Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Author E A Lake



E A Lake, Author
WWIV: IN THE BEGINNING
E A Lake likes to write dystopian fiction because it is “so much fun.” He started the WWIV series with IN THE BEGINNING to set the stage. Lake strives for believability and “regular, normal, everyday people,” and writes purely for entertainment.

E A Lake is his pen name, and the E and A are just "random vowels." He wants us to refer to him as Lake. He is a father and grandfather, and when he's not writing he's working as a CFO at a small creative company. His mother says his books disturb her, which he takes as praise. Lake is just finishing his next book in the WWIV series, Kids at War.

Q: Why did you choose to write about dystopia, rather than utopia?

E A Lake: Dystopia is so much fun! It’s all about subtraction; removing from people all the nice things they depend on so much every day. It makes me smile now just thinking of it. Also, it gives me a chance to show the recreation of our humanity, after I’ve used most of the book destroying the same.

Q: Why are you writing a series rather than standalone books? How will your first book, WWIV: IN THE BEGINNING, set the stage for the books that follow?

E A Lake: The more I considered a single book in this unique situation, the more “what if…” questions popped into my mind. I didn’t want to create a massive, all-inclusive novel with everything, so I came up with individual books for the series.

My first novel tells the reader what has happened. Actually, it shows you the effects of what has happened. No one knows what actually caused our power, phones, and cars to stop working. That answer may come at a later time (maybe Book Six or Seven).

Q: How do you write to appeal to readers “between 13 and 113”?

E A Lake:  Very carefully. First of all, I try to eliminate all graphic violence. Bad things will happen in these books. But I can cover the bad elements in short vague passages, and still get the idea across. Next, I keep the mild profanity to a minimum. We all know that these will be trying times, but not everyone in the novel has to talk like a Marine Grunt. Finally, it’s the cast of characters I assemble. Teen boys and girls, twenty and thirty-somethings, older folks, and maybe an innocent child or baby thrown in here and there (just for fun). Something for everyone really.

Q: How important is credibility or believability to your works? What do you do to pull readers into your make-believe world of the future?

E A Lake: Believability is my number one goal. I constantly tell people I never want the reader to suspend their beliefs. I research certain aspects of my writings to the maximum degree. Cars won’t run? Okay, all cars or just some cars? What’s the exact year break-off where they started using computers? Things like that. 

I try to paint the complete picture of our new landscape, post event. But I use a very broad brush to attempt to engage the reader’s imagination as much as possible. I take everyday events, that we now take for granted, and make them as painstakingly difficult as possible. Remember, you’ll now have to go looking for food and fresh water.

Q: What makes your characters interesting? Why will readers engage with them?

E A Lake: Great question, and I have a great answer for this. My characters are interesting because they are regular, normal every day people. They’re your neighbor, the guy who mows your lawn when you’re on vacation. The woman who bakes cookies for the church bazaar. The minister from the local church. A 14-year-old girl, just trying to get from one dysfunctional parent’s house to another’s. The kid who’s the quarterback on the varsity football team. Just a bunch of regular people. In other words – you, me, your mom, your dad – everyone you know and love. This makes it really easy for the reader to identify and relate to at least one character in each of my books.

Q: Is the concept of “villains vs heroes” or “antagonist vs protagonist” relevant to your books? If so, do you need a villain to have a hero? Or can events create heroes? What makes an interesting villain and hero?

E A Lake: I believe that when you present the citizens of the world a new dark dreary dystopian setting, they really don’t need villains. Come on, these people are going to struggle against nature to survive now. They’ll have their hands full.

But as long as they’re struggling, why not throw in a few villains. Just to keep things interesting. That way, every time you think you’ll be able to catch your breath and maybe get started back towards normal, turn the page. More trouble awaits our hero.

Events against incredible natural odds will make our heroes/protagonists shine. Events against the already bad natural odds, and villains to boot, will make our heroes human once again.
           
Q:  Do your characters lead you to write about them? Or do you keep them in their place by sticking to an outline?

E A Lake:  The first step to every manuscript I create is to throw down a general outline. It’s nothing formal or complicated. This outline serves as a guide as I move into the actual writing process. Next, I create each character in detail. Name, height, weight, hair color, eye color, personality, birthdate, parent’s names, hometown, education, etc…

I refer to my outline as I write to make sure I get all the major scenes covered. And I try to highlight (in the outline) two or three main ideas I want to get across in each chapter. But it’s my characters that run the show. They take me to some of the wildest places I could ever imagine. I find it funny how these characters take over the novel and it seems like I’m just along for the ride.

