Meet JC McKenzie Author of Shift Happens


A while back when we happened to be knocking around this great, big, blogosphere, we accidentally bumped into another mother/daughter writing duo and got to know them a little better as well as their work. These extraordinary ladies have successful on-line platforms and between the two, many published works. They have been a part of the Artistic community for quite some time now. Funny enough, Inion met J.C. first friending her and began asking questions about her book she was working on, around the same time I ran into, J.C.’s mother & well known Author, Jo-Ann Carson. And yes….it was completely random.
Today, we would like to focus on the daughter, newly published Author J.C. McKenzie. Her book: SHIFT HAPPENS just released: March 27th, 2014.

Book Blurb:
Andrea McNeilly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.
Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.
Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

For those of you who love the darkness and supernatural elements offered by Paranormal books as well as the Romance, why we think this Author’s book will be right up your alley!!

Along with launching a phenomenal Paranormal book that’s bound to slay the literary world J.C. also writes Urban Fantasy. A Genre Mathair & I just so happen to love!!

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She is a member of the RWA and the FF&P chapter of the RWA. Her blog: http://jcmckenzie.blogspot.ca/ is a favorite haunt of ours & if you haven’t checked it out you should most definitely pop over for a visit!


J.C. we can’t tell you how happy we are to have you here on, Two Voices…One Thought.
(J.C.) No, no, no. Thank you! You have wonderful friends and great blog-fans. It’s a huge opportunity and pleasure for me to meet and interact with them instead of just reading their comments.
(I.N.M.) So, SHIFT HAPPENS tell us a little bit about this book without giving away any spoilers.
(J.C.) Well, the world is set in Vancouver, Canada, but in an alternate version where all supernatural beings (like, everything) have been exposed and are “out of the supe closet.” Andy McNeilly is my main character, and she works for the Supernatural Regulatory Division that’s responsible for meting out justice for supe-on-supe and supe-on-norm crimes. The story begins with an assignment that goes wrong and quickly unravels from there. She gets into a lot of trouble, and has to scramble to figure out why the hit went bad and who is ultimately responsible. There’s mystery, romance and a lot of bad-ass snark.

(I.N.M.) Wow! That sounds amazing. Can’t wait to jump into your book!! So tell our blogging friends how long it took you to write SHIFT HAPPENS.
(J.C.) I started writing Shift Happens in the fall of 2011. I was pregnant, hormonal and looking for something to focus on other than every-little-thing my husband did that annoyed me (poor guy). When our (beautiful and brilliant) son joined our family in Feb 2012, I took a few months off from writing to survive. After life began to normalize, I hammered out the final chapters and finished Shift Happens by mid-summer 2012. So by the calendar, it took almost a year, but realistically, it was probably closer to 6 months.

(I.N.M.) A true labor of love. And what about the publishing process J.C.? Did you go with Self Pub or Traditional and why did you choose that avenue?
(J.C.) Well, I submitted to the few big publishing houses that allow unsolicited, un-agented work and received form rejection letters (boo) from each one. I started submitting to small publishers and had a lot of interest. In the end, I decided to go with The Wild Rose Press, because they offer very competitive royalty rates and I just love them. No joke. They’re super nice and supportive. My editor actually rejected Shift Happens when I first submitted the manuscript to her, but she told me specifically what I needed to fix and asked me to resubmit. It all worked out in the end, and I believe, for the better.
I am personally hesitant to self-publish, just because I’m so new to the publishing experience. There’s a lot of up-front costs with self-publishing that I wasn’t willing to make. 1) I couldn’t afford it (teacher-by-day, here); and 2) there’s a possibility of making huge, costly mistakes. I tip my hat to indie-authors because they are a lot braver than I am!
(I.N.M.) So tell us J.C. rumor has it this is the first in a series. Will there be book #2 and how many others will follow to finish the saga?
(J.C.) It is a series! I follow Andy as she grows as a character. Each book has its own plot arch, so I’ve intended them to stand alone, but there’s also an overall story about Andy and her own development.
Book two has been submitted to my editor and at the time of writing this, am still waiting to hear back from her. Book three is finished and sitting. I like to wait a bit before I go back and tear it all to shreds. There’s inevitably going to be a ripple effect in book 3 from changes I’ll have to make in book 2. I’ve started to write the fourth book and am just in the first quarter, setting up my wicked plans. It’s a 6 books series (maybe 5 if I condense), and I know the major plot elements of the remaining stories.
(I.N.M.) Something to look forward too! Now, I’m sure you hear this a lot but we’d still like to know. Werewolves….what’s the fascination; and what about them appeals to your writer’s imagination?

(J.C.) LOL! Yes, there’s a fascination. Personally, I believe it stems back to our ancestral time when humans were more tied to nature. Now, with our “concrete jungles” and technology, there’s a lot of disconnect from our natural environment, for a lot of people. I’m not talking about a brisk walk around the park or a weekend away at the cabin. We used to sleep under the stars surrounded by all kinds of flora and fauna; we hunted and gathered; and so on. I think there’s a part of the human psyche still craving that connection. I believe the love for the (idea of) a human in modern times shifting into a wild animal is an ultimate representation of our desire to transform back into our more base natures.

Alternatively, some people have a lot of repressed anger and the idea of turning into an eighty pound, bad-ass werewolf, or having one fall in love with you, is a great form of escapism from our urban jungles.
That and alpha-male werewolves are sexy as hell.

(I.N.M.) Well now, we’d have to agree with you on that!! lol ;) So tell us J.C., the main character, (Andrea “Andy” McNeilly) is this based on anyone you know or have traits of anyone close to you or merely a creation your brilliant mind?
(J.C.) She’s a creation of my brilliant mind! She’s not based on anyone I know, but based on my idea of a kick-ass heroine. I’m too aware of many authors modelling their main characters to look like them. Ever read a main character description and then flip to the back of the book to discover they look just like the author? I do it all the time! So when I wrote Andy, I tried to make her not look like me at all. I made her taller and slimmer, with jet black hair, gray eyes and a mixed ethnicity. I even gave her bangs. Yet, the first thing my mom said when she saw the cover picture was, “she looks like you!” LOL!
(I.N.M.) Aha! Inside information. We love it. And speaking as another mother-daughter team, mom’s always right. (Mom rolls her eyes. Lol)

The Cover is truly intriguing instantly grabbing Mine & Mathair’s attention with a dark pull to the other potential readers who pick it up. How did you come up with the idea and who did your cover art?

(J.C.) First of all, thank you. When I received a copy of the proposed cover for my book I squealed like a little girl. To put it mildly, I’m very happy with it.
The wonderful and talented Debbie Taylor of DCA graphics did my cover. I absolutely love this woman and think I tagged her in about 10 or so FB posts to tell her that. For some reason she hasn’t blocked me yet.
How covers work with The Wild Rose Press is that I fill out a form to indicate what I envision/want/suggest, which they hand over to the artist. The artists wave their magic wand, create a masterpiece and send it back to TWRP. The decision to go with the cover ultimately rests with TWRP.
Knowing this, I filled out the cover art suggestion form as thoroughly as possible. I really like dark covers, with a mysterious edge. Debbie captured the essence of what I wanted brilliantly. I hope she will do my second cover when the time comes.

(I.N.M.) Love it when Artists join minds & create magic!! The title…Yep, we have to ask. It’s absolutely brilliant and a fun way to play on words more especially a phrase that is familiar to any and every one! How did this come about?
(J.C.) Thank you! I think it will be a hard title for me to surpass with the subsequent books in the series. As I said earlier, I started writing this book in the Fall of 2011. It was lunchtime at work (I’m a teacher) and I was thinking about my writing. I’d signed up for one of those lets-sit-around-a-table-and-attack-each-other’s-writing sessions for a different manuscript and was just so disenchanted with the whole writing process at the time, I almost quit. I sat at my desk, berating myself, and thought, “You can’t even think of a title for your current book.” Then I leaned back in my dilapidated chair and stared at the side of my large cabinet where I stored all my binders. On the side was an old, worn Earthquake Awareness sticker, which read, “Shift Happens.” A firecracker went off in my head. Ding Ding! That was it!

