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 Stacey Lynn Patterson (TORN BETWEEN)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

My novel is about Gabreilla a young African-American photographer who goes on a vacation of a lifetime with her childhood friends and Accident Happens she dies she goes to a place called The between at her death and encounters the Forgotten there who rip her soul in half as she is revived back to the world of the living. The crazy adventure to go back and retrieve the other half of her soul is what dilemma is left on Gabriella’s lap

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

Supernatural/occult/thriller

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

Fast-paced

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

I watch a lot of suspense films.

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

I Am an eclectic listener of music, but I old and 90’s r&b the most

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

The good house by Tanaraive Due

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I had written poetry books and had them publish I written the children’s book and after I did my creative writing diploma classes I had a group of short stories that I compiled and published a short stories book which I believe the short story book is what really truly push me forward to write a novel. My short story book is called Strange Happenings it’s also available on Amazon. The stories are twisted

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

Angela Bassett the actress she is one of my all-time favorite actresses I would just love to pick her brain

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

I am very spiritual and I am also on a spiritual journey to elevate my spiritual being I’m very passionate and very driven when it comes to that subject

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

I’m always looking to promote my writing and to get feedback from other people especially people in the literary community it helps me to tweak and improve my writing

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

Never give up even when it seems like your writing is going nowhere the more you write the better you’ll get and it some point somewhere we’ll see your work and believe and it just like you

BUY Amazon

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Interview with Novelist Glenn Parris (Dragon’s Heir)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Glenn Parris: High concept science fiction novel about an archeologist whose people ruled Earth during the time of the dinosaurs returns to find her world of origin over run by mammals.

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

Alternative history science fiction, space opera. Political science fiction.

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

Imperialism and Class-ism.

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

Matrix.

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

A House is not a Home, by Luther Vandross.

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

Dune.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

What would it look like if a new political entity mounted an incursion inside of Earth’s orbit? What if these visitors treated the most powerful nation on Earth like primitive squatters?

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

George R. R. Martin.

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

Healthcare.

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

I think it’s a compelling story that will make people think from new perspectives.

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

Don’t wait for permission, publish your best work when you think it’s ready.

Performed by Val Cole

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Interview with Novelist Dayna Mason (I’m Just That Into Me)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Dayna Mason: In a playful response to the book, “He’s Just Not That Into You” the authors demonstrate how to stop searching for love from impossible sources and find it within yourself. They tell a tale based on a true story of two traumatized friends attempting to get past the abuses they suffered as children. Mason and Andrada aim to guide the reader using story and tools, through their own breakthrough from tragedy to health, happiness, wellbeing and freedom.

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

Self-help, self-actualization

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

Loving yourself

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

I usually only watch a movie once.

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

I love music, most genres. I don’t have a favorite, it depends on my mood.

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

I primarily read nonfiction, but my favorite fiction authors are Orson Scott Card & Michael Crichton

7. What motivated you to write this story?

My own journey of tragedy and struggle to compassion and seeing the truth of who I am.

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

Einstein

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

People

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

I thought it would be an interesting way to experience the book.

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

Two pieces of advice.

1. Trust your process, whatever that looks like. Don’t compare your method of writing to anyone else. Each writer is unique.

2. Finish. I know lots of writers who have been writing their novel for over a decade or more. Often the reason they are still working on it is because they need for it to be perfect. My advice is just finish. Let it be “good enough” … they next book will be and should be better than the last, that’s progress. But don’t get stuck in the need for it to be “just right” … Just finish.

BUY on Amazon

 

Performed by Val Cole

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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.

Interview with Novelist L.M. Labat (The Sanguinarian Id)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

L.M. Labat: The Sanguinarian Id is an illustrated horror, action, and historical fiction novel that follows the ruthless half-vampire Hael, through the bloodied ruins of a war-torn Europe. During WWII, Hael treks deep into the gnarled, darkened underground of Nazi Germany’s shadowed world. In this hell, she encounters a slew of nightmarish creatures, as she pursues the infamous madman Mendelson. On her journey, she teams up with a fellow halfvampire, the dhampir Josef, to hunt down and destroy the criminal dregs of both the human and vampire realms. With Mendelson’s body toll rising, Hael’s been stabbed, shot, and beaten, but she refuses to die, in her pursuit for revenge.

