A Labor of Love, Eric Johanssen's Ji-Min, Carmilla Voiez, My own Promo for Heart of the Lotus an
Labor Day So long summer of 2018.
You sizzled us, you soaked us, you satiated us. And like every other summer season, your sprint to Monday – Labor Day – seemed a blur.
For many, Labor Day is all about capturing that last blast at the beach, backyard barbecues, school retail bonanzas and the grudging realization that sun-soaked play days are no more. But the day has a deeper meaning and marks a pivotal moment in U.S. labor history — and it had a pretty violent start.
In the late 1800s, the state of labor was grim as U.S. workers toiled under bleak conditions: 12 or more hour workdays; hazardous work environments; meager pay. Children, some as young as 5, were often fixtures at plants and factories.
The dismal livelihoods fueled the formation of the country’s first labor unions, which began to organize strikes and protests and pushed employers for better hours and pay. Many of the rallies turned violent.
On Sept. 5, 1882 — a Tuesday — 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in a parade from City Hall to Union Square in New York City as a tribute to American workers. Organized by New York’s Central Labor Union, It was the country’s first unofficial Labor Day parade. Three years later, some city ordinances marked the first government recognition, and legislation soon followed in a number of states.
Then came May 11, 1894, and a strike that shook an Illinois town founded by George Pullman, an engineer and industrialist who created the railroad sleeping car. The community, located on the Southside of Chicago, was designed as a “company town” in which most of the factory workers who built Pullman cars lived.
When wage cuts hit, 4,000 workers staged a strike that pitted the American Railway Union vs. the Pullman Company and the federal government. The strike and boycott against trains triggered a nationwide transportation nightmare for freight and passenger traffic.
At its peak, the strike involved about 250,000 workers in more than 25 states. Riots broke out in many cities; President Grover Cleveland called in Army troops to break the strikers; more than a dozen people were killed in the unrest.
After the turbulence, Congress, at the urging of Cleveland in an overture to the labor movement, passed an act on June 28, 1894, making the first Monday in September “Labor Day.” It was now a legal holiday.
In the coming decades, the day took root in American culture as the "unofficial end of summer" and is marked by parades, picnics and family/friend time. Post offices, banks, courts, federal and state offices are shuttered.
Some herald the new beginnings that dot the post-Labor Day months – the NFL in full swing, election season in high gear, the first frost, fall's colors.
But for those mourning another summer that slipped from sight, start the countdown clock: Memorial Day is 267 days away.
So after countless revisions and re-toolings, after an exhaustive editing,
Children of Stone - Book 4 Heart of the Lotus
Your print copy is available on Amazon NOW and the e-book goes live September 9th. YOU MAY PRE ORDER UNTIL THEN! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GD818VZ/ref=pe_1884320_351216250_pe_re_csr_ea_title
I'm having a KDP Countdown on the three ebooks leading up to Book 4,
Here are the dates and prices: September 5 Book 1 Voices in Crystal $.99 September 6 Book 1 Voices in Crystal $1.99
September 7 Book 1 Voices in Crystal $2.99 regular price Book 2 Going forth by Day $.99 September 8 Book 2 Going forth by Day $1.99
September 9 Book 2 Going forth by Day $2.99 regular price Book 3 Opener of the Sky $.99 Book 4 Heart of the Lotus Pre-Order ends and the ebook goes live September 10 Book 3 Opener of the Sky $1.99 September 11 Book 3 Opener of the Sky $2.99 regular price
Link for everything is here:https://www.amazon.com/Mary-R.-Woldering/e/B00OND7QMU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Last Week I interviewed Eric Johanssen. This week Ji-Min steps forward. She's a titular character from Ji-min: A TGWM Origin Story.
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
I’m... I’m Ji-min. That’s all.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born in a small village a few hours from Pyongyang. That’s in Korea. Not the southern part occupied by imperialist Americans, the real Korea. At least, that’s what I was told since before I could walk. Are the Americans really evil, like Dear Leader says? I have my doubts.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I’m an average village girl. Not special in any way. Well, except for one thing... you’ll have to read my story to find that out.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
My parents and I grew up in a one-room shack on a potato farming commune. You know, an ordinary childhood.
