifts for painting, casting metals, playing musical instruments and things like that. But no authors…just me

How did you get started writing books?

I began writing seriously about 1980, I think. Just children’s stuff and the like. Some just for fun and some were for my own children. They enjoyed them a lot. But my writing was interrupted by the death of my spouse, and it took me awhile to get back on track.


What inspires you to write the most?

Just my love for sharing my heart with others or just telling little stories and watching the faces of the children, with wide eyes of excitement or to see that I can move a person to tears, even adults. 

Was it difficult to find a publishing company?

Yes. The first one (Living Waters) turned out to be a rip-off if you know what I mean. 

What steps should other writers take when trying to get published the first time?

Be watchful, shop around and trust the person(s) who publishes. Make sure they are reputable in their business.

What is your favorite kind of book to read?

Biographies, mysteries, things like that.
Is there anything else you'd like to say to help other aspiring writers?

Just that sometimes the stories come in a roll and just go with it. Write about things you know and things you like to do. Be explanatory but not lengthy and make it interesting to others as well as yourself.



Katie Sansone is the author of over 10 books, available at Amazon in both print and kindle formats. Learn more by visiting her Amazon author page or her webpage at: https://www.authorsexpresspromotion.com/katie-sansone
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Published on May 13, 2019 11:37

Interview with Jennifer Robins, author of over 20 novels....


Jennifer Robins took up writing about the paranormal after a long time in the business world. She attended Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio (TriC). Her interest in the unexplained we live with has taken her to some intense research of many intriguing subjects. These findings have inspired her to write the stories she puts into words for others to enjoy. She lives with her husband and a few wonderful pets. Jennifer spends time with her grown family, loves to write, paint in oils and play the piano.




Where do you get your story ideas?

It’s hard to say. Sometimes from out of nowhere and other times from something I’ve heard or seen.








How do you develop your characters?

I think of the story and who would best fit.


Of all the books you've written, which did you find the most difficult?

The one I’m working on right now. It’s about the end of the Civil war when the people in the south had to either stay and repair their lives or move out to the west. I did a lot of research of that period and found so much to write about, but it took a lot of time. I think it will be worth it.


What are you working on now?

Two novels. The one I just told about and a rewrite.

Are there any other writers in your family?

No and I wish there were, so I'd have someone to talk to that knows what I’m talking about.







How did you get started writing books?

Long time ago when someone told me I couldn’t write a book. I had mentioned how much I wanted to, and they just laughed.


What inspires you to write the most?

This may sound a little sad but true. At the bedside of my daughter Kathleen as she was dying of cancer, she made me promise I would continue writing and I have done just that with no regrets. Plus, I need something to occupy my mind now that I once again lost a third child.

 

Was it difficult to find a publishing company?

Not if you don’t mind going with a small publisher who doesn’t promote, and you are willing to promote your work yourself. The larger publisher is more difficult to get with.


What steps should other writers take when trying to get published the first time?


Check on all of them. There are many who are not good to go with.


What is your favorite kind of book to read?

I read all or Nora Roberts books and some just like she puts out. Love it.


Is there anything else you'd like to say to help other aspiring writers?

Don’t expect to earn millions, at least not at first. And do expect rejects, they are only part of the process. Just keep going. 

Jennifer's books can be found at Amazon in both print and kindle formats. She is the author of over twenty novels. 

Author’s Links:
Amazon Author’s Page


http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Robins/e/B002CE2Y1K/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_15?qid=1436022206&sr=1-15
Professional Website
http://www.jenniferrobins.com/

Professional Blog
http://robinsnovels.blogspot.com/
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Published on May 13, 2019 10:53

