Posted in "3 author desk"

Author Desk Presents Tobias Wade

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: Tell us something about yourself.
Tobias Wade: Former neuroscience researcher, born again horror writer. During my studies, it struck me as odd that I could learn so much about why humans behave without understanding the intricacies of human nature. It occurred to me I learned more about the depths of human experience from reading Dostoyevsky than I ever had from my text books, and I was inspired to write. After several years of selling scripts in Los Angeles, I have turned my focus toward my own publications. Full time novelist, script writer, and horror blogger.

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: Where can we get you on social media?
Tobias Wade: Facebook l Twitter l Horror Blog l Mailing List. I’m continuing to add 3 new horror stories every week to the horror blog. I’ll share them on my facebook, but following the mailing list newsletter is the best way to automatically receive them as well as get free promotional copies of my latest books.

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: How can we buy your book?
Tobias Wade: Buy it here (https://www.amazon.com/dp/b072wgrgdf). I’m currently enrolled in KDP, so the book is exclusive to Amazon. It’s available as an eBook or paperback, with an narrated audiobook in production.

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: Background story of the book?
Tobias Wade: On a dark and stormy night I was bored and surfing reddit. What else are you supposed to do on dark and stormy nights, go look at haunted houses? We all know how that ends.

/nosleep on reddit is the worlds largest community devoted to horror stories at over 11.5 million subscribers. I started out writing stories there for fun, but I received such an incredible reception that I decided to turn my stories into a horror blog and share them regularly. After winning /nosleep story of the month in May (for this story), I decided that my collection was becoming legitimate enough to publish.

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: Another one coming up?
Tobias Wade: 51 Sleepless Nights is currently ranked #3 in the horror collections category behind only Clive Barker and Lovecraft, so I plan to continue releasing collections as I continue to amass stories. Before that I will be releasing the fantasy trilogy The Last Man which follows a girl traveling through seven surreal worlds, each representing an aspect of enlightenment. The final book should be available within the month, although Books 1,2 are currently free for my Mailing List subscribers.

TobiasWade.Com
New FREE horror stories every Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
http://www.facebook.com/sirtobiaswade
Group of like-minded horror enthusiasts. Join us for author updates, contests, public appearances, and more.
http://www.pinterest.com/ahauntedmind
Author shares his latest work, writing tips, and the inspiration for his stories.

Buy the book:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/b072wgrgdf

Posted in "3 author desk"

Author Desk Presents Stephen Page

A Ranch Bordering the Salty River Book Synthesis
For more information visit https://smpages.wordpress.com

The book is the story (in verse and poetic prose) of Jonathan, a rancher who learns how to run a ranch in an environmentally conscious manner. He also learns how treat the animals humanely, and the employees justly. He ensures that a generous portion of land is kept feral as a wildlife refuge and a haven for local flora. As the years pass, he is daily battling cattle rustlers, horse thieves, contact hustlers, and to keep his family’s ranch eco-friendly. The drama unfolds until . . .

The book will mostly speak for itself as you read the intro, epigrams, and poems. Basically it is the story of a rancher who loves his wife and nature, and has learned to ranch the ecological way, with the cows, humans, and woods-birds-flowers-nature coexisting. He has problems first with the employees, who are cattle rustlers, horse thieves, liars, and malingerers. As he learns to deal with these problems and complete his dream of having a one-with-all ranch for him and his wife and the world, he is blind-sided by the state-bullying-economical pressure to change his eco-ranch into a pesticide-poisoning soy bean farm. He wants to return to the eco-ranch-woods, but . . .

Bio
Stephen Page is from Detroit, Michigan. He is the author of The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, and A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. He holds a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from Bennington College. His critical essays have appeared regularly in the Buenos Aires Herald, Gently Read Literature, and Fox Chase Review. He is the recipient of The Jess Cloud Memorial Prize, a Writer-in-Residence from the Montana Artists Refuge, a Full Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, an Imagination Grant from Cleveland State University, and an Arvon Foundation Ltd. Grant. He currently lives in Argentina where he teaches World literature.

