Saturday, February 28, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: "The Line" by William Galani

  The-Line-TourBanner NOW AVAILABLE: The Line by William Galaini.  Time travel like you've never read it before -- and an ending that will leave you breathless.

Get it here: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo

About The LineThe Line concept 1

Suspended in the nothing between timelines, the station Janus is an unseen marvel: the greatest technological achievement in human innovation. From Janus, Gustavo and his hand-selected team of historians and engineers venture into the past and observe history, unseen and unnoticed. But they are not alone. Another traveler is shattering history. Unhindered by desires to remain scientific and uninvolved, the intruder’s technology is far advanced with methods more brutal and a present more terrifying than anything Gustavo and his team are prepared for. As they apply their intellects and skills towards solving the mystery of the ferocious interloper, they discover that they have its full attention.

Add The Line to your TBR list on Goodreads!

Why I wrote The Line

It was in my tenth-grade history class that I first got angry with American history. Each lynching and church bombing made me furious because the perpetrators got away with it. Emmett Tiller’s murderers confessed to the media with delight in killing the boy six months after they were found not guilty. Leo Frank’s lynchers not only walked free, but a few launched local political careers based on their crime. The more I learned about history, either in class or on my own time during my compulsive reading, the more I learned that history is a masculine tale of the privileged employing brutality in order to preserve their power. But what if something meaner was out there? What if something with complete knowledge of history had the ability to not only time travel, but strike the timeline like steel on an anvil? Would it enact vengeance on the inhumane? Could it embody my personal anger? How would the world change if something suddenly appeared, slaughtered a band of KKK during their malicious acts, and vanished just as quickly? So I wrote The Line: a novel about a team of time travelers that have to ask themselves that question once they discover a mysterious party is doing just that. teaser-2

About William Galaini

Vertical imageWilliam Galaini grew up in Pennsylvania and Florida. His mother gave him an early love of reading, especially when it came to the great classics of science fiction. He is also a history buff and fascinated by mythology and folklore. His various vocational pursuits include being a singer in a professional high school choir, manager of the call center at a luxury resort, U.S. Army medic, prison guard, and middle school English teacher. As such, he is perfectly suited to breech a solid metal door, humanely restrain the enemy within, and politely correct their grammar all while humming Handel’s Messiah and drinking a lovely cuppa tea. He currently hangs his hat, rucksack, and tweed smoking jacket in Northern Virginia. Find out more about William on his website, Facebook, or Twitter!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Preserver" by Chris Reardon

17-year-old Corey not only has to deal with his mother’s disappearance, but recurring nightmares horrifying him to no end. Each and every night, an old man constantly begs for his help. He pleads for assistance escaping a murderer keeping him hostage in another world. 
Corey, according to the old man, is the only one that can stop this monster. After all, he does know the spell. Melody, an unpredictable, no-nonsense girl from his math class, has also been having horrific nightmares with this same old man. She, however, is not willing to talk about it. Melody also refuses to believe any of his pleas. 
When Corey and Melody are thrust from their homes by a mysterious woman, they embark on a journey through a mystical land. From battling demons to escaping prison chambers, they realize they’re part of something much bigger, and hiding from their duty is no longer an option.

Preserver by Chris Reardon is a dark, YA fantasy novel that is (literally) out of this world. In another dimension, to be exact. Teens need to save the world from utter destruction by a crazed god, with only a strange short sonnet of sorts to go by, and a very harsh and reluctant teacher.
I don't know if Mr. Reardon intended this, but I know teens will be able to relate to these kids on more levels than one. They come from different backgrounds, deal with their raging emotions and have strange tasks set for them by adults who aren't inclined to help in any way...except to criticize and press upon the importance of said task. Sounds like what many high school kids are going through on a daily basis. And if they fail, adults make it seem like the end of the world. They need to make adult decisions while still feeling like they're kids at the same time. Just like these characters.
That doesn't mean that adults won't enjoy the book, too. I loved it. It was short, sure, but I really enjoyed reading it and think that it is definitely and underrated story. It's emotional, exciting and gripping. Anyone over the age of fourteen should definitely add this to their TBR list!

5/5--a hidden gem!

Purchase Preserver via:


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: "Ilmarinen" by Marilla Mulwane

Title: Ilmarinen
Author: Marilla Mulwane
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Illusio & Baqer

Altana Burrows has always been special.

She’s smart, talented, and quick to learn. She also has a secret, and whenever she tries to tell anyone about it—her friends, her family, the school psychiatrist—they accuse her of letting her imagination run away with her. They don’t believe her. They don’t understand.
They don’t know about Ilmarinen.

They don’t know about the prophecy, or the role Altana will play in it. But the people of Ilmarinen know, and they will help her: a young hunter with a dangerous secret; a talking horse who loves to play; a little girl with a big axe; a beautiful woman in a red dress. Eventually, they will all play a part in Altana’s story, and the fate of a world will rest in their hands.

That is, if they can figure out how to kill a god.



Author’s Bio:
Marilla Mulwane is a small town girl that loves to write, read, craft, and play video games. All the best things to do in a small town! She just wants people to read her work. If it leads to fame, fortune, and world domination, she'll take it.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Krysten Lindsay Hager

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

I have been creating stories since I was a kid and it was really the only thing I ever wanted to do. I pursued journalism as well, but writing always came first in my heart .

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

I remember getting The Great Mom Swap when I was in the fourth grade and loving that book. Good-bye, Glamour Girl by Erika Tamar was another book that made an impression on me. I read all the different series books as a kid: The Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, etc. I still read YA and middle grade along with women’s fiction, and classics. And I love biographies and memoirs, too.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel True Colors?

When I was growing up I was convinced everyone had it all together…and then there was me. I saw all these magazine covers and TV shows with the tight-knit group of friends and the perfect looking teens (who you just knew were leading perfect lives) and thought they all were in on some sort of secret that I didn’t know. What I didn’t realize is that everyone feels that way. I decided to write this book to show a character, Landry, who has all these same feelings and insecurities and wonders where (and if) she fits in. As a teen, I was stuck between wanting to fit in and stand out, which is why I have Landry feeling the same way. It’s a struggle a lot of us face—even as adults.
I wrote the book wanting teens and women of all ages to see they weren’t alone in feeling this way and I put in humor because I think the best way to get through life’s difficult times is with a sense of humor. I have Landry go through the same situations we’ve all been through with the “frenemies,” passive aggressive comments, mean girls, trying to get noticed by the popular crowd, the impossible crushes, and all those insecurities we go through. I think it’s even harder for teens now with Facebook and Instagram showing the “perfect” side of everyone, so teens and tweens today are faced with even more of those “perfect life” images that made me feel insecure as a kid.

4. Will we ever see any of these characters again in the future?

Yes, the sequel to the book will be coming out March 24th. I still can’t believe I have a series! The series is called, Landry’s True Colors and book two is titled, Best Friends…Forever? I am working on the third  book right now. The books pick up right where the previous one leaves off because I hate when I pick up the next book in the series and so much has happened off the page.

5. Were you ever or did you ever want to be a model?

I started modeling when I was a little younger than Landry. I stopped for a while and then in college I was doing some internships and people kept telling me I should try it again, but my first shoot made me feel so uncomfortable and I realized I had to rethink it. I try to be very realistic in showing modeling and not making some glamourous fantasy world.