April 15, 2019

Interview with Alfred Garrotto


You were born into a theatrical family. Can you give us further details?
My older sister, Natalie, came into the world with a pile of talent, which my parents fostered. As a child, she took tapdancing lessons and performed with a local group called the Megland Kiddies. 
When I came along (with no discernible talent), my dad enrolled us with Central Casting in Hollywood. Whenever a crowd scene called for Italian-looking kids, we were called. Prior to the outbreak of WWII, we each appeared in a number of films (sometimes together).
Wartime gas rationing ended my “acting” career. By the time Natalie was in her early teens, she had developed a magnificent operatic voice and the dramatic acting ability to go with it. To launch her career, my father founded (and managed for many years) the Santa Monica (CA) Civic Opera. He also played some guitar, but only at home.            My younger sister and I dropped off the talent map and went into hibernation (just being kids). Only as an adult did Toni’s talent for acting and comedy manifest itself.
What happened that drew you to ministry instead?
Even as a young child, I was drawn to the spiritual life (though I had no idea what that meant or entailed). By middle school, my heroes were the priests of our parish. I wanted to be like them. At the end of 8th Grade I took the exam for enrollment in the high school portion of seminary training. I advanced to college seminary and then four more years of theological studies. After a total of 12 years, I was ordained to the Catholic priesthood. I remained an active priest for 18 years, before feeling a call to change my life course.
How did your 'writing bug' come about?
When I withdrew from active ministry, a desire to write for publication came over me with a sudden rush. I freelanced for a national health magazine and local newspaper. I also ghost-wrote for the owner of a chain of fitness equipment stores. I then collected materials from my clerical life and wrote a trilogy of non-fiction books under the series title, Adult-to-Adult (published by Winston Press, Minneapolis). When the books sold well, I thought, “Wow! This writing and publishing thing is easy.” So, I decided to write a (“great American”) novel. Fiction writing/publishing turned out to be a whole different animal. It took 8 years to complete the first novel (A Love Forbidden). It too was published commercially (to some modest success). Eight books later (both fiction and nonfiction), I’m still at it. I have more ideas in the pipeline than I have time to write. 
What inspired you to write the Caribbean Tremors trilogy? Briefly explain the three books and how they tie in together.
After publishing A Love Forbidden, my next two novels (Finding Isabella and I’ll Paint a Sun) were also commercially published. Each book tells a separate story with new characters. Having regained the rights to all three books after they went out of print, I totally re-edited and updated those stories. (I’m a better writer today than I was two decades ago.) Since all three books are set in or related to the same fictitious Caribbean island, I packaged them as a trilogy and self-published them solely in ebook format via Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords.com, which gives access to other major ebook outlets. I discovered in the re-editing that I still really liked those stories and felt good about giving them second life in a newly packaged format.
Everybody wants to know your take on life after death as told in your novel, There’s More: A Novella of Life and Afterlife. Since none of us really know what happens at the instant of death, we have to go on our faith alone. What is your take on that subject in the book?
As a Roman Catholic, a priest, and later for two decades as a lay minister in a local Catholic parish, Afterlife has been part of my daily consciousness and questioning. It’s true, “None of us really knows what happens in that instant of separation of body and spirit.” My own imagining of Afterlife has changed and developed over the years. The history of Catholic art and theology has also evolved over the many centuries of exploring the possibilities. I have come to understand that one of the key questions each of us must ask is: What kind of God do we have? Our sense of Afterlife hinges on our answer.             That’s a long introduction to the major theme of There’s More. I set out to create a scenario in which the majority of the story takes place at the instant of death. In other words, what happens when the soul frees itself from its lifelong partner, the body? What follows is a novelist’s imagining of the answer. I no longer believe in the kind of Purgatory I grew up with—a temporary place of suffering to atone for past sins as a condition to being admitted to heaven. Rather, I imagine that, at the instant of death, I will experience a “nanosecond” of enlightenment during which I will see the entirety of my life. In that process, I expect to be aware of all the times I was a real “jerk” (sinner). In that same instant, I will be overwhelmed by God’s love and mercy and know that I am welcomed “with open arms,” no matter what.            This is what happens to big league pitcher John Thorne when he is mortally struck in the forehead by a batted ball during the final game of a World Series. I add a wrinkle by assigning as John’s companion on this journey . . . Bishop Charles Francois Myriel, the catalyst character of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Why? As a novelist I refuse to believe that the characters we give birth to are not living people. They are too real to me, and they come to life for readers and stay with them—sometimes for years beyond the actual reading. To me, they exist in some “parallel universe” and are accessible to the God who created them through the authors.
How did you get your concept for the novels, Circles of Stone and Down a Narrow Alley?
Being an adoptive parent of two Central America-born daughters, I have explored this theme in these and other of my books as a way of delving deeper into the meaning, mystery, and miracle of adoption.             The series begins with Circles of Stone chronicling the life Natalia (McCrory), one of the world’s top fashion models. It and continues with Down a Narrow Alley. When I can get to it, I will write a third novel in this series, continuing Natalia’s story.             Peruvian-born Natalia is the adopted daughter of a well-to-do San Francisco couple. At the peak of her modeling career, Natalia begins a search for her birth mother, only to discover that her “adoptive” father is actually her birth father. She was born of a secret extramarital affair with a Peruvian woman he had no intention of marrying. Having discovered this life-changing truth, Natalia returns to Peru to search for her birth mother. She begins that quest in Lima at the orphanage from which she was adopted and which, she learns, aided her father in the cover-up.            Natalia finds a new life in Lima. She becomes a “hands-on” patron and volunteer of the orphanage, splitting time between her career and the care of orphaned and abandoned children. 
What inspired you to write The Saint of Florenville? And why is it a love story?
The deep background is that I had a friend here in the States who was a nun from Belgium. She later returned home to work in her own country. When I traveled to that lovely country a few years later, I contacted her. She offered to show me the wonderful medieval city of Bruges. I became so enthralled with that city that I decided to make it the locale of a future novel.             In The Saint of Florenville, I create a scenario based in part on my real-life experience. The main protagonist is a Belgian nun, Sister Therese. When contacted by Fr. Tom, an American priest acquaintances, she agrees to meet him in Louven and travel with him to Bruges. (That’s where real history ends.)            In the novel, the two are drugged and kidnapped in Bruges by a stranger they befriended. He subsequently imprisons them in the basement of his home. They are kept for many months in adjacent but separate jail-like cells. Sister Therese is eventually rescued and returned to her convent in Florenville, but not before Tom has been taken away and presumably murdered.      Sometime later, a mentally damaged man appears at the convent gate. Sr. Therese and her sisters give him shelter. At first, she does not recognizing him as her friend, the presumed murder victim. When Therese discovers the identity of the disabled man, she and the sisters decide to hide him in plain sight as their groundskeeper.     Which of the two is ultimately the “saint” of Florenville and why? That is for the reader to decide.
