Garrett Addison – Interview

Today we talk to Garrett Addison

Garrett_AddisonQ) Tell us something about yourself.

I’m a forty something, Australian Indie author and also a geek, husband and father. I grew up in Perth, Western Australia, and have been lucky enough to live in or visit most of Australia and much of the world, but I now live in Melbourne with my family.  I’ve been an Army officer, software consultant and author and so far have written two novels, MINIONS and THE TRAVELLER, with more to come.  I’m a big advocate for the promotion of reading in general (#GetReading) and particularly reading the works of Indie authors and something that might not yet be a best-seller (#ReadDifferent).

Q) Tell us about your latest book. Why do you think the readers will like it?

My latest is ‘The Traveller’, the story of a repressed family man who spends too much time away from home at the whims of a merciless bitch of a boss.  When he is miraculously transformed on what starts as just another trip, he decides it’s time for not only success but also some payback on the one he sees as the bane of his life… revenge and enlightenment ensues!  Sometimes to get the measure of your life you just need a break from being yourself.

I think readers will like it because it’s very different and has really interesting character evolution with some great twists.  It’s a fun story.

Q) How did you come up with the title of the book?

As I was writing it, the book was always ‘The Traveller’.  When complete, I tried different titles but they all tended to hint too much of the story and I didn’t want to give anything away. 

Q) What kind of research did you do for your book?

While it’s not biographical by any means, having travelled extensively with work I understood many of the personal and professional stresses on a perpetual traveller very well.  The book actually started as a rant of what I thought of work travel, but then it dawned on me that it created such a great setting for a “what if…” scenario.

Q) Which of the Characters in your book are your favourites and why?

The traveller from ‘The Traveller’ is my favourite … he doesn’t have a name.  He’s an average guy with work/life balance issues who’s long since had his soul crushed by an evil boss.  He’s a bit of train-wreck really and hardly a very likeable character, but he’s just so in his own world that it’s good fun to come along for the ride.  Amid his challenges, the story really shows his growth while away from home.   

Q) How did you formulate this character? Is it based on someone you know?

The traveller blossomed from a great big “what if…”.  Yes, he’s busy and yes, it’s hard balancing work and home life, but what if he was a different person on one particular trip?  Everything evolved from there: what could he get up to and what would he get up to?  A lot of people think it must be autobiographical, but it isn’t.

Q) Every Author has a distinct writing style. How would you describe your style and how do you think you came to form it?

I want to write different: different stories, different characters and in a different style.  I don’t want to write stories confined to a particular genre or like any other author or featuring familiar or predictable characters.  I want for my readers to escape into stories where preconceptions wont help them and so they can just come along for a ride.

Q) How long have you been working on this book and what inspired you to write it?

‘The Traveller’ started on a business trip; some scribbles on an outward flight, some pages in a restaurant late at night, and then some ‘what if’ questions on the return flight.  I knew I had something and I wrote probably 80% of the story on the weekend following my return.  From there, however, it took a few years of rewriting to get right and during this time everything was changed.  Just because I had 80% to build on didn’t mean that any of it was really how it needed to be. 

What inspired me to write it?  I couldn’t keep it in … it just had to be written.  I don’t think ‘The Traveller’ will be the crowning achievement of my writing career, but there’s something special in the story which I hope will see it get some wider appeal. 

Q) When did you start writing and when did you realize you want to become an Author?

I have always written, but the urge to write novels only really surfaced about ten years ago when I started to get bored with seeing the same stories and characters in what I was reading.  It dawned on me that perhaps this was an indication that I needed to set to work on novels that I’d like to read: if it is to be, it is up to me.  From there, writing became an obsession.

Q) Who are some of the Authors you like and how do you think their work inspired you?

I only really started to read for enjoyment as an adult, so many of my favourite authors are the ones who helped turned me into a reader.  Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ sparked the reader in me and Lee Child’s ‘Reacher’ books turned me into a reading devotee, ably supported by the books of John Birmingham and Matthew Reilly.  Together, these authors in particular showed me that if I hadn’t been reading for enjoyment then clearly I wasn’t reading the right books.

