indieBRAG Blog

Saint Maggie – Janet Stafford

  Author Interview: Janet Stafford I would like to introduce Author Janet Stafford, the winner of the B.R.A.G. Medallion.Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Janet please tell us about your book, Saint Maggie. Saint Maggie tells the story of a widow, Maggie Blaine, who has two teenaged daughters and runs a boarding house on the square of a NJ small town in the year 1860. Maggie's collection of boarders is eclectic, ranging from an undertaker's apprentice, an unsuccessful writer, an aspiring lawyer, and an elderly indigent Irishman. What really upsets town folk, though, is the fact that she also lives with her two closest friends, Nate and Emily, who are African-American. To make matters worse, Maggie begins to court Elijah Smith, the free-thinking, abolitionist editor of the town's newspaper. (It's a good thing the town doesn't know that Emily, Nate, Eli and Maggie manage a stop on the Underground Railroad.) Enter Jeremiah Madison, the new Methodist minister. Maggie is asked to provide him with a room because there is nowhere else for him to lodge. Both Maggie and her church have high hopes for Jeremiah – and he appears to fulfill them: he is charming, respectable, and an inspiring pastor.…

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Roswell Redemption – Cindi Crane

Author Interview: Cindi Crane It is my pleasure to introduce Author Cindi Crane winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion. Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Cindi please tell us about your book, Roswell Redemption. 

Roswell Redemption is a story of two women whose stories come together in Greyson Manor, a plantation home in Roswell, Georgia.
In 1838, Jade Hawkins is the thirteen year old daughter of a prominent Cherokee family who own one of the most successful plantations in the Cherokee Nation. But the Hawkins plantation is taken over by force as a result of the Georgia Land Lottery and Andrew Jackson’s insistence on the Cherokee removal to the west. Jade's family is destroyed and she is forced to stay with the new white owner. Her strength and sacrifices change the history of several families for many years to come.
In 2010, Carolyn Kane searches for a property where she can open a restaurant and event facility in Roswell, Georgia. Carolyn finds Greyson Manor, one of the only original plantations remaining. The owners are unwilling to renovate or sell. As Carolyn strives to persuade the Greyson clan, she uncovers the story of an Indian girl that will change the town of Roswell forever.…

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Print or Digital?

There is a debate among self-published authors right now as to whether it is worth producing a print book when eBooks are outselling print. Cost considerations are often cited as the reason to only offer an eBook. An SP author obviously needs to sell quite a few books to recoup the outlay of expenses associated with a print book. BUT, there is a problem for the author that he or she may not realize, specifically in rural America. Very few if any people living in rural areas have access to high-speed internet. Yes there are satellite internet providers but for those of you who have never dealt with them, this service is not cheap and it is not dependable. The equipment charges and monthly fees put it out of reach for many rural dwellers. Moreover, snow, rain and clouds can interrupt service (and frequently do!). Some social thought leaders believe that rural America is falling behind in the information revolution for just this reason. The New York Times stated that this, in effect, is a blow against equal opportunity. Whether true or not, it certainly affects eBooks and digital publishing. This invariably makes frequent shopping on sites like amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com a rare experience for those in rural communities. How does this affect us as self-publishers? Well, there is no question that eBooks are outselling print books―the statistics don't lie. But there is still an audience out there for print books. There are those who can't take advantage of the digital explosion and those that don't care to; readers who like the feel and smell of a book and want to line their shelves with their beloved books. The brutal fact is that authors who only publish in an eBook format are simply not taking advantage of this group of consumers, even if it is an ever shrinking group! Here are my thoughts on this – First, if you can only do one, print or eBook, always have an eBook version of your book. Authors who choose to only publish a print book are out-of-step with the times.

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Too Many Witches – Scott Nicholson

Author Interview: Scott Nicholson I would like to introduce Author Scott Nicholson the winner of the IndieBRAG Medallion. Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Scott, please tell us about your book, Too Many Witches. I'd did IF I WERE YOUR MONSTER with Lee Davis and really liked his art, so I kicked around for another "monster" type of book. What inspired you to write this story? I liked the idea of "too many cooks spoil the kitchen," so I wondered what would happen if little witches tried to out-do each other on a wicked potion. Is there a message in your story you want young readers to grasp? It's a story about friendship and working together, but also inspiring children to be creative. Who or what inspired you to become an author? All the great books, art, and music I've been lucky enough to find have inspired me to be creative. Ever since I was young, I have always been making up stories, songs, and pictures. Dr. Seuss was probably one of my strongest early influences.

