Tuesday, April 29, 2014



1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I didn't really decide to become a writer, it sort of just happened. I've been writing since I was six years old and I've always enjoyed it. Writing became a passion for me at a very young age, and I wanted to do something larger; so I began Lost Voice.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

I didn't read a lot growing up, to be honest. I didn't like having novels forced onto me in school, and it pushed me away from having a passion for it. After I wrote Lost Voice, I realized the only way to improve my writing, other than by doing it, was to read. I could see the different writing styles and create my own voice. I really admire work by Nicholas Sparks. I've never been able to write romantic pieces, and reading his work inspires me to try because nothing is impossible. 

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Lost Voice?

I actually had to write a research paper for school and I didn't know what to write. I pulled domestic abuse out of a hat and after doing some research, I wanted to do more with it. I realized there was so much that people didn't know about it. There was a lot I didn't know, so I began doing more research.

4. What made you decide to write about such deep subjects at such a young age?

For some reason that even I can't figure out no matter what I write, it ends up dark. I'm a very happy person, don't get me wrong, but I lose myself in my writing. I want to make a point with the work that I do. I love action, and I'm able to get that when I write deeply.

5. All your characters are very three dimensional.  Were any of them based in real people?

It was unintentional at first, but there are traits in each of my characters that I pulled from at least one person I know. None of the characters are based off of one friend, they're kind of a mixture of each person and of people I meet. It makes the character their own person and I want my characters to feel real to my readers, not just a fictional person.

6. You're working on another novel now. What can you share about it with KSR?

Shadows is about a young woman who is fresh out of Nursing School and has been on the job for about three months. She works in a pediatrics unit and is happy that life is finally falling into place. After a traumatic shooting, she feels she didn't do everything she could to protect the person around her. Spiraling into a deep depression when the shooter slips away unnoticed, she discovers the only way out of the shadows of despair is to figure out who was behind the tragedy.

7. With fantasy and paranormal novels topping charts, why did you choose instead to write about such harsh reality target than what's popular now?

Fantasy and paranormal novels seem to be the norm nowadays, but I don't want to fall into a social mold. I prefer to write about things that can happen in everyday life. My readers are able to relate to my characters and what they're going through, even if it's just a small piece of the puzzle. I do want to try some kind of fantasy or paranormal piece some day.

8. What author (dead or alive) would you love to collaborate with?

That's a very good question. I love Stephen King's work. He puts such a dark twist on everything he writes and by collaborating with him, I think we could pull off quite the masterpiece.

9. Did you debate on how you ended your book or was it a set ending from the moment you thought it up?

I had an idea of how I wanted things to turn out for Emily. However, when I write, I let the story lead me. I love to be surprised with where the story may go. A lot of the time, I surprise myself with what I write next. Half of the ending of Lost Voice was a surprise for myself. Writing this way gives me the ability to enjoy the story as well, not knowing where it'll go next.

10. Why do you think,  personally, that so many people choose to live in an abusive home like Emily's instead of leave?

I think they're afraid of what would happen when they finally do leave. They become so used to the abuse that they don't know anything other than it. They become isolated and they're practically brainwashed into thinking that there's nothing else out there for them. They begin to think they deserve the abuse because they feel they did something wrong. 

11. What would you like readers to take from Lost Voice?

I want them to know that it's never too late to reach out. No matter how bad it gets, they can still get away. They're not alone, there are resources out there and people that are willing to help. It's not their fault and they deserve better. 

12. As a part of the next generation of novelists, what would you like to see change/return to the literary world in the near future?

I like originality. I understand there's a certain genre that becomes the "top" pick for readers throughout the year, however I want novelists to write what they want to write, whether it's what's "top" or not. If it's a good story and well written, people will read it, and that's what matters.

13. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

Oh boy, ten years from now I'll be 29! That seems so far away. I'll definitely be working in the medical field, whether it be as a nurse or a paramedic. As for my career as an author, I'm hoping I'll have some more novels out. It took me three years after having Lost Voice published for me to start writing Shadows, but I'm hoping to start having a novel out every year. I don't care if I hit "famous" status or not. As long as I'm able to share my work with people and they enjoy it, I'll be happy. 

14. Would you like to see Lost Voice made into a movie?

I think Lost Voice would be a good Lifetime movie. I would absolutely be willing to see it become one, I think that would be pretty cool!

15. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

Oh gosh, there's so much about me! Let's see, other than the fact that I'm 19...
First off, I'm an avid photographer. I absolutely love taking picture of people, animals and inanimate objects. It's another one of my passions. The cover of Lost Voice is actually a photo I took in North Carolina.
Secondly, someday I want to travel the world. I know a lot of people say they want to, but I truly do. I want to learn about other cultures and the best way to do that is to visit them. I will travel, someday, while I'm still young.
Lastly, I'm actually learning American Sign Language at the moment and I'm almost fluent. I've taken four classes so far and I love it. I have a minor in deaf studies with a concentration of ASL interpreting at the college I go to.

Find Nicole Belanger online via:

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WordPress Blog


Amazon author page


Monday, April 28, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "Lost Voice" by Nicole Belanger


Everyone knows someone who or, God forbid, was themselves, in an abusive relationship. Whether it's sexual, physical or emotional abuse, it's still abuse and too many people deal with it everyday instead of escaping.
In Nicole Belanger's debut novel Lost Voice, written when she was 15 and published when she was just 17, she deals with what goes on behind the scenes of an abusive household.

19-year-old Emily Sharpe hasn't had a great life. Her father left her family when she was a kid, taking her brothers with her. Her mother died when she was 15 and her adoptive father raped her.
She thought she won the lottery when she met and moved in with the handsome Jake... but really she won a trip to Hell.
She is beaten, cut and emotionally decimated on a daily basis. No one, not even her best friend, knows what's happening. As the abuse escalates, Emily knows she must tell someone, but every time she does, her voice becomes lost.

Ms. Belanger had a great idea and ran with it, but sometimes it seemed like she ran a bit too fast. Lost Voice is a great read into the mind of an abused young woman who can't get out of her situation.
Most of the story is her mind conversing with the reader. You really well feel as if you're inside Emily's head, feeling her fear and listening to her try and get her life together.

The story has a fast ending that will keep you reading, but the last two chapters went by a bit too fast for my taste. I  would've liked to have had some more detail into the "after" part.
But I can't really fault this book. A teen wrote about a problem that so many teens and adults deal with and wrote about it so realistically.
Readers will feel for Emily--either sympathy or empathy--and her hurt psyche will make you want to alternately hug her and slap her to wake her up.

Good read; could've used a little more flair and detail at the very end.


Purchase Lost Voice via:

Amazon (PRINT)

Amazon (KINDLE)

Amazon (Australia)

Barnes and Noble


Sunday, April 27, 2014

RELEASE DAY BLAST: "Night Child" by Lisa Kessler




Love is the ultimate sacrifice...

