Tuesday, December 22, 2009


It is a great pleasure, and an honor to bring back Author JEFFREY B. ALLEN.
http://bit.ly/8v94ae (Amazon.com) Second Edition
Geri: How important is a cover design for a new release?
Jeffrey: My previous publisher pulled the wool over my eyes. He told me the
cover did not matter. I hated the cover he came up with. Now I know.
If I can't stand my cover, then the person picking up my book who has
an eye to purchase, may not buy the book, simply because of the cover.
He may not even open it, beyond looking at the front, and then
glancing at the back. Then he, or she will set it back up on the shelf,
or click off of the Amazon page, and begin searching for another book
that catches the eye better than my book did. The new cover of
"GONEAWAY INTO THE LAND" is stunning. It draws you into the
story. It has an emotional impact the minute you see it. It is bright in
color, which is good, because the story that is told in "GONEAWAY
INTO THE LAND" is loaded with color. You will know exactly what I
mean, once you read the book. In fact, many of the reviews remark
about the vivid colors I instill into the minds of readers.
Geri: Why do most authors enjoy reading, or writing in a coffee shop. Is it
the cappuccino, or the atmosphere?
Jeffrey: I should pass on this question, because I am not one of those with
the patience to sit in a coffee shop, and read. I cannot write, unless
I am immersed in solitude, where my mind is running a mile-a-
minute, without me even knowing it. I love coffee, and I love walking
my dog to the local coffee shop, and sitting outside to read the paper
on a warm Sunday morning. I live in a historic section of Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, where there is a coffee shop on every corner, but that's
where my coffee shop experiences ends.
Geri: What is your favorite snack, or beverage when reading a good book?
Jeffrey: I love this question, because as a writer, it is just begging for me to
go off on a tangent. It is difficult to read anything, other than the
newspaper or a magazine, while I am munching on a stack of Oreo
cookies. I do not mind having something to drink, perched upon a
coaster on the end-table, while curled into a sofa chair, reading a
good book. My favorite beverage depends on the time of day, and of
course my mood, and sometimes even the day of the week. If I am
reading in the early morning, which I do every morning, I am
usually good for two, maybe three cups of coffee. I seldom read
during the day, until around five in the afternoon, which my
mother and father taught me is cocktail hour. At that time of day,
I can pour myself a glass of red wine, and sit in my favorite chair
as I read with a sense of contentment that I absolutely savor. If
it's Friday, the wine may be a glass of vodka on ice, but that only
happens when my mood is somewhere between a caged lion, and
a raving lunatic. I am usually not long for reading on nights like
that. Somehow, though, the older I get, the less likely I am to
experience moments of total insanity. But I have great memories
of those instances as well as a few sorted stories to tell, which most
of the time bring a good laugh or two, from friends who were
around me at the time. I recently saw a movie called Pirate Radio.
If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. In one of the scenes,
a disc-jockey, who was part of the wild crew, introduced rock-and
roll to the world for the first time. This was done from a boat off the
coast of England in the late sixties and was a true story, said
during a philosophical moment, "These are the best days of our
lives." As creative people, we need those days, and we draw on
them for the emotion that goes into our work. As Captain Kurk,
of the Starship Enterprise, once said at the end of one of the best
episodes ever, "I need my pain." What he meant was, in order to be
a complete person, one needs to balance the good side, with the
bad side. Every person has within them good and evil, and ups-and-
downs. I love the cartoons, where the character is pictured with a
little bad guy, sitting on one shoulder and a little good guy, sitting
on the other shoulder. That's life, and life is what fiction writers
need to experience to be good writers of fiction, just my opinion.
Geri: Who are you, outside the literary world?
Jeffrey: I never picture myself inside the literary world. Even if I were to become
as famous as Stephen King, or Dan Brown, I would still picture myself
outside of the literary world. I am just now starting to join the local
writer's groups. I enjoy the meetings, and I get quite a lot out of the
programs, and the events that go along with membership. But I am not
a joiner, and it's difficult for me to push aside my competitiveness. I
have always been a risk taker. My resume' reads like a litany of
successes, and failures. Many have said that I walk a tight rope, that
they never understand my pension for living on the edge of disaster.
But, that is who I am. Yet, as I said earlier, my respect for life and the
consequences of my decisions is changing as I grow older. Therefore, my
urge to challenge every hurdle is not as strong as it used to be. I hope I
can sit back, and enjoy being within the literary world as much as I enjoy
being outside of it. I want to contribute to my community. I want to be
there for my family and to continue to become a better writer, because
through writing, I have the opportunity to give enjoyment to others.
When I write, I draw on my experiences, I embrace my blessings, and
I dispel my demons. What could be better?