(I.N.M.) I just love those “magical-moments” that happen during our Artistic creations. And the title can be a bit of a thorn for many writers J.C. (us included). The book trailer…this is a part of the publishing process that many choose to pass up whether it’s because of money, time or preference. How about you J.C.? Do you have a videographer that works with you and is a part of your team or was this something new that you went with? And how much input did you have with the video and would you recommend this part of the process to other Authors? We’ll give you a little time to answer that barrage of questions! Lol ;)

(J.C.) I wasn’t willing to pay for a book trailer (teacher, remember?), so I set off to see if I could do it for free, and I did! I used free, royalty-free music and pictures. The only catch was I needed to give them credit in the credit section. Done! I have no problem giving praise where praise is due!
I really like to tackle new things, so I got up-close and personal with Windows Movie Maker, hacked my cover picture into different sizes and shots and slapped it all together. Yes, a bit more difficult than that. I lost some hair. I may have cursed. I feel the program I used was limited and couldn’t do exactly what I wanted, but I am happy with the end result. I’ve had a lot of compliments on my book trailer, and I hope they’re not empty ones!
Will this book trailer result in a sales increase? I have no idea, but I do recommend authors at least attempt the process. It really helped me nail down the essence of my book, which has helped with other promotion.

(I.N.M.) Nice…So, we’ve been talking about your book SHIFT HAPPENS, but let’s turn the spotlight on the Author for a brief moment. Tell us why you wanted to be a writer and a little bit about your journey to get you here to the launch of your book.

(J.C.) My mom is my inspiration, and as long as I can remember, she’s been writing. Whether it was articles for the local newspaper, an article for a professional magazine, poetry, a novella, a short story, a blog post or a novel, she’s been scribbling, and then typing away. I’ve always enjoyed creating stories, mostly in my head, but it wasn’t until I placed first in a flash fiction contest that I started to take it seriously. I had already finished my first manuscript, and decided to sign up for the will-not-be-mentioned-again-writing session. Luckily, that experience didn’t sap my love for writing away completely and when I placed second in an RWA contest (the Dixie Kane) for Shift Happens, I decided to really give this manuscript a go.
(I.N.M.) So, what’s next for J.C. McKenzie? Do you have any other projects you’re working on, events or guest spots we should be marking on our calendars?

(J.C.) I just completed the first draft of a paranormal romance short story, the Shucker’s Booktique. This is not a series and is not intended as one. Just straight romance with a paranormal twist! I really enjoyed writing it and I hope to get it picked up by a publisher. My next projects, in no particular order are:
1) Edit book 3 of the Carus Series
2) Edit the short story—The Shucker’s Booktique
3) Finish writing book 4
4) Write final books of the Carus Series.
I also have a few blog appearances and am planning a book signing for August in Vancouver. My events and appearances are listed on my website (http://www.jcmckenzie.ca/appearances.html).

(I.N.M.) Can’t wait J.C.!! We have one more question to bug you with before letting you go. As a mother/daughter writing team, it’s a rare treat for us to find another. What’s it like for you, being a published Author and competing with your mother who is successful and a respected published author within the writing community?

Author Jo-Anne Carson

Author Jo-Anne Carson


(J.C.) It’s not difficult at all, because it’s a non-issue. My mom and I don’t compete. We’re very supportive of each other and exchange chapters once a week to critique. It helps that my mom writes Romantic Suspense, which can be a very different genre to Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. We were never in the same category when we entered contests and even if we had been, I would’ve been thrilled to have my mom place above me. Her successes are mine, too, and I know she feels the same way.

(I.N.M.) Nicely said J.C.! I think the four of us are going to start a trend and family affair!!
We can’t thank you enough for stopping by and spending some time with us and our friends on, Two Voices….One Thought. And I’m sure we’re going to be seeing a lot more of you in the Blogosphere as well as your intriguing book, SHIFT HAPPENS .
As for our blogging buddies & visitors, we will leave links below where you can pick up your copy of J.C. McKenzie’s book: SHIFT HAPPENS. We already bought our copies and will be reading this deliciously dark story as soon as we sign off. J.C. has also agreed to give away a free copy of Shift Happens to one lucky commenter. So feel free to vent!! ;)
*Available Now* / Shift Happens: A Carus Novel/The Wild Rose Press
All Romance Ebooks:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shifthappens-1570897-143.html

Amazon:

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shift-happens-j-cmckenzie/1119955961?ean=2940149823383

Chapters-Indigo:

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/shift-happens/9781628302592-item.html?ikwid=shift+happens&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=2

Wild Rose Press:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1154

Raffle Copter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/987e273/

THE 27 CLUB: ART & EXCESS


Okay, we’re probably going to piss a lot of people off with this post, but controversial topics spawn the best debates. As a matter of fact, it was this issue that brought Inion N. Mathair to a healthy verbal sparring the other day while we watched a bio about Robert Downey Jr.
(Inion: I’m a huge Robert Downey Jr. fan and have been since I first saw the movie Chances Are…. Just thought I’d give you that special note… and just in case RJD were to ever find his way onto Two Voices, One Thought.)
(Mathair: *Sigh*)
The bio, “E-True Hollywood Story” had a candid look into this actor’s brilliant career, most notably his tumultuous fall from grace. It truly was an amazing story that played out like a big Hollywood production. I’m sure to Robert it’s been a hell of a climb, but one he should be proud of.

Overcoming heroin, cocaine, marijuana and valium addiction as well as alcoholism, there wasn’t anything this young man didn’t try; including serving one year hard time at Corcoran State Pen, (famous for housing Charlie Manson).
During the show, a director, who was known for working with Robert Downey Jr. on many films as both director and screenwriter, made an unimaginable statement. “The actor I worked with has lost his edge. He’s clearly under some influence which has flattened him out,” Toback said. “He’s not, apparently, doing any drugs. He’s not going up and down. He’s on an even keel, and he’s become the most successful robotic cartoon character in movie history.”

Did he really say that?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/31/james-toback-robert-downey-jr_n_4183165.html

Let’s pull our shame-shame fingers out and begin the rants. Lord knows we did! No one in their right state of mind would tell someone that they were a better person when they were addicts: More interesting and much more talented where work is concerned. Would they?!
Before we begin crucifying a guy that said this socially unacceptable thing and came close to committing career suicide, check this out. The narrating journalist noted that more than four well-known directors that had worked with Downey during his addiction era knew that he’d been wasted on set while filming.
They were well aware of his dependencies, but the work he did was so “phenomenal, edgy, utterly brilliant” that they put up with the bullshit just to get those few moments on tape that were Oscar worthy performances.



We were wondering why those directors weren’t held accountable or at least verbally reprimanded for not only allowing Downey’s behavior on set, but condoning it. Why is it so morally reprehensible and politically incorrect to say you prefer a drugged out, loose cannon waiting to fire, but it’s perfectly fine to admit that you knew a man that was on a road-trip to overdose and overlooked it because the performance was so damn good? Isn’t it just as evil to turn your face and keep quiet?! Does the word H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E- ring a bell?

Now we know this is a rancid, taboo topic, but we had to ask ourselves ‘Does an artist’s work change when they come off drugs and does it leave their work with less of an edge?’
THE 27 CLUB is a nickname given to the grouping of artists who’ve died at the age of 27 at the peak of their careers. When we googled this name, we found more than 3,000 sites with articles from reputable journalists who were curious about the notorious age.
The common link we found in all the articles written about THE 27 CLUB was that most thought there was some supernatural curse or Karma balancing act that deemed it unnatural to live famous past this young age, especially given the death occurs during the height of that artists’ career. The similar cause was drugs/alcohol overdose.
To say these singers, actors, poets, these iconic Artists were gifted is putting it mildly.

Janice Joplin, Singer, Songwriter died under that same curse at 27. Was it heroin, alcohol or fame?! The coroner’s report stated: Probable Drug Overdose/Heroin.
Jimi Hendrix: Asphyxiation related to drug overdose
Brian Jones, founder of the Rolling Stones, guitarist, Multi-instrumentalist. His coroner’s report stated “Death by misfortune”, but it was later stated drugs.
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan: Keyboardist for The Grateful Dead.
Rudy Lewis: The Drifters/ Coroner’s Report, Overdose-Heroin
Dickie Pride: Rock-n-Roll- Corner’s Report: Sleeping Pills
Amy Winehouse: Singer/Songwriter-Alcohol Poisoning
Kurt Cobain: Lead singer and founder of Nirvana. Coroner’s Report stated death by self-inflicted Shotgun wound/Suicide. But so much controversy overshadowed his case that recently the Seattle Police Department have begun an investigation to find out the why’s in Kurt’s case. For example, the amount of Heroin in Kurt’s body was enough to kill a bull elephant. More than 3 doctors want to know how he was able to shoot himself as the heroin would’ve killed him within seconds. We’ll leave that one for another post and time!

We could keep going because the list was unbelievably long, but these are just a few.
Of course there are some that died much too young but managed to beat the curse; some by a year or two over: Heath Ledger, Hank Williams Sr.


Some by three or four years too young: River Phoenix (heroin), Sid Vicious, Frankie Lymon (heroin), Brad Renfro (heroin)

And some actually saw their 30’s or 40’s before overdosing: Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Chris Farley (herion), John Belushi (heroin), Nick Cantor (heroin), Rodney Harvey (heroin).