Q: Are your books purely for entertainment? Or do you write to educate or deliver a message or two?

E A Lake: Pure and simple entertainment. Even though I write of doom and gloom, and end of days – I’m not like that in real life. These are just stories that I’ve thought or dreamt up about a situation that could happen one day. But I’m sure we all hope and pray it never occurs.

The only “so called” message I deliver is simple. The events in my novels crush humanity and each of our own humanity’s. But that’s not the end of the story. Read and watch how resilient we really can be. Humanity may sink for a while, but I truly believe it will rebound as time moves forward.

Q: What’s next?

E A Lake: Immediately, I am putting the finishing touches on book two of the WWIV series – Kids at War. But don’t worry; it’s not about children becoming soldiers. The theme deals more with our younger generation and the problems they will find in this new dystopia.

After that, I need to really tighten up book one of The Smith Chronicles entitled Golden 5. Books one and two of that series are written, but they’re still in rough form. These are longer tales, with recurring characters. I hope to have the first of that series out by late fall 2014.

Q: Tell us something about e a lake. What does the “e a” stand for? What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

E A Lake: When I was younger, I ran a marathon. I spend most fall weekend days sitting in a tree, watching deer walk by (my son thinks I’m hunting with him, ha!). I have three grown children and three young grandchildren. My mother has read two of my manuscripts and told me they disturbed her – and she meant that as a compliment.

The ‘e’ and the ‘a’ in my pen name mean absolutely nothing. They are simply two random vowels. I want people in the writing community to call me lake.

Like many indie authors, I work a regular fulltime job. During the week I’m a CFO for a small creative company. On weekends I work on my honey-do list, and play Dad and Grandpa as much as possible.


About E A Lake

E A Lake: I write dystopian. It's dark, yet fun to play with. WWIV - In The Beginning is my debut novel. Trying to get this junk in my head, down on pages. Those pages become chapters. The chapters become a manuscript. The manuscript becomes a novel. Sounds easy enough.

I am an author and my pen name is e a lake. The e and the a mean nothing. So please just call me lake.

Not everything in dystopian writing has to be dark and dreary. I try to create post -apocalyptic situations that will challenge the reader to really believe that the events in my novels could happen.

The best part of my genre? Who needs antagonists when the landscape surrounding my protagonist is so bad. You just have to love this stuff.

My favorites are the usual list of suspects. Orwell, Bradbury, Stephen King, Vince Flynn, and James Patterson.

I'm not all that scary. Father to three, grandfather to two (three in April 2014). Just a regular guy.


What will we do when suddenly our power, our phones, and our cars don't work? What will we do when we realize our government is missing and we have no protection; no police, no national guard? What will we do when our food runs out or spoils, and fresh water becomes scarce? What will we do when we realize we are completely and undeniably on our own? What could possibly happen next? 

What happens when IT happens? 

Follow an ordinary man, Bill Carlson, through the first 30 days of the ensuing uncertainty. From his once quiet, now violent, St. Paul suburb; to the empty, and yet deadly, county roads of west central Wisconsin. 

With limited knowledge of prepping, Bill must rely on neighbors for help. Why did he never pay attention to his “crazy doomsday” neighbor Scott? Now that the world, at least his world, is dark, Bill has so many questions. How can he possibly survive in this dark dystopian world? 

Bill goes in search of his family, and finds so much more. Friendly people in small towns, other villages that allow no strangers, people searching for help, and people looking to take anything you might have – via any means. 

Will Bill find his family, some 300 miles away? Will the power come back on after mysteriously going out? Will he be able to help others in times of need, much less himself? 

WWIV has begun, and we’re only In The Beginning. 

Links
Twitter (handle) - @ealake5
Google+ - Search for ‘e a lake’











Monday, April 21, 2014

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Actor and Author Stephen Jared

Stephen Jared, Actor & Author
THE BRUTAL ILLUSION
Actor and author Stephen Jared appreciates movies, books, art, and music from the first half of the 20th century. This love of 20th century culture resulted in his adventure and crime books set in that time period. His latest crime novel, THE BRUTAL ILLUSION, features a young woman in 1936 Hollywood searching to “fulfill her dream,” but finding a mobster. Reviewers recommend it: “highly entertaining, and loaded with mood, history and suspense.”