Explain what you mean when you say that the novel, Les Miserables, encompasses all the arts?
Victor Hugo wrote this monumental work as a social and political commentary on life in France. He chose as his protagonist (Jean Valjean) a man who represented the failures of the French political system to protect the poor and most vulnerable in the land. He uses as his catalytic moral example of the failure of the system is this: Is it lawful to break a law in order to feed a starving family. In other words, is law the final arbiter and standard of human behavior? Or do the needs of desperate people take precedence over the law?      That seminal theme has engaged the imagination of artists of every major genre: literature, dramatic and musical theater, ballet, multiple screen reiterations and variations, as well as fine arts and photography. Hugo (like other classical storytellers before him) unleashed the creative, artistic spirit in nearly every conceivable art form.
The Soul of Art. What inspired you about writing on that subject?
My familial connection with and commitment to the arts finally found expression in me, but not until mid-life. After writing seven novels and pondering the nature of “creative source,” I knew I had to write about the deeper meaning of artistic gifts, however they find expression in individual people.     Rather than focus on individual genres, I wanted to explore the psycho-spiritual / supernatural source of creativity. Using as my launch theme, “Only the artist can see in the dark,” I delved into an exploration of what it means to “see in the dark.” That took me to “imagination” and “dreams” (of all types). That took me to the realization that artistic gifts—even in the very young—are to be valuing rather than chastising the dreamers among ourselves as adults, our children, and youth. Another strong theme is the obligation of gifted people to share their gifts for the good of society.      I conclude the book with a chapter on “success.” When can an artist say, “I am successful in my chosen field”? How do we measure success in a dollar-driven society?     Within the next year, I intend to write a second, expanded edition of The Soul of Art. Since publishing the original book, I have discovered so much more material and further ideas that I want to include.
Does your faith guide you while writing?
I cannot separate my writing from the underpinning values that guide my life. At the same time, I carefully avoid proselytizing. The characters who populate my novels might be saints or sinners, but their presence on the page must be in the service of telling the story. What readers take away from it is up them. I’m just trying to tell the best story I can.     In my nonfiction works, I can choose to be more direct in expressing what I believe and value but, again, never with any heavy-handed attempt to proselytize. Rather, I’m simply saying, “This is who I am and what I value...today.”
What can you give aspiring writers who want to write, but are having difficulty finding their "niche"?
I still seek out writing workshops and often hear from writing coaches the same key message: “Write what you know.” That may be just another way of saying, “Follow your passions.” I strongly recommend associating oneself with a writing community, whether it’s a small critique group of fellow writers or a larger writing community.      For the past 25 years, I have been active in the California Writers Club, a statewide professional organization with over 20 branches statewide. Thanks to my fellow authors and the learning opportunities I have experienced with and through them, I can honestly say I am a much better writer today than I was when my first works were published over 25 years ago.
Is there anything else you would like to add for your fans?
I am ever grateful to my readers, first for buying and reading my work, and second for the positive and helpful feedback they give.
I went to a Catholic High School but I'm not Catholic. From what I can gather, in summary, the Catholic belief is that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three separate entities. Yet in my own faith, they are one and the same, connected, but not separate. Kind of like one person having three personalities. But it's still just one person. What is your belief on the three entities?
I’m happy to say that your faith and understanding of Trinity is very Roman Catholic!!     Christian churches seem to get jumbled up in the use of inadequate human language that simply cannot express the inexpressible. For example, Catholics use the term “person” for each of what you term “personalities.” But we are talking about the same meaning: one divinity manifesting as three persons/personalities. The Nicene Creed (4th Century) took a stab at “explaining” this phenomenon. It’s a statement of essential beliefs that we and many other Christian churches still use. Even so, it is an inadequate attempt to “define” the indefinable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm a native Californian now living in the San Francisco East Bay Area. I was born into a theatrical family and began my career in the arts at the age of 7, with my big sister, doing bit parts that required Italian-looking kids. My sister used her magnificent coloratura voice to pursue a career in grand opera. By my teens, I had taken a different road into academics and spirituality. Although I did a lot of writing (mostly on Christian themes), I did not get the book-bug until my forties. Once the muse bit me, I couldn't stop and have written12 books through both commercial and independent publishing. These include both fiction and non-fiction.
My most recent fiction works are the Caribbean Tremors Trilogy: A Love Forbidden, Finding Isabella, I'll Paint a Sun. 
The Soul of Art (nonfiction) explores the underlying spirituality that gives birth to all creative endeavors. I use the book as a source for workshops for creative people of all genres, called the "Spirituality of the Arts." Contact me for details and possible bookings.
My novella, There's More, explores the greatest mystery of all: what happens at the instant of death? In it, a major league ballplayer--a former Catholic priest--is simultaneously murdered and killed during a game by accident and by two different people! The plot explores questions about death and afterlife, as the ballplayer-priest reviews major moments and decisions of his life under the guidance of none other than Victor Hugo's catalytic character in Les Miserables, Bishop Charles Francois Myriel.
My love for Les Miserables (in all its iterations) led me to write my nonfiction book The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Jean Valjean. My next nonfiction project is to back that up with a book titled The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Bishop Myriel.
Other novels include Down a Narrow Alley and Circles of Stone.
In addition to writing, I am a freelance writer and manuscript editor (need help?) 
After 20+ years, I retired in 2018 from my day-and-night job as a lay minister in a Roman Catholic parish in the Oakland (CA) Diocese. 
I invite you to visit me online at:
my Authors Express blog,
Authors Express author's page,
my personal website, my Authors Den site and my personal blog at "The Wisdom of Les Miserables", on Facebookand on Twitter@algarrotto.           
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Published on April 15, 2019 11:08

