INTERVIEW with DV BERKOM

I’d like to thank DV Berkom for being with me today. For all you action junkies, DV keeps you on the edge.

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DV, you once lived on a sailboat in Mexico, did that experience influence your writing in any way? Absolutely. That was the first instance I lived in another country for any real length of time. It gave me the chance to meet and interact with people from all over the world, and it began my lifelong love of Mexico and her amazingly diverse population and landscape. Moving and/or traveling to a new place, especially a foreign country, helps me to become the observer and keeps things fresh and interesting.  You write from the male POV as much as possible. Men and women’s voices are so different, what made you choose this POV? Even though my main protagonists are both strong women, I do enjoy writing from the male point of view in order to shake things up and tell the story in the most interesting way possible. Human beings are fascinating, male or female. What drives them, why they choose one path over another—that’s what gets me going creatively. For the Kate Jones thriller series, I’m unable to switch POV, as it’s in first person, but for the Leine Basso ex-assassin novels, I get to play around and choose whoever has the most to lose in a scene. Leine usually gets the most page time, though. Do you find it difficult to write from that perspective? Not really. I’ve been fortunate to have had several great male friends throughout my life, many of whom were like the brothers I never had. I think because of that kind of familiarity the male point of view comes easily for me (as it does for women who grew up with a brother or three). As you know, writers are observers and I’ve been a keen observer of men since I can remember. I read that you like on the edge of your seat thrillers, where do you go mentally to find that turn for your reader? I’m an unapologetic action-movie junkie and love reading thrillers. If a book or movie takes too long to get to the point, I’m done. Not that the form has to be all action, all the time—that’s exhausting and gets old fast. But I do like tension on the page (and on the screen) and I try hard to deliver the same to readers.  The old adage, “Write what you like to read” makes a lot of sense. As for where do I go mentally, I think being able to write suspense has a lot to do with having an overactive imagination. If it scares me or makes my pulse race, then I work to find a way to convey that on the page. The main thing, though, is to create a character readers can relate to. If you don’t get that right, then it doesn’t matter what you do to the protagonist. The reader won’t care. Do you have anything in common with any of your protagonists? What would it be? I would hope that when the s**t hits the fan that I’m as gutsy at either Kate or Leine. I also have to confess that I’ve been as impulsive and imprudent as Kate. The good news is, as I’ve grown older I try to temper that impulsiveness by being as pragmatic as Leine. It’s still not easy. If Bad Traffick became a movie, what character would you want to play? I would have to play a passerby, since I can’t act my way out of a paper bag. If I knew how to act, it would be Leine Basso. She’s such a badass.  The stunts would be way fun. Have you reached a saturation point as far as your writing, or do you feel you have many miles to go? Many, many miles to go, believe me. I’m still constantly learning and hope that part never stops. That and the stories/characters are what keep me engaged. You are on an island, stuck for who knows how long, you can have one book, one author, and one actor companion along for the ride. What book, and who would the author and actor be? Only one of each? Crap. The book would have to be some sort of island survival guide. For the author, I’d pick someone who is a survivalist or has Special Forces experience, since I have no real practical knowledge other than what I’ve read or written (See? Pragmatic.) The actor would have to be someone with a good sense of humor but calm in a crisis, like I imagine George Clooney or Brad Pitt would be (heh—pragmatism can only take you so far…). Someone interesting to talk to would be key, since we’d all have a lot of time on our hands. What is your favorite quote, or one of them? Anything by Dorothy Parker. Here’s a line from one of her reviews: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” Men are better writers at what? Why? I wouldn’t pigeon-hole writers as good or bad because they’re male or female. That doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t care if they’re male, female or something else entirely. I just want a good book.

Serial Date (Leine Basso Thriller #1): A retired assassin. A serial killer with a social agenda. (Available on Amazon.comBN.comSmashwords.com, iBookstore)
Bad Traffick (Leine Basso Thriller #2): Running out of time, ex-assassin Leine Basso must find twelve-year-old Mara before a ruthless gang of traffickers, or she will be lost forever. (Available on Amazon.com)
The Kate Jones Thriller Series (available on Amazon.comBN.com,Smashwords.com, iBookstore):
Bad Spirits
Dead of Winter
Death Rites
Touring for Death
Cruising for Death

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Interview with Athena Brady

Today I would like to spotlight Athena Brady, a remarkable woman who I am pleased to call friend. If you, as a part of the human race feel compassion for your fellow-man, are struggling with “why” issues, and want to make a difference, visit Athena’s blog. I am sure you will be touched.

Interview with Athena Brady

Hope, Love, Compassion, books, and family. These are some of your tags on your blog. Of course there are more, but these are the ones that struck me the most. Is this your message to your readers?

It is that we are all connected and I am there for them.

 What is the single most important thing you wish to convey to your visitors?

A sense of being welcome and that there are people who care out there about others.

 I know your passion for books began at a young age. Tell me how reading changed or touched your life. Do you think it is important that every child get an early start with literature?

