Monthly Archives: July 2015

Mr. Holmes (film) staring Ian McKellen

mr-holmesSherlock Holmes has been solving crimes since his first appearance in print back in 1897. The character came from the imagination of Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote 4 novels and numerous short stories. It makes a person wonder when Doyle originated Holmes if he thought the character would still be so popular in television, print and movies.

Ian McKellen joins the over 200 actors that have played Holmes in the movie, Mr. Holmes. The movie cast includes Laura Linney as Mrs. Munro, Milo Parker as Roger Munro,  and a cameo by actor Nichols  Rowe. If people do not recognize Rowe’s name he played Holmes in the movie, Young Sherlock Holmes, and in this film plays an actor playing the master detective. Yes, that alludes to the fact there is a movie that is viewed within this movie.

Mr. Holmes takes the viewer into the world of a now retired, 93 years old, bee keeper’s life. This is how Holmes is living out his golden years under the care of Mrs. Munro and her son Roger in 1947 England. These two characters are going to be at odds with Holmes at times as many fans will recall he is not the most “sensitive” of men.  An example of this, sensitivity, is when Holmes sees what’s for dinner he shows a sign of disappointment to the smiling Mrs. Munro.

This version of Holmes had ended his detective career after one last case that happened after Watson had left after he had gotten married. This is explained in the movie, and this last case will be a major plot point of the film. The other major point is that tied of with one Matsuda Umezaki (Hiroyuki Sanada) who ‘s knowledge of the prickly pear.

As you may read I have been dropping a few hints to the film without sharing any major spoilers but to do this movie justice I must share one main spoiler. The fact of the matter is that at 93 Holmes is starting to lose that one thing he had counted on most through his career. He is going senile and is losing his memory. His mind being his strongest weapon and the film does a majestic job of showing how he struggles with that loss.  It will explain how his bees and the prickly pear will all be come relevant to the film.

Holmes will show signs of weakness and vulnerability and even appears human at times. This is something some versions of Holmes have not shown. He is still brilliant and there are moments where we are reminded of that, but his interactions with young Roger bring that human side to life. These interactions are almost like that as father and son as Roger learns to care for the bees. This is a fear to Mrs. Munro as her husband died during the war and she can see how fragile Holmes is becoming. It is not said but at times you sense she’s afraid what could happen if Roger loses Holmes as well.

What I found so great about this film is how McKellen portrayed the now flawed detective. You at times may sympathize with what the character is going through. Tales of those dealing with dementia and Alzheimer  will come to mind as you watch this portrayal. There are blank stares into the camera that show no activity in the eyes that make things so believable.

Mr. Holmes is one of the best adaptions of the character I have seen in sometime. The setting of 1947 adds so much to the story as well. The fact that Holmes travels to a now post-war Japan and sees the fallout of one of those atomic bombs is so real. It just brings so much to the aging master detective. This is why I enjoyed the movie so much. So often when people see adaptations of Holmes there seems to be a lacking of humanity in the character. There are times sorrow shows through in some of these portrayals but this version  makes him human. It’s something that often we do not get to see with Holmes and just imagining a man with such a brilliant mind losing it, and how he finally resolves to that fact is what makes this a great movie.

The movie was directed by Bill Conlin, based on the 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind written by Mitch Cullin.

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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Reviews


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Ten +1 Questions with Author Anne Montgomery

Anne MontgomeryBelow you will find the Ten +1 Questons from author Anne Montgomery. As I was loading the links into this post I found out about her Wikipedia page. I did some quick reading and I must her name may seem familiar to people. Why? Well you will see that she was at one time an anchor on SportsCenter on ESPN. So, without giving to much more away check out Anne’s responses to the questions below.




Question 1: When did you realize first wanted to be a writer?

The thought never occurred to me until I was in my late 30s. I didn’t read well when I was younger, as I’m a bit dyslexic, so I didn’t gravitate toward either reading or writing. In fact, I remember getting letters returned from my mother covered with way too much red ink, highlighting my spelling and composition errors when I was in college. No one ever mentioned my writing skills until I asked John Walsh, who was my boss at ESPN, why he hired me. He said it was because I was a good writer. I was shocked, but a seed was planted.

Question 2:  How did your friends/family take the loss of your time as you wrote the book?

