Welcome to the fourth issue of Noahan Author! I want to thank everyone who took advantage of our first week free giveaway promotion for The Song of Ballad and Crescendo! It seems that 'free' is a price that a lot of people respond to! Well, the promotion is over, but The Song of Ballad and Crescendo's regular price is only $.99 and it is available at Amazon and Smashwords for digital download.
The White Hairs continues to gather positive reviews! The book now has ten reviews. Eight are five star, two are four star, and even those four star reviews are pretty glowing.... if you haven't, I hope you'll check it out!
Now, on to our guests!
Noahan Author Interview – Ronnell D. Porter
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about The Undying
RONNELL D. PORTER: It was something that I’d planned to turn into a long epic, but ended up becoming something entirely different (and better, in my opinion) as a novella. It’s about a child who grew up alone in solitude, and only had one friend in the world who only came to see her once a week for three years. Then her step-mother sends her off into the care of a governess, Elizabeth Bathory, who runs a type of finishing school, to raise her into a ‘marriageable girl’. But she quickly learns that beneath this poor veil is a dark and frightening world of demons (literally) that stalk the governess’ estate.
As of now I’m leaving it as is, but if the mood strikes me there is plenty of room to expand on Wilhelmina’s story.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Tell us about Wilhelmina.
RONNELL D. PORTER: There was a bright and curious young girl who traveled the world through books, since she was rarely allowed to leave her step-mother’s manor. She’s in love with a man named Charles Edmund Abberdean, a well-known scholar and occasional teacher at Oxford University, because he’s introduced her to the infinite universe of literature.
Through circumstance she ends up becoming one of the monsters that she despises so much after event in her life, and she sets out on a bloody rampage of revenge against Elizabeth Bathory for taking away the life she had and what she’s done to her.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Ronnell, you have three books available right now. Please tell us about the other two.
RONNELL D. PORTER: Actually, I have five books available right now, soon-to-be eight.
The others; The Pocket Watch and The White Knight are part of a series focusing on a girl named Imogen. It’s a great urban fantasy adventure with by best examples at character work, in my opinion. The first book is from Imogen’s view of things, the second book is from Lucius’ side of things (he’s Imogen’s romantic interest), and the third book, The Memory Keeper, has been my favorite so far, and is from Leonalia X. Cordice’s side of things (a punky youth with an attitude problem who can see other people’s memories. She has a mountain of secrets that no one knew about until now.) It’ll be available by December.
The Little Peach King is a short story that’s an homage to Frank L. Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz books and uses Japanese fables to progress a story about an angry brat of a girl with no regard for respect or tradition who learns a bit about how the world works. The demons, witches, and dragons are just the gravy ;)
NoHeart: A Hoodoo Novel is something different than my usual shtick (no, I don’t speak Yiddish) and is something I hope will be my success series. It’s pure entertainment; no preachy drivel, no outshadowing philosophy, just a great romance, an epic murder mystery, blood, terror, horror, and an ending that you won’t see coming. The second book is coming along pretty well, and should also be available soon.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Tell us about your background.
RONNELL D. PORTER: I grew in a plethora of off-beat and crazy individuals; ‘nuff said.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: I really enjoyed the new cover you recently did for Jessica Billing’s Girl Made of Smoke. Can you tell us the story of how that came to be and how you went about creating it?
RONNELL D. PORTER: I don’t have a PC Tablet so my methods are a bit different. I use two core (and outdated) programs; Macromedia Flash and Paint Shop Pro 9. Learned them in my high school media class years ago and still use them daily. I get an idea, make basic outlines in Flash, illustrate and put it together in PSP9, and then finish it up in Flash.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What other books have you done covers for?
RONNELL D. PORTER: At the moment:
Dawn Judd’s newest cover for Reining In (the white one), and I’m trying to come up with a great concept for the sequel (but not sure if I’m allowed to mention the title, so I won’t).
Jessica Billin’s The Girl Born of Smoke
R. Doug Wicker’s Decisions
S.D. Best’s The Magic Flute & The Wizard’s Tome
K.C. May’s Sole Sacrifice
Kathleen ‘Kitty’ Jordan’s Swallow The Moon
D. Dalton’s The Sword of Pallens
Debra L Martin & David W Small’s The Right Path (the new cover with the wreckage and ruin)
I made covers for Paul Clayton’s Calling Crow series months ago, but he still hasn’t followed through with his re-release yet due to editing complications and switching publishers. Which is a shame because the books are fan-friggin-tastic!
I’m working on new covers for Tracey Alley’s Witchcraft Wars trilogy.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are the most important things to keep in mind when designing a book cover? And how is designing an ebook cover different than designing, say, a paperback?
RONNELL D. PORTER: In a sense, paperback covers are easier; it’s all about measurements. But an eBook cover can vary. If it’s going to be marketed for Kindle, you have to be careful about that pesky little right-hand corner due to Amazon’s kindle icon. You also have to make sure that both name and title of the book can be read in a thumbnail sized view, which can be difficult when an author wants to load the cover with taglines or ‘Part of the so-and-so series’. The thing that slips their mind is that the cover will be viewed on the book’s product page where it will say all of those things anyway. So about one third of the cover should be dedicated to name and title in my opinion.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What’s the biggest mistake that an author can make with their cover art?
RONNELL D. PORTER: Fancy Fonts can kill a good cover, unless done right (which isn’t always the case). Also, selling their name short and making it small or invisible just because they’re an ‘unknown’. Bad color choices for the genre/mood. Photos they ripped off of Google that are copyrighted and blurry.
And the BIGGEST, in my opinion, is showing a character on your cover (I’m a hypocrite here, don’t follow my example). I don’t like when someone tells me what the character should look like right away, that’s part of the fun of reading. If the author did their job right then there should be plenty of building blocks in the story to build the character yourself.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you could leave your body and travel astrally, would you? Where would you go?
RONNELL D. PORTER: Into the center of the earth to see this theoretical Iron core. Off to the center of our galaxy to see the event horizon of our black hole. To find Lady Gaga and ask her ‘Why?’ Not to mention dropping by to haunt the dreams of Sebastian Stan, my favorite actor.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What is your deepest, darkest secret?
RONNELL D. PORTER: I don’t really have any secrets, I’m a boring person. But if anyone answers this question then they’re lying a bit, aren’t they?
RONNELL D. PORTER: 1.) In a fight between Ninja Pandas and Vampire Assassins (foreshadowing here, future release I'm currently writing lol) who do you think will win?
2.) If I opened up your refrigerator right now, what would I find?
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: 1.) As Chuck Palahniuk pointed out, Panda’s don’t even want to live badly enough to fuck each other. I have to bet against them! Vampire Assassins? Yeah, I bet they could beat up some apathetic bears that aren’t willing to prevent their own extinction. Who couldn’t?
2.) Cherry Coke Zero, Throwback Mountain Dew (actually made with sugar!), the decapitated head of an ancient Welsh poet that I keep around to sing songs to me, some left-over flesh-eating virus, some un-hatched Chinese Dragon eggs that I’m saving for a special occasion – oh! And a family of Pandas who couldn’t be bothered to put up any fight whatsoever when I threw them in there! J
Noahan Author Interview – Henry Brown
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Tell us about Hell and Gone.
HENRY BROWN: First off, thanks for doing this, Noah. I've read some
of your other interviews and they were a pleasant break from the dreary monotony of the day.
Hell and Gone is a military thriller about a team of Special-Operations veterans-turned-PMCs (Private Military Contractors) on a desperate mission to wrestle an atomic weapon away from a terrorist group. It's sort of a throwback to some of the military adventure fiction from the 1980s...but actually throws back even further, to the commando tales penned by authors like Alistair MacLean.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about Cavarra?
HENRY BROWN: Dwight Cavarra (“Rocco” to his friends) is a Sicilian-
American former Navy SEAL. He retired early in an attempt to save his
marriage, but the effort proved too little, too late. Now he’s a divorced part time dad who runs a tactical shooting school and a drop-shipment company, who regrets his early return to civilian life. He has maintained his fluency in languages and kept in shape partly because he nurses a secret fantasy of being called back to duty one last time--even though he’s in his mid-forties now and trying hard to restore a relationship with his kids.
