Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Brunch 9/29/13

My Sunday Brunch Guest Today is
author John Tucker
First and foremost, it is a pleasure to have you here. Welcome to Harper’s Sunday Brunch Interview!
Thank you, Harper. By the time we’re finished, you may want to rename your blog Harper’s Bizarre.

So, can you tell us what makes John Tucker tick? What got you started on the path to becoming an author?
I wrote short stories in high school, was editor of the school newspaper, and loved to read. By the time I graduated, my life was filled with a new marriage, two children in two years, and had to get two jobs to support them. Long story short, about seven years ago I decided to have a literary mid-life crisis and wrote my first novel – Romancing the Fox. Since then, I’ve written six more – touching on several genres – and absolutely love it when people read my stories and gush about them.

What are you currently working on? Would you care to share a snippet?
I’m currently working on the final draft of a novel co-written with a woman I’ve never met before. Twila Vernon has two published novels and eagerly agreed to team up with me on a ‘He Said/She Said’ type of romance story. Here’s a snippet of eTernalMates.

Dale waved at Sarah when she entered Los Gauchos and put his menu aside until she settled into the booth. Being an avowed leg man he liked seeing her in short dresses, but he understood khaki pants had been a necessity for the business meeting with her superiors that day. However, the black sweater with seashells mystified him because it was a scorcher that day. Still, he shrugged off the fashion disaster, knowing women and their clothing choices would always be an eternal mystery to men.

Dale reached out and took Sarah’s hand, looking past her frazzled expression to stare into the big blue eyes that first caught his attention in college.

“How’d it go?” he asked while she returned his smile. “Did they love you?”

“I…um…think I impressed them.” Sarah squeezed his hand and took her menu. “They said I’ll know sometime today or tomorrow at the latest.”

“You’ll get their support, grab that promotion you’ve been expecting, and kick butt.” He tapped his foot on the green carpet with scarlet swirls. “Next stop, Fortune 500.”

Sarah snorted and gave him a slight nod. “So what’s this surprise you have for me?” She crinkled her nose and looked around. “I was hoping for a box of chocolates, a dozen red roses, and a life-size teddy bear.”

“That sounds like a repeat of Valentine’s Day.” He opened his menu and winked. “This one is totally original and I think it’ll make us grow even closer.”

He watched her eyes narrow while her pink lips swerved from side to side. She’d given him that stare more than a few times in their relationship. Usually, it came on the heels of intimate pleas that ranged from asking her to go steady with him, to the recent and more complex one of accepting his engagement ring. In all other aspects of their life, she was open, lively, and loved to do anything with him. When he forced the boundaries of their relationship, Sarah seemed to mentally bolt; like a nervous filly starting her first race.

“Is this about setting a date?” she asked softly. “We’ve only been engaged for a year.” Sarah bit her lip and scanned the menu. “We don’t have to rush it…do we?”

It’s time’s like this I really think she doesn’t love me enough. He shook away his dark thought and manufactured a chuckle. “While a firm date on getting married would be great, I wanted to talk to you about something else.” Dale watched her lift a brow and smile. “It’s an idea I came up with for an investigative report…and I need your help.”

Do you include some of your own personal experiences in your books or do you prefer to use your imagination?
Oh, Wow!! My life’s been way too normal to have moments inserted into a dramatic novel. I do admit to patterning several characters after people I know, and in some cases, merged two into one. Like Alfred Hitchcock put himself into every one of his movies with a cameo appearance, I always insert a large piece of me into a character’s demeanor or mannerisms.

What genre do you typically write in, and why did you choose this over others?
As I mentioned before, I like to stretch myself out by writing in several different genres. Divisive and its sequel, The Fifth Game, are psychological thrillers about a serial killer. The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight is an upper end YA mystery. Romancing the Fox is an adult contemporary about a good girl/turned porn star that falls in love with the man who gets her out of the business. Splits in the Skin is a gritty story about a bounty hunter who pursues a man with a strange outlook on family. Terpsichore in Love and The Mark of Cain are the first two books of a six book Bemused and Bedeviled Series about Muses, Sirens, and the special mortal that impacts their lives.

Do you have a specific process or a ritual you go through when sitting down to write?
After I come up with the premise, start, and ending, I’ll formulate the main characters descriptions, mannerisms, and eccentricities. Then, I’ll do a chapter outline of the book which will change constantly as I go along. After that, it’s on!!!! Give me hard candies and a little music and I’m a happy camper.

Where do you find your inspiration for your plots? Do you have any tricks of the trade you would care to share?
It varies. Romancing the Fox started as a going to bed fantasy where I hooked up with a porn star. Divisive’s plotline started with a basic premise – a detective sits on the bed of a twelve year old girl who hung herself. Her sister is in the hospital after an attempted overdose and their mother is in the crazy tank after trying to kill her fiancĂ©. Splits in the Skin started out with a premise that plays on the subject of an entire town that commits incest rather than just one family. My Muse is a wicked little goddess. :)

What is the oddest place/situation where an idea for a book/plot has come to you?
During a funeral. I hate funerals, regardless of relatives or acquaintances. As we stood around the grave, I took my mind off the person involved and thought about a teenager who just lost her mother and was grimly determined to find the killer. That morphed into The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight.  