Norma Jean

Norma Jean


As we discussed this, we realized what it was about this question that bothered us most. We began to understand what a journalist from Rolling Stone Magazine said. “These gods of Rock and film are idolized by the public for their adventurous, flamboyant lifestyles of excess. We worship them, want them and deep down want to be them.”
But it’s that very lifestyle of excess that makes them bad-boys and girls. It gave them that feeling of invincibility and that nothing could touch them. They felt above the law, above life and death, therefore unable to die. That attitude seeps out of the screen and off the stage like lava slowly igniting us and consuming our hearts, minds and souls.

From the Rat Pack to the Brat Pack, the bad boys of Hollywood find a following in women who know that they are everything their mama’s warned them about. Yet we run to them like moths to the flame and are surprised when their lights burn out much too young!
So, what of the docile bad boy/girl? What about a bad boy/girl that doesn’t push the envelope, doesn’t live life like there is no tomorrow, but embraces and respects the fame, Art and life they were given? What would their music evoke and their movies inspire?
Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison wrote and performed under the influence, but what would their art have sounded like sober and/or clean? Would the end product be as great?

Edgar Allan Poe was said to have written while under the protective cradle of Opium. By submitting to the demon, he unleashed the darkness that enveloped his soul and tapped into a hellish fountain of brilliance that still has him idolized long after his death.

What say you?! Would these artists been as great on the sobering path to stardom? Or was part of their famed destiny meant to serve bright only to burn out fast?!

It’s a dark question….but one we think deserves to be answered! Let us hear your thoughts. Not for the number of comments, not to fill the space; Please open up on this dark topic & tell us how you feel? And if you have an idol that was bright, but burnt out fast, tell us!! ;)

Oh…& enjoy one of our favorites…..

Quote by Marilyn Monroe: “It takes a smart brunette to play a dumb blonde.”

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

Meet Book Cover Artist, Nick DeMarsico

Well June is upon us and July’s right around the corner and we promised a Summer full of talented, interesting and Sexy Artists. Wait….did we say sexy? No, we didn’t. So why now? Well, it just so happens that our next Artist we’re hosting on Two Voices…One Thought  fits that description.

Okay ladies, look, enjoy & be amazed at his talent while chatting him up, cuz our next interview is with our new Book Cover Artist, Mr. Nick DeMarsico. And not only is he brilliant and a sweet guy but he’s handsome as hell! And did we tell you he’s Italian? Yep, like Inion.

Nick’s joined our team of creatively brilliant Artists who work with us to bring our books to the Market. And we can’t tell you how excited we are to have him join us.

What made us pounce on this Artist? Nick’s visions are unique in that he not only pulls from the environment around him but uses that deliciously dark mind of his to bring forth real works of art. But whereas some Artist pick a genre and stick with it…Nick’s art knows no bounds as his creativity is limitless.

He has recently just finished the back cover to our book The Perfect 7 which will be republished, very soon. Drum roll please…..

For those of you who’ve read The Perfect 7, you’ll know what we mean when we tell you that the picture Nick created is intricate to the story; the Tattoo that the five boys get while on Isle Exodus.

What made this a tough job, is that we give a very vague description of the tattoo, so Nick had to virtually start from scratch, which is why we told him:  “Take complete Artistic liberties and dazzle us.” And he did just that!!

So, let’s get on with the interview:

(INM) Nick, we can’t tell you how happy we are to have you here on Two Voices…One Thought to help us reveal our latest back cover for The Perfect 7

(ND) Happy to be a part of the team.

(INM) So Nick…tell us a little bit about your gift. How long have you been working at your art; was this something you started as a child or did it come much later in life?

(ND) Well, I have been drawing all my life. As soon as I was old enough to discover what a pencil could do to a piece of paper, it is all I ever wanted to do.

(INM) Wow, amazing!! Your attending School right now, tell us a little bit about the School, what you’re studying and the direction which you’ll be taking this.

(ND) I am currently enrolled at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am a transfer student in the Fine Arts program. I have a strong appreciation and passion for every aspect of art. My current direction is more targeted towards Conceptual Art. I plan to attend Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, to pursue a degree in Illustration.

(INM)  Impressive, Nick. So, who are your greatest influences and tell us why.

(ND) A number of people have impacted me throughout my life… God most of all. On a more specific level, my influence has a name… Kaitlin Johnston, whose dedication, work ethic, and, most of all, friendship has helped shaped me into who I am today.

(INM) Sounds like an amazing lady and phenomenal supporter!! Nick, tell us which of your pieces is your favorite and what inspired you to create it.

(ND) My favorite piece is a self-portrait of sorts. It is an accurate depiction of what being an artist means to me. What inspired me to create this particular work is something that inspires all artists… a soul-defining idea that is unique within every artist… the desire to create. Through this artwork, I wanted the viewer to understand that anything is possible. The only limits in art are the ones that lie beyond the paper’s edge.

(INM) Nice….Nick, we can’t tell you how excited we are to be working with an Artist as talented as you. Clearly you’re passionate about what you do. Is there anything else that you artistically try your hand at or want too someday?

(ND) It is an honor to be a part of a team as talented and driven as this one. I want to dabble in every aspect of art. The area that intrigues me the most is sculpture. Rendering a three-dimensional piece of art that people can feel and touch that not only provokes emotion, but engages all the senses is what fascinates me the most.

(INM) Now that is truly unique our friend!! When you can tantalize the viewer by appealing to all their senses. Can’t wait to experience that!! Nick, The Perfect 7 was the first of our books published and as you know is quite dark. The ever-present battle between good & evil; it’s filled with demons and hosts the infamous Four Riders of the Apocalypse.

When Dawn (our third voice) finished reading it, she immediately came to us and said. My nephew is like you two. He has that dark artistic mind and is always coming up with twisted images!!! I really think the three of you should meet & join minds! (By the way…thank you Dawn!!!)

Do you find yourself leaning towards dark Art or do you find balance in your creativity and like to explore?

(ND) Balance is something we all strive for, not just in art, but in life, as well. Through practice, exploration, and continuing my education, I have begun to see balance in the body of my work. Despite broadening my appreciation for a variety of subject matter, I will always have a deep interest for the more twisted and darker aspects of art.

(INM) Beautifully expressed and couldn’t agree more! This next question may be a little tough but something we’re dying to ask you. Tell us the thought process to the actual fleshing out of the work, that is to say, your technique in which you imagine, (find) come up with ideas, embellish on them and get them to canvas, pad or computer.

(ND) I designed the finished product to appear ancient in origin, but altered with new-school tattoo influences. It was not until I did my research that the story emerged and an image appeared. I found that my imagination feeds off the knowledge I acquire and that which already exists.

(INM) Bravo! Nick, how long did it take you to do this project from start to finish?

(ND) The entire process took one and a half to two weeks from beginning to end. When I am presented with a project, it becomes a twenty-four hour, seven day a week excuse to do what I love.

(INM) Love the drive & dedication! Nick, what’s your future hold? What are you working on presently and what can we expect from Nick DeMarsico in the coming years?

(ND) I am currently in the process of building a portfolio to submit to Ringling College of Art and Design. My current projects range from story-boarding and animated short film to still-life and observational drawings. The projects never stop and I like it that way. I have been told if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life and I could not agree more.

(INM) Good advice & absolute truth. Nick, this is your first time working with writer(s) how do you like it so far; and I’m sure our friends and visitors would love to know, seeing how we network with mostly writers, would you be interested in doing anymore projects/books for other writers? (She clears her throat) of course after you’re done with ours first!! Lol  ;)

(ND) I enjoyed every second of it. It is exciting and inspiring to get a chance to work with other artists in a collaboration project. And yes, I am definitely interested in other job opportunities.

(INM) You heard it ladies and gentlemen. Nick, we get our best inspiration within our writing room when we’re bouncing off one another; or as we like to call it: “our make-believe time”. Where do you find your best inspiration?

(ND) I tend to find my best inspiration in the most unexpected of places. My inspiration is drawn from everyone and everything, such as life experiences and a plethora of emotions. More importantly, I feel my inspiration is drawn from a divine, more spiritual, source. It is virtually unexplainable where, when, and why inspiration strikes; I like to give all my attention to the inspiration itself, as well as acknowledge and give thanks to that higher power who has allowed access to these artistic visions.

Beautiful…Nick, and we want to thank you for coming by: Two Voices….One Thought and we look forward to working with you on our other books. We wish you the best of success in pursuing your Artistic Dreams!!!

 For those of you who would like to follow Nick’s career, friend him or inquire about his fees, schedule, or input on a project, please feel free to contact him.