I did not have any children when I started the first book. As I’d been a TV reporter and anchor for much of my marriage my husband at the time was used to me be gone a lot. I now have three foster sons, all of whom came into my life as teenagers. They, I think, are not quite as needy as perhaps small children. So, I don’t think anyone feels neglected. The boys are probably glad that Mom has a distraction.

Question 3: What inspired you to write A Light in the Desert?

The dedication in my book reads as follows: This book was inspired by and is dedicated to my dear friend Sergeant Don Clarkson, a Green Beret who served in Vietnam with the 9th Infantry ARVN Soldiers from December 1968 to November 1970. Don died in 2010 from complications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Agent Orange poisoning.

Don and I umpired amateur baseball together for five years. This was a time during which I was bemoaning the fact that I could no longer get a job in TV. After working at five stations, I was now too old to be in front of a camera. I was also going through a divorce and I couldn’t even get a job bartending. I was feeling pretty sorry for me. Then I met Don, a wounded Vietnam veteran with a wife and eight children. Despite his struggles with PTSD and Agent Orange poisoning, he rarely complained. Amateur umpires spend a lot of time before and after games talking. Don shared his stories with me and gradually I began to realize the triviality of my complaints and what a gift his friendship was. I wrote the book to help his children understand why their father sometimes behaved the way he did.

Question 4: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters?

The sabotage of the Amtrak Sunset Limited, which remains a cold-case crime, occurred shortly after the Oklahoma City Bombing and, like that event, is considered to be an act of domestic terrorism. Since the crime occurred roughly 65 miles from Phoenix, the story was huge here and I became engrossed in the coverage.

As I explained in the previous question, Don was my inspiration for Jason Ramm, though he was not a sniper during his time in Vietnam. Most of the flashbacks in A Light in the Desert were actual events in his life. Jack Cooper is based on Maricopa County Deputy Sheriff Dave Woolley, a first responder to the wreck site of the Amtrak Sunset Limited, who graciously allowed me to interview him about the experience. It’s probably obvious that the too old, TV news reporter, Kate Butler, is me, though unlike Kate, I do not have a shelf full of Emmys. Still a girl can dream. The Children of Light are real people who allowed me into their enclave. Elect Sun is based on one of the women I met there.

Question 5: Who were some of the authors that inspired you as a child growing up and their books?

I did not read as a child. I hated books because I struggled with reading. (I still sometimes can’t tell the difference between a d and a b, but I digress.) My dearest friend growing up was a complete bookworm. When she found out I was an author, her first response was, “How the hell did you become a writer?” She has a point. Life can be odd. In the even stranger department, while I’m primarily a journalism teacher, I’m also a reading specialist. I taught reading to high school kids – some of whom read below the third-grade level – for five years.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the first completed version of your book?

I have never had any biological children, but I’m guessing the feeling is a bit like childbirth, without the inherent mess.

Question 7: Do you continue to write and in what genre? 

I wrote Nothing But Echoes, which is historical fiction based in Flagstaff, Arizona, in which both Kate Butler and Jack Cooper play prominent roles. (The book was previously titled The Magician, and will soon be rereleased by Sarah Book Publishing.) I also have a novel called The Scent of Rain, which tells the story of a young girl who lives in the polygamous community of Colorado City, Arizona. My agent is currently shopping that one around. My books don’t fit neatly into a specific genre. What they have in common is that they are based on real people or events. Can’t take the reporter out of the girl.

Question 8: Whom do you imagine being the people reading your book?

I have worked hard to ensure the facts concerning the crime are as they occurred, as are the military bits. The characters – some of whom who you can root for, while others you might like to run over with a truck – are realistic and relatable. And the setting in the Arizona, desert and the plot are both intriguing, so I think A Light in the Desert should have broad appeal.

Question 9: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book?

Make time to write. Be patient. Revel in small steps forward. Have another job to pay the bills. Ask people who don’t already love you to critique your work and then thank them for their time. Have a thick skin. Criticism is your friend: learn from it. Have a sense of humor. And, mostly, enjoy the process. If you don’t, find another hobby.

Question 10: When not writing how do you like to spend your time?

I’m a journalism/multimedia communications teacher at South Mountain High School, a Title I school in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m extremely fortunate that I love my job and, with a few exceptions, look forward to going to work everyday. I also have quite a few hobbies that brighten my world. I’m an avid rock and mineral collector. (All of my books contain some rock references.) I am also a scuba diver, just the thought of which drops my blood pressure 20 points. I have a desert vegetable garden with which I constantly do battle and which I refer to as my Moriarty. I have been an amateur sports official since 1979. I have officiated football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball games at various levels over the years. Today, I’m an Arizona Interscholastic Association high school football referee and crew chief. And, after thirty-five years, I finally picked up my old guitar.