6. Were any of the characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?

I do use real life experiences as inspiration, but just as inspiration. All the characters are made up because it’s much easier to create a character whose backstory and motivations I can make up. Real people are far too complex and ever changing. However, I feel all Landry’s emotions when I write the scenes. I can remember what it was like to talk to a crush and all those anxious feelings come back as I write the scenes where her friends turn on her. One thing that’s different is I that I never got nervous modeling and she does. However, lots of other things make me nervous—like the first day of school! I’d rather walk a runway in front of a crowd and trip and fall on my face than to ever do another first day of school again. First days are the worst! Actually, second days are no picnic either. And in book two you’ll see her visit a high school and it mirrors my own experience—total culture shock. Landry and I both went to small, private schools, so visiting a big public high school and wondering what you’re in for the next year was terrifying to her and to me.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

I also write older YA, women’s fiction, but I’m interested in doing a humor memoir.

8. What would you do if you were Landry?

I would like to say I’d stand up to Erika (her main frenemy), but at that age (and the way Landry’s personality is) I wouldn’t be able to—just like most of us aren’t. I like to think I’ve gotten better at this myself, but just today I was on a call where someone made a little passive aggressive dig at me and instead of saying, “That’s offensive,” or, “What did you mean by that?” I was defending myself to them instead of stopping and putting them in their place. So I’m still very much a work in progress on that.

9. Were you trying to make a statement about high school politics, bullying and the like? What do you have to say to young readers who are being bullied in school?

I think some of the things we go through in school goes under the radar of adults/teachers/school admin like the mean girl stuff— especially if the girls it’s coming from are supposed to be your friends. I went to a small grade school (kindergarten-8th grade) and I know how Landry feels when she lets things go because in a small school you have less people to turn to if you do tell someone, “Hey, back off, I’m not taking that from you anymore.” Adults often don’t pick up on that sort of thing when they see it’s coming from someone the person is friends with. They notice the outright bullying, but the more subtle mean girl stuff gets past them.
For kids who are going though that themselves I’d say to realize what these people are saying to you has NOTHING to do with you or what you are about—it is all a reflection of the person (bully or frenemy) saying that. Well-adjusted people do NOT go around tearing other people down for fun. Hurting people hurt people, so as hard as this is to believe, just know it’s not personal. If you have a teacher or adult you can go to for help, reach out.

10. Would you like to see True Colors as a film. Who do you want to see play your characters?

I think that would be amazing! I had a cast list made up where I picked more current people to be the characters (you can see that and the original inspirations on my Pinterest page: and on my website: ) For Vladi, I could see Ross Lynch playing him. Maybe Bella Thorne as Peyton. I often say I could see Zendaya as Ashanti, but I always picture the original Ashanti, a singer/actress named Letoya Luckett in my mind when I’m writing scenes with her. As for Landry, I picture her as a younger Ashlee Simpson or maybe Elle Fanning. Selena Gomez could be Devon. And for Devon’s older action hero crush? Liam Neeson!

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

I’ll still be writing. I can’t see myself ever stopping. A lot of readers have expressed to me that they’d love to see Landry grow up throughout the series and even take her into college and the adult years! So maybe I’ll still be writing Landry stories as well as pursuing my other ideas.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

Probably working as a journalist for newspapers or TV. That’s where I started out and I do have a curiosity about everything. I have a strong desire to get to the truth and get both sides of the story.  When I was interning (and then working in news), I always read at least four newspapers as well as news magazines and watched local, national, and international news broadcasts to get a bigger picture. I was a news junkie, but when I’m writing I do try to step away from it a bit. I used to have my favorite news programs, but when I moved overseas, a lot of those shows weren’t available there, so I’d watch international news but I watched less. I will say working in news made me see things are almost never black and white and to look closely and bring in all the facts.

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

I’m working on the third book in the Landry’s True Colors series, which has been a lot of fun to write. I’m also working on another upper middle grade book and more YA and doing a rewrite of a women’s fiction novel.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

I call F. Scott Fitzgerald my literary boyfriend. I love his essays, fiction, and quotes. There’s a vulnerability to his prose. I met Francine Pascal (Sweet Valley High creator and author of the Victoria books) once and I choked up. I have no idea if she noticed or not, but the good news is that she didn’t call security and she let me take a peek at the Sweet Valley High “bible” she used for the series. Yes, I touched it. And for your follow up question, yes, I did eventually wash my hands after that. I didn’t want to, but health codes being what they are…

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

I once lived on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
I have strong intuition and often times things I’ve written will come true. I keep a notebook of some of these coincidences. Sometimes I’ll see something play out just like I wrote it and all I can do is sit there with my mouth open. My family is getting used to getting calls where I say, “You are not going to believe this!” My friends tell me I should write about myself and them winning the lottery. I did write that once, but it didn’t happen…well, yet anyway. Stay tuned.
I won my first school wide writing competition when I was in the first grade.

Find Ms. Hager online via:


Monday, February 23, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "True Colors" by Krysten Lindsay Hager

TRUE COLORS is about an eighth grader named Landry Albright who just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things happening in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, too. So she gives in when her friends push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round. However, her friends get cut and basically "unfriend" her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.

(Book 2 in the Landry's True Colors series will be out March 24, 2015.)

High school. Stephen King said, “I hated high school. I don’t trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something wrong with you.” That quote could be Landry in the future.
True Colors is the story of how awful high school is, and how even the popular kids are made to feel unwanted. Think Mean Girls without the sex. Landry could have been any of us at that age: shy, wanting to be popular and being the victim of bullies whom she thought were her friends. It's a story of how, even when you're a good person, others will still find a way to cut you down.
Character-wise, everyone is as expected in this genre: Landry is a sweet, slightly pitiable main character whom you want to hug. Her "friends" are so detestable you want to pull their hair. And in between them you have characters to wonder about: who will be good for Landry? Who will eventually hurt her?
Ms. Hager wrote plainly and realistically, telling us about these kids who could be our neighbors. It will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and leave you ecstatic for the sequel.
Everyone over the age of twelve needs to read True Colors!

5/5--a great account of high school life.

Purchase True Colors via:

Official site (has links to all sellers worldwide)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Red Carpet Ransom" by W.F. Walsh

Could a major Hollywood star be kidnapped on Oscar night in a drug war of revenge against the United States? Enrique Vega is one of the most notorious drug kingpins in the world and controls a family whose powerbase spreads across Mexico, Central and South America. As the godfather is to the mafia, Vega is to the drug world. Cartel Este controls drug trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, and politicians. Vega is powerful and untouchable-or so he thought. A joint drug task force of United States and Mexican authorities track his movements and strike at the throat of Cartel Este. Vega is arrested and flown to an American military jail to await trial. A new drug war of revenge is unleashed! Special Agent Jake Stein of Homeland Security Investigations/ICE is back, and this time, he's up against a life-and-death struggle. Cartel Este keeps turning up the heat and kidnaps a major Hollywood star on Oscar night to hold for ransom until Vega is returned or the actor will die. The clock is ticking in a life-and-death race against time in a drug war of revenge!

A perfect read on Oscar Sunday for those who would rather get a heads up on the book the next Hollywood blockbuster will be based on than watch last year's best films get awards.
I'm writing this as I'm watching it right now, in fact, having just finished Red Carpet Ransom.
Mixing the exciting vibes of NCIS, Spooks and Graceland all in one, and adding in a dash of Hollywood flair, this is a book you'll find yourself staying up at night to finish before bed! Government officials, drug cartels and actors all mix in this fast-paced thrill ride.
This book has good characters, like the embattled Vega, the austere Agent Stein (Richard Armitage or Michael Weatherly, anyone) and the vengeful Estes, but this isn't a character-driven novel. It's all about plot: the death, the danger and the suspense are all nearly perfect.
There are a few flaws, mostly due to a certain sense of urgency that was sometimes misplaced. There were moments where the urgency wasn't needed but was there, and other scenes where I thought it could've used more suspense.
But that is my only complaint. I really liked this book, and I think movie directors will, too!