 Nick DeMarsico, Charlotte, North Carolina

https://www.facebook.com/nick.demarsico?fref=ts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview With Author Tami Jo Rasmussen

Today, we would like to introduce our blogging community to a Sweet, vibrant woman & local writer and neighbor of ours: Tami Jo Rasmussen. Tami, is actually a part of the small group of local writers in Franklin, North Carolina who help and encourage each other while bringing light to the Art community by supporting the Arts. (Macon County Area Authors Co-Op) ;)  We had the pleasure of meeting her a while back and getting to know her at a local book event where we all had individual tables set up.

I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska in 1959. I have lived in Western North Carolina and Franklin for the last 25 years. I am a registered nurse and after working for many decades in healthcare, I’ve taken some time off to pursue a life-long passion…writing. You see how fragile life is when you have a career that immerses you in life and death circumstances; time is not promised. My children are grown and successful in their lives so, for me it was the right time to fulfill my dream. It was surely scary to take the chance! I saw a lot of eyebrows raised when I took the plunge but I am surrounded by a supportive family and friends.

Located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Franklin, North Carolina, Murmur is the Narrative of a horrific murder and the shocking history threatening a way of life in the remote location of White Rock Mountain and Hickory Gap. Murder, mystery, great fear and loss cloak this isolated mountain community. Murmur is about the mountain folks who live here and their perseverance during the tumultuous 1970’s. Without electricity, telephone service or running water Sonny Branch is in her element. Resisting modern amenities and lifestyle, she is a strong and capable mountain woman. Love and despair brings Sonny Branch to her knees when outsiders threaten the kinship for all of the colorful characters living in this small mountain commune.

(INM)Tami, tell our blogging community a little bit about this main character, Sonny Branch and how you breathed life into her.

(TJR) Sonny Branch is a compilation and tribute to the strong mountain women that I have met over time living and working in our beautiful mountain town. Sonny is a 40 something in transition and struggling to find her identity in the 1960′s and 70′s.  Living remotely is hard work and the creature comforts she took for granted growing up are gone, but the solace and beauty of her cabin and White Rock Mountain become a way of life that finally makes sense to her.

(INM) Love us some Strong Southern Female characters.

(INM) So, we have to tell you that we love the fact that Murmur takes place in our Smoky Mountains and even better, in our lovely town of Franklin. What was it like writing about the town you’re  we’re from?

(TJR) Murmur is dedicated to my dear friend and neighbor Dawn Lynn. A few days before Christmas in 2008, Dawn went missing. After an exhaustive search, she was found dead at the bottom of a ravine next to her house.  The temperature that day was the coldest in years.  Dawn, a frail older lady, was not able to climb up the steep embankment and sadly froze to death. That whole night and the days that followed were surreal and Murmur is a fictional tale loosely based on her tragic death in her hometown of Franklin, North Carolina.

(INM) Can’t wait to delve into this story. So tell us Tami, is Murmur your first book or do you have more published?

(TJR)  Murmur is the first in a trilogy of fictional novellas set to be released.  The Sonny Branch series will continue with “Still Cove” due to launch in 2015.

(INM) Fantastic!! Tami, your cover is quite beautiful we we’re wondering who did your book cover art?

(TJR) Tate Publishing provided me with a terrific graphic designer by the name of Rolly Galon.  After working closely together and several back and forths, I think Rolly perfectly captured the look and mood of the book that I was going for.

(INM) Tami, Murmur is a Murder Mystery/Action Adventure; is this the type of genre(s) that you prefer to write or do you cross genres or keep that open when writing?

(TJR) The genre found me. I never pictured writing a murder mystery, but the true life story of Dawn Lynn was so compelling that it took on a life of its own.  I had to pen it to paper.

(INM) Tami, you have such a bubbly personality and are always smiling but as you already know, Inion & I tend to write dark and prefer dark stories. What was it like for you to write something as dark as murder?
(TJR)  I love creating something dark and the tremendous artistic freedom that comes with it. We have all faced demons in our lives and I am able to channel and quiet my own through writing.

(INM) Tami, what are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in the future?

(TJR) I am currently working on Still Cove, the second in the Sonny Branch series of novellas.  Many people have asked why I chose to write novellas versus novels? It was actually a deliberate choice of style. Novellas have been around for hundreds of years. The series is an open ended story that I get to create as I go along. The same characters and location with a new murder and mystery will be the feature of each new novella. Also, I love the idea that it can be read quickly and I hope the length appeals to a very busy audience.

(INM) What writers are your favorite and why?

(TJR) Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my very first influences.

(TJR) John Steinbeck is my absolute favorite author. I love how he masters the story of the human condition in such great detail.  The Grapes of Wrath, in my opinion, is the best book ever written, and Of Mice and Men is second best.

(INM) It’s been a privilege and pleasure to interview you Tami and we know we’re going to enjoy your book, Murmur. We look forward to more of your stories and can’t wait to see you at the Summer Festival of the Arts, in Franklin, North Carolina on July 12th

(TJR) Thank you ladies it has been my pleasure. The festival is going to be great and a terrific way to spotlight all the amazing artisans of Franklin.

 

For any who would love to check out Tami’s book, Murmur or connect with Tami online just check out below:

Tate Publishing: https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62746-871-8

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Murmur-Tami-Rasmussen-ebook/dp/B00JG0RWGU

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murmur-tami-rasmussen/1116794728?ean=9781629027425

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1762600852&fref=ts&ref=br_tf

https://twitter.com/Tami_Rasmussen

Macon County Area Author Co-op:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/570042989673175/

Horror Fiction Writer Shaun Michael O’Neal

Today we are so excited to introduce our second male author on Two Voices….One Thought, this one much different from the last, as his work is Fiction. Shaun Michael O’Neal.

Shaun just so happens to hail from the State that Inion & I have been in love with all our lives, Washington: The Magical Northwest Pacific with its Emerald Green Forests. We shall take a moment to rear our ugly head of jealousy!

Okay…all done, now onto the artist.

We first met Shaun Michael O’Neal on Facebook, which is why we love networking, as it opens so many doors to artists that we might’ve never known. What made us instantly like Shaun, was his incredible sweet spirit, love for the Artistic community and……….

Yes, we’re going to say it; because you know we love, love, love DARK THINGS! We just recently picked up Shaun’s book: The Evil In The Dark and it’s sitting in our kindle begging to be read.

Last time we caught up with Shaun, he was trying get his book publically banned by the Roman Catholic Church. ;) So, let’s give Shaun Michael O’Neal a big welcome!!

(INM)  Hi Shaun, how are you doing? We’re so happy to have you here on Two Voices….One Thought!

(SMO) Thank you! It’s a pleasure to be here.

(INM) Let’s start this interview off with a little personal info. How long have you been writing and what made you want to become a writer?

(SMO) I would like to answer the second part first. I have been writing since High school. But even that was not the start. When I was 7 I was writing and preforming for the rest of the kids. I turned the garage into a stage.  A rope with an old blanket draped over it was my curtain. It was so much fun.

(INM) Now that’s how to get that imagination in gear! Shaun you live in Washington, so ya know we got to hit you up about this! What’s it like writing in what we believe to be the most magical place on earth? And please be nice and try not to wreck our dream!!! Lmao

              

 

(SMO) I must first say I was raised in Southern California; Fountain Valley 5 miles from the water and Huntington Beach, to be exact. I have been here 10 years and still not used to the rain. But looking out every day and seeing a forest, I live right on the edge of one, is pure beauty.

(INM) Can you feel the mental darts we’re throwing at you? We’ll behave now!

Shaun, we recently purchased your book: The Evil In The Dark, tell us what to expect from this read without giving any spoilers away!

(SMO) In a nut shell, I have a couple doing what they are told to do by their church. They live their faith. They never stop to question it. That’s not allowed. Along the way an unusual and supernatural plot unfolds that cause them to question everything. Friends are dragged in as well. Where it goes, you have to read it to find out.  I will say… it gets twisted!

(INM) Oh yeah….this sounds right up our demented alley!  Shaun, is this book the genre you prefer to write or do you cross genres when writing?

(SMO) This is a classic horror story and genre I love. It allows me to say so much without sounding to weird. I hope.

(INM) Yep, we jumped into that same genre so as to appear normal as well! Lol ;)

Shaun, the main character(s) of your book, Mark & Jesse are these based on someone personal or are these strictly fictitious characters?

(SMO) Mark and Jesse are completely fictitious. I did put a lot of my myself in one character and I won’t say who, not yet! The name, Mark is from a friend of mine. I was the best man at his wedding. Jesse: I always type to music. The song Jessie’s girl from Rick Springfield was playing. The name Jesse just felt right. So I used it.

(INM) Yeah, we’re the same way, listening to music when writing. Now, the backdrop to this book seems to be religious. The ongoing battle of good vs evil (a favorite of Inion N. Mathair’s as you well know.)

