We will be doing podcasts, and guest posts/interviews on this blog for the foreseeable future. Doing the Youtube channel videos became such a hassle it wasn’t worth the trouble. We may bring all that back in 2021 if we can get more time to pursue those projects.
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Writer Groupie will host author Melodie Romeo on the blog on November 26th. You may know Melodie from her books, or maybe you know her from her location (Mississippi has great authors!) .
Here is her bio from Amazon. Y’all check it out!
Melodie Romeo is a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree in History from the University of West Florida. Ms. Romeo is a retired school teacher who currently travels the country as an over the road truck driver with Prime, Inc. Her first book, Vlad a Novel, (https://www.facebook.com/VladANovel) a historical thriller, was published in 2002. She has short stories published in anthologies by Seventh Star Press, Charon Coin Press, Alban Lake Press, and Less Than Three Press. Her LGBT fiction is written under the pen name Edale Lane to differentiate from her more mainstream stories. She has a son, Peter, and a daughter, Michele who both serve in the US Army, a daughter-in-law, Jessica, and grandsons, Mark and Asher. She resides in Utica, MS with her longtime partner, Johanna.
Melodie is also a musician who plays the French horn, composes, and has spent many years as a choral or instrumental director. She aspires to be a successful enough author to quit driving and devote herself to writing full-time.
Her first book is still available on Amazon click on the image below.
Anyway, this is just a little preview of what’s to come just before the big holiday starts. I hope you enjoy this information about our guests coming soon.
Welcome to another episode of my podcast. Today I am just blabbering in about time at home and what I am doing creatively. It is also a rainy day and not much encouragement to get outside so, you are the recipient of my indoor activity.
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Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking with Ms. Aragon about her co-authoring experience with Katie Davis on a book about how fanfiction has helped shape young lives. See the PODCAST LINK at the bottom of this page.
Fanfiction, Youth, and New Forms of Mentoring
Cecelia has co-authored with Katie Davis, a book said to be ” An in-depth exploration of the unexpected ways young people learn from writing fanfiction online. “
About the Book
Over the past twenty years, amateur fanfiction writers have published an astonishing amount of fiction in online repositories. More than 1.5 million enthusiastic fanfiction writers–primarily young people in their teens and twenties–have contributed nearly seven million stories and more than 176 million reviews to a single online site, Fanfiction.net. In this book, Cecilia Aragon and Katie Davis offer a detailed examination of fanfiction writers and fanfiction repositories, finding that these sites are not shallow agglomerations and regurgitation of pop culture but rather online spaces for sophisticated and informal learning. Through their participation in online fanfiction communities, young people find ways to support and learn from one another.
About the Author
Cecilia Aragon is Professor in the Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington, where she is also a Senior Data Science Fellow at the eScience Institute.
Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking with the author of The Sea of Japan, Keita Nagano. You will certainly enjoy this audio only version of my chat with Keita, and learn a bit about his writing style.
About the book
When thirty-year-old Lindsey, an English teacher in Japan who’s been assigned to a tiny fishing town, is saved from drowning by a local young fisherman, she’s drawn into a battle with a neighboring town that has high stakes for everyone—especially her.
As their efforts to save their town backfire, Hime gets closer to falling apart—putting Lindsey’s friends, her budding relationship with Ichiro, and her career in jeopardy. To save Hime, Lindsey realizes she’ll have to become a true American fisherwoman and fight for her new home with everything she has.
Get the book The Sea of Japan by clicking on the image above, or here at the link listed below:
Keita Nagano is an award-winning Japanese author who has lived almost equally in Nevada and Tokyo—more than twenty years in each place—and he reflects the difference of the two cultures in his novels. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Keio University in Japan, as well as an MBA in global business and a PhD in management from Walden University in Minnesota.
The pursuit of the authentic American experience is his hobby: he has been to all fifty states, all thirty major league ballparks, and the top sixty big cities in America. He has published seventeen business nonfiction and eight fiction books in Japan.
In 2013, he received a Nikkei (Japanese Wall Street Journal) Award for Contemporary Novel for his missing-child thriller, Kamikakushi. He also received a Mita Literary Award in 2011 for his short story “Takino-a bank clerk.” In addition, he is an official weekly columnist for Forbes Japan.