The + 1 Question

If your book got turned into a movie do you have any actors/actresses you’d like to see play your characters?

I do have a screenplay for A Light in the Desert. Originally, I thought I’d like Ed Harris to play Jason Ramm. Glenn Close would be perfect as Elect Sun. Alas; I am too old to play Kate Butler. (Story of my life.) Everyone else would have to be unknown, because now the budget is blown.


Where to find Anne Montgomery Online

Find A Light in the Desert:


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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in Interview


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A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery

NightI have to admit when I saw the title to author Anne Montgomery’s newest book I had a flashback to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Why? In the movie Brad and Janet go toward a light to find help after a flat tire and a song plays. The song has a lyric of, “In the velvet darkness of the blackest night, burning bright, there’s a guiding star, no matter what or who you are.” I of course started humming the rest of the song but after reading, A Light in the Desert, I found this lyric to be quite fitting.

I write this as such a light has numerous connotations available to why it may be seen. A religious person would think of the light that led the three wise men to the manger where Jesus was born. Those not of a religious background may think alien, car light, train, or just a plain old light with nothing special to it. The book will introduce the reader to a few potential options but in its core is a story that takes the reader into the lives of many people that are as diverse as the wild of the Arizona Desert they all call home.

A Light in the Desert will introduce the reader to former Vietnam veteran Jason Ramm who has moved into town. He’s been able to settle in and found he’s been welcomed by the locals. As a person reads the book they will get to find much more of his background, including potential mental problems. These problems did not appear till he had a “mission” in Jerusalem and you may wonder what was he doing there. You will of course need to read the book to find out why. They will also find that he finds a dog, near death, and helps bring it back to life.

There are other characters like young teenager, Kelly Garcia, who is very pregnant and living with The Children of Light. The children are a group of Pentecostal zealots who try to live the way of the bible. They try and grow all their own food and help take care of those who cannot help themselves like Kelly. She has found her way to their home after a jealous mother decided she could not live with Kelly in the house any longer. Kelly does have a birth defect in her face, but it appears some man still found her beautiful.

There are other characters within the book such as a malicious gas station owner who has no problem beating his own son. The man’s problem is that the son has reached an age where he is not afraid of his father and is himself quite ruthless. The local store owner is the man all should talk to if they want to find out about their neighbors as he is the local gossip. He hears so much and sees so much as he does operate the only store around. There then is a smart and edgy news reporter who according to her bosses is a bit “past her prime”. She has won several Emmy’s but her age has caught up to her and in the world of TV News that is deadly.

The book will take the reader into a very complex plot filled with many plot lines. Ramm seems to be just another man escaping the big bad world but there is so much more to him. He helps the Children of Light and even takes a liking to Kelly. She needs help and someone to watch over her as she is under educated and the world has not been kind to her.  Ramm even may believe that she may help him with the madness he struggles with all the time.

There then is the gas station owner’s son, Billy, who stole so much from his father before running away. In truth Billy had left a nice package for his father in the bathroom of the gas station but it was found before it could do any damage. Billy has missed that opportunity but for those riding the train that goes through the area will find out, he is not done yet.

The book does have several different plot lines, but there is one thing that runs throughout the book. This is how one should never give up and fight for what they feel is right. Yes, there are those within the pages of, A Light in the Desert, that are misguided but the story unfolds nicely thanks to Montgomery’s writing. People will find some characters larger than life, and others you cannot help but sympathize with. There are even moments when one may feel terrible for Billy, and the next want to him hurt. The one character that caught my eye was that of the “retired” TV Reporter Kate. I felt there may be a bit of Montgomery in this character when one considers her back ground in TV. The simple truth is that each character is well developed and the story eventually will find a point where all the plot lines seem to join and converge on the right track. I have one final note and that is be sure to read the Dedication as the struggles Ramm has may be more real for the reader.

The book is published by Sarah Book Publishing.

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Posted by on July 20, 2015 in Reviews


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Red Desert – Invisible Enemy by author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

Invisible EnemyThe last time a reader had seen Anna Persson she had just made a shocking discovery on Mars. She had found the original mission site and what she found inside would make her forget all of the problems she was having back in her habitat. The deaths, a potential murder, and a potential dangerous crew mate where all gone at that moment. However, one discovery cannot change everything as she will find out in this book.