Interviews
Kev’s Author Interviews Presents: Stephen Page Author of A Ranch Bordering the Salty River
https://kcbooksandmusic.wordpress.com

Kev: Tell us a bit about yourself, Stephen.
Steve: Hello, Readers. How are you? I am fantastic. My name is Stephen Page, but you may call me Steve. I was born in Detroit into a family with Irish, English, Shawnee, and Apache lineage. I am the author of The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, and A Ranch Bordering the Salty River (by Finishing Line Press). I graduated with two AA’s from Palomar college, a BA from Columbia University, and an MFA From Bennington College. I currently live in Argentina and am married to a bewitching Argentine woman. I love traveling, adventuring, reading, Netflix-bingeing, spending time with my family, and occasionally throwing my cell phone off a high bridge.

Kev: What’s your latest book called and how did you come up with the title?
Steve: The title of the book is A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. I derived the name from the fictional location of a ranch/farm which happens to have a salty river along one of its borders.
The Salty River works as a metaphor for the briny relationship the main character, Jonathan, has with his employees and business partners.

Kev: Which Genre do you have it listed under and does it cross any other genres?
Steve: It is a collection of poems, a novel in verse, a work of fiction . . . so yes, it does cross genres . . . or maybe it can best be called a genre-rich book . . . a bundle of genres . . . a bound genrae.

Kev: Tell us a little bit more about it.
Steve: This book tells the story of Jonathan, a rancher who learns how to run a ranch in an environmentally conscious manner. He learns how treat the animals humanely and the employees justly. He ensures that a generous portion of land is kept feral as a wildlife refuge and a haven for local flora. He daily battles cattle rustlers, horse thieves, contract hustlers, saboteurs, and violent people . . . until . . . well, so I won’t spoiler-alert, you will have to read the book to see how the story plays out.

Kev: Introduce us to your main character
Steve: I picture Jonathan as an intellectually rugged man. He wakes early to sip coffee while watching the sun rise over fields of clover and listen to the morning birds sing. He puts on his rancher clothes and steps out of his house and steps up into his white pickup or hops on his roan horse to perform a recorrido (tour of the ranch), where he checks on the state of the livestock, makes certain security gates are locked and closed, supervises the employees on their daily routines, mandates orders of the day, ensures that his business partners who plant seeds and harvest on his land are rotating the crops properly—and most especially do not spray herbicides/pesticides that are on “the worst environmentally hazardous product lists.” He often works in the corral with the gauchos (South American cowboys). Sometimes, or whenever he can, which is never as often as he likes, he slips away and sits in the woods and sips mate (a loose-leaf tea drunk from a gourd through a metal straw) and just relishes the beauty of living on a piece of land that is rich with nature. Jonathan is an ethical person who believes in fair-play and wants to do good things in the world. He is honest but naïve in the world of business and business people—that is where the tension arises in the poems/story.

Kev: Provide a teaser/short passage from your book.
Steve: Here is the first poem of the collection, which introduces the voice of the main character, and provides the setting:

The Drought
In a field northeast of Wood
the soy is stunted,
the pods hang brown and brittle
the leaves twirl dunly.
The bees!
I never knew there could be so many!
How angry they sound in the afternoon:
hundreds of white wood hives
pueblo the edge
of Wood.
I could not reach Wood,
the bramble and burrs
were too thick
boundaring the tree line
incompatible
with my bare legs.
My ranch house sits kilometers
away, my 4 by 4 is parked
on the road behind me.
I want to enter the Myth
of Wood, the legend of its shade
to lick the dew off leaves.
The thistle has bloomed to seed.

