My Debut Album… Released!

Kev:

What’s going on over at Kev’s Music Blog?
Take a look:

Originally posted on Kev's Music Blog:

Play On My Guitar

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Artist/Band: Kevin Cooper

Around 40 minutes of light-hearted pop music for all to enjoy. Easy listening, humour, ballads, rock/pop music, guitar and singing. All songs written and performed by Kevin Cooper.

Click on the picture above to find out more!

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I Bring You… Joy!

 

Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:

:D Joy V. Smith :D

from Lakeland, Florida

 USA

 

Kev: In a generalized way Joy, tell us a little about yourself. Where you grew up, siblings, family life, education, and how you got to where you are now.

 

I was born on my grandparents’ farm in Wisconsin–as were my two sisters, though my father was overseas (WWII) when I was born.  We moved a lot–from Wisconsin  to Florida and back again…    My parents worked hard to send us all to college.  (My father had dropped out of school to support his family when his father died.  He got his GED later and valued education.)  I went to college in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. (which I enjoyed more than high school, btw.) 

 

Kev: How long have you been writing for, Joy?

 

Since I was a kid and made my own little books, but I was first published in college, where I often, uh, sometimes spent more time reading and writing than studying.

 

Kev: Why do you write?

 

To share my stories.  I appreciate the money, but I love sharing my stories.  The more a story is reprinted, the happier I am!  Since many of my early stories and articles were published in the small press, I want them to have a wider audience, which is why I have two collections of my reprints: The Doorway and Other Stories and Aliens, Animals, and Adventure.  (There is some overlapping in the collections.)

 

Kev: What is your genre?

 

Mostly science fiction, but I’ve written westerns, fantasy, romance, and children’s stories.

 

Kev: Who would you say are your favourite/most influential authors and why?

 

I teethed on Andre Norton.  I enjoyed reading about females having adventures and saving worlds instead of waiting to be rescued.  I love James H. Schmitz’ heroines too, especially Trigger and Telzey.  (Baen has reprinted his stories, bless them.)

 

Kev: What is your latest (published) book called and what is it about?

 

Cover5Strike Three is a post-apocalyptic novel, but without rabid zombies and crazed mutants.  I enjoy world-building–on planets, as in “Cold New Planet” and Velvet of Swords–and on the frontier, as I did in Detour Trail.

 

Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?

 

Well, I worry about what’s happening to the planet–the waste, pollution, extinctions–and people ignorant or uncaring about what happens when we run out of clean water–and air.  I wondered what would happen then.  People would really miss what they hadn’t appreciated, including other people.

 

Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?

 

The research.  I looked things up online and bought survival manuals, including, When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes by Cody Lundin;  Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When The Unexpected Happens by Kathy Harrison, and the US Army Survival Manual

I ordered some freeze-dried food to check that out and queried people about MREs, planes, and fuel.  I learned they weren’t making Hummers any more.  Ack!  But they’re still around.  (Just passed a really big one on the street the other day.) 

 

Kev: Is your book part of a series?

 

No,  little scenarios keep popping up in my head though, but there’s nothing cohesive yet.

 

Kev: Which of your works do you like best (feel most proud of) and why?

 

Cover5Strike Three, I think.  I enjoyed the realistic details and the funny parts–fantasy actually–about politics and taxes.  I loved writing about how President Jenson handled the politicians who wanted to take over the reins when they finally emerged.  And I gave the women important and dangerous work to do too.

 

Kev: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers at this point?

 

I hope you enjoy my stories.  I really do.  I want you to love them!  And if you do, authors always appreciate an enthusiastic review–with details about what you liked.

 

Kev: What are you working on now?

 

I have to edit Velvet of Swords (the first part has been published) and Well Met By Water (again the first part has been published)–I finally wrote the sequels to them–and submit them.

 

Kev: What new challenges are you facing?

 

Well, I’m waiting to hear back from an editor about Taboo Tech.  It’s in limbo, and I fret about it.  I have to decide how long to wait.

 

Kev: Could you give us a little spoiler?

 

I love creating intelligent machines and space ships!  I’ve got some fun intelligent machines and ships in Taboo Tech–oh, I can’t wait to see that published!–and there are AIs in “Cold New Planet,” which is due to come out in an anthology soon.

 

Kev: Do you have any advice for other writers?

