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Short Stories Blog Tour June 29, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Author Interviews.
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I’m pleased to have Michael K. Rose on the Akamai Reader today. He agreed to do an interview for his Short Stories Blog Tour, which is available now.

1. Was there a catalyst or single event that led you to your writing career?

I can’t say that there was. I’ve always enjoyed writing and it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. But about two and a half years ago, I decided to get serious about it, began working on some novels and submitting short stories to the science fiction magazines.

2. If you had a chance to sit down with your favorite author, who would it be? What would you say?

If a poet counts, I would choose Walt Whitman. He’s the historical person I would most like to meet. His overall outlook on life is something I have tried to model. I have no idea what I’d say. I’d rather just sit and listen to him talk.

3. Did you always know you would write Sci-Fi?

Yes and no. It’s always been something I’ve liked writing but I never made a consciousdecision that I was going to be a science fiction writer. And I have an interest in writing in other genres as well. I suppose, however, that because it is what I have written and released first, I will be considered primarily a science fiction author, which I do not mind at all.

4. What are the challenges of writing short stories versus full-length novels?

Short stories are actually easier for me. I write with a great deal of brevity and 3,000 to 5,000 words feels like a natural length for me in which to tell a story. My new release, Short Stories, is a testament to this. But writing longer works is forcing me to learn new skills as a writer to keep the reader’s interest while also expanding my story-telling to cover much more than I would in a short story.

5. Who would you say majorly influenced your work?

In science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, without a doubt. Overall, I would also include Henry James, Arthur Conan Doyle, HP Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard and Stephen King. However, I don’t think all of those influences haven’t been revealed in my writing just yet.

6. What would you say are the major advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?

Advantage: complete artistic control. Disadvantage: complete artistic control. What I mean by this is that there is no one to decide for you that the decision you’ve made is right or wrong. Friends and readers can give you advice, but it is ultimately up to you. There is no editor or publisher to see when you’ve become enamored with an idea that may not necessarily be a good idea. On the flip side, you have the ability to bring your vision to fruition in exactly the way you want. This is highly fulfilling from a creative standpoint.

7. What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Before you even think about publishing, get established on Facebook, Twitter, start writing a blog. If you interact with other authors and readers in your genre for a few months first, they will be much more receptive to you if they already have an idea of who you are. Get them reading your blog, write interesting articles and occasionally mention the book you’re working on. Read and review the work of writers in your genre. Interview them on your blog. Make the connections, and by the time you’re ready to release, you will have a built-in audience and group of people willing to help you out.

Thanks for the interview, Michael!

Contact Michael:

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Review: Dark Steps June 13, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Horror, Thriller.
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Title: Dark Steps

Author: Martin Pond

Genre: Thriller/Horror

Publisher:  Martin Pond

Publish Date: August 11, 2011

ASIN:  B005GQ84CE

Available at: AmazonBarnes and Noble

From Amazon:

A collection of short stories, a series of twist endings, and one author’s dark steps back into writing…

A teenage boy waits to take a sinister test he may or may not pass; a new father hears a strange voice on his daughter’s baby monitor; a poisoner’s best-laid plans go terribly astray; an enigmatic man gets as close to death as he can; a young boy wonders why Christmas just doesn’t feel right this year; after the year from hell, a man is driven to extreme measures; a dying man reveals a black secret to his son; and, after four years in limbo, a man’s life starts to unravel…

Review:

All seven of these short stories are rather disturbing as implied by the title and description, but they’re all well written.  I particularly liked the story “Near-Death Experience”. It’s about a man who chooses to get as close to death as he can. I also liked the story “The Inheritance”, which was about a death-bed confession.

The stories were all very compelling and they drew me in so that I nearly read the book in one sitting. I would have read the book in one, but life got in the way. It’s not a very long book. It’s only 54 pages, but it’s very intense. There’s a lot to take in in such a short time frame.

At the end of the book there’s an excerpt from the author’s upcoming novel, “Drawn to the Deep End“.  I have to admit I enjoyed this the least of all. Maybe I’d enjoy more of the book if there were more to read.

A lot of the resolutions of the stories were a little too predictable, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying them. I’m not normally a short story person, but this collection of short stories were a great read.

*I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Review – Changelings & Other Stories February 16, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Fantasy, Uncategorized.
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Changelings & Other Stories

by Leah Cypess

(also available on NOOK)

Laura is telling the truth about being from Faerie. But not about anything else.

Darri has been waiting years for her brother’s return… because only she can protect the rest of her family from him.

Sarli is one of a long line of abandoned girls chosen to be a human sacrifice. But she’s planning for her turn to go a little differently.

Seven previously published fantasy stories by Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood & Nightspell.

These seven stories were all particularly well done and I liked them all except for the last one. The last one was a little haphazard and confused. I especially liked Changelings and Silent Blade.

Changelings was about two fairies in human bodies and their attempt to get back into faerie. Silent Blade was about a girl who was waiting for her assassin brother’s return.

In all the stories the characters seemed to leap off the page in just the short amount of time you got to spend with them. The stories revolved around them and Cypess did a very good job of it.

These were a quick read and were very enjoyable.