Monday, November 28, 2016

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Sofia Diana Gabel, Author

Sofia Diana Gabel, Author
Sofia Diana Gabel, a multi-genre author, brings us her science fiction RAMTALAN TRILOGY series with relatable teenage protagonists and villains with their own agendas. She likes to place ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, and also embeds messages along the way. She believes that setting is important and can actually serve as a character.

Gabel enjoys time out of doors and hiking; she also appreciates time with her daughters and grandson. She is currently working on two novels--an adult SciFi and a contemporary thriller.

Check out the excerpt following her interview.

Q: You write in multiple genres. Let’s start with science fiction and your trilogy, A RAMTALAN TRILOGY: TWO BROTHERS. What drew you to science fiction? Do you enjoy reading it? Do you find it’s a satisfying genre in which to tell your stories?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I think I got started reading science fiction from my dad. He loved it and I guess I saw his enjoyment and wondered what it was all about. I started with Asimov and went on from there up to the contemporaries now. Sadly, I don’t get to read as much as I’d like and always seem to have a stack of ‘to be read’ books piled up! For my science fiction Ramtalan Trilogy series, this genre is the only way to tell the story. I love to blend in different elements as well, such as thriller, romance and adventure.

Q: In A RAMTALAN TRIOLOGY what draws us to your protagonists? Why will readers engage with them?

Sofia Diana Gabel: My protagonists are teenagers. I’ve been a single mother to three daughters for most of their lives, and had three teenagers at one time for many years. It just seemed natural to write about teenagers, with a science fiction/alien twist. Readers will feel the turmoil of the teenage years and how teens make mistakes because they don’t know any better, but in the case of the Dachel brothers, the stakes are very high, especially when they do make mistakes or misjudgments. We all remember what it’s like to be a teenager, right?

Q: What about villains? Is the concept of villains versus heroes relevant in A RAMTALAN TRILOGY? What makes an effective, compelling villain?

Sofia Diana Gabel: Yes, the villains are critical to the story arc. A villain has to have their own agenda for doing the things they do, which sometimes places others in danger. But a villain also has to have a ‘human’ element to them, a part that keeps them from being completely off the rails. My villains are definitely driven to achieve their goal, yet they also have something deep down that readers can relate to.

Q: In your science fiction and paranormal stories, how do you create credibility and/or believability? Does it matter to your readers?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I think a good story must be at least somewhat credible or believable, even if the reader has to ‘suspend disbelief’’ so they can get taken away by the story. In paranormal, supernatural things occur, which aren’t normally considered believable, but to enjoy the story, a reader has to accept that it’s normal. Hopefully I’ve created that in my stories. I like to put ordinary, relatable people in extraordinary situations in such a way that the reader believes it could happen.

Q: Do you write only to entertain your readers or do you embed a few messages in your stories along the way?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I usually have some sort of message in the stories. In the RAMTALAN TRILOGY, there are elements of bullying and later in the story it comes out why the bully is like he is.

Q: Do you prefer writing in one genre over another? Or do you like different features from each one?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I actually enjoy all of the genres I write in, but right now I’m thoroughly enjoying science fiction, having just finished another science fiction novel. Historical fiction has always been a love of mine, too.

Q: You have degrees in environmental science and archaeology. Does your education help you in your writing?

Sofia Diana Gabel: Yes! I wrote an environmental thriller where I used my knowledge of biology and wildlife to create a somewhat, tongue-in-cheek, scenario about global devastation. I am currently writing an archaeology-based thriller as well. I think education always manages to bleed through on the pages in one form or another!

Q: Were you able to exploit the settings to help tell your stories? Do you find setting to be an effective plot-creator or contributor? Why?

Sofia Diana Gabel: Setting can be very important and become a character itself. The settings in the RAMTALAN TRILOGY are important because each setting has something to say about the story or characters. A science fiction novella I wrote, The Clean Slate Accord, takes place completely in an isolated bunker, which plays off how the protagonist has isolated herself while governing the world.

Q: What’s next?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I am currently working on two novels: one an adult science fiction and the other a contemporary thriller. I’m also editing my latest YA science fiction novel.

Q:  Tell us about Sofia Diana Gabel. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I’m in love with the outdoors. When I can, I love to hike or be around nature in some way. And of course I love to read. Baking is a fun time for me, when I get the chance. Then again, I also like quiet days at home with my three hairless Sphynx cats or spending time with my daughters and grandson.