Book Synopsis:

A psychic gift…

Muriah La Deaux’s latest job requires her to locate an ancient codex detailing a prophecy of an immortal birth. But before she can deliver it, her client is brutally murdered. Now a man with chaos in his eyes wants the codex she’s hiding.

An immortal child…

Issa is one of the original Night Walkers, a proud protector of the mortal world. Now, when the survival of his entire race rests on protecting an unborn child, Issa is the only immortal strong enough to protect Muriah on a risky mission—locate the lost scrolls that will trap their foe—but his tenuous grasp on his sanity is slipping.

The ultimate sacrifice…

Muriah’s headstrong spirit awakens feelings in Issa that are best left buried. But as the battle between love and chaos ensues, sacrifices must be made.

Night Child is on sale for $0.99 for one week only. Get your copy via the following:


Barnes and Noble


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Twitter: @EntangledEdge Steals and Deals 


Author Bio:

Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego. You can learn more at http://Lisa-Kessler.com

You can also find Lisa Kessler online via the following:



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My Review:

The final installment of Lisa Kessler's Night Series is here. As a longtime reader, I'm sad about its ending, but overjoyed at how the end was written here in Night Child.
Mrs. Kessler picks up after Night Demon and Night Angel, but, contrary to the title, the story doesn't center around the pregnant mortal Gretchen and her Night Walker beau Lukas, but around Lukas's mortal friend Muriah and Issa, the Night Walker god of the west.
Muriah has the gift of psychometry, which makes her job of finding ancient artifacts for sale easier.  Her boyfriend, Richard, is murdered after asking her to find a Mayan codex depicting the birth of the Night Child.
The murderer is the god of Chaos, Apep, and he wants to control and kill all Night Walkers. Only Muriah can find the artifacts needed to trap him, and the stoic Issa must go with her to Egypt. If they don't succeed, Gretchen will die, as will the entire Night Walker race.

Out of all the Night books, Mrs. Kessler saved the best for last. Muriah is a hurt woman with a big heart that she keeps in iron chains and Issa, despite being an immortal god, is very much a detached man. They are relatable and are definitely my favorite couple in ALL of Mrs. Kessler's stories.
The narrative is fast-paced and you are never really sure what's going to happen next to this vast cast of characters.
My absolute favorite part, however, is the budding relationship between Zafrina and Lori. I wish that there would be another book dedicated to them! The LGBT relationship isn't there for shock value or for a higher rating: it's there because it's a natural development.

5/5--perfect way to end the series!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "Lost In Prophecy" by SM Reine


If you've read SM Reine's The Descent series, you're familiar with Elise and James, the kopis and aspis who were forced apart from Elise being reborn as a demon and ruling Hell, and James becoming a half-angel Gray.
If you read her Seasons Of The Moon series, you know about the werewolf pack led by Rylie, the Alpha and The Apple.
If you haven't read them, warning: THIS REVIEW INCLUDES SPOILERS!!!

Elise is trying to get human slaves out of Hell. Rylie is trying to keep her pack from falling prey to Levi Riese's lies as he tries to take them over. Elise is being betrayed by her so-called allies. Rylie is being betrayed by her son, Abram.
Elise needs to help Rylie when the pack has mysteriously vanished, but tge pack are only 50 out of three thousand missing people she is searching for and she can't do it alone--she needs her aspis, James.
Old friends and enemies return and Hell and New Eden are shaken up in the latest engrossing story from Ms. Reine.

Reading Elise's stories are like reuniting with an old friend. She's one of my favorite fictional characters. Lost In Prophecy (the latest in The Ascension series) is a tantalizing story with depth and a new plot twist every so often. The cliffhanger ending is the icing on this bloody and delicious cake!
So wonderful to read! If you are new to her stories, you might find yourself a little lost, but even then, you will love this book!


Purchase Lost In Prophecy via:

Amazon (KINDLE)

Amazon (PRINT)

iTunes Books (Apple users)

Barnes and Noble


Google Play (Android users)


Monday, April 21, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "Silver Bullet" by SM Reine


In Silver Bullet, the second novel by SM Reine starring the sexy witch Cesar Hawke and the OPA, we find him and his coworkers getting over the aftermath we read about in Witch Hunt.

Isobel Stonecrow, the necromancer, is back, as is Suzy Takeuchi and the director Fritz Friederling, as they go to Reno, Nevada, to investigate strange paranormal activity.
While there, Cesar discovers that there are worse things than incubi: there are nightmares, werewolves and diamarachninds, giant demonic spiders. (Warning: this book will get uncomfortable if you have arachnaphobia!)
Cults, zombies and new kopides also abound in this book, which is also stocked with action, emotion, and information on the paranormal.

While not as good as her previous Cesar Hawke adventure, this book doesn't disappoint! I liked Ann, the slightly psychotic teen who can control zombies, the best, but these characters, more than any of Ms. Reine's others, feel the most real to me as I watch their lives unfold on the page.
As always, great work! Fans of the paranormal will eat this one up!


Purchase Silver Bullet via:

Amazon (PRINT)

Amazon (KINDLE)

Barnes and Noble (NOOK)


Saturday, April 19, 2014



1. When/why did you decide to be a comic book writer?

That is a good question. I have to contribute that to my love of reading. I love to read anything and everything. This is what really got me on the road to writing, the influx of ideas from everything I read. Fiction, Nonfiction, Physics, Philosophy, Comics, you name it I was spending a lot of my free time reading and eventually all the ideas that I read started to come together. There was one story in particular that really game me the idea I had to start writing. It just hit me, and a little voice in my brain said hey this would make a neat story. I thought about it for months, I would lay in bed thinking about each scene until I could not take it anymore. I had to write it down. So, I started writing the story down a little at a time. Originally I wanted to turn it into a novel but slowly I realized that I was in over my head. I did a little research and found that the shortest novels are about 60,000 words. That was pretty over whelming, my first story was not even close to that word count. One of my friends told me, why not just make it a graphic novel. I took his advice and have not looked back. In a roundabout way I didn't choose to be a comic writer, it sort of fell into my lap.

2. What was the inspiration behind your book Death's Life?

I am honestly not sure. I took a course in college that focused on Vietnam Literature, it was really interesting, and by far my favorite class I took while I was in school. Since that class I have always been interested in war, in general and the stories associated with it, both fiction and nonfiction. I wanted to write a story about a normal soldier who gets mixed up in a few things that are beyond him. I also have a fascination with omnipotent characters that I read about in comics, they are always so mysterious. So it was cool to put a character like that in a story of mine. War is hell, but it is very interesting to read how each person experiences it and what their story entails. I always imagined that if I had to go to war and things got bad that I could see myself curling up in a ball and asking whoever is out there to save my life. Then I asked myself, well what if someone answered that call, what then? I think a mixture of those things is the inspiration behind Death's Life.

3. How did you come about gathering the creative team with which you worked on the book?

A lot of Google searches! Seriously, that and deviant art. I sent out quite a few emails trying to get in contact with different artist. Finally I got in touch with Jethro Morales, who is phenomenal. He has actually worked on Green Hornet for DC. I do not know the extent of his time there or what he did, all I know is that he has been awesome to work with. He also knows quite a few people in the industry so he is mostly responsible for putting together the team. So he gets most of the credit there.

