Book Review – Rocket Raccoon Volume 1: A Chasing Tale

Title: Rocket Raccoon Volume 1: A Chasing Tale

Author: Skottie Young

Illustrator: Jake Parker

Format: Hardback

Published: 2015


While we are far removed from Free Comic book day, this is one of the comics that I found myself picking then and I am so glad I snagged it. The comic is discontinued now but it was still a treat to read. To start off from the Guardian’s of the Galaxy franchise, Rocket is by far my favorite character, not because of the movies but because of the comics. For some reason, it entertains me to no end how Rocket goes around with a big huge attitude and calls out “Blam Murdered you!” when in a fight. That and his snark are massive wins for me and I simply adore the character. Thus when there is a comic that is all him, how could I pass it up. Particularly when the cover art for one of the issues is this:

Yes, that is massively entertaining to me. Anyway the comic is a collection of stories all of course pertaining to rocket and his faithful side kick Groot, who is also amazing to me with his three word dialogue of “I am Groot” which of course all mean different things when he says it, based on the responses Rocket gives him.

The story over all is bright and colorful as Rocket deals with the fact that he may not be the only one of him, and deals with all the women he’s wronged in his life as they have teamed up to take him down, then of course the most memorable of all the comics to me is the section where Rocket and Groot are telling stories of their adventures. In the end Groot tells one of the stories and every bit of dialogue is either “Groot” Or “I am Groot”. I know this can be annoying to some people but it amused me the story was all told via inflection and pictures and it was an entertaining story made all the better after you see the reactions of the campers who were being told this story.

Over all I spend a good portion of the book smiling and giggling and I am happy to have it in my personal collection. This book easily ranks in at a 4 out of 5 pages and is something that I would recommend as a great story to read through and one of the best comics I’ve read in a long while.

Book Review – Devoted in Death

Title: Devoted in Death

Author: J.D. Robb

Format: E-book

Year Published: 2015

As I believe I’ve established before, I have a fondness for Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb in her In Death series. Not exactly high literature, sometimes they have awesome plot twists, and they’re always a quick, easy read.

Devoted is the newest offering in the world. Unfortunately, there are several routes that the mystery can take, and this book takes my least favorite form – the one where we learn who the murderer is right off the bat and then it’s just a matter of our stalwart heroes figuring it out and then catching them. I much prefer to be able to try to solve the mystery by the clues presented (which is why my second-favorite mystery style that comes up in this series – the “Eve has a hunch who it is but won’t tell anybody who or why and we don’t get enough details to figure it out ourselves” thing – drives me crazy).

The murderers in this are subtly different enough from Robbs’ other murderers that it didn’t feel like  a rehash of an old plot, and there was less of the Check-list Of Things To Be Included (Mavis is mentioned, Feeney makes a small appearance, but no Trina/Nadine/Eve’s past focus).

The story starts with the murderers’ first kill – by accident, but it sparks something in them. Then they make their way to NYC and onto the radar of Eve Dallas. Their first kill was a young cellist, and I almost prefer the stories where the victim has nobody to care about him, since watching lives be shattered by the news is a gut punch. (Strangely, I get less of this in cop shows – maybe because we usually pick up in the middle of an interview.)

Fortunately, it doesn’t take Dallas long to pick up that this kill isn’t the first, and soon begins to trace the path back to where it started. As the kills cross state-lines, the FBI is involved, but they’re only barely on-screen, mostly preferring to follow their own line of investigation (which is, as usual, proven wrong. This is one of the quibbles I have with Dallas – she’s really good at her job, and rarely, if ever, is she wrong about who the murderer is, and if she’s in disagreement with another agency, she’s ALWAYS right. Let her be wrong, once in a while! Fortunately, she’s really bad at personal relationships, so she’s a bit more of a balanced character than she appears.)