About Sofia Diana Gabel

Sofia Diana Gabel is a multi-genre fiction writer who was born in Sydney, Australia, but is now living in the United States with her family. With degrees in environmental science and archaeology, she enjoys being out in nature when she's not glued to her desk writing or researching a new story idea. Writing is a true passion of hers, born from a love of the written word that can transport the reader to different places or worlds and deliver them back to reality, safe and sound.

Book One follows 17-year-old Argus and Tai Dachel as they transition from sheltered homeschoolers to mainstream high school students, where they begin to discover they are not the ordinary teenagers they thought they were. As their extraordinary abilities begin to emerge and they learn the truth about themselves, their lives take twists and turns they never could have imagined. They struggle to find balance and normalcy while keeping the secret they must guard at all costs.
The boys want nothing more than to fit in with their friends, but that becomes more and more tricky. Eventually an AURA (Astronomical Urgent Recovery Administration) agent begins to suspect the truth and the situation escalates. Not only are their lives in danger, but their friends, especially Argus's girlfriend Lola, are beginning to realize the brothers are not what they seem.
In the second book in the Trilogy, Argus finds himself mixed up in the battle between a hostile faction of Invaders and the peaceful Ramtalans he’s come to know as his friends. After hearing disturbing news about his father, and with Tai being held captive, Argus has to come to grips with the truth about who he really is. Not only is AURA hot on his tail, but his relationship with Lola is in jeopardy. As his special abilities increase and become stronger, he risks exposure and capture. He must find some way to protect everyone around him, but winning seems impossible. 

The third and final book in the Ramtalan Trilogy brings Argus and Tai Dachel to a critical juncture in their lives, and the lives of every human on Earth.


This was going to be a good day with no trouble. Argus had said that over and over again all morning, but now that he was standing at the school attendance office counter, right under an irritating flickering fluorescent light, he had his doubts. He gripped the pen and filled in his information on the enrollment form:

Name: Argus Dachel
Age: 17
Previous school: Home schooled

His stomach fluttered and he wiped a trace of sweat off his forehead. What was he doing? There was no way this could be a good day. He didn’t belong here. High school was where normal kids went and he and Tai, his twin brother, weren’t exactly normal. They had special abilities that they weren’t allowed to use in public, and some sort of rare blood disease that kept them away from other kids. How much weirder could they get?

This was their senior year and their guardian, Aunt Celeste, said they should go to a public high school to be around other kids. She seemed a bit hesitant, like she wasn’t quite sure about it, but in the end said it was for the best. How? How was going to a school filled with regular kids for the best? Aunt Celeste said other kids didn’t have super strength or the ability to dissolve and reappear, so what was the point in being around normal teens? He’d spent most of his life secluded away in their house in the middle of nowhere. And that’s how he liked it. He had freedom at home to do what he wanted, without restrictions like he had now. Now it was all, no using your abilities at school, no getting hurt or cut, no telling anyone about anything. Secrets. And that sucked.


Purchase Links

Author Links
Twitter: @sofiadianagabel

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Kate Wrath, Author

Kate Wrath, Author
THE E SERIES: 6 books
Kate Wrath brings us her newest novel, a present-day fantasy evolved from a fairytale world she created. FLIPPED is the first in her new series FAIRYTALE EVOLUTION, and she describes it as “a bit out there.” Her reviewers tell us that it is “an ultimate joy ride” in a “fantastical world.”

Wrath’s second book in the FAIRYTALE EVOLUTION series, The Dark Road, is with her editor, and she has already started to write the third one in that series along with a spinoff to THE E SERIES. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family and paying attention to her art work.

Wrath, who is an artist as well as an author, is offering a very special giveaway—a one-of-a-kind sculptural dragon cover of a special edition of FLIPPED. She is also offering 25 e-book versions of FLIPPED. So don’t miss the opportunity to enter her giveaway at . And check out the excerpt from FLIPPED following the interview.

Q: Your newest book, FLIPPED, has been described by reviewers as “an ultimate joy ride” in a “fantastical world.” In what genre would you place it? Science fiction or fantasy? Who will most enjoy reading it?

Kate Wrath: FAIRYTALE EVOLUTION #1: FLIPPED  is a contemporary fantasy set in a modern world that could have evolved from a typical fairytale setting.  It's whimsical, humorous, and a bit out there, but it's grounded by a solid storyline and characters that are believable despite the crazy situations they encounter.  I think anyone who enjoys quirky sci-fi or fantasy would probably enjoy this book.  Be warned, though, FLIPPED has a dark undercurrent.

Q: Reviewers also say that FLIPPED has a “good blend of sweet, mischievous, and dangerous creatures” that are “unique and interesting.” What makes your characters engaging? Why will readers embrace them?

