Grilling of the Corn, Norm Turrell's "Leyton", a Kickstarter and a Takeover, Rick Mull
June 11 is Corn on the Cob day! It's a picnic or just a lazy on-the-deck or porch supper. School's out and kids in the neighborhood are shooting hoops til the wee hours after the elders have retired for the evening. (Don't those kids ever go to bed, it's 12:30 AM) In the afternoon the grill is fired up and corn prepared. I do it semi-Mexican style.
Corn on the Cob Day celebrates events like these, and the gathering of family around the sweetest healthy treat you’ll ever have!
The history of Corn On The Cob Day goes back to a time before European Settlers actually came to America. Corn is a new world plant that has become an important staple in dishes all over the world, and the by-products of it have been used in quite literally millions of different products. In the America’s High Fructose Corn Syrup is found in almost every candy, and certainly, in every carbonated beverage you can imagine.
Corn on the Cob comes in more varieties than you might think! Sure there’s the traditional yellow corn, but every type of corn can be prepared into corn on the cob through various methods of preparation, and each brings its own combination of tastes and flavors. You’ll never want for delicious meals and fantastic flavors if you add a little corn on the cob to it. Corn On The Cob Day is your opportunity to try a dozen flavors and gorge yourself on delicious corn on the cob.
Celebrating Corn On The Cob Day is simple and fun, cook up some corn on the cob and enjoy it with a delicious heap of butter and salt! But that opens the doorway to a whole variety of options all by itself. Wrap your corn on the cob in aluminum foil and let it roast in the coals of your campfire, or boil it on your stove until it’s positively bursting with deliciousness. Add butter for a base, and then dust it with seasonings of your choice. Simple salt can work, or you can use seasoning salt, pepper, or any of a variety of spices that suit your palette.
How I learned to grill corn When I was in college I spent three summers in Mexico. I was there to study the art, the history and the culture in my undergraduate and graduate programs. I loved seeing the teeming streets filled with hucksters and food merchants. Much of what I saw found its way into my own writing of Children of Stone. Marai and the women lived and worked in the neighborhood called "the Poors". They sold candied dates and spices and Ariennu had a side business hawking women's medications. Here's an excerpt:
Marai immersed himself in his new life as a merchant.
He smiled, warmly as the sun, at the multitudes of people passing by his and Etum-Atti's stalls.
After the kings tribute had been paid, he traded for some bundled staves and wove bright uprights to make a three sided booth. Over the top, he lashed more of the leftover travel tent material to make a nice shelter for customers to come inside and sample their wares.
It's so hot and dusty right before the flood, a place to shelter will drive the buyers to us, he thought. Etum Addi had agreed, but warned him others might be jealous of his success and bear tales of him to the collectors. If others in the struggling neighborhood had been jealous of their profit, he set about charming them with his laughter and his songs.
He always glanced up from beneath his bright blue and white headband, shading his kohl-painted eyes with his hand and asked what household or family he was assisting. His speech was always so melodious and poetic, that few could resist stopping by.
As I was putting together this article I realized how much of the mornings in Mexico and my strolls through the streets of Guanajuato had entered my writing. One of the things I learned was how to grill corn Mexican style. I've tamed it into something easier but it's always been a favorite. Once you heat the grill, either gas, wood or coal, you inspect the unshucked ears of corn for insect damage. At this point, in Mexico, the vendor peels back the husk and squeezes lime with melted butter and salt on the raw cob. Then the vendor refastens the husk and ties it with a string for roasting. Then the corn is, frankly, burned and blackened. The vendor peels back the husk and adds butter, then hands it to the customer. My variation is that I just put the corn on the grill and do the seasoning later. YUM. Try it!
Last week I introduced author Norman Turrell. This week he in turn, presents his character Leyton Taymore. Welcome Leyton.
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
Absolutely. Thanks. My name’s Leyton Taymore. I’m very pleased to meet you. What would you like to know?
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born in the united kingdom. Sussex, actually. You wouldn’t know the small village I came from even if I told you it’s name.