Steve: And here are the epigrams, which help set up the story:
“I is someone else.”— Arthur Rimbaud. “The known interprets the obscure, the universe is alive with myth.” – Ernest Fenolloso. “It behooves man now not to separate himself too jauntily from any of nature’s creatures.” – Charles Olson. “The World has a soul.” – Allen Ginsberg. And “Out of our quarrel with others we make rhetoric. Out of our quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” – William Butler Yeats

***
Kev: When you wrote this work, did you write off-the-cuff or use some kind of formula like an outline?
Steve: I just started writing poems regularly out on a piece of land on the Pampas (the Argentine grain belt/plains). I often sat in the early morning hours by or in a wooded area and wrote about nature and the synthesis of human beings with the rest of the natural world. Then, after I started working on the land, I thought of an imaginary account of a rancher/farmer trying to use the land profitably yet environmentally friendly, and those topics cropped up in my poems. Eventually, I found a line threading through the poems I had been writing for over a year, and a common thesis was revealed to me with a drama playing out. So, there was no outline. Not at first anyways. The only formula I remember was that the work began poem by poem, headed in no particular direction, but then aligned arbitrarily, and consciously marched off to a satisfying conclusion.

Kev: Did you research for the backdrop of your story or any other part of it?
Steve: In order to validate to the poems and story, I did research, especially after the poems began to form a united work. I googled, read online, and bought hundreds of books about ranching, farming, managing employees, taking care of livestock, names of local fauna and flora.

Kev: What challenges did this particular work pose for you?
Steve: Time, mostly. Long hours of writing and editing after long days of running a ranch/farm. Then there was the learning how to smile when dealing with dishonest people.

Kev: What methods are you using to promote this work?
Steve: I am a writer and a reader. Usually humble, in fact I am the most humble person I know. Seriously, I am not by nature a bragger, a grandstander, or a show-off. So, promoting is something I never did before or even tried to do. I am still new at it (even after months of execution) and still learning. The people at Finishing Line Press provided me with some reading material to learn how to promote. Promoting apparently is the “now” way for writers to publish and sell books. Whereas, in the past, publishing houses did most of the promoting and selling and distributing, now most publishing houses want the writer to do the legwork and phone calling. There are lots of ways to go about promoting. In my case, I just e-mailed bookstores, alma-matters, libraries, family, and friends. I set up a book tour. I also opened Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to post notices about the progress of the book’s publication, its release, the book tour, blurbs and reviews. So, readers, if you read something on-line from a writer that rings like shame-faced self-promotion, it’s just a necessary survival tactic, an evolutionary result.

Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Steve: Just keep at it. Never give up. Always think of yourself as a writer (even if other people do not). Spend as much time submitting for publication and promoting your work as you do writing.

***
Links to and about “A Ranch Bordering the Salty River,” by Stephen Page:
https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/a-ranch-bordering-the-salty-river-by-stephen-page-2/
https://www.amazon.com/Ranch-Bordering-Salty-River/dp/1635340357
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/powerofperceptionradio/2016/12/09/power-of-perception-writers-stephen-page
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32171420-a-ranch-bordering-the-salty-river
https://www.facebook.com/AranchBorderingTheSaltyRiver/
https://alumni.columbia.edu/node/989741
https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/a-ranch-bordering-the-salty-river/
https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/reader-picks-for-the-holidays/
http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/bennington-college-alumnus-publishes-third-book,115448
https://www.timeout.com/detroit/things-to-do/author-signing-stephen-page
http://applause.blogs.ocala.com/18216/author-publishes-new-book/
http://thebookshelfcafe.news/author/stephen-page/

About Kev
Kev is an Author & Songwriter. After years of studying, and even more years working in education, and management in the US, he returned to his hometown in England where he finally settled down to focus on his writing and music. Links to his works can be found in the widget bar, and more information about them can be found on his pages above. He would greatly appreciate it if you would check them out. Kev has a M.Ed in Secondary Education with English as his main subject area. He also did post-graduate studies in Christian Counselling and Psychopathology after obtaining a BA in Psychology with a minor in Classical Greek.