Kate Wrath: Character is my number one thing when it comes to telling stories and I get a ton of comments about my characters.  I think the main thing is that these characters are so real to me, and as such they change and grow and react.  They're out there dealing with whatever my wacky universe throws at them in the best way they know how, which isn't always perfect.  Is hardly ever perfect.  They're full of mistakes, past traumas, little quirks they don't even realize, desires and motivations that are at odds with their goals.  So you never know what's going to happen.

Q: How did you create the world for your setting, which is described by a reviewer as “interesting, exciting, and has limitless possibilities?” Do you have rules that you follow in your fantasy world to enhance credibility? Is credibility important to readers of fantasy?

Kate Wrath: Any story needs to have credibility.  You can't just have your character wave a magic wand and fix everything.  That's not a satisfying solution.  So, yeah, there are rules in my world regarding the use of magic and an underlying system of how it all works.  Even though I don't write all that into the story, I understand it as the author, so everything flows in a logical way.  But just like in real life, there are mysteries that no one really understands, and I think that element is important, too.

As far as creating the world itself, when I first conceptualized the story, I spent a lot of time writing about the infrastructure of the world.  Everything from transportation to sewage.  Because the world combines modern-day technology with evolved, commonplace magic, it took a lot of consideration to understand how it all fit together.  I didn't feel like I could write this world without knowing exactly how it worked.

Q: You have a special giveaway to promote FLIPPED. Tell us about it. Are you an artist as well as an author?

Kate Wrath: Yes!  I love art and I love to experiment with new kinds of art.  For a past book release,
Enter to win this extraordinary special edition of FLIPPED.
Go to:
I gave away a hand bound edition of one of my books—something that fans of the series really loved. 

I wanted to do something similar for this release, and I happened across these beautiful journals that artist Aniko Kolesnikova was making by attaching polymer clay panels to the covers of blank journals.  I wondered if I could make the book cover itself out of polymer clay and use it with the same kind of Coptic binding I had sewn for the previous book.  A little research later, the answer was… yeah!  So I jumped headlong into the project making a sculptural dragon cover for a one-of-a-kind edition of FLIPPED. 

Luckily, I have a lot of experience working with ceramics, and those skills were nicely transferable.  I've done some videos of the process.  The book is printed on archival quality, acid-free parchment paper, with a hand sewn Coptic binding, which leaves the spine bare so you can see all the decorative stitches; I think it's really beautiful.  Making the dragon cover itself took me more than a week of doing pretty much nothing else.  Just attaching the scales, one at a time, took hours to accomplish. 

But it's all worth it to have this amazing one-of-a-kind treasure to give to a reader.  I love that the giveaway is tied intrinsically to the story.  It's not something that you can get anywhere else.  I love this book so much, and since I can't keep it myself, I only hope that fate sends it to someone who will love it and connect with the story.  I feel really fortunate that the last book giveaway went to an awesome fan, Ashlee, who still keeps in touch and lets me know she's taking good care of it! 

You can watch the Kate producing this cover at: Video1 and Video2 .

Enter to win this unique artwork/book at .

Q: You have also written a series of books: the E series. Are these similar to FLIPPED? How are they different?

Kate Wrath: In many ways, the two series are the complete opposite end of the sci-fi/fantasy universe.  THE E SERIES is a sci-fi dystopian series that's dark, violent, and pensive.  It's Fairytale Evolution's goth sister.  On the surface, FLIPPED is light and flouncy.  Honaia, the main character in FLIPPED, is quite the girly girl.  She's all curls and lip gloss at first glance.  But as the story progresses and she grows, she finds out what she's made of.  So really, both series have strong female leads who do what they need to do.  Also, both series are dystopian, and I might even say that FLIPPED is unexpectedly more dystopian than THE E SERIES.  Another thing is that they're both character-driven stories.  Everything I write is character-driven.

Q: Do you write to entertain only? Or do you embed a few messages along the way?

Kate Wrath: At the risk of sounding like a nerd, I'm a nerd.  A total lit nerd.  I get off on Hemingway 'n' stuff.  So underneath everything, there's always a theme.  There's always meaning, layer upon layer.  It's not like soap box preaching or anything.  It's about the human condition, the deep questions of the universe… stuff like that.  But y'know, I like to be entertained.  So I hope that my writing achieves both.

Q:  How important or helpful is humor to tell your stories?

Kate Wrath: Humor is incredibly important, but not just as a device.  The thing is, even my darker series has quite a lot of humor.  Humor is life, and I write life, whether it be life in an apocalyptic society ruled by killer robots, or life in a big city where magic and faeries exist.  But the key—to me—is that it's not just humor.  Not just darkness.  These things fluctuate.  They come in and out of our lives in different proportions.  I always strive for a world that feels real on an emotional level.  And that includes humor.