Nagano lives in Henderson, Nevada, with his wife and Welsh corgi. Their teenage daughter is currently studying in Tennessee.
Tom Lutz is a writer of books, articles, and screenplays, the founder of the Los Angeles Review of Books, and is now Distinguished Professor at UC Riverside. His books include American Book Award winner Doing Nothing, New York Times notable books Crying and American Nervousness, 1903, the travel books And the Monkey Learned Nothing and Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World, and coming on January 14, 2020, Born Slippy: A Novel.
He has written for television and film, and appeared in scores of national and international newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and edited collections. He is working with a Los Angeles-based production company on a television show set in the 1920s, is finishing a third collection of travel pieces, a book on the 1920s (The Modern Surface), and is in the early stages of a book on global conflict along the aridity line.
INTERVIEW with TOM LUTZ
– Can you share a little of your current work with us? (short synopsis)
My novel, Born Slippy,
arrives January 14. A nonfiction book on aimlessness is coming later in the
year, the third book in my travel series (after Drinking Mare’s Milk and
And the Monkey Learned Nothing) is almost finished, and the sequel to Born
Slippy is just underway. I like to have at least two going at any time so
if one feels wutchy I can move to another.
– What inspired you to
write your first book?
I discovered a disease, called
neurasthenia, that everyone who was anyone at the dawn of the 20th
century had (Edith Wharton, Henry James, Theodore Dreiser, Theodore Roosevelt,
etc.). It went extinct by the middle of the century, replaced by other, more
specific syndromes, like anxiety, depression, neurosis, and eventually by
things like Epstein-Barr virus and others. I also was a new professor then, and
needed to publish or perish, so that was an inspiration, too.
– Do you have a specific
No, it changes as my subject
and sense of audience changes. At least that’s the way it seems to me—other
people may find something recognizable from genre to genre….
– How did you come up
with the title?
I actually called the novel Sugarfish,
which is the password for an account that gets set up in the middle of the
book. It’s the name of a restaurant here in LA, and one character looks up,
sees it, and uses it as a password. I liked it because it had referenced a lot
of the book’s sweetness and my antagonist’s fishiness; it also sounded vaguely
sexual to me. My British editor hated it, and Born Slippy was his
suggestion—he liked it because the song has a Liverpool connection (my
antagonist is from Liverpool, and it became famous in part because it was on
the soundtrack for Trainspotting and because the lyrics, such as they
are, make sense for the book.
– What book are you
I’ve just finished Olga
Tokarczuk’s amazing Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft, Laila
Lalami’s The Other Americans, and Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay.
– Are there any new
authors that have grabbed your interest?
Well, those three aren’t
exactly new, although Tokarczuk is new to most people in America—it’s the
fourth book for Lalami and for Cha. Also not exactly new, but I love Leslie
Jamison and Rachel Cusk. Ayesha Attah’s Hundred Wells of Salaga is a
novel of the slave trade from the African side. I love Elif Batuman’s The
Idiot, a few years old already…. Miriam Gurba is a new talent to watch, and
– As a child, what did
you want to do when you grew up?
A cowboy. By the time I was 14
or so, a rock star. Then, around 16, a writer.
– Is there anything you
find particularly challenging in your writing?
Making it better than it is.
It always ends up being only just as good as it is, and I always end up wishing
it was better.
– Do you have to travel
much concerning your book(s)?
Yes, I’ve been to somewhere
between 130 and 140 countries (including places like French Guiana, which is
technically part of France). I say, to the IRS, that all of it is for my
writing, and eventually it all will be, or most of it.
-Who designed your covers?
They were done in house by
each of my publishers I like them all. The most recent is by Johnny Bull for
Repeater/PRH. I really like Monkey (Iowa), Crying (Norton), Mare’s
Milk (O|R Books), Doing Nothing (FSG), and American Nervousness and
Cosmopolitan Vistas (both Cornell).
Title:Born Slippy: A Novel
Author’s name: Tom Lutz
Genre: noir, thriller
Publish date: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Repeater/Penguin Random House
Page count: 296
Get your copy today at Amazon by clicking the cover image
ABOUT THE BOOK (blurb on Amazon):
A provocative, globe-trotting, time-shifting novel about the seductions of — and resistance to — toxic masculinity.