Posted in thursday fun n frolics

Thursday Fun n Frolics 9.3.17 is for Troy David Loy of Agnishatdal

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: Tell us something about yourself!
Troy Loy: Thank you for the invitation to this interview, Sharmishtha. This is a great honor, and it’s not very often I get a chance to open up like this. I’m an American student, and a big fan of lifelong learning. It’s how I keep myself active, constantly trying to expand my horizons and not wasting time and opportunity by fooling myself into thinking I’ll ever complete it. I’m currently a resident of the state of Virginia where I live with my family, my parents and my cats; my boy Eccleston and his fluffy playmate Ricky. My ultimate interest is a lifetime quest to acquire ever more true knowledge claims to accept over false ones, not even considering my ignorance but correcting that as well. But to me it is neither the conclusions nor my beliefs that matter, so much as path by which one reaches them. As long as the process is valid, the content of the outcome will follow from that process. And that outcome is always provisional, always subject to updating with newer and better information. To this end, I’m a huge science nerd, and this influences my choice of hobbies, including making fractals, which are rooted in a lot of interesting maths and computer science often reflected in patterns found in nature.

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: Do you blog?
Troy Loy: I currently blog at http://troythulu.blogspot.com.

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: a bit about your kittie roomies? they always hog your blog’s limelight!
Troy Loy: My cats take up much of my time not spent on other things, but they’re like little kids with fur and claws, full of energy and mischief. My boy Eccleston was initially found as a baby, mewing his head off next to a bin across the street from our house, starving and frightened, apparently having gotten away from the protection of his ma. We brought him indoors, and within two weeks of caring for him decided to keep him. We had two other cats living with us, Old Gumbyman, a survivor of hurricane Katrina found in a kennel in New Orleans whom we adopted and cared for well into his old age, and our late female, Misty, whose death from cancer was a big blow. Eccleston is sort of a mongrel tuxedo cat named after the actor Christopher Eccleston, who played the Ninth Doctor in the 2005 season of Doctor Who. We call him Mr. Eccles for short, and given his tendency to leap up to my room’s display case, the insane bionic ninja cat. He even has his own Twitter account at @Mister_Eccles, though I’ve seldom used it. Our large male, Ricky, is a Maine Coon, and about Eccleston’s age, but as timid as he is big, mostly hiding out in places like my bedroom storage closet, but sometimes coming out to feed, play with Eccles, and get brushed. He is very insistent on brushing! We have a female who formerly ran with a pack of strays, named Gorgeous, who will only stay in my ma’s room, refusing to venture out of it. She’s affectionate, but shy, and not very active. We sometimes give her playdates with Eccles that she doesn’t mind much until he starts acting out.

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: We want to know the secrets of your fractals- your divine fractals.
Troy Loy: My fractals, what to say? I first started making them in 2010 when I sought ways to create copyright-free art for my old blog at http://kestalusrealm.wordpress.com, and fractals were a perfect fit as I’d already developed an interest from the art of others. On my old blog, there are early posts using fractals from other sources, either images released into the public domain or those whose creators licensed them for free use. But once I started with my first app, the old Fractal Domains, I began experimenting with what I could do, and most of my early pieces were explorations of exactly what could be done. Many of those were quite awful, and never got published. Once I got the hang of things, I tried out other apps as well, like a program called Mandelbulber, which sadly won’t work on my current system, so I now use Mandelbulb 3D, Ultra Fractal, XaoS, and a handful of other programs to create images. I like fractals because I’m a big math nerd as well, though I’m still learning the formulas and ways to modify them for newer images. Fractals intrigue me because they use very simple math and yet have the same complexity at all scales; no matter how much you magnify a fractal, it always shows the same level of detail, though the structure you see at a given magnification may radically change, depending on the math you use and the region of the fractal you magnify. They show nicely the beauty and structure of math, and suggest ways of using it as a tool for understanding the complexity of the world, making connections in new ways.

Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: What is the name of your first book? Tell us a little about it. From where can we get it?
Troy Loy: The first book I’d published, Dirge, with others soon to be if not finished by now, is a speculative fiction short story about my protagonist; the Mirus, and some of my most dangerous villains who oddly enough don’t do evil out of mere spite or malice. They have the best of intentions toward their victims. Its how they express those intentions makes them dangerous. I had a blast writing it.