Q) What do you think is the most difficult part about writing and publishing a novel?

I think the hardest part of writing is knowing when something ‘works’, and more correctly, if it doesn’t work, is it workable, by you.  You might have a great idea or have written something that just doesn’t work and the trick is to be able understand how to fix (rewrite) it or accept that what it needs might be beyond you.  Yes, you could possibly keep working away at it for years and maybe, just maybe, turn it into something amazing and the subject of widespread acclaim.  However, I think it’s more likely that you’d get more out of learning from it and moving on, rather than writing off (pun unavoidable) time and effort which could be directed to a potentially better project.

Traditional publishing is harder than ever, but self-publishing has never been easier and is getting easier everyday.  The side effect of this self-publishing simplicity is the sheer volume of new work becoming available.  Meanwhile, it seems reading as a pastime is in decline in a world with so many alternatives to reading, which is very sad.  So there’s all this new material and their authors are vying for the attention of a smaller reader community.  To me, this is a challenge to write books which get more people reading.

Q) What is some advice you will like to give to people trying to write and get their stories published?

Don’t stop, read widely and don’t be too influenced by what you read.  The more you write, the better you will get: you need to keep at it.  Just reading will help your writing more than you can appreciate, and the more you read, the better your writing will become.  The wider you stretch your reading, outside your usual genre or style, the more you’ll broaden or discover of your own capability .  Sure, you might like a particular genre or style, but you really need to read outside that genre to grow your own skills.  Feel free to keep your favourite style and genre, but you’ll need to stretch your reading for your writing development.

As for getting your stories out there, brace yourself for rejection and learn to thrive on it, not just cope with it.  Rejection is par for the course, particularly if you are hell bent on pursuing a traditional publishing deal.  Let it drive or motivate you, not stop you.  Self-publishing doesn’t preclude you from rejection either… ask any author who’s ever received a damning review.  You need to accept that once your work is widely available or accessible, you are going to be subject to scrutiny from outside your immediate circle.  To that point, just because you can self-publish doesn’t mean that you should self-publish as soon as a friend reads your work and tells you how good it is!

Q) Tell us something about what you are working on or about some of your future projects.

My current work in progress is shaping up to be a good story of revenge.  It’s a way off being complete so anything could happen, but I’m hoping it will reveal a righteously vengeful character.

Q) From amongst all the novels ever published if you had to write any one, which one would it be and why?

The one which was later attributed to a reversal in the current downward trend of people reading.  I’d love to be the one whose books turned people into readers.

Q) If you had to convince someone to read your book in 5 lines what would they be?

THE TRAVELLER.  It’s a good fun story of revenge, regret and redemption and more than a little different.  Take an ordinary guy with everyday stresses and an evil female boss, but when he is suddenly a new ‘improved’ version of himself, he gets the chance to get even and reclaim his life.  Revenge never tasted so good.  Sometimes to get the measure of your life you just need a break from being yourself … because nothing lasts forever.

Links:

Website : http://www.garrettaddison.com

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/GarrettAddisonAuthor

Twitter : https://twitter.com/garrettaddison

Goodreads : www.goodreads.com/GarrettAddison

Amazon : http://bit.ly/theTraveller

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Jacob Appel – Interview

Today we speak to Jacob M. Appel

Jacob M AppelQ) Tell us something about yourself.

By day, I’m a psychiatrist at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City and teach medical ethics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  When I hang up my white coat each evening, I sneak into a phone booth and transform myself into another of the city’s struggling writers.  Alas, as phone booths become rarer, competition for space has been increasing.

Q) Tell us about your latest book. Why do you think the readers will like it?

