book reviews

All posts tagged book reviews

An Interview with David Whitman

Published March 1, 2017 by MommaCat

david-whitman

Please tell me about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

I have two upcoming books. The first is a short novel entitled The Witch, the Murderer, and the Devil in Black. Martin Kent can channel the souls of the dead into animals. He roams about his small town with his dead wife, who is in the body of a deer. When a tragic experiment causes the death of every animal in town, Martin embarks on an angry quest to get his wife’s damned soul back from God. He enlists the aid of an elderly woman, who can speak to the dead, and a murderer. It is set in the Victorian era. This novel is finished and I am currently waiting word on finding a home for it.

The second is a follow-up to my critically acclaimed novella Deadfellas. It is entitled Deadfellas 2: One Step Beyond. It is a surrealistic dark comedy that mixes The Wizard of Oz with Hitmen and zombies. I have been working on this for about a decade. It’s nearly complete, and so far I am very proud of what it has become. It is certainly not just a repeat of the first and it is quite epic in its scope and weirdness. The first Deadfellas can be found on Amazon Kindle and Apple Itunes.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Two authors that have influenced me the most are Philip K. Dick and Joe R. Lansdale. As a teenager, I read and re-read PKD’s work obsessively, even collecting obscure works from the 1950’s and 60’s. I think PKD is an absolute genius–a writer can get an idea for a whole novel in just one of his paragraphs. It is a joy to see that the world has embraced his work and that he is no longer just a cult writer.

I read Joe Lansdale’s work in my early twenties and his words just went through me like lightning. He rewired my brain and showed me that there were no rules as far as the imagination goes. The first work I found by him was his collection BY BIZARRE HANDS–it was like explosives went off in my mind.

pkdick

Would you talk about how you and Weston Ochse came to collaborate on SCARY REDNECKS AND OTHER INBRED HORRORS (and APPALACHIAN GALAPAGOS).

Weston and I met through an email message forum around 1998 and found that we both had similar influences. We were both young and eager and soon collaborated on a few short stories. We sent those stories to a publisher and immediately they wanted more. Scary Rednecks was born. Weston has gone on to win the Bram Stoker award and has become one of the most prolific writers in the business. I am very proud of him and so happy for any success he achieves. I still feel our novella “Up Shits Creek with a Case of Beer and No Fucking Paddles” (from APPALACHIAN GALAPAGOS) is one of the best creative projects I have ever been part of. I have faith that it will one day be made into an excellent film.

westono

I loved Harlan. That was a very different tale from REDNECKS. What brought that story to life?

I was heavily influenced by John Hughes films, such as The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Also, a film called Pump up the Volume was very influential. I wanted to create a story that had the elements of those films, but also took a darker and more adult bent. I found the writing of that novel to be more emotionally draining than I had expected and I think it shows in the finished product. I am very proud of HARLAN.

Do you have any plans to turn one of your short stories into a novel or novella?

There are a bunch of short stories that speak to me and seem to want to be revisited. I very rarely write a short story with a solid sense of closure. I believe that style makes the reader ask questions and want more. My latest novel (mentioned above) was born from a short story. I also want to start writing screenplays and there are so many of my stories that seem to have potential to be bigger. I have a short story in my collection DELIGHTFUL AGONY entitled “Some of Us are Looking at the Stars”. It is a sort of science-fiction retelling of APOCALYPSE NOW. I think that it would be perfect for a longer tale.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

I would probably choose someone with a lot of security clearances–a world leader or perhaps someone in the Pentagon. I am a huge conspiracy and UFO enthusiast. I would immediately seek access to the Roswell files.

roswell

FYI – They’ve been declassified recently. Whether everything is out or not remains to be seen.  MC

What are you reading now?

I am reading George Martin’s GAME OF THRONES. I also recently read some John D. Macdonald. I have been taking my time with the Travis McGee novels for a long time now–reading one every few years. It is like revisiting a long time friend.

gofthronestravism

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

I am a huge Star Trek fan. I will occasionally read a Trek novel because I can finish one in about five hours. I don’t really believe in the concept of guilty pleasures. I think you should proudly like whatever you want to. If it makes you happy, just own up to it.

startrek

How do you want the world to remember you?

I want to be remembered as a good father and husband. I certainly won’t mind being remembered as a writer. With a book, the author gets to live forever in a way.

David Whitman – Facebook
David Whitman (davidwhitman666) – Amazing Pinterest pins!
all David’s books are available on Amazon.  Check em out!
 bodycounting
 BODY COUNTING is a short story collection that is easily devoured all at once.  With so many collections I find myself reading a story here and one or two there an going back a coupe of weeks later for another dose.  Not so with BODY COUNTING.  With a mix of strange, weird, horror, sci-fi and one very odd (to me) story  there’s a great read just waiting for you.
I’m so glad that David agreed to this interview!  Thanks for visiting CAD today and please come back soon.