4. How many chapters will Death's Life span and how frequently will they be released?

The story will be 4 chapters in total. The time frame is the issue, chapter two will be released here in possibly another month or so, probably a little longer. The last two may be a little longer as my budget will be close to being maxed out. My ultimate goal is to have all 4 released before the end of the year, and I do not think that will be a problem. My fear is for those that may be interested in the story will have to wait so long in between to find out what happens next. So for all two of my fans out there I am trying to make them happy.

5. Do you have any other comics in the work or are you just concentrating on this now?

I have tons of ideas and quite a few other scripts/stories written that are ready to go. The problem again is having the financial means to fund them. If it was not for that I would have every one of my stories in front of an artist right now. I am working on a short web comic for a short story I wrote, that is posted on my site, called C.T. I contacted a local artist and she agreed to work with me on it. So my goal is to have a web comic for that story on my site to give people something else to check out if they stop by. I am also thinking about a sequel to the story and if I do that then I guess I could keep the story going making it an ongoing series. That is my plan for now, as soon as I finish Death's Life I plan to start another project right away.

6. What comic writer and/or artist would you love to collaborate with?

Johanathon Hickman or Grant Morrison or Brian K Vaughan. Between the three of them they have been a part of some of the coolest comics/graphic novels that I have read or that have been made for that matter. I would love nothing else than to just talk to them and see how they come up with their ideas and how they turn them into a story.

7. Comic book writers, such as Neil Gaiman, have also written novels. Do you have any plans to write novels as well?

I would love to write a novel and it is on my list. I have some ideas that I am working with but right now my skills are limited. I have only been writing for about a year, so I am still fine tuning my style and getting some basics down. For the time being I think my skills are limited and attempting to write a novel would prove disastrous. But in the future I will definitely give it a try.

8. What do you think of the trend of comics in television and film? Would you like to see Death's Life join their ranks?

This is a tough one, I don't know would be my final answer. Maybe a TV show but I think it would make a pretty bad movie. Plus I do not think comics in general have a good track record on the big screen (RIPD, John Carter; which I saw and did not think the negative reviews were warranted.)  Wanted I think was a comic as well and kind of bombed in theaters. I also know there are quite a few out there that were successful. Honestly if the opportunity came along I would have to jump on it.

9. Why choose something paranormal as opposed to superheroes?

I think superheroes are way over-done. Plus, I think it is near impossible to break into the industry writing about superheroes again; that is my opinion. I do not think there is anything I could write about that has not already been done in that genre. I think it is interesting you ask because to me there is a stereotype that comic means superhero or someone in tights. Along with that I think most people thing comics are childish for the same reasons. I am not saying Death's Life will change any of that, but I hope someday in the near future comics will lost that stigma and be taken more seriously as an accepted form of literature.

10. Where do you see your career in the next ten years?

Hopefully retired sitting on the beach somewhere, (laughs) just kidding. My dream is that either this story of one of mine will become successful enough to where I can quit my real job and write full time. I would love to be able to do that, but unfortunately I do not have that luxury right now. Either way I think it is cool that, potentially, an idea I had could make money and I could support myself from it. I love to think about that, the power of an idea is truly amazing. I hope that I am fortunate enough to keep doing this for the next ten years and beyond.

11. Do you want to join a large comic publisher or do you prefer to remain independent? Why?

Being new to the industry I do not know enough about it to really give you my thoughts. I would say that I intend to send out Death's Life to the large publishers to see if they are interested in it. My dream would be for this story to be picked up by a large publisher so they take on the other costs. Not to mention the marketing aspect as well, that would be great. On the other hand I do not know what it would be like to write for a large comic publisher, as I doubt they would let me write what I wanted. I do not know how I would adapt to writing like that. If I were lucky enough, to write for an already well-established character I do not know if I could keep readers interested with a character that has already been through so much. That is another thing that kind of bothers me about the main stream characters in comics. They have all been through so much, sometimes more than once. When do they get a vacation, when do they get to walk away? If the opportunity came along I would have to jump on it. It would be a great learning experience if nothing else.

12. What do you hope to see in the comic book industry in the future?

I kind of mentioned above that I would love it if comics or graphic novels lose that stigma of being childish and full of nonsense. I think you are starting to see that trend now. There are a lot of comics or graphic novels out there that are great stories and full of deep meaning. So I think the trend is changing and I hope Death's Life helps with the transition. I also think that some super hero comics are doing a great job with having real world problems enter into the mix. I cannot relate to being invulnerable or being able to fly, but I know what it's like to have my heart broken or struggle to pay my bills. I love when I am reading a story and the hero has to deal with a problem like that, it makes it more real. I think the big publishers are realizing that the era of the "never do anything wrong superhero" is gone. Readers want a character they can relate to; I know I do. The truly great stories are the ones that have a mixture of these issues.   

13. Out of all the longstanding titles (Batman, Superman, etc.), which, if any, would you love to take a crack at and why?

I would love to take a stab at Superman, mostly because I would change everything about him, and then I would be swiftly fired (laughs). I am kidding but I think Superman is one of the worst characters in my opinion. He is too -everything, too strong, too powerful, too good. That bothers me, he is so unreal that he is impossible to relate to. If I was to work on a character and not anger an entire generation I think I would like to write a story for Fantomex. He is a very intriguing and interesting character. I first read about him in the series Uncanny X-Force. It is not very often that you find a character in comics that is very sophisticated and quotes philosophers throughout the story. He also has this smugness about him that no matter what you say to him he will have a better come back. Fantomex is a very interesting character all across the board, I think it would be cool to write a story for him.

14. What comics/books inspired you when you were younger? What do you read today?

Confession time! When I was younger I collected comics, (I still have a big box full of them) but I never read them I just would flip through them and made up my own dialogue as I looked over the pages. Weird I know. I just hated to read, but life is not without a sense of irony. Now I could spend all day reading and writing and then writing about what I read. It is pretty weird how I love to read now, but if you talked to my high school self I would say that reading is stupid. Youth is wasted on the young I suppose. On my blog I give a pretty harsh tongue lashing about college and how it was pretty much a waste of money in my eyes but the Vietnam Class I mentioned earlier really changed my opinion of reading, that and the Da Vinci Code of course. I read that one summer when I broke my foot, so that helped as well. As for what I read now, basically anything and everything. If I have a slight interest in it and can get my hands on it I will read it comic/graphic novel, fiction and nonfiction. I read quite a bit of nonfiction because sometimes real life can be far stranger than anything the imagination can come up with. As far as comics go I have kind of gotten away from the super hero genre a little, there is just so much out there I am trying to take it all in. Needless to say that I am failing miserably.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

I actually grew up on a farm about 50 miles from Louisville in a small town. I often go back home to help my dad with anything he needs done. It is nice to take in the sweet crisp country air, filled with the titillating smell of cow manure. I am a huge soccer fan. I played in college and will do almost anything to watch my favorite team Manchester United. I have seen them play three times, twice in the states and once at Old Trafford where they beat Aston Villa 3-0 to clinch the Premiere League title. That was truly an awesome experience, plus it was Sir Alex Ferguson's final season. It just made it that much more special.

