Author Interview

That one post in which Gen answers @laDEEda51’s questions about The Writing Process


So, my friend Deidre at The Red Velvet Chair  asked me to be a stopping point on a blog hop about The Writing Process. I told her I am the chainmail killer. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually tagged forward on one of these things. She was all, ‘pssh, don’t care, whateves’. So I agreed to answer the questions, on the off-chance you were curious as to the answers. It totally wasn’t hard and I’m not sure why I was whining in the first place (story of my life).

Gen’s Writing:

1. What are you working on?

I am currently writing The Good Life, a full length Dom & Kate novel. It features the characters in my popular free short romance The Bird Day Battalion  set in Nebraska. Even though Dom and Kate’s love story is still a major part of the plot, as it centers around their wedding (Ooops! Spoiler! LOL), the main romance is between Kate’s twin brother Kyle and Dom’s sister Demetria. It’s a funny, quirky romance with a strong emphasis on the bonds of family and friendship, a recurrent theme in all my writing. Fans of Bad Penny and Caroline in the V-Day Aversion (Dom&Kate#2) will be happy to know they both make an appearance.

2. How does your work differ from others?

Hmmn, that’s a tough one I guess in that we all write differently. All my stories are told 3rd person, in that manner in which the prose is narrated by the character, thus prone to vernacular. Also, Bird Day Battalion is the only book I’ve written in which there is only one point of view (Kate’s). All my other books have at least two points of view. First, I Love You  has six, (seven if you count the epilogue!) Some like that sort of “head-hopping”, others don’t, however it is not the same sort of head-hopping you would find in a Nora Roberts novel in which you are privy to the thoughts and feelings of more than one character in the same scene, omniscient style. In my books when it is Kate’s point of view, for instance, it is constrained to her and what she knows and feels like in Harry Potter. I also make it a point to include sex scenes from both the female and male point of view which is not always found in romance or family dramas, it’s usually one or the other.

3. Why do you write what you do?

Well…I don’t know. I write what I love, I guess. Family dynamics, love and loyalty, romance, cops and mobsters. I wrote  The Downey Trilogy set mostly in Chicago because I love that city; it is where my family is from. Likewise, I set Bird Day in Nebraska because that is where I was born and raised (mostly).

4. How does your writing process work?

I let ideas and scenes mull around in my head for a while before I write them down. Usually I type them up without writing them on paper, but sometimes I simply have to get them out and then if I am not near my computer, I’ll write them down on whatever I have nearby. I don’t usually write in sequence, or rather I do, but will leave out entire blocks if a later scene is just vivid in my head. Then I go back and bridge to it. I’ll write a scene, flesh it out, then rewrite it a bit, then edit, then edit, then edit. It’s a very circular or ebb and flow process. I try not to force myself to write if the mood is not with me. On those days I edit or proofread or block chapters out (meaning I write down who is in each chapter and what happens, so I can make sure it flows, and there are no major anachronisms or gaps). Oftentimes in the course of doing that, I will end up writing anyway. If all else fails, I strap my inner Hemingway on and fix myself some whiskey. ;p

Thank you, Dee! *smooches*

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Speak of the Devil! #YoungAdult author Danielle DeVor @sammyig stops by for a chat. #ASMSG |


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TAIL OF THE DEVIL by Danielle DeVor

If Mathias thought being homeless sucked, being a vampire is worse. The vampires who transformed him believe he is the reincarnation of an ancient king. They expect him to quit swearing, use a napkin, and play by their weird, ancient rules. Screw that.

But after the reigning queen assaults Mathias, he has visions of a past life in which he was that king. Turns out the current queen killed him then, and wants to kill him again. He’d better grow up fast, because if he doesn’t his second life may be shorter than his first.

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Excerpt:

You know you’ve been on the streets too long when the sound of an old man peeing in an alley reminds you of falling rain. Mathias stood, stretched his back, and walked out of the alley to escape the stench. He beat his hands against his jeans to knock away some of the grime, but it didn’t help much. Then, he scratched his head and ran his fingers through his dirty brown hair.

“Don’t think. Just move.” Mathias raised his head and looked past the tops of the buildings toward the sky. The sun was bright, a little too bright, but then it always seemed that way.

The early morning mist still crept its way around the feet of the buildings. It was a weightless sludge that looked like it was drifting from the river, but Mathias had never been too sure if that was where the mist was really coming from. It showed the city for what it really was: old, dirty, and worn. He felt old. Older than he was, older than he should be, and the way things were going, he’d be dead before long anyway. If he was lucky, he’d make it another year, but the way things were going, it didn’t seem likely.