As an actor, Jared has appeared in feature films such as, He's Just Not That Into You; and in television shows, such as, iCarly, 24, and Touched by an Angel.  As a writer, Jared's adventures and crime novels include TEN-A-WEAK STEALE and THE ELEPHANTS OF SHANGHAI. He is currently working on his next crime story, which is set in 1956 in the California desert near Hollywood.

Don’t miss the excerpt from his newest crime novel, THE BRUTAL ILLUSION, following his interview.


Q: Both you and reviewers describe your most recent novel, THE BRUTAL ILLUSION, as darker than your previous books.  One reviewer said “Great dark Hollywood story” and that it was “Possibly my favorite of his works.” What caused this shift to the “dark” side?

Stephen Jared: I was driving one night and the whole story hit me. My initial reaction was that it was much darker than I was comfortable with, but then I began to wonder if I could pass up such a story. I think stories are elusive. Unlike most things you work at, it’s not about the hours you put into it. On top of that, I had a lot of darker feelings and personal issues I had never dealt with in my writing and I felt this story could provide a vehicle for letting a lot of those feelings out. I’m not in favor of writing books as a therapeutic exercise; I’m just saying that I felt uniquely well suited to pull this story off.

Q: Jared “has remarkable insight in coming up with these plots and ideas, making them real.” How do you “come up with” your ideas? How do you make them “real?”

Stephen Jared: The two main characters in this story are an actor and a writer. I happen to be both. I’ve always been fascinated by the frail fence between fantasy and reality in people’s lives. I’ve explored this in my previous books, but never to the same degree as in THE BRUTAL ILLUSION. We all need to escape reality at times, but at what point does escape become dangerous? If your whole life is pretending to be someone you’re not (and it’s not just actors who do this), or writing about make-believe characters, do you lose some terrific things by being so disengaged with the real world? THE BRUTAL ILLUSION is a melodramatic crime story, but that’s just ornamentation on the tree. Reality is a dangerous place, and there’s a strong temptation to run from it, but running too far can present new dangers.    

Q:  What draws you to set your books in the first half of the 20th century?

Stephen Jared: I love movies, books, music and art from the first half of the 20th century. Those decades will be reflected upon as extraordinary for hundreds of years to come. Much was made to appeal to common people as opposed to an aristocracy, which was a very new thing at the time. Yet, unlike today, the artists competed with tradition. The cinema of the 30s wanted to sell popcorn while competing with the best of Broadway. The modern artists wanted, among other things, to show that more primitive works could compete with the academics. Gershwin wanted his music to appeal to every average Joe while also competing with classical music. 

People with little understanding of art lazily believe the first half of the last century was only about making something new. Most of today’s works are disposable because we’ve moved so far from the classics, and anything that suggests tradition gets dismissed as derivative. So, I’m just far more inspired by those decades and prefer to escape into them when writing. That said, I’d like to write something set in our modern times. I just can’t get a handle on it. I don’t want to write about a guy who texts someone, hoping for a skype chat, and wonders if that might lead to a latte. People live with such high walls around them today, and I just find it uninteresting from a dramatic standpoint, as well as aesthetic. That’s my failing though. It can be done obviously. I just can’t crack it, not yet.

Q: How helpful is the setting of Hollywood to telling your story THE BRUTAL ILLUSION?

Stephen Jared: Hollywood is a place where you can literally walk into a world that is pure fantasy. The city and the movie industry are as important to this story as any other part.

Q: Are your characters based on real people—either historical or alive today? Or are they entirely fictional?

Stephen Jared: They’re a combination of all – historical, fictional, and living today.

Q:  THE BRUTAL ILLUSION is your fourth book. Did you find it easier to write than your first, second, or third? Has writing become easier?

Stephen Jared: Writing has become easier. I’m more confident. I can communicate more clearly, more quickly. But, as I said above, a great story is a difficult thing to catch. You can’t force it. Things seem to fall into place or they don’t. And the story of course is the key. Without that, you’re in big trouble.

Q: As an actor, you obviously read a lot of scripts/screenplays. Have you considered turning any of your books into screenplays? Based on reviews, I think your fans would enjoy seeing them as movies.

Stephen Jared: I certainly wouldn’t be the one to stand in the way of having one of my books made as a film. I used to write screenplays. Jack and the Jungle Lion, which is now included in the sequel novel, The Elephants of Shanghai, was originally a screenplay. It’s a tough trick to pull off. Maybe one day it’ll happen. But I won’t be the one knocking on those doors. My knuckles are too scarred at this point.

Q: Do you outline your stories or do your characters just take you along for the ride?