What makes a book stand out and perk your interest?
Definitely the plot. After I start reading, if the characters aren’t remarkable and the story is weak, I don’t waste my time by finishing it.

We all have our favorite authors. Can you share some of yours and tell us why you like them?
I only have two favorite authors – Stephen King and John Jakes. To me, King does horror like no one else, and Jakes is the master of the historical novel. Both are strong on storytelling, making memorable characters, and aren’t afraid to waste a main character if necessary. My favorite independent author is Carmilla Voiez – her Starblood Trilogy rocks!!! **

We all have a pet peeve, care to share yours?
Helping fellow authors without reciprocation really irritates me – enough to unfriend them if I find out it’s intentional. Some will hide behind Street Teams that do everything for them - apparently giving them a license and an attitude to not return the favor. I also hate small, yappy dogs, commercials dealing with health problems, spinach, and screaming kids. 

 When you’re not writing, what are the things you enjoy doing to relax? 
Television reality shows and great movies. Survivor, Amazing Race, and Big Brother are my guilty pleasures. My fave movies of all time include anything by Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorcese.

Thank you so much for joining me here today, John. I know my followers will enjoy this spotlight as much as I have conducting it. Good luck on all your future endeavors.

Thank you, Harper. Great questions. I wish you, your writing career, and blog the best. 


A life-long Georgia native, John D. Tucker has burned through three wives, raised two sons, and has persevered despite being brought up in a wonderfully dysfunctional family. Following on the heels of his novels Divisive, The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight, Romancing the Fox, Terpsichore in Love, The Fifth Game, and The Mark of Cain, he plans to release three more books over the course of the next few months - the erotic fantasy Twelve Doors to Ecstasy, the morally raw Splits in the Skin, and the third book in the Bemused and Bedeviled Series, The Seventh Seal. He is a proud member of IWW (The Internet Writers Workshop) and Scribeslice, both of which he highly recommends to aspiring authors.




Friday, September 27, 2013

HDP Presents Flash Fiction Friday

The Perfect Autumn Ride
By Harper Jewel

Tucker “Tank” Rhodes rose from his bed, the crisp, autumn air sneaking in beneath the cracked window in his bedroom, caressing his muscular six-four frame. Looking out the slightly open pane of glass, the colorful leaves, dappled rays of sun, and dew-kissed grass met his deep brown eyes. It had been too long since he’d taken a day for himself. This damn mechanic’s shop he’d recently opened had consumed his every waking moment. The day was perfect for a morning ride on his Harley, and some personal time was a necessity, but coffee was a must first.

Less than an hour later, Tank was fueled, showered, and dressed, his sizeable junk tucked beneath the zipper of his skin-hugging riding leathers; his usual black t-shirt stretched over his bulging pecs. Tossing his matching black leather jacket over his shoulders, he secured his long, sandy brown hair back with a leather tie. Grabbing his helmet, he strode outside to the curb and ran a soothing hand over his Amber Whiskey, Harley Softail Fat Boy. Once astride the bike, he revved the engine and pulled away.
As he suspected, the morning was perfect. The sun’s rays were already lending warmth, and the fire-topped trees offered majestic beauty, indicating the peak of the season was just around the corner. Miles sped by, and he had the back roads to himself. Peace and tranquility his companions, he rode on until he spotted something along the side of the road up ahead.

Giving a quick scan, he realized it was a kindred spirit, a curvy female with her own Silver Pearl Fat Boy. She looked like she was having trouble with her bike, so he slowed down and pulled over.

“Problem, Miss?”

“You could say that. I’m beginning to think I should have stayed in bed this morning.” She waved a hand toward her bike. “The engine crapped out on me. I’ve checked her out from top to bottom. Nada.” Her auburn locks glinted in the sun as she shook her head. “To make matters worse…my fucking cell is dead. No way to call for roadside assistance.”
His cell in hand, he smiled as he held it up. “I own a mechanic’s shop; we specialize in bikes, especially Harleys. I’ll call a tow for you, sweetheart. Name’s Tucker, but friends call me Tank.” He made the necessary call and slipped his cell back into its holster at his side. “It’ll be at least an hour before they get here. In the meantime, we’ll just chit-chat.”

The look the slender beauty in a one-piece leather riding outfit gave him awakened the ravenous beast between his legs. “My hero, and he rode in on a Harley no less. Thanks, Tank. I’m Heather. He took her offered hand, his large palm enclosing her smaller one as her tongue swept across her lower lip. “I owe you for the save, and I’m pretty sure I have the perfect way to show you my gratitude, stud.”

As his thick stalk grew beneath the constriction of his zipper, he widened his stance and clenched his fists at his sides. Heather sank to her knees, reaching for the closure of his pants and lowering it snick by snick. Reaching into the opening, she pulled his erection out between the jagged teeth and licked the bulbous head. Her words were punctuated by wet lashes of her tongue. “Thank…you…so…much…Tank. My day…would have gone…to hell in a hand basket…if you hadn’t shown up…”

This sexy siren’s mouth was pure bliss, her tongue a talented tease. He looked down to watch her head bob and dip over his engorged shaft. Very few women he’d ever been with were able to take all of his substantial length to the back of their throats, but this bewitching beauty had his tip touching her tonsils in no time. She hollowed her cheeks, practically dragging his essence from the slit as her tongue swirled and laved over every pulsing vein. When was the last time he’d been treated to such oral ecstasy? He couldn’t remember and didn’t give a fuck at the moment. Instead, he just relaxed and let the sensual heat overwhelm him.

“Damn, Heather. You sure know one hell of way to say thanks. Please…don’t stop.” He threaded his hands through her shiny auburn strands and gave them a soft yank. Her moaning response echoed up his stiff rod and settled in his heavy sac.

When the voluptuous, green-eyed vixen began to lower the zipper nestled between her perfectly shaped breasts, he nearly lost his load. The flawless globes spilled forth, begging for his touch. Unable to deny the yearning call, Tank’s hands shifted from her head to her chest, tweaking and twisting the beaded tips until they were a lovely shade of dark pink.

“You like, Tank?” Her voice was like a purr, a tigress on the hunt.

“I like very much, Heather. So much in fact, I want to see how they’ll look with my seed coating them.”

“I’m sure that can be arranged, stud. But first let me get back to prepping this lethal snake of yours.” The words barely left her mouth before she’d turned it back to his raging hard-on.

Once more, she engulfed the entire stretch of his arousal, taking him in from tip to base and swallowing, her throat squeezing him like a vise. The second her tiny hand reached for his tightening nuts, he felt the eruption begin at the base of his spine. With skilled dexterity, she popped him from her moist confines and let his blistering release spray across her breasts and drip down her alabaster skin. Her sharp hiss combined with the look of satisfaction on her face let him know she’d fallen over the edge along with him.

A truck’s horn blared through his ear drums—and his eyes flew open—his spent member lay between his thighs, the damp sheets twisted about his naked body. “Fuck me! A wet dream?! Man, I need to get laid!”



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Brunch 9/22/13


First and foremost, it is a pleasure to have you here. Welcome to Harper’s Sunday Brunch Interview!

So, can you tell us what makes Thomas Duder tick? What got you started on the path to becoming an author?
Hello there~! What makes Thomas Duder tick, eh...?

Well, I'd like to think that shows up in my writing, quite a lot. My love of martial arts, wrestling, and over the top action really shows up in my work, whether it be The Generalist or Killer 13 or anything else I'm doin'.

Things get pretty sexual later on in The Generalist, and all across the rainbow of methods, genders, and...well.

It's kinda-sorta hinted at in as soon as the first episode (Taboo 0), but then I introduce the sisters, Taboo 4 gets Jack, and...then there's the shenanigans in Taboo X: The Twisted Mashup with a pooka...

...did I ever mention that I'm just not very thoughtful or creative before I've had coffee? I skipped breakfast just so I could have this brunch with you, y'know...

Hopefully they got kiwi here. I fuckin' love kiwi.

And coffee.

As towards what started me on the path of becoming an author? Much like many other fellow human beings, I've harbored a deep love of books ever since I was young, and eventually I just wanted to try my hand at it. I've always been working on stuff, whether it be poetry, lyrics, or actual novel-writing. I even wrote a 300-page book for an Advanced Placement English class over summer...

And even though it netted me an A+, I've held on to it to remind me of my roots, that I was once THAT FUCKING BAD. Like, seriously. I wrote a book that was little more than a crossover fanfic (tropes-wise, the characters and story was all me and I hate that) that if I was given the chance to go back in time and kick my own ass I would. I wooooould.

Since I've never lost a streetfight against anyone, I can only assume that I have never attempted this trip.

So, in short: violence and the love of literature itself. I guess it could be best covered with the phrase, "Tadpoles become frogs."

For what it's worth, though, there ARE quite a few scenes in that old book that I still like to today. The main hero's got a shield built from the bones of dragons, or somethin' like that, so what does he do when the big boss tears open the earth's crust with an attack, thus sending an entire street of San Bernardino (snark, snark...only a street...nowadays I have bosses who sink freakin' whole countries just to prove a point) into a molten wreck?

He surfs the molten lava with the shield.

It's kinda stupid as all get-out, but I still think it was clever for my age.

What are you currently working on? Would you care to share a snippet?
Well, I SHOULD be workin' up new stuff for Killer 13, and I'm currently on The Generalist - Taboo 4: Angle of the Angels and a small slew of Taboo X's that are just looking at me begging me to finish them, like Dash's Run, or The Date, or The Date 2...there's also Five to Die and…

But for the life of me, I can't get past my computer's irregular rhythms and jumpin' around and such. Thankfully, I've just procured a new computer which should be in my grubby, dirty, blood-drenched hands by the time we've had this brunch.

Are we having brunch right now? I am. I have honestly skipped breakfast just to have brunch with you.

As for a snippet, here's a little somethin' somethin' for ya. Do understand that this isn't edited (Adele Symonds does SUCH A GREAT JOB with my stuff, plus she has the patience of a saint...or a sinner. Either way, she likes what I write, I like how she edits. :D We're like a tag team made on the outskirts of an pan-dimensional Battle Colosseum), but it's still good...

Y'know what? No, lemme give you somethin' exclusive for this brunch, a snippet just for you, the first ever from Taboo 3: Misfits and Mayhem!

"MY PLEASURE!" Frank roared, covering the distance between the two with a blinding swiftness that caught [REDACTED] off-guard. Leaping high into the air, Frank spun around once and immediately launched himself into a series of spinning back-heel kicks, wanting to test the physical limits of the Mage Armor - or so he had thought he was going to do as he flew backwards, landing roughly before rolling to his feet.

Gasping, more shook up than hurt, he glared at [REDACTED], ignoring his laughter while replaying in his mind what had happened.

For a glorious moment, the thrill of combat raced through Frank as he made the first attack - always his favorite tactic. Besides, he wanted to see what kind of surprised the so-called [REDACTED] had for him.
And he got it as the Mage Armor rippled for a moment after his first back-heel kick landed, the Water-based nature of the Mage Armor finally revealing itself as the physical force of the kick rippled through the Armor and around it only to explode back towards him, the Armor stretching to form a boot not unlike his own to strike at him, sending him flying backwards.

Getting to his feet and bouncing on his heels slightly, Frank brought his fists up before him, the black mist still spilling out of them. [REDACTED]'s laughter died and he sized up Frank again, his frown noticeable even through the plate armor helm.


"Since you cannot come to me, I will come to you...Frank. I am going to break you."

"Whatever, Drago," Frank smiled wildly as he rushed forward again, leaping to the air.

"Again? Your tricks won't-!!!" [REDACTED]'s eyes widened as his mind fought to catch up with the obscene series of attacks he had been subjected to. Between one second and the other, Frank had disappeared from his sight, somehow stopping his own momentum in mid-air and crossing the distance between them in a blindingly fast run that caught him off-guard.

Then Frank fought with himself.

Do you include some of your own personal experiences in your books or do you prefer to use your imagination?
Killer 13 - oh hell no. It's a post-apocalyptic murderspree in the desert wasteland that has completely taken over the world, daemonkinder-infested and full of maniacs desiring to kill 13 or be killed by 13, even if they don't know it yet.

The Generalist, on the other hand, is something of an autobiography with extreme artistic license taken. Have I rampaged through the occult world, causing ripples and making clandestine contracts with various secret organizations whom I name in the series?

Yes. And fuck them if they come after me 'cuz of THIS, when I've been public about this shit for, like, the past ten years.

Screw 'em all, they don't even really have secret knowledge or anything like that, they just like to think they do.

Seriously, some people pack together to make themselves feel stronger and like they're special - me? I stood strong, alone, against many of them and would gladly do it again if for no other reason than I got such enjoyment from their collective butthurt.

Cults, secret societies, all of 'em are a waste of money and time in my opinion.

What genre do you typically write in, and why did you choose this over others?
Action-adventure urban fantasy, and...well, just violence. I've had a hate-love relationship with violence all my life, and don't get me wrong - it's not like I'm some blood-junkie psycho trolling the dark alleyways and bars for a fight (I don't do that anymore, at least). Hell, I haven't been in a fistfight in damn near 10 years now...

But it's hard to describe why I find violence, well-choreographed and well-done, to be a thing of beauty. It's poetry of the body, music and rhythm of the soul. Certain fighters would agree with me that in activity and action, through waxing wroth and committing oneself to an action that one can find balance between body and soul.

We learn more about ourselves the more we practice, we grow stronger as humans the more we train. Through training we achieve both human and even superhuman existence, the ability to stand alone against insurmountable forces.
But I believe in balance too, that one must be just as willing to accept peace as well as violence, that peace can be achieved WITH violence...but at the same time, violence can be achieved with peace.
After all, don't YOU yourself, the reader, or even you yourself, Harper, feel antsy if things are too peaceful? If things are nice and steady and consistent...

As human beings, we crave both peace and violence. It's treading the balance that's the thing, in my opinion, the (dare I say it) NEED for strife and turmoil versus peace and consistency.

Chaos and Order, my two favorite subjects. Both extremes spell the death of existence, but it's the balance of the two that is true perfection.

Do you have a specific process or a ritual you go through when sitting down to write?
I actually dooooooo, kinda. I once heard that a writer is a gardener or an engineer, and I'm kinda both. It almost always starts with a "written overview," maybe just a paragraph or a whole page for the story with several more devoted to the characters, replete with background information and history. It almost always starts either from a dream I had or if I thought up of something so cool I want to base it around a whole series, or even implant it in something I'm doing at the moment.

From there I write a chapter-by-chapter skeletal structure, allowing me to plot out a story from there with hopefully less than usual plot holes. I can also note character progression and what I want from the individual characters themselves during this time - maybe I want Dash or Frank to show something more, either more human or more violent. Perhaps I want them to grow stronger, or prove their strength. I'll add that in as I go on, and with Dash it gets even better for me as a writer because his constant memory issues gives the chance to weave in and out of his backstory, and it becomes even more bittersweet since Frank (and a few others) KNOW of that secret history...but for whatever reason, Frank either refuses to tell Dash or cannot. On top of that, those in the know (the F.B.I., the Vatican, other organizations like the Beowulf Society) refuse to tell Dash as well at the risk of courting Frank's destructive wrath, once again either because he can't allow it or because he doesn't want anyone to.

Anyway, after I write the skeletal structure (perhaps even a simplified flowchart, like write one line then write one line under that to keep the flow goin' - I actually used both for Taboo 1) I then start writing.

It's here that I become a gardener. Most of the jokes and dialogue is completely on the fly, kinda the same way we (me and Ace, the guy who's the actual inspiration for Daniel "Dash" Hopkins) do it over at Da Hooliganz, a video game podcast review chock full of us being asses...but funny, entertaining asses~!

Same thing with The Generalist. Por ejemplo, there's this one scene where Frank is talking to Abbacus Keith (who, alongside with his wife and Frank's lover, Vorel Kethend) about needing to talk to Bast-Imret, the Egyptian Goddess of Cats and such.

And the dialogue is just super-fast and kinda repetitive, "I need to talk to Bast-Imret," "Well you can't see Bast-Imret," "Well let Bast-Imret decide," or somethin' like that...basically, the essence of my writing is I write to entertain myself. I find humor in both dry and obscenely wet jokes, dialogue, even "ghetto" disses, which the boys pull off more than once.

Also, their need to do a Troll Dance or somethin' in victory. Like, even the most intellectual of my characters will turn into a raving fratboy idiot after surviving a battle that would kill freakin' tanks. That and the whole "Fuck Alejandro Fernando for no raisin!" which is something of a dual-homage.

So yeah, all I do is prepare the setting and the basic script - the characters themselves and sometimes the PLOT itself will evolve and occur as they see fit. I'm just the chronicler.

Now, because I write in a way that I find entertaining, my humor and stories aren't for everyone...but I know I got an audience out there somewhere. Just gotta find 'em.

Where do you find your inspiration for your plots? Do you have any tricks of the trade you would care to share?
Like any good writer or comedian, I base a lot off of real experiences I've gone through. Have I ever beaten up a 100-story tall abomination? No. But I have hospitalized a 6'9" tall dude with a single headbutt.

For what it's worth, he deserved my headbutt is pretty OP. Like, if this was a video game and I was God, I would totally nerf my headbutt because it's that freakin' strong.

I write what I know, and sometimes I do take artistic license (I have never, EVER fought anyone during terminal freefall, but I certainly do like such scenes!), but I only - well, y'know what?

The Rule of Cool and the Rule of Badass. Those are the two laws I write by, and I am obscenely unapologetic about it. If I think it's cool, or would love to see it happen in a movie or manga or cartoon or whatever, then I'm pro'lly gonna write it.

Write what yer gonna write, and realize that you're not going to please or entertain everyone. In fact, you're going to get people who hate on you BECAUSE you write in that genre.

But y'know what?

Fuck 'em. Write what yer gonna write, keep yer head up, and realize at some point in time that you've achieved yer dream of being a "real writer" - yer published, people talk about you, people look forward to what yer going to do next. THAT should be more important to you then "BAAAAW, THESE PEOPLE DON'T LIKE ME EVEN THOUGH THEY NEVER READ THE THING" - at this point, I'll be glad just to be read, I'll be freakin' rich later on with the movie options.

What is the oddest place/situation where an idea for a book/plot has come to you?
Mid-coitus. I kid you not.

She didn't mind, or at least she PRETENDED not to mind that I was suddenly writing a note while, ahem...handlin' business....

But, for what it's worth, she was (by then) well used to me as a writer, and it's still somethin' I warn any lover of mine that can handle. When I go into Writer Mode, it's done – my life is on halt while I'm writing something down.

As iiiiiiis I made it up to her afterwards, both immediately and later on. I've honestly never been so callous in my life, but it wasn't like I just stopped what I was doin' and busted out the notepad – there's a reason whyyyyyyy I keep a notepad or smart phone handy, so I reckon it all balanced out in the end.

What makes a book stand out and perk your interest?
The writing style, almost always the writing style. Some authors write in a way that's just chocolate for your brain, and still others are better at scenery than character dialogue. Still, there's always something about the writing style itself that draws me in.

Then you got the ones who have no business touching a goddamn pen, and should be hung with their sycophantic enablers, because goddamn - some people should never be allowed to get greenlighted by a marketing exec.

We all have our favorite authors. Can you share some of yours and tell us why you like them?
Robert A. Heinlein, Steven Barnes, Mary Janice Davidson, Piers Anthony, some Mercedes Lackey, freakin' Margaret Mitchell (don't hate, the writing style is freakin' SUMPTUOUS!) and even Angela Landsbury, not because I actually like her work but because her work ethic is insane. She's got, what, 700 books? Same thing with Mercedes Lackey.

I can respect Stephen King for the same reason, but I freakin' hate his books - every single one of them (when stacked against the movie) is full of so much racism, homophobia, sexism, pedophilia...I mean, I'm surprised this guy is allowed to even walk around with other people after reading some of his stuff.

Let's see...Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb (for all that I practically assaulted her on Goodreads about the ending of the first Farseer Trilogy - that shit never settled with me as a teen, still doesn't as a grown-assed man), the person who wrote the Amber Chronicles (uhhh, Zelazney?), y'know I freakin' loved both the Drizzt Do'urden stuff and Michael Moorcock's work until somethin' about their writing style (like, at the same time) just caused me to go completely caustic on 'em.

More so with the guy who did the Forgotten Realms books than Michael Moorcock - I was completely fine with Moorcock's work up until the whole "Three In One" bullshit. They linked arms and THAT'S what brought forth the magic.

They. Linked. Arms.

A perfectly good scene of violence just fuckin' RUINED, like snowball-cannonshotted into the depths of Hell itself because he couldn't think his way through that situation, how to present it or whatever. Hell, Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors have been doin' that shit for years with Combined Masuo attacks, and no one freakin' linked arms and danced a goddamn jig in order to bring forth a scene of awesome badassery.

No. I think Michael Moorcock freakin' owes me for that one.

As for R.A. Salvatore, he's the Rob Leifeld of literature. He, literally, shouldn't be allowed to do anything more than read books with actually well-written fight scenes. I won't lie, when I got my hands on his stuff from a used book store (I LOOOOVE used book stores!) on sale, I thought it was a real find. My first read-through, I thought it was kinda cool.

Then I read it again (much like with Stephen King's stuff) and I came to realize that whoever edited his stuff is a fuckin' god - the must be, in order to put up with content like this. He once crowed proudly about writing a fight scene that was somethin' like 30 pages alone. I'm not even going to comment here what I thought about it - despite the negativity I'm throwin' his way on this brunch of ours, I could be WAY WORSE!

Y'know, there are...a TON of writers that I love. I grew up reading these people, their work, and they're all linked together in my mind by the sheer awesomeness of their writing styles. Whether it was the characters, the plot, the world setting, whatever - it was good, and remains in my heart to this day. Suffice it to say, I've got quite a list of authors I like over at Goodreads if'n ya wanna track me down and go check it out yerself.

Hell, I didn't even mention the Wheel of Time or Sword of Truth series, or Neil Gaiman (whose style I'm constantly being compared to - I'm not complaining, I can only WISH to be able to write as good as Gaiman!), or Terry Pratchett, or...well, you get the point.

There's tons of authors out there who deserve to be read, and I will find them. I will find them, and I will read them, whether they like it or not.

We all have a pet peeve, care to share yours?
Someday I am going to smash R.A. Salvatore's hands to ensure he no longer rapes any more fantasy tropes.

Then I'm going to kick his dad in the balls for allowing such nepotism as the Drizzt Do'urden bullshit to ever happen. Seriously, if his daddy didn't use his power and influence, we wouldn't have the whole >giggle-snort< crap that R.A. Salvatore wrote.

There are whole websites dedicated to why that guy cannot write, I don't even NEED to present it here.

When you’re not writing, what are the things you enjoy doing to relax?
Relaxing? What's that? Are you making fun of me?

Let's hobbies are, just, well...all over the place. Books, movies, reading, writing, cooking, working out (irregularly,'s been awhile since I was about that daily), right now I'm learning how to bellydance with a masculine style (yes, it's a thing, yes it exists) in order to get my core muscles back to tip-top shape but I gotta admit, the added flexibility from bellydancing is a nice bonus as well.

I'm into artistic pursuits, physical and mental games, puzzles, punny wordplay, wrestling, martial arts, I'm gonna take up range shootin' again pretty soon. I'm heavy into gaming, whether it be cards (Poker or Magic The Gathering, used to be in Yu-Gi-Oh!), video games or tabletop gamin'.

I assure you, if I'm involved as either the player or the DM, shit's gonna get hectic. I have people who are willing to testify to that noise, y'know?

I WAS in a heavy metal/punk/hard rock band, and I will be resurrecting that sometime next year. Right now, I'm just focused on my writing and improving my life bit by bit. Outside of books, I have something like two or three songbooks worth of lyrics that I've got written up, for all that I can't read sheet music for anything.

I believe very strongly in improving oneself as one stumbles through life, and while I've been quite the loser from time to time (true talk), my greatest strength lays in gettin' back up the moment I fall. Seriously, the moment failure hits me I just shrug it off and either try again or try somethin' different, but I keep goin' - I don't just stop.

BUT, relaxin'...relaxin', huh?

Someday I'll earn the ability to relax...but I'll probably just do somethin' that'll keep me busy even then.

Thank you so much for joining me here today, Thomas. I know my followers will enjoy this spotlight as much as I have conducting it. Good luck on all your future endeavors.
I thoroughly understand if any of this gets censored - I should've really warned you that I curse, like, a lot. And I'm incredibly negative, but it's more like I just embrace my negativity in order to better enhance the positive.

Not that I showed it very much HERE, but whatever.

For what it's worth, the coffee was great, and the fig and prosciutto antipasto was pretty freakin' good~!

I mean...wait, we're havin' the same brunch, aren't we? Coffee and antipasto, COFFEE AND ANTIPASTO~!

In all honesty, The Generalist is my true flagship, vanguard series. Through it all I explore themes that are near and dear to me, some that might even seem heretical and blasphemous to some...but isn't that the point to Art, to creativity? Through the warring pantheons of my "Extreme Existence" multiverse, I'm trying to make sense of the inevitable, just as much as anyone does. By personifying Death itself, Emotions and Abstracts, I make sense of the world around me in a way that is intrinsically important to me. I live by defining everything in my life, even if those definitions don't match up with how others define it...but that, too, is a part of life.

Religion, sexuality, violence, hatred and rage alike, the whole spectrum of humor, the eternal bonds of friendship and love, the tightrope walk between life and death...all this is what I explore, personally, with The Generalist.

I'd like to, above all, share this with all of you. Perhaps you'll like it, perhaps you won't - all that matters to me is that you read it. I feel so strongly about this, I've made the very first episode (Taboo 0: Cliche of Memories) completely free digitally. The physical copies?

Ohhhhhh no, waitaminute, yer still gonna hafta pay for that.

~Thomas Duder, Author of the Things


Balls, brawn, and brains. Thomas Duder is noted for having at least two out of the three. A young man with a penchant for writing and vulgar, over-the-top displays of power and fight sequences that will take your breath away and ignite your imagination, Thomas Duder (The "Author of the Things" as he's called) is completely focused on one thing and one thing only: utter, absolute and total domination of the world (of literary violence). Using a cadre of gonzo-level scenes of action and unbelievable accounts of derring-do, Thomas Duder uses his writing to find other like-minded metal-headed maniac warriors fed by the same cosmic rays of the very same alien overlords who have empowered him and, together, decimate all those who would dare oppose his will.

Committed to his quest at an infinite degree, Thomas Duder struggles valiantly forth against all odds to obliterate the weird veil of obscurity that keeps the metal-headed maniac warriors (don't forget, fed and empowered by the cosmic rays of alien overlords!) from finding their true leader!

Go go, Thomas Duder! Wreak havoc and let loose the hounds of Creativity!

For love! For life! For SCIENCE! FOR ART~!

And, especially FOR MONEEEEEEEEEY!









Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Brunch 9/15/13


First and foremost, it is a pleasure to have you here. Welcome to Harper’s Sunday Brunch Interview!
Thank you for having me! It’s a pleasure to be here.

So, can you tell us what makes Kelley Grealis tick? What got you started on the path to becoming an author?
I wrote a lot when I was younger. I wrote poetry mostly, but attempted my first novel when I was in the 6th grade. I didn’t make it past the first 5 pages!

I set writing aside when I started high school. My parents decided to send me to catholic school, so I thought I needed to focus on my studies to ensure they got their monies worth. I paid my way through college, so between going to school full time and working, I had little time for writing. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking about writing at this time.

I accredit my career midlife crisis for renewing my passion for creative writing. In 2009, the company I had been working for was acquired and the future of my job uncertain. That event caused me to reflect on what I was doing for a living. There was nothing wrong with what I was doing, but I realized that I was professionally unfulfilled. I felt that there had to be something else out there for me.