My latest work of fiction is The Biology of Luck, a novel of love and desperation set in New York City.  It is actually a novel-within-a-novel:  Sort of like the play-within-the-play in Hamlet, only mine contains dialogue and pretty girls and nobody is poisoned through his ear.   The main character, Larry Bloom, is an inept and lonely tour guide who has written a novel about the woman whom he admires from afar—and plans to give her this manuscript to demonstrate his affections.  Maybe not the wisest of romantic plans, but we all have to make a fool of ourselves sometime.   Your readers will love it.  Did I mention that reading my book helps you lose weight and make money simultaneously?

Q) How did you come up with the title of the book?

One of the characters in my book, an elderly Armenian florist, believes that good luck is a genetic trait.  Hence the title.  Unfortunately, it’s easy to mistake the title for that of a science textbook.  Yet another instance where hindsight proves 20/20.

Q) What kind of research did you do for your book?

I wandered the streets of New York City, staring at people and imagining their inner lives.   I also sampled an extraordinary amount of chocolate and pizza is the name of research.

Q) Which of the Characters in your book are your favourites and why?

My favourite character is Bone, the one-armed super, who has a reputation for being able to get anyone absolutely anything for the right price—from “a year’s supply of napalm” to “nude photographs of the Queen of England” to “a particular painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”  I’ve always wanted to be one of those resourceful people like Bone.  The reality is that I couldn’t find you a snowball on a glacier, hence my envy for those who make things happen.

Q) How did you formulate this character? Is it based on someone you know?

None of the characters in my book are based upon anybody I know.  I REPEAT, if you are an ex-girlfriend or the attorney for an ex-girlfriend, none of these characters is based upon anyone I know.

Q) Every Author has a distinct writing style. How would you describe your style and how do you think you came to form it?

I don’t know if my style is distinctive – but I do own a fancy pen.  I try to remember everything they taught me in school and then do the opposite.

Q) How long have you been working on this book and what inspired you to write it?

I started this book in the late 1990s.  Actually, I also finished this book in the late 1990s.  And then it sat in the trunk of my car for more than a decade, until a lovely independent publisher, Elephant Rock, solicited a copy.  So I have two pieces of advice for aspiring writers:  1) never give up and 2) if you buy a used car at an estate sale, check the trunk – this could be your big break.

Q) When did you start writing and when did you realize you want to become an Author?

I remember being a little child — five or six years old – and watching lawyers and businessmen disembarking from their commuter trains in the early evening, looking sapped and joyless.   I knew with certainty, at that moment, what I did not want to become when I grew up.  There are very few jobs one can do in a pair of pajamas, even fewer that are legal and can be performed standing up, so writing seemed like an appealing choice.

Q) Who are some of the Authors you like and how do you think their work inspired you?

Among contemporary authors, I’m a great admirer of Karen Russell, Dan Chaon, Kevin Brockmeier, Elizabeth Graver, Chris Adrian, Robert Olen Butler – people who are not afraid to wade out into the depths of imagination.  (My marriage proposal to Karen Russell—whom, for the record, I have never met—remains open-ended, even if she is already married.)  I should also put in a plug for my former students and mentees, including CJ Hauser, Chanan Tigay and Brigit Kelly Young, who are slowly rising through the ranks of the literary establishment.    I’m also a fan of a well-written memoir like Andre Aciman’s Out of Egypt or Emily Rapp’s Poster Child or Melissa Febos’s Whip Smart.

Q) What do you think is the most difficult part about writing and publishing a novel?

Plagiarizing from the classics without getting caught.  That’s why it’s much better to lift work from obscure volumes written in endangered languages.   Large portions of The Biology of Luck were originally written in Arjeplog Sami, a Uralic dialect spoken in the north of Sweden.  I also cobbled together some dialogue from Rongorongo glyphs found on Easter Island.  I like to think of myself as the downscale version of Jonah Lehrer, just smarter.

Q) What is some advice you will like to give to people trying to write and get their stories published?