“Frank knew as well as anyone how stories start and how they end. This fiery mess, or something like it, was bound to happen. He had been expecting it for years.”
Frank Baltimore is a bit of a loser, struggling by as a carpenter and handyman in rural New England when he gets his big break, building a mansion in the executive suburbs of Hartford. One of his workers is a charismatic eighteen-year-old kid from Liverpool, Dmitry, in the US in the summer before university. Dmitry is a charming sociopath, who develops a fascination with his autodidactic philosopher boss, perhaps thinking that, if he could figure out what made Frank tick, he could be less of a pig. Dmitry heads to Asia and makes a neo-imperialist fortune, with a trail of corpses in his wake. When Dmitry’s office building in Taipei explodes in an enormous fireball, Frank heads to Asia, falls in love with Dmitry’s wife, and things go from bad to worse.
Combining the best elements of literary thriller, noir and political satire, Born Slippy is a darkly comic and honest meditation on modern life under global capitalism.
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Stephen H. Vincent, author of When Faith Lights the Way-The Quest to Restore Electricity to a War-Ravaged African Hospital.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Ganta Hospital in Liberia was struggling to rebuild while serving 24,000 patients a year. Intense thunderstorms forced surgeons to finish operations with flashlights in their mouths. When Faith Lights the Way chronicles a rare altruistic quest to design and construct a vital, highly-technical, life-giving electric system for a remote African hospital destroyed by fourteen years of war
Steve is a successful businessman who’s first career spanned thirty-four years in the electric utility industry. In his second career, his efforts have been redirected to provide state of the art electric systems to improve the health and education to the neediest people in the world. Steve’s extensive experience in logistics while working with U.S. electric power systems has made this unique contribution to mankind possible. Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Texas A&M University.
GET YOURS HERE BY CLICKING THE COVER
When Faith Lights the Way, is now published as an e-book, paperback, and audio-book. You can find out more about this book and the author at these sites:
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Recently, I had the privilege of connecting with Neda Disney, the author of Planting Wolves. Please see below for how to get this book! You can find out more about Neda at her website, http://www.nedadisney.com
Interview with Neda
Can you share a little of
your current work with us? (short synopsis of Planting Wolves)
It’s about people with not a lot of self awesomeness. A
few are really more seekers for the meaning of their paths.
It’s a very visual book because it contains magical
realism which to me, makes their confusion and human longing gorgeous.
What inspired you to write your first book? – Do you
have a specific writing style?
I was in an in-between phase in my life. I was very
much in need of questions to answer and choices to make. I think writing
brought my desires into high relief.
How did you come up with the title?
It’s a phrased used in conservatism to describe putting
endangered animals, in this case wolves, somewhere where they can proliferate
It’s a metaphor. There are no wolves in the book and no
wolves were harmed in the writing of this book.
What book are you reading now?
I have an 8-year-old daughter so I’m reading a lot of
more complicated children’s books. It’s difficult to know if the books’ plots
are informed by the interests of children or are forming those interests.
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your
No. I’m fairly suspended in time at the moment. Plus, I
don’t like to read when I’m working on writing. I’m writing my new book so I
can’t read anything but goods about tummy aches and making new friends. To be
clear- kids’ books.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew
I wanted to be a writer.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging
in your writing? – Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
It’s difficult to sit still. I’m very social and
As for travel- I do travel but not for writing.
But I talk a lot to strangers, I make acquaintances
quickly and I know immediately who I will be friends with.
I people watch, go out a lot. I call this micro travel.
My mind and spirit become refreshed by other people and how they move me.
Who designed your covers?
It is a photo of a painting I did. I studied painting
which as I said is very related to writing. A computer designer person worked
with the image and made it into a lovely book cover.
I absolutely must learn the name of this difficult
profession so I don’t disrespect an entire career path which is not easy to
Thank you for your fun and smart questions.
How can I get Planting Wolves?
Genre: Literary Fiction, Magic Realism, available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audio
Blurb For Planting Wolves by Neda Disney
A writer in a purgatory bar, an art collecting housewife who time travels, a movie Production Assistant with stigmata, a codependent AA sponsor, a sex addict, a movie star with issues, a two-time liver transplant recipient and an abusive TV costumer who gets what’s coming to her. All connected to one another but completely and utterly alone.