Helped out by a small-town deputy, Dallas and her crew manage to track down the murderers and rescue the two people that they took. Like most of the secondary victims, I was rooting for them and was grateful that they survived (barely, in one case). (Unlike in Thankless in Death, where the secondary victim I wanted to live didn’t and the one I didn’t have strong feelings about did.)

As a side note, the more I read her work, the more I am convinced that Robb has a deep geek side. She sneaks a Pratchett reference into this book (at which I squeaked. Loudly), did an excellent job of showing the geeky world with Fantasy In Death, and when Mal met Kaylee in one of her romance novels I nearly died laughing.

Overall, while not one of my favorites, the more unusual plot and lack of filler puts this a solid 3/5 pages.

Writer Wednesday – Elizabeth Donald

Let’s start with the basics. Who are you?
Tell us (briefly) about you…
…and a bit about what you’ve written…
…and what you’re working on right now.
I’m Elizabeth Donald, and I write stuff. By day I write for a daily newspaper on a variety of topics ranging from education to politics to crime. By night I write about monsters and zombies and things that go chomp in the night. I started writing fiction for publication a few years into my journalism career, though my fiction habit really dates all the way back to childhood. My first novel was published in 2004, and I’ve since written maybe 13 novels and novellas, depending on how you count the ebooks.

Right this moment, I’m working on a short story for an anthology about tragic love in speculative fiction. I’ve recently finished a collection of short stories titled Moonlight Sonata that I hope will see print next year, and waiting in the wings is a space adventure titled Banshee’s Run. I also have a few projects waiting in the editing queue and preparing to take my photography work to the next level. Other than that, I’m not too busy.

What are your earliest book-related memories?
My mother replaced the Berenstain Bears with Nancy Drew when I was a young girl, and Nancy led me into what we would have called “young adult” fiction if that term had existed. I started falling into historical drama and mysteries as a ‘tween, but then Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered and I was a science fiction fan for life.

What are your three favorite books?
You’ve just broken me. My favorite novel is probably IT by Stephen King, whose entire bibliography ranks among my top re-reads in my ridiculous library. Peter David’s Imzadi is one of the best tie-in novels I’ve ever read, and for more recent work, I’m desperately in love with the Newsflesh series by Mira Grant, particularly the first novel, Feed.

How many books to do you read at any given time? What are you reading now?
I used to devour a book a night – up to three nights if it was a real epic, like The Stand or Gone With the Wind. Then I had a child, and I discovered the desperation of sleep deprivation. I usually read one fiction and one nonfiction book simultaneously, since they use different parts of my brain, but then I also read a copious number of blogs, articles and assorted nonsense for work. Currently I’m reading The Day She Died by Bill Garrison, and just finished Book of Shadows by Alexandra Sokoloff. In nonfiction, I have a stack of books on the influenza epidemic of 1918 – research for future misbehavior.

Finish this sentence; when I curl up with a book, I ___
…want to fall through the hole in the paper.

To re-read or not to re-read, that is the question.
I love re-reading. It’s territory I’ve scouted before, but if the writing is strong enough, you can fall through again and be transported to a place you really enjoyed visiting. I have this wild idea to reread Stephen King’s entire bibliography in the order he wrote them, and see what I can learn from the evolution Master of Horror. All I need is an extra three hours in the day.

How likely are you to read a book that’s been recommended to you?
Very likely, if it’s a premise that intrigues me. I have certain authors that are an auto-buy for me, of course: Jonathan Maberry, Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire, Gillian Flynn, Joe Hill, Julia Spencer-Fleming and of course the big names like Stephen King and Harlan Ellison – John Grisham if he’s in familiar territory, the courtroom. All of them have demonstrated the ability to send me through the hole in the paper, and that’s what I’m really after. If someone I trust recommends a book, I’ll give it a try, which is probably why my to-be-read pile is so high.

How likely are you to recommend a book (that isn’t yours)?
I recommend books all the time, and try to keep up with reviews. I used to write a review column for the newspaper, and when it was canceled, I launched it as an independent blog. Unfortunately, time constraints mean I don’t post all that often, but I know the importance of good reviews for a book, and try to do so.