5/5--a great thrill ride!

Purchase Red Carpet Ransom on Amazon!

Saturday, February 21, 2015


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

I didn't actually decide.  From a young age I had several family members I used to correspond with and I enjoyed writing those letters.  Yes, I'm from a time when one had to use pen and ink to communicate.  Decades ago I was working with a cross platform library called the Zinc Application Framework (ZAF).  I was appalled at the lack of books on the product, so I wrote a couple.  The same thing happened years later when I wrote “The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer.”  There simply was a lack of decent books on the subject, so I wrote one.  That book was the first of what became a trademarked book series.
You probably are only interested in the novels though.  There is this company which advertises in “theWriter” magazine.  They advertise a great many novelty products for writers.  The one I will probably buy many of some day is a T-shirt with the phrase “Be careful or you will end up in my novel” or something along those lines.  That saying is absolutely true.  “Infinite Exposure” came about because somebody at Citi Bank pissed me off one day.  It sent into motion events which triggered memories of other things.  Characters started coming forward to tell their story, so, I wrote it down.

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

I used to read a lot of Stephen R. Donaldson, George Martin and Robert Jordan.  You may be shocked to hear this, but I don't really read today.  I read a lot of Time magazine and I get quite a few movies via a DVD by mail service (not NetFlix.)  There is some incredible writing taking place in movies and even television shows.  Downton Abbey excels on so many levels.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars?

Those people who read “Infinite Exposure” and contacted me wanting to know more.  This made John Smith surface.  Well, it made the character surface.  He didn't have a name for most of the book.  John needed someone to talk to and Susan volunteered.  Unlike John, Susan had a first name throughout the entire first draft. Her last name, Krowley, is a nod to the Crawley family of Downton Abbey.  They did have family in America after all.  John Smith is full of winks and nods and they aren't all to previous works of science fiction.

4. Will we ever see any of these characters again in the future?

Yes.  Assuming this book does well, I would like to find a young and gifted writer to collaborate with on “John Smith: The Last Gift of Atlantis.” That book will provide the framework of the world John Smith surfaced in.  After that I would like to step aside letting the new writer flesh out the world in either a trilogy or a series.  Such a hand off requires a collaboration.

5. What was the symbolism behind making the internet, phones, etc. extinct in this story?

Not symbolism as much as fact.  That which is taken for granted doesn't get saved. In a recent Op-ed for the History News Network I put forth this simple fact:  We have the 'Seven Wonders of the World' because mankind has repeatedly lost the ability to create them.  Every civilization/cycle of the human race has believed it would exist forever therefore it does not “waste time” recording the simple things in a permanent manner.
Some say the Great Pyramids had thousands of people working on them.  Obviously the knowledge of how to cut and transport massive stone blocks was in large circulation among the working class. Today we have speculation, wild speculation and conspiracy theories galore about how those pyramids were built. Why?  Because when that cycle of the human race ended this basic knowledge wasn't recorded in a manner which survives today.

6. Were any of the characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?

Every author puts a bit of themselves into a character.  The amount I put in will probably be the subject of debate for years to come.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

Between the geek books I write for “The Minimum You Need to Know” book series, and this little world I've covered most of the genres I like.  For years I have had this idea of an interlocking trilogy I've wanted to publish as the “Twenty of Two” trilogy.  Haven't done a lot with it.
Traditional trilogies have a beginning, middle and end.  For the most part they follow a linear course with a few flashbacks for back story.  What about a trilogy which is concentric rings:
•the first is the big picture
•the second goes deeper covering fewer and different stories
•the third uncovers the one central story which caused it all to happen
I've kind of done that now.  Fans of “Infinite Exposure” wanted to know more.  This lead to John Smith.  Those fans want to know more from both before and after.  The before I'm working on now, “Lesedi: The Greatest Lie Ever Told.” “Infinite Exposure” and John Smith can and do stand alone.  Lesedi has to stand on top of those two works.  When it does it is a strong trilogy.  Granted I had not set out to write a trilogy when I wrote the first two.  As I have said before, “Infinite Exposure” came about because someone at Citi Bank really honked me off.

8. What would you do if you were in the same position your character is in?

Die.  I have all kinds of power tools but they are useless without power.  I have worked on family and friends houses but no idea how to build one from scratch despite having seen it done many times.  While I can grow a garden and raise livestock because I still live on a farm, I can only grow the garden if I can buy seeds at a store.  I can only raise the livestock if I have shelter and feed for them.
When I was a child, the “family farm” was this idyllic thing most conjure up the image of. A barn with some chickens, pigs, cattle, etc. along with a large garden. The chickens doubled as both a food source and insect control for the garden. In short, the poverty of the life forced a level of self sufficiency on the people which is unheard of today.
If you take away one lesson from Hurricane Sandy it should be this: Every disaster recovery plan in existence isn't worth the paper its printed on.

9. If your story came true, but humanity wasn't wiped out, how do you think we'd adapt?

If any of the existing upper class or 1-percenters survive, we would almost instantly devolve into some kind of totalitarian dark ages while they tried to create their own personal Elysium.

10. You said you want to see Transfixion as a film. Who do you want to see play your characters?

I don't know anything about Transfixion.  I know that if John Smith is turned into a movie it should be done in a single setting with lots of clips from old movies like that black and white thing WGN used to run about the fall of Atlantis and clips from other shows which cover the topics discussed in the book.  Some could be with sound but most would probably be silent.  Susan should be a complete unknown.  This type of science fiction works well with unknowns.
John Smith should be a highly recognized voice from the science fiction world.  If they end up with someone like Patrick Stewart then the movie should be shot like Jaws, where you don't see his face until the very end, when he is delivering the line about journalists.  If they get a great voice with a not well known face, such as either the gentleman who played G'Kar on Babylon 5, or Warf on Star Trek TNG then they wouldn't necessarily have to do the Jaws style shooting.11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?Hopefully, every close to being able to retire from my day job so I can spend my days enjoying life more and writing more books.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

This question seems to be on every author question list ever put forth for an author interview.  It makes a grand (and incorrect) assumption the writer/author earns a full time living from writing. Very few writers make a living writing full time. With companies like Amazon trying to give writers products away for free to sell more Kindles, full time writers will be a perpetually shrinking number. Sadly our culture is fixated on “free-hoarding.”  Generally speaking, if you downloaded it for free, the author/creator didn't get paid.
Like the vast majority of authors you will interview, I have a day job.  My day job is IT consulting.

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

“Lesedi: The Greatest Lie Ever Told”

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

None that I know of.  As I stated before, when John Smith becomes a resounding financial success I would like to identify a gifted, unknown, just-starting-out young writer to collaborate with on “John Smith: The Last Gift of Atlantis” but that is some time off.

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

I don't know about 3 things.  They might be surprised to learn I used to have a hobby of water well drilling and even owned a Failing 1250 drilling rig.  (Failing was the brand, not the condition.)
I still keep a CDL which allows me to drive 18 wheelers so I can help with harvest when I'm home.
I find squirrels highly entertaining, but mostly because they torment my dog. If it wasn't for those squirrels he wouldn't get any exercise.