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The Mill River Recluse – Darcie Chan

Author Interview: Darcie Chan I would like to introduce Author Darcie Chan the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion. Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Darcie, please tell us about your book, The Mill River Recluse. The Mill River Recluse is the story of Mary McAllister, a woman who has suffered from severe social anxiety disorder her entire life. As a result of certain events that occur in her youth, Mary’s condition worsens until she becomes a virtual prisoner in her marble mansion that overlooks the tiny town of Mill River, Vermont. The townspeople are completely unaware that she keeps a secret, one which will change all of their lives. Were there any challenges you faced writing this story? I wrote The Mill River Recluse in the evenings, after work, and it took more than two years to finish. The hardest thing for me, other than the fact that it was my first novel and I was learning a lot writing-wise through trial and error, was just finding the time to write at all. My day job at the time was very demanding and often required substantial overtime. What is the most surprising thing you learned while creating your book and…

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In Search of the Fuller Brush Man – Douglas Carlyle

Author Interview: Douglas Carlyle I would like to introduce Douglas Carlyle, the winner of the B.R.A.G. Medallion.Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Douglas please tell us about your book, In Search of the Fuller Brush Man. The novel is highly biographical, yet “fictionalized.” It has very little to do with the Fuller Brush Man per se. My mother died of cancer in 1987. She kept a journal while she was dying. Her last written words were “Fuller Brush Man”. The plot centers around Sean Marcum who searches for the meaning of his mother’s last words. She used to teach him all of life’s lessons via riddles, and he is certain this is her swan song she intended for him to decipher. There is a problem. Sean is lousy at riddles and puzzles. His search turns into an obsession that leads him year after year from one dead end to the next. Add to this Sean’s mid-life crisis, then the death of his first true love, Kim, and Sean is in real trouble. But wait! Kim and Sean remained close all their adult lives, and it turns out she never let go of him. In fact, she penned a novel about…

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The Fuller Brush Man- who is he?

The Fuller Brush Man (1946) MGM knew it had a valuable property in Red Skelton, but the studio never really knew how to handle his unique talents -- until he was loaned out to Columbia for the hilarious, money-spinning slapstick comedy The Fuller Brush Man. The star plays Red Jones, a born screw-up who can't seem to hold down a job. With the help of his ever-loving girlfriend Ann Elliot (Janet Blair), Red gets a job as a Fuller Brush salesman, intending to take the business world by storm with his can't-fail sales techniques. Unfortunately, when Red isn't messing up on his own, he's being sabotaged by his supervisor Keenan Wallick (Don McGuire) -- who also happens to be sweet on Ann. While trying to make a sale at the home of Commissioner Trist (Nicholas Joy), poor Red finds himself the Number One Suspect when Trist is murdered. With Ann's help, Red eventually stumbles onto the identity of the actual killer, and the chase is on. And what a chase! Pursued by a battalion of thugs (played by several of Hollywood's top stunt men), Red and Ann hotfoot it through a well-stocked war surplus warehouse, wherein all the props -- rubber rafts, prefabricated houses, camouflage tents, flare guns -- are utilized to their utmost comic potential. A riot from beginning to end, The Fuller Brush Man may well be Skelton's funniest film. It was successful enough in 1948 to spawn a series of imitations -- The Good Humor Man, The Fuller Brush Girl, The Yellow Cab Man, Kill the Umpire - -all of which, like Fuller Brush Man, were co-scripted by the inexhaustibly inventive Frank Tashlin.  Read more about this film and review. Fiction: In Search of the Fuller Brush Man    

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Ripple – Tui Allen

Author Interview: Tui Allen I would like to introduce Author Tui Allen, the winner of the the B.R.A.G Medallion. Please tell us about your book, "Ripple." Ripple arose from my fascination with two facts:· Dolphins were fully evolved 20 million years before humans came down from the trees.· A dolphin brain has ten times the capacity of the human brain for processing sound.It made me realise how little we really know about dolphins, how great is their mystery and how presumptuous we are to consider ourselves worth more than them. I want my readers, to wonder if this story might really have happened and then to want to give all cetaceans the benefit of the doubt and accord more respect to all those life-forms which humans, through their own limitations, cannot possibly fully understand. The book had a working title, "Ripple of Sound." The story brewed in my brain for twenty years before the novel emerged. The poem version was the first incarnation of the story. The poem is included at the end of the book. It's about twenty years older than the novel What were some of the challenges you faced while researching for your story? I needed to…