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: "Death's Life #1"


Spalding Manik: writer/editor
Jethro Morales: artist/assistant editor
Bryan Arfel Magnaye: colorist
Mark Oliver Santillan: letters

It's sometimes difficult to review only a single issue of a comic book. It can be confusing and inconclusive, but I took this job on for one reason: I love comics and am always willing to give a new story a chance. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.
Death's Life, written by Spalding Manik, with art by the very simplistic and talented Jethro Morales (formerly the artist for DC Comics' Green Hornet), is the story of a soldier who is so afraid of death that he makes a deal with Samael (the reader can think of him as simply the Devil or the Angel of Death) to live, in exchange for a little knowledge about human technologies.

The first chapter of Death's Life is a very quick read, relying as much on the art as it does on the writing to fully engage the reader.
While I, personally, prefer a little more dialogue in my comics (I'm a longtime fan of the great Marv Wolfman), the way this was created really works. The rather abrupt ending will leave readers wanting to know what happens to Jake once Samael comes to collect his due and the art perfectly meshes with the writing.

4/5--nice work!

Purchase Death's Life via:


Amazon (KINDLE)

BOOK REVIEW: "Siren's Call" by Jessica Cage


Syrinada is a normal Chicago girl, if a little alluring to men. But one night she's jumped by a group of unsavory men and taken array to be respected and possibly killed. She escapes when one man's head seemingly combusts on its own. After that, everything changes.
Sy is a half Siren, half Warlock and her friend/crush, Malachi, is a Merman. He and his brother, Demetrius, have always been watching over her.
Now that she's awakened, Syrinada must learn to control herself before the covens catch sight of her and kill her like they killed her mother.
But a devious plan is being fulfilled. Can Syrinada stay alive long enough to enjoy her new powers? Or will she kill someone before any of that happens?

Jessica Cage wrote a really great book featuring creatures we don't see nearly enough in paranormal fiction. Sirens are sexual creatures and this book has no shortage of erotic content!
At least once per chapter someone is doing it with someone else!
But to counteract all the sex, there is also a great deal of mystery, betrayal and danger.
This was a good book with sequel potential and I think that a lot of readers (fans of Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampies series will probably gobble this book up, despite the lack of vampires) will read this over and over!

4/5--nice work!

Purchase Siren's Call via:


Amazon (only $0.99 for a limited time!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: "San Hannibal #1"


Writer: Dan Schkade

Artist: JD Faith

Letters: Jesse Snavlin

Cover: Dan Schkade & Jesse Snavlin

Editor: PJ Perez

"What's the story, Savannah Loy?" asks the debut issue of the comic book San Hannibal. Award-winning journalist Savannah has mysteriously gone missing and private investigator Avery has been hired to find her by any means possible.
The search involves an angry boyfriend (possibly current, possibly an ex), an enigmatic musician and a mysterious 5'5" who can move like the wind.
Also, it makes the reader wonder...what is the deal with the political posters of "Falk" the artist depicts quite a bit? Do they mean something...or nothing at all.

San Hannibal (published by popular indie company Pop Goes The Icon and Omega Comics) is what they are calling "neon noir", which is a great way too put it. It's a dark-tinged crime comic, colored in a vivid pink/black/white scheme that is slightly distracting and at the same time kind of brings the story together.
Schkade's writing is lyrical in a way and it's what I like best about the book as a whole. It makes the reader feel as if they're not reading and you will be surprised when you see that you've reached the end of the book already.

The book, overall, is simple and a nice change from the popular, busy comics most read today. I think that the story and its creators have a long, successful future in the world of comics.


Purchase San Hannibal via:

Your local comic book retailer

Pop Goes The Icon

Tuesday, April 15, 2014





(Top to bottom: Mat Devine circa 2013; 2003; 2006)

Mat Devine is most known for his gig as frontman and songwriter for the atmospheric electronic Goth rock band Kill Hannah from Chicago, Illinois, but he is so much more. That's why he is this month's featured artist for Monthly Music Madness.

Mr. Devine formed the band Kill Hannah in 1994 and the band is still going strong today. I first saw them in 2003, when their music video for "From Now On" (a single off of their album For Never & Ever, released in 2003 on Universal). I fell in love with his voice and his words at that moment and have been a faithful fan ever since!
The band has released seven EPs, six full length albums and three DVDs (discography will be below). They've toured the world with some of the biggest artists and on their own headline tours.
Mr. Devine had also recorded music with a side project called Setting Fires and is currently working on a solo album titled Gold Blooded.
He has been a Broadway star, performing in the musical Spiderman, Turn Off The Dark.
Mr. Devine is also an author. Years ago he started the community The Raccoon Society, a place online for fans to go and talk about anything and he will give advice and wisdom. I have been a member since the beginning and can attest to all the Raccoons being done really great people.
In 2013 the book Weird War One: The Antihero's Guide to Surviving Everyday Life was released by Thought Catalog, and it is a compilation of the best of the best from The Raccoon Society. You can read my review of it here .
His appreciation for his fans is truly unique and makes his longevity in this fickle world make sense. In December 2013 Kill Hannah played a one-off show at the famous Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California. The place was sold out from fans all over the world. Why? Because Mat Devine's love, inspiration and talent are true; therefore, so is the love of his fans.
Enjoy the links below and maybe you will become a Raccoon, too!


(Mat Devine at The Roxy, 12/17/2013, photo by yours truly. )








Wake Up The Sleepers


Google Play Music

Hope For The Hopeless



Until There's Nothing Left Of Us



For Never & Ever


Google Play Music

American Jet Set



Here Are The Young Moderns



The Curse of Kill Hannah


KH official store

Seize The Days (DVD)


KH official store

(While Kill Hannah has released other DVDs and EPs, they are currently unavailable. You can go to online bidding sites to try and purchase copies.)

Weird War One (Book)


Official site


Visit The Raccoon Society for a wonderful community of fans and the wisdom of Mat Devine! Also find them on Facebook and Twitter .