Red Desert – Invisible Enemy, is the third entry in author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli’s Red Desert series. The book will continue the tail of Anna and Hussan on Mars and reconnect the reader with Mission Control and Anna’s fiancé Jan. A connection that will be part of this series as intrigue will spill from the red planet back to those on Earth.

The book opens with those left in Alpha fighting among each other. Robert is attacking Hassan and he has no recourse but to strike back. The actions of the two men are brutal as Robert seems almost possessed by some unseen force. He blames Hassan for Anna leaving and the laboratory is Robert’s newest target for destruction and it is hear the two men will have a potential final battle. The outcome will not be shared for some time in the book but so much will happen between that point and the story.

This third installment will tell the reader what Anna has found on the planet is not just a living virus but more life. The life she finds will save her from certain death and shock those back on Earth into agreeing to launch a new mission to Mars. One would think that after all the calamity that has been happening with this second, cursed, mission they would not but things change.

Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli does it again as she inter winds high drama on Mars with drama back on Earth. Jan will accidentally uncover a dark secret that will shake him to his core. He is so shaken he is willing to make a deal with a reporter and tell this woman all what is happening on Mars. This is just some of the intrigue happening on Earth as Mission Control must deal with all the data they are getting from Mars.

The book is aptly titled with Invisible Enemy as you never know where the danger will come from. It can be from your fellow humans to the minds of those around you. Their thoughts could be hiding an evil intent or even something more serious can be behind everything. The book will take the reader into a great tale that will leave all wanting more and nervous on what could eventually happen on both planets.

If this review isn’t enough to get you interested check out the books trailer.

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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Reviews


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Ten +1 Questions with Author Raymond Lee


This is Raymond Lee? Answer in the questions.

Below you are going to find  bit of a “shock” when it comes to author Raymond Lee. I say this as the answers are presented you will find out that he is actually a she if the profile image did not already make that clear. So take a look at the answers below and find out not just about “Raymond Lee” but who he actually is.  Enjoy!

Question 1: When did you realize first wanted to be a writer?  

Around 4th grade. I was the school librarian’s pet, and had a thing for the really big books. I remember thinking it would be cool to make my own stories and I wrote my first book then, a story about a girl who got an adopted sister and suddenly feared not being loved anymore. The librarian read it, loved it, and that kind of started the bug.

Question 2:  How did your friends/family take the loss of your time as you wrote the book?  

Hahaha. They don’t notice any loss. They still bug me. 🙂

Question 3: What inspired you to write Mail Horror Bride?  

I was inspired by The Walking Dead. I was sick in bed New Year’s Weekend of 2014 and caught a marathon of it. I was instantly hooked and what I missed during the marathon, I  watched on Netflix and AMC’s website. I would dream of zombies every night so finally I just decided to write my own zombie apocalypse series. The one thing I find annoying about TWD is that they never said what caused the outbreak so I made sure I did that right in the beginning of my series. I chose mail order brides as the “virus delivery system ”  because it just seemed the easiest way another country could infiltrate us.

Question 4: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters?  

The book was inspired by The Walking Dead. The characters were inspired by different people I know and some of them have characteristics of my own. This was a really fun book to write because there are so many inside jokes that the readers won’t pick up on, but my close friends will.

Question 5: Who were some of the authors that inspired you as a child growing up and their books?  

Stephen King. It is one of my all time favorite books. Misery was also great. I read a lot of Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and C.S. Lewis as well. Edgar Allan Poe is a master, of course.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the first completed version of your book?  

Mail Horror Bride is one of many books I have written so it wasn’t that exciting. LOL! I did love how awesome it looked though. The cover designer did an amazing job. Honestly, I always feel a sense of relief when I get a finished book in my hand, like I just went through birth but without the physical pain.

Question 7: Do you continue to write and in what genre?  

I write paranormal and contemporary romance under my real name, Crystal-Rain Love, and horror/thriller books under the Raymond Lee pen name.

Question 8: Who do you imagine being the people reading your book?  

I imagine a variety of people. I’ve gotten wonderful messages from people of all ages, genders, races, and backgrounds.

Question 9: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book?  

Read a lot, write from the heart, and please make sure you edit. Get editing help if needed!

Question 10: When not writing how does you like to spend your time?  