His stomach growled. “Fuck.”  He patted his hands against his pockets, hoping to hear the jingle of change, but the only sound was the slight rustle of fabric against fabric. “Great, just fucking great.” Mathias grabbed his bag and ran out into the early morning throng.

Dawn in New York was like nowhere else on Earth. It was the one time of day when the city felt a little calm. In a few hours, that calm would disappear- replaced by a din that seemed as if it could swallow the earth if it chose to do so.

Mathias ran down the street, narrowly avoiding a wad of fresh gum on the sidewalk. When he could smell the salt in the air, he knew he didn’t have much farther to go. The docks stretched for miles. He walked past the fishmongers that were busy loading the day’s catch into crates. The smell made his stomach growl.

Standing a ways from the crew stood a man in a plaid shirt holding a clipboard.

Thank God. “Hey Mac!” Mathias yelled.

Mac was generally a decent guy. Kind of grumpy, but tall, and big. He wore an old red plaid shirt and a pair of blue jeans that had seen better days. He kind of looked like a lumberjack, just not as strong.

“Whaddya want, kid?”

“You got any work for me today?”

Mathias watched Mac rub his chin with ink stained fingers. “Not today, kid. Sorry.” He turned toward Mathias. “The order was light.”

Mathias’ shoulders slumped a bit. “Dammit, man. I could really use a job.” He shifted his weight to the other foot.

Mac nodded. “Tell ya what. Jimmy the Fish is supposed to be getting a big order sometime this week. Maybe he can help ya.”

Mathias nodded. “Okay man, thanks.”

Mac shook his head.

Mathias walked further along the docks. Go work for Jimmy the Fish. Yeah, right. Man’d sell his toenails if he thought he’d get anything for ‘em. It wasn’t like he had a choice. When you were well-fed, you had choices. When you weren’t…

Just before he reached Jimmy’s place, he ducked behind a crate. Dammit. He hoped they hadn’t seen him, or heard him for that matter. What he did know was that a black Mercedes and a man in an Armani suit holding a gun was bad news. Shit! His heart throbbed in his chest. Too close. Too fucking close. He knew trouble when it glared him in the face.

“Where’s my money, Jimmy?” Mathias heard a man say.

Oh, shit. Mathias tried to breathe, but it wasn’t easy.

“Tony, I’m sorry. I tried. I really did, but sales just ain’t been good lately,” Jimmy said.

Mathias could hear the fear dripping from Jimmy’s voice.

“So what you gonna do about it?” Tony asked.

Mathias could hear Jimmy begin to whimper. “I swear. I’ll… I’ll have it tomorrow.”

Mathias heard a couple of thumps followed by a howl.

“Yeah, you’ll swear all right, Jimmy. Nobody stiffs Mr. Plague. Nobody!”

Pop! Pop! Pop! A car door slammed. Then, with the squeal of tires and a rush of wind, he was gone.

Mathias couldn’t think. He couldn’t breathe. Suppressing a shudder, he distracted himself, randomly picking at a dirty hole in the knee of his jeans.

Come on. You can do this. He raised himself up on his knees and peeked around the crate. “Fuck.” Blood was on the ground like a dark pool. He scuttled back and tried to calm himself. Sweat formed on his upper lip. “Goddammit. I can’t move. Not now.”

He had no idea if there had been only one man, or if they were sending a so-called cleanup crew. All he knew was that he was witness to something he didn’t need to be a witness of, and that put him in a very bad position. The only thing he could do was wait and see if and when it would be safe to get away.

He raised the bottom of his filthy t-shirt and wiped the sweat from his lip. His legs began to cramp. He looked up at the sky. Where the clouds had been earlier, there was nothing but blue sky. “Why is it always this damn hot in August?” He mumbled as he stretched his legs.

The glaring sun beat down on the back of his neck. He didn’t think it could get any hotter, but he also really didn’t want to wait around to find out.

Somehow his stomach didn’t get the message about being quiet because it let loose a growl that was so loud, Mathias was sure that someone had heard it. And yet, nothing happened.

Interview with Danielle DeVor:

Gen: What is a one line synopsis for your book?

Danielle: Not quite one line, but one sentence.

Fifteen-year-old Mathias Drvar, homeless-teen-turned-vampire, must fight for his right to stay alive when the reigning queen demands a duel because she considers him a threat to her rule.

Gen: Why did you choose to write about vampires?

Danielle: I’ve always been obsessed with vampires. I started studying them when I was three by making my father read to me a book I’d found called Meet the Vampire, by Georgess McHargue.

Gen: Do you have plans to expand Tail of the Devil into a series?

Danielle: Right now, TotD is a duology. I may write more of Mathias in the future, but he will no longer be a teen, so it will no longer be a Young Adult story.

Gen: Which character is your favorite to write and why?