Interview with Vaughan Rapatahana


How did the idea for your latest book, Novel, come about and what inspired you to write it?
I guess that recent – and to me, worrying – trends stirred me to write this novel, itself based on what is going on around us internationally. Namely authoritarian regimes pushing their various interrelated agenda onto the ‘average’ citizen to the extent that personal freedoms are being even further eroded, just as our global environment is being ceaselessly damaged beyond repair. I don’t need to list the countries and their leaders here: I am sure readers will know who and where I mean. Let’s just say they are ‘Mainlands’.
For curiosity only, why do you commute between the Philippines, New Zealand and Hong Kong?
Because our children live in Hong Kong and our extended family lives in Philippines and I was born and raised in New Zealand. More, because we have lived in each for long periods of time, we have homes there.
Of the three, which inspires you the most in your writings?
All three equally and contemporaneously and all three are very different. All three – as well as visits to other locales – inspire my writing. Travel makes the mind fly.
Explain briefly about Hydra and the English language.
My co-author Dr Pauline Bunce and I coined the concept of the English language Hydra to depict the rather rapacious spread by agents of the English language (think, for example, of The British Council and the various profit-making English language testing companies) into communities and countries which are not traditionally English as first language and which all-too-often don’t actually ‘need’ or even utilize the tongue. I speak from experience, having taught English in many countries and being as guilty as anyone else here of ‘power-aiding’ the language onto students who have subsequently never used it.
Do you prefer poetry over the other genres and why? You know, I have no clear preference regarding genre. Indeed, I believe my most significant work is to do with the co-authored books to do with English language imperialism, The English language Hydra and Why English? Confronting the Hydra…I seem to go through phases too, as regards different genre and sometimes write very little poetry at all.
As a side note here in relation to poetry, one of my collections titled Schisms, was published by Stonesthrow Poetry, Las Vegas, Nevada…
How did the idea for your novel, Toa, come about and what inspired you to write it?
My own life was the basis for writing this novel: I had been living/experiencing the events of the novel for years previously, via a whole raft of adventures, life experiences and escapades, not all happy ones by any means! Had to set everything down in the guise of a fictional work. There is the hackneyed phrase, after all, ‘life is stranger than fiction.’ My life up until then was a series of bizarre encounters and Toa – I hope – expresses these via the chief protagonist – Mahon. Who is, incidentally, also mentioned in Novel
You are currently contributing to the University of Pennsylvania's Jacket 2. What is Jacket?
Jacket was originally an Australian-originated academic online poetry magazine, committed to serious discussion and appraisal of poetry per seand under the editorship of John Tranter. Jacket 2 is a continuation online of this serious and in-depth evaluation of poetry, now under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. It was moved to Philadelphia in 2011.
Married? Children? Pets? Hobbies?
Yes, I am married to Leticia who is from Philippines, although she lived for many years in countries as diverse as Israel and Hong Kong. Our children are adults and live in Hong Kong and Australia. Indeed, we are grandparents. Our dog, Bruno, is a very affectionate Border Collie-Whippet cross. Hobbies? Sports watching, reading, current affairs, travelling, writing and working on our homes.
You have book signings, speaking engagements, lectures, etc. Do you also teach?
I have retired from formal teaching and advising as in a 9 to 5 job, but I do travel to schools under the New Zealand Writers in Schools scheme to deliver poetry and literature teaching classes. More, the series of poetry teaching resource books which I write are – I guess – a form of me teaching, albeit not being physically in the classroom.
You have several books on the work of Colin Wilson? What do you find so fascinating about him?
Colin was a sui generis writer, original, prolific, engaging in person. He wrote across a wide spectrum of genre, but all his works were united by his prime driving positive belief: that man/womankind are not using their full consciousness and are in fact abnegating their potential evolution accordingly. Wilson was The Outsider he wrote about in 1956 in a book with the same title.
I met Colin in Melbourne, Australia in 1993 and I also wrote my Ph. D thesis about his many novels. He continues to be an influence for a lot of people and there have thus far been two Colin Wilson Conferences in Nottingham, England. I gave a lecture there last year.
How difficult was it to become so multi-lingual and is there a lot of similarity between them? I ask because in America we tend to focus more on Spanish & French.
It is not difficult for me to be multilingual – as is my wife – because several of the languages I can speak, namely te reo Māori (my own language), Tagalog (one of my wife’s first languages – the other is Kapampangan), Bahasa Melayu (Malay) have several strong similarities in pronunciation and sharing some words. After all, the migration pattern of the Pacific ensured this similar passage of these languages.