Be relentless.  Most people fail to achieve literary success because they give up too soon, not because they lack talent.  (Yet I’m beginning to fear I may be among that small minority who actually lacks talent.)  Be kind to strangers, especially if they’re likely to blurb your novel someday.  And, needless to say, marry an heiress.  Any large fortune will do, although Old Money has its particular charms.  That won’t make you a better writer, but with the former Miss Rockefeller bankrolling your literary career, it may not matter.

Q) Tell us something about what you are working on or about some of your future projects.

My agent already has my next novel on her desk.  It’s about a teacher who becomes embroiled with a band of “Civil War deniers” and discovers that the American Civil War may be a hoax.  If you’re an editor with a major publisher (or even a well-heeled, minor publisher), now is your opportunity to make your bid.  My secret fantasy is to write a sequel to Jean Paul Sartre’s Nausea—which will not, for the record, be called Vomit—but I’m probably going to have to hold out for posthumous publication.

Q) From amongst all the novels ever published if you had to write any one, which one would it be and why?

The Bible.  It’s a bit repetitive at times, but you can’t beat those sales figures.

Q) If you had to convince someone to read your book in 5 lines what would they be?

1)  If you read my book, I will remember you in my will.

2) If you read my book, I promise not to date your sister, daughter, or [insert name of beloved female relative here].

3) If you email me, I will send you a free PDF of the novel.  Free!  That’s even better than cheap.

4) Carrying my novel on the bus or train attracts romantic partners; mentioning it conspicuously at job interviews has singlehandedly lowered the unemployment rate.

5) There will be an exam at the end.  And it counts.

Links:

Buy The Book From : http://www.avidbookshop.com/book/9780975374689 or http://site.booksite.com/3344/showdetail/?isbn=9780975374689

Website :   www.jacobmappel.com

Goodreads :   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18281738-the-biology-of-luck

Amazon :  http://www.amazon.com/The-Biology-Luck-Jacob-Appel/dp/0975374680/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407867824&sr=8-1&keywords=biology+of+luck

Booklikes : http://booklikes.com/the-biology-of-luck-jacob-m-appel/book,10724042

Tony Welch – Interview

Today we speak to Tony Welch

 Tony WelchQ) Tell us something about yourself.

I could eat over-easy eggs and toast every day.

Q) Tell us about your latest book. Why do you think the readers will like it?

I would hope that people will simply enjoy it as an everyday story and, as I am a manic-depressive myself, the truthfulness and frankness of coping with this horrible affliction.

Q) How did you come up with the title of the book?

Each chapter is a day in the life of the main character covering a five-month timeframe.

Q) What kind of research did you do for your book?

None really since I have lived much of it, or witnessed my friends situations that I used as part of the story. The rest just came from my own imagination.

Q) Which of the Characters in your book are your favourites and why?

I guess the main character, Frank Cahill, as I feel like and wrote as though he is my alter ego or me in a parallel-type universe.

Q) How did you formulate this character? Is it based on someone you know?

It is formulated on me and my life – some of it, anyways – and some of the adventures my friends have experienced. The remainder is purely fictionalized – I worked on the novel for many years and it went through many transformations yet the core of it remained intact. I wanted a real story about a young man with severe mental health and substance abuse issues.

Q) Every Author has a distinct writing style. How would you describe your style and how do you think you came to form it?

One of my friend’s wives read the book and replied that she liked it because the entire narrative seemed just like how people speak and think. And that is what I wanted to convey. I am pleased when people can easily relate the book to everyday life.

Q) How long have you been working on this book and what inspired you to write it?

Oh boy. It was in the works for nearly twenty years. It began as a movie script and then a television script and finally, in a literary format. I would get 50 pages or so into it and lose interest or get to ahead of myself and start over until the past year when I finally was able to get it to 200 pages of pure novel.

Q) When did you start writing and when did you realize you want to become an Author?

I wrote short stories and fake baseball and football scorecards and line-ups and games as a kid and, in my early 20s, I decided to try and write something that could become professionally published or used for a screenplay. And so, I have been working on projects on and off ever since.