Stephen Jared: My next one has an extensive outline. THE BRUTAL ILLUSION had nothing. It was all so clear in my head. I didn’t need to write anything down.

Q:  I know you’ve just released your fourth novel, but I’m curious as to what’s next? Will you return to Hollywood for another crime story? Anything new on the acting side of your life?

Stephen Jared: It’s another crime story, set outside Los Angeles in the California desert, 1956. It too is a fairly dark story. As to acting, I just shot a Pepsi commercial in Japan. Was great fun, would love to do more jobs that travel.

Q: In a previous interview, you said when you’re not writing or acting you like to visit art museums and discover artists, especially those in your favorite time period—the first half of the 20th century. Have you discovered any new artists in the past year? Or what else have you been doing besides writing and acting?


Stephen Jared: There’s a contemporary painter who I’ve admired from a distance for a while. He’s in Southern California, and I just think he’s amazing. Anyway, I reached out to him to see if he’d agree to meet, and if I could interview him. He was extremely gracious. His name is Tony Peters, and you can find that interview here: http://www.stephenjared.com/show-one.php?id=13

About Stephen Jared


As an actor Stephen Jared has appeared in feature films, such as He's Just Not That Into You, and on television in popular shows such as iCarly, 24, and Touched by an Angel (plus commercials for both radio and television). His writings have appeared in various publications. In 2010, his first novel, Jack and the Jungle Lion, received much critical praise, including an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Hollywood Book Festival. Solstice Publishing began releasing his work, starting with Ten-A-Week Steal, hailed as a "fantastic work in the tradition of the old pulp/noir masters." The Elephants of Shanghai continued from where Jack and the Jungle Lion left off (the original story is included in the opening pages of the sequel), and went on to take Second Place at the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival. His latest novel, THE BRUTAL ILLUSION, is now available.



1936. Hollywood. A young woman struggles to fulfill a dream. She meets a man with connections, becomes overjoyed, and soon feels indebted when she lands a studio contract. At the studio, a young writer takes a shine to her; however, rumors circulate that the man who got her the contract is a mobster. Unbeknownst even to her, the rumors are true, and her dream soon becomes a nightmare.





Excerpt from THE BRUTAL ILLUSION

Allyson often looked at her reflection in the mirror with pleasure. It wasn’t flattery she craved, nor introspection, but illusion. Alone now, seated, she couldn’t look away. She liked the way her reflection had no inner life, no history. It was like a game, and she’d been playing the game ever since she was a little girl, but never had the game been so compelling, never had her reflection been so convincingly someone new, as when she arrived home from the studio on this late September evening and saw herself as a platinum blonde.
She couldn’t stop staring. It was a shock. It completely transformed her. Her beauty changed from one thing to something else entirely. There seemed to be two of her now. One person on the inside with insecurities, a person who felt herself to be nothing special at all, and then the person on the outside who was daring, glamorous, a provocative bombshell.
Earlier at the studio, she’d never received so much attention as when the stylist finished with her. In the last few minutes of the day, she walked across the lot attracting the type of stares typically reserved for movie stars.
While Mr. Leammle gave his approval, he was too busy to look at results. He sent one of his top producers, Edmund Grainger, who was responsible for pictures like Madame Spy and Affairs of a Gentleman, to get the first eyeful of the new Allyson Rockwell. Mr. Grainger was stunned, and said so. He also made the point—something Allyson had not considered—that platinum blondes never got small parts. They stood out too much, usurped too much attention. Therefore, some risk was involved in the creation of this new Allyson Rockwell. Mooning over her though, Mr. Grainger also proclaimed the risk was well worth it.
Flashbulbs burst like fireworks in Allyson’s imagination. She stepped from shiny cars onto red carpets. Hysteria erupted all around her. Allyson wished she could freeze her disposition and feel this way forever. Crossing the studio, having effectively escaped everything she had ever been before, was an unforgettable sensation. She hoped she would see her famous blond friend in every mirror she passed for the rest of her life.
More of the night slipped away. Where shock moved on confidence began to reside. She kept still, staring at herself, on a bridge of calm between two lives. She looked almost like a dessert, she considered, her hair nearly the color of wedding cake.
Without thinking too much—she told herself not to think too much—she stood. She went to a telephone and dialed for a cab. Again she considered that taking the Cabriolet wouldn’t be prudent. As well, certain anxieties had the potential to cut into her newfound strength. She wanted to take her anxieties and tuck them away, leaving them to collect dust in her old life. Over time, she would move away from ever using the Cabriolet again. Eventually, she would leave the Hancock Park home as well. That time would surely come, but for tonight, she reserved the cab, quickly changed her dress, and dabbed her neck with perfume.