Geri: Do you enjoy blogging, and how important is it to potential readers?
Jeffrey: I do not enjoy blogging. But I am becoming more convinced of the
Internet's power and its impact on the future of writing, publishing,
and promoting. The dissemination of information and the amount
of information that sits between the keyboard and the monitor is
mind boggling. The way literature, fiction and non-fiction, is going
to be marketed to the generations of people growing up is going to
change so radically, that I have trouble projecting into the future.
I have no fear that the bound book will disappear anytime soon, but
the amount of time people give to leisurely reading is going to be
reduced. Therefore, the competition for good fiction and worthy
non-fiction is going to become fierce. It already has. Having said that,
I believe a writer of fiction, such as me, must respect the necessity
to maintain a presence on the Internet. If that means blogging, writing
countless articles, keeping my web site fresh, then that's the world
of writing and selling writing that must be embraced. If not, then
I might as well be like the artist, who stacks his paintings in a closet,
wondering why he has no patrons. Thank you for reading, and please
buy a copy of "GONEAWAY INTO THE LAND." It was not written for
me, it was written for you.
Geri: Thank you for your time. It was very interesting, and enjoyable. I wish
you very much success.
Jeffrey: You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


It is an honor, and a pleasure to bring back Author Jeffrey B. Allen.
http://bit.ly/8v94ae (Amazon/Second Edition)
Geri: What book genre in your opinion makes the best movies?
Jeffrey: In today's world of mega movies, where the ticket sales for the
first week of the release make or break the fortunes of the
movie makers, one would be prone to answer that question
with either science fiction, or fantasy. Certainly, Star Wars,
Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings and King Kong made huge
profits. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy those type of movies as
well as that genre in a novel. After all, my novel "GONEAWAY
INTO THE LAND" is a fantasy novel. However, when I sit
down to watch a movie, the movies that I remember are
movies about people, their relationships and struggles.
Also, their tragedies, and ultimate triumphs. I enjoy movies
that rely more on the story, rather than the special effects.
those. That's why "GONEAWAY INTO THE LAND" is about
the life struggle of a twelve year old boy as he battles to
overcome the horrible impact of his abusive father, who
he adeptly names "The Beast." The fantasy is simply a twelve
year old boy's inner journey of reconciliation, which could
not be set within anything other than fantasy.
Geri: What is your favorite movie?
Jeffrey: I believe our favorite movie, if answered with the proper
introspection, would come out of memories from our
childhood. Our childhood is when we are most
impressionable. This may not be true with everyone, but
I think most people would be able to remember the first
movie they saw. Mine was BAMBI. Yes, that does date me
a bit, but it also gives me a breath of experience. The older
one is, the more time they have to compare the emotional
impact, derived from the greatest movies they have ever
seen. Nothing will ever replace the sadness I felt, when I
found out that Bambi's mother had been killed by a
hunter. Every time I see a stoic Buck standing in a field,
I think of Bambi's father. At the very end of the movie,
he was reassuring the fawn that, although a tragedy had
occurred, everything was going to be alright. I
have many more favorites, such as THE WIZARD OF OZ,
and the 1933 version of KING KONG. I keep assuring
myself that the next time I see that movie, Kong will not
fall from the Empire State Building. Instead, he will knock
all of the planes from the sky and safely return to his
island, from where he was violently removed by human
greed. After all of these years of plummeting to his death
in remake-after-remake, don't you think he deserves better?
The movie that I tell most people that I loved the most is
that's the brutish male in me, thinking that it's more
palatable to my fellow males that I relate to Nemo, rather
than Bambi.
Geri: What was the worst movie you have ever seen?
Jeffrey: I don't really remember the worst movie, because I probably
quickly discarded it from my memory, unless it was so
ridiculous, that the director meant for me to remember it
as such. Therefore, I will hearken back to a movie that was
making the rounds, when I was in college. The title of the
movie was PINK FLAMINGOS, starring a well known
Transvestite, named Devine. If you have never heard of it,
look it up. It is by far, the worst movie you will ever see.
Geri: What is the most important aspect of a book? Would it be the plot,
setting, or characters?
Jeffrey: I am very big on characters. I love to develop them, to become
intimate with them, and have my reader never forget them.
But, without plot, there can be nothing worth reading.
Therefore, no character in the world can carry a bad plot,
or poorly constructed story. The answer is plot.
Geri: How does poor editing affect book sales?
Jeffrey: It makes it, or breaks it. Poor editing affects an author's
self-esteem. It affects a book review, and ultimately,
it kills a book that may otherwise have been successful.
I found that out the hard way. Up until I was picked up by
my new publisher, I was involved with a publisher who
could not print a clean book. No matter how many times
his editor's edited the book, there were always mistakes.