Q) Who are some of the Authors you like and how do you think their work inspired you?

It may sound clichéd but the book that probably influenced me the most is JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. It really spoke to me when I first read it as a teenager and the rebellious Holden probably still affects me to this day. My all-time favorite novels are The Great Gatsby and The Jungle. I find them fascinating and so well-written and descriptive – and I find it amazing that Fitzgerald died penniless and his books did not become the classics they are until well after he passed. I also really admire Upton Sinclair for this seminal work on The Jungle and the fact that he singlehandedly proved a major role in the American labor movement and the creation of the FDA.

Q) What do you think is the most difficult part about writing and publishing a novel?

For me, it is setting aside the time to write daily. And I do not read enough literature. I would not call it laziness but, for me, my imagination and writing spurts come and go – I could go weeks of not writing and then a week or more of writing hundreds of pages a day. My depression has an impact on it as well, I believe.

Q) What is some advice you will like to give to people trying to write and get their stories published?

Just write and let people read your work. It is a gift, just as playing a musical instrument is or singing well or drawing well and not everyone has that gift. I surely have no artistic abilities aside from writing, if my writing is even considered a gift. And you need to take criticism in stride, as you do with the compliments. Take the bad with the good and do not have too high of expectations until you experience some success.

Q) Tell us something about what you are working on or about some of your future projects.

I am two chapters into my second novel and am very excited about it. It is, roughly-speaking, the story of a career minor-league pitcher who retires and comes home to his South Dakota hometown to teach and coach at the local community college. He is half-Native American, as am I, and that (a town with a large reservation and casino and the natural complications that can exist between those of differing races and cultures) plays a significant role.

Q) From amongst all the novels ever published if you had to write any one, which one would it be and why?

I cannot specify one but I know I would have loved to live amongst and be-friend the ex-patriate writers and poets of the 1920s in Paris and NYC. Just being around that level of creativity and intellect would have been something.

 Q) If you had to convince someone to read your book in 5 lines what would they be?

It is the story of a manic-depressive, would-be novelist written by a manic-depressive, would-be novelist. And he struggles and tries to overcome this but has a great amount of difficulty doing so, especially considering the life-changing events that occur during the five months that the story takes place in. An old friend called it “dark and haunting” and while it is not a horror flick story, I want to emphasize the impact mental health issues can cause and I hope I did that well and as entertaining as possible.

Links: 

Buy The Book From:  Amazon and Barnes and Noble (online)

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Days-Like-These/469867809733354?ref=hl&focus_composer=true&ref_type=bookmark

Twitter:  @real_TonyWelch

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/tonywelch33/

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22613500-days-like-these

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Days-Like-These-Anthony-Welch-ebook/dp/B00LDSURV0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407806903&sr=8-1&keywords=tony+welch

Any Othershttp://bookgoodies.com/cover-contest-days-like-these-by-tony-welch/

Leif Gregersen – Interview

Today we speak to Leif Gregersen

Leif Gregersen

Q) Tell us something about yourself.  

I love to write.  It is my dream to be a writer, not only because I love to sit down and skilfully craft stories, poems, non-fiction magazine articles, but I love just about everything to do with being a writer, the idea that people you never met can get into your head and maybe even get something out of what you are trying to say.

Q) Tell us about your latest book. Why do you think the readers will like it? 

My latest book is a short story collection called “The Base Jumpers” and I think readers will like it because it appeals to the human spirit in so many ways.  In a couple of stories I talk about veterans and really try to bring home what they go through.  In others I bring out something I feel is a secret desire in a lot of people, how to get the ‘easy millions’ or pull of some kind of harmless scam and either go through the punishment that comes with breaking not just the law, but the moral codes we all live by.  I hope that more than anything though, when people look at my stories they see themselves.

Q) How did you come up with the title of the book? 