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: You are a big lover of India, you as far as I know are learning Tamil and Bengali, ahem, my mother tongue! What is the mystery behind this love?
Troy Loy: On India: I find India, the entire subcontinent, endlessly fascinating. I’ve taken on the task of learning in the time I have all I can of it; its peoples, cultures, accomplishments, history, geography, current events, and so on. As a math nerd, there’s much to love, especially given that the base-10 number system, and the concept of zero used in modern mathematics, where invented there. The diversity of ethnicities and cultures of India is mind-boggling to me, and I’ve taken up the study of three of its major languages; Bengali, Tamil, and Hindi, and the cultures of those who speak them. I find beauty in the architecture of the region, in the people, their art, styles of dress, in the languages, and in the graceful scripts those languages use. When did I fall in love with India? I’m unsure, though it was likely influenced by the original Cosmos series with the late Carl Sagan, who was filmed in Southern India, possibly Tamil Nadu, during a segment in which he spoke of the South Indian festival of Pongal, and of the contributions of ancient India to modern science. I was hooked, and have been ever since. So it may have stated from my interest in science, and as often happens, one thing led to another!

Sharmishtha Basu@Agnishatdal: from where do you get those amazing ideas behind your stories? do you study a lot for them?
Troy Loy: As for my stories, I read a lot when I’ve time to, there is my gaming hobby, and there is study as well, with a series of mental chain-links leading from what I’ve learned to new ideas for fiction. I believe that while you cannot use a rigid template to teach creativity where none exists, it is possible to learn techniques to foster its growth and strengthen its use. These techniques I’ve found both useful and effective, and have almost certainly contributed to my writing. There are mindfulness techniques I use, from which ideas can spontaneously arise in moments of stillness, and in those moments it’s a good idea to have pen and paper or my tablet on hand to capture them!

When did all this begin? It really took off during my personal awakening in late 2006, when after reading a book by writer Harlan Ellison, I resolved to, no matter the cost, be as honest to myself as is humanly possible so as to be likewise to others. At about this time, events triggered the urge to write, with ideas coming in a flurry at odd moments, beginning as my early poetry, essays about my aliens, and in time bringing them on more reliably long before I started blogging on a now-deleted site as of January 15, 2008. And I’ve been writing ever since, with time taken for rest and recuperation to keep an edge.

Thanks again, Sharmishtha, for the honor of this interview, and I bid you and the readers a wonderful time in what remains of the year!

Troy Loy
https://www.amazon.com/author/troyloy

Posted in "2 weekly posts"

Thursday Fun n Frolics 2.3.17 is for Raghunandan Kuppuswamy of Agnishatdal

Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: Tell us something about yourself Raghu.
Raghunandan Kuppuswamy: Well, a fairly middle-of-the-road life with not too many ups and downs. 40-years in IT. Lucky to be with org’s and colleagues that I was never burnt out with rewarding interactions with many many professionals, young and old. Am in FB and LinkedIn though not very active.

Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: How did an IT Industry veteran became such an expert on mythology?
Raghunandan Kuppuswamy:I used to buy a lot of story books to engage my daughters. And there were many quaint unheard-of stories in these books: mythology, moralistic, humorous like Tenali Raman…

We’re lucky to have such an inexhaustible supply. I’m no expert. I just read where and when I can find them – these days there are these online forums bringing in their contributions.

Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: Do you read a lot and then pick up the best for us, your blogs?
Raghunandan Kuppuswamy:Yes, I do read. Often I’m able to pick up story-lines from most unlikely of places! These stories – I select short ones – need a bit of retelling to engage today’s kids (and us too). I was told during my recent visit to US the Panchatantra stories we grew up on are too violent and unsuitable for the kids out there!

Sharmishtha basu@ Agnishatdal: Will you tell us a little about your three blogs, and share their urls so we can read them?
Raghunandan Kuppuswamy:
My primary blog is ‘Kaleidoscope’ [https://ksriranga.wordpress.com/] for clean humor. And this is where I write my stories too, mainly for kids.

For technical matters, not necessarily IT, it is ‘About This And That’ [https://tskraghu.wordpress.com/]. It is usually at a conceptual level, not for the nerds.

The third blog ‘Sanmargam’ [https://arangamanagarulane.wordpress.com/] is more for the soul! Besides stories, quotes, etc. I also include travelogue here.