Find Mr. Hughes online via:

Official site


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

I never decided, I just always was. As long as I can remember, I’ve been telling stories and writing them down.

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

Early on it was Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Raymond Carver, and Charles Bukowski. Some authors I love these days are Richard Price, William Vollmann, Denis Johnson, and Elmore Leonard (RIP). I read mostly old stuff, though, trying to learn from the masters: Faulkner, Zola, Conrad, Dickens – people like that.

3. What was the inspiration behind your various works?

It’s different for each one. My novel Angel Baby, for example, was inspired by an article in the L.A. Times about a white guy who snuck people over the border for a Mexican pollero. That was the genesis of the character of Malone, and the rest of the book came together around him. I can say that I’m always inspired by real life, by things I’ve seen, by people I know, or by great stories people have told me. I start with something like that and figure out how to make it “bigger” in terms of narrative and emotional impact.

4. Living in Southern California seems to affect your work. For those who don't live here, what is it about the area that's so inspiring?

There’s a lot going on here on a lot of levels. People of all stripes come to L.A. to attempt to make their dreams come true, so there’s all this energy in the air. You’ve got smart people, crazy people, bitter people, hopeful people, people from a hundred different cultures and backgrounds trying to get by or get ahead or get something over on someone. It’s a writer’s dream.

5. Sweet Nothing is a collection of short stories. Every author I talk to seems to have a different answer to this question: what is the biggest difference between writing a novel and a short story (aside from the length, of course)?

My short stories are more about taking the reader on an emotional journey rather than building a strong plot. In my novels, I try to give the reader more plot in order to compel them to finish the longer work. This is difficult because plot isn’t my greatest strength or necessarily something I’m that interested in. I’m much more focused on characters, language, and rhythm. The trick is trying to integrate those two things. I’m still trying to master that.

6. Were any of your characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?

All of them are from real life, in one way or another. It’s like acting: You have to become these characters as you create them, even the “bad guys.” It’s fun being a bad guy sometimes.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

I don’t think in term of genre when I’m writing, I just write what I want to. The people who have to sell it can call it crime or romance or sci fi – whatever they want, as long as they sell it!

8. If you could take the place of any of your characters, which would it be and why?

I’m happy with who I am.

9. Your novel Angel Baby won the Hammett Prize. When you were writing it, did you ever think that it would go on to win awards?

Nah. That would be weird. I just write, put it out there, and move on to the next thing. The awards and stuff are much appreciated though. It’s nice to know people like what I’m doing.

10. Which, if any, of your novels would you like to see as a film? Who do you want to see play your characters?

Angel Baby was optioned by Warner Bros., and I was hired to write the screenplay. The chances of it ever getting made are a million to one, but I live in hope. It’s hard for me to “cast” the book. I don’t picture specific people as I’m writing. I’d be interested to see who Hollywood would choose to play the characters.  

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

I see myself as rich, famous, and still cranking out good work, whether it be books, films or TV stuff.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

Before I was a full-time writer, I was a magazine editor. It wasn’t a bad life, so I guess I’d be doing that. I don’t have many other marketable skills. 

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

A new novel, set in L.A.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

I’m not a good collaborator. That’s why the film business is so tricky for me. Everything there is collaboration. I like writing books, where I’m in complete control.

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

1. I’m a big opera fan. 2. I have walked from the Mexican border to Palm Springs (on the Pacific Crest Trail). 3. I used to write dirty letters for Hustler magazine at fifty bucks a pop.

Find Mr. Lange online via:

Official site (has all other links)

If you live in Southern California, you can meet Mr. Lange in person at the Long Beach Comic Expo, at the Long Beach Convention Center on February 28th and March 1st!

Friday, February 20, 2015


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

I started my blog "Uncle Doug's Bunker" exactly three years ago. That gave me experience in writing articles and reviews. The blog landed me a position at "Weird Tales Magazine" running their website and Facebook page. I created about 90% of their web content which improved my article writing skills and I was promoted to on-line editor.
Back in July when I was still on-line editor for "Weird Tales", the fiction editor was purchasing Flash Fiction for the website. I wasn't all that impressed with what I was being given to publish. So one afternoon I foolishly thought, "Shit, I can do that."
I was mulling it over and a simple "punch line" came to mind. I tried turning it into a 500 word flash piece. No matter how hard I tried, I get idea in at under 800 words. For the fun of it I showed it to David A. Riley and he liked it. He encouraged me to lengthen it and it grew into the 1,2K word novelette "Indian Summer". I managed to sell it. This sale sadly gave me the impression that I might actually be able to write.
So blame it on David Riley and Fireside Press that I'm bombarding unsuspecting editor's with my rushed stories.

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

How do you define younger? :-)
I started reading at a very young age and the writers who work I began to seek out were probably the same ones every kid started looking for. Isaac  Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, H. G. Wells, H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Clifford Simak, Richard Matheson, Arthur C. Clarke. And I was nuts about the Doc Savage and Destroyer series. During my teens I considered Harlan Ellison a god.
What do I read today?
I love the Agent Pendergast Novels. I continuously read Gary Braunbeck, Wilum Pugmire, Jack Vance, Charles L. Grant , John R. Fultz, Darrell Schweitzer and Anne K. Schwader
I still read lots of pulp to this day by the likes of Hugh B. Cave, Leigh Brackett, Clark Ashton Smith, Manly Wade Wellman, and C.L. Moore.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novella October Harvest?

As I mentioned in your first question I came to me as a simply punch-line for a flash piece. I built it into a generic Halloween/Autumn short story. When the decision was made to turn it into a full blown "story", it became clear that I needed a setting and a flavor. Being my first story, I knew that I better write about what I love and the kind of setting I like best.
I grew up in Newark, Ohio. Back then Newark was a blue collar working town of about 35 thousand people. Newark is the real world counterpart to Gary Braunbeck's "Cedar Hill". So since Gary has Newark pretty well covered I knew that I'd have t pick another setting. Before Newark, we lived in the small Southern Ohio river town of Portsmouth. This section of the state is known as Appalachian Ohio. Southern Ohio used to be worlds apart from the Central Ohio I grew up in and this appealed to me. I could give it a southern rural flair (at least that was my aim) and still place it in a reality that I was familiar with. I love southern gothic/weirdness. Look at  William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers and Joe Lansdale. Not counting Lansdale, all the others have settings and plots that are just waiting to be given that tiny nudge that would send it all plunging into the Twilight Zone. My mother came from North Carolina and I always had the impression that southerners have a deep appreciation for the bizarre, outlandish, eccentric, and insane.
And I think that this attitude makes for some great story telling.
So this was what I was aiming for. It's up to the reader to decide if I pulled it off.
And I owe a huge amount of debt to Davis "Night of the Hunter" Grubb. He set much of his straight and Horror fiction on the West Virginia side of the Ohio. His stories are set about 50 miles up river from where "Indian Summer" is set.
Oh, and I have to mention Clifford Simak, even though he wrote predominantly Science Fiction, his stories and novels have a strong rural feeling that greatly appeal to me.
Sorry for running off at the keypad.
To tell the kind of story that I needed to tell in a southern vein I knew that I needed the following.
A small river town with secrets.
A slightly daft kid who slides into insanity.
A terribly dysfunctional family
Sex gone bad.
An old piece of run down property.
An evil senior citizen.
All of these elements mutated into "Indian Summer".