The title of the book is also the title of the first story, where two young men who would normally not gel as friends take on what I feel is one of the most dangerous and exciting extreme sports.  I like to write stories about the extremes in life.  War, secret missions, daring adventures, and the people that engage in these activities.

Q) What kind of research did you do for your book? 

Since I was a young man, I have always been reading and researching the World Wars, it is a subject very close to me because my grandfather was a soldier just after the first world war and my Danish family was in Denmark which was occupied by the Germans in the Second.  A lot of the other stories deal with crimes large and small, and I drew on my experience of 15 years as a security guard in which I also studied criminology and law enforcement.  Very rarely do I write a story about a topic I am not already 100% comfortable in writing about.

Q) Which of the Characters in your book are your favourites and why? 

The last story focuses on an old man in a Veteran’s Hospital here in Edmonton called in the story, “Mr. Baggot.”  There really was a Mr. Baggot, he was a sweet old man I used to visit in a real Veteran’s hospital when I volunteered there as a Pastoral Care worker.  I will never forget him because he had so much drive, I was with him for his last days and he would do things like go without oxygen so he could attend church and on the last day I saw him he dictated to me a letter to his friend describing a heart attack he had just had.  The very last thing I did with him was play a game of cards and he beat me.  I was very sad when he passed, and though the story isn’t true insofar as what he had done during the war, the character was based on him.  I really liked Mr. Baggot and I used his name and his personality because I want him to live on beyond his time.

Q) Every Author has a distinct writing style. How would you describe your style and how do you think you came to form it? 

I think my style is often a narrative one and maybe not as polished as some writers.  I have been changing that lately because I am taking a lot of courses and reading a lot of books on how to write better.  One of the styles I think I have gotten down pretty well is to be able to give a reader their money’s worth by giving them the ending that they really didn’t expect, but leaves them with a sense that it was worthwhile reading the story.  I formed my style from reading a lot of other writers, and in my earlier work just developing a plot outline and filling in the blanks.  Lately I have been consciously using more tried and true methods and I hope it shows in some of these stories in “The Base Jumpers”

Q) How long have you been working on this book and what inspired you to write it? 

I had been working on short stories for a number of years, I had collected 28 of them and some of the earlier ones weren’t great.  I filed down the collection a couple of times, and in a short time wrote some newer stuff, like the story “The Base Jumpers” and the second story which I titled, “Henry Jensen” and I realized I had a quality piece of writing I could take somewhere.  I had been inspired to write short stories from a talk I saw Ray Bradbury give where he said, “You can take a year and write your first novel and it can be good or not, but if you write one short story a week for a year you will have 52 stories that can’t all be bad.”  This is the philosophy I worked with on this book.

Q) When did you start writing and when did you realize you want to become an Author? 

I started writing first when I was 19.  I had known I wanted to be an author perhaps in grade 11 when I had the most amazing English teacher who worked us and worked us and drilled us about Shakespeare, Margaret Laurence, and on and on and she totally inspired me to change the way I read and chose my books to read, and of course my whole writing work ethic.  I tried to write my first short story when I was 19 and didn’t even have a typewriter.  I wrote a bunch of pages about a young man who was in a psychiatric hospital, something that had happened to me, and then it took another year before I had the time and space to really sit down and put a book together.  I wrote a number of short stories that I later tied together into one work, which was my first book, “Through The Withering Storm”  That book took 20 years to get to print, but once the first one was out, a number of books followed. 

Q) Who are some of the Authors you like and how do you think their work inspired you? 

I really like a lot of Canadian authors.  Margaret Laurence, Margaret Attwood, Leonard Cohen, Alice Munro.  I personally now know a number of well known local authors who inspire and support me namely Alice Major and Richard Van Camp.  All of these writers have caused major shifts in how I look at the world and my own writing.  But I will never stop loving Steinbeck, among many others.  As far as modern American writers go, I really enjoy John Grisham, I am developing a newly found taste for Stephen King and the list just keeps going from there.

Q) What do you think is the most difficult part about writing and publishing a novel? 