More, because of having lived in PR China and Hong Kong SAR, we speak Cantonese (our children’s first language) and Putonghua or Mandarin too. Leticia has Spanish also, as Philippines was colonized by Spain, while I have French as it was compulsory when I went to school in New Zealand last century – as was Latin!
Are you working on anything now?
Yes, thank you, on several projects. My collection of short stories is an ongoing project and is titled Indigenous Expatriate. It will be published late in 2019. Includes stories originally published Stateside.
Very soon Book Three of Poetry in Multicultural Oceania will be published – I have completed the book and am doing the final proofreading right now.
On Sunday 31st March the launch of Ngā Kupu Waikato [Waikato words], which is a collection of poems by Waikato-based poets, will take place. Waikato is a large region in the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand and where we have a home. This is the first such anthology and I initiated the project and edited it.
There are also several other projects, including organizing all my Jacket 2commentaries into a collection.
More, one book has already been published in 2019 – Colin Wilson: More than the Existentialist Outsider (Paupers Press, England), which is a collection of my published essays on Wilson – several having appeared in Philosophy Now – and a new, lengthy piece sharing the title of this book.
I live in the country. Our "critters" are very much different than those you appear to "come in close contact" with. Can you tell us more about them?
In New Zealand, we live pretty much in the country too. Lots of cows, some sheep, horses populate the many farm paddocks around us not far from our home in Mangakino, which is itself located on a lake. No snakes, some rabbits – and lots of pet dogs here. Lots of possums too – often as roadkill, while the birdlife around us is prolific. In Pampanga, Philippines, again many dogs - and caribou, with a few donkeys pulling carts too. Hong Kong, at least where we live, has miniature dogs, often pushed around in prams by their owners, as well as small birds carried around in cages by their owners. Pet fish too!
No coyotes, cougars and suchlike critters, though.
If there was only ONE thing you could tell aspiring writers, what would it be?
Never – and I mean never – give up.
What helps you to focus when writing?
Generally, some driving idea, concept, emotion which impels me to write and to continue to write, including returning to – a poem especially – to further hone it. If the work is non-fiction, I also get further focus, by searching for as many relevant references as I can. In short, I become a bit obsessed by any given project until I am happy with it…obsession brings focus.
  Do you ever visit the U.S.?
I visited the USA several years ago – for example Hawaii – while we travel more to USA-influenced zones, such as Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Palau. Mind you, some would say that Philippines is still a USA-influenced zone - as indeed is Okinawa, another visited place!
Because you travel so much, how do you "vacation"?
In many ways travelling IS a vacation, as it brings about new sightings, new experiences and adventures. Leticia and I look forward to seeing family and enjoy relaxed travelling accordingly.
Is there anything else you'd like to add for your readers ?      Only to say kia ora or thank you for reading this interview. And the same to you for asking these searching questions.
Good luck.
ABOUT VAUGHAN...    
Vaughan Rapatahana commutes between Hong Kong SAR, the Philippines and Aotearoa New Zealand. He is widely published in several genres in Māori, English and other languages. He was a semi-finalist in the Proverse Prize for Literature in 2009, highly commended in the 2013 erbacce-prize for poetry from more than 6000 entries, and won the inaugural Proverse Poetry prize in 2016, the same year as his poetry collection Atonement was nominated for a National Book Award in the Philippines. His latest poetry collection is ternion (erbacce-press, Liverpool, England). Vaughan has a PhD in existential philosophy from the University of Auckland on the novels of Colin Wilson, whom he has written extensively about and lectured at the Wilson conference in Nottingham in July, 2018. Vaughan is also a language critic and instigated and co-edited English language as Hydra and Why English? Confronting the Hydra (Multilingual Matters, UK, 2012, 2016). He has also written commentaries for Jacket2 (University of Pennsylvania), including a 2015–2016 series and a new series currently in progress.
Rapatahana has authored or co-authored over 30 books.Website: http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/Writers/Profiles/Rapatahana,%20Vaughan   
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Published on April 15, 2019 09:19

March 25, 2019

Little Bit & Big Byte are back!