Links
Twitter address…@stephen_jared










Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Author Dan Dembiczak

Dan Dembiczak, Author
IMPERFECT  PARADISE
Successful playwright, actor, director, producer, and short story author Dan Dembiczak has published his first novel, IMPERFECT PARADISE.  Reviewers describe it as an “intriguing story of self discovery” and tout Dembiczak's “complex, strong protagonist” and the “backdrop of the Big Island of Hawaii” which “adds to the richness of this story.” Dembiczak himself says that he is “interested in crafting an interesting character.  A human being.”

Dembiczak has always been a writer. Eight of his plays have been produced in Seattle. He has traveled extensively to Hawaii and appreciates its magic.  He gained insight into women, such as his protagonist, having been reared with three sisters, befriending women, and reading women’s self-discovery literature of the late 1800s. He is currently working on his second novel. In between, he likes to garden and is a yoga “fanatic.”

Q: Why did you write a story about a woman’s self-discovery? Do you think it’s difficult for a man to comprehend a woman’s feelings? How did you gain insight?

Dan Dembiczak: The inspiration began with taking the women’s self-discovery stories of the late 1800s and putting it in modern times.  I was most interested in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, a book that spoke to me at an early age and the power of the story has stuck with me for a long time.  In those stories, the woman was always seeking to escape – and unfortunately the only escape route meant her own demise.  I wanted to explore a more positive option, but equally delve into the messiness of figuring out one’s true path. 

As far as comprehending a woman’s feelings and gaining insight, beyond being a huge fan of women’s fiction, I grew up around a lot of women.  I’m the youngest of four siblings, with three older sisters.  So it was like I had four mothers!  I’ve also had some very special female friendships over the years and observed the markedly different experience a woman has even in these modern times. 

Q: Reviewers praise your protagonist in IMPERFECT PARADISE as “complex, strong” and “definitely relatable and easy for readers to root for.”  How do you entice readers to root for or embrace your protagonist Sarah Chizeck? Is she based on a real person?

Dan Dembiczak: I always knew she’d be a challenge for some, much like Edna was in The Awakening.  But I’m very pleased that readers are responding to her realness and identifying with where she’s at in her own awakening.  At first we see this woman on a very decadent Hawaiian honeymoon who seemingly has the perfect life.  Why does she seem so malcontent?  That’s just annoying.  But then as the story unfolds and we learn of her backstory, it becomes more evident that she isn’t living life for herself.  She’s trying to fit into a paradigm her family and society have set for her and ignore her doubts, regrets and misgivings. 

Q: How helpful or relevant to telling your story was the setting of Hawaii?

Dan Dembiczak: Huge!  I don’t think Sarah would have made the same choices or had the same discovery somewhere else.  I actually envisioned this story while running on a beach in Kauai in 2005.  It was my first trip to any of the islands, and a very powerful experience for me.  There is something so intense about the beauty there and the vividness that just leads to a startling clarity.  The sensuousness Sarah experiences on all fronts – the food, the air against her skin, the empathy she begins to experience for other women on the island – all leads to her exploration and ultimate decision to choose a new life. 

The Big Island, in particular, is such a magical place.  I’ve been there so many times and yet each visit it’s like I’m falling in love all over again.  And it’s not the glitzy resorts.  It’s the small little ice shave shack or an undiscovered black sand beach.  Beauty is hiding in every corner waiting for the right person to discover and appreciate it. 

Q: Did you write IMPERFECT PARADISE to entertain readers or also to deliver a message?

Dan Dembiczak: Absolutely both.  I mean, who doesn’t want to read a bit of sizzle that takes place on a tropical honeymoon?  So I think the relationship between Sarah and Kalei and Sarah’s exploration of the island is a highly entertaining reading experience.  At the same time, I was very much hoping to convey a message of freedom and hope.  That it’s never too late to start living an authentic life, even if you’ve made huge commitments.  I’m not trying to start a movement for women to leave their husbands, though! 

Q: In addition to IMPERFECT PARADISE, a novel, you have also written short stories, plays (of which eight were produced in Seattle), and articles. Which do you enjoy writing the most? Why?