Danielle: Nossy is really a lot of fun. He does these wacky things just because he likes to irritate the other characters.

Gen: If you had to pick an ice cream flavor to describe your favorite character what would that be and why?

Danielle: Pomegranate. He’s obsessed with them.

Gen: You have another book coming out this fall, Sorrow’s Point. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Danielle: It’s about a defrocked priest who ends up doing an exorcism on a six-year-old girl.

Gen: Can you share a bit about what you are working on next?

Danielle: Right now, I’m in the middle of writing the second Tail of the Devil book. After that, I will be writing the third book in the Sorrow’s Point series.

Gen: Now some personal questions, What was your favorite part of living in Baton Rouge? Did it infuse your writing any?

Danielle: I liked being able to head down to New Orleans about every weekend. It’s only about an hour away from Baton Rouge. When I was down there, Anne Rice had already sold her house in the garden district, but I got engrossed in studying how the voudou religion works. There is some of that knowledge in Sorrow’s Point.

Gen: What is the biggest time drain in your life that takes you away from writing?

Danielle: Life in general. It is always kind of crazy at my house. I can be writing, and then there will be some sort of catastrophe that has to be fixed NOW! And then, of course, by the time I can get back to writing, my concentration is blown. 🙂

Gen: What is your favorite genre to read, or do you have one?

Danielle: It’s a toss-up between horror and fantasy. I also like murder mysteries.

Gen: Recently I visited Lucy Pireel’s website and she ended the interview with this: just blather on about whatever. I thought that was fantastic so I’m doing it here. Go on and tell us whatever you want in this space, a rant, a self-promo, blathering nonsense, whatever:

Danielle: I love MMA- Mixed Martial Arts. So far, I’ve only gotten to go to one UFC fight.  My favorite fighters are Eddie Alvarez, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, and Chuck Liddell. There’s something about two fighters going head to head using various techniques to take down their opponent. (It’s no longer a men’s only sport. Rhonda Rousey is an amazing athlete, and currently the UFC women’s champ.)

I have written a YA Thriller about a boy learning MMA who encounters a serial killer. So, I’m actually putting my fight knowledge to use. 🙂

Gen: Danielle, thank you so much for visiting my blog and telling us a bit about your books!

That’s it for today everyone!

Please check out Danielle’s links:

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Danielle DeVor spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times.  After living briefly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she moved back to her hometown to write.  When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @sammyig

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/danielledevorauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/DanielleDeVor

Blog: http://danielledevor.wordpress.com

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Listen to me blather on You to the Tube | #ASMSG #BYNR |


Some of you ( most of you?) know that I have a YouTube Channel. It’s the Official Genevieve Dewey YouTube Channel, you know, in case I get outrageously famous someday. Anyway, in addition to the Music Playlists I have created for the Downey Trilogy I have done two author readings. Today I uploaded the Radio Interview I did on KLIN last Thursday for those of you who missed it. (Yes, I babble in person just as much as I babble when I blog, haha!) If you guys want YouTube to notify you when I upload new things (like readings/interviews/book trailers/additional music videos on the playlists) then hit that “Subscribe” button! I sure would appreciate it! 🙂 You know what else would be cool? If you’d leave a comment or two over there from time to time on what you liked, want more of, etc…

 

Author @TWLuedke gets tied up and twisted with the #Naughtycouch girls! #ASMSG |


Hullllooooo, my dearest blog followers!

As you know, occasionally I invite authors to come and play on my blog. Sometimes it’s just a book blurb, or cover reveal, sometimes it’s an interview. Well, recently I asked fellow author Travis Luedke of the Nightlife Series to come for a visit. If some of you don’t know about the Nightlife Series, it features vampires (of the badass, non-sparkly variety), sex, violence, and sometimes smexy violence. And I say that with love. But, anyhoo, back to the point at hand, you know what this foolish man said to me?

“Ok… but make it lively.” – Travis Luedke

Oh, Travis.

Challenge.

Accepted.

___

#Naughtycouch Ladies Interview Travis Luedke

(aka Travis gets what’s cumin to him)

[Parental discretion is advised, contains adult language and overt references to sex]

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Gen: This interview won’t take long, my darlings, as I’ve asked a few of my girlfriends from the infamous #naughtycouch to help me keep it “lively”. Most of you know my go-to-girl on the couch, Bad Penny @Penelope_Prose, but I’d like to introduce you to a few more of #Naughtyville’s residents; Caroline, Cat, Beth, and Deidre known on Twitter as @CarolineD_13, @dbl_latte, @missb1331, and @laDeeDa51, respectively. When I asked them for help they all jumped at the chance to ask Travis some questions. Penny, very helpfully, suggested we do so while enjoying the festivities of summer. Don’t know about you, but here in the Midwest that means fairs and carnivals! That’s right, make yourselves comfortable because Travis will be “manning” the dunk booth. He will have to answer the questions truthfully and in a timely manner or he gets dunked. And to make sure he doesn’t chicken out–not that he ever would–we’ve tied him up. Naked. Sweet P, you can remove his gag now.

