Thursday, December 19, 2013

Robert DiBella in Cuddle Therapy

Robert DiBella Tense Thriller Writer
After reading a bit of Robert DiBella’s book, Memoir of a Variable, I realized here was an author who needed some fluffy fuzzy cuddle time. I took him to the petting zoo complex at The Blog Mansion.

Johnny: It’s five layers of every increasing cuteness.

Robert: Why?

J: To soothe your troubled soul. I saw Memoir of a Variable. It’s trouble. Here have a cat.

R: It’s a thriller. There’s supposed to be –

J: Shhhhh. Hold the cat.

R:  You’re lucky I’m a cat person, I have two lovely cats at home named Trixie and Alice.

Trixie and Alice
J: Alright, now isn’t that better?

R: Ouch. It scratched me.

J: Yeah, that’s what they do. Now, with you soft indoor voice, tell me about your book.

R:  Memoir of a Variable tells the story of X, an assassin for the secret CIA subsector Grey Sector. After years of cold, ruthless, professional killing, X doubts that what he’s doing is for the greater good. When X is tasked to kill Samantha Freedman, the outspoken lesbian daughter of a conservative senator, he cannot pull the trigger. Instead he saves the girl, and they are on an international chase through Western Europe.   

J: Awesome. International intrigue, action, lesbians. Awesome. Next is the bunny room. Less scratching there.

R: I don’t trust bunnies, their ears are too big and they’re always hopping around.

J: I have to assume that since your main character is from New York, as are you that the story is autobiographical. How old were you when you killed your first target?

R: Ha Ha. That’s confidential… naw I’m not an assassin for the CIA, but ever since I was a kid spy stories have always inspired me. I have always admired authors like Tom Clancy or Ian Fleming, it’s always been a dream of mine to create the next James Bond or Jack Ryan hero. Memoir of a Variable is written in first person so some of my one liners and mannerisms do come out in the text. I have had family and friends who read the book come up to me and say ‘I could see you saying that.’  

J: Hold back on the negative energy. The bunnies are soft goodness. Hold the bunny. Feel the bunny.
R: It pooped on me.

J: Yeah, that’s what they do. Where’d you get the idea for the book if not your own secret assassin life?

R: When I first got the idea for writing X, gay rights was a big topic in the news and I thought it would make a provocative back drop for a thriller. My friend was entering a short film competition, so I wrote him a three minute screen play about a hitman who kills a lesbian, and then I thought what if he saved her instead? So I wrote a forty-five page screenplay which then, somehow, I transformed into a novel. 

J: How’d you get into writing?

R: I started taking writing seriously in High School. Mineola High School has some amazing teachers who encourage their students to be creative, I used to write short stories for my twelfth grade English class. Than in College I took a playwriting class where I really got hooked on storytelling.   

J: This is where we either go to the poo-flinging monkeys or kittens.

R: How do we choose.

J: Answer wisely. Who are your favorite authors?

R: Well there’s you and your debut occult thriller, BEATRYSEL, now available from Amazon.

J: Kittens it is.

R: Didn’t we already do those?

J: No, those were cats, these are kittens. More mewing, less scratching. More cute. Who else are your favorite authors?

R: As I said before I love Clancy and Fleming, I’d also have to add Brendon Dubois, Sharon Shebar, Barbara Novak and Jefferey Deaver to the list. That’s a lot of kittens.

J: Tell me about the research you did for your book.

R: I looked into different clandestine units of the CIA, and other intelligence organizations such as MI-6 and Mossad, because X is a worldly character I wanted to make sure my descriptions of the settings were spot on. I spent a lot of time on Google Earth mapping out X’s locations and roads that he would actually take to reach his target.

J: Are you feeling the calm of the fuzzy fluffy cuddle rooms yet?

R: Yes, I feel very calm indeed. Kittens will do that to even the craziest of authors.