Without a doubt, the most difficult thing is marketing.  No matter how good your book is, if no one knows about it, no one will buy it.  I have so much to learn in this area.  I haven’t published a book from a conventional publisher yet, but I do know because of the changing landscape of the publishing industry, it is becoming so that authors have to spend their advances on self-marketing.  A close second is the actual writing, but this is something that can be learned and achieved through hard work.  Marketing is a fickle and elusive goddess that really makes or breaks your success as a writer.

Q) What is some advice you will like to give to people trying to write and get their stories published?  

Keep writing, write every day.  Learn to write in different genres, learn to type better and to read faster.  It is all about work, and being a successful writer is much more work than you would expect.  Keep learning about your craft, keep networking, and take advantage of your local writer in residence programs, these people love to help struggling writers.

Q) Tell us something about what you are working on or about some of your future projects. 

Lately I have been writing a number of short stories.  It seems sometimes that I can actually be close to giving up either writing in a certain genre, or giving up some of my loftier writing goals and then someone I know who reads my work will give me a boost with some kind words and I will draw up the strength to go back to it.  I am also writing magazine articles which can be a great way to keep writing, get your name out and make a few bucks, which writers are often desperately in need of.

Q) From amongst all the novels ever published if you had to write any one, which one would it be and why? 

I would really like to have written “Travels With Charley”, the Steinbeck book where he bought a truck, took his dog Charley and just went out driving around America.  The book won a Nobel Prize, but the reason I would want to have written it was that I have a deep longing to travel through America and experience every state, every mountain range, every city.  The place fascinates me.  For the same reasons, I would also like to have written “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

Q) If you had to convince someone to read your book in 5 lines what would they be?

          -delve into the mind of an elderly hero and learn what it is to be forgotten

          -put your life out on the jagged edge of possibility and reach deep inside for what you are              really made of

          -feel fear, excitement, victory, taste death and go beyond

          -look into the abyss and be able to ask yourself how far you would go for your loved ones

          -read the book that will change the way you look at everyone

Links:

Buy The Book From :   www.amazon.com/author/leifgregersen

Website :   www.edmontonwriter.com

Amazon : www.amazon.com/author/leifgregersen

Shadow Princess – Indu Sundaresan

Shadow PrincessTitle : Shadow Princess

Author : Indu Sundaresan

ISBN-10: 1416548793

ISBN-13 : 978-1416548799

Paperback : 352 pages

The Plot :

Critically acclaimed author Indu Sundaresan picks up where she left off in The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses, returning to seventeenth-century India as two princesses struggle for supremacy of their father’s kingdom.

Trapped in the shadow of the magnificent tomb their grief-stricken father is building for his beloved deceased wife, the emperor’s daughters compete for everything: control over the imperial harem, their father’s affection, and the future of their country. They are forbidden to marry and instead choose to back different brothers in the fight for ultimate power over the throne. But only one of the sisters will succeed. With an enthusiasm for history and a flair for rich detail, Indu Sundaresan brings readers deep into the complicated lives of Indian women of the time period and highlights the profound history of one of the most celebrated works of architecture in the world, the Taj Mahal.

Review:

I have loved the first two books in this series and this one is no different. Indu Sundaresan is once again successful in transporting the readers to a time centuries ago. Having visited most of the places mentioned in the book, it truly does make for an amazing read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Mughal dynasty and the monuments they built during their reign in India. Tying in interesting facts with a beautiful story this is by far one of the best books I have read about the Taj Mahal.

Links:

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Princess-Novel-Indu-Sundaresan/dp/B0057D9C2C

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.indusundaresan.com/

Saving Fish From Drowning – Amy Tan

Saving FishTitle : Saving Fish From Drowning

Author : Amy Tan

ISBN-10 : 034546401X  

ISBN-13 : 978-0345464019

Paperback : 528 pages

The Plot :

Twelve American tourists join an art expedition that begins in the Himalayan foothills of China – dubbed the true Shangri-La – and heads south into the jungles of Burma. But after the mysterious death of their tour leader, the carefully laid plans fall apart, and disharmony breaks out among the pleasure-seekers. And then, on Christmas morning, eleven of the travellers boat across a misty lake for a sunrise cruise – and disappear.