4. Will we ever hear about crazy Koad again?

Yes! Farmer Koad and his Grave Worms will definitely return. "October Harvest" wasn't nearly as ambitious as "Indian Summer". It was a hell of a lot more fun to write though. It's also quite a bit goofier as "Summer". I think that its a simple, gory, and fun story.
I intentionally wrote the ending to "October Harvest" in such a way as to give the events closure, but to also leave the door open a tiny bit for a sequel.

5. What was it about scarecrows and pumpkins that made you decide to use them in this manner?

Halloween! I love Halloween! I have at least 5 more Halloween stories in me. I say "at least" because I've already set down the 5 plots/ideas on paper. I know that the market is small for these kinds of stories, but i love them so much. And my love of the season will hopefully carry over into my writing an give them that little something extra.
I know that Pumpkins and Scarecrows are Halloween mainstays/clichés but I wanted to tell a traditional horror story.
And to be honest, "Dark Harvest" by Norman Partridge was a huge influence on "October Harvest". The main difference between his "Harvest" and mine is that his is magnitudes better than mine. Lovecraft's "The Festival" also played a huge part influencing "October Harvest". Oh yeah, and all those wonderful Halloween covers "Cemetery Dance Magazine" uses trip my trigger like nothing else.
Did I mention that I'm nuts about Halloween?

6. What can you tell us about your previous works?

Uhh, there aren't really any previous works. "Indian Summer" was first genuine piece of fiction. I've published three more stories since then along with a few "Drabbles" and Flash pieces.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

Eventually I'd like to try writing some "soft" science fiction. I've probably read more SF than any other genre. The borders are kind of soft, but I'm definitely going to write some "Dark Fantasy".  I've actually sold an "erotic" horror story. I had to force myself to write it simply to see if I could. I wrote it for a "Lovecraft" themed anthology coming out from Scott R. Jones' "Martian Migraine Press" called "Resonator". It's all stories inspired by HPL's "From Beyond" and the same named film.  Scott was wise enough to turn it down. It was simply and extended lovecraftian dirty joke. I have one more idea for a disturbingly erotic and humorless horror story. That'll be my last attempt though at "erotic".
And of course I'd love to write "paranormal romance" if it would make me a millionaire.
Seriously! I have no artistic pretensions. I'm not proud either. I'd be all over "sparkly vampires" and "mommy porn" if I thought that it would make me rich.
Like the man said, "It's better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven".

8. What would you do if you saw what was happening in that pumpkin patch?

Run to the nearest phone booth (do they still have those things?) and call Doc Savage and led him and his aids take care of things.

9. When it comes to the paranormal--from ghosts to spells--what do you believe in?

I believe that people will believe in anything if it relieves them of responsibility, gives them power and wealth, or lets them feel superior.
I've never seen any evidence or experienced anything out of the ordinary in my life. I won't go so far and say that the supernatural doesn't exist. But I wouldn't bet any money on it. I dearly love the concepts, but I've never  personally experienced anything that would make a believer out of me.
And once again, I won't lie. I'd wet myself if I actually would see a ghost or UFO.
And I do have an irrational fear of the Mothman and Grays.

10. Which of your stories, if any, would you like to see as a film or TV show?

I'd love to see Steven Spielberg film "Indian Summer" (which I'll be doubling in length this year.), slap my name across the front, and give me a great big check!

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

A regular name in the smaller presses with a reputation for writing competent and entertaining stories.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

Being horribly frustrated at not being creative at something.
I also suffer from a terrible case of "Hey! Look at me!"

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

I'm wrapping up the first draft of what started out as a straight forward Halloween (did I mention that I'm crazy about Halloween?) story. It had now morphed into a 25K word Dark Fantasy novella. It's of another small town/Ohio/Autumn story that has grown beyond my original intentions.
I've done my homework and utilized Scottish, Cherokee, Appalachian, and Ohio folklore/Mythology and tied them together using their common themes. I've then added a large dose of John Keel's world view.
It's a hybrid Horror-Dark Fantasy- Adventure.
It's my take on Bradbury, Manly Wade Wellman, and the Sidhe.
I'm in love with it. It's scary, fun, and exciting. (I hope.)
And I've promised myself this time that I will TAKE MY TIME in polishing it.
It's my own fault, but so far, as much as I'm proud of them, my longer stories have been rushed and suffer from poor/sloppy/lazy editing. I have no one to blame but myself for this.
This time I hope to remedy this by forcing myself to override my own impatience and enthusiasm and take it a bit more slowly. Both the story and the potential readers deserve this. I don't want to be remembered as the guy who wrote mildly entertaining and sloppy stories.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

Joe Landsdale! I love his evil "down hominess". He can take the most god awful things and make you laugh out loud in spite of them.

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

1: I've entered this game very late in life. I'm 53 years old.
2: I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm teaching myself as I go along.
3: I consider myself incredibly fortunate and extremely lucky to have gotten this far with my writing.

Find Mr. Draa online via:


BOOK SPOTLIGHT: "Continent of Ruby" by BB Cape

The true story of a woman who knew her life was about to come undone and let it come undone anyway only to find herself in the redeeming grace of the unknown.

The doctors have found a malignant tumor in Ruby’s gall bladder. They closed her up and designated her case terminal. Stacy calls me, shocked. She repeats the prognosis verbatim: the bile ducts are compromised. In the future, and for the sake of comfort, the ducts can be drained of cancerous cells. There is no therapy being considered, and pain management will be arranged. An oncologist will be consulted. “I am sorry,” the doctor said.
“Why didn’t they just take the gall bladder,” I ask Stacy, ignorant of the ambition of a malignancy, thinking that Ruby’s tumor can be excised with a knife, removed from its habitat, and banished to the hazardous waste bin. My mind is torpid; fear sets in. “Stacy, Stacy,” I call out when her voice trails off. “What else did he say?” I ask, and she repeats the prognosis.
That afternoon Stacy, her husband, son, in-laws, and my children and I stand around Ruby’s hospital bed. Everyone in the cancer ward at Memorial Hospital gets a private room with a view.
Stacy is talking on her cell phone. Everybody else in the room paces. We are the rowdy newcomers to the ward. We do not accept – nor do we plan on accepting – any of its lethargy, unlike the mother of the young woman across the way, who watches with patience and concern as her adult daughter tries to get back into the bed, moving as if her discomfort is the size of the entire room. Even the nurses are slow when summoned. Maybe they think there is no need to rush any more. We bring with us the robust outside world and will not accept the ward’s sluggish pace of feeling, being, and thinking. We resist it all – the children want to watch television, the in-laws need a soda and go in search of a vending machine, and Stacy’s husband needs to go home to walk the dog.
When we look at Ruby, we don’t see her any longer. Instead, we see her cancer. Initially, we think: “How can this happen to one of us? Yesterday she was …” More specifically, we look for physical evidence of the cancer, as if it will expose itself, flip us the finger, stick out its tongue, or howl with laughter right in our faces. But, what is happening is more ominous and technical than that:
On the phone, Stacy tells family and friends her mother has Stage 4 Gall Bladder Cancer. Terminal. Some of them speak with Ruby. Others send their prayers and well wishes. Still others are frightened by the sudden and tragic twist of events; they will call Ruby another time. At the moment, the information is too raw and incomprehensible to process – they were just sitting down to dinner, watching the evening news, not prepared for this news. Stacy is cordial. She says she appreciates their support. Any emails, calls, or cards will “lift the spirits.” 

B.B. Cape is a freelance writer and online instructor.  Her short stories have appeared in Parade Magazine. She will publish her first novel later this year.