J: Next stop puppies. It’ll be loud, so I’ll ask this before we go in. How did you go from writer to author? How’d you land a publishing deal? How hard was it? Okay, got it? Good. Here we go.

R: Ugh, I’m not a fan of dogs.

J: What?

R: [Inaudible speech, deafening barking and licking sounds]

J: What?

R: murblewup

J: How's that?


J: Cuteness overload. Good. To the last room!

R: That was terrifying. I’ve never been mauled by puppies like that before. I’m covered in puppy spit.

J: Yeah, they do that. What was your answer about getting published?

R: This was my first novel I knew nothing about how to write a good query letter or anything, I was just sending out to anyone I could find. Then a friend of mine and fellow writer Pat Shands got a short story of his published in a Rainstorm Anthology, he told me to give them a try. I sent it in and after three weeks of review they accepted it. 

J: That must have been stressful. Now to remove the last of your tension.

R: Is that an airlock?

J: Yep, but this is the best room yet. After the five rooms of fuzzy fluffly cuddletime, you’ll be writing children’s poetry.

R: I don’t think I’m cut out for that.

J: Tribbles!

R: Really?

J: Yeah relax on that big one there.

R: That’s not a chair?

J: No, that’s a tribble. They get big if you don’t eat them.

R: It is soothing.

J: Feel all that violent tension slip away.

R: Yeah.

J: Before we lose you forever in bliss, tell me where on the internet my people can find you?
J: Thanks for coming. I hope I didn’t ruin your career by taking the edge off you.

R: No I... hey wait. This tribble just gave birth on me. And that one too. They’re all having babies all over me.

J: Yeah, they do that.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christine Haggerty is a mutant author

Christine Haggerty
Mutant Author
Christine Haggerty is still fresh from the release of her first novel, The Plague Legacy: Acquisitions, last Friday. She dropped by the Blog Mansion to compare mutants and talk books.

Johnny: Congratulations on your book. Pretty exciting isn’t it?

Christine: It’s definitely better than being transmogryphied into an intergalactic mutant with an insatiable hunger for human flesh.

J: Yeah.... I was thinking the same thing. Good thing that kind of thing never happens. So, tell me about your book. Give us your pitch.

C: The Plague Legacy: Acquisitions - Cameron Landry is a plague orphan shipped across the ocean to be sold as a slave in a new civilization. Of course, he’s not one of the cool guys—the kids who have mutated into superhumans because of the plague. Cam’s supposed to be one of the immunes, but things are more complicated than that as Cam discovers something special about himself.

J: Have some tea?

C: Oh, my God! What the hell is that?

J: That’s Luna. My Metaluna mutant. She works for me.

C: Where’d you find it?

J: Her. She has feelings. I don’t know what they are, but I’m sure she has some. Or one at least. I’ve seen her hungry. And I told you, She comes from Metaluna, the distant planet from This Island Earth. Surely you’ve seen that.

C: I’ve never seen one this close before. Is that spaghetti on her eyes?

J: Mutant cataracts, I think. Just don’t hit her exposed brain, okay. She’s very vulnerable there. I thought you’d like her because she’s a mutant.
Luna, Beauty Shot

C: I’m not biased, I’ll give her a shot. Of course, my mutants are still mostly just human beings from Earth, more like enhanced humans that mutants. Here, Luna, how ‘bout a hug?

J: Immune, mutant, no-code. You have a complex situation of engineered plague in Acquisitions. How’d you come up with it?

C: (Face turning red.)

J: Oh, ooops. Yeah, take it easy, Luna. I need Christine to breathe so she can finish the interview. I’m sure she will give you another hug before she leaves.

C: (Gasping.) She’s quite a lover. Anyway, you were asking about my inspiration for the premise of The Plague Legacy. I’m a history minor and always had a fascination with early European history, particularly the Black Plague and the Crusades. This is my version of history repeating itself.

J: Who’d you model Cam after? And Tara? Is there a Devon in your life?

