Interview with Novelist Linda Palmer (SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Linda Palmer: A girl meets a guy who is way more than he appears to be.

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

YA fantasy/scifi

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

Alien invasion

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

Divergent

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

Perfect by Ed Sheeran

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

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I thought it would be fun and different.

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

JK Rowling

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

Movies and books

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

I wanted to hear it out loud.

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

Never give up

http://www.lindavpalmer.com

Watch the Novel Transcript Reading: 

Performed by Norma Dawn Dunphy

BUY on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Middle-Linda-Palmer/dp/1499121377

Interview with Novelist Kathryn Schleich (Salvation Station)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Kathryn Schleich: In Salvation Station, three separate story lines come together, all being related. The initial mystery focuses on Captain Linda Turner’s obsession to solve the murders of a pastor and his two small children. The spouse is no where to be found. The second story line concerns a televangelist, Rev. Ray Williams, about to shutter his poorly performing Road to Calvary TV program, when he is approached by a mysterious woman claiming God spoke to her in a dream giving direction on how to save the program. The third story line concerns long-time program devotee, Ruth Perkins, and the tumultuous relationship with her only child, Emma, who sees the pastor as preying on the vulnerable. There is crime and mystery while commenting on the dangers of accepting religion blindly as truth.

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

Crime, mystery, and suspense.

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

Tough women.

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

Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly, an Alfred Hitchcock murder/mystery.

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

So many songs, so little time! Current favorite songs are Lady Gaga’s “Telephone”, “Born This Way”, “Shallow”, and “Pop Art”, Adele’s “Rumor Has It” and the theme from “Skyfall.” As well as almost anything Prince and Ella Fitzgerald.

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

More than one. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Moo by Jane Smiley, and The Dry by Jane Harper.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I was married to a Catholic Deacon for over 20 years and witnessed first-hand the hypocrisy and dangers of religion. There is a very dark, sordid side to faith, especially when people just want to be told what to believe. On the crime side, my brother died under suspicious circumstances, and the more i dug, the weirder it became and I spent a lot of time working with law enforcement. I was confronted by true evil, so it’s relatively easy to draw on a real sociopath for the antagonist. People know evil exists, but what they’re not expecting is for it to come into their lives.

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

Michelle Obama. She is gracious in the face of racist and nasty comments, incredibly smart, funny, and an amazing role model.

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

My volunteer work, especially with the Wilder Foundation is St. Paul, Minnesota. I’m particularly proud of my endowment to provide every child enrolled in a Wilder program with all the necessary supplies to begin the school year.

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

I wasn’t sure Salvation Station would ever be published, and I wanted to witness the work in a different form besides being written on the page.

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

Write what you are passionate about and be patient, as hard as that can be. Immediately after entering the Novel Festival I found a publisher, for which I am truly grateful. Live the golden rule – treat others as you would like to be treated.

Interview with Novelist Scott Meehan (DESERT ROCK)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Scott Meehan: In 2003, a female soldier approaches Major David Allan and gives him a crystal marble, telling him that he must keep it with him at all times. When he goes on Christmas Leave from Balad, Iraq, the C-5 Air Force jet is shot down in the wasteland of Iraq…and he is the only survivor.

After being in a three-month coma, David wakes up in a hospital bed at Walter Reed, his wife, Sherry, looking much younger than when he left for the war zone, at his side. Along with the television shows, news magazines, and general talk, David comes to realize that he is back in the year 1991.

History is on track just as David remembers it so he makes wiser decisions, but on the side, he takes on a fictitious name and bank account to gain wealth through investments and betting on Super Bowl and World Series winners at Vegas.
Life is flowing smoothly until he remembers that the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing is about to take place in 1995. Faced with the decision to save lives or change the course of history, David tries to warn the FBI without implicating himself of the upcoming disaster.

Later, when on a vacation in Aruba with Sherry, the mysterious girl appears with the crystal marble and gives it back to David…then walks out into the sea. When he tries to follow her, David discovers a new world as the unexpected takes hold of him in a reality beyond what is perceivable to his mind, body, and soul.

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

Science Fiction / Fantasy / Time Travel

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

Perceived reality

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

Star Wars or Back to the Future (first ones).

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

“Time Waits for No One” – Rolling Stones

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

“Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara

7. What motivated you to write this story?

After retiring from my 25 years in the military, I thought back many times, “What if…?” to the many paths I did not take at the crossroads.

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

Jesus Christ

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

My family, especially my grandchildren.

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

Broadened exposure.

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

If you love writing, don’t ever quit. Write because you want to…write because you like to.

Watch the Novel Performance Reading: 

BUY on Amazon

 

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

In 2003, a female soldier approaches Major David Allan and gives him a crystal marble, telling him that he must keep it with him at all times. When he goes on Christmas Leave from Balad, Iraq, the C-5 Air Force jet is shot down in the wasteland of Iraq…and he is the only survivor.

Interview with Novelist Sharon Bennett Gandy (Catlips Incorporated)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Catlips Incorporated is about Argyle and Pap along with their friends met along the way, who join together to put a stop to the nip drug usage and the violent cat gangs who sell it.

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

The genre is urban fantasy fiction (I think)

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

Entertaining and enthralling

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

There are a few movies: John Carpenters, The Thing, Scarface, Goodfellas, Color Purple

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

Prince music-especially his less radio, public music. It’s the best!!

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

Stephen King’s It

7. What motivated you to write this story?

My cat (Pap in the story) got into a stashed away supply of catnip, I had put in the drawer. He had too much and his normally peaceful friendly attitude, turned much more aggressive under the catnip “high”. From that incident, the story formed in my mind and grew from there.

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

It’s 2 people actually: Maya Angelou and Stephen King

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

I’m also a real estate agent and passionate about buying and selling real estate.

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

I hope to get Catlips on audio file so this seemed like a good first step

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

Above all else, keep writing. We all bring something to this table we call life, so don’t deny your gift and share it with the world. 🙂
Check out my new fiction novel Catlips Incorporated
http://www.catlipsbook.com

Watch the Novel Transcript Reading: 

BUY on Amazon

 

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Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Catlips Incorporated exemplifies the strength of friendship, perseverance and the unwavering sheer determination and courage to stand proud and do the right thing, despite the odds.

Though the feline and canine characters may be a bit unconventional for some, their struggles against the undesirables within their community is a familiar scenario to many.

Interview with Nia Markos (ELEMENTS: BOOK ONE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Nia Markos: My novel is about a young woman whose life gets thrown into turmoil by events out of her control. It involves a prophesy, a quest and finding her inner strength.

Along the way, she also has to deal with matters of the heart. Throw in mythology, magic, faeries, demons and shadows, and danger from all sides stand in the way of her accomplishing her task.

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

This novel is a young adult urban fantasy, paranormal quest story.

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

Magical awakening.

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

Independence Day. I still stop to watch it whenever I catch it on television.

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

It’s so hard to pick just one song. If I had to pick one on the spot, I would say Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.

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

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I’ve always wanted to write, but I never found the time. This story, though, wanted to be written. When I sat down this time, the words just seemed to flow.
I found my motivation in my main character. Alexa sparked something in me. I never looked back once I started telling her story.

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

Ernest Hemingway. What a fun night that would be.

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

Music, science fiction movies. I’m learning the guitar. Most of all my family, living life to its fullest.

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

The thrill of seeing my words come to life.

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

I’ll pass on what other authors have told me. Read. Read a lot. Not just a genre you like, but vary it to see the nuances of other ones. Each genre has its own way of storytelling.

Take what you read and build your own voice.

BUY on Amazon

 

Performed by Esther Thibault

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Interview with Novelist James Charles (Spirit Of The Amaroq)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

James Charles: Spirit of the Amaroq:

Pastor Jack Douglas resigns his ministry after a traumatic event and hikes across America. In North Dakota, he finds work on an oil rig until a violent turn of events forces him to seek seclusion in the Alaskan wilderness where he’s stalked by the mythical Amaroq wolf.

In Nome, Jack takes a job on a king crab fishing boat where he continues to struggle with his past tragedies while fighting feelings for the proprietor of a rustic inn, a beautiful Inuit woman, Qaniit.

A man from the past perpetrates a catastrophic event that will once again challenge Jack’s faith. Will Jack survive or will God forsake him once more?

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

Romance/Adventure

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

Love anew

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

Casablanca

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

LA Woman

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

The Sun Also Rises

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I stumbled upon the mystical Alaskan story of the Amaroq wolf and adapted it here in an adventurous and romantic way.

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

Ernest Hemingway because he not only plays a central character in my previous novel, My War With Hemingway, but I read his books in the army. It would be one heck of a dinner and I could treat him to a Hemingway Whiskey Smash here at Gertrude’s in Kona!

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

Scuba Diving.

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

A chance for more exposure and your operation seemed to provide this opportunity.

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

Write for the passion, not for the money….
 

BUY on Amazon

Performed by Esther Thibault

Interview with Novelist Bogdan Dzakovic (FORTRESS OF DECEIT)

1. What is your novel about?

This is an autobiographical account of my 32 year adventure in the federal government. Beginning my career with enthusiasm and idealism and ending with the belief that our own government is more a threat to this country than anything that can be dreamed up from outside. Between the two, the events I witnessed or participated in which infused in me these hard lessons of reality. This includes our efforts to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attacks (yes, we knew it was going to happen) followed by the retribution of a vengeful federal government that demonstrated its more interested in maintaining its lucrative and unaccountable status quo than in serving the country – no matter how many people it kills.

On the positive side, the book also demonstrates what moral, highly motivated individuals and groups can accomplish once they learn to ignore the limitations that society and the system imposes on them.

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

Nonfiction, horror, comedy, all rolled into one.

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

Ecce signum!

Latin for: behold the proof.

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

The Yakuza!

The ZEN master in the movie is inspirational.

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

The music of ENYA is my favorite. She has the voice of an angel.

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

The original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Deductive reasoning is a unique way of thinking.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I spent the first half of my career developing the expertise to identify the threat, the vulnerabilities, and attempted to prevent the calamity of the 9/11 terror attacks. Just one of a few in the entire federal government to do so. I spent the latter half of my career entombed in an entry level staff job engaged in a daily struggle just to survive. After 9/11 when I realized that Congress was engaging in a big cover up, including the 9/11 Commission, I became an official federal government whistleblower. Through experience I learned that even the whistleblower laws were designed to maintain the unaccountable status quo of the government. Once I was able to retire, I knew this story of how our government really operates had to be told.

Frederic Whitehurst (one of the first of contemporary whistleblowers engaged in trying to stop major FBI abuses in the 1980s and 90s, and a hero of mine) recently sent me an email succinctly describing the problem in government. It was written specifically addressing the FBI, but it applies directly to the entire federal government: “The problem we have with them is that they are law enforcement officers and though fools can cut and slash under the color of law for as long as they wish without accountability. Because we are a civilized society we do not cut and slash in return. We do what we do with the law, so far without violence, so far in a civilized manner. With our hands tied behind our back, blinded in both eyes and without hearing. They know it, violate the law and human rights and hide behind the badge while beating the hell out us.”

This is the reality of the deep state. If you got rid of waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government then literally at least have of our tax dollars would be eliminated. This doesn’t even count the more nefarious things our government does.

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

My mom. Didn’t get much of a chance. She died when I was eight.

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

Life, developing the mind, body, spirit.

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

Someone suggested I contribute my book, seemed like a great opportunity, particularly with a minimal budget for marketing. Really a great service you provide.

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

Don’t quit your day job. Write for yourself. Never say die.
 

Buy on Amazon

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

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Interview with Novelist Polly White (WHAT IF I GO?)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Polly White: It’s a crime novel about an overseas student who becomes a victim of sexual exploitation, set in Birmingham.

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

New Adult/ Thriller

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

Unveiling grooming

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

Love Actually

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

Diana Ross, Reach out and Touch

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

‘The Gift’ by Cecelia Ahern. I recently read this. Her story writing is compelling with a message about our time being the ultimate commodity for expressing love.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Grooming and sexual exploitation have been hidden from the public for too long. That is in both the UK and the US. After continued news reports of organized gangs making victims of vulnerable girls, I wanted to raise awareness of their techniques in befriending for control. When one young person avoids exploitation, then my message is worth listening to. I’m empowering women to avoid unhealthy relationships.

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

My lost child.

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

My family.

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

This is a marvellous collaboration between readers/ writers/ students /authors and film producers. Your audience is student-based, which is the book’s intended audience. Having the difficult assault scene read in a capable manner, made it appear authentic and gripping.

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

Keep going and don’t forget to collaborate.
 

BUY on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/What-If-Go-Polly-White/dp/1625265255

Narrator: Kate Fenton

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.