Meet Tim Van Minton

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Yarnmouth Abduction is a  thrilling tale that will leave you breathless. Falsely accused of murder, twelve-year-old Evan Peregrine battles through a raging storm to get home to the island of Little Yarnmouth only to find it deserted. Searching for explanations he is soon plunged into the savage world of the Conkwoyoto, an Arctic tribe that turned to piracy after the polar ice cap broke apart. But there is something strangely familiar about these fearsome men and their tattooed faces, and memories of the day he lost his leg and his mother in a collision with an iceberg come flooding back. Now Evan must avoid being captured by the police and Conkwoyoto while trying to track down the missing islanders, prove his innocence in a murder, and uncover the mystery of the Arctic tribe that’s traveled thousands of miles to Little Yarnmouth Island.
Read the author’s interview below:
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing fiction for almost fifteen years. I was immediately attracted to the longer format of novel writing as opposed to short stories. The second manuscript I wrote was about the New York art world set in the nineties. I found an agent for it but unfortunately she never found a publisher (The first manuscript I wrote never saw the light of day and never will!). The next thing I wrote was a multi layered story set in Spain with local gangsters and unsuspecting individuals who get caught in their world. This I compared to the works of T.C. Boyle and Carl Hiaasen. It never found a publisher. One day I will revisit this and the art world manuscript, give them a fresh edit and publish on Amazon.
I started The Little Yarnmouth Abduction a few years ago. I really wanted to write a Young Adult book that I would have loved to read as a boy. I was also drawn to the idea of creating new worlds and so set it in the near future. In it I imagine the Arctic ice breaking apart and the discovery of tribes that lived on the ice undisturbed for centuries. They turn to piracy when their homes are torn apart.
What is your most recent literary/artistic project? 
I am currently working on a manuscript called St. Georges P.R.S. It is in the second edit phase. I’m excited as it’s my first step into YA paranormal. I’ve written it in the first person present tense so it’s got a real immediacy when you read it. Here’s the blurb about it:
Such is the fear of St. Georges Private Reform School that the mere mention of it could scare even the toughest and meanest boys straight. When Arun Anderson is sent for stealing a boat he expects the horror stories about prison guard like teachers, harsh discipline techniques and inedible food to be true. But after an arduous ferry ride to a remote island he and his new classmates learn that St. Georges P.R.S. is not a reform school but a Paranormal Research School that they have been individually selected to attend. Baklander, the headmaster, warns, “This is not a ghost hunting school, nor is it a vampire obsessed, UFO chasing, Big Foot trapping, Bermuda Triangle believing school.  At St. Georges we concentrate on real paranormal occurrences.” Within days Arun accidentally enters a mysterious room full of strange artifacts, one of which comes alive in his presence. Following the experience, he suffers terrible screaming nightmares. No sooner do they stop than the whole school starts suffering from them, yet no one but Arun is aware of it. Unusual occurrences are happening throughout the vast grounds. Teachers are acting different, pupils are acting different and Arun’s visionary nightmares are turning into reality. Now he must find out why everyone is acting so strangely and what has left an enormous hole in the Arctic ice and is now making its way south towards St. Georges Island.
What inspires you to write? 
Life and other writers. I love to write and although thankless, lonely and full of rejection I couldn’t think of not doing it. I love that moment of joy when I write something that makes me smile and say, “I can’t believe I thought of that!” I’m totally inspired by other writer’s works.
Who’s your favorite author and why? 
I don’t have a favorite but I do admire many. My tendency is toward writers who I consider write well. Margaret Atwood is one. I love her writing style and love most everything she has written, especially Oryx & Crake and the MaddAddam Trilogy. I loved the future bleak world she created. I like the works of Jim Crace, Jeffrey Eugenides, Tim Winton and many many more. The list is too long for here. But I am adding them to my Good Reads page which I recently started. At the moment I’m reading “A Brief History of Seven Killings” by Marlon James, which is stunningly brilliant and very thick!
What advice can you give to other authors or writers? 
Write tons and read tons more. Ask yourself why something you have read is so effective. Think about how the writer set it up. How they created the scene. How they introduced the characters.
Keep writing. Don’t over think it. If you can’t think where it’s going just keep writing and you’ll find the way. I truly believe this is the way to create surprise. If you can think of every move your characters are going to make before they make them then your reader probably will too. If you don’t know what they are going to do then neither will your reader.
Where can readers go to find out more information about your work? 