Little Bit & Big Byte are back for another fun adventure in the sequel to the popular Day at the Beach. It's "Save the Environment" Week at school and the adorable "Chips off the old block" are excited to do their part to help conserve energy and recycle.
Little Bit shares how we can all save water by brushing efficiently. Joy (the sister) sleeps more soundly with a night light. Big Byte has a tendency to use ALL of his electronics at the same time and realizes how effective "unplugging" can be. Even the Dad (CD) can do his part to ease traffic congestion by taking public transportation to work. While taking their recycling to the curb, their long-time enemies (Vi and Russ) kick over the recycling bins and spew garbage all over the street. In addition their pesky pointer (Click) jumps into the Recycle Truck and gets whisked away to the Recycling Center. Little Bit & Big Byte rush to save the day for their beloved canine. They also learn the complexities and necessity of recycling our paper, plastic and aluminum cans. Enjoy the colorful illustrations and be amused by finding the "hidden object" in each picture. Smile at the "story within a story" as the lovable caterpillar steals each scene with his youthful antics. Learn a valuable life lesson as Author, Craig Feigh, perfectly illustrates the need for all of us to "Go Green."
Available now at Amazon
Craig T. Feigh, a native of Hollywood, IL, graduated from the University of Hawaii with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. For several years, he has pursued a career in the telecommunications industry where he has held several Sales and Managerial level positions with some of the world's best Telecom Companies. In addition to writing, Craig owns a private Christian Apparel Company and holds a US Patent for a lawn and garden tool. Craig resides in Overland Park, KS with his wife and son.
The first Children's Picture Book using Technology-related characters! Let me introduce you to Little Bit & Big Byte. These two “chips off the old block” are the main characters in a NEW educational, entertaining, and endearing series of Children’s Picture Books that take you on thrilling adventures using adorable computer-related characters. Travel through Cyberville with Little Bit, Big Byte, and other members of the Romie family as they experience life’s valuable lessons with their friends and foes. If your children or grandchildren love to use the computer, phone, or iPad they will love Little Bit & Big Byte.
Available at Amazon
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Published on March 25, 2019 10:47

March 18, 2019

Alfred J. Garrotto releases third book in Caribbean Tremors Trilogy...



Liberty “Libby” O’Neill has it all. A business partner-fiancé she adores. A thriving Victorian restoration business in San Francisco, a city forested with raw material sufficient to keep them employed—and comfortable—for years to come. Then, why the sense of dread stirring her from sleep at 3 a.m.? Why the sudden terror? The cold sweat? This makes no sense, she tells the darkness. But it does. Libby awakens to reality of imminent bankruptcy after her fiancé abandons her, absconding with all the company’s cash. In desperation, she hires a half-demented street person, known only as Painter, to help her complete a Victorian restoration that can save her from ruin. As work progresses, Libby discovers a surprising reserve of wisdom in her new assistant. The restoration of the grand 19th century house parallels the transformation both Libby and Painter lives, as individuals and, over time, with each other. Their working relationship faces a severe challenge, when she discovers that her homeless day laborer is someone quite other than a street person who spiraled into booze-driven self-loathing. Can their mutual healing survive revelation of Painter’s true identity? Or are they each too irreparably broken to put their lives together and become whole—for themselves and for each other?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR...

I'm a native Californian now living in the San Francisco East Bay Area. I was born into a theatrical family and began my career in the arts at the age of 7, with my big sister, doing bit parts that required Italian-looking kids. My sister used her magnificent coloratura voice to pursue a career in grand opera. By my teens, I had taken a different road into academics and spirituality. Although I did a lot of writing (mostly on Christian themes), I did not get the book-bug until my forties. Once the muse bit me, I couldn't stop and have
written12 books through both commercial and independent publishing. These include both fiction and non-fiction.

My most recent fiction works are the Caribbean Tremors Trilogy: A Love Forbidden, Finding Isabella, I'll Paint a Sun.

The Soul of Art (nonfiction) explores the underlying spirituality that gives birth to all creative endeavors. I use the book as a source for workshops for creative people of all genres, called the "Spirituality of the Arts." Contact me for details and possible bookings.