3. How would you describe yourself?
Well, that’s quite difficult. I wouldn’t like to be boastful, but I’m a studious sort. Very responsible, I believe.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
We have a mansion near that small village I was telling you about. I think people find it a bit overwhelming, the size of it, but when you grow up in a place, it’s just normal. Isn’t it?
5. How old are you?
I’m twenty now.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
It was okay. I never wanted for anything. The servants and my guardians were all very kind.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
That very personal. I’m sorry, but I really don’t share information like that with—excuse me—strangers.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
I think it’s important to be productive. I really have difficulty with people who are lazy. Don’t make the most of their lives, and then complain about it.
9. What are you obsessed with?
I love my studies. I need to be good with people to do my work on sociological structures. I like people. I think they like me.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
I really hadn’t thought about that. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
11. Biggest fear?
I’m not really an afraid sort of person. Public speaking can be very difficult. I’m a little embarrassed talking to… girls, you know. Oh, and I’m not keen on spiders or snakes. Small spaces can be a bit scary, and big ones. Not scared of much, really.
12. What line will you never cross?
I would never hurt anyone physically. I abhor violence.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
I was very happy when I met Jessica at college. We met in the library. She’s got excellent grades.I was very sad when my father, Patrick, died. I know we weren’t close, but… Sorry. I think I’d like to stop talking about that. Next question please
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Oh, there was that time I got a B grade. I’d stayed up talking about philosophy with a few chaps the night before—well past midnight—and I really wasn’t awake enough for the exam. I was mortified.
15. Biggest secret?
No. Thank you. I think that’s enough of the personal questions. Please move on.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
Clever. I really didn’t want to say genius.
17. What is your current goal?
I’m really looking forward to my trip to Eos—the generational starship—to complete my studies of the crew and the social structure. I’m very lucky to have been invited on board. Very lucky indeed. Such a great opportunity. It should be very interesting.
Here's a brief note for anyone who likes to write - Simply put, I need you! Here are my next 4 blogs. So authors, if you have any further news or if any readers have photos ir short articles about the significance of the Monday lisated, please contact me via messenger.
June 18 NATIONAL GO FISHING DAY Rick Mullins excerpt + Michael Constantine Interview
June 25 NATIONAL CATFISH DAY Mike Constantine’s character Baal + Tallis Steelyard
July 2 NATIONAL ANISETTE DAY Tallis Steelyard’s blog page + Derek Borne
July 9 NATIONAL SUGAR COOKIE DAY Derek Borne‘s Devon & Brett + Ellis Knox
Now I present Rick A. Mullins Interview
What made you want to be a writer?
When I was twelve (I’m 65 now) my older brother, Randal, turned me on to his copy of the Hobbit, then his Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Pellucidar series. By the time I was finished I was hooked and said to myself … “I can do this.” My first story was about genetically altered, talking dolphins (the teacher kept it) and when I’m not reading, I’m writing. I have a stack of tablets full of handwritten stories in a box in my closet but now that computers have improved I’ve got several thumb drives full of started, half finished, and finished manuscripts.
Tell us your book’s genre?
“Tales From The Multiverse: Volume 1” is 7 stories in a mix of sci-fi, paranormal fantasy, parallel world fantasy, combined sci-fi-based-fantasy, steampunk, and cyberpunk.
Tell us about your book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
I publish solely through Amazon in E-books only and the Kindle Unlimited subscription platforms. My most recent book is a compilation of seven previously unpublished stories (1 short, 1 novella, and 5 full novels in order of length) in a mix of the sci-fi and fantasy genres.
I published “Tales From The Multiverse: Volume 1” as a 7bk bundle because I have so many finished stories without covers, some of them four years old, and decided to put them all out at once (with more unpublished work to follow in Volumes 2 & 3).
They are, in order in the bundle,
“Death Duel”, tells the brief story of a duel to the death between two powerful wizards to see which one rules a large city and the wizards and changelings who live there among normal humans.
“Desert Dreams” follows a young man as he sets out on a three-day hike into the desert and stumbles on a crashed alien spaceship escape pod and its single mummified occupant. He recovers an artifact and the next two nights experiences fantastic dreams that tell the story of the ancient alien astronaut and the secret that will change the Earth forever.