*Bad Penny chuckles and removes the ball gag.*

Travis: I don’t remember anything in your email that said I’d be naked! Or gagged. Or tied up–

*Gen ignores him and turns to Beth.*

Gen: Fantastic job with the Shibari knots, Beth!

Beth (blushing): Thanks, Cupcake. I wanted to try that particular design since I pinned it on Pinterest.

Gen: This makes a nice change of pace for some of us ladies, tying someone else up. But I’m not sure for Travis. That’s a great first question, come to think of it! Is this the first time you’ve been tied up, Travis?

Travis: Well, yes this is my first, and that rope is giving me a wedgy something fierce. Wait, does being handcuffed count as being tied?

*Gen lobs a ball and Travis goes down.*

Gen: Oh! Oops. Itchy trigger finger. My bad. My husband complains about that all the time! He’s all, easy there, Dirty Harry.

Travis: I don’t care about how dirty and harry you like your men, get me out of this water. This shit’s cold.

*The ladies all snicker while Penny pulls Travis back on the harness.*

Bad Penny: Let me do him… I mean it, Cupcake.

Gen: Oh, sure, he’s all yours. Caroline can have sloppy seconds.

*The #naughtycouch ladies all giggle. Travis groans.*

Bad Penny: Here’s my questions… Of all the characters you’ve written about, Travis, which one is your favorite, least favorite, aaaannnd why? Oh, and if you pick my favorite as your least favorite; I’ve got balls with your name on them.

*Bad Penny pretends to line a ball up with the target of the dunk tank and giggles like a mad woman.*

Travis: I got some balls with your name on ‘em girlfriend. Wait! Don’t throw it! Okay, characters. Let me see. Michelle is probably one of my favorite characters, because she’s so complex, twisted, loving, and yet so vicious and wicked. Most readers never really understand Michelle until the end of the third novel, Nightlife Paris. It’s in Paris where we learn the dark, gritty trials she survived during WWII. Michelle’s life until now has been very tragic, lonely, but all that changes with Aaron. She changes. My least favorite character would be Delia, Aaron’s ex-girlfriend. She’s a manipulator, petty, selfish, and has no real redeeming qualities. She strung Aaron along, playing his insecurities for her own malicious pleasure. Although many readers are shocked to learn what happens to Delia at the end of Nightlife New York, I feel like she got precisely what she deserved.

Bad Penny (licking her lips and fondling the ball): You know, Travis, the next time you feel like dishing out punishments—hey!

*Gen drags Penny back to the couch*

Gen: Caroline, you’re next.

*Caroline gets up and finger waves at Travis.*

Caroline: Ok, so my question to Travis, a few of your books are set in different locations. If you could pick a place to live out of them where would it be?

Travis: I think, ideally, I would choose to be a perpetual traveller. Stay in one city for 3-4 months, then move on. Each city, each country, has its own unique flavor, culture, and appeal. I would miss America at times, but then I’d come home and very quickly remember all those reasons I left. And there are many travels yet to come in the Nightlife Series: London, Moscow, Hong Kong, and perhaps Panama City (a sequel to Blood Slave).

Caroline: Why did you choose paranormal romance? Do you enjoy reading this genre? Wait… Is that two questions?

Travis: Yes, that is two questions, and I’m getting cold here. I think I might need someone to come warm me up, some warm hands, maybe a warm tongue?

*The girls snicker*

Travis: No? Just gonna sit there and stare at my junk while I shiver? I thought this was the #naughtycouch?

*Travis shakes his head as he looks down at his not-so-impressive display. Caroline raises the ball to throw it*

Travis: Paranormal Romance! … I guess I have no interest in anything normal in the way of fiction. If it’s violent, creepy, macabre, paranormal, and erotic, that pretty much hits all the happy buttons for me. And romance is the glue that binds everything together. All the great stories of the world have at least a touch of romance. Even in Greek, Hindu, and Judeo Christian mythology, the dynamics of romantic entanglements were ever present. Adam broke the rules for Eve, and he’d probably do it all over again if you gave him the chance. Helen of Troy’s romantic mess launched a thousand ships to sail across the Aegean. Is there anything worth reading that doesn’t involve romance?

Gen: Mnnn… nope.

*The girls shake their heads in agreement. Cat pops up*

Cat: Ehem, I have a question.