What do you look for in a good book?
Story and dialogue are key; if I’m not interested in the events unfolding or the people are speaking in voices I can’t really hear, I’m bored. Bored means I’m falling asleep, and I don’t get enough sleep anyway. So keep me awake with smart people and crackling dialogue, then give them something interesting to do. I don’t want extensive descriptions of his smoldering eyes and her lovely gown, and for some people that’s the kind of thing they really want. To each his or her own, as in anything this subjective.

Why do you write?
I write because the voices in my head told me to. I write because it’s what I was made to do, how my mind was constructed. I write horror because the things I see in the real world are so much more awful and yet mundane that I’d rather see something fantastic and terrible. It’s cheaper than therapy. But I have been writing ever since I could pick up a pencil, and probably before, making up stories in my head to entertain myself when I’m bored and telling stories to my little sister at night to help her sleep. You might as well ask why I breathe.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
I can’t imagine a circumstance where I wouldn’t write. If I lost my job and my publishing career, I’d write my novels and bury them in a trunk for someone to uncover someday. If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d make up the stories in my head and sing them to the canaries. If I suffered an injury or illness that robbed me of my mind and my ability to create, to form words… well, I think then I’d rather be dead, but that’s rather dramatic, don’t you think?

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Schenectady. There’s an idea service there that sends you a six-pack of ideas every week. That smartass answer is to be attributed to Harlan Ellison, who uses that answer every time he’s asked where his ideas come from. As he says, “Aristotle can’t answer that question.” They come from the ether, from Neverland, from the place between awake and asleep. I believe that just about everyone gets inspiration – those random creative thought-balloons that float through their minds when they’re stuck in traffic. The trick isn’t getting ideas. The trick is grabbing hold of them when they come, winding the ribbons around your hand and letting them carry you off to Neverland. When you learn how to harness ideas and turn them into stories you can share with others, you’ve become a writer.

What has writing taught you about yourself?
That I will never stop learning, and that I cannot ever do just one thing at a time.

How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?
My husband is also a writer; we met first through a mutual friend twelve years ago, and later re-met when he published his first book and began the tour circuit. It is a wonderful blessing to share my life with someone who understands the insanity. My son is wholly unimpressed, since he’s grown up hanging out at book signings and helping to carry boxes of books. I think the rest of my family is waiting for me to set aside these vampires and zombies and write something in the real world!

Are there any stereotypes about writers that you don’t think are true?
No. We’re all poverty-stricken, insecure drunkards. Well, at least it helps… In all seriousness, just about every stereotype has a writer or five who confirm the stereotype. Probably the only real misconception is the one perpetuated by Richard Castle: being a novelist means you’re a gazillionaire. Unless you’re James Patterson or John Grisham, you’ll be lucky to make a living. And when I say “make a living,” well… the last statistic I read said that fewer than 3 percent of authors make $10,000 a year or more on their books. So “poverty-stricken” is pretty much assured, as is the day job and/or the spouse who works for a living and has health insurance. As for insecurity and alcohol… let’s just say I’ve poured drinks for most of the small-press authors in the Midwest and the South.

What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?
Their biggest challenge is internal: impatience. The ability to toss a book out onto the internet the instant you type THE END has given a lot of aspiring writers a fast-forward button, and the temptation to skip all that bothersome editing, submission and working with a publisher is very real. The problem is that most aspiring writers have a lot to learn, and they learn a great deal from that process, including rejection and wrestling with a recalcitrant editor over a comma. Skipping that process is the biggest mistake they can make, and so many of them do. Patience, grasshopper. Good writing eventually finds a home, and at the end of the marathon, it’s going to be a book you’ll be proud to call your own and a launch to a writing career.