“Mustang Joe: Bounty Hunter”, an apocalyptic, steampunk western with Joe riding his steam-powered horse, Brax, and accompanied by his one-eyed wolfhound, Pirate, as they seek revenge for the murder of his family by bandits in a world thrown back to the steam age by the Final World War.
“The Color of Justice: Book 1: Green Justice” is the story of a military veteran hired to travel to a parallel world to retrieve a magical artifact from the wizard who stole it. Learning magic as he travels, the MC deals Justice along the way as he is joined in his quest by other inhabitants of a magical world peopled by humans, Neanderthals, and child-sized, winged aliens.
“Undead Café” is the story of a man who finds himself inside an alien-created, cybernetic world inhabited by the electronically saved memories of those who have died in ‘real’ life. He is tasked by a super-secret cybernetic detective agency to solve his and a friend’s murder and thwart a danger to the ‘lives’ of the undead occupants of the cybernetic world.
“Gene and Me” is the story of a young man who finds a Djinn bottle on his way to Burning Man, befriends the genie, and decides to join ‘Gene’ in his quest to free other genies held captive by a secret society. But first he has to decide whether or not to perform the ‘Djinn Immortality Spell’ which would make him susceptible to the same rules of the Djinn bottle and the possible loss of his free will if his bottle is claimed by another.
The final story, “Troubadour” is about a singing space trucker who has recently lost his adopted father to a senseless death and has to hire crew to help operate his multiverse-traveling cargo ship. With his diverse crew of humans and aliens he soon finds himself involved in intrigue and secrets only his adopted father knew about, including his true parents and secret heritage that could change the way ships travel the multiverse, or get him and his crew enslaved or killed.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
There is almost nothing more important than reading published works in the genres an author wants to write. The knowledge gained by reading other authors is invaluable in crafting your own stories in both developing a story and learning ‘how’ to write. Not all published works are well-crafted and you can also learn what ‘not’ to do by reading stories in your genre that you don’t like for whatever reason. Catching other authors’ mistakes is also easier than catching your own and mental notes made to avoid those glitches in your own work.
How did you come up with this fantastic idea?
Almost all of my stories originated as dreams and those few that didn’t found their way into my dreams almost as soon as I started writing them. I also get through rough spots in my dreams and frequently solve writing problems while asleep.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
I don’t know about other authors, but I imagine myself as every main character in every book I write. In this 7bk bundle I’ve been everything from a wizard, to a hiker finding a treasure, to an apocalyptic bounty hunter, back to a wizard on a parallel world, to an undead electronic memory detective, to a genie, to a singing space trucker (and I can’t carry a tune in a bucket).
Did the Bible or other spiritual works have anything to do with your idea for this novel?
No, but I do weave the social aspects (both good and bad) of both faith and politics into almost everything I write with the MCs holding strict moral standards as much as the plot allows.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
The values of family and friends and holding as close to the ‘Golden Rule’ as possible under life’s circumstances … which, just like ‘real’ life, isn’t always possible for my main characters.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Marketing and advertising because it gets in the way of writing and editing (which I love as much as writing because it helps me make the best story possible).
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I usually have the radio on or if my favorite station is airing sports I play my iPod, but when I’m ‘in the zone’ I couldn’t tell you what song played before the current one.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
From morning to night there’s always a glass of water and a jar of almonds and pistachios at hand … but I have been known to add a little Gentleman Jack to the water later in the day. :^)
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Getting covers. My sister does my covers with ideas and/or artwork from local artists and/or iStock, but she has MS and I write so much that she can’t possibly keep up. That’s why I’m publishing three TFTM volumes with 5 to 7 books in each one because I’m so backed up with finished works and all three will have the same cover theme with slight differences so she can do all three with less work.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
To be honest, I’ve never had that problem. I can write any time and if I have any trouble with the flow of any one book I simply switch to one of the other dozens in my list. Sometimes one book will yammer at me so much I stop working on the current one to go there and see what the yammering was all about … then enjoy losing myself in ‘that’ one till another one demands attention.
