Kev’s Character Interviews Presents… The Phantom!

I love the opera, but nothing had prepared me for this. I decided I’d go to France and watch one… Since I am pretty fluent in Spanish I didn’t think it would be a problem.

I couldn’t understand a bloody word of it! Then I remembered, oh yes, it’s France… trust the French to have to do things differently! They even have their own bloody language. No wonder nobody ever understands ‘em!

Anyway the show was good and had a lot of action and great music in it. It was all about this guy in a mask trying to seduce a beautiful woman, she thought he was an angel sent by her dead father and she was in love with some other guy. Well the first guy didn’t like her being in love with someone else, so he seduced/kidnapped the woman and tried to make her marry him. (bit luny that one!) Anyway, the guy she liked saved her from him in the end.

After the show, I was minding my own, as you do, and decided I’d have a nice stroll back to my hotel when upon passing a dark alleyway around the back of the opera, I heard a strange sound and that’s how I came to be conducting the following interview:

Kev’s Character Interviews Presents:

Phantom-Eric-alws-phantom-of-the-opera-movie-19743665-2045-2560

The Phantom of The Opera!

Phantom: Psst!

Kev: Hello. Is someone there?

Phantom: Psst (a shadowy cloaked figures beckons Kev to follow him)

Kev: Are you sure this is wise, it’s rather dark and cold down here?

Phantom: Fear not, I am your Angel!

Kev: Really? Oh well that’s all right then. 

The Phantom leads Kev down through a labyrinth underneath the opera house. It’s cold, damp and there are candles and broken pieces of glass, like shattered mirrors everywhere. They stop by an enclave in the cave. There is an old bust of a woman wrapped in a rather old and shabby wedding dress and what is left of the veil. The Phantom motions Kev to sit. 

Phantom: Are you Kev?

Kev: That’s right, but you already know that ’cause you’re an angel, right?

Phantom: Ah yes, quite right. 

Kev: So, what can I do for you?

Phantom: I need you to interview me, of course! 

Kev: Ah… Well it just so happens I brought my trusty pen and have a pad in my coat pocket. (Kev produces the pen and pad to show as evidence.)

Phantom: Excellent! Let us begin!

Kev: Well what I normally do is start by saying, in a generalized way, tell us a little about yourself. Where you grew up, siblings, family life, education, and how you got to where you are now, but being an angel, I’m not sure that will do for you. 

Phantom: Oh no, that just will not do! I do not wish to go into my childhood… it is full of horror and pain! I was abused and beaten because of my facial deformity, you see… hence the mask!

Kev: (The penny drops) Hang on a minute… Where are we?

Phantom: In the catacombs beneath the opera house. This is my lair!

Kev: You’re no angel! You imposter. You’re, you’re… The Phantom! Aren’t you?

Phantom: I am an angel. Ask Christine, she’ll tell you! She even said as much when she came with me to my lair. She sang only for me. She was my angel of music! She loved me. Here’s lies the evidence:

Kev: Can’t you see, this only proves that you seduced her?

Phantom: I loved her! And she would have loved me if it wasn’t for that meddling Raoul! 

Kev (He sounds like a villain from Scooby Doo now!) But didn’t she love Raoul rather than yourself? (Kev sees an object in the cave and picks it up) Look! Is this not her engagement ring?

Phantom: How dare you! I should run you through for your insolence! I have my sword!

Kev: And I sir, have my pen! (The pen is mightier than the sword and all that… wink, wink)

Phantom: Trait de plume! (meaning: the stroke of the pen!)

Kev: (Kev thinks he’s being invited to go for Scooby snacks and plums. It fits with his impression of the French eating strange things at odd times of the day) No thanks, not hungry! Ooh, look at the time, must be off.  

Phantom: But what will you make of our interview?

Kev: I’ll tell everyone that you didn’t really mean to do any harm and it was all done for love! (smiles)

Phantom: Oh, that’s alright then. Cheers Kev!

Kev: Don’t mention it. 

The Phantom, Everyone!

(pic credit… google. vid… youtube)

Kev’s Author Interviews Presents… Lorna Earl!

Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:

Framed photo for promo Lorna Earl

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

Lorna: I grew up in the North Eastern part of the U.S., mostly in a very rural part of New York State near the Canadian border. But the only French I speak is “eh?” I’m the middle of three daughters, so I have a classic case of Middle Child Syndrome that I’ve never been able to shake.