*Caroline elbows Cat.*

Caroline: It was my turn!

Cat: You already asked two questions!

*Cat and Caroline start tickle fighting. Beth runs over to break them up and they start tickling her, too*

Deidre and Penny: Someone needs a spanking!

*Travis grins and Gen lobs another ball at the switch. The girls stop fighting to point and laugh at wet Travis*

Travis: Ah, come on! Couldn’t you put a heater in this thing? Dunk me in a hot-tub? At least get me a couple shots of tequila. This is cold!

Gen: Oh, sorry, you looked like you were getting a little hot there. Penny and Dee, stop laughing!

*Gen hooks her arm in Beth’s and Caroline’s and they sit down.*

Gen: Don’t worry, girls, no one’s getting spanked, not even Travis.

*Bad Penny starts pouting and snuggles with Caroline on the couch. Gen plays with Deidre’s hair while Deidre massages Beth’s shoulders. Travis starts drooling*

Gen: Cat, it’s your turn.

Cat: Hi, Travis! I have read the first two books in the Nightlife series and loved, loved, loved Michelle. She appeals to my secret, hidden, inner domme–oops, did I just admit that…out loud?!! Shhh, don’t tell anyone!

*Cat turns around and vamps. The girls all giggle and stick their tongues out*

Cat (turning back to Travis): Is her character/personality based on anyone in your life or did you create her purely from your imagination?

Travis: Michelle can be very cavalier and flippant. And she has little respect for unworldly Americans that have yet to realize they are not God’s gift to the planet. I would be lying if I said I’d never met or dated a foreign woman like that. Truthfully, the inspiration for Michelle’s character came from a series of novels by Stephen Clarke, ‘A Year in the Merde’, and ‘Merde Actually.’ It’s a story of a British man fumbling through corporate Paris and his misadventures with French women. As I read those novels, I literally heard Michelle’s voice going off in my mind, cussing up a storm in French. I saw her careless Gallic shrug, and her smile that could entice a man out of both wallet and pants at the same time.

*When Cat keeps staring at Travis, Gen lobs a ball at her rear*

Cat: Hey!!

Gen: Cat, do you have another question for him?

Cat: Umm, let me think.

*Caroline jumps up from the couch and whispers in her ear*

Cat: Oh, good one, who is your favorite superhero, and if you were a superhero who would you be?

Travis: Okay, I admit, I am a bit of a comic book nerd. I watch all the superhero movies, sometimes more than once. Favorites? Don’t really have one, because so many of them are simply too cool for words. But, if I had the choice of being one particular superhero, I would probably go for Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine. He’s such badass. And its damn near impossible to kill him. He’s one tough S.O.B.

Caroline: Oh, I like that answer!

Cat: Me too!

*Cat and Caroline raise their hands to throw their balls at the same time*

Travis: Hey! You said you liked the answer!

*Travis sighs in relief as the balls bounce off the edge. Gen drags the girls back to the couch*

Gen: Beth, you’re up next.

Beth: Well, I don’t mind going easy on you, Travis. What is one scene from a book that was inspired by real life events?

Travis: There are several scenes in all my books that have been inspired by real life events: the ones where the guy screws the girl so hard she can barely walk, and she loved every last second of it.

*Travis winks. Beth raises her hand*

Travis: Don’t you dare throw that ball! Okay, Okay! Vegas! In the gambling scene in Vegas, I have actually used the numerical odds betting system that Aaron used. And believe it or not, it does work around 90% of the time, but only on Roulette and Baccarat. The other 10% of the time you lose your shirt.

*Travis winks again. Beth smiles and fondles the ball.*

Beth: What is the most blatant lie you ever told?

Travis: Ahh, that’s an easy one, but not very flattering: “I love you.” Those three words are perhaps the most abused words in the English language. We often think we mean it when we say it … but do we really?

*Beth lobs the ball and Travis goes down.*

Beth: I think I should get another. That was so obviously not true.

Travis: I love you! Now get me out of this water!

*The ladies all nod their heads at Beth and smirk at Travis.*

Beth: You have to wear a t-shirt with one word on it for the rest of your life. Which word do you choose?

Travis: Merde. It’s an all-purpose word in French which happens to cross over to Spanish as well. And it would seem an appropriate description of so many aspects of this life. Translation: Shit.

Beth: Speaking of, my ropes will need to be removed before you—

*Gen grabs Beth*

Gen: And last, but never least, Dee, it’s your turn!

Deidre: Okay… Probably not the naughtiest or best of questions. But with him being tied up and already so wet and that water is obviously cold…

*Everyone on the couch giggles*

Deidre: Stop it, you guys! The poor man.

*Deidre grins evilly*

Deidre: Travis, do you have a favorite scene that you’ve written, for whatever reason, and why?