 

Get your history and facts right!  Do the research.  My editor caught at least two mistakes which would have been embarassing.  I had these cool ideas in mind, but didn’t check the facts on them.

 

Kev: Is there a question I haven’t asked that you would like me to ask?

 

What do you think about the current trends that are being repeated endlessly?

 

I never thought zombies and vampires would be around this long.  (I think werewolves are a distant third now.)  Write something new!

I love the vampires, zombies, werewolves, witches, and Igors in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series!

 

Is there anything else you would like to add, Joy?

I have three blogs, but here’s the link to my writing blog: http://pagadan.wordpress.com/

 

Here are my book links:

 

Strike Three: For the print edition of Strike Three, go to Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4876544   

If you prefer eBooks, go to Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/452298   

Detour Trail: http://www.amazon.com/Detour-Trail-Joy-V-Smith/dp/1612355706/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1364491553&sr=8-8&keywords=Joy+V.+Smith

 

Joy V Smith, everybody!

In Honor of Marie Colvin

Kev:

A truly remarkable woman, a heroine, and if I dare,(and believe me you, I do)a goddess.

Originally posted on i am dismantled:

Marie Colvin was a foreign correspondent working from the UK, but present in the most violent and conflicted areas of the world. She brought to our awareness the extreme oppression suffered by world citizens in the most violent conflicts imaginable. Her calling was to bear witness to the atrocities taking place around the world, to let all of us know to the best of her ability what was going on in war-torn and oppressed regions far from the comfort of our own homes.

PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES

She wasn’t fearless. Rather, she moved forward with fear. After losing her eye in an explosion in Sri Lanka in 2001, she suffered from PTSD and perhaps from a deeper awareness of her own vulnerability. But that didn’t stop her from reporting what she witnessed in war zones around the world. She knew that she risked her life to share the realities of those who suffer…

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Kev’s Author Interviews Presents: The Only Way Is… Madeleine!

Kev’s Author Interviews Presents: 

Madeleine Swann

Vintage_by_emma_bailey_madeleineswann Essex 

England

Kev: In a generalized way, Madeleine, tell us a little about yourself. Where you grew up, siblings, family life, education, and how you got to where you are now. I’m from Essex and the youngest of three girls. My dad would take the dog out for ages just to get away from a house of females I think. The dog was a boy, incidentally. We started off in a really small village with leaves and small roads and things. 

I studied creative writing, drama and journalism and used to be really into acting. I was a prostitute in a low-budget film, which was nice. Eventually I realised how much of a struggle it would probably always be and decided to struggle in something I felt more passionate about instead.

Kev: How long have you been writing for? I remember making up these terrible, overwrought sentences in my head when I was in primary school, the sort of thing that might be quite embarrassing now. I also drew comic style picture stories before I could write. It was a bit obsessive, I never slept as a child and mum would leave me to it while she went to bed. Then in my twenties I got articles published in magazines and sold my first fiction in 2011.

 Kev: Why do you write? I…don’t know! It’s just something I always wanted to do. I was always having ideas for stories and it made sense to write them down.

Kev: What is your genre? They’re described on the front cover as ‘bizarro’ but anything on the odd side really. I always lovedbizarre-mag-tattoo-interview horror as a child which led to an interest in surreal and cult films and books as a teenager. If it’s weird I’m interested.

Kev: Who would you say are your favourite/most influential authors and why, Madeleine? Roald Dahl of course – as a child I remember being thrilled and frightened when I read the witches, and I like his grown up stories too. I also love Margaret Atwood, Leonora Carrington, Neil Gaiman and Jeremy Dyson among others. I love their imagination and the confidence with which they explore unusual ideas and characters.

Kev: What is your latest (published) book called and what is it about? The Filing Cabinet of Doom is a collection of short stories filing-cabinet-of-doom-madeleine-swannranging from magic realism to horror to peculiar sci-fi to surreal comedy. It contains a novella of the same name which is set in a black and white soundless realm. A psychic from a travelling carnival informs a village that the world is about to end and three people travel to the Council Head Office – a far off and dangerous place – to find out why.

Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it? My peculiar brain. I have very odd dreams and most mornings during that time I woke up saying, “my God, I have to use that.” I go through patches of it. I also use real events and twist them into grotesque scenarios so if anything bad happens in it goes.

Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story? Making sure my ideas made some kind of sense – I’d often worry that people would just be confused from start to finish. Or maybe that would be good, I don’t know. I think they make sense now though.

Kev:  Did you do any specialized research for your story? One of my stories is written in a traditional noir voice so I had a lot of fun watching all the old noir films. I also read and watch as many odd things as possible if I want to have an idea.

Kev: Is your book part of a series? No, but I plan on doing another short story collection soon.

Kev: Which of your works do you like best (feel most proud of) and why? My collection of stories is a big milestone for me sobook-cover AN that’s top of my list. I also love the fifties dark fantasy story I wrote for the anthology American Nightmare. It has a fifties theme so I spent an evening watching everything I had from that era including Rebel Without A Cause and lots of infomercials. I love those infomercials, I’ve no idea why.

sweet-sweets-emporiumI also love the front cover author/graphic designer Matthew Revert did for Sweet Sweets Emporium, the story of mine that appears on his website, LegumeMan Books. He’s very clever so I was excited. Lastly as an intern at Bizarre Magazine I got to speak to and meet a lot of interesting people, from horror burlesque dancers to a man with a really big foot that I had to toe wrestle for a picture. It hurt.

Kev: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers at this point? I have many more thoughts in my head so please stick with me to see what comes out.

Kev: What are you working on now? The second draft of a comedy/fantasy/odd YA book and a new collection of short stories.

Kev: What new challenges are you facing? Getting the YA book to be cohesive and the same tone throughout. It’s the longest thing I’ve written which is exciting and annoying all in one.

Kev: Could you give us a little spoiler? The stories I’ve been thinking up lately are a lot darker than a lot of those in The Filing Cabinet of Doom. Maybe I’ve been in a bad mood, but I feel quite jolly so who knows? The YA book however is about three women who have to travel by sea to remote islands for the delivery company they work for, but on the way they discover a big conspiracy and lots of weird creatures.

Kev: Do you have any advice for other writers? Look for small press publishers, they’re often more open to new ideas.

Madeleine’s blog

 http://madeleineswann.com

Madeleine’s Book Links

http://www.amazon.com/The-Filing-Cabinet-Doom-Bizarro/dp/0692245200/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406638530&sr=8-1&keywords=filing+cabinet+doom

Madeleine Swann, everybody!

 

 

 

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

Kev:

I’ve reblogged this because (and I say this in all seriousness) It is one of my most favouritest poems, ever! :D

Originally posted on Paws N Reflect:


The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one…

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The Results Are In!

THUMBNAIL_IMAGEAs an author, I am genuinely interested in what my readers have to say about my works and therefore, a week ago today, I conducted a poll asking you all which one of my two readings from, The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn you prefer: http://kevs-domain.net/2014/07/20/poll-which-trailer-do-you-find-more-effective/

I was really impressed with your responses and the results. Many of you let me know why you chose the reading you did and said that both readings added something in their own unique way.  However the end results were:

  • 72.73%  The Cavern Reading
  • 27.27%  The Village Reading 

Thank all of you for voting and for your wonderful responses. I have learned so much about how I can improve my readings from this poll and the type of things my viewers are looking for/enjoy from a reading.  I hope not to disappoint you all when I record future readings from my upcoming sequels.  Thank you so very much.

I’ve just received the final edit of my book back from my editor, Kate. So I’m going to go through it, hopefully one last time this week and I’m hoping to have the 2nd Edition of The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn published and available next weekend. :)

World’s best story?

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Kev:

I thought this may be useful information for some of my fellow authors out there. :)

Originally posted on roughseasinthemed:

Best story in the world?

That’s a difficult one. It’s hard enough to narrow those sort of lists down to ten or even twenty.

But Canadians Vincent Salera and Thomas Lefebvre have launched a competition to find the world’s best story.

It’s a well-thought through competition and looks at books by genre and analysis of plot, characters, and even spelling and grammar, to name just a few criteria.

There are a couple of qualifying rounds where readers vote for favourites, and the final round involves professional judges, ie authors, as well as readers.

I heard about this through iRead Book Tours and thought it was an interesting competition, so have agreed to promote it, and no, I’m not getting paid for doing so.

And being a nosy little journalist, as well as a very picky editor, I also agreed to interview Vincent and Thomas, as I wanted to dig beneath…

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