I have three kids and two huge dogs so when I’m not writing or working my full-time job I’m pretty much taking care of them or running errands.

The + 1 Question If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

I’d love to do a tour that included every state in the U.S. because one of my major life dreams is to visit every state. I have a lot of states to go!


Where to find:

Mail Horror Bride

Raymond Lee Page

Crystal Rain-Love

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Posted by on July 8, 2015 in Interview


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Mail Horror Bride (One Nation Under Zombies Book 1) by Raymond Lee

MHBThe dating world has grown significantly through the advent of the internet. Men, and women, can search the world to find that perfect match. It has allowed both genders to easily cross borders when looking for their soul mate. There are even websites, and phone apps, that will feature someone from specific countries. This is what brings me to the book, Mail Horror Bride: One Nation Under Zombies.

The book is written by author Raymond Lee and will take the reader into the world of mail order brides and a “potential” danger that can come from these women. You will read how many men look at women from foreign countries, like Russia, for love. They look for a woman that may not have the independent spirit of many American women. They could also be looking for a woman that could be a “show piece”, and ones who may just be looking to get a green card.

The book opens with a man asking his wife about her brother’s wife. The husband is asking if he is married to one of those Russian mail order brides. She’s originally upset with him as it appears they have been down that road before and is tired of her husband talking about it. However, this is not the case as he is watching the news and there is a breaking story.  It is here at the beginning of the book that we find out the Russians have been busy. They have placed a disease into the women that have come to America to marry. The woman where implanted with a disease that would turn the women into, zombies.

The book takes off and we are introduced to a varied group of characters. There are sisters stuck in a hotel in California that after venturing out of their hotel room walk into the horror that awaits them. A man has escaped prison and while waiting for his ride he gets a phone call. The call is from his friend asking him to watch over his children, as his wife was one of those brides. A woman bangs at the door of her ex-boyfriends home demanding to be let in. She knows the type of woman he married and wants to tell him off for what he did. Those working in the film industry from a set worker to famous actor will be pulled into this mess. Lastly there is another mail order bride, but this one is from Asia. She has to not only survive the outbreak, but a husband who beats her.

These are the main characters in the book and at some point their paths may cross but all will first have to survive this new America. The outbreak will follow many other zombie books as you read about how they must survive. There are also bits of humor tossed in the pages as I personally remember doing a fist pump when I read about the death of a singer. I know, I shouldn’t do that but its fiction and the individual just annoys me so much. Oh and just a note, it wasn’t Justin Bieber, but you have to read the book to find out who I am referring to.

Raymond Lee does a great job of developing the large cast of characters you come across within the pages. The characters are all flawed in some way and this comes out as you read more and find out about them. They can be crazy and insane, over caring, and even a bit psychotic but in their own ways they do care about others.

Mail Horror Bride: One Nation Under Zombies is a book that does come from the zombie genre, but do to the writing it stands out from the crowd. The book is something people will enjoy as there are moments in the book that will play with all kinds of emotions. There are just enough bits of humor it balances out the sadness that are within the pages. The characters will be relatable as they are very real and easy to connect with. The book is a great read for fans of all types of horror genre and even those who just want a great fun read.

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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in Reviews


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Ten +1 Questions with Author John Hazen

John HazenJohn Hazen is the author behind the book Dear Dad. He took time to answer the new set of Ten +1 Questions that I have put together. So without more comment please check out John’s answers to the questions.

Question 1: When did you realize first wanted to be a writer? 

I can’t remember when I didn’t want to write novels, but it was always one of those things I “never got around to do”. I put forward a couple of efforts earlier in my life but they never went anywhere. Every time I did it all seemed so daunting and overwhelming, but it still didn’t dampen my dream of writing a book, someday. It wasn’t until I got myself my first laptop that I started to get serious about it and began to put my ideas down and fashion them into stories. The result is that I’ve now written four novels, one of which I self-published (Dear Dad) and two that have been published by a small independent publisher, Black Rose Writing (Fava and Journey of an American Son).

Question 2: How did your friends/family take the loss of your time as you wrote the book?

Most of my writing is done on the train back and forth from work or early in the morning hours so there hasn’t been a lot of lost time away from friends and family.

Question 3: What inspired you to write Dear Dad? 