My novella, There's More, explores the greatest mystery of all: what happens at the instant of death? In it, a major league ballplayer--a former Catholic priest -- is simultaneously murdered and killed during a game by accident and by two different people! The plot explores questions about death and afterlife, as the ballplayer-priest reviews major moments and decisions of his life under the guidance of none other than Victor Hugo's catalytic character in Les Miserables, Bishop Charles Francois Myriel.

My love for Les Miserables (in all its iterations) led me to write my nonfiction book The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Jean Valjean. My next nonfiction project is to back that up with a book titled The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Bishop Myriel.

Other novels include Down a Narrow Alley and Circles of Stone.

In addition to writing, I am a freelance writer and manuscript editor (need help?) After 20+ years, I retired in 2018 from my day-and-night job as a lay minister in a Roman Catholic parish in the Oakland (CA) Diocese.

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Published on March 18, 2019 15:22

Alfred J. Garrotto releases third book in Caribbean Tremors Trilogy...


Liberty “Libby” O’Neill has it all. A business partner-fiancé she adores. A thriving Victorian restoration business in San Francisco, a city forested with raw material sufficient to keep them employed—and comfortable—for years to come. Then, why the sense of dread stirring her from sleep at 3 a.m.? Why the sudden terror? The cold sweat? This makes no sense, she tells the darkness. But it does. Libby awakens to reality of imminent bankruptcy after her fiancé abandons her, absconding with all the company’s cash. In desperation, she hires a half-demented street person, known only as Painter, to help her complete a Victorian restoration that can save her from ruin. As work progresses, Libby discovers a surprising reserve of wisdom in her new assistant. The restoration of the grand 19th century house parallels the transformation both Libby and Painter lives, as individuals and, over time, with each other. Their working relationship faces a severe challenge, when she discovers that her homeless day laborer is someone quite other than a street person who spiraled into booze-driven self-loathing. Can their mutual healing survive revelation of Painter’s true identity? Or are they each too irreparably broken to put their lives together and become whole—for themselves and for each other?
Kindle
ABOUT THE AUTHOR...
I'm a native Californian now living in the San Francisco East Bay Area. I was born into a theatrical family and began my career in the arts at the age of 7, with my big sister, doing bit parts that required Italian-looking kids. My sister used her magnificent coloratura voice to pursue a career in grand opera. By my teens, I had taken a different road into academics and spirituality. Although I did a lot of writing (mostly on Christian themes), I did not get the book-bug until my forties. Once the muse bit me, I couldn't stop and have written12 books through both commercial and independent publishing. These include both fiction and non-fiction.

My most recent fiction works are the Caribbean Tremors Trilogy: A Love Forbidden, Finding Isabella, I'll Paint a Sun.

The Soul of Art (nonfiction) explores the underlying spirituality that gives birth to all creative endeavors. I use the book as a source for workshops for creative people of all genres, called the "Spirituality of the Arts." Contact me for details and possible bookings.

My novella, There's More, explores the greatest mystery of all: what happens at the instant of death? In it, a major league ballplayer--a former Catholic priest -- is simultaneously murdered and killed during a game by accident and by two different people! The plot explores questions about death and afterlife, as the ballplayer-priest reviews major moments and decisions of his life under the guidance of none other than Victor Hugo's catalytic character in Les Miserables, Bishop Charles Francois Myriel.

My love for Les Miserables (in all its iterations) led me to write my nonfiction book The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Jean Valjean. My next nonfiction project is to back that up with a book titled The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Bishop Myriel.

Other novels include Down a Narrow Alley and Circles of Stone.

In addition to writing, I am a freelance writer and manuscript editor (need help?) After 20+ years, I retired in 2018 from my day-and-night job as a lay minister in a Roman Catholic parish in the Oakland (CA) Diocese.

END OF RELEASEAuthors Express Promotionwww.authorsexpresspromotion.comcindybauer@authorsexpresspromotion.com
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Published on March 18, 2019 15:06

February 6, 2019

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Published on February 06, 2019 12:01