5. How old are you?
Twelve, I think. Some of those winters blend together in my mind.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
I grew up in Dear Leader’s Korea. What do you think?
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
Appa was wonderful. He looked out for me all the time. When soldiers took him from me, my world collapsed.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Compassion. If there is no compassion in the world, how can life be worth living?
9. What are you obsessed with?
Surviving the night.
10. How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
Every one of us is valuable. I share what little I have, even if that leaves my stomach empty and my bones cold.
11. Biggest fear?
I fear for my friend’s lives, every day.
12. What line will you never cross?
I’ll never kill. Unless I find that officer who had my father taken away. If I ever come across his path... I don’t know what I’ll do then.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
The best? As I lay dying in the snow, an angel came to me. The worst? I lay dying in the snow.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
There is no embarrassment, only survival.
15. Biggest secret?
I understand more than you think I do. Far, far more than you think I do. If I survive to adulthood, I’ll have real power to change the world. At least, that’s what the angel told me. I believe her.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
Survive the night.
And now Carmilla Voiez
What made you want to be a writer?
I have always loved books. When I was growing up I spent more time reading stories than playing with friends. I felt I had my own stories to tell, different from the ones I’d read. I think that’s really what
drove me to start writing. When I had my second daughter, I felt as though I was losing myself to motherhood. To try and do something just for me I started a Creative Writing degree course with the Open University, and that’s really where it started.
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.
I’m writing two new novels, but I don’t have a release date for them yet. I’m still working on the first drafts. One is speculative fiction (dystopian) and the other is magical realism. My next release will be in September and is a graphic novel (comic) which is called Psychonaut, the graphic novel. It’s a dark fantasy and the sequel to Starblood the graphic novel, which is already available.
Both stories are
available in prose form in The Starblood Trilogy. The third story will also be reimagined as a graphic
novel, but my artist hasn’t started work on that one yet.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
As important as it is to eat food if you want to be a chef. And let’s be honest, reading and eating are fun.
Do you remember the first book you read?
It was probably a picture book. I was an early reader though and I remember being very into ghost stories. There was a book about a ghost in a blue dress that enchanted me when I was a child.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished Madeline Miller’s “Circe”; it’s gorgeous, and I’m currently reading Patricia Mattern’s “Vampire Orphanage”.
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
For Starblood I was writing about a group of Goths and I named all 3 books in the trilogy after Goth tunes – Starblood, by Cranes; Psychonaut, by Fields of the Nephilim; Black Sun, by Dead Can Dance.
The ideas for books tend to come from big questions I’m struggling with, for The Starblood Trilogy this was losing oneself in a romantic relationship and in motherhood. For the magical realism book I’m writing now, the working title of which is “The Secret Lives of Melissa Powell”, it’s about what it means to be free. But the question I’m wrestling with is only the start. It’s the characters who make a book and drive the story. While the abstract thought might be the initial spark, it’s the characters who are the living flames.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
Star. She has a fragile sense of self and allows herself to be defined by those around her. She has this inherent need to be liked and becomes confused when too many external forces push and pull in opposite directions around her. She has to discover who she really is as a separate individual before she can act accordingly.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In the Starblood trilogy, it’s very much fantasy. It’s the same with most of my stories. There are human truths at the centre (British English, sorry) of each, but many of the things that happen are strange and unexpected.
All my characters have bits of me in them somewhere and no doubt some of them have aspects of people I know or who I’ve met.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No. I find walks in the woods or by the sea (I am lucky enough to live in a town with both) are great for my creative juices, but I do most of my traveling in my own head.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I normally work in silence, but sometimes the right soundtrack can really help. For Starblood it was Goth music and for a short story I wrote for an anthology due out later this year “Zombie Punks Fuck Off” it was revolutionary punk music.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
Coffee and my e-cig. If only one it’s my e-cig. I’m an addict I’m afraid.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Promotion. I’m an introvert at heart –thus the books for friends part growing up –and promotion means I need to pretend to be extroverted.
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.
I wrote Black Sun while my marriage was falling apart. Publication wise: the rejection letters cut deep, and you can expect to get a lot before your book gets picked up. It doesn’t just happen the first time either. It’s the same with every new piece you write.