His secret fantasy is about to come true...kind of. He won’t be marching back into harm’s way as an active duty SEAL, but as a Private Military Contractor on a clandestine mission under ridiculous time constraints with a squad of other “expendable” SpecOps veterans who haven’t worked or trained together before.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: When speaking to Hendricks in the free
preview, Cavarra suggests that the founding fathers of America were “Right wingers.” In many cases the political right wing of this country can be seen as the side most interested in limiting citizen’s rights. For example, when we consider the issues of: abortion, gay marriage, equal rights for various races and sex, citizens’ rights as opposed to corporate rights, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, legalization of marijuana, etc. the Right has again and again
stood against the rights of citizens and in stood favor of telling people how to live their lives. It has been the right wing historically that has wanted to constrain rights and tell people how to live their private lives. By definition: to be conservative is to oppose change and evolution in society. That said, do you personally agree with your protagonist’s characterization of the men who wrote the constitution as “right wingers?” Or would you agree that those men were in fact Liberals concerned mainly with increasing the amount of freedom enjoyed by the people of our country?
(Let me also note that I have in no way edited Mr. Brown's
remarks. I asked the question, he had a right to answer. I did decrease the
font size, but only because the length of that answer threatened to monopolize
our entire issue!)
HENRY BROWN: Boy, did you open a bucket of worms, Noah!
First off, I would agree with what you suggest in your last sentence: the founders, in most respects, were liberal according to the literal definition of the word. They believed in individual rights endowed by our Creator, and that government’s responsibility is to protect those rights--an exceptional concept of government, then and now. However, the term “liberalism” (and its derivatives) in popular modern use, has become a duplicitous semantic disguise for closet Marxism. So-called “liberal” politicians do not believe in the rights enumerated by the founders (much less those not enumerated--to blazes with the 9th and 10th Amendments). The concept of inalienable rights
given by God to all people is offensive to them; they believe in privileges and entitlements granted by government...obviously not inalienable...paid at the compulsory expense of those not deemed worthy of government benevolence--all according to the whim of whatever human beings are in authority.
Semantics have been perverted to the point that most labels used in
politics are misnomers today. Cavarra was using sarcasm when he called the founders “right wing extremists.” But that is how the Press would label them if men like Madison, Henry or Adams were active in politics today. The tax on tea was nothing compared to the tax burden working Americans shoulder today. The battle at Lexington and Concord triggered the revolution because the British authorities marched to confiscate “military assault weapons” from the civilian population--including cannons, which at that time were the absolute deadliest weapons available to man. The patriots of the Revolution were fire-breathing religious-right radicals according to the
Earlier this year, Debra Medina quoted Thomas Jefferson during her Texas gubernatorial campaign. To paraphrase: Jefferson said the tree of liberty should be watered periodically with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Evidently, Jefferson anticipated a future corruption of the constitutional republic he helped build, so widespread and malevolent that it could not be corrected by peaceful means. The Press pounced on Medina, citing this as more evidence that she was on the “lunatic fringe” of the right wing.
This is an example not only of “liberal” ignorance concerning the history of our nation, but of how much they despise the ideas that spawned the very liberty they’ve been enjoying, abusing, and pretending to hold dear.
Orwell illustrated how manipulation or “destruction” of language could
control thought in 1984. Whoever determines the lexicon can stack the deck of debate in their own favor, and that is precisely why political dialog today is full of duplicitous labels like “liberal,” “progressive,” “gun control,” “assault weapon,” “pro choice,” “peacekeeping mission” and so on. The use of such a label during an ostensibly fair debate subliminally skews the perceived middle ground and displaces the burden of proof to their enemies.
Labels like “right wing,” “religious right” and “radical right” are used to
marginalize those who disagree with the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the mainstream media, Hollywood, government schools and the other leftist entities that have controlled the flow of information for generations. After all, once labeled “right wing,” an enemy of “progress” can easily be associated with Hitler, who everyone just knows was right-wing.
The media and education elite has convinced the world that Hitler was "right wing." In reality, the primary difference between fascists (national socialists) and hard-line socialists (communists) is that fascists allow private ownership of industry, even though the government controls that industry. On pretty much everything else (censorship; civilian disarmament; progressive, graduated income tax; economic regulation; state-controlled compulsory education; public works; national service; etc.) they agree. And so does Obama and the majority of Congress.
As a mass murderer, Stalin outdid Hitler by far (though his genocide wasn't as efficient); and Mao Tse Teung dwarfed them both. The National Socialist German Worker's (Nazi) Party demonized Jews and "Jew lovers;" the Soviets demonized "capitalists." Really these were different labels for the same demographic.