How do you market your book?
Up until a couple of months ago, other than posting FB launches and the occasional extra post during holidays, I never did. I just write, edit, publish, repeat, and let the sales do whatever (which shows on my sales graph). A couple of months ago I started posting my newest work more often on FB and doing paid ads on Amazon. I’ve had several offers for interviews from FB friends, but always got sidetracked in writing/editing and lost track of time. To be honest, this interview offer came during my early morning FB drive-by and I went straight to it instead of back to editing TFTM: V-2 or I would have gotten lost in the zone again.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
I had one try to, but that was when I was new to FB a few years ago and didn’t know about it till he mentioned it in a review. It wasn’t pretty … :^(
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
My sister, but since I write so much and most of them are longer, she can only get to the shorter ones. None of my friends read what I write and I’ve never had any dependable beta readers, so she’s the only one and is usually working on my covers instead.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
Since I only do E-books I’ve never had a book signing
What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
I’m retired, single, somewhat introverted, and a little bit obsessive compulsive, so if I’m not writing I’m editing. Other than that, I occasionally ride my bicycle (if it’s not too hot or cold) when I’m not visiting my mother or sister or taking them out to dinner.
Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is.
My favorite color would be lavender, but favorite food is harder to say because there’s not much I don’t like. I got sick on too much watermelon once as a kid so the smell makes me nauseous and hot spices don’t like me so I don’t eat anything more than ‘mild’ spices. Other than that, I love all kinds of food and don’t hesitate to try new things even though I always seem to take half of it home in a to-go box.
Tell us your favorite novel?
Like food, I don’t have a favorite, but I do have several favorite authors. Jim Butcher would top the list followed by so many in second place I couldn’t name them all. For the past couple-three years I’ve focused on Indie authors and there are dozens of great ones, but my TBR list grows faster than I can read them because of my writing/editing OCD and I have no doubt there are more out there I just haven’t found yet.
Now a fun game I’ll ask what your preference. Let your readers know what you love.
A live drama or the opera?
Chips or crackers?
I don’t do much of either, but chips by themselves (with nuts) as a snack and chopped meat/salad with cheese on a cracker for a late snack if I don’t want a larger meal.
Hamburger or chicken sandwich?
Both, but only on whole wheat and with cheese.
Fries or onion rings?
Again, both, but only as long as they’re hot. As soon as they get cold the rest gets thrown out because neither reheats well.
Milk shake or smoothie?
Neither, not a fan, but I do eat the occasional chocolate drumstick dipped in nuts.
Thunderstorms or star gazing??
Both for sure. When I was very young we lived in a small house with a tin roof and I simply ‘love’ a good hard rain thunderstorm with the windows lighting up … but sitting outside where there are no city lights and staring at the night sky is just as great.
Kindle or paperback novels?
Again, both. Nothing beats the feel and smell of a new paperback … except a Kindle at night with the lights out.
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Vanity press. Twenty years ago I tried to go there and when I got the books (there were four) I was appalled at the number of typos, run-on sentences, and other mistakes. I contacted the vanity publisher and asked how I would go about sending them a new digital copy and they said it would be considered a ‘new’ book and would cost the full price (over $700.00 at the time). I considered it an expensive experience, ignore their repeated attempts to sell me more ‘special deals’, and spent the next ten-plus years improving my craft before publishing E-books with Amazon because I can correct mistakes with a simple re-load that cost nothing.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
Definitely read other authors in your chosen genre and don’t be afraid to chop out fluff that has no benefits to the story or repeats what you wrote in the preceding paragraph(s). Also, when you edit, watch out for the same word used more than once in a single sentence. Make a list of useless words (that and had are the two worst for me), then read the sentence aloud with and without them, and if the sentence sounds good without, dump them. Also look for overused words like ‘and’, ‘well’, and ‘so’ at the beginning of a sentence (especially in dialog) and words like ‘as’ or ‘and’ two or more time in the middle of the same sentence. Lastly are those words that slip by the computer’s spelling and grammar checks which include groups like though/through/thought, hoard/horde, either/neither, an/and, and the usual ones like your/you’re and their/there/they’re. When you edit, don’t make the mistake of ‘getting into’ the story because you ‘will’ miss typos. I edit a chapter, do a FB drive-by, then edit another chapter and another drive-by to get my mind ‘out’ of the story.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
My dreaming mind. I could never begin to count the number of times I wake up in the middle of the night to jot down something I couldn’t figure out while in front of the screen. I’ve fixed plot holes, named characters, smoothed out speedbumps, and added whole chapters (sometimes in books other than the one I was working on the day before). I’ve also lost count of the number of new books I’ve started the next morning after a completely new dream … and my list of WIPs grows.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
It’s the sequel to the current one (TFTM:V-1), titled “Tales From The Multiverse: Volume 2” and is currently in the final stages of editing. My sister is almost finished with the cover (with two lines of parallel worlds where V-1 has one line) and it should be launched in early to mid-September.
Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
My website (also created and maintained by my awesome sister) is dreamquestbooks.com and has direct links to each of my E-books.
“Tales From The Multiverse: Volume 1” and several of my other books are currently on sale for only $0.99 as I am going to put them on Amazon Ads through the summer months to (finally) see if I can bump my sales and pages read on Kindle Unlimited.
A review Simone and the Serpent's Sword - by Davina Purnell
What I really liked about this story and the character of Simone is that her personal story was interesting and wasn’t what I would normally expect in a YA fantasy tale. Simone is an orphan who has lived with various foster parents. She’s also a young single mother and she’s working on finishing up High School. She’s also an avid role-player. One night, she wakes in a mystical world right out of role-playing with baby Joel in tow and she’s trapped in a runaway carriage that isn’t a dream at all.
The story picks up a page-turning pace as she finds she must complete a mission in this mystical world, which she discovers is her true home. She finds drama, conflict, adventure and romance, all while giving baby Joel her best. It’s a quick an inspiring read, great for people who love fantasy but like it not too disconnected from modern life.
August 27 -September 3 are the two dates I've assigned Carmilla Voiez for her interview and characters, but she's got news RIGHT NOW - A Kickstarter! Take it away Camilla! What are the graphic novels about?
What would you do for the one you love?
Satori would travel worlds and battle demons, but however much Star begs he just can’t let her go.
The first and second books in Carmilla Voiez’s acclaimed Starblood trilogy are being brought to life as a graphic novels with art by Anna Prashkovich.
Diversity and representation might be current buzzwords, but they are also important. Starblood and Psychonaut, two graphic novels from the Starblood Trilogy are both written by an illustrated by women. It’s a story that has strong women at its heart, with themes of sexuality – including bisexuality, and self-identity. The antagonist is a woman who rages at the world and the protagonists are searching for their places in that world.
What’s in it for backers?
Backers can choose from a variety of rewards from digital wallpaper and paperback graphic novels to having their image in our next book. There are 21 reward packages to choose from.
If you want more information, check out my latest blog post for everything you need to know about Starblood and Psychonaut graphic novels. You could win a signed poster (see post for details). You can support Anna, me and our project by pledging as little as £1. There are dozens of amazing rewards for backers. Show your love by being one of our early backers and by sharing the news.
About the Starblood project - http://carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/starblood-landing-page
Going for it?
A direct link to the Kickstarter page - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/782671721/horror-and-dark-fantasy-graphic-novels-starblood-p?ref=card
Just for fun -
Find out which Starblood character you are by answering 9 questions - https://www.playbuzz.com/carmillav10/find-out-which-starblood-character-you-are And remember to stay tuned for the full length interviews starting August 27
There are two takeovers this week.
First: Samantha Marie's monthly Character takeover June 11- 15 9:00 AM to midnight each day (TONS or authors and their characters)- at this site: https://www.facebook.com/events/175700596423900/ I'll be there on Wednesday June 13 at 3:00 PM with... 2 of mine!
Some come on out and support some authors with me.
And so another week to bed... remember those reviews!