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Noahan Author Issue #9



Welcome back to the latest issue of Noahan Author!
We have interviews with three new authors for you this week, but first of all, I would like to announce that my ebook The Song of Ballad and Crescendo is now FREE at Smashwords for a limited time. No coupon code required! Go and grab a copy!
It's a beautiful little illustrated story that you can read in a single sitting.

The second installment of Beyond Brilliant - The Wisdom and Foolishness of Noah Mullette-Gillman as hastily Doodled by Dana Black is now available. I hope you'll all take a moment to enjoy it. Dana is a hell of an artist!

            That all out of the way, I hope you enjoy our interviews. We have some really great talents to share with you this week!


Noahan Author Interview – Elita Daniels

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about Tree of Life

ELITA DANIELS: Tree of life is centered around a young mage, a mortal raised in an immortal realm, struggling to come to terms with his human side. Nature and the elves become his antagonist and he becomes obsessed with bringing them down in disastrous proportions. There is magic and action, but it's very character driven. I enjoy stories that display knowledge of human nature, sexuality, wit and humour, weaved together with the best chosen language. I like to make unbelievable characters believable.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about Daenara?

ELITA DANIELS: She's Deacon's stability. They share a strong emotional connection, not only being mother and son, but because she's the only other mortal in the elven realm for him to relate to. And after all they go through together they sort of become companions in misfortune.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about Deacon?

ELITA DANIELS: For such an intensely introverted character I find he presents a powerfully commanding presence. He's conflicted with so many different aspects that at times during the story it could be debated whether he's the hero or villain. He fascinated me to explore as a character and to add some of myself in there. I won't tell you how much.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Tree of Life seems to have a very rebellious theme. The little guy, the humans, rises up against the Immortals. Can you talk about this a little?

ELITA DANIELS: I think it's natural to rebel against the idea of having to die and to have a driving desire to make the most of the time you have, so for a character to be brought up in a realm where everyone else in their life excels at a quicker rate and won't die, not in the usual sense, it's a breeding ground for contention. I wanted to explore the idea of what it would be like as a human living among perceived perfection. As a mortal would I try elevate myself to an elven level and would my short comings drive me to insane jealousy? Or would I simply enjoy being immersed in an ageless world, experiencing all I could for the brief time I had there? And if I believed that the Gods favoured this race over my own, could I worship something I consider unjust merely to avoid conflict?

This taken into consideration along with the acceptance of Deacon's attitude towards his mother's condition, and the restraints imposed on him, the reader has the opportunity to accept the story's rebellious nature and accept Deacon's volatile nature and his actions. In real life I draw a kind of a parallel between Deacon's views of the elves and my own views of some religion.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What do you really think about Elves?

ELITA DANIELS: I personally love elves. They represent a world of beauty, grace and goodness. Yet, I don't think anything is ever as perfect as it seems. That said who doesn't love Legolas? Elves are what we all want to be, having wisdom, purity, changeless beauty.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: In your book the Elves demonstrate all sorts of psychic powers. Some people believe that many of these are actual possible, and are sometimes used by humans on earth. What are your thoughts?

ELITA DANIELS: I've observed enough psychic experiences to believe it's entirely plausible. We have more capabilities and potential than what we might consider. For example we might hear a story about a person lifting a car to rescue someone or performing some act of physical strength far beyond what they thought was their physical limits. I think we all have enormous potential, though often undiscovered, untapped.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: You have a great trailer posted for your book. You also have a beautiful cover. Can you tell us a little about how they came to be?

ELITA DANIELS: I really wanted a trailer because video is such a powerful mass marketing medium. My brothers own a production company. They were creating a tutorial package at the same time I was ready to launch my novel and they offered to supply the trailer. Despite their expertise they used basic tools to demonstrate how anyone can put together a simple but very effective video. I helped put the script together, chose the voice actor (Rick Jelinek) and some of the images. But my brothers did the real work putting it all together and doing the sound mixing. We wanted a near Hollywood style trailer and they certainly achieved that.