 

 

An Interview with Stephen Leather

Published November 3, 2016 by MommaCat

stephenleather

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

I have a new book coming out in a few weeks – TAKEDOWN – which features two characters from my Spider Shepherd series. I have taken his former boss – Charlotte Button – and his friend – Lex Harper – and spun a standalone thriller around them, basically a home-grown jihadist plot. It might well end up being the first in a new series, we’ll see!

Writing-wise, I’m midway through a book provisionally titled THE GIRL WHO GOT BURNED about a female firefighter who is badly injured in a fire and is reassigned as an arson investigator. Years ago I wrote two episodes of a TV show about firemen called London’s Burning but a lot has changed since then so I’m doing a lot of research. I’ve visited a fire station and hope to be taken into a training fire soon. Once that’s done and dusted I’ll be starting work on the new Spider Shepherd novel, which will be titled LIGHT TOUCH. It’s got several plotlines including an undercover cop who has gone bad and an evil jihadist who is being protected by MI5.

 

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

I’ve always been a huge fan of John Le Carre, Jack Higgins, and Gerald Seymour. I read most of their books before I started writing my own thrillers. I also loved the black magic books of Dennis Wheatley and it was those that led me to writing my Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series. I’m also a huge fan of self-published authors Joe Konrath and Mark Dawson, who offer lots of advice on publishing your own work. I’m one of Amazon’s Top 10 UK self-publishers and I’ve learned a lot from Joe and Mark.

 

If you had the ability to bring one author back from the dead to write one more book, who would it be and why?

I love the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams and he died way too young. I’d bring him back to write one more book. Everything he has ever written has had me in fits of laughter.

42

 

If you could live in (or just visit) any world, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

I’d happily visit any world where I can fly. I already have a pilot’s licence but that’s not the same, I want to really fly. I do have vivid dreams where I actually can fly and it’s always a big disappointment when I wake up.

 

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

I always wished I could sing or play a music instrument but I’m not musical at all. I’d like to be Kenny G for the day, just so I could play the saxophone.

sax

 

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

On my desk next to me are RED WATCH by Gordon Honeycombe, about a hotel fire not far from where I live in Maida Vale, London, SOLDIER SPY by Tom Marcus, an MI5 officer’s autobiography, and NOMAD by Alan Partridge alias Steve Coogan. I’m reading that for fun.

 

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

I reread my old Enid Blyton books from time to time, especially the Adventure series (River of Adventure etc). I know that world never really existed but I always wish it did.

enid-blyton

 

If you were to give just one piece of advice aspiring writers, what would it be?

Write every day. Even if it’s just a few paragraphs, write something.

 

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

I love the idea of a dinner party with dead people – I’m sure there’s a serial killer story in there somewhere! I think if I am bringing people back to life I’d go for the real villains of history, just to see if they were really evil or if they just got a bad press. I’d got for Genghis Kahn, Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Tony Blair. (I know Tony Blair’s still alive, but I live in hope).

 

How do you want the world to remember you?

I don’t really care whether the world remembers me or not. So long as my family and friends remember me, that’s good enough for me. Hopefully they’ll remember the fun times we had.

 

When  I asked Stephen about Social Media he had the following to say (and I couldn’t agree more!)

I’ve stopped using Twitter. Often it’s a nasty place, and even though it’s often great fun and supportive, the nasty bits have spoiled it for me. I left at the same time as Stephen Fry – he went back, I didn’t. I love Facebook, it’s much more supportive and helpful and I enjoy interacting with fans there. My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/stephenleatherofficial/

I have a website at www.stephenleather.com and Jack Nightingale has his own website at www.jacknightingale.com

Stephen’s newest book PENALTIES came out October 31 wherever books are sold.  It’s a nail-biting thriller bringing together the British and Chinese underworld and the game game of football.- soccer to us Americans.
Gabe is a soccer star on his way to breaking a record for penalties scored. Ray is his brother that he hasn’t seen in years due to his choice of profession. Gabe is happily married with a wife and son. His life comes crashing down around him when the Chinese kidnap his wife and son. He is told to throw the game he is just about to play or his family will be killed. But will they be spared if they lose?

Buy it today at Amazon.com

penalties

Book Reviews vs.Book Reports

Published September 13, 2014 by MommaCat

I remember being in school and the teacher wanting a book report on some hated piece of classic literature. Teachers that were known for being hard would ask questions that had to be worked into the report. Answers could only be found if you actually read the book, the answers either had to be deduced or could only be found on a specific page and line.  The report was exactly that.  A report detailing what happened in the book, proof that you had read it cover to cover.  Liked it? Nobody cared if you liked it or not! A book report is full of spoilers – plain and simple.

A book review however is a bare bones description of the book in question. It should contain enough information to whet the reader’s appetite without giving away plot spoilers.  The reviewer should focus on what they liked about the book. Was the author successful in building tension, atmosphere and believable characters?  Were you, the reader, engaged by the language? Spoilers, if any, should be highlighted and boldly marked.

But why ramble on about what happens?  Talk about why the book is so good using your great language skills!  Save the telling of the story for the storytellers.

%d bloggers like this: