Interview with Novelist Mark Renshaw (CYBORN)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Mark Renshaw: A cyborg private detective Infected with a tekvirus teams up with a sexbot operated by his estranged daughter (#awakward) to solve all his cases and find a cure before he shuts down

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Sci-Fi comedy with a bit of Noir detective mystery on the side.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Pure escapism.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Star Wars – A New Hope.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)

The Bear Necessities

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Legend by David Gemmell and the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Cyborn began life as a three-page screenplay about an android accessing random memories during the last three minutes of his life as he runs out of power. It won a major writing competition and encouraged me to write is as a feature screenplay.

That too did well in competition, culminating in me travelling to the 50th Nashville Film Festival in which it was nominated for Best Comedy Feature Screenplay.

I had a few short stories published at this point, so it seemed adapting Cyborn into my first novel was destiny.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

Isaac Asimov,

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I enjoy making short films. The last short movie I produced (The Dollmaker) has over 16 million views on YouTube, and I’d love to be more involved in making TV programs or feature films going forward.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I think Cyborn would make an excellent audiobook and wanted to see how it sounded. I’m also querying agents and publishers at the moment, and I’m hoping an audible sample will help me secure a book deal.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write as often as you can, even if it’s one hour a week. It all adds up. No writing is ever wasted.

 

Watch the Novel Transcript Reading: 

Interview with Writer Adrianne Mouton

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short story about?

Adrianne Mouton: This story is about a world coming to an end because of the people who have neglected and mistreated it.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Suspense

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Mentally captivating

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Dune

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Purple Rain

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

My favorite novel is Dune written by Frank Herbert.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Everything in which I encounter is a motivation for what I write. Some stories, like this one, just start forming and I start writing.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

The one person I would have dinner with is Dr. Sebi.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Reading. I love to read and immerse myself in great stories.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I love to write and share what I write with others. I love to learn how they interpret my work and see if I am able to put forth a story to the readers’ imagination in a way that coincides with how well I can manifest it in my mind.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write as much as you can and whenever you can. Don’t doubt yourself and your abilities.

Watch the Short Story Reading: 

Adrianne Mouton
Levels To My Insanity
https://amzn.to/2Lta6pm

Performed by Allison Kampf

Interview with Writer Tahnee Langshaw

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short story about?

Tahnee Langshaw: It is about a young singer who has just lost her mum to cancer.
Her mother was always such a huge influence on her life – constantly
challenging and testing her, treating her like an adult even as a child.
As her singing career grew and the pressures from the public crept in she
retreated into her music, scared of the responsibility and not ready to be a
leader and mentor to these young kids. But when her mother was diagonised it
suddenly hit her what it felt like to be alone – and what some of these kids
feel like everyday not having someone to learn and look up too. So it was then
she learned to lead and pass on her mothers message.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Inspirational. Entertainment. Young Adult.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Lead Brave.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Seabiscuit. Best movie ever has everything you could want in a film.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Honestly too many. But an old fav is INXS – Never Tear Us A part.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

My mother and brother’s novel that they wrote together – The Actrix Stone.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

My mum.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Oprah Winfrey hands down.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Acting. Dancing. Yoga. Reading. Watching movies and t.v series.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Honestly have never heard someone other than me read my words out-loud before.
Was super cool I loved it.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write something you would be proud to leave behind. Always have a message.

Watch the Short Story Reading:

A story about a young famous singer who discovers her reason for being here through the death of her mother.

Performed by Allison Kampf

Interview with Writer Camille Sanghera (WHO IS SHE?)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short story about?

Camille Sanghera: This story is about a young woman who gets lost in her thoughts while staring at her unrecognizable self in the mirror. She describes feelings of sadness and touches on how she feels that she must put on a brave face. She is known as a happy and positive person and so she feels that she must continue to pretend that this comes naturally to her when in reality, she is empty, sad, and emotionless.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

I would say this short story would land in a genre about mental health.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Regrettably relatable

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Hmm. If I had to think off the top of my head, I would say Forest Gump.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)

I absolutely love Is This Love by Bob Marley and Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

I love reading and books in general, but if I had to choose an all-time favorite, it would be A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

My husband and I had recently gone through some trauma and I found myself feeling very alone. Just like the woman in this short story, I am known as a person who generally has a positive outlook. I felt that my husband and family needed me to be strong so that they could stay strong, and if I had shown them how I really felt then everything would have come crashing down. I was also afraid that if I let myself be vulnerable and publically accept how I felt, I would forget how to be positive. I wanted to write this short story to let people know that you are not alone. It is completely okay to feel how you feel. You don’t have to hide like the woman in this story. Use your support system because you don’t have to carry that burden alone.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