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

The Sanguinarian Id is a mixture of horror, action, historical fiction, science fiction, and occult genres.

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

Brilliant and brutal.

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

Flowers in the Attic.

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

I enjoy the Black Butler Book of Circus OST theme on a regular basis.

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

I adore Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I’ve always held a fascination with the macabre, occult, and medical malpractice.

Throughout recorded history, the accounts of human atrocities both intrigued and horrified me. I gravitated towards gruesome subjects, such as WWII and the like, due to my own personal sufferings with chronic plaque psoriasis, near death experiences, and history of childhood abuse. Because of my past, I connected more with figures, such as the Creature from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as well as the bleak settings of 1984. With my memories haunting me, I found and escape, to the solace of writing and illustration. With my love of literature and the arts, I crafted my first illustrated novel manuscript, The Sanguinarian Id. I never would’ve guessed that my coping mechanism for pain would bring so much entertainment to people. It makes me happy to see readers get so excited about books.

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

I’d love to have dinner with Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins.

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

I love to draw, read, paint, and watch movies. When I’m not writing, I’m creating portraits and other illustrative renderings for people.

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

I was looking promotional events for novelists. But I didn’t know what websites or places to look. On LinkedIn, Xera Rondlings informed me about the Novel Writing Festival. The deadline was a week away, so I did my best to form a submission. If Xera didn’t message me about this festival or its deadline, I never would’ve known about this amazing event.

Thanks to Xera, a professional narrator was able to read an excerpt from my novel, The Sanguinarian Id. Thank you, Xera.

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

Never quit. Rejection’s a bitch, writer’s block sucks, revisions are grueling, and the nights blend into days when writing. However, no matter what happens, never give up on bringing your story life. Eventually, you will die. Therefore, it is your sole duty to yourself to manifest respect for your name and work. No one else will do it for you. Do not let the chance for your story to decay into the lost annals of history. You are so much more than you perceive yourself to be, and so is your book. Keep going.

 

BUY on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sanguinarian-Id-L-M-Labat/dp/1937769445

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.

Interview with Novelist James Jackson (FIRST CONTACT)

1. What is your novel about?

‘First Contact’ is about humanities first encounter with an alien race. Their fleet does not come to Earth to conquer or enslave, but they do have an agenda, one which will be met. During the story, unexpected friendships, trust, and respect, develop between the two races. This story also sets the foundation for the series by introduction many of key characters.

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

Science Fiction Adventure Series

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

Alien visitation

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

Star Trek

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

Bohemian Rhapsody

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

Wind in the Willows

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Time! I have always dreamed of writing, and started many stories, but then I let life get in the way of completing them. It was in 2010 I realized I have fewer days ahead than behind. Thus, I changed my lifestyle, giving writing a real priority, and since then have not looked back.

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?

Motorbike riding. I have ridden across the country, been south to Florida, along with many rides in my home state of Michigan.

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

To become better, a writer must write, and then get their efforts in front of as many people as possible. The narration is a way for new audiences to discover my work, and to hopefully leave feedback, from which I can learn.

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

Create a quiet space, and allocate time for writing. The fewer distractions a writer has, the more productive they will be. This may require a lifestyle change, as it did for me.

BUY Online:
https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/james-jackson/first-contact.htm

Narrator: Matt Barnes

Watch the Performance Reading:

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

Review of Al Michaels Book: You Can’t Make This Up

While on my vacation, I quickly ready through Al Michaels book on his nostalgic viewpoints on the landscape of Sports. He’s had a front row seat to tons of events, including some of the greatest Super Bowls every played (including the one on Sunday where he called an almost perfect broadcasting game), and of course his iconic call of “Do you believe in miracles” when the USA hockey team beat the Soviets in the greatest sports upset of all-time in 1980.