My father killed himself when I was four years old. (I don’t think I pushed him over the edge or anything. He was already headed there before I was born.) So I grew up in an all-female household. How the heck was I supposed to stand out in that kind of a family dynamic?

I decided to be my mother’s perfectly smart and good girl (rather than go the juvenile delinquent route). I did pretty well at that—class Valedictorian, graduated Magna Cum Laude from college—except for one little flaw. I took to drinking like a bug takes to a bright light.

My drinking career began early with sips of beer and blossomed in my early teens. I quit cold turkey when I was 27, after I had consumed more vodka than a depressed Russian. After I sobered up with the help of my then-husband, I had a child, earned a Ph.D. in sociology, got various jobs in research and then college teaching.

In 2001, I crashed along with the World Trade Centre towers, just not at the same time and not because a plane crashed into me. All of a sudden I got dizzy. Being a natural blonde all my life, I became (and still am) the quintessential dizzy blonde. No one in the medical profession knew what caused my dizziness, so they decided I had Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. I had to retire prematurely from teaching because colleges don’t need any more doozy professors. Shortly after that, my husband of nearly 30 years left me. I rebooted my dizzy life and here I am.

Kev: How long have you been writing for?

Lorna: I wrote my first poem when I was five. Want to hear it?

20131017_184020Kev: Do I really have to?

Lorna: Sure you do!

Kev: (Sighs) Go on then.

Lorna: “Here is a ghost for you. All he can say is Boo! Not Who. Not Moo. Just Boo!”

Kev: Scares the hell out of me. (not the poem)

Lorna: Edgar Allen Poe, eat your heart out.

Kev: Indeed! :D

Lorna: I did a great deal of academic writing and publishing. My creative writing career reignited after I became dizzy. I started writing funny stories about my pre-illness life to remind me of “Normal Silly Lorna.” So, since 2001.

Kev: Why do you write Lorna?

Lorna: Because speaking gives me panic attacks. Okay, seriously. The reason I loved teaching was that I felt that every day I made a difference in someone’s life. Writing does that for me. If my words can touch someone’s heart, make them laugh, or make them think about something in a different way, then maybe I still have value in the world.

Kev: What is your genre?

Lorna: I’m what you might call a “genre-hopper.” Is that a thing? Maybe we can make it a thing! My first book was a memoir and my new novel is historical fiction, but it is based on real events and real people.

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

Lorna: I wish I could spout off an impressive list of well-known classic authors, but remember, I was drunk for much of my high school and college years. If I read the classics, the brain cells that held them are drowned or pickled.

My contemporary list includes anything written by Ann Patchette. Her prose is captivating. I often re-read passages just to study how she crafts her sentences. Laura Hillenbrand is another wonderful author. Her nonfiction books read like riveting fiction. She, too, has Chronic Fatigue.

Finally, I have to include Steven King. I read only selected works of his because I shy away from really scary novels. But, golly, that man can write. While reading a horrifying passage in “Misery,” I actually jumped. Not many authors can achieve that level of suspense with just words on a page.

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

Never Turn Back KINDLELorna: “Never Turn Back” is my new novel. This is the book’s synopsis. Meri Vaarsara had a dream and something to prove. She also had incredibly bad fortune and even worse timing.

Her dream was to become a famous fashion designer in Paris, a dream born from a need to prove herself worthy of love and a happy life, something her stern Finnish mother never fostered but her seafaring father always knew was hers for the taking. So at the tender age of sixteen, Meri left the security of her family and her home for a country where she didn’t speak the language and she didn’t know a soul.

Paris in the late 1920s was not friendly to immigrants, even those with extraordinary talents. Forced to find work as a domestic, Meri forged ahead through turns of fate and misfortune as Paris braced for Hitler’s invasion. By choice, Meri becomes a single mother caring for her half-Jewish daughter throughout the occupation of France. Once the war was over, she used her feminine wiles to find her way to America, the land of milk and honey, with the hope of finally being able to work as a designer in a New York fashion house. But that too was not to be, until fate and a kind stranger stepped in to help.

Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?