As for “the right” consistently limiting the rights of citizens, I must disagree. You mentioned freedom of speech and of religion. “Hate speech” is a brainchild of the “liberals” (leftists). It is precisely because “the right” supported free speech, even for those who disagree, that leftist ideology has thrived in the Press and academia (for instance). Now that the left has a monopoly on the flow of information, they have no desire to return the favor (in fact, they are tipping their hand a bit now in their scramble to quash the challenge to their monopoly presented by the internet and alternative media). And while leftists have no problem with our tax dollars being spent to teach high schoolers the tenets of Islam, for example, they throw a
rampaging fit if a Christian student prays publicly before a football game or during a graduation ceremony. They insist our tax dollars subsidize “art” such as a crucifix submerged in a tank of urine, but can’t tolerate the Ten Commandments displayed in a school or courthouse. Sure, socialists believe in freedom of religion, of speech and the press...but only if your worldview meshes with theirs.
It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was
founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.
--Patrick Henry (American revolutionary)
We asked for freedom of the press, thought, and civil liberties in the past because we were in the opposition and needed these liberties to conquer. Now that we have conquered, there is no longer any need for such civil liberties.
--Nikolai Bukharin (Bolshevik revolutionary)
Abortion? The socialists certainly aren’t concerned about the rights of that innocent child that is such an inconvenience to the adult(s) who exercised their right to choose prior to conception. “Right-wingers” are.
As for the race/civil rights issue...Hitler (or was it Lenin?) said if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. And so we are conditioned to assume racists are on the right, and champions of equal rights on the left.
The Democrats were the party of slavery. Republicans (“right-wingers”) were behind the major advances in civil rights when lynching was often the price of crusading for equality; while “liberals” from Woodrow Wilson to Robert Byrd believed whole-heartedly in the mission of the Klu-Klux-Klan (the militant arm of the Democrats). It’s disgusting to me how both Clinton and Obama fell all over themselves making excuses for Byrd. That racist wouldn’t have lasted one term were he on the other side of the aisle; nor would the Press ever have let his past get a pass.
The civil rights movement was hijacked by the left in two stages--during the New Deal and Great Society. And it was hijacked so effectively that an overwhelming majority of black voters demonstrate a blind obedience to the Democrats election after election. Minority voters with the audacity to think for themselves are labeled “Uncle Toms” or dismissed by other condescending methods which imply an obligation to adopt the leftist worldview because of their skin color.
The duplicity of Newspeak is augmented by the fragmenting of political
factions and the hybrid worldviews adding to the convolution. Moderate socialists like Dole, the Bushes and McCain are called “conservative” because they mix some lip-service to libertarian (classical liberal) philosophy in with their big-government Keynsian dogma.
There are exceptions and anomalies to be pointed out, but “the right” has championed individual rights consistently, for people of whatever color (as opposed to entitlements reserved for select demographics). Despite their obsession with robbing Peter to pay Paul, the same cannot be truthfully said of the left--even though they never hesitate to play the race card or make accusations of racism in order to discredit the opposition.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: (In response) This is not a debate, and it would be inappropriate for me to go through and address each individual point in your very long reply. I do disagree with most of what you’ve said.
One point strikes me as too obvious to be able to let pass. Even if one is of such an extreme position to believe that all liberals are “closet Marxists,” to suggest that Abraham Lincoln was a conservative is ridiculous at its face. Yes, Abraham Lincoln was nominally a Republican. But I am sure you know that that word in 1860 meant nothing like what the modern version of the word “Republican” means. To be a Republican in 1860 was to be on the Left. It was the now-red States who fought against Lincoln. They then opposed the idea that the government should protect minorities against the majority, just as today their conservative movement opposes the government’s attempt to protect the citizens against the corporations; telling the poor people that their own rights are being restricted by any governance of the elite, even as those elite prey upon them.
I do thank you for being willing to share your beliefs knowing full well that most of our readers will disagree with you. I sincerely respect that. I hope that my readers who find themselves to the Left of Mr. Brown also accord him this respect.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: How important do you believe it is that your readers agree with you politically? Will those with a different perspective be less likely to enjoy your work?
HENRY BROWN: If you mean how important it is for readers, I could only guess. As for me, I rather hope people who disagree with me do read it. In fact, some have. Now that I think of it, most of those readers who’ve interacted with me in some way have been in significant disagreement, politically. But I’m pleased to report that the responses to the book itself have all been positive so far, despite that.
Most of the fiction, film, television, etc., being produced is crafted by leftists or at least left-leaning artists which, obviously, I am not. Some of it I treasure, because I found something of worth within, despite the ideological spin. I hope this will work in reverse for what I myself produce.