My life as a child was not always happy and books offered me a kind of escapism from the sometimes harsh reality of life. In books I could travel, go on adventures and slip into a different world. Reading gave me so much pleasure and opened up my world so much. I have written from a young age and always wanted to be a writer. I want to give others what books gave me. I wanted to inspire and uplift people and give them hope and I still do. I think one of the greatest gifts you can give a child is the ability to read. The younger children learn to read the better really. Children are like sponges with a huge capacity to learn we should fill them up with good things.

 If I may quote you, “To be an author is to have a great responsibility to your readers, and team mates; your fellow authors. We have the power to change the world, to influence, to inspire, to give the gift of hope.” In your opinion, what should an author never do?

An author should never judge their readers; we can play with judgment in our books. We should not patronize our readers or forget that they put us were we are in the first place.

 You believe in visualization. Please tell us about your spiritual armor.

I have so many visualizations this is a difficult one. Imagine you are living the life you want to live. Every day close your eyes and give gratitude for all you have, no matter what there is always something to be grateful for. I imagine a great white light coming from my heart and radiating to all living things in the universe. If I feel stressed or unsettled this actually clears it for me. Live in the present moment it is the only place you truly exist do not hold on to painful past experiences but let them go and send them light.

 I’d like to congratulate you on your great reviews for “Thoughts on Life.”  What would you like your readers to take away from this experience?
 

Thank you Aron, that’s kind of you and it, was so nice that my readers took the time to write the reviews. I wrote this small book as a quick read to inspire and make people think. After a reader asked me to put them into a book she could keep with her. I hoped it would give them a yardstick to measure life events with.

 I love what you are doing on Saturdays, generously sharing blogs that motivate and touch. As a writer, I know how time-consuming playing in cyberspace can be. Would you like to share how you’ve come to find such inspiring bloggers? Do you think this can catch on? I saw where you are encouraging others to try the same approach; I think it is wonderful. Do you want to explain (better than I) what this concept is and how others can participate?

 I am glad you are enjoying the weekly “Giving Something Back” posts I find them all over the place really, some on “Freshly Pressed” at WordPress others by typing a word into a search engine. Sometimes someone recommends a blog to me and I check it out. I am amazed at all the talent out there. I do think that if a few people were to do this, it would spiral. It is just what it says really giving something back to our fellow writers, musicians, photographers etc. It is like “playing it forward” why; because it is nice to support and encourage each other. People could make their blogs monthly, if they don’t have much time, whatever fits in with them really. I hope people do start to do this as it will make a difference to those people featured. It is a way we can honor our fellow artists for all their hard work.

askdavid page link http://bit.ly/X6MhlX

Athena’s current works:

“Thoughts on Life” was prompted by a reader who asked me to put my blog posts into a book; that she could access whenever she wanted. It is what it says, my thoughts on life, in general. It is primarily a book of hope that concentrates on healing. The book is selling very well but people can download posts here for free if they don’t mind trawling through the website. I don’t want money to be a barrier to these posts.  However, if you can afford it please buy the book as I have to eat now and again. You can find this book here. http://amzn.to/VFYDWl

“Broken” is my first novel it is gritty and raw and hard-hitting. As it explores the subject of child abuse in form of a true story told anonymously. Here is a brief synopsis.

                                               Broken

This is Susan’s true story told anonymously, of her journey from despair to healing. Susan begins to experience a feeling, that leads to childhood memories of sexual abuse in middle age. Memories she has no recollection of, that begin to haunt her in the present. She embarks on a journey of discovery, which challenges everything she thought about her life previously. There are times she thinks her dark night of the soul will destroy her and all her closest relationships. Once she has opened Pandora’s Box, it cannot be closed until she has come full circle. This book is a gripping, tense and sad narrative that you will not be able to put down, until you have finished it. A must read for those who dare to explore the grey and darker areas of life.

On a final note please visit Athena and find out more about “Bloggers for Peace 2013”          http://everydaygurus.com/

Link to Athena’s  synopsis of her forthcoming third novel “Prisoner of Love”

Visit Athena’s Counseling Corner  http://wp.me/P2zG6L-9j

3D Cover for website
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New Review Site

Whenever I come across something that is of value to an author or reader I like to share it. Fortunately I discovered  askDavid.com.

askDavid.com offers product reviews submitted by the community on books, music, gadgets, electronics and the like. David has put considerable thought into a well-rounded site. For instance, I searched for Snow White and the Huntsman and was pleasantly surprised to find a page not only related to the current movie, but filled with other books, music etc. regarding to Snow White.

I am thrilled with my review page and its diversity. Not only do I have my current work posted, but a fresh blurb, reviews, head shot and links to my FB, blog and twitter pages. This isn’t just a URL, but actual shots of each. See for yourself. http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/fantasy/1860

Calling all authors, do yourself a favor visit this site and I’m sure you will want to participate. To this page http://askdavid.com/free-book-promotion