Find Mat Devine online via these other links:

Official site
Facebook (LIKE page)
Wrongchilde Facebook
KH official site
KH Twitter
KH Facebook LIKE page
Setting Fires Facebook LIKE page
KH YouTube
Wrongchilde YouTube

BLOG TOUR (Review, Interview & Excerpt): "Earthbound Angels 2: Raising Chaos" by Elizabeth Corrigan



Excerpt from Raising Chaos:

Chapter 1
Bedlam – Monday, 12 a.m. GMT
I bopped my head in time with Billy Idol dancing with himself as the song pealed from the juke box. I’d picked the track in hopes that Khet would take the hint and dance with me, but it didn’t work. Before the song was half over, I got tired of waiting and bopped over to the counter, where she was poring over a triplicate form.
“Khet, put the money stuff away and come dance! You’ll still have trillions of dollars even after you subtract whatever you lost on this money pit this week.”
I didn’t mean to insult the diner. Well, I kind of did. The diner was a money pit, but still, I loved it. My attachment had no rational explanation. I mean, what I generously referred to as a restaurant was a lackluster eatery in a crappy part of a city—Philadelphia—that might once have been a pearl of American society, but now was more a flawed cubic zirconium of people
obsessed with sports teams that had seen better days. Yellow foam stuck out from between the cracks in the teal vinyl benches, looking like some kind of bulbous mold, and the silver tables always had some kind of film on them. The air smelled of slightly rancid grease and too-strong coffee that had been sitting in the pot since Khet brewed it yesterday morning. And as for the
food… Well, Khet had a habit of hiring cooks who’d never even seen a griddle before they started employment.
But the thing was, the diner was Khet’s. She had never owned anything like it, not in the three thousand years I’d known her, until a few decades ago. And if it belonged to her, it belonged to me too, because she had figured out a long time ago that life was easier if she let me do what I wanted. So this was more than a diner of hers and mine. It was our home. I expected her to give me one of her usual responses about how she was “being the responsible one” and paying the bills so the gas didn’t get shut off, but she remained silent.
“Khet?” I waved my hand in front of her face. “Are you listening to me?”
Her brown eyes met mine, and I wondered if she could read anything in their demon-black depths. Not that she had to. She was the all-powerful Oracle who could read my mind. And also the inspiration for the Biblical myth of Cain, though in a bizarre way that led to her
accidentally destroying a town rather than murdering a brother.
“I’m sorry, Bedlam,” she said. “Did you say something?”
I swiped the piece of paper out from under her pen and beheld what appeared to be a shopping list written in cuneiform. “What in Mephistopheles’s tomb is this?”
She tilted her head to the side. “Mephistopheles has a tomb?”
I waved my hand. “Tombs, archives, sepulchers. Same difference.”
“I don’t think—”
“Not the point.” I sat down on the stool facing her. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong.” She smiled as she spoke. Someone who didn’t know her that well might have bought it, but not me.
“Wait, so something’s wrong, and you won’t tell me what?”
That could be one of two things.
No, one of one thing. I’m the one that never wants to talk about a certain brown-haired I had this epic love tragedy going with Keziel, the angel of balance. To make a long story not quite as long, Kezi created the world with some help from me and Jophiel, the angel of service, and when we were done, she granted us each any boon within her power. Since I had fallen in love with her, the only thing I wanted was to stay with her forever, but Jophiel beat me to the punch. He made her promise to marry him and serve with him forever. And since angels can’t fall out of love, I was doomed to be unhappy without her forever. And she still owes me that boon.
But Kezi hadn’t been around. I could tell. I could always tell. Which meant Khet’s problem had to concern the angel of joy, Gabriel.
I liked Gabriel. Everyone did. He had some kind of magic angel power that made everyone adore him. Even Lilith never had a bad word to say about him, and she hated all men on principle. But for someone who got along with everyone, Gabriel could be extremely clueless about other people’s emotions. More oblivious than me, and I had once given Khet a dead
puppy. Long story short, no inside joke can survive the giving of a long-deceased canine, and I probably should have known that beforehand.
Khet was in love with Gabriel and had been since she’d met him two thousand years ago.
It made sense. She could peer inside people’s heads and uncover their deepest secrets and desires. And Gabriel saw the world as a place full of joy and life and people trying to do good things. He had sought out Khet because he had faced concrete evidence that the world did not adhere to his sunshiny ideals. So he spent two thousand years helping people in the worst
situations he could find as if his own ideals could somehow diffuse through the population, like a
celestial air freshener.
Then Keziel lured him back under Michael’s thumb by telling Gabriel that Heaven needed his help to restore the balance of the universe. And Khet surprised me by seeming okay about it, but humans are bizarre about love. Angels had romance easy. We met someone, fell in love, and got stuck that way. The connection didn’t change or get replaced by loving someone else. Other emotions could be added to it, like deep and abiding resentment and a constant desire to rip the beating heart out of her chest. But the love remained too.
But humans fell in and out of love all the time. They could love more than one person at the same time. So Khet seemed to get over Gabriel quickly, but if she had taken a year or ten years or a hundred years to get over it, it would have seemed fast. This whole time she might have pretended to be over it, and she had entered some new phase in the human getting-over-
love process. Maybe it went tears, denial, weird silence, and then… Well, I don’t know what
would come next.
Regardless, taciturnity and distractedness and cuneiform were not signs of a good phase for a number of reasons, not the least of which was having to explain to the people who supplied the diner with truckloads of food why the orders could only be processed by someone with fluency in a long dead script.
I placed the paper down. “Khet, I know there’s something wrong. You have that little up-and-down line between your eyebrows. And it’s been at least three days since you made me go on a historic tour of some brick building whose architectural style was unimpressive when it was built and remains so.”
“Bedlam, you know you don’t have to go with me if you don’t want to.” Anyone else would have snapped those words at me, but not Khet. She saw my decision to accompany her on lackluster adventures as something she needed to atone for.
I gave an exaggerated sigh. “That’s not what I meant. As you may or may not recall, I am perfectly capable of acting on my feelings when necessary. I was wondering what caused the change in activity.” I looked more closely at the paper I had set down. “Also, I don’t think that your suppliers are going to bring you three whole goats and a hundred barley cakes.”
Because someone’s going to have to eat the barley cakes, and you know it’s going to be." Please, dear God, anything but that.
I sometimes wondered if everyone else had conversations in their head. I thought about
asking Khet, but I didn’t want to add her answer to the mounting evidence against my sanity.
Khet frowned and squinted at the symbols on the form. “You’re probably right.” She slid the paper over to herself and crossed out the last three lines. “Do you think barley paste would go over better with the clientele?”
Ha! The mere existence of barley paste is a nuclear attack on the human taste bud. Even I think so, and I’ll eat anything.
Oh, no. She’s trying to distract you with humor. You promised you weren’t going to let her do that anymore.
The scars on her face—and probably the rest of her—from her encounter with the Beast a couple of months ago had finally faded, thanks to some rapid healing, but for most of the last several weeks they had served as a reminder to both of us that for all her immortality, Khet could still be harmed and could not always be counted on to take care of herself. Case in point: Last time I left her to herself, she ran off to Hell to sell her soul to the archdemon Azrael, demon of
love and lust. Lucifer had forbidden Azrael from collecting on that deal, but Khet still bore the
demon mark on her hand.
I shaped my features into what I hoped was a stern look. “Attempts to distract me will not work. I am going to stand here and play irritating music until you tell me what’s wrong.”
Ooh! What was that song you played all the time when you were supporting Ohio State?
Ha! She still grinds her teeth every time she hears “Hang On Sloopy.”
But that didn’t mean she was going to tell me. “There isn’t anything wrong.”
I raised my hand, making a show of considering which of her least favorite songs I would select to assail our ears. (FYI, I would have picked “The Safety Dance.” For some reason beyond me, she hated it.)
She shook her head. “Fine. It’s nothing big. I’m thinking it might be time for a change of scenery.”
I brightened. Only Khet could make something as exciting as a vacation seem dreary as barley. “Ooh, where do you want to go? I support anywhere with beaches. Or ski slopes. Or earthquakes.” I clapped my hands. “Or it’s college football season soon! We could go on tour!”
Her black brows creased over her brown eyes. “Bedlam, if you think I am going to set foot again anywhere near Columbus, OH, with you in any year that begins with a two, you are sadly mistaken.”
I expected her to discuss her location preferences, but instead the silence lasted so long that I felt lost.
My mind leapt to my biggest insecurity. “Do you…do you not want me to come with you?"
“Bedlam, have I ever not wanted you to come with me anywhere? Other than to the bathroom, and we’ve discussed that.” The slight irritation in her voice assured me more than anything else that she wasn’t trying to get rid of me.
And she was right, of course. She’d never sought my absence, not once in thirty-two hundred years, but I figured she would in time.
“Then what is it?” I hoped I sounded less whiny to her ears than it did in my head. “I can’t see why you would be upset about a trip. Unless you were, like, going on a trip to some theme park that made you pretend you were in a Puritanical society where they, like, whip you
for wearing color or showing your ankles or thinking about anything that’s not the Bible. Because I probably wouldn’t be okay with that. You know how places like that always accuse you of being a witch, and you get put in the stocks for looking at Goody Threadwell’s cow and curdling its milk. But I’m pretty sure that a place like that doesn’t exist, because if it did, no one
would make any money off it because no one wants to be punished on their vacation. Well, some people, but we won’t discuss that. Plus, there probably would have been an article in the paper, though I guess I could have missed it since it’s not as if I read the Inquirer every day—”
“Bedlam!” Khet interrupted my train of thought—which, now that I thought about it, might have been kind of ranty. “I have no intention of taking a trip to Puritan Land, if and should such a place ever exist. And if I did win tickets for two, I certainly would not expect you to come with me.”
I bounced on my toes as the juke box changed songs, and Madonna began singing “Into the Groove.”
“Then what are you upset about? Come dance, and we can talk about where you want to go.”
She put down her pencil, and I took that as surrender. “I told you, I’m not upset.” She twirled around the counter and grabbed my tanned hand in her dusky one. “But I will dance if that is the only way to convince you.”
Khet and I were the most awesome of dancers. We’d been practicing for about forty times the average human lifespan, and we’d had the same partner since the concept of dance partners. I kept telling Khet she had to find some way to become famous so that we could go on that celebrity dancing show. She said that it would be a bit extreme to go through all the hassle of famous to win a competition. And she would know; she’d been famous. The best I’d ever been was infamous—had a mental institution named after me, that sort of thing.
After an hour of spinning her around the diner, I’d convinced myself that I had overreacted to the cuneiform. She was smiling as she collapsed breathlessly into one of the cracked foam benches and declared that she needed to stop and fill out the order form if we expected to eat anything next week. As a demon I didn’t need to eat, but now that humans could
make a variety of non-barley foodstuffs, cooking was fun. You could come up with infinite combinations of flavors that could complement each other in all different ways. Plus, if I stayed in human form for more than a few hours, I got hungry.
While Khet pulled out a new order form and began to fill it out, I went up the stairs to engage in another unnecessary-to-me human habit. Sleeping was even more fun than eating. An unconscious brain could “dream up” with the most random situations, and even I, who was no slouch when it came to the absurd, could only sit back and admire.
In the middle of a particularly fascinating dream that involved the optimal way to cook a kiwi bird (frying had my vote, though I couldn’t deny the advantage of barbecuing), Khet woke me up to tell me that I was hogging the bed and muttering about “kiwi on the barbie.”
I shifted to make space for her, and mumbled something about her needing to get a California King, but I didn’t mean it. Khet and I didn’t have a romantic or sexual relationship.
She wasn’t Keziel, and I was incapable of thinking of anyone else in those terms. But despite my involuntary faithfulness, and my penchant for annoying everyone I met, I hated to be alone. And
in those few uncertain moments when I first woke up, I liked to have someone close to me. I wasn’t sure why Khet indulged me in this, but even when we had lived in larger quarters, she never made me stay in my own room.
She climbed into the bed next to me. “Love you,” she whispered to me as she did every night, never seeming to mind that I couldn’t respond in kind.
I wrapped my arm around her head and drifted back to sleep.

