Tag Archives: Author Interview

Author Spotlight with Gary L. Smith

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Getting to Know Author Gary L. Smith

1. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters? David would beplayed by Mark Wahlberg and Goliath by Andre’ the Giant.

2. How important are names to you in your books?  I don’t write fiction, so I use actual names.

3. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Raising three of the most amazing daughters in the world.

4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Happily retired and still writing.

5. Were you already a great writer? Have you always like to write? I think my writing style evolved over the years with a lot of assistance from my wife, who I affectionately call the “grammar nazi”.

6. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors? Start small and work your way up. Practice makes perfect.

7. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living? Writing is a part of what I do as a consultant and coach.

8. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? Yes, I read and respond to reviews. I haven’t had a bad review yet.

9. What is your best marketing tip? Never give up. If you touch one life, it’s worth it.

10. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process? Marketing and self-promotion.

11. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it? Sex.

12. Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?) This was my first book, but I have written two more since then.

13. What are you working on now? What is your next project? I am not sure what my next project will be. I am considering writing a book on transformational leadership.

Shepherd Book

 

 Book Description

The Shepherd and the Princess is a book about learning to dream and then systematically removing the barriers standing between you and the life you’ve always wanted to create for yourself and your loved ones. This ancient story is full of true gems and “nuggets of gold” that will propel you toward the attainment of your deepest desires!

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Best Selling Author of:
The Shepherd and the Princess: 7 Keys to Conquering the Goliaths in Your Life
Achieving Unuasual Greatness: Timeless Lessons from the Trail Already Blazed
The Customer Conundrum: 9 Crucial Steps for Winning Customers and Outsmarting Your Competition

Author Interview With Seth Mullins

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Seth Mullins has been writing since his teens, inspired initially by Stephen R. Donaldson’s eloquent fantasies and later by the jagged poetical reflections of the Beats and the Surrealists and the metaphysical works of Jane Roberts. He studied creative writing at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico and Lane Community College in Oregon. Seth has lived in Maine, Connecticut, New Mexico and Oregon, and currently resides in Vermont.

Seth

Getting To Know Seth Mullins

1. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I think it would have to be a situation like in the original Star Wars, with a cast of largely unknown actors. Most of the big names, even those whom I really respect, don’t feel like a good fit. I can name a few people I’d like to work with on the soundtrack, though: Mark Lanegan, Billy Corgan, Anton Newcombe, Eddie Vedder, Julian Cope…

2. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I personally dislike when names are chosen for meaning (for example, a Biblical reference) because then the character seems to me less a human being and more a symbol, a vehicle for making a statement. I go for sounds that somehow resonate with my image of a character; or, I might be inspired with a name first and then the personality forms around it. If you have some knowledge of a character’s ancestry there are a lot of resources on the Web for surnames associated with certain cultures, nationalities. For instance, I chose Brandon’s last name, Chane, because of the Cherokee in his blood.

3. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

This trilogy (The Edge of the Known). All while I was composing it, it felt like the story that I was born to write; and I still feel that way about it now.

4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I honestly can’t even project myself ten *months* into the future. I follow the Muse, always – and she can be capricious.

5. Were you already a great writer? Have you always liked to write?

There’s been a definite progression and evolution. I used to be overly concerned about sounding clever and inventive – using bigger words than were necessary, just to prove that I could, that sort of thing. Nowadays I think of the needs of the story, whatever will do justice to its core feeling. I’ve managed to subtract my own ego from the process, in large part, and this has made the writing much more powerful. And yes, I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember.

6. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Take time to listen for your own natural voice. Trust it, even when you feel pestered by other doubts that tell you you should be more verbose, educated, intellectual, arty, whatever. The writing that will resonate most powerfully with readers will be your own unique voice set down on the page.

7. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

There have been occupations that I’ve fantasized about over the years, but I would have to go back in time and receive the necessary education in order to pursue any of them as careers: Archaeology, anthropology, graphic design, working with animals… One can’t be a shaman for a living in this culture, unfortunately, unless it’s in some self-made capacity.

8. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I always read my reviews, but I don’t respond to them aside from thanking writers for favorable responses. If you put something out there then you have to accept that it’s now a part of the world and people are free to react to it as they will. That’s how I see it. As far as bad reviews go… I’ve fortunately not received any yet, only a couple that were lukewarm. And in those cases, it was obvious to me that the writers just didn’t care for the kind of story that I was offering, overall, so I didn’t take it as reflecting upon my abilities. No story will ever please everyone.

9. What is your best marketing tip?

So far, most of the people who’ve bought my books have had some kind of interaction with me beforehand, so this has convinced me of the importance of establishing personal relationships. The ideal ways of doing that will depend upon a writer’s personality and temperament. The methods I’ve found most rewarding have been blogging, author appearances and virtual book tours.

10. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

I have a difficult time proofreading and editing because I tend to become so emotionally involved with a story as I read along that I soon forget that I’m supposed to be looking out for typos, poor grammar and inconsistencies. I’m not saying that I *dislike* the process, but it probably takes me three times as long as it does other writers for that reason.

11. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

There are actually many, and the reason is that I ‘live’ with the content of my stories very deeply and sometimes can’t achieve a safe objective distance from the subject matter. If I wrote like Stephen King I’d never sleep at night.

12. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

My forte is exploring emotional terrain, so action scenes can be difficult for me at times if they involve a lot of mechanics and little ‘felt experience’. For the same reason, I wouldn’t do well writing science fiction that leaned heavily upon technical aspects to move the story.

13. Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I actually wrote three novels in High School, which the world will hopefully never see, and two fantasy novels before I embarked upon The Edge of the Known trilogy. I’m not embarrassed about my older work, but it grew out of an overall philosophy and approach that I’ve since distanced myself from. If I have a choice, I’ll be remembered for Brandon Chane’s journey.

14. What are you working on now? What is your next project?

This is a somewhat dramatic way of putting it, but having completed this trilogy I’m now in a mental and emotional state that somewhat resembles the aftermath of a breakup. I need to ‘take time’ before I open myself up to loving again. 😉 I’m grateful that my promotional efforts necessitate touching back in to the story. I may devote my energies, for the next six months or even longer, to reaching out to readers before I actually commit to a new project. Also, these three books were composed over a period of fourteen months, so that’s another cause for my wanting to take a breather. The nature of the story was such that I think it had to come through relatively fast. I doubt that it would have been as powerful if I’d deliberated over it for years.

 

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Twitter: @SethMullins1

DAVID CLIVE PRICE “LEADING YOU INTO UNEXPLORED TERRITORY.”

DAVID CLIVE PRICE

“LEADING YOU INTO UNEXPLORED TERRITORY.”

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David Clive Price has been at various times a wine and olive farmer in Italy, a Renaissance scholar, speechwriter for one of the world’s leading banks, a strategic adviser to Asian multinationals, and an explorer of the unknown corners of South Korea, Japan, China, the Philippines, Taiwan and Myanmar (Burma), to name just a few of his ‘unexplored territories’.

He has written books on the ‘lost civilization’ of rural Italy, music and Catholic conspiracies in Elizabeth I’s England, Buddhism in the daily life of Asia, the secret world of China’s Forbidden City, the darker corners of corporate life in pre-recession London and Hong Kong, off-the-beaten track Seoul and South Korea, the ethnic sub-culture and risky underworld of 1980s New York.

3c1f60fe493b0aa39ba1d7.L._V342770694_SX200_INTERVIEW WITH DAVID CLIVE PRICE BY ERIC WENG FROM WWW.UNEXPLOREDTERRITORY.NET

Q. What really floats your boat? Why did you go to the Far East and why now publish all these books about Asia business cultures, along with novels and travelogues set in Asia?

A. ‘I have always been attracted by other cultures and what lies beyond. It’s like an instinctive reaction to any new place. I get a sort of obsession with the idea a new and strange experience – a world I have never set foot in before, an adventure, something with risk involved, something that may or may not make me money but that promises to be in some way spiritual.

Q: What do you mean by that?

I don’t mean holy and going to church (eve if I have become a Buddhist on my travels). It means discovering something about the world that suggest other dimensions, like all those spirits and demons and Taoist or Shinto gods of nature in Asia cultures.

Of course, it can be something quite banal like lighting incense for the God of Prosperity or choosing the lucky number 8 for your mobile phone and house numbers, as almost all Chinese do. But it can also be the discovery of religious rituals or simple domestic and family beliefs that make life seem so much richer and full of wonder.

Q: When did you first discover this about yourself?

It’s hard to say exactly when. I was a precocious schoolboy with a penchant for entertaining my classmates with ironic pop songs (Tom Jones, for example) and little skits that made the class laugh before the teacher arrived. I played Hamlet at school, fell of the stage at a school play competition and discovered my ability to be resilient by just carrying on. I recited Keats and Wordsworth to myself in my bedroom mirror or in the local woods. I loed to go out on ventures.

Later I won a choral scholarship to Cambridge after the tutor got me completely drunk on sherry because of my nerves. The common thread in all this was a belief in my guardian spirit, and in my resilience, and a readiness to take on the new in order to learn. I was always in the library and I date my passion for the German, Italian and French languages from my time at school.

Q: You seem to have had everything necessary to pursue a successful career. What happened? Your career is not exactly a straight line from the look of these books.

‘Every time I have been set up with what seems a conventional career, I have taken a calculated risk and broken free to pursue something entirely different, something that is often diametrically opposed to the world in which I have been trained to excel.’

‘When I finished my Ph.D. on ‘Music and Patrons of the English Renaissance’ (the History Faculty at first refused the subject) I didn’t wait to receive my doctorate. I headed straight for Switzerland and my first big love affair, living in a tiny rooftop atelier in the old town of Zurich.’