 

Meet Father Nick Marziani

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Father Nick Marziani is the author of Holy Fool, Holy Father, a stirring story of opposing forces reconciling, and the ordinary rising to the extraordinary.
How long have you been writing? 
Since the year 2011, about five years.
What is your most recent literary/artistic project? 
The novel Holy Fool, Holy Father, published by Carpenter’s Son.
What inspires you to write? 
Typically “Big Idea” themes with religious and/or spiritual implications, especially involving challenging and fresh ways of thinking, but done in a fictional mode as opposed to something more didactic like non-fiction.
Who’s your favorite author and why? 
Canadian award-winning author Michael O’Brien, who has for years written on similar topics, but far better than I do. He also does his own illustrations and iconography, truly a genius.

What advice can you give to other authors or writers? 
Pretty much what many have already said – believe in yourself and yours ideas, otherwise nobody else will. And persevere, never give up. Oh, and submit to the good judgment of mentors and gifted editors. They really can make the difference between a mediocre work and a page-turner.
Where can readers go to find out more information about your work? 

 

Book Review: The Brown Paper Bear by Neil Reed

brown-paper-bearThere are some things in life that instantly create moments of nostalgia.  The Brown Paper Bear wonderfully creates one of those moments where readers are transported back through time, perhaps to a playful and joyous childhood.

In this beautifully illustrated story, a young girl named Jessica is awakened out of her sleep by an illuminating light.  Drawn by the light’s glare, she stumbles into a closet where a trunk full of toys awaits.  At first glance, the toys appear dusty, old, and unfamiliar.  She then finds a teddy bear wrapped in a brown paper bag.   Once unwrapped, she learns that the teddy bear is magical and its magic seems ignited by her warm embrace.  The toy bear gently grabs her by the hand and beckons her to meet his friends.  He takes young Jessica on a journey to meet other retro toys from a time long ago.  The young girl plays with the toys and is later returned home only to wake up and wonder if it was all a dream – but her grandfather knows better.

Although this book is simplistically told, both the illustrations and words work in tandem to create an endearing feeling of warmth and compassion. This is definitely a book that I would recommend for parents as a night time read aloud.

Book Review: The Longest Con by Michaelbrent Collings

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Imagine living in a world where some of the most feral and bloodcurdling creatures dwell, in secrecy, among the human race. In The Longest Con, author Michaelbrent Collingsconjures up a cryptic tale of fantasy, mystery, and humor that will leave you spellbound.  Acting in a dual role as both the author and protagonist, Collings gives his readers a sagacious view into his life as an unassuming author to most but warden to the demonic creatures of the ‘other world’. Hired by a magical council, Collings’ job as a warden is to keep the supernatural bad guys in line. There’s just one problem.  Everybody wants him dead, perhaps even the ones that hired him.
Set amid the International Comic-Con, the story’s suspenseful and multidimensional plot follows Michaelbrent’s character as he spends what turns out to be the longest weekend of his life at Comic-Con trying to solve the mystery behind the death of a monster princess. The princess’s death leads him into the royal courts of two dangerous factions of evil creatures.  These two clans (vampires and werewolves) are on the verge of a peace treaty but the mysterious death threatens to bring about an all-out war among demons.  As warden, Michaelbrent has to keep these two clans at bay long enough to unravel the mystery but things become more complicated as he uncovers a  sadistic and twisted underworld that involves the humans he is supposed to protect.
If you are a fan of the supernatural, you will love this title.  A cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight, The Longest Con can best be described as fantasy fiction on steroids.  Granted you will have to be prepared for the main character’s off-witted humor, that at times will leave you exhausted, but it is well worth the mental investment. Due to some of its contents, I would recommend this as an adult read.