My Review of Raising Chaos:

In Elizabeth Corrigan's Raising Chaos (the sequel to The Oracle of Philadelphia), we find Khet (Cassie, Cassia, Cain, Caela, etc.), Bedlam and the whole host of Heaven and Hell about to pay for what Khet did at the end of Oracle.

Azrael, the archdemon Khet had Lucifer put away in the Abyss, is back, thanks to the help of Mephistopolies, and she's vowed revenge against Khet.
She's going to find the Spear of Destiny, the blade that pierced Christ at the Crucifixion and is the only thing that can kill the immortal Oracle.
But Bedlam is on a quest to get to it first and save his best friend who has no idea what's happening. But can a visit from his true love Keziel throw everything off-course when the angel Siren gets word of the plan?
Khet, meanwhile, is in Coventry, trying to make another new life for herself, but will her efforts to help actually hurt others instead?

Let me say this: I LOVED this book! I read slowly on ereaders for some reason, and I got through this book in two days. The characters are not just characters, they become your friends. Bedlam, especially, is one of the most lovable fictional creations, and he's the angel (well...demon) of chaos!
Siren was a relatable character for me, wanting what's right but feeling like it's not enough and blaming herself for what happened to the nephilim.

This book is a must-read for everyone, as long as you can deal with the fictionalized versions of angels and demons without getting religiously offended.
Ms. Corrigan took real things (yes, I believe in God and angels) and twisted them to her own fantastical whims to make Raising Chaos.

Excellent work. If I could give this a rating higher than 5, I would! It's honestly one ofthe best novels I've read since Stephen King's The Stand! My biggest issue is how can readers possibly wait any extended amount of time for the next book!?


Purchase Raising Chaos via:


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Interview with Elizabeth Corrigan:

1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

On some level, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. For as far back as I can remember, I’ve made up stories in my head, thought it took me awhile to actually start writing them down. I started seriously writing in 2010, when I got hit with a bout of insomnia. I had to fill up all the time I ordinarily spent sleeping with something, and I decided to finally write down one of my stories.

2. What authors inspired you to be a writer and what books do you enjoy today?

Urban fantasy was the genre that most inspired me to make up stories. I read Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Simon R. Green’s Nightside, Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld, and Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampies, and I wanted to write books like those. These days I mostly read young adult paranormal novels, but I find most of the stories I make up still tend to be new adult at the youngest.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel The Oracle of Philadelphia?