C: Cam is modeled after my somewhat moody and temperamental teenage son, Liam. Of course, Liam still has two living parents and goes to high school instead of fighting off mutant bullies. Tara and Devon, and many of the other characters, are both formed from the residue of my years teaching at a residential high sch—.

J: Sorry about that. Luna’s claws don’t do well with china.

C: It’s only tea.
J: And mutant spittle.

C: What?

J: Luna drools sometimes. You always have to consider that when she’s around.

C: What will it do to me?

J: Did you drink any tea?

C: Yes.

J: Well just have a cookie. There’s antidote in them.

C: What cookies?

J: You didn’t get any?

C: You ate them all.

J: Well, uhm, you’ll probably be fine. Luna get some more cookies.

C: It’s eating through my clothes.

J: Here’s some baking soda. That’ll stop it.

C: Now it’s eating through the baking soda. Is this your plan to get me naked?
Luna being Sassy!

J: What makes you think any of this was planned? I mean, past the cookies and the tea and the mutant who drools acid?

C: (Glare.)

J: Tell me about your journey to get published.

C: My journey mostly involved being in the right place at the right time. I had decided to ditch my career in education to be around more for my kids and to give the writing thing a real shot. I went to a conference and learned the basics of building a fan-base, joined a writing group, and started making connections. I suppose it helps that I can write, too.

J: Tell me about working with Fox Hollow Publications. Are they nice?

C: Fox Hollow Publications has been amazing to work with. I think altogether I really lucked out becoming connected to them.
Luna sad –  
fetching more cookies.

J: How many books do you foresee in The Plague Legacy?

C: The Plague Legacy will be a trilogy. Each book will have its own plot arc as well as the arc for the series. I know it drives some people crazy to deal with uncertainty at the end of a book, especially when you have to wait until the next one comes out to continue the story, but I promise I’ll only do it to you twice.

J: I know the first one just came out, but when can we expect the next installment?

C: The Plague Legacy: Assets will be released Fall 2014.

J: The mutants in your book don’t have exposed brains. Why not?

C: I thought exposed brains would leave them too vulnerable. The mutants in Plague have weaknesses, but they are more emotional than physical.

J: Who besides me and my newly published debut occult thriller, BEATRYSEL, now available on Amazon just in time for the holidays, do you find inspiring? I was inspired by classics like the Lord of the Flies and Brave New World and by modern young adult dystopian fiction like The Hunger Games.

J: Where can my readers find out more about you?
Fox Hollow Publications
Twitter: @chaggerty99
J: Great, here’s Luna with more cookies.

C: I can’t pick them up.

J: You’re just not used to your new claws. It’ll come to you.

C: I feel funny.

J: I can see your brain. Wait a minute – Luna, are these antidote cookies? What do you mean we're out? Don't blame me. They were delicious. Now look at lovely Christine. She's mutating. Don't just stand there Luna, get the exoskeleton polish.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Teresa Joseph-Franklin is a poet and I show it

Today is special and you should I know it
For the first on The Blog Mansion, I bring you a poet

To vex my guest
And please the rest
We shall converse
In only verse

Teresa Joseph-Franklin is a poet of some renown
I met her on the internet, not actually in my town
She writes free form in England, cozy in her home
Where she bundles up her poems and binds them into tomes – O! Teresa, O Teresa!
How many books have you written?
I own Simply Magically Beautiful
And let me tell you I am smitten!

TERESA – To write each would be a very long verse, so a brief response would be absolutely free!
That soars with the wind
Light as the breeze
Gentle and soft
Their colours so beautiful
Beautiful as everything that lives and breathes

J – When do you write your verse?
During your good times or your worst?