My own political convictions don’t always spill into my writing. There are only a couple stories in Virtual Pulp wherein politics bubble up--really only one where it is thematically central. And it’s only natural with that yarn since it takes place in the aftermath of the Civil War when slavery and suffrage were such controversial issues.
In Hell and Gone politics surface in the scene you mention (when an agent of the government which is nominally of the people, by the people and for the people displays his/its attitude toward the citizens whose rights he/it is supposed to respect and protect). Also regarding the various “land for peace” deals in the Middle East. And, a few times, regarding the genocide perpetrated against the blacks in Sudan. With respect to the latter, I should hope most readers would feel pangs of sympathy or humanitarian concern regardless of political persuasion.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us a little about your own personal background.
HENRY BROWN: I had a rather rustic upbringing--reading was often the only form of entertainment. When unread books were scarce, I had to invent amusements for myself. That's how the writing seed was planted.
I enlisted in the military right out of high school and volunteered for an
elite unit, hoping to experience some real-life adventure. I guess I did, but nothing like my naive imagination concocted.
Throughout my life I never lost my compulsion to write. No matter what kind of situations I've found myself in, my brain never tires of milking story ideas out of them. I couldn't stop it if I tried.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What effect do you hope your novel will have on your readers?
HENRY BROWN: Authorial ambitions should probably be modest with an adventure novel. I do hope people suspend their disbelief, enjoy the ride, and finish the last page glad that they invested the time to read it.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: On your website you talked recently about what you saw as the difference between “men’s fiction” and “women’s fiction.” Can you talk a little about what you see as the difference?
HENRY BROWN: There are exceptions to every generality, but the differences in male and female cognition are scientifically recognized and widely (I think) accepted. Maybe you’ve heard that old axiom about relationships: men offer love to receive sex; women offer sex to receive love. There’s some truth to that, on some level. It’s not too far of a leap from there to discern the differences in what women and men like to read: Men want action; women want emotion. Men want to score the winning touchdown; women want to study the patterns of refracted light on the frost covering the window in the dining room, remembering how the light reflected off something in their mother’s jewelry box much the same way 20 years ago... Push that out to the fringes and you have the mid-list “trash” fiction--for women, it’s bodice-rippers; for men, it’s action-adventure.
There was a hilarious email forwarded to me years ago called (I think) “the writing assignment.” In a creative writing class, the instructor pairs the students up into teams and tells them to take turns writing what is supposed to be a cohesive story. In one such pair, the female begins the story. Her heroine is watching a sunset or a fireplace or something, contemplating her ex-boyfriend and how their relationship went awry. The male takes over the storyline and, within a couple sentences, has spacecraft maneuvering into position to destroy the earth. It goes on from there, and I can’t really do it justice from memory, but I laughed so hard I almost peed myself. In fact, I was laughing so hard just now, remembering it, I couldn’t type.
Anyway, it seems to me there’s a whole lot of fiction targeted at women now, and hardly any at men. Another observation (with statistical evidence) is that men are reading less and less all the time. Especially fiction. And especially compared to women. I can’t help wondering which is the cause and which is the effect: men reading less/less fiction targeted at men.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and what are you doing to promote your work?
HENRY BROWN: I don’t have much of a budget, so most everything has been online. I’ve been trying to get reviews, and I may have a radio interview in the near future. I’ve developed a presence on Facebook, the Kindle boards and elsewhere. I’ve also got a book trailer in the works. I put together a rough cut, which isn’t half bad, but I’m still working on getting some music and images that won’t violate copyrights.
I’m a total novice at this, an introvert to boot, and have very little time on my hands. So I’m probably the last guy other writers could glean useful marketing strategies from.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: I have recently heard authors say that conventional three-act storytelling doesn’t work anymore: To grab a modern reader you have to start basically at the second act, in the middle of the action. What are your thoughts on this?
HENRY BROWN: Aha! I learned from the Kindle boards that instigating a story in such a fashion is called en media res. I hope I spelled that right. I’ve actually tried this a few times--even though it often strikes me as gimmicky when other authors do it. To me it speaks ill of the average 21st Century attention span. From Here to Eternity wouldn’t have a chance of getting past an assistant editor in today’s publishing industry...but I digress.