Purchase Continent of Ruby on Amazon.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "October Harvest" by Douglas Draa

(Story is currently being serialized in Schlock Magazine; link will be below.)

Horror author Douglas Draa scared us to death with his story in Wishful Thinking, and he's here to do it again with October Harvest, the story of delinquents who try to rob the rich pumpkin farmer in their town and get much more than they bargained for.
The story isn't just a frightening ride with evil scarecrows, a crazy farmer and stupid victims. There's a small moral in here, too, in what happens with the kids who trespass on the farm, and I love that. Few horror authors bother to write anything into their stories that isn't just there to give the readers nightmares.
Some parts of the story were absolutely disgusting, I'll admit it. I actually cringed at one point, which I thank Mr. Draa for. Rarely do I get scared or squeamish anymore.
I can't say much else about October Harvest, because it's a short story, and I don't want to give anything away. But I will say that I loved reading this, and I think everyone should become a fan of Douglas Draa now, before he blows up in the horror scene! (By the by, this only gets a four instead of a five only because I don't think it's a story anyone could read. You do need to like horror already to enjoy October Harvest: this is not a good introduction to the genre.)

4/5--gave me chills!

Purchase Schlock Magazine on Amazon to read October Harvest!

BLOG TOUR/BOOK REVIEW: "Treasure Darkly" by Jordan Elizabeth

Beware a Treasure Darkly…

 (The stunning cover art is thanks to Amalia Chitulescu)

Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captairead is absinthe…until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead. A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he. And he is not alone. His new found sister, Amethyst, thinks that's rather dashing, until Horan kidnaps her, and all she gets is a bullet through her heart. When Clark brings her back to life, she realizes he's more than just street-smart - and he's not really a Treasure. Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.

 TREASURE DARKLY, book 1 of the Treasure Chronicles The young adult novel is a dark mix of steampunk, the paranormal and romance in a “Wild West” setting. Below is an excerpt from TREASURE DARKLY. You can read more on the Curiosity Quills Press website.

“Looks like he did drink it up.” The general client spoke from the right. “Must’ve interacted with all that bloody hertum. Look at ‘im, he’s bleeding already.” 
“What’s it gonna do to him?” the guard from the morning asked.
“Lots of stuff.” The general laughed. “When he touches the dead, he’ll be able to bring them back, and exchange that life for another. Perfect soldier, huh? We only have one vial ready and I was going to give it to a lucky fellow. Guess it will be this boy.”
“Whatcha gonna do with him?” The guard snickered.
“Have to be a test subject,” the general said. “Sure thought it was that Judy who stole my bottle. Pity I killed her. She sure knew how to make my pecker sing.” 
Judy. Clark’s mother. Clark bolted off the ground and ran. He could hide in the hole under the shed behind the brothel. Mable never found him under there. He might be cursed with raising the dead—he’d already done that to the poor mine worker—but it didn’t mean he’d let them take him for tests.

You can read more about Amethyst Treasure in GEARS OF BRASS, a steampunk anthology from Curiosity Quills Press available now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, is the author of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, available from Curiosity Quills Press. Check out Jordan’s website,, for contests and book signing locales. Jordan is represented by Belcastro Agency and she is president of the Utica Writers Club.

No blog tour is complete without a giveaway. Enter below for a chance to win a paperback copy of GEARS OF BRASS. a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review:

Have you ever wondered what would happen if SM Reine and the creators behind Pushing Daisies decided to make a steampunk western? No? Neither did I! But I found out after reading this book.
It's an odd thing, at first, because the paranormal elements usually don't mix with steampunk styles, but this book does it well. There are twists and turns throughout the entire book,making you pause, look and say, "what the Hell?" It's not a typical story in any way possible, but it's not so unique that you won't be able to follow it.
The characters are great: especially Amethyst, because she's a character you want to slap at first, especially during her first scene. She's a pampered princess, but when things go sour for her she really steps up.
Clark is a troubled boy with regrets, doubts and a lot of grief. His mother's a prostitute who gets murdered, and the people he thinks are family aren't, not at all. He's also in deep trouble with the army, and has to try and work out these unearthly powers at a very young age. He's inspirational to teens reading this.
At the top of this tower of themes and emotions you have socio-political issues, with senators and military men trying to control those beneath them. It's a ery interesting little twist to things.
All in all, while I'm still not a huge steampunk genre, I really liked this book and it's making me want to delve deeper into it!

4/4---a great tale all around! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

GUEST BLOG: Kristy Centeno

Book Description:

Janessa Rowe is a twenty one year old college girl with little respect for other people. She's a rich, spoiled brat of a girl who gets her kicks out of humiliating others. When she discovers that her boyfriend of three years has in fact engaged in a physical relationship with someone else, Janessa will stop at nothing to get a little payback. Even if that means using her new rival's disgruntled fiancée to get what she wants.
Dakota Blackwater is everything Janessa is not. He's kind, sweet, gentle, and a stand-up guy all in all, but when his girlfriend's betrayal hurts more than his p
There are many reasons to why I write, but it all takes shape as soon as a little something called inspiration hits. My motivation is mainly based on the kind of story I want to conjure up. This, however, is only the start for me. Writing a book is a work of art and without a little guidance, and plenty of inspiration going through the process can seem more like hard labor than an enjoyable hobby.  

When I begin my writing process, I’m greatly motivated by whatever concept happens to pop into my head at the time, and from there, I allow my overactive imagination to take over. The motivation that keeps me going is the need to not just write a book, but to make a story come to life. To give realistic qualities to the characters in my head. To create a detailed account to a fictional tale that both captivates and grows with every turn of the page.

I love to use my imagination and expand my mind and writing allows me to explore my capacity to do just that. As soon as an idea begins to develop, I immediately set out to make out the best of it. This is when the magic happens, so to speak. For me, there is something very invigorating about growing along with the story. About expanding one simple idea and transforming it into a full length novel with three dimensional characters that makes it nearly irresistible to stop at just the first few words.

Even though writing is more of a hobby for me, I cannot deny that when inspiration takes over I’m capable of taking it very seriously. I write until I can’t get another word out, until my eyes close with exhaustion—or until one of my five little kiddies demand attention.

Writing is a passion of mine. It always has been. The fact that I can push myself beyond my limits and use my creativity in a positive ways is very engaging and fulfilling to me. As long as I can continue to write I’m one happy camper.

Inspiration comes every day with each typed word. With each untold story. With each idea that grows with every passing day. I just have to give in and do what I love to do.

PRESS RELEASE: Announcing the Finalists for the First Ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity at Long Beach Comic Expo

Announcing the Finalists for the First Ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity

February 18, Long Beach, CA) The finalists for the first ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity Award were announced today. The five nominated titles are:

HEX11 by  Lisa K. Weber and Kelly Sue Milano (HexComics)

M.F.K. by Nilah Magruder (

MS. MARVEL by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel Entertainment)

THE SHADOW HERO by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew (First Second Books)

SHAFT by David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely (Dynamite Entertainment)

The winner will be announced at the first ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity ceremony event to be held later this month at Long Beach Comic Expo on Saturday February 28 at 2 PM PT. The Award is named in honor of Dwayne McDuffie, the legendary writer and producer who co-founded and created Milestone Media. As a writer, Dwayne created or co-created more than a dozen series, including DAMAGE CONTROL, DEATHLOK II, ICON, STATIC, XOMBI, THE ROAD TO HELL and HARDWARE.