February 1, 2019

Review (Gallas) of Novel by Vaughan Rapatahana


https://www.amazon.com/Novel-Vaughan-Rapatahana/dp/0995104662/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1546548263&sr=1-1&keywords=9780995104662 It might surprise the general reader that insurgents are busy training in the Urewera high country for an uprising to bring down the government of Aotearoa/New Zealand, it being ‘merely a cattle dog of a much more potent, belligerent and quite nasty superpower across the other side of the Pacific Ocean’. In the politically and personally shifty world of NOVEL, nothing is comfortable. Though it begins at the end with the most sympathetic character, Ruby, settling down on a beach in the Marianas with something resembling an uneasy peace of mind, the dastardly complications that lead her there, and others decidedly elsewhere, occupy the next 320 pages.
So what is novel about NOVEL ? 
Not quite the structure. Though reluctant to follow ‘the sequential English language formats, like the so-called novel ¡K a Pākehā or European/Western stamp of their linguistic and thus, cultural dominion’, the story, in complex strands, is, apart from the end-opening, chronological and very neatly and effectively signposted with a chapter/strand number that keeps the reader well in line. This is not a William Burroughs stew or a do-it-yourself narrative.  
Not quite the story itself. The strands/yarns are all rattling good ones, roaming Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Philippines, Laos, China and Hong Kong SAR, and the characters duly come to life, in the ordinary way, as their stories are told. The settings are realistic, as is the dialogue (it is even punctuated), and motivation, cause and effect are all perfectly believable within the machinery of the tales. There is humour and there is cynicism, authorial comment and galloping writing. Vaughan Rapatahana is a fine story-teller and the fabric of the book is carefully and entertainingly woven. 
Not quite the politics. There is no shortage of ‘conspiracy’ novels and this, generally, is one. Western Europe, the USA and Britain are in control, and aim to keep things that way. The two Agents in NOVEL, Monaghan and Dr Cross are employed to do ‘basically anything to ensure that the American regime remained transcendent and regnant and impervious to anything that supposedly threatened its worldwide valence.’ Grisly deaths succeed on both ‘sides’ of the struggle. The poor and marginal cope as best they can when drawn into the machinations of political skulduggery and this is all as it surely is.
The novelty lies elsewhere, somewhere deeper and more unsettling to the general reader: this is clearly what Vaughan Rapatahana intends and it is this makes NOVEL novel.
First, it lies in the language. It is 99% English, but not as we know it. The happy Amis/Barnes/Smith/Mantel/McEwan reader will be disturbed. Vaughan Rapatahana unsettles and exasperates in the reading: intentionally, and naturally. Here are a couple of examples:
Trouble was, Philippines police were not so accommodating toward Interpol themselves. Their attitude roughly translated to something like, ¡§shit New Zealand – we can’t ever get there without sucking up for a visa and even then, there’s been no direct flights from there until last year anyway.¡¨Ruby’s mother never wanted to go anywhere with him and Ruby. And at least – he justified – Ruby was only ten years younger than him. Sort of made him feel better, especially since he also knew the rudiments of the local language, Tagalog, these days. 
And so it goes : slightly unusual punctuation, slightly tangential use of words-meanings, slightly jigsaw-puzzled tones, slightly alien usages, slightly literary turns of phrase followed by slightly casual ones. And what does this all add up to? It adds up to a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) assault on what is thought of as ‘good’ or even ‘effective’ writing. The story works, the characters get on, the politics is clear, the murders, escapes, sexual escapades, deceptions and chases tear along, but all this is done without much kowtowing to conventional style, either conventional ‘literary’ or conventional ‘popular’, in a kind of realignment of How to Write. Like the women of Ngā Wahine Toa, these sentences are ‘resolved to fight back an administration that continued to ignore them’.   
Second, NOVEL gives a good slap to the reader’s world view. It is not the politics, as observed above, but the presentation of settings wrongly alien to English-language novel-readers. Nowhere is nice : the underbellies of so-called slums, criminal gangs, prostitution, poverty and protest are ever-present. The Woo strand (2), set in Hong Kong, is typical : ‘Times were always tough out in this City of Sorrow, as Hong Kong’s portly politicians liked to paint it – and yet none of them had ever been sighted this far out from the dense throb of the central city, where they spent all day and half of each night playing plutocrats’. These places are nasty for a reason. This is no starry-eyed book. Vaughan Rapatahana does not have universal love and peace in his sights, but the disconcerting reminder that people and places can be ugly for reasons we might not want to think about, or, being Westerners, admit to, is, again, ever-present. It is a salutary lesson for the (for instance, English) reader’s world to be ignored, a villain reaching its tentacles into the world from somewhere off the map. This is not simply a book set Somewhere Else, like ‘The Kite Runner’ or ‘Wild Swans’, but one that actively rejects the values of some Elsewheres that are actually a part of it. 
NOVEL contains boxed statements, a glossary of Māori, Tagalog, Cantonese and Mandarin (containing useful words and phrases such as ‘good afternoon mother’, ‘fat pig’, ‘I love you’, and ‘fuck you white man’), some picture pages (‘Get out!! Americano’ and hongi), an addendum on the English Novel, and some tables of Doubts and Thoughts: but it is not here that the novel’s subversion lies, and this is not ‘Tristram Shandy’, nor is meant to be. It lies in a blazing tale of international politics and murder, and the people entangled in it, by design or accident, told in a style that detaches the reader from comfortable reading and a comfortable world, or even a comfortable reading of the world. Remember, ‘This is a work of fiction’ (Disclaimer), wherein ‘places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner’ : but after the last death, and Ruby’s arrival at the beach, the reader can’t help wondering about that ‘cattle dog’ description of God’s Own Land, and other troubling rumbles. 
John Gallas.
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Published on February 01, 2019 16:27

Authors Express Promotion

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