Lots of film and fiction starts in the middle of action, but as for deleting the first act...I don’t think it happens that often. In fact, the ones that come to mind actually revealed the first act in flashback. I do notice that the first act is trimmed shorter and shorter as popular fiction evolves. Sometimes this works for me, sometimes not. In film, contrast George Lucas and Steven Spielberg with Akira Kurosawa. DRASTIC difference in the attention/patience given to the opening act! Yet I don’t appreciate Kurosawa’s pictures any less because of his patient, methodical buildup.
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you could leave your body and travel astrally, would you? Where would you go?
HENRY BROWN: Absolutely! A better question is: Where wouldn’t I go? And don’t limit me to spatial choices--I would travel temporally as well. A few hundred of my first stops would probably include Europe between the post-Roman and pre-Napoleonic eras (after which I might remove Thus Spake the Bard from Virtual Pulp, rewrite it, expand, expound, and release it in novel form).
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What is your deepest, darkest secret?
HENRY BROWN: I find it impossible to eat a bowl of Fruit Loops without saving the purple ones for last.
HENRY’S QUESTION FOR NOAH: This is a meandering two-part question. Feel free to meander during your answer:
Do you consider any of the photos or film footage of the yeti/sasquatch to be authentic?
What about other mythical (or quasi-mythical) creatures? Up until the Middle Ages there were many reports of, for instance, dragons--both in Europe and the Far East. Was the collective memory of these creatures based on eyewitness accounts of actual encounters, or were they nothing but imaginary monsters designed to scare children?
NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Oh great question! First of all, the footage I’ve seen of Bigfoot is so fake looking as to be comical! No, that’s clearly not real. Does that mean that there could not be as-yet undiscovered primate species? No, that doesn’t follow. But that doesn’t really matter. In the end, who would really get that excited if we found a new taller gorilla? That’s not what attracts us to Bigfoot, Yeti, etc etc.
What we’re really looking for is the Wodewose; the wild man, the nature spirit, the Green Man, and they are real. It’s not an animal, it’s the spirit behind the animals. Yes, I do believe that there are intelligences beyond the wild. I do believe that the trees know when I’m there and talk amongst themselves. I do believe that the ocean sometimes chooses to drown the sailors she can’t bear to part with.
The world is alive. The world is conscious, and when we look for “BigFoot,” or “the Yeti,” or even my buddy “Farshoul” from The White Hairs, what we are seeking is contact with this level of reality and the beings that exist there.
I think that that partially answers the second part of your question as well, but let me say that I do suspect that there used to be animals in the world that we now consider to be mythical. I think that Orcs, Trolls, and Ogres were what we now call Neanderthals. We know that Gigantopithecus existed – there’s your giant! Science finally found the Kraken (The giant squid.) And now we even have little people living on the isle of Flores. There’s still so much we don’t know about the past. The only thing that I find implausible is that there might not be any earth-shattering surprises yet to be dug up! We need to respect the old legends and our ancestors more than we do. They were at least as intelligent as we are.
Noahan Author Interview – Debra L Martin
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Tell us about The Right Path.
DEB MARTIN: The Right Path is a novelette in our DARK FUTURE series. This story is set in a bleak post-apocalyptic world where only the strongest survive. Food and water are scarce and gangs roam the streets preying on the weak. System cops try to keep the peace any way they can but it’s not always pretty.
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Who are Abraham "Ham" Jones and Zia Slate?
DEB MARTIN: Ham Jones is a teenage boy who has two strikes against him – not only is he an orphan and alone on the streets, but he is further handicapped with a disfigured leg that makes it difficult for him to walk without a cane. Running is a mere dream for Ham so he must learn to stay in the shadows to avoid the attention of the local bullies. Zia is a fourteen-year-old girl who has recently run away from an abusive home life with a foster family, but without any friends, money or food, it may not have been her smartest move. The two teens are brought together by a mysterious old man and their fates are entwined.
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: There are been a lot of post-apocalyptic stories. Why do you think that is, and what makes a good one?
DEB MARTIN: I think people are fascinated with “end of the world” scenarios. It’s the lure of the unknown – what will it really be like? What would you do and how would you survive? I actually had this conversation with my co-author Dave and our answers were worlds apart. Dave is an ex-Marine who has had extensive survival training and I’m a middle class lady with a typical life – husband, children, and a administrative manager’s job. Whose story would you want to read? The answer may surprise you because I think a good story is one that engages the reader and makes them care about you. That story may be of the woman who finds the determination and will to survive in a world turned upside down or it may be the story of the gritty marine who knows the rules of the game. It’s the depth of the characters that will make it a good story.