Q: Do you use the concept of hero versus villain to tell your stories? What are the characteristics of a compelling villain?

Kate Wrath: There are a lot of people who would tell you that my villain from THE E SERIES, Matt, is their favorite character.  Seriously, there's a whole pro-Matt cult out there.  Aside from the fact that he's sexy as hell, the main thing I did with him was to keep it real.  I don't believe in the whole good vs. evil thing on a pure level.  There are a thousand tints and shades.  Villains, just like heroes, are a product of their experiences.  I love that a villain can sometimes be a villain and sometimes be a hero… and vice versa.

Q: What’s next?

Kate Wrath: Next is book two, Fairytale Evolution: The Dark Road.  My editor currently has it, so it shouldn't be too long.  I'm working on writing book three, Bootcamp, and also a spinoff to THE E SERIES that takes place a few years after the ending of the series.  I guess I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to that world.

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

A:  Sleep.  Haha.  For reals.  I spend so much time on writing and marketing.  Any free time goes to my awesome, amazing family.  Occasionally I get a chance to do some art or read, and that's about it.  I wish I could say I was a ninja or a human rights activist, but really, writing (+day job) takes up most of my life.

About Kate Wrath
Kate Wrath lives in the Southwestern US.  Much like other authors, she has both a [family] and a [pet]. [family] = three crazy-but-lovable, exceedingly adorable people with longer eyelashes and better sense of humor than Kate [pet] =lovable-but-crazy giant German Shepherd who seems to be able to read, but pretends not to understand when something is required of him

Kate is the author of two sci-fi /fantasy series.  THE E SERIES: E (Book #1), EVOLUTION (Book #2), EDEN (Book #3), ELEGY (Book #4), ENDGAME (Book#5), and JASON AND LILY. FAIRYTALE EVOLUTION: FLIPPED Fairytale (Book #1) The second book, The Dark Road, is currently being edited.

Kate believes in literature as an art form, world peace, and animal rights, but aspires to write total trash that is full of senseless violence, with characters who eat house pets.


The big city is no match for a blue-eyed farm girl with impressive Zung Pow skills and a flair for unconventional magic.  At least, that's what Honaia tells herself when she's unexpectedly assigned to a handsome city mage for apprenticeship. The problem is, she never really expected double agents to be involved.  Or dragons. Or crazy rips in the Space-Time continuum, for that matter. But when it comes down to it, none of those things expected her either.

FLIPPED is the first book in the FAIRYTALE EVOLUTION series.

Contains: Language, violence, faeries.


       Somewhere in the drunken ramblings of the night, Deez had promised to teach Honaia about guns.  So bright and early the next morning they headed to the shooting range.  The big troll actually seemed quite excited about the prospect.
       He gave her a basic rundown of gun safety, which pretty much amounted to don't aim it at him, then handed her the pistol.  They made their way into an enormous room full of mostly gnomes whose job it was to run about wildly and be shot at.  They paid gnomes more, Deez explained, because they were harder to hit.
       "What about faeries?" Honaia asked.  "Aren't they even better for the job?"
       "Faeries are too f'kin hard to hit," Deez explained.  "Most people would need a special weapon to do it.  Besides, faeries have too much dignity."
       "Don't you run out of gnomes?" Honaia asked as Deez shot the first one.  But the ammunition they were using didn't leave the gnomes unconscious for long, so they would spring back up and continue their running after a few seconds.
To her surprise, Honaia found that shooting gnomes was a great stress relief.  She quite enjoyed the little squeal they made when they went down.
       "Great, isn't it?" Deez agreed, chuckling, but after a few thousand rounds he thought it best to take the gun away from her.
       "I was just getting the hang of it," Honaia protested.
       "We'll come back later," he promised.
       On their way out they bumped into the woman with black hair.  Honaia managed to quickly squash the tinge of fear and the automatic desire to clobber her.  They had not crossed paths on this side of the portal.  Still, she bristled.
       A slow smile crawled across the woman's face, sultry and stunning, as she faced off with Deez.
       "Nexa," Deez said tightly, scowling down at her in a battle of wills over who would give way first.  "This is Honaia," he said in mock friendliness.  "Onus' new girl."
       The choice of words was not wasted on Honaia.  She flipped her hair and drew herself up to look as impressive as possible on short notice.

Author Links
Web page 


To enter the giveaway, go to

Monday, November 14, 2016


R P Momsen, Author
R P Momsen’s PHIL! intends to make us laugh. Momsen describes his story as SciFi “in a hilarious, fun way,” designed to show how the universe was created in an alternative manner. He recognizes the divisiveness of religion and strived to write a story that anyone of any religion would find “refreshing.”