Dan Dembiczak: It’s changed over the years.  As a kid I began writing short books and going to young writer’s conferences with them.  I then took up short stories and poetry.  In middle school I wrote my first screenplay.  My dad was working nights at the time and photocopied enough copies for me to do a reading with friends.  Then in high school we had an assignment to make a movie and it came to life!  In college I majored in creative writing and worked on short stories and started a novel.  Then the theater bug hit me and I spent many years writing plays.  And I really found a love of writing characters and dialogue.  For me, it’s really important for each individual character to have a unique voice.  So the years in theater really honed that for me.  When I decided to take a break from theater, it felt like the perfect time to sit down and write this novel that had been marinating in my brain for years. 

So I would say that right now writing novels is the most satisfying for where I’m at in my life.  But I’m not closing any doors on plays or screenplays.  Writing articles has always been a way for me to keep my writing sharp and stay involved in the community.   I’m sure I’ll continue with that always as a way to stay connected.

Q: Is the concept of “villains vs heroes” or “antagonist vs protagonist” relevant to your books? What makes an interesting villain and hero? Do you need one to have the other?

The "good vs evil” mentality may work well in action movies, but in my writing I’m more interested in the gray area. We’re all just a product of our experiences.  I like to explore both the darker and lighter sides of characters.  Sarah is no grand heroine, but she’s not a villain either.  And neither is her husband or Kalei or her family.  I love it when I read a story or watch a film and leave with mixed emotions.  I think I’m less interested in what makes an interesting villain or hero and more interested in crafting an interesting character.  A human being. 

Q: Do your characters lead you to write what they want? Or do you draft an outline and stick to it?

Dan Dembiczak: I draft an outline, but I keep it pretty skeletal at first so that the characters can emerge and lead to spontaneity. For IMPERFECT PARADISE, I stuck pretty close to the overall plot outline, but there were scenes that were born naturally as I was writing them.  For example, the subplot with Sarah’s obsession with the cat in the parking lot was not something I had originally put into the outline. 

Q: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Dan Dembiczak: I can’t really remember not having an interest in it.  In kindergarten I was very shy and loved to read.  Writing has always been a way for me to keep company with anyone I want to create.

Q:  What’s next?

Dan Dembiczak: I’m writing my second novel titled The Hardest Pose is Corpse Pose.  It’s written through four main characters’ points of view, some first person and some third person.  It follows a married couple living in South Seattle and facing marital problems.  The wife is a yoga instructor and trying to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity and an unexplained illness that’s struck her.  The family dog is also one of the characters and offers a very different perspective on what’s going on at home.  Each character is struggling with an issue related to faith, whether that be their lack of or a reconciliation with a belief system that’s been in place for a number of years.

Q:  Tell us about Dan Dembiczak. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Dan Dembiczak: I’m fortunate enough to have a decent sized yard and enjoy gardening.  I am a yoga fanatic.  I try to practice every day.  I love food, movies, reading and getting to the Big Island as much as I can.

About Dan Dembiczak

Dan Dembiczak is a Seattle native who began writing stories as soon as he could spell. He earned a BA in creative writing from the University of Washington, and has worked extensively in local theater as a playwright, actor, director, and producer. Eight of his plays were produced in Seattle, including the popular four-part Capitol Hill High series, and a number of his articles and short stories have appeared in publications in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Dembiczak has traveled extensively to the Hawaiian islands, particularly the Big Island, where he was married in 2008, and considers Hawai'i his second home. He primarily resides in Seattle with his husband, dog, and chickens, and is currently working on his second novel, The Hardest Pose is Corpse Pose, which tells the tale of a yoga teacher facing change, adultery, and, possibly, death.


For thirty-two-year-old Sarah Chizeck, marriage was not an option, but an expectation. She was raised to believe that a woman’s main focus is to get married and start a family, and she put everything else on hold to accomplish this goal.

So when she finally marries her boyfriend of five years, Sarah and her family are ecstatic. But underneath Sarah’s smiles, something else is lurking.

Sarah’s career and personal interests were not all she put on hold to pursue marriage. She also put her feelings on the backburner and buried her emotions. But when she reluctantly goes to Hawai’i for her honeymoon, these things come to the surface, and she is both pleased and alarmed by the sensory experiences she encounters.

Terrified by her attraction to a handsome young concierge, Sarah is forced to confront her new feelings, as well as what she previously ignored, and she ultimately comes to shocking revelations about her upbringing, marriage, and future.

IMPERFECT PARADISE tells the compelling story of Sarah’s internal awakening and delivers a powerful message about hope, happiness, and finding your place in the world. A classic romance with a contemporary twist, it is sure to appeal to fans of modern, liberating fiction.

Author and Purchase Links

twitter:  @imperparadise