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What effect do you hope The Right Path has on your readers?
DEB MARTIN: I hope the readers will come away with the message that no matter how impossible a situation seems, there is always a sliver of hope you’ll come out okay. A simple kindness could change your entire world and that’s exactly what happens to Ham and Zia.
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: You wrote this story with David W Small. How did that work?
DEB MARTIN: I’ve been writing with Dave since 2006. We’ve finally hit our stride writing together, but it certainly wasn’t without a few stops and starts along the way. Now our system is to share and edit chapter by chapter. That way we each can add or delete in real time. It definitely saves a lot of repetition. With email, Instant Messenger and Skype we are constantly in touch with each other plotting out our stories and books.
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: You have a few other ebooks out there. Can you talk about them?
DEB MARTIN: We have one other story in the DARK FUTURE series, Path to War. That novelette is the first one in the series and where the reader first learns about the famed “memory weapons.”
We also have two other full-length novels in our RULE OF OTHARIA series. The books revolve around royal Otharian twins, Darius and Dyla Telkur and their struggle to maintain control of the throne of Telkur. The reader will delve into a world of PSI powers, betrayal, intrigue and murder. There is an evil mastermind bent on eliminating the twins and, of course, there is a deliciously evil telekinetic assassin. How fast can you run?
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What do you think distinguishes an ebook that will sell from one that will have difficulty?
DEB MARTIN: I think there’s a couple of factors – a great cover to capture the reader’s eye, a good description and of course a good story, but most of all marketing your work is the number one factor in whether your story sells well. If the readers don’t know your books are out there, no matter how good a story it is, it will be lost in the sea of millions of other books. Authors today need to be publicists as well and learn to promote their work on forums, message boards and especially through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Are you ready for the fall of civilization?
DEB MARTIN: Well, I guess I’ll find out on December 21, 2012. Did the Mayans correctly predict the end of the world? I guess we’ll find out, but in the meantime you can bet I’ll be talking more with Dave about those survival skills.
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you could leave your body and travel astrally, would you? Where would you go?
DEB MARTIN: No, I get motion sickness. I’m happy to stay put in my own body.
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What is your deepest, darkest secret?
DEB MARTIN: Hmmmm….that’s a well-kept secret.
DEB MARTIN: Question for Noah – Since you’ve started this author interview project, have you been surprised by the depth of talent there is in the indie ranks? Any new favorite authors?
NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: I really appreciate your asking me this! I’ve been extremely surprised by the quality of the indie books and previews that I’ve read. I entered into this frankly expecting it to all be very low quality. Yes, there are a lot of people out there with poor spelling and grammar. But when I start reading the books I find myself at least as likely to be drawn into what I’m reading as I am when I read a book that has been traditionally published….maybe even moreso.
When I interviewed Robert J. DuPerre in our second issue I commented that I thought his book had the strongest free preview of any indie writer I’d read. I still haven’t gotten around to reading his full book, but I intend to. If the paperback version of his book were cheaper, I would have by now.
I was a very big fan of Derek Prior’s Thanatos Rising. He was featured in our third issue. In fact, when the softcover edition was finally listed on Amazon, I was the very first person to buy a copy!
Just today I got a used copy of Daniel Arenson’s Firefly Island in the mail. I haven’t dived in yet, but I will!
Yes, I do still prefer reading “real books.” I like to hold them. Of course, I don’t own a Kindle or similar device yet, just my iphone and laptop, so I might change my mind if and when I get one!
I read The Right Path last night. It really is a great start for a series. I look forward to reading more about these two characters!
When I started doing this interview series I let the writing community know that I would start by reading each author’s free preview and then decide if I thought the quality was high enough to justify writing questions for them. Honestly, the vast majority of the free previews I’ve read have been more than good enough. I think this means that the writers are responding to a fundamental failure of the publishers to find the upcoming talent. Could the process be any less welcoming or more skeptical of everyone who presents themselves? Well, it could sure be more welcoming than it is.
Thank you all for joining us again! Please come back next Sunday when we will have three more interviews waiting for you. If in the meantime you get bored, or lonely, or depressed, why not read one of our featured authors? It may make you feel better - or it could drag you even deeper into the pit!
Noah K. Mullette-Gillman