Momsen is already working on the next book in the PHIL series and has two other novels in the editing stage, which he plans to release next year. He lives in Maui and confesses to being an inept surfer. He loves to travel.

Q: How would you characterize your rather unique PHIL!? Fantasy? SciFi? Literary fiction? Why? Who will most enjoy reading it?

R P Momsen: It would best be described as SciFi meets modern scientific thought but in a hilarious, fun way offering an alternate explanation as to how the universe began and how life came to be. I wrote Phil as a lighthearted read that anyone could enjoy.

Q: How did you conceive of Phil, the character? What sparked you to create him and his role of overseeing the world?

R P Momsen: Religion has always been such a divisive issue. I wanted to write something that tried to answer the fundamental questions of life in a funny, tongue-in-cheek way that anyone, no matter of what religious background, would find refreshing.

I thought it would be fun if the guy who was running everything was a lot like us, has his issues, has a sarcastic, dry sense of humor and someone you’d like to have a beer with; and he just happens to run the universe.

Q: Will readers like Phil, the character? Why or why not?

R P Momsen: I think readers will love Phil, he’s funny, sees things from a positive but different perspective and sees our problems as minor and kind of cute, in a little alien species kind of way.

Q: How do you create credibility, or believability, in your made-up universe? How do you engage readers so that they will accept the concept and read on?

R P Momsen: I think it comes down to creating a universe that has many similarities to our own. Creating a new world that still stays within the confines of how we live. No matter where or how you live there will be problems, triumphs and challenges whether they’re in this world or an imaginary one.

Q: How helpful is humor to tell your story?

R P Momsen: Very, it’s what drives the perspectives and reactions of the characters. The greatest humor comes from simply seeing something in a different way from others.

Q: Did you write your story strictly for entertainment or did you embed a few messages along the way?

R P Momsen: It is mostly for humor but I wanted to have readers look at religion and science with an alternative perspective. There’s a few messages throughout PHIL but they’re done in a fun, creative way.

Q: Do you use the concept of hero versus villain in PHIL!? What are the attributes of an effective villain?

R P Momsen: There is a villain in the novel that is in constant battle with Phil throughout the story but it’s as much an adventure of discovery as it is hero versus villain. Though the villain plays a big role towards the end of the story and is one of the most hilarious scenes.

Q: As you take your readers around to different locations in the universe, are you able to exploit the various settings to expand your story?

R P Momsen: Absolutely, each setting and new world builds on the story and I’m able to create very funny stories within Phil using the different worlds to build the plot and backstory.

Q: What’s next?

R P Momsen: I’m working on the next book in the Phil series and aim to have it completed by spring 2017. I also have two novels in the editing stage that I’m hoping to launch in the new year.

Q: Tell us about R P Momsen. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

R P Momsen: I love to travel and I live in Maui so I’m able to spend a lot of time in the water scuba diving or stand up paddling. I’m a terrible surfer though which is kind of embarrassing for a person living here but I’ve come to terms with it.

About R P Momsen

R P Momsen was lucky enough to meet Phil in a very lovely but rather smelly pub a few years ago. After listening to the most amazing story of his life, and a half dozen pints, Rick agreed to bring Phil’s story to the world and finally get Phil a vacation. Through an arduous process over the next couple years of intense notes, grand philosophical debates, lengthy trips through multiple universes and numerous beers this masterpiece of answers was named Phil and finally released. A great friendship has been created and Rick has agreed to continue to write the real truth about everything, why it’s kind of a good thing to know and what humankind could do to be invited to the really cool parties.

About PHIL!

A very funny science fiction adventure that will change the way you look at life, the universe and why we're all here.

Billions of years ago, our universe was born. Not really that terribly exciting for most life forms except of course yourselves… and, well, Phil. The poor bastard who’s had to watch over all you people the last billion or so years.

Well, finally after years of listening to all your griping, bitching and whining, always with some imaginary being getting all the credit, he’s finally had it!

Phil has decided to explain what the world is, why you’re here and how you can evolve finally into a species worth talking about at parties.

In this hilarious actual account, Phil takes two unwitting Physicists on the adventure of their lives, which isn’t saying much for a couple of physicists, and shows them what life, the universe and lovely little corner pubs really is all about. They’re transported to other dimensions to meet their better looking selves, get taken prisoner by an evil but very good looking race, fly through black holes and help the creation of a new planet all while their greatest challenge hangs in the balance, saving earth from the most evil, and best dressed, species the universe has ever seen.