What I personally remember about Michaels as a kid was him calling baseball, mainly the post-season games he covered. The 1986 ALCS is something I’ll always remember as a 10 year old kid who was beginning to fall in love with the sport. Game #5 of that series was as shocking as they come. It was Thanksgiving in Canada and the male grownups in my family didn’t want to start dinner until the game was over in the 9th when the Angels were up against the Red Sox 5-2. Well craziness happened that inning as the Red Sox tied it up and they went to extra innings. My uncled moved the television to the dining room and we actually watched the rest of the game while eating our holiday dinner, much to the anger of my mother and grandmother. For me, I loved it, and it was the birth of me loving the game and the broadcasters calling it like Michaels did that day.

He talks about that game in detail and many other games and moments in his life, including his friendship with OJ Simpson that turned sour after a double murder occurred. It was a fun read and for Michaels, he got his story down so his legacy stays intact whenever he passes away.

I really wished Michaels digged deeper with this book and talked about more about his personal life and the parallels of it in relation to his job. I really wanted to know who he was and what made him tic. But he wasn’t going there and I really don’t blame him. There’s really no reason for him to. His broadcasting persona and his real life persona could be the same person and that’s what he’s trying to say. I didn’t buy it but I still enjoyed reading his perspective on all the great games he called.

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Matthew Toffolo

Filmmaker of over 20 short films and TV episodes, Matthew Toffolo is the current CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival. He had worked for the organization since its inception in 2007 serving as the Short Film Festival’s moderator during the Audience Feedback sessions.

Go to http://www.wildsound.ca and submit your film, script, or story to the festival.

Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com and watch recent and past winning writing festival readings.

Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball 5 Years Later

So I finally read the epic, gigantic, 750 page book on basketball by Bill Simmons, almost to the date when it debuted before the 2009 NBA season. I realized half-way through reading it that I was having Simmons podcast withdrawal and kind of missed the guy when he was suspended for no apparent reason by ESPN for 3 weeks. So to get my Simmons fix, I finally read his book – which took me the exact amount of time his suspension was. It was my elliptical exercise bike book to read and I burned a lot of calories sifting through this monster!

I guess there was a reason he was suspended from ESPN, and that was because he called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a liar on a podcast and claimed he tried to cover up the Ray Rice elevator video. His podcasts don’t really fall under the journalistic umbrella as he was just spit-balling with Cousin Sal from Jimmy Kimmel’s show. And the amazing part about that podcast was that ESPN was promoting it on their PODCASTS page the entire 3 weeks he was gone. So they were making money for the exact thing they suspended him for because it didn’t fall under their “moral” code. That’s like a museum announcing it was removing a painting from their showcase because it was to profane, but still showing the painting at the museum because they knew that exact painting was causing more people to see it! It made no sense unless you’re a smart businessman, which ESPN is.

So, back to the book. You can argue that it’s a little long and Simmons has never met an editor he listened to because all of his podcasts and columns are a little on the long side. That’s what makes him, him. Ask Martin Scorsese to make a film under 2 hours – he can’t do it. And Simmons HAD to write a book on his favorite sport that was as long as War and Peace.

The opening chapter is a delight as it talks about his love for the game and his love for his father and how the two kept merging and overlapping through his development years. It makes total sense how he became the iconic person he became – a little Malcolm Gladwell “Outliers” feel to it (which of course is fitting because Gladwell wrote the intro of this book).  And his footnotes are both insightful, pure genius for adding in, and very funny.

It was interesting to read his thoughts on LeBron James in 2009 as a lot has happened to him in the last 5 years. He’s come full circle in that time with two rings and hatred from the nation (and back to love). I think Simmons now has to write a sequel to this book as soon as LeBron retires because he’ll move up in his rankings to either #1 or #2 of the greatest basketball players.

In summary, I love reading about things that people are obviously passionate about. And Simmons LOVES basketball. His passion is contagious and it has already had me watching more basketball that I normally would.

Now he’s back from his suspension and I’ll enjoy his Grantland.com articles.