Lorna: Because this story is based on my maternal grandmother’s life, my family had a lot to do with encouraging me to write her story for posterity’s sake. Also, whenever I tell her story at social gatherings, people are awestruck. Their reactions suggest to me that this is a story worth telling.

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

Lorna: I only knew bits and pieces of the true story. My grandmother was a secretive woman and my mother is a private person. So I had to make up characters and scenes to tie the facts together into a cohesive, believable narrative.

Kev: Did you do any specialized research for your story?

Lorna: Oh yes. Meri did a lot of walking around the streets of Paris. I had to find street names and addresses that were real and within reasonable walking distances. Since I’m no history buff, I had to research a great deal about Hitler before and during the war as well as the occupation of France.

Kev: Is your book part of a series?

Lorna: No, not now at least. If readers beg me for a sequel to know what happened to my mother’s character, I’ll entertain the idea of writing a sequel.

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

Lorna: Oh, Kev! That’s not fair! That’s like asking a mother to say which child is her favourite.

Kev: Maliciously pulls black cloak across his face so only his eyes are revealed. (Tee hee, hee!)

2nd Edition Front Book Cover Version 2Lorna: I love both books for different reasons. My memoir demonstrates my wit and shows people how to face life’s challenges with grace. I feel that this book is my way of doing some good in this world. My novel proves to me that I can create characters, dialogue, and scenes that are real. I truly feel my creative voice emerge in this book.

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

Lorna: I have a challenge for my readers—try to discern fact from the fiction as you are reading. Which characters are real and which are not? What events actually happened and what ones did I make up? I bet you’ll have a hard time!

Kev: What are you working on now?

Lorna: I’m feverishly trying to market my novel while I prepare to move from one end of the U.S. to the other. I’m trying to stay current with my blog and help promote my blogger buddies’ books as well. When I settle down, I’m kicking around an idea for a crime drama with a comic twist. Tentatively, it’s entitled “Closure.” See, I’m such a genre-hopper!

Kev: What new challenges are you facing?

Lorna: All the stress of what I just said creates a not-so-merry-go-round of physical and neurological symptoms, all of which make being a productive member of society difficult and painful. The fatigue and brain fog are the worst. Well, the stomach and joint pain aren’t that much fun, come to think of it.

Kev: Could you give us a little spoiler?

Lorna: Meri was exploited by many of her male employers before and during the war. After Paris was liberated, she decided that America was the place for her dreams to come true. But she had to find a way to get there. She had to do some exploiting of her own. And she did.

Kev: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Lorna: Read, read, read! I have learned more about writing from reading both well-written and poorly written books. You can learn so much by example—of what to do and what not to do!

Kev: Is there a question I haven’t asked that you would like me to ask? (If so, give question and respond.)

Lorna: Thanks! What’s the hardest part of writing?

Lorna: I thought that writing the first draft would be the hardest part. Wrong! After you have a manuscript you’re so very proud of, the real hard work begins—editing. I can’t overemphasize the importance of editing your work and having others edit it as well (professionals and people who will give you honest feedback).

Lorna’s Blog:

(Lorna has a special free book offer on her blog folks. Don’t miss it!)

I would love to have you visit my zany little blog called Lorna’s Voice. 

Lorna’s Book Links

Never Turn Back, US audience

Never Turn Back, UK audience

How Was I Supposed to Know? US audience

How Was I Supposed to Know? UK audience

 

Thank you, Kev, for the opportunity to talk with you and thanks to your readers for taking an interest in me and my work!

 

 Lorna Earl Everyone!

 

My Workspace Blog Hop!

Hello folks! I was invited today on this wonderful workplace blog hop by a very dear friend, Jo Robinson.

Jo obviously though I had nothing better to do tonight (and she was right, but don’t tell her I told you so) and so she grabbed me by the shirt collar and told me to, “hop to it.” How could I refuse? ;)

Ok folks allow me to give you a proper introduction to Kev’s Domain:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Most of my blogging is done from my laptop downstairs on the sofa… usually with Aragorn watching over my shoulder. :)

cropped-dsc01098.jpgOn this blog hop I would like to invite the following wonderful bloggers and authors:

Percy

Morgan

Kevin

Aquileana and finally

Tom

 

Misha Burnett… Author of the Month!

Author of the Month

Suit2

Misha Burnett

Misha Burnett has won the spotlight on Author Of The Month for June 2014 and has a picture and direct link to his book posted for a limited time on Kev’s blog!