Will they save earth? Has all the years of hard work Phil has done creating you beings been lost? Does any of this really matter?

Excerpt from PHIL!
       “You gonna answer that?” Delphinia slurred. Typically an attractive female colleague, except now she had half a glass of Pan Universal Kumquat Juice down her front, and somehow an equal amount sprayed randomly throughout her hair. We were all drunk—she was winning.
       “Just another idiotic human with some whiny ‘I can’t do anything for myself’ question.” 
       “Are they still making you do that? Didn’t you create some god chat line for them to look up on their own?” asked Braithwaight, a much larger and uglier version of myself who had the unusual characteristic of having the largest nostrils in the universe. You wouldn't know them as nostrils, of course, given that their size and look is of one of your outhouses, massively uneven, bright orange and dripping with something I'd rather not discuss.
       “Ya, but they seem to be using it mostly for porn and watching other humans or animals doing idiotic stuff, which is even stranger when you realize that the average human does 4.8 stupid things per week; you would think watching each other in real time would keep them amused enough,” I replied. Braithwaight was correct, after all—a number of years ago, I had instructed humans to create something called God Gab to answer all their questions and, hopefully, quit bothering me. As usual, they misunderstood, called it Google, and continued to harass me anyway.
       “Slow... what dey say?” Delphinia slurred, spitting Pan Universal Kumquat Juice over both of us, which as it turned out was actually rather tasty; I decided to order one next despite it being a bit of a girly drink.
       “Dear Lord.” (Dear Phil, it should have actually read.) Please give me strength in dealing with my two kids; I’m always so tired, they stay awake for hours on end, I seem to be the only one in the house able to nap, they eat all my food, hide my weed and are even messier than my 3 ex husbands. I can’t keep doing it. What should I do?”
       “Signed ‘lame-ass, stoned and grumpy Mom.’ I added the last part.” I ordered my drink despite Braithwaighte’s sudden drunken episode of visualizing me in a short skirt with nice big perky ears; an odd and very unsexy effect of the alcohol.
“So, how do you answer it?” Braithwaight asked, refocusing himself.
       “ I usually give some form of positive bullshit advice that they ignore, and then they continue doing exactly what they’ve been doing for years,” I replied.
       “You should just sway what you twink then; who cares what they do?” Delphinia again slurred, though this time with more drooling than spitting, which was fine with me since I now had my own drink. Oddly enough, this had never occurred to me before, which just goes to show that the advice of a really drunk person should not be discounted even when slurred, spat, or dribbled. I took two large gulps of my drink, hoping to gain some more of this wisdom; my entire mind seemed to open up and swallow everything around me; my eyes fell out of my head, dropped off the table, and rolled under my now very short skirt, and then I spat the remaining mouthful onto my two companions, to which Braithwaight said ‘mmmm’ before promptly ordering one for himself.
       If it had seemed like a good idea before, after two sips of Pan Universal Kumquat Juice, it became the most brilliant idea since the first crossing of the universe in a giant Easter egg with very slightly modified snowshoes and a six-pack of Grantham Planetary Beers. Without putting anymore thought into it, or in fact having any more thought left, I promptly replied to my lame ass Mom message “I would suggest refraining from drinking every night until near unconsciousness, or adoption, whichever ones easier. Signed, Phil. PS. There is no Lord—Surprise!”


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Author Links:  Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads

Thursday, November 10, 2016

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Lonnie Ostrow, Author

Lonnie Ostrow, Author
Lonnie Ostrow brings us POET OF THE WRONG GENERATION, a book in a different genre—musical fiction. Contained within his romantic suspense novel are ten original song compositions. Set in New York City in the 1990s, it will appeal to fans of pop music and readers of contemporary romance.

Ostrow is now working on a second novel, which he plans to publish next year. He lives in Long Island with his wife and daughters and commutes to New York City to his full-time job with novelist, Barbara T. Bradford. He also mentors new novelists and has served as a PR executive.

Q: How would you characterize the genre of  POET OF THE WRONG GENERATION? Romance? Literary fiction? Why? Who will most enjoy reading it?

Lonnie Ostrow: My novel would best categorized as “musical fiction,” although sadly you won’t find any genre like that on Amazon, or at your favorite bookstore. It’s been hailed as “the ultimate rock and roll love story.” It is a contemporary mainstream fiction novel set in the 1990s in New York City. And yes, it centers around a star-crossed love story, so it can also be classified as romantic suspense.  It will be enjoyed by fans of pop music from the past 40 years, readers of modern romance, and those nostalgic about the 1990s.

Q:  How do you integrate music into the story?