There is a fourth blog ‘Cheers And Jeers’ [https://tskranga.wordpress.com/] meant for matters of public interest. Not very active for sometime now.

Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: Do you have any plans of publishing your works or have you already done that?
Raghunandan Kuppuswamy:No, my friend. No plans at all. I just enjoy my little writing spells.

Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: What will you tell us, the Indians of your next generation (s), especially those who are to build this country in future?
Raghunandan Kuppuswamy:Often they surprise me with ideals that are much stronger than we hold, with more wisdom than we credit them with…So I think the land is in good hands unless we’re swamped by this unbridled growth in population and consumption straining all resources.

Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: Any suggestion for Agnishatdal?
Raghunandan Kuppuswamy:I think it’s doing great. In the time to come it’ll constantly rediscover itself and evolve to make a very significant presence in its niche.
Sharmishtha Basu@Indie Adda: Do you have anything to say, suggest Indie Authors? As a reader and a fantastic writer?
Raghunandan Kuppuswamy:Serious reading has not yet lost it to aimless surfing. Nevertheless it may be necessary to experiment with newer formats, narration, etc. to engage readers.

Thank you, K Raghunathan
http://ksriranga.wordpress.com

Posted in "3 author desk"

Toni Williams Week Day 7- fears

day-7

Day 7: What is one of the most important things you have learned in life?

One of the most important things I’ve learned is that fear plays a huge role in our daily lives. It’s everywhere – at home and in the workplace; in our politics and even in our churches where we are constantly warned of the fiery hell that awaits us for disobeying God and incurring his wrath. We encounter it in our dealings with financial institutions who have the power of foreclosure over our very lives; it’s in the books we read, the movies we watch, the news we listen to every day, there seems to be no end to it. Some of us learn how to use it to our advantage. Others surrender to it and convince themselves there is no hope and no way out of the darkness.

But what I have discovered is that fear can be controlled. It comes and goes, grows and diminishes depending on how you feel and how you live your life. It is important not to try and run away from it or pretend that it isn’t there. You have to confront it. Examine it closely and try and determine the root cause of it. Often you will find that it is your own insecurities that are feeding your fear and causing it to grow. Fear only has the power that you give it.

Here is a little booklet containing whole week and a LITTLE MORE: https://wingofdreams.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/toni-williams-week-25th-december.pdf

Posted in "3 author desk"

Toni Williams Week Day 6- the editor

day-6

Day 6: Tell us about your magazine, the one you are editor of.
Dazzle Magazine was first launched in St. Lucia in 2012 by 123 Digital Ltd. and won the 2013 Innovation Award presented by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce. The magazine. provides exposure to young professionals, entrepreneurs and established businesses. Oer the years it has featured numerous individuals who all have one thing in common. They are passionate about their business ideas and their career paths, they are determined to succeed and not prepared to give up on their dream. The magazine also has sections on technology, health and wellness and much more. . It is published both in print and online.

Here is a little booklet containing whole week and a LITTLE MORE:

Click to access toni-williams-week-25th-december.pdf

Posted in "3 author desk"

Toni Williams Week Day 5- trolls and dragons!

day-5

Day 5: How do you handle personal criticism?

The first thing I do is try to silence my ego, although to be honest, that’s a lot easier said than done, after all, I’m human. I examine it closely and objectively to see if the criticism is valid. If it is, then the critic has done me a favour by pointing out where I fell short, and I try to acknowledge that. That’s another lesson for me in how to improve my writing. If it’s clear that the criticism was due to a misunderstanding of what I was trying to get across, it generally annoys me but then after that I try to take a deep breath and consider whether it could perhaps have been my fault – which, if it is, I figure the reader has done me favour that I should be grateful for. I resolve to write more convincingly next time. If the criticism makes no sense, or is whimsical and petty, I suck it up, shake my head and try not to let it get to me or spoil my day. Unfortunately, most times it does.

Here is a little booklet containing whole week and a LITTLE MORE:

Click to access toni-williams-week-25th-december.pdf