‘However, the British Academy had given me a fellowship to do postgraduate research at Bologna University for a book on the Italian Renaissance. I therefore continued on to Italy (my second great love) and pursued this research diligently in the archives of various north Italian cities. But after a year of being a professor type, I jacked it in and went over the Apennines to search for a cheap place to live and perhaps write a completely kind of book and lead a more satisfying life.’

Q: Where did you end up?

My partner and I found an old farmhouse in an Etruscan hilltop town, dirt cheap, perched on the side of a valley with a lovely tower for my study. To the accompaniment of sparrows in the roof eaves building their nests, I first of all translated into English the Italian poet and filmmaker Pie Paolo Pasolini on his travels in India and then considered what kind of book I might write myself.

I was farming wine and olives and vegetables quite intensively by then, and had entered full scale into the local country life, making friends with all the neighbouring farmers. My own “mezzadro” (share cropper) was teaching me all about binding vines and pruning olive trees so I ended up writing a book about Italian rural life called The Other Italy. It’s still in print on Amazon. And I began a novel.

Q. Why did you decided on a novel? What was the inspiration?

A journey I took to shake up my comfortable rural existence. I went to New York for a year in 1979 and decided to live in the most “edgy” neighbourhood possible: Alphabet City, or Avenues A to Z. Nowadays it’s been gentrified but back in the early 1980s it was a hotbed of creativity, drugs, prostitution, the gay and lesbian underworld, and a fascinating mix of blacks, whites, Puerto Ricans, Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, every race under the sun.

So I began the novel from a ringside seat in my Lower East Side apartment on a very edgy street, and finished it in total calm in the Tuscan countryside.

Q. Do you like extremes? Is that what makes you a writer?

No, I’m not an extreme person in that sense. But I love a challenge and adventure, and almost instinctively I try to get right under the surface of the prevailing culture. In this sense, all the books that have followed including my novel Chinese Walls, just published and set in London and Hong Kong, and Phoenix Rising; A Journey Through South Korea, are attempts to get beneath the surface of other worlds (corporate London, East Asian, imperial Beijing, post-colonial Hong Kong, and so on).

Q. Is that what your business books are also about? I see they are called the Master Key Series

Yes, in a way the business books and the Asia fiction/travel are inspired by the same passion: deep diving, learning from the clash of cultures, trying everything, listening rather than always talking, being patient, observing, learning a “new language”. The Master Key to Asia and The Master Key to Asia offer a system for getting into other worlds – in this case Asian business worlds – by learning the cultures and assimilating, not sticking out, imitating.

Q.  Is that your technique as a writer?

Yes, you could say that. I was entranced when researching my CUP book on Elizabethan musicians and courtiers how much they had to dissemble and hide up their Catholic sympathies. Many of them led double lives, any yet they merged into the status quo of court life.

They were successful because they learned how to act. In terms of daily habits, this often meant that they had to lurk in strange places to meet fellow Catholic sympathisers. Chroniclers of the time described them as being “seen in lurcking sorte” in out of the way places like Esher or Dover.

Q. Is this something important to you? Being a kind of spy?

Yes, I rather see myself as a “lurker”. My novelistic technique is to hang around at street corners, go to places in a town where no one else goes, sit at the wheel of my car in a supermarket car park and watch what the people are doing. Novelists are always doing that, looking over the shoulder or from a distance, merging into the background. It’s a great metaphor for the way I work and research.

In the same way, I advise my business clients to become “Chinese” or “Korean” or “Indonesian” as much as they can, to try everything local and not be put off, to get out of the expat ghetto in the cities of Asia and discover the real world beyond. The best way to do that is to plunge in and be a spy from the inside, not from the outside.

Q. Finally, what came first for Chinese Walls or Phoenix Rising – the plot or the main character or the main idea or none of the above?

I usually start with a feeling inside, which evolves eventually into a starting point for a plot. The main character slips onto the stage at the same time. Then as I develop the plot and structure, I slowly start to get a feeling for what the book is about – its main idea. And after a few attempts at an opening chapter or two, it starts to flow. If it doesn’t start to flow, I put it away (perhaps only for a while or perhaps for years) and work on something else.

Q. Do you any other books in your Unexplored Territory trilogies that are waiting for the light of day in a bottom drawer or are ‘evolving’ into a plot?

The next novel in the Unexplored Territory series is called Last Train to Mandalay and is entering the final edit stage for publication by Christmas 2014. The next travel book in the series, Glimpses of Snow Country: Travels in Japan, is largely written but awaits 2-3 extra chapters on areas of Japan’s Snow Country, such as Hokkaido, which I am visiting in the near future for both a business conference and researching the book. A book on Japan will complement my book on South Korea and provide I hope an interesting comparison.

Q. What is the message you’d like to share with the world?

“To cultivate a sense of wonder”

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All David Clive Price’s books are available as Amazon paperbacks and Kindles.

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Author website: http://www.davidcliveprice.com/books

Author blog: http://unexploredterritory.net

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/davidcliveprice

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