Presenting, Misha Burnett, Everyone!

Misha’s Interview

For more information on how YOU may have the same opportunity to appear on Author Of The Month visit my Author Interviews & Contact Info Page.

Hull Fair 2014

Well we’ve done our trip to Hull Fair for 2014. Pat and I love to go every year, check out the rides, watch the sights, hear the sounds, smell and (more importantly) taste the food. This year I’ve decided there are rules for going to Hull Fair. Here are Kev’s Rules! :)

1. If you haven’t waited for a train to pass, you haven’t had the full experience of Hull Fair.

2. You have to get wet, if it’s not raining, something’s terribly wrong!

3. You must at least either/or go on a ride, play the darts, hook a duck!

4. You must eat something hot…. burger, Pattie & chips, curly fries… eat something!

5. Get at least three different kinds of goodies (Goo-goos!) :D My favourites are:

  • Brandy Snap
  • Coconut Ice
  • Fudge

6. Learn something. This year I learned, I’m a demon on the hook a duck! and I’m not too bad on the darts! ;)

7 Don’t go home empty-handed! :)

Here’s the pics folks followed by  a few joint mini vids. :)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

New Cover Reveals for The Devil’s Apology

The_Devil's_Apology_Cover_for_Kindle

 

Here it is folks, the new cover for The Devil’s Apology, 2nd (newly edited) Edition.

My thanks to Kate for her wonderful editing work. :)

The Devil’s Apology is available FREE at:  Smashwords

This is a permanent offer and has the same interior as the two versions below:

 

content-3949114-DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAILThe Kindle version still costs a few pennies I’m afraid, but comes with the original cover. I’ve done this to distinguish it from the Smashwords free version and avoid confusion for my readers. I believe one can download a mobi (kindle) version from Smashwords so you may want to check that out before paying for this one… otherwise it’s going to cost you around 78 cents or something like that depending on what kindle change their prices to. (One of the things I dislike about Amazon)

 

 

The Hard copy version will still cost around $5 and a bit of change, basically to cover overhead costs… printing and paper. (I think!) That’s the lowest price I can get it at I’m afraid. Can be found on Amazon and Createspace.

BookCoverPreview (4)

Author Interviews and Contact Info

Have you written a book? well, you won’t sell it if you don’t tell people about it. So, I’ve updated my Author Interviews Page to include Author of the Month and more details about interviewing with a couple of added hints and tips folks:

Author Interviews and Contact Info.

Its Happened!

The DevilIts happened! The E-book version of The Devil’s Apology is now available… FREE! You heard right folks and this is not a temporary offer it is now permanently free. That means it will cost you, nothing, nada, zilch. So all you wonderful folk who have already downloaded the 30% preview can now read the rest of the story at no cost! I know you were planning on purchasing it, right? ;)

I know what you’re thinking folks! You’re thinking, “Kev have you finally lost it? Are you mad?” Gees folks, I don’t know. Maybe I am, but it feels devilishly good to be able to give something back to all my wonderful readers and my blogging community. So enjoy! :D

For those of you who haven’t seen it before, it’s available right HERE

(This free offer is exclusive to Smashwords)

BookCoverPreview (2)

Presenting, Fantasy Author and Illustrator… Lee Dunning! (With An Exclusive, To Kev’s Author Interviews, Giveaway Offer)

Kev:

Congratulations go out to Jo Robinson on winning Lee’s Dunning’s signed hard copy of her book for taking part in her Exclusive giveaway on Kev’s Author Interviews!

Originally posted on Kev's Blog:

Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:

Lee Dunning

Lee Toon Head Phoenix, AZ

U.S.A.

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

I’d like to tell you about how I was orphaned at birth and raised by wolverines in the wilds of Alaska, but you’d never believe that, so let me make up something more plausible.

I was born in Massachusetts, but my family moved two weeks later, and continued moving quite a bit throughout my life. Aside from Massachusetts, I’ve lived in Texas, New Hampshire, California, Utah, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona.

For more than twenty years now I’ve suffered the heat endless brown of Arizona and I hope to get back to Oregon in the next year – two at the most. I miss green things and little critters.

I…

View original 3,205 more words

By Kev Posted in Muse