I got the idea for Oracle after season 2 of the television show Supernatural. The cliffhanger is that one of the characters sells his soul to a demon, so I spent the summer wondering what kind of character he would meet to help him out of it. I came up with this idea of an immortal oracle who operated out of a crappy diner, and I got really fascinated by her as a character. The story as it exists doesn’t bear much resemblance to Supernatural anymore, except for the crappy diner.

4. Why decide to write a sequel to Oracle?

While I was plotting Oracle, I decided Carrie needed to have other immortal friends, and since I already had angels and demons in the story, I gave her one of each. Somewhere along the line, Gabriel and especially Bedlam became crucial to the story, and I decided they deserved books of their own, with book 2 about Bedlam and book 3 about Gabriel.

5. Why choose angels and demons to write about as opposed to other, more conventional supernatural creatures?

I’m not a huge fan of werewolves and shapeshifters, both because of the frequent rampant sexism and the fact that turning into an animal is not all that appealing to me. So on that score, I’ve always been on Team Vampire. I did come up with a vampire story once upon a time, but right now they are kind of overdone. Fae are all right, but their cold and capricious nature doesn’t resonate with me. At the same time, I have a lot of thoughts about the nature of good and evil, and I’ve always enjoyed religious fantasy. So for my first book, I decided to go down that route.

6. Were any of the characters' personalities inspired by real people?

In almost every case, no. The one exception is the angel Siren, who shows up for the first time in Raising Chaos. When I was creating a pantheon of angels, I decided I wanted one who was like me, but in angel form. So I created an angel who never lied and who sang very well (way better than me, really. She’s also much more confrontational than me.) I intended her to be a side character, who was mostly mentioned as someone the other angels didn’t like very much, but then I got really interested in her, and she ended up being a narrator.

7. Will we see a third novel featuring the Oracle characters?

I have to finish writing it, but yes, definitely. I left a lot of things open at the end of Chaos, and it would be cruel not to answer them. Stories tend to grow in my head. I started out with the plan of having Oracle be a standalone novel, but then it grew into three books, then six, then seven. I have ideas for 12 books in the series right now, and I make no promises that will be the end. Of course, I also make no promises that I will actually write all of them.

8. Why did you make angels be unable to fall out of love? Was there a message or symbolism behind it?

It was actually more of a plot device than anything else. I had a Bedlam-esque conversation in my head that went something like this:

Me: You need an explanation of why Carrie and Bedlam aren’t in love with each other, or at least why he isn’t in love with her.

Also Me: I don’t know. Maybe he’s in love with someone else?

Me: You always do this! You always make your characters have these long-standing, eternal loves that are completely unrealistic! He’s been hanging out with Carrie for over three thousand years! He would have gotten over his other love by now.

Also Me: Hm. Well, maybe angels can’t fall out of love.

From there, it developed into a crucial part of the mythology. Toward the end of Chaos, Mephistopheles explains why it makes a lot of sense, given what the angels are and how and when they were created.

9. Would you like to see a movie or television show based on your stories? If yes, who would you like to see play Bedlam, etc.?

I would love to see a movie made of Oracle. I actually think it has a great movie plot because it’s simple with room for lots of special effects. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to my dream cast: Samantha Barks as Carrie, Ian Somerhalder as Bedlam, Chris Hemsworth as Gabriel, Matt Bomer as Michael, P!nk as Siren, Alexis Denisof as Mephistopheles, Tim Curry as Beelzebub, Gina Torres as Lilith, and Kristen Bell as Lethe. I recently had a blogger suggest Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Sebastian, and I’m okay with that. I’m still trying to think of a Lucifer and an Azrael, so if you have any good ideas, let me know.
[Let the record state that I think Manu Bennett would make a great Lucifer and I can see Alaina Huffman as Azrael.--KSR]

10. Where do you see yourself/your career in the next ten years?

My thoughts on this change on a daily basis. In a perfect world, I’d like to keep writing my books and getting them published, while gaining a following of people dying to know what happens next to Carrie and her friends. I’ve also been working on the first book in an unrelated series that I would like to see go somewhere. So, overall, more books and more readers. Other than that, I’m flexible.

11. What are your views on immortality? Would you like to live forever?

I’m not sure. I’ve always said no, but I keep coming up with story ideas about immortal characters. I have three other somewhat fleshed out series ideas that I want to work on, and two of them in some way involve immortality. If I did become immortal, I would want to stop aging quite soonish. And I’d want some reassurance that human society will become progressively more enlightened.

12. Would you like to be able to read minds?

Definitely not! I was just thinking about this the other day, and I realized I would have to listen to what people really think of me. I really, really prefer not to know.

13. Do you have plans to write a non-paranormal novel in the future?

Not really. I do have a perpetual plot idea where a class at their ten-year reunion find out they have to repeat their senior year of high school, but I’ll probably never write it. I don’t have a lot of interest in non-paranormal books. I actually got kind of bored writing Carrie’s normal world stuff in Oracle and Chaos. I do have an idea for a sci-fi novel, which is more tech and aliens than paranormal, if that counts.

14. How did you choose which angels and demons you made the focal points of your novels?

Carrie started out as the focal point of the novels, and I decided to give her an angel and a demon friend, so the story expanded to include them. Bedlam started off as a stereotypical not-so-bad demon character, but he grew into someone who will become a bigger focal point for the novels. Gabriel was always my favorite Biblical angel, so I decided to make him Carrie’s friend. I also had some strong images of Michael, so I needed to throw him into the mix. Siren started off as a side character who pushed her way into the middle. Those five are the most central for a while. Eventually I plan to do more with Bedlam’s ex, Keziel, and there are some new characters waiting in the wings, as well.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

I was born and raised near Scranton, PA, which means when I watch the early episodes of The Office, I can’t help but yell at the screen, “There is no Chile’s in Scranton!” I have eaten at the boat-shaped restaurant with the octopus on top many times, though.

I took ballet lessons for 14 years.

This year, I made myself this cake for my birthday: http://www.bakerita.com/midnight-binge-cake/. It took 3 days (not their entirety), and I broke my mixer, and it was totally worth it.

Find Elizabeth Corrigan online via:

Red Adept Publishing


Official site



Facebook (LIKE page)

Monday, April 14, 2014


D.C.J. WARDLE is the author of humorous novels Trading Vincent Crow and Vincent Crow: Export. In January 2013 he was author of the month on www.lovewriting.co.uk.

Holding post-graduate qualifications in development management as well as community water supply engineering, over the past fourteen years, he has worked in developing countries in Africa and Asia, managing emergency and development programmes.