Have you made any writing mistakes that seem obvious in retrospect but weren’t at the time?
If I’d known how wildly popular my zombie novella The Cold Ones would be, I wouldn’t have killed off so many characters! I’m famous for offing people in my books – c’mon, I’m a horror writer – but I did get especially bloodthirsty in The Cold Ones, because it was supposed to be a standalone novella. Then it sold out its initial print run in 48 hours, and by the end of the weekend I had a deal for two sequels. But even that I can’t really count as a mistake, because I count Blackfire (the sequel) as one of the finest books I’ve ever written, and I’m really looking forward to completing that trilogy.

Is there a particular project you would love to be involved with?
I’m already up to my eyeballs in work as it is! I’m wrapping a space adventure that’s probably the pulpiest thing I’ve ever done, and just completed another short-story collection that follows up to my first print release, Setting Suns. After that I need to finish the Blackfire series, and then there’s the continuation of the Nocturne series, and there are three other standalone novels standing in line. I don’t need new projects, I need more hours in the day.

How do you deal with your fan base?
Fans are wonderful! I am always grateful and humbled when someone tells me that my work reached them. Stephen King says in On Writing that writing is the closest we’ll ever come to telepathy: I have an image or a character in my head, and I have only this clumsy mechanism of words to share it with you. The better I am at replicating that image in your head, the better writer I have become. So when someone tells me that my work made them cry or throw the book across the room, I’m delighted.

Finish this sentence; my fans would be surprised to know ___ about me.
I’m shy. Yes, really. I was a very shy kid, and I still have that wallflower tendency. I speak in public often and spend a great deal of time in large crowds, cocktail parties, panel discussions, and it takes a tremendous energy to overcome a natural introversion that tells me to go hide in my hotel room. But this is key: it can be overcome. It takes energy and knowing your limits. But if the girl who didn’t speak outside the house for days at a stretch can moderate a panel at Dragoncon… you can do it too. I swear.

Anything else we should know?
I run the author cooperative Literary Underworld, and several of us will be guests at Archon in St. Louis on Oct. 2-4. Guest of honor is Harlan Ellison, whom I have met once before. I hope to repeat my streak of not drooling on his shoes. If you have the means, do stop by the Literary Underworld booth and say hello!

Elizabeth Donald is a dark fiction writer fond of things that go chomp in the night. She is a three-time winner of the Darrell Award for speculative fiction and author of the Nocturne vampire mystery series and Blackfire zombie series, as well as other novels and short stories in the horror, science fiction and fantasy genres. She is the founder of the Literary Underworld author cooperative; an award-winning newspaper reporter and lecturer on journalism ethics; a nature and art photographer; freelance editor and writing coach. She lives with her husband and her son in a haunted house in Illinois. In her spare time, she has no spare time. Her latest release is Nocturne Infernum, a trilogy of vampire mysteries set in a dark alternate Memphis.

Twitter: @edonald

Book Review – Darkness With a Chance of Whimsey

TITLE Darkness With a Chance of Whimsey: Ten Years, Ten Stories
AUTHOR RJ Sullivan
FORMAT Paperback

Darkness with a Chance of Whimsey is a collection of ten pieces of fiction mostly already published in various places. As a collection, there isn’t much that ties this together. I mean, you can argue that he pretty much writes in the same genres, but nothing beyond that. Not saying it’s good or bad, but just saying it’s a thing.
Also, each story has an explanation from the author in front of them. I thought that it would annoy me, but I kinda liked it after all, especially since a lot of the notes talked about when and why he wrote the story. And they didn’t really add anything to the understanding of the story, which was nice; if you have to explain your story, you’re doing it wrong.

So about the stories. I’ll say a little, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you… :

The Assurance Salesman – A group of people on a train meet a mysterious stranger with an even more mysterious blue rose.
According to the note, this was his first published story and I can tell. I think that the premise was interesting, but I think that it had some execution issues. I’d like to see it more refined and as part of a longer piece. Solidly 3/5

Fade – College students Spencer and Anna go to her parents house and get caught up in what her dad does for a living.
First of all, Anna is your typical blonde idiot character, and I hated her from just about the first sentence. The stuff with her dad was cool, though, and I thought that this story really had potential. Still, I feel like the execution didn’t quite make it, so I’ll give this one a 4/5.