The worst part was that no matter how many times he
went back to the drawing board to reprint the book, there
were always printing errors. Here is an example of how
frustrating it can be. The third galley copy that I received
had no page numbers. My advice to new authors is to find
a good editor, and pay the price. It's almost impossible to
edit your own writing, because you are too emotionally
attached to every sentence. You will never really read your
book as others will. So, it is imperative to search for an
editor, who relates to your style, and cares enough about
your work to be outspoken and relentless in the pursuit
of perfection.
Geri: Thank you kindly for your time. This interview was very
interesting, and enjoyable. We have so much in common
on the movie point-of-view, and I was able to relate to your
feedback on editing, and other questions. One of the most
difficult tasks I've experienced was editing my own books.
However, because of perfection, I also found it difficult
to edit manuscripts for authors of different genres.
Editing is a tough job, no matter who does it. But, it's
extremely difficult for the editor who seeks pure perfection.
That would be me.
Jeffrey: You're welcome.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

**INTERVIEW #2 with Author J. HALE TURNER**

It is with great pleasure and an honor to bring back returning Author J. Hale
Turner. A good friend who I met in the literary world during my journey, and
a talented Author.
Genre: Women/teen/young adult fiction/children
Author of: "ORANGE CLOUDS BLUE SKY (A novel) 5 Star REVIEW**
(featuring the ABC Cheer Babies)
Geri: Do you plan on writing a book every year?
JoAnn: Geri, I'm glad you asked, because I've been having such joy writing
my stories these past few seasons. I plan to produce one, or
two children's books a year.
Geri: What factors place you in the comfort zone while writing?
JoAnn: People who know me are familiar with my retreat to my back porch
for meditation. I love my backyard, and it's natural intimacy. There,
I spend time rehashing thoughts and events that we and our
children face, with the hope that I can inspire them through my
Geri: How do you promote your books?
JoAnn: In the past, I haven't been doing a good job in that field, time and
energy haven't been on my side for a while. With a few hurdles
behind me, I'm seeking opportunities to promote my work.
Geri: Do you write everyday?
JoAnn: Up until a few months ago, I have been writing diligently everyday.
Now, I'm in the editing process for my upcoming children's
Geri: Have you written a series, and or a sequel for one title?
JoAnn: (Smiling) Yes! That's what I'm so excited about. I look forward to
introducing my Joseph series in the very near future. Its
introduction is way past due. I'm also considering a sequel to
"ORANGE CLOUDS BLUE SKY" per requests by readers.
Geri: After having one book published, do you now find it easier to write?
JoAnn: To see your own work published is a definite incentive. I've been
writing way before my work was ever considered for publishing,
and my work has developed considerably over the years. There's
a lot of revision to be made to the earlier writings, (sigh). But,
that's okay. Writing was, and will always be a part of me. It has
its moments, believe me. Writing can be easy one moment, and
a challenge the next moment. That's what makes it interesting.
Geri: How many book-signings have you been to?
JoAnn: Just a few, with my first two children's books, I LOVE TO SING AND
DANCE, and MISS BETTY'S DAYCARE. I did do a brief signing for
my debut young adult novel. Hopefully, in the near future, I'll be
back on schedule to meet readers.
Geri: Have you written books in different genres?
JoAnn: My first few published works were solely for preschool, and younger
readers. In 2008, my debut YA novel, "ORANGE CLOUDS BLUE SKY"
was released. Now, that was a special accomplishment for me, and
I am quite pleased with the feedback from readers of all ages. I'm
presently in the process of completing an adult novel, "EDEN'S
GARDEN." It seems like my stories range from pediatrics to
geriatrics. Hopefully, "EDEN'S GARDEN" will come out in 2010,
after I introduce the first of my Joseph series.
Geri: What has inspired you the most to write?
JoAnn: Family, friends, and community. There are so many stories out there.
We all need inspiration. Life is a constant learning experience. But
it can also be a success story from one's failures, courage,
determination, passion and love.
Geri: Is writing a passion, a stress-reliever, or both?
JoAnn: For me, both! Writing is my escape from all the stress of the day.
My characters take me on a journey or adventure, and I can
actually get lost in that fictional life. Sometimes, I resurface,
feeling invigorated. There are moments when ideas pour into my
brain, without letup. When the flow starts, I can write for hours
a day. That's a good thing, but there are times I need to turn my
thoughts off to get some shut-eye, you know? (Smiling).
Geri: I am delighted to have you back, and happy to know that your
novel may be a series. As soon as you mentioned that, I whispered,
YES! However, I do agree with you that too many writers develop
insomnia, and you my dear have become my number one 'Sleepless
Author.' I wish you much success in all your writing endeavors.
JoAnn: Thank you.