1. When/why did you decide to become a writer? 

I started taking creative writing seriously 15 years ago whilst living in a small village in Cameroon. It was my first overseas posting and I was a lone volunteer managing the construction of a water supply project. The village was remote. There was no TV, telephone, or electricity. We did, however, boast a village chief who was the most powerful of all the witches in the region, and the villagers lived in fear of his dark magic. There were ceremonial rituals involving the village elders and a number of unfortunate goats, dancing around the drums in the firelight, and various adventures to different parts of the country. Consequently, for the first time in my life, I had a lot to write about, and began to really enjoy sending letters home about my adventures. I then decided to write a short story about the band that I had played in at college.  I wrote it on scraps of paper, and found myself cutting out paragraphs from different pages and sticking them at the sides of others with duct-tape. The resulting collage of scribbling needed instructions to negotiate. After discovering the pleasures of this creative process I went on to write longer stories about my adventures in Cameroon and the subsequent places I’ve worked.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

When I worked in rural Cameroon I believe I read most of the English Literature A-level syllabus as these seemed to be the only books I could find second hand in the local markets, so I was very tempted to go back to the UK and take the exam at the end of my contract. 

Through my subsequent travels I've generally delved into whatever books previous travelers have abandoned to lighten the load of their backpacks, so I’ve enjoyed the chance to experience a range of authors I wouldn’t otherwise have encountered. 

Some of my favourite books are from the Jeeves and Wooster series by P.G.Wodehouse. I also enjoyed some of Gerald Durrell’s books as he has a pleasant way of being entertained by peoples’ (and animals’) eccentricities without judging them. 


3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Vincent Crow: Export and its predecessor?

The broad idea of the book Trading Vincent Crow relates to a man in America who swapped a paperclip on e-bay and after many more swaps he eventually got himself a house. This idea was taken to the extreme that the main character has to trade his entire life every 3 months until he gets to where he needs to be. The book is quite episodic, as each trade-up is in a different place with different interactions and characters. The title evolved from this twist on the idea of ‘trading’. 

For Vincent crow export I decided it was high time our hero (of sorts) was taken out of his developing comfort zone and was set some real challenges, as far from home as possible. The first Vincent Crow book plays out in a number of locations in the UK, and by the end Vince gives the impression that he is starting to cope a bit better with his social ineptitude. I have travelled to, and worked in, a number of Asian countries, and so in writing this book I've enjoyed the opportunity to draw from my wanderings and create the background against which Vince's new adventures unfold.

4. You've done humanitarian work in Africa and Asia. What made you want to work in that field? 

My interest in development came through watching the media reporting on issues in developing countries, and then studying related subjects, firstly through a geography degree and then through more targeted post-graduate courses. I never had any real aspirations for a career path in the UK. Also, I'm not very good at going on holiday. I'm not a patient observer of historic temples or a 'colourful local market visit' person. I wanted to travel, but to be able to appreciate new places by becoming more involved and part of something through working with people.

5. How does that influence your writing (if, in fact, it does)?

I've pulled a little on my traveling experiences in my writing, particularly for the most recent novel Vincent Crow: Export which is played out in Asia. However, the writing primarily focuses on the characters, the  relations between them and the unexpected scrapes they get in to, more so than the location itself. So I think my actual 'day job' itself has a limited direct influence on my writing, although of course how I evolve as a person and a writer is inevitably influenced by my experiences, travels and people I met. For me, writing, as with reading, is an opportunity to step outside of reality for a while and I try to keep the two quite separate.

6. Vince, his Nan and Natalie are all very...colorful characters. Where did the inspiration for them come from?

They are quite colourful characters. It's difficult to say exactly where that came from but the more colourful they became the more fun they were to write about. I think they evolved from the situation that I developed for them. Trading Vincent Crow is set in the West Midlands of the UK which is where I originate from. Each of them have their linguistic quirks which are not uncommon in certain parts of that area of the world. As for Nan, I've met a number of people who get slightly less 'appropriate' or less self conscious as they get older. Even for myself, the ability to hold a train of thought seems to become increasingly challenging some days. I just took the opportunity to embellish and exaggerate some of these elements to create larger than life characters.

7. Did you ever have the idea to "upgrade" your life in the way that Vince decided to in the story?

I've had quite a lot of different jobs and roles in my working life. As with Vince I started off by doing quite a lot of washing up in restaurants and pubs. However, much of this is idea is about having aspirations to improve our lives and  experience new things, which is something a lot of people do and can relate to. Vince just takes that a little further than most.

8. Why did you choose to write comedy as opposed to all of the other genres you could've chosen?

Throughout the travel and working abroad that I have done I've kept diaries of my experiences. Much of that writing was done with a humorous slant rather than a dry account. This was primarily so that I would be entertained by it when I went back to read it later on, but also the humorous side was the part of the writing that I enjoyed. When I started writing fiction, it followed that for me to enjoy the process then it was going to need to be funny (at least to me anyway).    

9. Will we see Vincent again in the future? 

I'm currently working on a novel about a rather unusual heist of a provincial bank, which is providing a fantastic back-drop for some very enjoyable and humorous mishaps. There are of course considerable options for some more Vince in the future. However, I don't want to  rush into a third volume just yet. For Vincent Crow: Export I had so many new ideas and fun plots crammed into my head that it was fantastic and enjoyable to be able to get them down and shape them into the story. It was a lot of fun to write. I will now need to wait some time to allow for a similar build-up of creative pressure in my head  before Vince can embark on his next adventure. 

10. What authors (dead or alive) would you love to collaborate with? 

I don't see myself as a particularly collaborative person when it comes to creativity. I need to be lost in my own thoughts and imagination with no distractions to get any writing done. I'm not sure I would fit in as a team writer.

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

I intend to continue to write. However, my motivation comes at times from a frustration of not having sufficient time to write, and frantically getting ideas down. I worry that by taking that away I would be less inspired, and so for now I am happy with the current balance between my day-job and writing. 

12. Would you like to see any of your works made into films? If yes, what actors would you like to see play your characters? 

I would love to see my books become movies. Better yet, I would envisage them more as mini-series as the plots are quite episodic. As for casting, that's probably best left to someone who knows what they're doing. I'd probably just pick people I wanted to meet or go for a beer with, rather than whether or not they had any suitability for the role. Also, people conjure up in their own imagination what a character is like when reading a book. Defining a character through a link to a specific actor can take away the pleasure of that process. 

13. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you? 

I recently had my palm read in Myanmar and learned that my unlucky curry was the chicken curry  - surprised me anyway. He also told me that I was a 'realist', which I thought was fantastic, but it means that I've been stuck in a philosophical loop ever since (as if I'm a realist I probably shouldn't believe the palm reader, but it was the palm reader who told me I was a realist, so then if I do believe him then perhaps I'm not a realist but I should believe that I am according to him...anyway, you see the dilemma...).

I have a three and a half year old Yincin 110cc motorbike and everything on it still works. Well, apart from the fuel gauge which is on full right up until the point it runs out of petrol and then drops to empty as you push it to the fuel station. And the brakes as well thinking about it. And the rear light and second gear.

I congratulate my cat each night when he brings in mice in the hope that positive reinforcement on the rodent front will help curb his previous interest of wanting to bring in live snakes. I'm worried he'll start to see through this though, as its quite hard to feign enthusiasm in the early hours when your extracting mice from a wide-awake smug cat and taking them back outside. I'm considering installing an amnesty box next to the cat-flap.

Find D.C.J. Wardle online via:

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