If I could have dinner with one person, I would choose Bob Marley. He seems to have just radiated positive energy.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Apart from writing, I am passionate about health and fitness in the mind, body, and soul. I run frequently, spend time with my dogs and loved ones, and try to grow herbs and vegetables.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I am a strong believer in the law of attraction, and I had asked the universe for some direction. Soon after, I was approached by someone from LinkedIn who was familiar with my writing. This person encouraged me to enter, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to see where this could go. It has all been extremely exciting so far.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Personally, I feel like the best piece of advice that I can pass along to other writers is to just be as honest and as raw as possible. Be present in every moment of your day. Remember how you felt, what you saw, what you heard, what you smelled in an environment or situation and use that when creating a character. Also, don’t give up. Writing can be a long process, and it can be tricky to put what you’re thinking into words. To help clear your mind, jot down all of your thoughts in point form, and then expand, and then expand some more until you have a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, a story.  

Watch the Short Story Reading: 

Performed by Allison Kampf

Interview with Writer Keith Brandon (I WAS THERE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short story about?

Keith Brandon: A young girl re experiencing her past existence.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Supernatural-thriller

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Frightening past.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

SW and LOTR

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Nessun Dorma-Puccini, This song saved my life- Simple Plan

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Terry Godkind’s Sword of The Truth series, Asimov’s Foundation

7. What motivated you to write this story?

A friend of mine asked me to write to her for her acting

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Dead-Pavarotti, Live-Terry Goodkind

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Quite a few things in life, but playing the violin most

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

It is always good to get your story promoted and exposed to broader audience

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Keep on writing and use every opportunity promote yourself.

 

Watch the Short Story Reading:

Performed by Hannah Ehman

Interview with Writer Maureen Kellar-Kirby (Jiminy Cricket Has Jumped The Wicket)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short story about?

Maureen Kellar-Kirby: This story includes alleged communication from the spirit of Jimi Hendrix after a seance was held in 1972 (two years after he died) although it is only a part of the whole story which includes other material that has been condensed into a movie script. The communication is a poem called “The Marshmallow Box” and has been retitled “Jimmy Cricket Has Jumped the Wicket”. This material has been kept secret for 47 years and is now being made public – the motive being to reveal Jimi’s message – “Oh baby, no body ever dies and other mysteries of the afterlife. I will consider it being made into a movie, although the script itself tells more of the whole story.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

This genres is Paranormal.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Spirit Communication

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

“Brother How Art Thou”.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Belly Button Window – Jimi Hendrix

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Green Darkness

7. What motivated you to write this story?

It is time to tell this story and let Jimi’s fans decide for themselves what they think about it.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Jimi Hendrix of course – to dinner.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Passionate about – the paranormal and contact with the deceased, unsolved mysteries and music.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

My publisher mentioned this contest to me.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Publish now while you are here to tell the tale

Watch the Short Story Reading:

A woman, haunted by the events of a seance that took place two years after the death of Jimi Hendrix in 1972 is still not able to explain the contents of a poem, alleged supernatural communication from the rock star – until now, forty-seven years later.

Performed by Carina Cojeen

 

Interview with Writer Mike Arsuaga (Twitter Short Story)

Matthew Toffolo: What gave you the idea to write this very short story?

Mike Arsuaga : It’s two chapters from my novel COME FIND ME. The full-length novel is at https://www.iheartbookpublishing.com/come-find-me.html

2) How many stories/screenplays have you written?

Sixteen books published. Maybe six short stories. Two feature-length screenplays and a pilot for a TV series.

3) What movie have you watched the most times in your life?

Terminator, Lifeforce, Me Before You.

4) What’s your favorite thing about twitter? What’s your least favorite thing about twitter?

Favorite: Expanded character allowance. Least fave: Ad pop-ups.

5) Who would you really like to have dinner with? (dead or alive)

HG Wells

Watch Twitter Story:

Performed by Carina Cojeen

ABOUT WEENA by Mike Arsuaga

Another time traveler crosses eight hundred thousand years to discover that Weena survived the forest fire. She is the only Eloi patient enough to learn fire-making and defeat the Morlocks. World rebuilding isn’t so simple. He takes her home to get help.
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