                 

Many readers find religious based books to be heavy reads, with content sometimes to dark or too intense to follow. What set’s your book apart from the other religious books out there?

(SMO) I have to admit. I did quote the old Catholic bible a few times. It’s key to the story. But it’s not done in the manner most people would think. The supernatural aspect keeps it from being as dark and heavy as it could be.

(INM) Nice balance our friend! Shaun, what was the initial spark that inspired this book and how long did it take you to write it?

(SMO) Back in the late 80′s one of the gentleman I was working for was one of the librarians for the OTO. ( Ordo Templi Orientis ) or in English, ‘Order of Oriental Templars. He himself a bishop in The Gnostic Catholic Church. He shared with me many very old Sacred text. I was hungry to learn. He was happy to teach. It was years after I got the idea for the book. I started outlining it in 2000. I tossed around many plots until I found one that worked and had my voice. I started writing it in 2009. I completed it on February 6 2010 and I was on real writers high. A few days later I was in an accident at work and was really hurt, so I put it away. From my bed with a laptop I started to search for an agent. 100 rejections, (no one would ever read it) and 4 major surgeries later and still no agent.  I decided to publish it myself.  It was not an easy decision; but it was the right one at the time.

(INM) Shaun, give us two writers that you admire and who have influenced your writing?

                       

(SMO) Wow, only two? Well, J. R. R. Tolkien. The next Rod Serling, wrote more for the screen and theatre but I always loved what he did. Holding a mirror up to the world and showing its problems. I have to add Edger Alan Poe. With that said I have taken a lesson from many of the greats. H.G. Wells and Hemingway. I just couldn’t do two sorry about that.

(INM) Well, you know we’ll let that slide when you start throwing names around with that kinda weight! Lol ;) Shaun, this is such a silly question, but a favorite one of Inion N. Mathair as we believe that a truly great book, will have a flavorful villain that will keep your attention! So, who is your all- time favorite literary villain?

                   

(SMO) That is a very tough question. I like my villains rich in character; the king that if just one thing was different in their lives, they might have been seen as the good guy. Of course pure evil without apologies is good as well. An example of this would be Cardinal Richelieu from, The Three Musketeers.

(INM) Shaun, another silly question: If you we’re stranded on a deserted Island and could only have ONE book….which one would you request?

(SMO) I would like a book on boat and raft building!

             

(INM) Well, we jumped into that one head first! :D  Now, we have it on good authority, that you have a bit of a, Ahem (they clear their throats) how shall we put it…………dislike? Nope! Not strong enough. Ahem; uncomfortable? Nope wrong word! HATRED? Ahh yes, Hatred, that’ll work! Whoop there it is! So what about this hatred for clowns! Okay, just know that anything you say on Two Voices….One Thought, will strictly be between the interviewee and us! No one else will hear, you have our word!

            

(SMO) Clowns are Evil! Really, I have never liked clowns. They have always seemed dark and unnatural, John Wayne Gacy Jr. notwithstanding. My latest clown came courtesy of a nightmare. If a nightmare is bad enough to wake me up screaming, I write the nightmare down for further stories.  Such is the case with my latest loathing of clowns.

          

(INM) Okay, one last question before we let you go. Shaun what can we expect from, that brilliant,dark mind of yours in the future?

(SMO) I have completed and have in edit now: 2 85k word stories. In these stories, I use supernatural creatures; some trying to maintain their humanity; others shunning it.  It’s filled with magic, very old Gods from different times and places. Love, blood, passion, pain, death, resurrection and a lead character struggling to deal with it all. The working title is, “The Blood Spot” I have another in edit with a working title of, “Cross roads” one novella and two shorts, all dealing with change. Again all these are dreams. Of course Garden Of shadows is out now. Would you believe I have a book of poetry? It’s not horror. That one… I’ll tell you about later.

(SMO) In closing, I would like to once again thank the both of you. You have helped me, taught me and been a friend. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

(INM) We blush, smile and send lots of:

                         

Garden of Shadows

Shaun’s book links:

THE EVIL IN THE DARK / AMAZON

GARDEN OF SHADOWS / AMAZON

Synopsis for: The Evil In The Dark:  An ancient evil besets a young couple. Seeking help and spiritual guidance from the old Catholic priest they have grown up with and trust implicitly. Mark and Jesse are propelled into a world of secrets and truth. With the help of Father Pat, they enter a realm hidden in plain sight. One that will shake the very foundations of their faiths and lives. A world of truths, lies and obfuscation. The price they pay if they fail? Only their lives and souls.

Synopsis for:  Garden of Shadows:  A compilation of short stories from Horror Master Shaun Michael O’Neal author of “The Evil In The Dark” Now offers you 13 Tales of Terror sure to keep you up or give you nightmares!

SHAUN’S NETWORK PAGES: (get to know the man):  http://www.shaunoneal.ocm

https://www.facebook.com/shaunmichael.oneal?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shaunshaunonealcom/322406061144066

https://twitter.com/AuthorShaun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18088496-the-evil-in-the-dark?from_search=true

Shaun, we can’t tell you, what a pleasure it was to host you here on Two Voices….One Thought. You’ve been such a great friend to us! We wish you the greatest success with your books and we encourage all of you, our friends, when you have your “Must-Read” list down, to tag on Shaun’s book as he is a truly brilliant writer and wonderful human being!! We will also be leaving some links where you can friend Shaun on line and get to know him better!!

If you’d like to purchase “The Evil In The Dark” just head on over to Amazon and the link we’re leaving below and grab your copy of Shaun’s book. Also while you’re there, check out Shaun’s other book:

 

 

 

 

The Writing Process Blog Tour

Thanks to our kickass blogging sisters, Patti Hall

And Sandy Ramsey, we have now officially been passed the torch of ‘My Writing Process Blog Tour’.

We are honored they would choose us; especially given we are such huge fans of their blogs. All of Patti’s breathtaking photos of the picturesque Pacific Northwest. And when Sandy’s serious topics aren’t warming your heart or challenging your mind, her funny posts are making you laugh your ass off. So, if you’re not familiar with these ladies then head on over to their blogs: MOTHER OF IMPERFECTION:  http://motherofimperfection.com/  & THE WRITE PLACE: http://1writeplace.com/

We have to admit, though, we we’re hesitant about relaying the daunting task of our “writing process” to our readers. ‘Two Voices… One Thought’ is, after all, a rather precarious notion and one not easily digested. The technical aspect of writing novels has already been explained in our interview on Arlene Lugo’s Writing Pieces of Me, but we will go through the process once again for those of you that haven’t read it.

 

It’s the creation phase that’s a bit tricky and a phase we refer to as our ‘pretend-time’. So let us begin with the four questions:

  1. What are we working on?

Sigh* Mathair and I have been vacillating over this question. We had originally started our editing break to work on our third novel, which is the first in our third, YA fiction series, New Salem Chronicles: The 13 Reapers, but have concluded that it’s far too great a project to squeeze into a Summer Break. So, we’ve put away Sara and the children of The Mildred Pierce Academy to focus on the second installment of our first published novel, The Perfect 7; Book #2: The Crazy 8

2.   How does our work differ from others of its genre?

Inion N. Mathair’s signature cliffhanger endings have always made us stand out in some way. Whether you love or hate it, many readers have come to us over our chapter endings and/or book endings. We also try to infuse a fair amount of reality into our fiction stories, where the lines of fantasy and reality blur and readers dare to consider “Could this really happen?”.

 

3.  Why do we write what we do?

There can be so many responses to this particular question. We write…. because it’s a form of self-expression, because it’s all we’ve ever known, because it helps us work through our problems. And though writing has become cathartic for Inion N. Mathair and we’ve both made no qualms that we were destined for this eccentric path, Inion N. Mathair writes because the voices in our heads tell us to. *If you’re a writer, you’re probably laughing your ass off right now and empathizing with this mother-daughter writing duo. If you’re not a writer, I’m sure you’re probably wondering what the hell you’ve wandered into and how the hell you can get back before things get weird. But just wait… we get weirder.

It all started with a voice and not a tiny, insignificant one by any means. For those of you that have read The Perfect 7, you know that Kevin Yager’s mouth is anything but tiny and insignificant. It was two in the morning and Mathair was plagued by a belligerent, egotistical seventeen year old with a story to tell. Once she could quiet him for a moment, she came to me with the seed, planted it in my brain and the two of us haven’t been able to shut that scrawny, delinquent up since. That is but one of our many voices. Others include a shy, yet independent teenage girl who’s a modern day Nancy Drew; a fiery, travelling teacher with a heart of gold and a bewitching secret; and the dozens of other voices from our short stories and poems. So, you ask why we write and we tell you, “We write because the voices tell us to.”