Able-Bodied – This one was actually interesting. There was a detective who felt like he was being held back by a whiz-kid detective who showed up, gave an answer, disappeared and that was it. It was a really cool setup, and there was a bit of a turn in the story that wasn’t anywhere my head was going at the time. I thought that it ended a little too abruptly, though, and with an info dump to explain it to another character in the story that made it much too long. 3/5.

I Remember Clearly – This was the author’s first piece of flash, and again, I thought it showed. There’s a really interesting premise here. But the author sort of shoved a couple vignettes together and called them a story. It needed a little something else to make it rounded, and I just didn’t see that something. 2/5.

Do Better – More flash. This one has a couple (young adults, maybe?) locked in an old church after a night of… well, you know.
I think the paragraphs need a little work – almost every one of them flipped points of view – but there was a really cool idea here. I really like this one, and if it weren’t for the paragraph breaks, I’d have given it top marks. 4/5.

Grammetiquette 2030 – The story centers around a piece of tech called the Grammetiquette 2030. As it is flash, I’d pretty much ruin the story if I told you what it did. For the story, the author basically showed us the character’s input and the machine’s output.
Um. Okay? I actually wrote in my notes “What is the point of this?” Again, we have another moment of something that had potential without follow through. I like what was done here, but I wanted this to be the catalyst of something bigger and not the entire thing, you know? Maybe flash just isn’t the author’s thing most of the time? 2/5

Inner Strength & Backstage Pass – Okay, I’m rating these two together because they’re both companion stories to his novel series.
Inner Strength is about a little girl kidnapped by a demon. It’s okay, but I feel like the transitions are a little bumpy and the ending was kind of expected.
Backstage Pass is about a superfan and his favorite singer. … The singer was every stupid cliche you’d expect to hear in a country singer, except I’m pretty sure she wasn’t a country singer. It was just annoying. It was a much better written story, though, so at least there’s that.
Incidentally, and the reason I put these together, I haven’t read the novels that these are supposed to be companions of. And based on these stories, I can tell you that there’s a demon, but I can’t even a little bit tell you how they come together. I would assume that you would get it if you’ve read the novels.
Inner Strength – 3/5. Backstage Pass 4/5.

Starter Kit – Poor little Belljy (no, really) had something go wrong with his creatures in a tank. I… I’m torn on this story. I mean, it sort of reads like a story about those sea monkey things that you sent in the order form from the back of a comic book and $1.50 postage and handling, except the names were changed to protect the innocent. I felt like I wanted to like this story, but I just felt like I was missing something. I’ll give it a 4/5

Robot Vampire – Note: I read this before in Michael West’s Vampires Don’t Sparkle anthology, which I gave a 5/5 review to. But I only know this because the author note says so. I really don’t remember the story.
The title probably doesn’t leave much to the imagination here, but I will say that the demon that they talk about is freaking awesome and leave it at that so I don’t spoil everything. The story deals with a Japanese family and has the feel of Japanese fiction. It’s the newest story of the anthology, and by far the best written. You’re supposed to lay out an anthology/collection with your strongest stories at the beginning and end (which doesn’t affect me because I don’t read these books in order ever), and he definitely ended with his best piece. 5/5.

In all, the collection is pretty short – it’s roughly 170 pages and read very quickly. (I read seven of the ten pieces in about 90 minutes the day I opened the book….) I know I have some pretty mixed feelings about some of the stories, but I guess this falls less into the category of a book you’d have to take seriously and more into the category of stuff you’d read as filler or between heavier novels.
He does have several other titles in print and e-Book, including two that tie into this, and I’ll say that while I wouldn’t seek them out, I also wouldn’t be opposed to giving this author another shot, which is a good thing.