“The nominees for the first ever Dwayne McDuffie Award reflect the best of what a comic book can be,” said Matt Wayne, the Director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity. “These five titles, as different as they are, reflect Dwayne’s aspirations for the comic book industry. They are diverse, inclusive and forward looking.”

“I am so proud that my husband's personal mission to include a more diverse array of voices--both in content and creators--is able to continue now through this Award in his name, by encouraging others who share his vision of comics, characters, and the industry itself better mirroring society,” said Charlotte McDuffie.

The Dwayne McDuffie Award Selection Committee consists of eight prominent comics and animation professionals who knew McDuffie and have demonstrated a commitment to inclusiveness:

Neo Edmund – Novelist, animation and comics writer;

Joan Hilty – Nickelodeon Comics Editor; Creator of Bitter Girl;

Joseph Illidge – Former Editor, Milestone and DC Comics; Columnist, Comic Book Resources; Writer, First Second Books;

Heidi MacDonald – Editor in Chief, The Beat;

Glen Murakami – Producer/Supervising Director, DC animated properties and Ben 10: Alien Force/Ultimate Alien;

Eugene Son – Comics writer/Story Editor, Ultimate Spider-Man Animated;

William J. Watkins – Writer; Former owner, Chicago's first Black-owned comics store;

Len Wein – Co-creator Swamp Thing, Wolverine, New X-Men; Former Editor-in-Chief- of Marvel Comics and Senior Editor, DC Comics.

“The Long Beach shows are committed to diversity,” said Martha Donato, Executive Director of Long Beach Comic Expo. “It’s our great pleasure to host the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity Award ceremony and to celebrate the legacy of a wonderful man and writer who inspired so many people with his words, his action and his creations.”

Reginald Hudlin, an innovator of the modern black film movement (House Party, Boomerang and BeBe’s Kids), will be the Keynote Speaker at the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity Award ceremony later this month.

Tickets for Long Beach Comic Expo are available now at Follow Long Beach Comic Expo on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and information about the McDuffie Award.

For interview requests contact:

David Hyde

Superfan Promotions LLC; 917-803-6684



Kelly Sue Milano was introduced to comics the way most five-year-old girls are: by getting taken to the Fullerton AMC Theaters to see Batman with her Dad in the summer of 1989. Though she wasn't stoked at first, what followed was total and complete love. Not just with superheroes and comics - but with stories. She has been published in the Orange County Register, has written award-winning short stories, monologues, and comedy sketches, and has contributed to the development of several film projects for Periscope Entertainment. She also curates the blog for A.WAKE; a movement dedicated to celebrating female artists. Kelly Sue is a sucker for Nabakov and fancy coffee and currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Louie.

Lisa K. Weber makes art for comics, kid’s books, and cartoons. She also enjoys satire, white wine, and classic rock hits. She has created artwork for comic adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe's Hop-Frog, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, and Saki’s Tobermory, all featured in Graphic Classics. Her illustrations have appeared in publications from Penguin Books, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic Inc, and Capstone Press. She has also contributed character designs and storyboards for Nickelodeon, Curious Pictures, and PBS Kids. Lisa currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.


Nilah Magruder is a storyboard and concept artist artist in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Maryland, from a young age she developed an eternal love for three things: nature, books, and animation. Naturally, all of her school notebooks were full of doodles of animals and cartoon characters.

Nilah received a B.A. in communication arts from Hood College and B.F.A. in computer animation from Ringling College of Art and Design. She has illustrated for comics, children's books, film and commercial television. Interested in exploring diversity in storytelling, she launched the action-adventure webcomic M.F.K. She believes that everyone should have characters with whom they can relate in their chosen entertainment, be it comic book, novel, film, TV, or video game.


G. Willow Wilson is a novelist and comic book writer based in Seattle. Her works include the novel Alif the Unseen, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the 2013 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. She is the creator, with artist Adrian Alphona, of the bestselling All-New Ms. Marvel series from Marvel Comics. Her series Air (DC/Vertigo) and Mystic: The Tenth Apprentice (Marvel) were both nominated for Eisner Awards. In what spare time she has, Willow enjoys playing MMOs, watching British television, cooking, and maintaining the proud tradition of the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their two children.

Adrian Alphona is the artist of MS. MARVEL. He illustrated an acclaimed run of RUNAWAYS written by Brian K Vaughan for Marvel Entertainment.


Gene Luen Yang's 2006 book American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Award. His 2013 two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints was also nominated for a National Book Award and won the L.A. Times Book Prize.  Gene currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and children.

Sonny Liew is a comic artist, painter and illustrator whose work includes titles for DC Vertigo, Marvel Comics and First Second Books. He has received Eisner nominations for his art on Wonderland (Disney), as well as for spearheading Liquid City (Image Comics), a multi-volume comics anthology featuring creators from Southeast  Asia. His Malinky Robot series was a Xeric grant recipient and winner of the Best Science Fiction Comic Album Award at the Utopiales SF Festival in Nantes (2009).
His latest work is The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, which will be published by Pantheon Books in 2016.


David F. Walker is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, and author of the YA series The Adventures of Darius Logan. His publication BadAzz MoFo became internationally known as the indispensable resource guide to black films of the 1970s. His work in comics includes the series Shaft (Dynamite Entertainment), Doc Savage (Dynamite Entertainment), Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics), The Army of Dr. Moreau (IDW/Monkeybrain Comics), and The Supernals Experiment (Canon Comics).

Bilquis Evely is a 24-year-old Brazilian comic book artist. She started her professional life in 2010 as the penceiller of the Brazilian comic book, Luluzinha Teen e Sua Turma" Her recent work includes The Shadow and Doc Savage for Dynamite. She is currently working on Shaft, which is written by David F. Walker.


Dwayne McDuffie is best known as the co-founder and creator of Milestone Media. He was a Story Editor on the KIDS WB’s Emmy Award-winning animated series STATIC SHOCK, which he co-created. He was also a Producer and Story Editor on Cartoon Network’s JUSTICE LEAGUE. He was Editor-In-Chief of Milestone Media’s award-winning line of comic books, managing an editorial operation which boasted the best on-time delivery record in the industry for nearly four years running and has also worked as an editor for Marvel Comics and Harvey Entertainment. As a writer, Dwayne created or co-created more than a dozen series, including DAMAGE CONTROL, DEATHLOK II, ICON, STATIC, XOMBI, THE ROAD TO HELL and HARDWARE. He wrote stories for dozens of other comics, including, SPIDER-MAN, BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, THE TICK, CAPTAIN MARVEL, AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT, BACK TO THE FUTURE, HELLRAISER, ULTRAMAN, (The Artist Formerly Known As) PRINCE and X-O MANOWAR.
Dwayne won the 2003 HUMANITAS PRIZE for “Jimmy,” a STATIC SHOCK script about gun violence in schools. He was nominated for two EMMY AWARDS for the TV series STATIC SHOCK, a WRITERS GUILD AWARD for the TV series JUSTICE LEAGUE and three EISNER AWARDS for his work in comic books. His comic book work won eleven PARENTS’ CHOICE AWARDS, six “Best Editor” awards, and a GOLDEN APPLE AWARD for his “use of popular art to promote and enhance human dignity.”

Dwayne was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and attended The Roeper School. Before entering comics, he studied in undergraduate and graduate programs at The University of Michigan, then attended film school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He also co-hosted a radio comedy program, while moonlighting pseudonymously as a freelance writer for stand-up comedians and late-night television comedy programs. He wrote scripts for an animated feature, episodes of BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE, STATIC SHOCK!, JUSTICE LEAGUE, WHAT’S NEW, SCOOBY-DOO? and TEEN TITANS.