4. How does your writing process work?

Now, here’s the sticky wicket. Though we are two voices and one thought, an idea will originate in only one of our heads. There’ve been times the voices have turned to Mathair and times they’ve come to me, but the real intricacies don’t begin until the two of us have joined forces. After that, we play pretend. We talk out the story, (always making sure to stay true to the voice of the MC), and make sure to cover any and all twists and turns the plot might take. Now, we approach things logistically. We loosely blueprint the entire novel and/or series, assign chapters per our strengths and weaknesses, then come together and form a cohesive story. Though it may sound crazy for us it’s become a way of life and all very ritualistic and necessary to get to the story.

And now comes the passing of the torch.

Mathair and I pride ourselves on being fans of writers, first and foremost, which is why we dedicate much of our time to the promotion of fellow authors. We’ve posted interviews and have many upcoming author interviews over the next few months, not to mention the bloggers that we’ve shared on multiple social networking sites. This is by far our favorite part of the Writing Process Blogging Tour… sending much love and support. ;)

Our first nominee happens to be one of the first bloggers we connected with after the conception of Two Voices, One Thought, the wonderfully talented, Catherine M. Johnson. Catherine’s imaginative poems, whimsical illustrations and colorful blog sucks readers in and has them coming back for more. Not to mention, Catherine is one of the most supportive authors and bloggers, constantly spotlighting other poets, authors and illustrators. You can find her here, http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/ which is her blog and on Amazon.com alongside her brilliant poetry collections.

The next nominee is a standout blogger/writer with a warm spirit and a beautiful heart, Coleen Patrick. She’s without a doubt, one of the kindest people we’ve met through this crazy blogosphere. Coleen has an effortless way of making you feel right at home on her blog, http://coleenpatrick.com/ Mathair is currently reading her novel, Come Back To Me, and can’t put it down; (even though we’re supposed to be editing! I’m always catching her on her laptop’s Kindle.)

Linda Rue Quinn is our final nominee. She’s an author from our neck of the woods (Western North Carolina) and has some serious Southern Sass. She’s a mutli-talented author with edgy novels and a collection of poetry Mathair and I are dying to get our hands on. She is also a loyal supporter of local artists and has organized multiple events for authors in our area. We are so grateful to be able to call her a true friend. http://authorlindaruequinn.com/

Make sure to check out these wonderful ladies. Trust us when we say, you won’t be disappointed. We hope you have a safe/fun Summer Break; as for Inion N. Mathair, we will keep churning out stories and playing pretend.

Spotlighting Author, Ian Lowell/Son of Sam Was My Catcher & Other Bronx Tales

   There are many, friends with amazing blogs that we’ve hosted and we’ve had quite a few writers on our blog as well. But when we began to look back at our interviews, we began to see a trend. We only hosted females and we only spotlighted fiction!

Now Lord knows Inion N. Mathair has a soft spot in our hearts for our blogging sista’s & can’t pass up a great book written by some of our brilliant lady Authors!

 

But we began to think…what if the great, big, blogosphere being, starts spreading negative thoughts that this Irish Mama/daughter duo is prejudice against male authors/bloggers?

And so, we decided to do our very first interview of a male Author on Two Voices….One Thought. Yep, we’ve gotten masculine up in this blog!! And we figured, what better way to come out strong, than with a strong Author who has a genius mind & a wicked sense of humor!

We would like to introduce a very close friend of ours, Mr. Ian Lowell, Author of: Son of Sam Was My Catcher And Other Bronx Tales.  Whew…that was a mouthful; but for good reason. This isn’t just any book! Part historical, part autobiographical, the book documents the life of the author in the rough streets of the Bronx, his life growing up in the James Monroe Houses in the Bronx and historical accounts of many of the most crucial events that took place in the 1960′s. Extensive write-ups  of 60′s music including firsthand accounts of concert performances he witnessed by many of the greatest names in music history, some of which were  at the legendary Fillmore East as well as 60′s local sports.

(I.N.M.) Well now…it’s about time we got you here on: Two Voices….One Thought! You’ve been a busy man as of late. So, tell us Ian, what inspired you to take on a project of this magnitude?

(I.L.) During the summer of 2011, one of the members of our James Monroe Houses group on Facebook suggested that one of two other members of the group write a book about the group and Facebook. One of those members is Paul LaRosa, who is an award-winning journalist/author and an Emmy Award-winning television producer of 48 Hours Mystery. Paul, after having read the story that forms the basis for my book, suggested that I handle the project. Clearly, I knew there would not be nearly enough material about our project group and Facebook to fill an entire book but it could serve as a small portion of it. Very early on in the process, I fully realized that this was going to be a major project but anything less would not be consistent with either my vision for the book or what I hoped to accomplish with it.

                                                                https://www.facebook.com/groups/MONROEALUMNI/

(I.N.M.) We’ve been following the progress of this book for quite some time now, Ian (as you know) and can’t wait to grab our copy & read, read, read! Tell our visitors a little bit about yourself, Ian.

(I.L.) I am a Baby Boomer who was born in the Bronx in 1952. Like many others who I grew up with in the James Monroe Houses, life was often challenging. We were all poor and my mother was stricken with mental illness. I draw upon a number of aspects of this upbringing and experience to incorporate them in my writing. I have resided in Colorado for many years.

(I.N.M.) Ian, this book is not only filled with important historical events, famous people & charismatic politicians. A large portion of the book is dedicated to music. Is this a passion of yours personally that you chose to highlight as such? Or do you feel that music was that big a part of the sixties?

(I.L.) As people who read the book will find out, one of the very first things I can recall in my life was a trip our family took to a Bronx drive-in movie theater when I was 5-years-old. The opening movie on the bill was Rock Around the Clock. When I witnessed Bill Haley and the Comets perform the song of the same name, I was instantly mesmerized and completely taken in by Rock & Roll music. As far as the music of the 1960’s, it would be my view that much of it is among the very greatest music ever recorded. Further, the influence and impact is so profound and far-reaching and will be for many years to come. In this regard, consider artists such as Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix and the ways in which they have not only affected the music industry but the world at large. It is my belief that people will listen to the mastery and magnificence of the likes of The Beatles and Motown hundreds of years from now in much the same manner that folks listen to Mozart and Beethoven today. It is also not difficult for me to imagine future generations many years hence studying, analyzing and dissecting the timeless poetry of Bob Dylan in ways that will not be terribly far-removed than the study of Shakespeare today. The lasting cultural impact of much of this music cannot be overstated.

(I.N.M.) The title! Very unique indeed! We we’re actually privy to the process of selection via Facebook when you decided to change the title. Clearly the reference to a serial killer was intentional. But is the title literal or metaphoric?

(I.L.)  The title is literal. During the 1960’s I attended Shorehaven Beach Club in the Bronx. I was the pitcher on our fast pitch softball team that won several youth championships. One of the catchers on that team was a quiet and very pleasant kid named David Berkowitz who later became the notorious and much reviled Son of Sam killer who terrorized the city of New York for just over one year in 1976 and 1977.” On occasion, Son of Sam was in fact my catcher. I also was on the same bowling team with him in a league for several years. When I learned that it was the same kid who I had known, I was as shocked and flabbergasted as anyone who knew him during those years. Every one of us had a great deal of trouble even beginning to process and understand how the kid we knew would grow up to be so brutal, heartless and callous.

(I.N.M.) Ian, we’ve spoke with you in length about the many flavors of your book. Baseball, Music, (Motown) President Kennedy, Crime, Drugs, Poverty…. Tell us, what about the book, do you feel will stick out as the most important thing to take from it?

(I.L.) That the 1960’s may well have been the most influential and fascinating decade in American history. It truly had everything and as such, like the projects I grew up in, it was the good, the bad, the great and the horrible. It is this expansive view, one that is broad-based that I attempt to convey to the reader throughout the book. My hope is that for those who lived through the period and were old enough to remember it, that the book will spark some old memories along with some enduring fondness. As for those who did not grow up then or were too young to remember it, in reading the book, that they shall come away with a sense of what the times were truly like.

(I.N.M.) Ian, we know that the book is based on your life. But what other sources did you use to compile the enormous amount of statistics and details that fill this books pages?

(I.L.) I utilized any sources that could provide the most interesting, engaging and compelling material, ranging from books, documentaries, journals, magazines, newspaper articles, periodicals and lectures, much of which has been compiled from online sources. The great thing about the internet is that on occasion, you can come up with material that is not widely known. Last year, I just happened to find a brilliant Op-Ed piece that ran in the New York Times. The piece was more along the lines of an article. In 1963, on the same night that civil rights leader Medgar Evers was murdered, President Kennedy delivered a superb speech that remains quite obscure. It was totally overshadowed by Evers murder. The speech marked the first time that a sitting American presented the ugly continuing reality of race segregation in the Deep South as a moral issue. Before this, it was often viewed as a political and/or regional issue. There is nothing political or regional about the distasteful and repugnant conditions our own black citizens were forced to live with just shy of 100 years after the Civil War had ended.  This speech is a defining and seminal moment in the history of the American presidency yet it has been neglected as an old relic. It’s something I was very pleased to uncover for the book.