For the cover I had an idea what I was looking for, so when I saw the gold leaf in amongst some photos I was searching through, I thought it was appropriate for Tree of Life.

http://www.treeoflifethebook.com/
http://elitadaniels.com/

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and what are you doing to promote your work?

ELITA DANIELS: This is where my husband thrives. He takes the burden off me in the business side of things. We started off with Facebook and Paul (my husband) created our two websites. We're all about building interest with reviews and interviews, and generating traffic through iTunes, Adwords, Youtube videos, FaceBook ads, Yahoo ads, anything we can think of. And of course getting more books out there. It's good to have a selection for potential readers to choose from and it gives credibility that you haven't curled over dead after one novel. I'm working on two more books at the moment. The first is in the Urban Fantasy genre, I wanted to try something more contemporary, fun and sexy. The second is a more serious story set in the late Victorian era. The story is loosely based on a real character in history, I can't tell you who just yet, but it will be quite intense.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your background.

ELITA DANIELS: I'm from a little town in North Queensland, Australia. I was raised with three older brothers. There's quite an age gap between us, so I know what it is to be surrounded by people who are stronger and more advanced. I always seemed to be several steps behind them, which probably provoked some of my rebellious nature. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to break into the movie industry (I still do) but now that I have discovered the beauty of writing I will always write novels.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you could leave your body and travel astrally, would you? Where would you go?

ELITA DANIELS: If my body was in a safe place and I knew I could get back to it, absolutely I would! There are so many places to visit around the world, but I can always jump on a plane to get to them, so if I could travel astrally it would be to some place sinful and off limits to me in real life. Because people can't see me right?

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you could ask any one character in your novel a question, what would it be?

ELITA DANIELS: I would asked Deacon why he is so damn cruel to Magenta. No, I'm not sure. I know my characters so intimately I feel all the questions have already been answered during the intense questioning process that took place while I was writing. I might ask Eomus why he didn't open up more to Deacon.


ELITA DANIELS: And a question for you, do you believe honesty is the best policy?

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Well, for the most part, yes. I would say that honesty is the best policy, except where it contradicts another moral precept. For example, if you had a friend who had been in a horrible car accident and wanted to commit suicide, you might not tell them right away that they killed someone when their car crashed.

But, if honesty is not used most of the time, then we won’t be able to feel like we can trust one another. Lacking that, we will live in a state of higher stress. No one will be able to take anything at face value.

Also, if I am the sort who lies, I will become the sort who doesn’t believe what anyone else says. We expect everyone else to act just like we do. So, by becoming a person who tells a lot of lies, we essentially punish ourselves by forcing ourselves into a reality where nothing is certain, and nowhere is safe. No one else has to punish us. We don’t need to imagine an enforcer God…. Simply living in the world that our dishonesty has created will give us our due.





Noahan Author Interview – Monique Martin

 

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about Out of Time.

MONIQUE MARTIN: Out of Time is a time traveling paranormal romance. The hero, Simon Cross, is a professor of the Occult, who's spent his days searching for tangible evidence that the supernatural is real – evidence that will vindicate his grandfather Sebastian’s name. He spends his nights, however, dreaming of the one woman who’s managed to slip between the cracks of the walls he’s so carefully built, his graduate teaching assistant, Elizabeth West.

A bizarre accident with Simon’s grandfather’s unusual pocket watch sends them both back in time to 1929 New York City. It’s the height of Prohibition—a time when bathtub gin and men with names like Spats ruled the town. King Kashian, a local gangster with a very dark past, sets his sights on Elizabeth. Simon is sure his worst nightmare is about to unfold. The thing he's spent his life looking for is threatening to take the only woman he's ever loved. Simon and Elizabeth have to find a way to survive until the next lunar eclipse gives them a way home.