Lonnie Ostrow: The protagonist, Johnny Elias, is a poet turned songwriter who composes lyrical stanzas when inspired by events in his life. At the outset, he is writing poems about major news events like the ’91 Crown Heights Riots and the free concert by Paul Simon in Central Park. Later, when his heart is broken, he pens a break-up song to reveal to his longtime girlfriend that he knows of her betrayal. This song gets recorded and is the catalyst to launching a career as a recording artist. All told, there are ten original song compositions inside the story. Two of them have been professionally recorded and can be viewed as music videos on my author website: So this novel has an audio soundtrack.

Q: How helpful was your background as innovator, promoter and celebrity-insider to conceive and tell POET OF THE WRONG GENERATION?

Lonnie Ostrow: I’ll start with the celebrity-insider part. For over twenty years, I’ve worked closely with many of the world’s most beloved entertainers. I’ve had the unique opportunity to get to interact with these icons in private moments when life is anything but glamorous. As outsiders, we see the image they want us to see. Privately, they cope with most of the same everyday issues as the rest of us. And often it is a struggle to live up to the pressure of lofty expectations. I’ve transferred a lot of this into my novel about a fictional rock star and his struggles to find a measure of happiness amid all his overnight success. As a promoter, I’ve seen public relations used for both building people up and tearing them down in differing circumstances. My PR savvy was leaned upon to show how hype can build a superstar, and how publicity can be weaponized to damage reputations just as easily.

Q: Why will readers embrace your protagonist? What will make them care?

Lonnie Ostrow: Johnny Elias is a loveable underdog. One reviewer recently dubbed him “a musical Rocky.” He’s grown up bouncing through a series of Brooklyn foster homes, always down on his luck. But he is a talented underdog who doesn’t fully comprehend his abilities as a songwriter and later as a singer until he has his heart shattered by his longtime love. Johnny is loyal and generous to his friends and bandmates. He is untainted by his overnight stardom and never forgets his roots, or those who helped him to reach success. He’s also a sensitive, thoughtful young man who can turn any emotion into a song. Life and love knocks him to the ground many times. But in the end, he endeavors to utilize all his creative resources to win back everything in most spectacular fashion. Readers will be rooting for him from the opening scene to the final paragraph.

Q: Would you say that the mother, Katherine Price, is a villain? What makes an effective, compelling villain?

Lonnie Ostrow: In John Lennon’s famous song, Working Class Hero, he has a line that says, “first you must learn how to smile as you kill.” I would say that all memorable villains possess that trait. Katherine Price is not a murderer. She is however, highly skilled in putting on the perfect face for every public occasion. As a self-made PR power-broker in New York City, Katherine sees herself as an elitist with a high standard for herself and her children. She believes to have their best interests at heart. In reality, her competitive nature turns her callous and later vindictive for perceived slights against her. She uses her vast power and manipulative skills to take down those who she sees as standing in the way of her happiness. She’s a complicated villain, in that she truly loves her children, but loses touch with reality when her agenda becomes destructive.

Q: Why did you choose to set POET OF THE WRONG GENERATION in the 1990s rather than make it current?

Lonnie Ostrow: My first draft of this story was actually a screenplay that I wrote for a class assignment in my senior year at Adelphi university back in 1992. So it was a “current” story when I first conceived of it. In 2002, when I adapted this screenplay into a novel, I held a great appreciation for the nostalgic tone that the 1990s provided. Furthermore, the original song compositions that I wove into the story were mostly written during the early 90s in response to events from that era. They blended seamlessly into the storytelling.

One other reason for keeping the story in the 90s is the dearth of quality pop music during that decade. This was a time when rap, grunge, prefab boybands and video vixens replaced the singer-songwriters on top-40 radio. Outside of a handful of 80s bands like U2 and REM, the 90s were devoid of songwriters with something to say in their music. The fictional Johnny Elias fits nicely into this era, in that he truly is the poet of the wrong generation. Only Johnny’s throwback style somehow manages to connect with both older and younger music listeners as a refreshing alternative to the mostly shallow and transitory musical phenomenons of that time period.

Q: How helpful was it to set the story in New York City? Were you able to apply The City’s ambience?

Lonnie Ostrow: New York City is one of the primary supporting characters in this novel. It both opens and closes on the Great Lawn in Central Park with a pair of mega-concerts. One is Paul Simon’s 1991 performance, where we meet Johnny Elias as a twenty year-old music fan, taking in the show with his longtime girlfriend, Megan, and his best college buddy, Andy. Megan Price and her family live on Fifth Avenue in an apartment facing Central Park. Johnny is both enamored with this scene, and yet feels sorely out of place in this high-class world. He travels by subway and bus from his one-room Brooklyn apartment to visit Megan in her opulent neighborhood. When success strikes, Johnny moves from Brooklyn to Central Park West, where he never quite feels at home. He’s just as focused on the homeless outside Central Park as he is with the tranquility of its greenery. So many of Manhattan’s great landmarks make for stunning backdrops to the unfolding drama throughout the story.  