I’m torn between the end rating. I think this book knows its place, and that’s a good thing, but it’s not the best out there by an means. Still, the average rating of the individual stories puts this just about at a 4/5, so I’ll agree with that.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Clover The March Hare Revolution by Quin Rose

Title: Alice in the Country of Clover: The March Hare Revolution

Author: Quin Rose

Illustrator:  Ryo Kazuki

Published: 2012

Translated: 2015


It has been a while but I bring you yet another Alice story.  Since my last binge I think I have covered all Alice books but the latest releases which I am at the mercy of my library to eventually get in at this point.  Of course, knowing that I am a massive March Hare/Eliot fan, I have been chomping at the bit and salivating for this manga.  Then when you toss in the title and the content of past Eliot centric books I was certain that this book was going to be about Eliot’s past and how he broke the rules and shouldn’t be around but Blood rescued him.  (A lot of this is covered in country of Joker and in other Eliot centric stories.) Yet, this story was not what I expected it to be, not to say that it is bad thing.


The first thing that jumped out at me in this story was the fact that there is a lizard and a spider on Eliot’s scarf when it comes to the art work something that has been very subtle in the past if it has always been there.  It threw me off a bit but at the same time not enough to break the story for me to say the least.  What did throw me though was the art work, it was different than what I am used do.  Of course the characters are recognizable as always and of course I expect the art work to be different considering that it wasn’t Mamenosuke Fujimaru’s work as most of the books are.  However, there are artists who manage to come close to drawing similar to Mamenosuke while other’s fall short, such as Job who draws thinks long and lean.  Ryo Kazuki is another artists who does things differently but instead of long and lean Ryo goes more for a soft bubble look.  The hair instead of sharp angles as most manga I’m used to is, has a softer more curved look to it.  It threw me off for the first few pages.  Eventually however I got lost in the story and the art became second nature.  I do know that I did appreciate how clear emotions were on the faces of the characters giving the story added life instead of constantly having sound effects notate emotion, or ambiguous drawings that left me guessing at times (the latter of which Job is occasionally guilty of).


Anyway the story is of the developing romance between Alice and Eliot. There isn’t a lot of action, such as an epic plot to pull Alice away from her love or massively put her life in danger.  The focus of the story as on Alice and Eliot, as they spend time together and Alice realizes that there is more to her and Eliot than just friendship.  The twist and pull of the story that helps give things momentum is the fact that Alice is having dreams of her sister and is wavering on whether to stay or to go back home.  She is also frightened by the kind of dangerous life she would have if she stays with Eliot as he is the second in command of a mafia and they were attacked during one of their outings.  (Honestly I loved that bit as Eliot was so amazingly protective that it made me a little bit giddy.)


In the end the story was sufficiently cute though not overly heavy or dramatic in regards to romance, very light and airy.  Yet it was still rather good and sweet and I found myself giving out a sigh as I closed the book and content that only a very small portion was devoted to a preview of another story rather than a 1/3 of the story being devoted to a preview.  Over all I think I would give this book a 3 out of 5 pages.  While there are several Eliot centric books that are on my ‘wish to  own’ list (read as most – if not all)  this one will not be making the list.

Writer Wednesday – Peter Welmerink


Let’s start with the basics.  Who are you?

Welmerink, Peter.

Tell us (briefly) about you…

Quality Engineer by day. Family man by night. Writer whenever I can squeeze it in.

…and a bit about what you’ve written…

Most Epic Fantasy yarns until recent. BEDLAM UNLEASHED was the last Dark Fantasy piece I had written with Steven Shrewsbury. TRANSPORT is my foray into the Military Thriller/Action-Adventure genre. I have another Action-Thriller, RETURN TO STRANGE HOME also out now.

…and what you’re working on right now.

Writing this post for this blog and keeping my eyeballs moistened because I played MINECRAFT way too late last night.

What are your earliest book-related memories?