I’ve always been a bit of a history buff and have especially been fascinated by the Civil War. Many people at the time viewed the Civil War as a just war that needed to be fought. Juxtaposed with this is the fact that I grew up in the Vietnam War era with the nightly televised antiwar protest images being pumped into my brain. I thought it would make for a great novel to somehow contrast the two wars (with a nod being given to World War II in the process), but I’m a novelist and I didn’t want it to come off as a dry history lesson. That’s when it occurred to me that what better way to compare the wars than to have to same person participate in both wars?

Question 4: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters?

When I get an initial idea for a book, I can’t say that there is very much in the way of specifics. I have a general concept of what the book is about (e.g., comparing two very dissimilar wars or what would happen if a person who lost someone on 9/11 was suddenly able to extract ultimate revenge), where I ultimately want to end up and perhaps the lead characters but beyond that, the rest comes to me as I write. I have great admiration for those authors who can outline their books ahead of time. Me, I make it up as I go along. I always tell people that some of my favorite characters are minor characters that I originally introduce to help move the plot along but then as I’m writing they grow in importance and become pivotal characters in the book. In Dear Dad, Doc and Jon were that way. I just love the way these characters develop before my very eyes.

Question 5: Who were some of the authors that inspired you as a child growing up and their books? 

Would it be going back a little too far to cite Virginia Lee Burton who wrote Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel as a profound influence? It’s the first book I recall reading. Seriously, my favorite all-time book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read it first in either Junior High or High School and I’ve re-read it a number of times since then. In high school and for years afterward I would latch onto an author and read everything I could by him or her one after the other. I did that with John Steinbeck, James Mitchener and Robert Ludlum. As you can see, my tastes are rather eclectic.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the first completed version of your book? 

It was quite a rush, I must say; quite a feeling of accomplishment and pride. I must say that even now I look back at my books and say to myself: ‘Wow, I did that?’

Question 7: Do you continue to write and in what genre? 

Oh yes, I’m still writing. I write in the suspense/thriller genre. All my books have some sort of historical component but I like to have some sort of twist. Dear Dad, for example, has a time travel component to it. Presently, I’m working on revamping the first novel I ever wrote but was never released. It’s called Aceldama and has a fantasy aspect to it, asking the question: What if someone were to stumble across one of the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas to betray Christ?

Question 8: Who do you imagine being the people reading your book? 

I’m hoping that Dear Dad has an appeal to a broad spectrum of people. I could see history buffs liking it. I could see the time travel crowd having an interest. I can the family-values set taking a look at it because of the father-son bond you mention in your review. Most importantly (and I want this to apply to all my books), I see people being attracted to the book because they just plain like to read a good story.

Question 9: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book? 

Perseverance. You can’t let yourself be overwhelmed at the outset but construct it as you would if you’re building a house. Just like you wouldn’t start doing your interior decorating until you got the structure and plumbing and electrical in place, neither should you rush the building of your story. Don’t get ahead of yourself but put the book together bit by bit and scene by scene. You also need to have a thick skin and accept constructive criticism gracefully. In Dear Dad, for example, an early draft had a whole family that one of my readers said really did not add much to the story and in fact distracted the reader from the main plotline. I really liked the family and I miss those kids, but I had to agree and they were expunged from the final version of the book. Lastly there’s an old writer adage that I think writers should always keep in mind: ‘Show, don’t tell’. The example I remember is instead of saying ‘Ted was filthy rich’ say ‘Ted glanced at his Rolex’. It gets the same point across but in a more descriptive way that helps the reader paint a picture in his mind

Question 10: When not writing how does you like to spend your time? 

I just like spending time with my wife of 35 years, my best friend, Lynn. We love to travel and play tennis but more likely than not we’ll just enjoy each other’s company doing about anything.

The + 1 Question

If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

I’d love to retrace the trip my grandfather made in 1920 when he was sent on a business trip from Boston to Calcutta, India. He wrote a diary of that trip which I subsequently used as the setting into which I wrote my most recent novel, Journey of an American Son (how’s that for a shameless plug for one of my other books?) As you can imagine, a trip that today would take less than a day at that time took months as he took a train across Canada, then steamers to Tokyo, Singapore and ultimately Calcutta. Along the way he also rode on rickshaws, dinghies and Model Ts. After he concluded his business, he got back on trains and steamers but headed west to go through the Suez Canal up through Europe and then across the Atlantic back to Boston. Now that would be a book tour!

Connect witih John Hazen:

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Posted by on July 1, 2015 in Interview


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