It's a story about redemption and the healing power of love. It's got action, adventure, suspense and a whole lot of romance.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Tell us about Elizabeth

MONIQUE MARTIN: Elizabeth is funny, a little insecure and the kind of person I'd love to hang out with. She comes from the wrong side of the tracks in a small town in Texas. Her mother left when she was young, so she's a bit of a tomboy. Her father was a gambler which led to some interesting babysitters.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Tell us about Simon Cross

MONIQUE MARTIN: Simon's a tough nut to crack. He's driven, passionate and can be a big pill, but he's got a soft gooey middle that he's trying desperately to hide and ignore. He's a stiff upper lip Brit who's slowly unraveling. And, it was great fun to tug on the loose threads.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Out of Time features time travel. The first time (I am assuming there may be others later on?) that your characters travel to is the 1920s. Why did you pick that era?

MONIQUE MARTIN: That was actually the genesis for the story. I was watching a documentary about Chicago gangs in the 20s and came up with the idea of the underworld of gangsters being controlled by the actual underworld. And, the more time I spent playing with the era, the more I fell in love with it. Bathtub gin, Jazz and speakeasies - what's not to love?

I do plan on more adventures with Simon and Elizabeth. It's so liberating, and a little scary, to be able to travel to any time and any place. The two that are at the top of the list right now are 1906 San Francisco and 1940 London.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: In the opening pages of Out of Time we are introduced to an Occult Studies class. Of course, this conjures images of both Hogwarts and maybe also Buffy the Vampire’s sessions with her watcher. Do you think the world would be a better place if every child had the opportunity to study the occult at school, and if so, at what grade would you start teaching them?

MONIQUE MARTIN: Yes! I think the sooner we open our minds to the improbable, the sooner it can become possible. I'd love to see courses on the occult, not teaching how to create a voodoo curse, but the history of the beliefs. We start reading fairy tales when we're young, why not learn where they come from too?

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Do you think time travel could ever actually be possible? Would actions in the past change the future? How do you imagine it would all work?

MONIQUE MARTIN: I tend to believe that time travel would lead to alternate universes. Each change creates a new parallel universe ad infinitum. I'd like to believe in the Multiverse, that every possible permutation already simultaneously exists.  But thinking about it too much makes me dizzy.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN:  What research did you do for this book?

MONIQUE MARTIN: I did a lot of research for the book, most of which doesn't appear in the details but helped me live in the world while I was writing. I read book, watched movies, documentaries, listened to speeches and music and bought several Sears catalogs.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and what are you doing to promote your work?

MONIQUE MARTIN: I'm really just starting out on that journey. I'm trying doing interviews like this one and submitting the book to any reviewer who will take it. It's tough sledding, but I'm learning more about what I need to do to help get the word out every day.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Can you tell us what path led you to publication?

MONIQUE MARTIN: I wrote it and submitted to agents. Came close, but no cigar. So, I put it in a drawer until I learned about self-publishing on Amazon. Hooray for Amazon! What a revelation it's been.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What’s next?

MONIQUE MARTIN: I'm working on the sequel to Out of Time and have a few other projects going. I'm writing a coming of age novella based on a screenplay I co-wrote and I'm helping my father write his memoirs.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you could leave your body and travel astrally, would you? Where would you go?

MONIQUE MARTIN: Space. I'd travel our solar system and beyond. I'd LOVE to know what's out there. Now, if I could go anywhen…

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you could ask any one character in your novel a question, what would it be?

MONIQUE MARTIN: I'd ask Sebastian what Abraham Lincoln was really like. Lincoln's my hero and I'd love to know if my image of him is anywhere near reality. I sure hope so.


MONIQUE'S QUESTION FOR NOAH: Who's your hero and why?

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: This is a really hard question for me. There isn’t one single person who I would like to be – except the ideal version of Noah!