Q: Did you write POET OF THE WRONG GENERATION strictly to entertain readers? Or did you embed a few messages or themes along the way?

Lonnie Ostrow: There’s this one brief moment in the early part of the story when Johnny Elias encounters a homeless man on Fifth Avenue. He hands the man a dollar. The man responds with the line: “May all your dreams come true. Just be careful what you wish for.” The subtitle of my novel is: A Fable Of Stardom’s Rewards. Indeed, Poet is a story of an aimless daydreamer who imagines musical stardom to be the pinnacle of everything. Then he becomes an overnight superstar and the view is drastically different on the other side of fame. I wrote this novel to entertain, to wax nostalgic on the 1990s, and to express the poetic, emotional side of art and the artist. It’s also a journey of discovery for Johnny and Megan in their search for lasting harmony.

Q: What’s next? Will you write another novel?

Lonnie Ostrow: I started a second novel back in 2005. It has a title, which I’ll hold off on divulging. This is another cynical look at stardom from an entirely different perspective. It is also set primarily in New York City, though it features a different cast of disenfranchised characters in search of notoriety and respect. I got some 300 pages in (about halfway), when I decided to put it on hold until the publication of Poet. I now plan to go back and complete this novel sometime in 2017.

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

Lonnie Ostrow: I’m a hardworking family man. I live on Long Island’s south shore with my wife and our two daughters. I commute daily to NYC to my full-time job with the famed novelist, Barbara T. Bradford. In my “spare time” I mentor a wide array of aspiring novelists with editorial and marketing assistance for their debut novels. Since 2015, I’ve been a staff member of The Editorial Department in Tucson, AZ. I provide their client authors with assistance on their book content, as well as building fundamental marketing infrastructure to help them build their own start-up fan-base.

About Lonnie Ostrow

Lonnie Ostrow has been an innovator, storyteller, promoter and celebrity-insider for more than two decades. With POET OF THE WRONG GENERATION, he combines all his unique experiences to bring you a novel of love & betrayal, music & fanfare, downfall & redemption—a fable of stardom’s rewards, set in New York City during the 1990s. Since 2001, Mr. Ostrow has been the publicity/marketing director & researcher for the iconic best-selling novelist Barbara T. Bradford. Previously he served as a PR executive, promoting an assortment of first-time celebrity authors. From 1995-2001, Mr. Ostrow was widely credited with inventing the “living celebrity postal phenomenon.” In all, he worked with more than 40 legendary personalities, creating major media events to celebrate their postal recognition by an assortment of foreign nations.

“It’s not that I don’t love you, and my tears are yet to dry.
But you can’t go back and forth forever and we’ve already said goodbye.”

Through these words, a young poet unearths his musical soul while severing ties with the woman he loves after her stunning betrayal. Unknowingly, in writing this ballad of liberation, he will soon evolve as one of the fastest rising stars on the pop music landscape.

The year is 1991; the place, New York City. Here we meet Johnny Elias, a college student from Brooklyn with boundless adoration for two things in life: timeless popular music, and the heart of a sweet, complicated young woman who is clearly out of his league. 

Megan Price not only is the object of Johnny’s affection, but also the only daughter of New York’s most powerful PR woman: the indomitable Katherine Price.

Projecting that her daughter’s boyfriend will never live up to the family standard, Katherine cleverly perpetrates a series of duplicitous schemes to rid Johnny from her high-class world. But in her callous disregard, she inadvertently sets him on a determined course to his improbable musical destiny - while sending her own daughter spiraling down a path of despair.

POET OF THE WRONG GENERATION tells the symmetrical story of a lovable underdog and his meteoric rise to stardom, his humiliating downfall and his unprecedented attempt to reclaim his place as the unlikely musical spokesman for his generation. At the heart of Poet is a tale of star-crossed lovers and their struggle with unforeseen success and disillusionment, in an attempt to rediscover lasting harmony.

Uniquely integrating a variety of original song compositions, POET projects the epic clash between true contentment and the fable of stardom’s rewards; a nostalgic journey through the major events of the 1990s, with a cherished cast of characters and a stunningly unpredictable conclusion.
Audio soundtrack of the original music from POET OF THE WRONG GENERATION can be heard on the author website,
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