Drawing from the current political reality in Burma and woven with pure confabulation, Amy Tan’s picaresque novel poses the question : How can we discern what is real and what is fiction, in everything we see? How do we know what to believe?

Review :

This is the second book by Amy Tan that I have read and so far I have loved her style. It is a marvellous story narrated posthumously via the all-knowing tour leader of the group. The characters are rich and diverse and the locales are exotic. You come to connect with each of the characters as if you have known them all your life. You care for each and every one of them. The best part about the book that I liked was the way it ended. Amy Tan has covered all bases leaving out nothing. The final chapter of the book talks about where each of the characters is now and gives you a feeling of closure.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the 500 plus pages. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking forward to a gripping story and memorable characters.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Fish-Drowning-Amy-Tan/dp/1441839860

Find Out More About the Author : https://www.amytan.net/

The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

The Lost SymbolTitle : The Lost Symbol

Author : Dan Brown

ISBN-10: 1400079144

ISBN-13 : 978-1400079148

Paperback : 656 pages

The Plot :

The third book in the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown, ‘The Lost Symbol’ is a fast paced thriller set in Washington D.C.

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is invited to give a lecture at the United States Capitol by his mentor, Peter Solomon, who is the head of the Smithsonian Institution. He requests Langdon to bring a small, sealed package which he had entrusted to him many years ago. When Langdon arrives at the Capitol, however, he learns that the invitation he received was not from Solomon, but from Solomon’s kidnapper, Mal’akh, who has left Solomon’s severed right hand in the middle of the Capitol Rotunda.

The kidnaper then contacts Langdon, charging him with finding both the Mason’s Pyramid, which Masons believe is hidden somewhere underground in Washington D.C., and the Lost Word, otherwise he will execute Solomon. Langdon is then met by Trent Anderson, head of the Capitol police, and Inoue Sato, the head of the CIA’s Office of Security. Sato claims that Mal’akh poses a threat to the national security of the US, and that his capture is more important than Peter’s rescue, although she refuses to elaborate.

As Langdon deals with the events into which he has been thrust, Mal’akh destroys the Smithonsonian-sponsored laboratory of Dr. Katherine Solomon, Peter’s younger sister, where she has conducted experiments in Noetic Science, in the process ambushing and almost killing Katherine in a cat-and-mouse chase, but Katherine manages to escape and meet up with Langdon. Together they try and find the Lost Word in time to rescue Peter Solomon.

Review :

Overall the story is amazing and impossible to put down. The book is gripping from the very first page to the very last. It takes the reader through a journey across Washington D.C. in a race against time. I highly recommend the book to anyone looking for a fast action packed thriller. If you liked the Da Vinci Code you will love this book.

Links:

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/The-Lost-Symbol-Dan-Brown/dp/1400079144

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.danbrown.com

Find Out More About the Movie : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1422137/

The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All ThingsTitle : The Signature of All Things

Author : Elizabeth Gilbert      

ISBN-10 :  0670024856

ISBN-13 : 978-0670024858

Paperback : 512 pages

The Plot :

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.

Review :

This has been by far my favourite book by Elizabeth Gilbert. The book takes you on a botanical journey across continents and you come to live an entire life time with Alma. It has been beautifully written and the story unfolds in such a mesmerizing manner that it is almost impossible to put down. I loved the way each character is introduced and how you come to relate to them even though they are so diverse. After Eat Pray Love and Committed, this is such a different writing style that Elizabeth Gilbert has adopted and makes this book a wonderful read. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and grow up with Alma. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a beautifully simple story that is really well written.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/The-Signature-All-Things-Novel/dp/0670024856

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/