But, I an inspired by the artistic passion and lives of Mozart, Wagner, William Blake, Jim Morrison, Michael Hutchence… The minds of Nietzsche, Socrates, Plato, Kant, Wittgenstein…

And I’m very influenced by the imagination of the people who first dreamed up The Arabian Knights, the Heimskringla, the Indian, Welsh, and Norse Epics… I read these old books and I’m very conscious of the fact that the people who created all of that wonder were really not very different from me. Their work becomes the water-mark against which I have the measure the level of imagination in my own work. I don’t compare myself against or feel the gauntlet thrown down by the modern writers as much as I do the ancient ones, because I think they had something that very few artists today have. I’d like to tell some stories that last for thousands of years…


Noahan Author Interview – Gabriela Popa

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about Kafka’s House.

GABRIELA POPA: I wrote Kafka’s House for a dare - I wanted to see how it feels to write, in English, a story about a child growing up in brutal times.  Initially, the story was targeted to a narrow audience, my American writer friends.  But here is a little story that just shows how curiously our mind works.  In 2000, a taxi driver, here in St. Louis, told me that he had been many times in Romania in the sixties and seventies.  He was originally from Russia, and we talked (...about 90 dollars worth in taxi time) about Eastern Europe, his native country, and life in general.  Among other things, he told me that the Romania he discovered in his travels was "grey".  I listened to him carefully, and found the conversation quite engaging.  Now, I have probably forgotten most of what he told me, but that grey Romania stayed with me.  I knew that Romania was not grey, although it could appear that way during those difficult times.  So as I was writing Kafka's House I just allowed myself to wallow in all that joy and sparkle that memories bring back: the effervescent lives of my friends, real and imaginary, the vivid Romanian tales, the crippling darkness of the regime at the time, the vibrant love of our parents.  To me, it is amazing how sometimes one goes to the greatest length and effort just to rebut a word someone threw out accidentally, years ago, as some kind of side remark.  So in a way, this book was written for that taxi driver as well.  But of course, Kafka's House is not a memoir.  It is a fictional story that I needed to tell to anyone who wanted to learn about a long-gone Romania. 

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Your story is told in the first person. Your protagonist is named Silvia Marcu. In what ways do you think Silvia may have turned out to be different from you, yourself?

GABRIELA POPA:  Although there may be some similarities between myself and the main character, Kafka's House is a work of imagination.  Silvia Marcu is a much more positive and wiser character than I was as a child.  When you write in the first person, the temptation of putting yourself in the narrator's skin is quite powerful - but I tried to overcome that.  I tried to build a character that could live the range of experiences that the society, at the time, offered (or allowed) one to live.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: I have spent some time in Prague, and I have visited Kafka’s house, amid the buildings of the Golden Lane that Emperor Rudolph II had constructed for his Alchemists. I even purchased a copy of the children’s book ‘Fip’s Birthday’ by Harald Salfellner from the very bookstore that occupies that spot today! Why did you decide to name your book after that small building?

GABRIELA POPA: I saw Kafka’s House in Prague - that charmingly pitiful little building on Zlatne Ulice - as a metaphor for the confining societies of the time.  The number 22 house on Golden Lane was actually his sister's house, and he lived there only for a few years.  As I was looking at those walls, I thought: here you have Kafka, this colossally important figure of the 20th century and he lives in this toy house!   If that's possible, then everything is possible.  Curiously, this is one of the messages that Kafka's books carry, right?  Consider The Trial or Metamorphosis.  Everything is possible.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: You paint a beautiful portrait of Prague in the opening pages of Kafka’s House. For those among our readers who have never been, and probably have never even heard much about that city, can you tell them a little bit? What does Prague mean to you?

GABRIELA POPA: Prague was for me, at the time (that was before the fall of the regime), a city of wonderful contradictions.  Fantastic architecture coming from a glorious history vs. somber, oppressive times; friendly, beautiful people vs. difficult language.  More than in other European cities, a journey through Prague, and mostly through the New Town or Old Town is a journey through history.  I still have fond memories of the Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge.  Prague "Hrad" Castle left an indelible impression on me, as did the worn-out, medieval-style pavement of Golden Lane. 