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PBS Documentary: Sheriff

Fact: SHERIFF follows the daily adventures of the larger-than-life character Sheriff Ronald W. Hewett in rural Brunswick County, North Carolina Premiered on PBS's Independent Lens SHERIFF follows the daily adventures of Sheriff Ronald E. Hewett as he tries to keep the peace in the rural community of Brunswick County, North Carolina. More than five years in the making, SHERIFF uses classic cinema verité techniques (excluding the interviews and music) to paint a detailed, intimate portrait of a dying breed of iconic Americana: the small-town sheriff trying to do good in a very bad world. We meet 38-year-old Sheriff Hewett doing what he is so often called upon to do: face the local news media under the harshest of conditions. In this case, it is a double murder in which two small children were also brutally injured. As mosquitoes buzz around his sweating face, Hewett delivers to the cameras sound byte after sound byte, before politely excusing himself so that he may be sick on the side of the road. Indeed, Hewett is the quintessential southern gentleman, a man whose easy smile, open sincerity and comforting southern accent invites the entire community to embrace him as part of their family. This is not entirely by chance—as a montage of Hewett business placards and road signs reveal, Hewett seems to be related to almost everyone in Brunswick County and is considered their favorite son. Some of this admiration stems from Hewett's bold modernization of the formerly backward, backwoods sheriff's department. (Before Hewett was elected in 1994, the sheriff's department wasn't even open after 5 PM). SHERIFF reveals the flawed but earnest human behind the Andy Griffith and Buford Pusser clichés. Hewett's daily struggles with justice, power and public opinion are not far removed from America's own struggles. In one of the film's most humorous scenes, Hewett raids a small-time video poker parlor and uses his intimidating charm to induce an employee to reveal the location of the cash earnings. Although he finds it difficult not to sympathize with some of the low-income denizens of Brunswick County, Hewett is convinced of his duty to clean up his homeland. After he corners one of the video poker owners, he delivers a speech so heroic it's hard to believe it wasn't scripted. Interspersed between these entertaining episodes are gentle interludes that capture the tones, textures and earthy serenity of the modern American South. Insects chirp over beautiful shots of twisted swampland. Corn stalks roar, rustled by the hot wind. The neon sign of a store advertising "Worms & Coffee" buzzes into the damp, dark night. These sequences look past the stereotype of the oft-mythologized South to show us places we all recognize: places of beauty, wildness and serenity. This serenity is all too often shattered. The centerpiece of SHERIFF is the brutal slaying of a 70-year-old attorney. Hewett arrives quietly and examines the bloody crime scene. Then once again he's thrust before the news media and delivers in his characteristic timbre the hard facts of the case as well as a plea for help in finding the killer. The ensuing investigation, which involves many of Hewett's officers, eventually frustrates Hewett when he finds they are not following orders to his precise specifications. But on the second day of the investigation, Hewett falls back into his comfortable good humor, even taking breaks to make sure all of his employees and volunteers are properly slathered in bug spray. Fiction: A Cold Snow In Castaway County  

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The Last Seal – Richard Denning

  Author Interview: Richard Denning Layered Pages has the honor of introducing Author Richard Denning. Two time winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion! -Stephanie Richard please tell us about your book, The Last Seal. The Last Seal is a historical Fantasy set during the Great Fire of London in the year 1666 – a fire which destroyed the heart of the city and made 70,000 people homeless. I started reading up on the fire when I was designing a board game I published a couple of years ago AND for a scene in a Time Travel novel I also wrote. When I read about the fire I came across a lot on what beliefs and superstitions people had. I found about the widespread paranoia about foreign plots and conspiracies that people had at the time as well as their belief in magic being real. All that came together very quickly into a idea. I asked myself what if the fire was not just an accident, what if there really were secret societies involved and a supernatural explanation behind the great event? So here is a synopsis of The Last Seal. September 1666: a struggle between two secret societies threatens to destroy…

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