Harold and the Purple Crayon. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. So good I bought fresh copies when I had kids.

What are your three favorite books?

Of all-time? Conan the Barbarian (Howard). The Princess of Mars (Burroughs). Elric of Melnibone (Moorcock).

How many books to do you read at any given time?  What are you reading now?

I read sporadically, usually have a few going at one time. Reading now: GANYMEDE by Cherie Priest, and MARKETING WITH TEETH by Michael Knost.

Finish this sentence; when I curl up with a book, I ___

I am usually interrupted by my wife, my kids, the cats, or the siren call of MINECRAFT.

To re-read or not to re-read that is the question.

A favorite book, yes, re-read. A freshly written manuscript of your own, yes, re-read.

How likely are you to read a book that’s been recommended to you?

Very, is the reason why I am reading Cherie Priest’s Steampunk novel series.

How likely are you to recommend a book (that isn’t yours)?

Very likely. I recommended to a fellow writer that he read Chuck Wendig’s THE KICKASS WRITER. I so much so recommended it that I gave him my copy to borrow.

What do you look for in a good book?

Something that garbs me, throws me into the adventure, gets me emotional tied, drags me along behind it and leaves me tired and breathless when finished.

Why do you write?

It’s a disease. It’s therapeutic. It’s my passion. I have stories to tell. Like music, literature is immortal. I hope my work can be found in a dusty, musty old bookstore when I am long gone from this mortal plane.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?

Perhaps a rock-n-roll singer and really learn to play the acoustic guitar that is collecting dust in my bedroom.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Things all around me. Other books. Other writers. Movies. Video games.

What has writing taught you about yourself?

That I can actually do something pretty damn fun and cool (writing) if I set my mind to it.

How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?

My oldest boy thinks its very cool. My younger kids, just go along with it. (They probably think me insane.) My wife: definitely thinks I am insane. My mother: wonders where all my weird writing ideas come from. (I blame my parochial school upbringing. LOL)

Are there any stereotypes about writers that you don’t think are true?

No, most people got us pegged appropriately…afflicted and possessed by the Muse.

What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?

Anyone can publish their stuff, but not everyone realizes that you still need to publish something polished and coherent for anyone else to be even vaguely interested. That means usually an outside editor (non-family or friend-related), re-writing, more editing, pulling your hair out, and polishing the turd until it gleams. (And according to Mythbusters, you can polish a turd.)

Have you made any writing mistakes that seem obvious in retrospect but weren’t at the time?

I tend to write very flowery, purple-prosey and in passive voice. I have learned to change this all by dealing with good editors who, after they red line the piss out of my manuscript, I read their comments and learn.

Is there a particular project you would love to be involved with?

I would like to get back involved writing Erik Bedlam material with author Steven Shrewsbury.

How do you deal with your fan base?

I conversate with them. Care about them outside the book stuff. I want them to be my friends, not just readers of my insane scribblings.

Finish this sentence; my fans would be surprised to know ___ about me.

I like Strawberry Twizzlers, Ancient Age bourbon whiskey and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Not consumed together, mind you.

Anything else we should know?

My website is My TRANSPORT and other action-adventure book forays can be found at: You can find me on Facebook and Twitter. I just got killed by a Creeper in MINECRAFT.


Book Review – Found

TITLE: Found
AUTHOR: Selina Yoon
FORMAT: Board Book

FOUND is the adorably touching story of a bear that finds a lost toy in the woods and searches diligently to find the bunny’s owner.  First, he makes and puts up FOUND flyers all over the woods.  Then he spends a day having adventure after adventure with the bunny while making sure to take good care of it until the owner can be located.

Can I just say that this is the sweetest book I have ever read?

The story is straightforward, the illustrations are bright and interesting, and I loved the stuff put in just for adults.  (Check out the other found/lost posters, for instance…)  This exactly captured the essence of a little kid trying to do the right thing.

Do I even need to tell you?  5/5.  Buy it for every little kid in your life.

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