My novels were published by Stone Circle and Vamptasy before I self published them again recently. When these new novels are finished I’ll start on the whole submission treadmill again. Every time you send a short story to a magazine or an anthology it’s the same torment. But the writing part is fun.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
I have some lovely author friends including Patricia Mattern and Faith Marlow who have been incredibly encouraging.
How do you market your book?
My partner writes music so I tend to release promo videos. They’re lots of fun. I also attend signing events and horror conventions. I have two later this year –one in Bristol and one in Glasgow.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
Yes. I’ve had people telling me that my stories (particularly “The Ballerina and the Revolutionary” and
“Impatient For Death”) really spoke to them and helped them heal after their own trauma and struggles. It helps not to feel you’re the only one who is going through something painful, I think. So that was wonderful to hear. I’ve been called poetic, and my stories have been compared to Greek Mythology. I have had criticisms too. One person said I was an evil feminist whose male characters are like dogs. I disagree, I think I’m a good feminist and my male characters are pretty realistic. But I’m happy to admit that I write with a female audience in mind. That said, some of my biggest and most supportive fans are men.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
I have a beta reading team and an editor.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
My first one was for the release of Psychonaut. I hired a small nightclub and we had a spooky magician and a burlesque act. I have a lot of creative friends and a few of them sold jewellery at the event and adult toys. It was amazing. We got about a hundred people in. Everyone wanted to hug and congratulate me. There was only one downside, the paperback books that were printed in the US arrived too late for the damned event.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
There is beauty in diversity.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Could I have a young Vivienne Leigh as Star and a young Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Satori?
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
There are quite a few. Maya Angelou has to be one of them. Not only was she an incredibly talented writer, she was powerful and huge-hearted. Her autobiographical books are amazing.
Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, listening to Goth and punk music, seeing live bands, watching Legion and Preacher on TV, horror films, walking in the woods, cuddling my cats.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Legion, Preacher, Ash vs Evil Dead, Dead Pool, Amelie, Pan’s Labyrinth, Short Bus.
I love tofu stir fry –I make a great one. Chili, curry, roasted vegetables, cashew nuts, strawberries.
What’s your sign, lucky number.
I’m on the cusp between Taurus and Gemini, and I honestly don’t have a lucky number.
What’s your favorite color.
To wear –black. Other than that I love green, red, blue and purple.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
Magical chanting, pagan music, flutes and fiddles.
Do you have hobbies other than writing?
I listed my hobbies earlier, but I don’t see writing as a hobby, more a way of life.
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Can I still read?
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Rereading Hermetech by Storm Constantine and Imajiica by Clive Barker, while drinking tequila, punctuated by amazing sex.
What do you want written on your head stone?
About bloody time!
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
I’m not sure. It’s been edited a lot. It needed to be edited a lot. I’m pretty proud of it though.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
Write frequently and write about what you love (or hate). Be passionate.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
My editor, Vanessa Knipe. She’s amazing.
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
The Starblood Trilogy –http://smarturl.it/TheStarbloodTrilogy
Starblood the graphic novel –http://smarturl.it/sgnebook also available at Comixology (paperback due out in August
The Ballerina and the Revolutionary
Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales
The Erotic Tales of Carmilla Voiez
Social media links and websites?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DRLH249/ref=pe_2430270_353664720_pe_re_csr_ea_imageAre We Nuts? Kindle Edition
by Gisela Hausmann (Author), Divya Lavanya (Editor) July 2018
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GDXJ7K6/ref=pe_1884330_353613110_pe_re_csr_ea_title Reed James Incubus Hot Passion 8-10-18
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GHBB6FP/ref=pe_1884330_355792050_pe_re_csr_ea_title James W. Nelson New World Order Rising Book 6: The 2nd Amendment alive and well ...in the 5-state coalition of Free America 8-14-18
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1718162707/ref=pe_1884330_351759220_pe_re_csr_ea_imageJack's Dits: Tall tales from the mess Paperback – August 15, 2018
Stay Tuned September 10 National Swap Ideas Day Carmilla’s characters pics
+ Merri Halma Interview
September 17 National Apple Dumpling Day Merri Halma character
+ A H. Johnstone Interview.
September 24 National Punctuation Day
A H. Johnstone character
+ D. C. Fergerson Interview
October 1 National Homemade Cookies Day
D. C. Fergerson character
+ Geoffrey Porter Interview