Long Beach Comic Expo is an annual event held at the Long Beach Convention Center that celebrates comic books and pop culture and showcases the exceptional works of talented writers, artists, illustrators and creators of all types of pop culture. At Long Beach Comic Expo, you’ll find exhibitors promoting and selling all types of related products, as well as entertaining and educational programs for all ages, guest signings and meet & greet sessions with celebrities. Long Beach Comic Expo is a MAD Event Management, LLC production. To learn more and purchase tickets, please visit

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: "Old Wounds #1"

Title: Old Wounds #1
Writer: Russell Lissau
Artist: John Bivens
Letterer: Josh Southall
Publisher: Pop Goes The Icon
Editor: PJ Perez
Release Date: April 8, 2015

In the first issue of Pop Goes The Icon's newest title, Old Wounds, we meet Michael, a retired vigilante whose ex-wife, also a vigilante, has been killed in an explosion. The cops think he's responsible.
But when he gets together with the third member of their vigilante group, and the man's car is rigged to explode, he knows it's serious abd has to do with old enemies who are still nursing old wounds.

I've been reading this publisher's titles for over two years now, and every new title they release seem to get better and better! As a longtime superhero fan, I love the idea of retired heroes being targeted and (possibly) needing to come out of retirement (think amateur Justice League meets The Umbrella Academy...without the Kryptonians or men with giant monkey bodies).
The writing is simple, the story immediately intriguing. The tale is told half with the words and half with the art. Neither of them outshine the other. The art reminds me of how old manga was drawn and printed (Shonen Jump in the late 90's), very stark and easy to follow. It fit the story more than the bright colors you usually see in superhero comics.
It might be only twenty-six pages, but it tells a huge piece of what should prove to be a wonderful and deep story.

5/5--a very solid start!

[Will update the purchase links ASAP.]


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

I didn't decide exactly - I've always been writing, for as long as I can remember, in the same way that people might doodle or play with their hair. It was only in 2009 that I finally decided maybe I should try and get something published. I've always loved writing stories, but I suddenly felt the urge to share them with the rest of the world.

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

I loved a lot of what are considered the iconic SF authors like Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov, or fantasy by Terry Brooks and J.R.R. Tolkien. But as a teen I discovered Anne McCaffrey and Ursula Le Guin and devoured their books. Today, I'm a devoted fan of Jaine Fenn and Neal Asher--both SF authors who tend toward lots of spaceships and explosions.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Restless In Peaceville?

Warm Bodies, initially. I loved that film, and the book by Isaac Marion. But they got me wondering why so many films depicted zombies as brain-eating, groaning monsters when I'd come across very different zombies in books by Terry Pratchett and Piers Anthony. So I looked into the whole mythology, found out the brain-eating was a Hollywood convention, and decided I wanted to do something different. Then someone on Facebook mentioned Louisiana voodoo and that was kind of it. I made myself a zombie story soundtrack on youtube, did some research and got writing.

4. Will we ever see any of these characters again in the future?

I have a file of notes and a handful of scenes written for a sequel, featuring all three main characters. But other things have taken priority and my publisher has recently changed their submission guidelines too, so I'm not likely to be getting to it any time soon. Not unless I suddenly sell lots of Restless so that my publisher wants a sequel. *a so very unsubtle hint* :P

5. What was it about the afterlife and suicide that brought on this novel?

Oddly enough, I don't personally believe in an afterlife. I've seen death close up, and it convinced me we don't go on to somewhere else. Despite that, I still find the idea fascinating in a morbid kind of way. I've done various depictions of what might come next, from the queue to infinity in Restless In Peaceville to an underground society of demons and the damned in a futuristic angel story. Maybe it's my way of denying it with my mind but secretly hoping there IS something else. As for suicide--one of my classmate's in secondary school walked in front of a train one night. I was quite miserable as a teen and obsessed a lot over killing myself, but his death really shook me out of that. I just realized what a waste it was, and I saw how much it hurt the people left behind. I don't condemn suicide in any way - it's terrible that a person can get that low that they feel there's no alternative, and I wish more could be done to help them. But it got me wondering how it would affect someone if they were forced to stick around afterward their own suicide and have to see the consequences. So that's what happens to Luke.  

6. Were any of the characters' personalities or emotions taken from real life?

Well, Luke being miserable about his life was how I felt as a teen. Also, I have a very strong sense of justice - I hate it when people break the rules, and when they get away with it too - so that was Annabelle's motivation. I suppose some might see her mission more as just revenge rather than justice, but it does define her purpose in the sequel (as far as I've got with it).

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

Hmm, I've already done several under the speculative fiction umbrella. I'd like to write some really hard SF - so far what I've written is probably more in the sci-fantasy category, along the lines of Star Wars. I'd love to be able to write comedy, but apparently my sense of humour only appeals to me.

8. What would you do if you woke up as a zombie?

Actually, I pretty much feel like one until I've had my first coffee. Lol! I think I'd probably be a lot like Marvin the Paranoid Android, with his completely cynical outlook on the universe. Just mooch around being miserable, and probably enjoying it. 

9. Was there any intended symbolism behind the way the dead were thrust out of the afterlife and why?

I wanted to give the impression that those being thrown out were considered undesirables simply being shown the exit, like one of those celebrity events where if your name isn't on the list, you aren't coming in. Because the Catholic faith is a big part of the story - Luke is an atheist, but even after being murdered Annabelle still has her faith - and suicide is considered the biggest sin you can possibly commit, I wanted to have that feel to the whole experience Luke went through. It's not nice, but it was the wake up call Luke needed to try and put things right. It was also a test for those leaving, to see if they were willing to risk something horrible rather than just hang around where they weren't welcome.

10. Would you like to see Restless In Peaceville as a film or TV show? Who do you want to see play your characters?

Oh, I would love to see it as either! I partially based Luke on a young actor who played a modern day teen werewolf in a BBC series called Wolfblood--Bobby Lockwood--so I'd love to see him play the part since he influenced it. And one of his co-actors was Aimee Kelly, who'd make a pretty good Annabelle. Sean Bean or Sean Pertwee might do for the Peacemaker. It needs to be a kind of Clint Eastwood type of actor.

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

I'd like to be making a comfortable living from my books, with a happy fan base and a lengthy backlist. It would be awesome to see something of mine end up on the screen, whether TV or film, but I'm realistic about the odds of that ever happening. I can dream!

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

I'd go back to working in a laboratory. I was an analytical chemist for 12 years before becoming a stay-at-home mum, and I loved the work. I wouldn't necessarily go back to the same job, but give me some test tubes and some chemicals and I'd be a happy little mad scientist...I mean lab technician!

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

I'm writing two more YA zombie shorts to follow on from the first that I have releasing in April (Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened), editing my debut scifi romance novel Keir for re-release in May and releasing the rest of the series, and I have plans to write a sequel to a superhero novella--When Dark Falls--that was released back in November last year.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

I don't know that I'd aspire to collaboration, but if I could have had Anne McCaffrey mentor me, or maybe even just have given me feedback on a story, that would have been awesome.

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

My nickname as a teen was Dormouse. I didn't have my first tattoo until I was 40. My first crush was Luke Skywalker. 

Find Pippa online via:


Adventures in Scifi

Spacefreighters Lounge

Romancing the Genres

SFR Brigade







Amazon page