T – Time is of the essence
And there is nothing like the present
When the moments of inspiration come with content
Filled with words, images, with no pretense

The words just happen in good times and bad
There is no plan, just a fixture my lad
Now that cannot be all bad

J – When your muse sits upon your arm,
And whispers in your ear
What subjects does it make you write,
What themes do you hold dear? – It all depends on the mood
The theme, the topic of day
But this day holds dear as ‘Love is for Real’
Is so special in everyway

J –
I just might bring a tear
But since I have you here
I have to ask
It is my task
Why chose you this career?

T –
I stumbled, rumbled
Rummaged through the career
Deep, deep down inside was bud
Waiting to blossom, just like a flower waiting to bloom
Even though at times there was so much gloom and doom
But I made it through and shone a light on the darkest of glooms

J – How came you first to print?
Was is easy
Was it hard
Was it slow or a just a sprint?

T – My first endeavour to print came with a poetry competition
With loads of renditions
Commendations as a great poet of the great but not late England
It was easy peasy to get into print
But by jove it was a sprint
I’d never known such hurried dots and dashes
Sign here, sign there, oh and over here my dear
Sadly I am more cautious with the sprint
As there is a dog eat dog out there and they do not really care
When this poet writes and composes there upon her certain pose
With heaps of love, tenderness and flair
It’s all there
For all to read, enjoy – Bleed and write and worry, share
To put your soul and thoughts on paper
For what?
For whom?

For what awards have you received? 

T – Oh this is so, so embarrassing, 
There are loads which I have listed below
Of which I am not going bellow
Or sing.

Top Ten Female Poet of UK 2012

United Press UK, March 2012

What Lies Within a collection of poetry
Forward Poetry UK, March 2012

Top Ten Poet of UK

United Press, June 2012

Through The Eyes Of A Poet

United Press UK  - July 2012

Poets of 2012

The UK Poetry Library, August 2012

Best Poets And Poems Of 2012
World Poetry Movement, August 2012

Poets of 2012

 The UK Poetry Library, August 2012

End Of Days a collection of poetry
Forward Poetry UK, September 2012

International Who's Who In Poetry 2012 

September 2012

Into The Shadows a collection of poetry

Forward Poetry UK, October 2012

Who's Who In American Poetry 2013
September 2013

Poet Of The Year 2014

United Press United Kingdom, November 2013

J – Tell me in Haiku
Your current project’s progress

T –
oh no not Haiku !
that is the worst to write

J –
Perchance, pray tell, of where upon the net
Such able clickers might seek thee out anon
And share upon this humble page the links
Of glory and acclaim that art of thee

Teresa's BLOG
Teresa on FACEBOOK 
Teresa on TWITTER 
Teresa's author page on AMAZON &

Heartfelt Baring All (volume one) kindle ASIN: B00COSI5W6
Paperback edition below with ISBN
•    ISBN-10: 1484878388
•    ISBN-13: 978-1484878385

Heartfelt Baring All (volume two) kindle  ASIN: B00CO9QPV8
Paperback edition with ISBN
•    ISBN-10: 1489549269
•    ISBN-13: 978-1489549266

Heartfelt Baring All (volume three) kindle  ASIN: B00DI8MG6C
Paperback edition ISBN
•    ISBN-10: 1490492151
•    ISBN-13: 978-1490492155

Sunburst and Flames kindle edition ASIN: B00D9TXNEY
Paperback edition
    ISBN-10: 1490491104
•    ISBN-13: 978-1490491103 Beautiful kindle edition ASIN: B00CK8DL4W
Paperback edition
•    ISBN-10: 1489505105
•    ISBN-13: 978-1489505101

Simply Magical kindle edition ASIN: B00E2UU2LQ
Paperback edition
•    ISBN-10: 1491059443
•    ISBN-13: 978-1491059449

Living Under The Same Sky kindle edition ASIN: B00DQYAA1Q
Paperback edition
•    ISBN-10: 1490909281
•    ISBN-13: 978-1490909288

J –
Thanks for visiting
This blog is a hit
You’ve been more than patient
To put up with my shi – enanigans

T – Thank you for having me Johnny honestly