Travis: I think my favorite scene was chapter two in Blood Slave, it’s a FF sex scene. When the female vampire, Lia, wets her finger and dips it in her vial of cocaine, and then slides it up between Hope’s legs … I live very vicariously through writing those scenes.

*The ladies start chanting: Dunk, dunk, dunk!*

Deidre (shaking her head): Not just yet, we know how Gen likes delayed gratification.

Bad Penny: Ooohhh–

Caroline: Snap!

Beth and Cat: Hee!

Gen (smacking at them): Tuh!

Deidre: Travis, did you make any one character have more of your own personal attributes, good or bad, and which one?

Travis: Sadly, it’s probably some of my villains that are closer to me in real life. But Aaron does tend to be a cynical-yet-endearing sort of smartass, and that could accurately describe one of my own multiple personalities.

*Deidre lobs the ball for one last dunk.*

Travis: Merde!

*The girls all laugh. Gen and Beth pop up from the couch to start untying Travis. Cat and Caroline start whisper fighting about who gets to towel Travis off.*

Travis: Get this rope out of my crack, please and thank you. And ladies, got a naked guy here. Let’s do this #naughtycouch style.

Cat: Oh, we’ll show you #naughtycouch style, alright!

*Beth snickers*

Deidre: Let’s put him in the kilt!

Travis: Kilt—what?

Bad Penny: Wait! Let me show you some fun gear I picked up at Tribal Fire

Travis: Gear?

Caroline: Dirty martinis, everyone?

*Beth opens a jar of olives*

Gen: Ok, my lovely blog followers! That’s it for today because the guy I got the booth from has to get it back to the Fair…

Bad Penny: I thought you said it fell off the back of a truck?

*Caroline snickers.*

Gen (clearing her throat): Anyhooo, thank you for joining us today as we interviewed Travis. Please check out his books and social media links below!

nightlife_whitefont-compressednightlife_las-vegas_compressedNightlife Paris 1800x2700-compressedBlood Slave-compressed

AUTHOR BIO AND LINKS

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TW Luedke is a husband, father, and writer of Urban Fantasy Thriller, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction, and Sci-fi.  He is currently catching a 3rd degree sunburn in San Antonio, Texas, and loving every minute of it.

Social Media links:

Amazon     http://www.amazon.com/Travis-Luedke/e/B00911L5PS/

Blog     http://thenightlifeseries.blogspot.com/

Website     http://www.twluedke.com/

Twitter   https://twitter.com/TWLuedke or @TWLuedke

Facebook    http://www.facebook.com/TWLuedke

Facebook author page  https://www.facebook.com/pages/TW-Luedke/231016383686967

Goodreads    http://www.goodreads.com/TWLuedke

Wattpad    http://www.wattpad.com/user/TWLuedke

Email    twluedke@gmail.com

Google+  https://plus.google.com/u/0/104267524680678805923/posts

An Interview with #poet Original Clyde Aidoo


Well, my loyal blog followers, you’re in for a treat today because I asked my good friend and Chicago poet Clyde Aidoo to come shoot the breeze with me about his Art of Mind Trilogy. Known as Original Clyde Aidoo, the Philosopoet of the Inner and Outer Spaces, he’s been one of my strongest supporters since before I typed my first sentence. PS–I promise to keep my over-the-top love of the Chi-Town to a minimum.

Gen: A little bit about you first, OC. Have you always lived in Chicago?

Clyde: I have. I’m originally from the Southside in the Englewood area. Then I moved to the South Suburbs of Chicago at 13 and have stayed there since. But it’s funny you ask that, G, because actually, and I’m sure this will be very disappointing for you to hear, but I will be relocating to Las Vegas, Nevada this year. So goodbye, Windy City, hello Desert Sun.

Gen: Argh! How could you betray my mud town like that, OC?! Naw, I kid. I’m a little heartbroken though, since I didn’t get to see you the last time I was there. But, speaking of Chicago, is there a particular place or setting where you get your best writing ideas?

Clyde: I would definitely have to say downtown Chicago. I feel that when I am around people and naturally observing people and my surroundings, I am usually hit with ideas. That is one of the many reasons why I am moving to Vegas. In many ways, Vegas is the epicenter of the world. Year round, seven days a week, there are people from all 50 states and hundreds of countries getting a taste of Sin City. Any place that brings so many different people together in their most primal, uninhibited and natural state, is a place where I want to be….and the Showgirls don’t hurt, either…

Gen: HA! Actually, I have been to Vegas a number of times and the fact it is 24/7 on, on, on, makes it a place I would never want to be. But, on the other hand, as a fellow people-watching fanatic, I hear you there. And I can see how it would inspire you. One of the things I think makes your writing unique is the way you pair it with art. Are there songs that also get your poetic juices flowing?