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What effect do you hope your book has on your audience?

GABRIELA POPA: I hope it allows readers to discover a universe that does not exist anymore.  That makes you think how fragile a fiction writer mission is: to preserve that which has never existed but which could nonetheless happen.  

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: I understand that you are from Romania. Why did you decide to leave Romania and come there, and how do you think that your country of origin gives you a different perspective?

GABRIELA POPA: What a wonderful question.  It may take me a few books to answer it.  But here are some thoughts: I came to US because I was in love.  I was smitten by science.  The fact that you could discover a drug that "knew" how to target and kill cancer cell specifically? Are you kidding me?  This to me was incredible.  I had to do it, and US was the place.  But of course, science is a beautiful mirage, a fata morgana that is rapidly changing under your eyes.  You believe you are after cancer cells, but in order to understand that, you need molecular biology, and pharmacology, then genetics, then...

As for the perspective - living in an adopted culture is a very rich experience.  It's like marriage: you are now in love with your new life but you never forget (or should you) your parents or your past. 

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are you doing and what have you done to promote your work?

GABRIELA POPA: I enjoy participating on Kindle Boards, on facebook, Gabriela Popa Facebook Page and maintaining my blog, The Right to Publish. I also dabble in twittering exercises from time to time at Twitter_Gabriela

Time has become a very precious commodity for me. 

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Can you tell us a little about the path that led you to publication?

GABRIELA POPA: I wrote Kafka's House in English, shopped it very briefly in the US then I translated it into Romanian and had the good fortune to have it published by Editura Cavallioti in Bucharest, Romania.  Along with a number of my short stories, Kafka's House is now available from amazon in both English and Romanian.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What’s next?

GABRIELA POPA: I have a number of projects but nothing clearly defined at the moment.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you could leave your body and travel astrally, would you? Where would you go?

GABRIELA POPA: I certainly would.  I have a number of imaginary places I visit from time to time, but it is cumbersome, with all this weight around me.  I believe the first place I would visit astrally would be Mars, the one that Bradbury described in The Martian Chronicles

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you could ask any one character in your novel a question, what would it be?

GABRIELA POPA: I would ask Ana, Silvia's neighbor, why did she have to be an informant.  Why did she have to lead a double life?  That is the central question of the book.  Why did your best friend have to do it? 


GABRIELA POPA's question for Noah:  You are a Certified English teacher.  Tell us one or two stories regarding your interactions with your ESL students.

NOAH K MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Well, I want to be careful. I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk in public about any specific students. I may not be a priest or a psychologist, but it is important all the same that my students trust that there is some privacy involved in our time together.

That said; let me tell you a little bit about when I taught in the Czech Republic. I taught small children when I was over there. Now, many of you may know that in the U.S. teachers and students are forbidden to touch each other. It is the complete opposite over there! I was constantly being climbed on, wrestled with! My hair was pulled! I was punched by rambunctious four year olds! Whenever I lifted my foot I would have one child or another sitting on it, their arms wrapped around my ankle and giggling their heads off!

Of course, they spoke all of about three words of English each, and I about two of Czech, so real communication was impossible. It was all a matter of sign language and facial expressions – and good luck REASONING with your face!

I went home bruised every single day! It was fun – but incredibly draining! It was like doing six to nine hours of aerobic exercise every single day! By comparison, teaching Adults is easy as pie!


I'd like to include two photos. This first one is of me teaching in the Czech Republic. It was taken by a four year old:

And this is a picture I took of Kafka's house. Number 22 is the blue one.:



Thank you all for visiting us again this week! Don't forget to get your free copy of The Song of Ballad and Crescendo.


And then maybe you would consider checking out the work of one of our featured authors?




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