Medgar Evers

(I.N.M.) Ian, most of the bloggers we network with are Authors. And strangely enough, there are only (3) that aren’t classified as Fiction; you being one. Besides the obvious answers, tell us what you feel to be the strongest differences in Non-Fiction Authors verses Fictional Authors.

(I.L.)  I think if you can write, if you chose to, you can write in more than one genre. Although my book is a work of non-fiction, the manner in which I chose to approach it is very unusual as it’s actually written in four genres. The book is autobiographical, historical and musical with sports as well. In writing non-fiction as opposed to fiction you must deal with character development and plot twists. Of course, these are elements that are nonexistent in works of non-fiction but both genres do require creativity.

(I.N.M.) Ian will there be any photo’s accompanying this book or illustrations of any kind?

(I.L.) There are not.

(I.N.M.) Ian, how long did it take you from start to end, to finish this book?

(I.L.)  21 months.

(I.N.M.) For those young people who rarely pick up Non-Fiction Books. What would be your selling point for them to read yours?

(I.L.) The 1960’s were arguably the most explosive, far-reaching and profound period in American history. I think all readers, young and old alike, who have even the slightest interest in where we have been and where we may be headed should know it. As we know, there are millions of gay Americans but I would be safe in stating that many of them have no clue what preceded the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in 1969 that marked the birth of the gay rights movement. America had laws in place that were so oppressive towards gays that they were actually more punitive than that of many Eastern Bloc communist nations.

(I.N.M.) Ian, is this the first of your works published? Or is there something else?

(I.L.) This is my first book. The only other time I have been published was a lengthy Op-Ed piece that appeared in the Denver Post in 1995. I wrote it after a close friend died of AIDS. He was the last of a circle of 30 friends who died. Seeing him just a few days from death had a profound impact upon me. He was a robust and handsome man that had been reduced to skin and bones. It was a terrifying and horribly sad experience. The piece was about this and the larger issue of AIDS.

(I.N.M.) We have one more question for you Ian, before we let you go. If you had to pick a second runner up, what decade would rank second only to the sixties?

(I.L.) That is an easy question for me—-the 1950’s. It was during this time that Rock & Roll set the U.S. and Europe on fire. The excitement and incendiary nature of emerging acts such as Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Johnny Burnette and Jerry Lee Lewis was unprecedented. Further, there were great R & B performers such as Sam Cooke, Clyde McPhatter and Chuck Willis and amazing blues artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker. In addition, during this time there was an entire array of terrific doo-wop vocal groups along with the beginning days of the girl group genre.

(I.N.M.) We can’t thank you enough, for stopping by & chatting with us about your book, Ian: Son of Sam Was My Catcher And Other Bronx Tales  and we wish you much success for this incredible achievement.

I.L.  Thank you so much for having me. I am greatly appreciative to have had the opportunity to be featured here. You are a tireless and dedicated advocate for all Indie authors. It has not gone unnoticed and many love and appreciate you for it.

Thank you Ian!! For those of you who have comments or questions for Ian, I’m sure we can convince him to hang around long enough to chat back! And for those who want to run on over to Amazon and grab their copy of Ian’s book, I’m afraid we have to wait a little while longer. We will be leaving several links to Ian Lowell and promise that when his book becomes available, we will be posting it on all our networking sites, so please make sure to watch out for it.  We fully anticipate that there will be something for everyone. Regardless of whether you like the 1960′s, the history of those times, music, sports, or the civil rights movement, you are sure to find something that will appeal to you.

http://www.ianlowellauthor.com/

http://jeniannpromotingauthors.blogspot.com/2014/02/author-ian-lowell.html

https://www.facebook.com/SonofSamWasMyCatcherandOtherBronxTales

https://www.facebook.com/ianlowell.author?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/IanLowellAuthor

***Amazon link to buy book will be posted on Two Voices…One Thought as well as all our networking sites as soon as it is available!

 

 

A Year & Review

It was one year ago today, April 22, 2013, that I passed Inion the first 2 chapters of an idea I had typed out at 2 a.m. in the morning the night before! Rough at best it was a first person narrative of an arrogant, 17 year old boy named Kevin Yager. In those 2 chapters 5 teenage boys we’re introduced: Kevin, Sam, Ivers, Roth & Lane; a nightclub THE PERFECT 7 and Juniper Falls, Alaska.

Kevin Yager

Kevin Yager

Sam

Sam

Ivers

Ivers

Lane (Jerk Off)

Lane (Jerk Off)

Roth

Roth

Inion came back with a delicious villain Viktor Vikirrus and his right hand Nargoyle, Sergei and Isle Exodus.

Sergei

Sergei

Now parented, The Perfect 7 was born!

But we didn’t stop there! Along with that novel, we also managed to finish another YA/book & a short story collection; we read & reviewed more than 70 books, for fellow authors & friends; we conducted more than two dozen interviews of fellow Authors, photographers, Poets, Painters & musicians in an effort to bring light to art & give back to fellow artists. We attended more than 35 of our own book signings/readings & Poetry shows, we’ve spoken at 4 schools, been hosted on more than 12 blogs, websites & book clubs in America & 3 other countries.

We made the top finals in a major Poetry competition with one of our pieces, “Stella Dore’s Park” And we’ve recently decided to mentor a brilliant 14 year old protégé’ and aspiring author, which we introduced to you, Rachel Harrell.

We cried

laughed

yelled, typed & done our very best to give you a candid look inside our hearts, minds & souls!

And we’ve been blessed to have met & friended so many wonderful people who have supported our career and embraced our twisted minds, while allowing us to savor the excellence of their work as well!

Inion (GingerBrooke), Mathair (Natalie) & our Business Manager/Nana/Ginger have pushed harder than we thought was possible!

But it has been an amazing year and spectacular journey & it’s only just begun! Believe me when I say, that at times we are feeling the pressure of a to-do list far to long & a bit scary!!!

To say that we’re going to be busy…is putting it mildly!

We are currently hard at work once again, to release Book #2 in THE PERFECT 7 series “THE CRAZY 8″ & a poetry collection: No Rhyme or Reason!

Collaborating with an incredibly talented team of fellow artists who work just as hard to help turn our dreams into reality! Including a brilliant mentor and the backing of two local people who support the arts. Also, we have recently added two new members to our team, a new videographer Bobby Zanfardino, out of New York who will be creating the book trailers for our books as well as the music for them.

And a brilliant new book cover artist out of North Carolina: Nick DeMarsico

Nick DeMarsico

Nick DeMarsico

We also have accepted a co-host position with Author TyLeishia Douglass for a new talk show every Thurs evening at 6pm!

And for our town of Franklin, North Carolina, we are currently organizing a local event, THE SUMMER FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS.

So many new and wonderful things to look forward too! And we are grateful for each and every opportunity! We will make sure to keep you all informed of our progress and ask that you be patient with us as we are juggling a lot. Once again, thank you for your love & endless support!

MEET AUTHOR LINDA RUE QUINN

In this giant blogosphere, new kinds of relationships are being formed & tested as Artists from all over the world, chat and share ideas, art, common interests and become closer than relationships we make in reality. It’s strange to be sure yet even we, Inion N. Mathair, have made some of the strongest friendships we’ve encountered throughout our lives from our laptops.

So when we’re able to host an Author who is not only a connection from our networking sites, but is a close & personal friend that we work with locally in our beautiful town of Franklin, North Carolina…..well it just makes us downright giddy!

Today, Inion & I would like to introduce you our Blogging friends to another Author from the Smoky Mountains, Mrs. Linda Rue Quinn.

This lady is not only an extraordinary woman and brilliant writer. She is also a champion advocate for all things art and spends most of her personal time giving back to the artistic community by supporting other writer’s careers. She is married to an incredible man with a great sense of humor & has two beautiful children and three adorable grandchildren. Her book, THE APPLE FELL A Mystery/Thriller just so happens to be sitting on our bookshelf & is next in line as we are eagerly waiting to read this book.

Please say hi, to Author Linda Rue Quinn.

(INM) Hi Linda & welcome to Two Voices….One Thought!

(LRQ) Thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be talking to you!

(INM) So tell us a little bit about your main character Heather Grace, from your book, THE APPLE FELL. (Without giving away any spoilers!)

(LRQ) You know the saying, “Write what you know.” Well in this book, I bled a little. I was Heather Grace to a certain extent. I was the young abused wife who had to “Do it scared” and leave my abuser and look over my shoulder while trying to come to grips with how my God could let this happen. Heather grew stronger one step at a time, as we all do. She loved, she made mistakes, and didn’t think she could be forgiven.

(INM) THE APPLE FELL…. How did you come up with that title?

(LRQ) There is a main character in the book who was the apple that fell far from the tree, as evil as his father was good.

(INM) The cover is striking and really catches your eye. We especially love the look of the metallic plate that appears molten & magical. Who did your book cover art?

(LRQ) I like to maintain as much control as I can, so I do my own cover art. I went to Barber Orchard in Waynesville and took about a hundred pictures of apples and apple trees, then played with the pictures in a photo program to show an apple falling in a different way, kind of like in a vacuum or black hole (or being flushed down a toilet). My second love is photography.

(INM) How long have you been writing, Linda?

(LRQ) All my life, but I put it aside to foster, adopt and then homeschool my children for half their school age years. They had some difficulties so I concentrated on them and my career. When I was forty, I looked back at my life and asked myself if I would have any regrets if I died that night. I had never seriously tried to publish beyond my local newspaper, and I “picked up the pen” again at forty.

(INM) Knowing you personally Linda & working with you on many projects within the Artistic Community of Franklin, we know that one of your passions just so happens to be ours as well; Poetry! It wasn’t the first time we met you, but the first time we met you as peers. Will you be coming out with Poetry in the near future?

(LRQ) I have some poetry in a journal but I have not done a lot of research into the craft. I don’t like restrictions or to follow a pattern. We’ll have to see about that one!

(INM) You truly are an Artistic soul with a deep love for books & respect for the craft of writing. What influences do you attribute to adding to your craft?

(LRQ) My parents were both teachers for a time–Dad full time and Mom substituted. They both encouraged us to read and learn all the time. I am also a research junkie. I read everything I could get my hands on to learn how to write better and attended conferences, workshops, and so on to improve. A critique group in Rock Hill, SC helped a lot. Those authors, including Gwen Hunter and Dawn Cook (Kim Harrison) helped me tremendously with their honest critiques of my work.

(INM) Who’s your all-time favorite Author, Linda; And what’s your all-time favorite book?

(LRQ) Author would be Frank Peretti for fiction and Ann Rule for true crime. My all time favorite book is Jane Eyre, from the time I was very young.

(INM) How long did it take you from beginning to end, to publish THE APPLE FELL?

(LRQ) About a year and a half.

(INM) Without giving away any spoilers, what chapter of your book was your favorite to write & why?

(LRQ) The first one, to grab my reader and hold onto them until they can’t help but to read more.

(INM) Do you have any more published works?

(LRQ) The Cyrano Game was published in 2012, another mystery/thriller novel. I also published several short stories, including “Mom, Everything’s Okay But…” in the anthology “I Wanna Be Sedated:30 Writers on Parenting Teenagers” (Other contributors were Barbara Kingsolver and Dave Barry–to name-drop); “A Pack of Gum”, a non-fictional inspirational story that won a nationwide contest on Fieldreport.com (no longer running); “Death is Too Hard” in the SCWW anthology Catfish Stew II; “Plagiarize This” in the aforementioned anthology; “Telemarketer Tag” in Catfish Stew IV.

(INM) So what’s next for Author Linda Rue Quinn?

(LRQ) I am working on putting together my short story collection while writing a sequel to The Apple Fell. The working title is “The Sharp Knife” and it will be thought-provoking and controversial; the hardest book so far.

(INM) Is there a genre that you’ve never written but that you would love to take a stab at it?

(LRQ) Humor in a book form. I have written in a short story form, but I’m thinking Erma Bombeck style and length.

(INM) This might sound silly but it’s a favorite of ours to ask. Who’s your all-time favorite Villain?

(LRQ) Gru in Despicable Me. Yes, I have grandchildren!

(INM) Linda, like us you chose to self-pub. Tell us why you chose that avenue and briefly what you feel about the new world of publishing that’s opened up a flood gate of Authors & changed the structure of the literary world.

(LRQ) It’s a crowded market! I self-published because I was tired of hearing, “We like your writing but it doesn’t fit our list” or “It isn’t what we’re looking for right now”, etc. Plus I can’t meet a deadline dealing with Fibromyalgia. I have to write when I feel good, and publish it when I am ready to let it go. I also like being able to have complete control. I can change the cover if I want to, as I did with both novels after initial publishing.

(INM) So what’s next for Author Linda Rue Quinn?

(LRQ) I am working on putting together my short story collection while writing a sequel to The Apple Fell. The working title is “The Sharp Knife” and it will be thought-provoking and controversial; the hardest book so far.

(INM) Is there any other hat’s Linda Rue Quinn wears? Perhaps, painter, singer, musician….

(LRQ) My family was very musical (my father was a band director and my mother was a soloist), and I followed suit. I played clarinet for 12 years. I love to sing in choirs and have done my fair share of solos (scared half to death) in church. I played piano but not very well! I’d love to stay I could draw something more than stick figures, but that would be a lie. I love photographing God’s creation in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

We can’t tell you how happy we are to have you here on Two Voices….One Thought! And we know we speak for all our friends that, THE APPLE FELL, sounds like an incredible read! We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future & wish you the very best with your books! For those of you interested in picking up your copy of, THE APPLE FELL, we will be leaving links as to where you can purchase your copy. We will also include Linda’s blog & any other sites that promotes Linda’s work. (We will also be offering a free copy of Linda’s book to a random Commenter, so be sure to vent!)

  1. http://www.amazon.com/The-Apple-Fell-LindaQuinnebook/dp/B00GFGE7JS/
  2. http://www.amazon.com/The-Cyrano-Game-Linda-Quinn/dp/1478381604
  3. http://authorlindaruequinn.com/ WRITING IS CHEAPER THAN THERAPY
  4. http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6510004.Linda_Rue_Quinn
  5. http://www.pinterest.com/lindaruequinn/
  6. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/linda-rue-quinn/20/3b4/2a4
  7. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2qYGgQ5FZZ_bOhDTPsTYAQ YOUTUBE BOOK TRAILERS

The Versatile Blogger X 2 = One Great Friend!

A little over a month ago, we received a message from a dear friend of ours, that she nominated us for the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD!

This brilliant & beautiful writer is none other than….

Victoria Dougherty

Victoria Dougherty of (Blog) Cold: The way revenge is best served; the way a war was fought; the way a story should be told.

A phenomenal blog that we’ve been following for quite some time. If you haven’t been to Victoria’s blog, then stop what your doing & pop on over to read some of her brilliant posts.   http://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/

Of course when we received this lovely award, we we’re a little twisted about accepting it.

After all…we had already been nominated for THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD by another friend and didn’t want to overkill the award, bring shame to the title or have false award claims filed against us!

Blogging Judge

We also didn’t want to ignore the honor bestowed upon us by a fellow writer we respect so much.  So, we gave the idea some serious thought with days of sweating bullets & nights of restless sleep.

With nothing to do but think of the award! Well, that’ not exactly true. We did allow our mind to wonder a bit….

call of duty

(as they start on their eighteenth hour of killing Zombies in Call of Duty)

Tuned in for the next round of: The Voice

Then got into a philosophical debate on the theory of the Alpha Male as taken from an intelligent website:

http://www.islandmix.com/backchat/f6/alpha-male-theory-206115/

The idea being: “One of the tenets of evolutionary psychology is that women are programmed to test men for strength and leadership. Constantly.” Now where were we? Hm…..Oh yes, Alpha Males! Which ended up in an age old debate of Vampires vs. Werewolves (True Blood for those who aren’t fans) Inion loving Alexander Skarsgard & myself being a Joe Manganiello fan.

Then when we’d had enough of the mental torture. What we figured it all boiled down to was this. When a friend gives you a gift…you don’t turn it down or say, “Thanks but my other friend gave me one already!” No, you feel utterly honored and completely humbled because they took the time to say, your blog means something to them as does your friendship!

And so, we’d like to thank Victoria Dougherty for this unbelievable award she’s given to us. And we’d like to ask all of you, who didn’t follow the link up above

to go ahead & visit Victoria’s blog right now & check her out.

Well…not that kind of checking her out!!

We won’t follow the rules to the Award as we’ve already done this before, so we are merely going to accept graciously and leave it at that.

But we will tell you all, that it’s been an unbelievable journey we’ve had so far & the best part of the journey was meeting all of you, our blogging buddies who have become close & beloved friends, sisters/brothers & who are held close to our hearts! Now catch this great, big, giant, kiss from Inion N. Mathair Mwa (they make smoocy sounds XXXXXX)

Now we shall head back to the writing room & editing once I get Inion off this image!

adam levine

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