Clyde: Yes, absolutely. My creative inspiration really can be sparked at any moment. I could be watching a movie that makes me think about a larger theme or issue outside of the film that I have either experienced first-hand, or that I am fascinated by. I am hypersensitive to the devices of everyday life. I am never actively searching for ideas, but I always remain open and ready for them. And with music, sometimes I’ll hear a song and I’ll get this creative volt just CHARGE through me. There may not be a concrete idea for me to write about, but it just inspires me to the point where I’m like, “Man, I may not have any ideas right this moment, but when I write again, I want to write like THIS!” And that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted people to feel how I feel listening to a great song whenever they read my poems. That is why I am so obsessed with rhythm. I am a tenant of rhythm. And there are so many songs that have got my juices flowing and a great many of the artists have been referenced at one point or another in the trilogy, including a few specific song tributes. Like “Supermassive Black Hole Ablaze” in Art of Mind III. Whenever I hear “Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse I become possessed.

Gen: I loved all your books but there was definitely something about this last one, an energy to it that really jazzed me. I can tell you poured a lot of your heart and soul into it.

When did you first start writing?

Clyde: I was either 9 or 10. I used to sort of have my own WWE magazine. I swear I was the most meticulous 10-year-old child with my action figures. I took it more seriously than most would say a child should. I had weekly programs that started at a precise time, I had backstage interviews as well as matches, and I had my own magazine where I’d write 50 pages every other month or so about the happenings in my fantasy world. Hell, I even had a record book of every single match that I did with the results. Yeah, I was pretty OCD.

Gen: I’m sorry, but that’s super adorable. I know guys hate it when I call them adorable, but, it doesn’t count when it’s in reference to Young Clyde, right?

Clyde: I think that is a question better answered by Young Clyde. And unfortunately, Young Clyde cannot come to the phone right now. He’s out playing somewhere far, far away.

Gen: Ha! So, what made you write the first Art of Mind?

Clyde: Wow, many things, G. You know it was just a point in my life where I had all this pent up…STUFF in my mind and soul and I had no outlet. I had nowhere to put it. And in reading someone like Emily Dickinson, who is one of the biggest pioneers for “going all in,” I decided that I should lay out some of my demons on the page, too, and see what happens. From there, I was sparked by the influence of music, everyday life, and other muses.  I wanted to write about things that no other poet would dare write about in a way that they wouldn’t dare write it. Subjects that most would feel are not worthy of being written about in language that was unfiltered and unpretentious. I wanted to celebrate art…all the different kinds of art, as well as the art that we take for granted the most, the art of our thoughts. And every satirical, whimsical, or poignant piece that I’ve written was a thought that I had and held, and found art in, and I found fit to include in my museum of ideas.

Gen: What would you say is the biggest difference between Art of Mind I and Art of Mind II?

Clyde: I think Art of Mind I carried more torment. I was in a darker place with Art of Mind I, I’d say, and I think that out of all three volumes of Art of Mind, Art of Mind I addressed themes like loneliness and isolation the most. I feel that Art of Mind II branched out more to where it was more evenly distributed between matters concerning my struggles and objective philosopoems to the world. It wasn’t until Art of Mind III where I feel there was a perfect balance between discussing my own personal journeys and struggles while also commenting on…well, anything and everything else. The little things that go unnoticed as well as the big issues, like mortality. Art of Mind I is probably the rawest of all the three volumes. It really was like a journal. A man and a page with no restraint and no regard. In Art of Mind II, I mellowed out and had more peaceful verse but with the same bravado I became known for my by readers in the first volume.

Gen: Yes! Actually one of the poems in Art of Mind II you reference a soap opera we both used to love, General Hospital, and how wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just serendipitously meet on the docks when we’re meant to like in a Soap? I loved how you managed to take something so Pop-Culture and weave a universal human desire so seamlessly.

Clyde: Thanks, G. I feel that Pop-Culture influences us all in so many ways…I know how much it influences me. And something that I’m proud of is that I don’t limit myself to the Pop-Culture that everyone knows or that people think I “should” be referencing. When I gave that poem the green light into Volume 2, I could picture a lot of eyes rolling, like, “This guy just wrote a poem about a soap opera.” But hey, I feel there is a connection between ALL forms of art with everyday life. There are connections to be found in often disregarded platforms such as soap operas to our lives just like a big-budget motion picture or a primetime television program. I feel that as artists, we have to be open and honest to anything and everything that inspires us, even if there will be some eye rolls that come with it.

Gen: I absolutely agree! My dear blog followers, you can get Art of Mind I & II at Amazon and other major online retailers.

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Clyde:  I’d also like to take this moment to point out that while both Art of Mind I and Art of Mind II have the parental advisory sticker on them, both books are perfectly safe to read for virtually all readers. I just felt, “Why should the bands and musicians get to use the cool sticker and we authors don’t?” Especially those musicians who say like two curse words in the whole album! When I saw that Gwen Stefani had the sticker on one of her CDs, I knew right then that I was justified in having it on my book covers. Plus, it goes along with the heavy music theme for the series. But yeah…you should try it, too, G. The Downey Trilogy goes wayyyy harder than any of these rappers and musicians! Just read a James and Kiki love scene. Geez…

Gen: Hahaaaa! Yeah, there’s language, death, violence, sex–actually the sex in First, I Love You is blink and you miss it compared to my shorts and hot shots! But then, I do have a parental advisory on my hotshots…

BUT, rambling aside, back to the reason you’re here: Art of Mind III. Tell us a little more about the recently released Art of Mind III, and where it’s available.

Clyde: Art of Mind III is about growth. It’s about my growth not only as a person, but as an artist. It’s about the love that is out there in the world all around us. It is about withstanding life’s struggles and running another lap. It’s truly a book that came straight from the heart and touches on a wide variety of themes and subjects, as is the case with the previous two volumes. But it’s not just my story; I honestly believe there is a little bit of everyone’s story in this one. I know that is a large claim, but in my heart that is how I feel about the book.

Art of Mind III is available at all online retail outlets.

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Gen: So, my friend, do you already have an idea for your next book?

Clyde: Let me tell you, G. Words cannot express how excited I am about the project I am working on right now! I am hoping and projecting it to be released around the summer of 2015. It is a brand new series and is taking my career in a brand new, extremely exciting direction. It is still poetry, but it is a drastic change from the Art of Mind series. And I am also simultaneously working on chapbooks that may be released alongside this new series or beforehand in 2014. Originally, I didn’t know if I was going to retire from poetry after Art of Mind III, but I feel that I have so much more to say, and I cannot wait for this new series to take off. When I look at one of my heroes, Sam Cooke, who was taken from us too soon at the peak of his career, I know that I owe it to myself to write until I can’t write anymore and to carry on to my full potential, whatever that may be. Which is why every book I put out, there is a growth. A constant evolution. And with this new series, I assure you, you will see another giant leap. I want to be someone where, if I should be taken from this world before my time like Sam, the world will have no doubt about whether or not I would have continued writing or if I had more to say. They would already know that I would have continued, and like Sam, I would have only got better.

Gen: Outstanding! Now Clyde, I know I warned you, maybe you didn’t believe me, but I like to round out my interviews with some ‘just because’ sort of questions.

If you could pick a dessert to describe yourself what would it be?

Clyde: Apple Pie á la Mode. I’m hot and cold.

Gen: Oh my cheese. You are, at that. Haha! If you could live anywhere on the planet (regardless of cost or practicality) where would it be?

Clyde: Vegas.

Gen: Twist the knife, OC, twist it. If you were a superstar what would be the biggest cause you would champion?

Clyde: Self-Expression.

Gen: Nice! If I came to Chicago for a day where would you take me?

Clyde: Vegas. Oh, wait, you meant in Chicago…um…probably over to Gibson’s Steakhouse on Rush Street or the House of Chicken and Waffles on the Southside. Then for a stroll down Michigan Avenue. I tell you what, I may be moving but I’ll always be back in Chicago…because there aren’t many cities on this planet that can hold a candle to summertime in the Chi. As, of course, you know, G.

Gen: I do know, Fall’s not too shabby either. And the way they turn the river green for St. Paddy’s in Spring, and Winter…yeah, no, Winter in Chicago sucks balls. But, I’ll try and not think you just said that so I’ll stop shooting eye-daggers your way. Well, Mr. Original Clyde Aidoo, thank you for visiting my blog! Please come back, don’t be shy.

That’s all for today, folks! I’d normally provide you all with Social Media Links but as of yet us friends of Clyde have not managed to get him on to Twitter or a fan page on Facebook or anywhere else, but never fear, we’ll keep working on him! *wink*

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BUY links for Clyde’s poetry:

At Amazon:

Art of Mind

Art of Mind II

Art of Mind III

At Barnes & Noble:

Art of Mind III

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“FIRST, I LOVE YOU In the Spotlight” Interview Reblog #ASMSG |


Come check out the awesome and fun interview I had over at Maer Wilson’s blog:

http://maerwilson.com/2013/03/07/in-the-spotlight-genevieve-dewey

Not only do I talk about First, I Love You but reveal a bit about Second of All and even Third Time’s The Charm!