At this same time, I had just finished reading a popular book series, the premise of which was so simple I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself. I stewed over this for a bit before declaring to my husband that I was going to write a book. I started writing The Descendant the next day.

What are you currently working on? Would you care to share a snippet?
At the moment, I’m gearing up for the release of my second book, The Search (Book 2 in The Descendant Vampire Series). The Search will be published on August 27. I need to start working on the third book in the series, which I intend to be the last book unless I write myself into a fourth.

Excerpt from the opening scene of Chapter 1; Allison caught in the midst of her illicit vampire behavior.

We reached the apartment and I punched the security code into the keypad as I steadied Joe with my left arm. The lock clicked and I pushed the door open. We entered the dark apartment, the only illumination coming from the cityscape visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Which city, I hadn’t a clue. I’d traveled to so many cities over the past several months that they all looked the same. This was just another metropolis with an overabundance of skyscrapers, congested freeways and plenty of places like the lounge to inconspicuously pick up an easy meal, like Joe.

“Where’s the light?” Joe groped the wall in search of a switch.

“We don’t need light.” I grabbed Joe by the shirt and pushed him against the wall. I pressed my body against his as I kicked the door closed with my other foot.

“I like it. A woman who takes control and knows what she wants.”

“I know what I want, alright.”

Joe panted with anticipation. I could feel his heart beating beneath his shirt, now damp with perspiration. I yanked at his collar, exposing his neck. Though the room was dark, my eyes could see the vein thumping under his skin with every beat of his heart. I licked his neck and the saltiness was enough to make the venom angrier. It swirled more powerfully in my stomach and steamrolled through my veins. Desire was flush throughout my body; I yearned for nourishment. My legs tingled with anticipation. I opened my mouth and felt my fangs emerge; a drop of venom numbed my tongue for a second. I threw my head back, ready to strike when the light flicked on.

“What in the hell?” I shouted at Joe, assuming he had found the light switch.

It took his mortal eyes a few seconds to adjust to the surroundings, which was enough time for my fangs to retract without him noticing. Joe rubbed his eyes with both hands and I realized he couldn’t have turned on the light; the switch was out of reach. I turned around.

“Hello, Allison,” a female voice greeted from across the room. 

“Marlo?” I was shocked by the unexpected appearance of the woman I had once, not too long ago, considered like a sister.

Do you include some of your own personal experiences in your books or do you prefer to use your imagination? 
Both. There’s a lot of me in the Allison you see in Chapter 1 of The Descendant (Book 1 in The Descendant Vampire Series). The angst that Allison feels about not being able to find her life’s calling is how I felt as I was going through my career mid-life crisis. But that’s the extent of me in that book. From there, I twisted everything into a fictional tale that reveals the origin of the vampire. One of the liberating things about being a writer is the ability to let your imagination run wild with a story. 
Why Paranormal books?  What made you choose this genre over others? 
I’ve loved all things vampire since I was a little girl when my mom hooked me on the reruns of the original Dark Shadows TV show. Once I decided I was going to write a book, it was natural for me to want to write about vampires, and once I made that decision, I knew exactly what I was going to write about. I had an observation after reading a bunch of vampire books and watching loads of vampire TV shows and movies – the vampire was always just there. I had never heard a story about the origin of the vampire, or the stories I had heard I simply didn’t think were plausible. I decided I was going to write a novel about how the first vampire came to be with the hope that my theory would make people wonder if it could be possible that vampires exist. 
Though I currently write paranormal, I have plans for a political thriller and contemporary romance. 
Do you have a specific process or a ritual you go through when sitting down to write? 
When I wrote the first draft of The Descendant, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I started writing the middle of the novel first, then went back and wrote the beginning, ending, and everything in between. After taking writing classes, I learned techniques to make me more efficient as a writer. I now start with an outline and then have that outline up on the screen as I write each chapter to ensure I hit on all of the elements I want included in a chapter. 
Where do you find your inspiration for your plots?  Do you have any tricks of the trade you would care to share? 
The inspiration for The Descendant was my desire to spin a tale about the vampire’s origin. I did so by tying their creation to popular biblical stories and I did this because my favorite types of stories are historical fiction or fictional tales woven around biblical stories. The Descendant is the vampire book I had always wanted to read, and since I never found it, I decided to write it. 
Inspiration for other novels I plan to write come from real life events. I like to take things I see and twist them into fictional tales. 
What is the oddest place/situation where an idea for a book/plot has come to you? 
In the shower! It was a Saturday and I was in the middle of writing The Descendant. As I was sudsing up my hair, I had an epiphany about one of my plot elements. I scrambled to rinse my hair, grabbed a towel and went running through the house to get to the den, while shouting at my husband to not talk to me so I wouldn’t forget my thought. 
What makes a book stand out and perk your interest? 
It’s all in the way the author paints their world and draws me in. Voice and the tense are factors for me as well. For example, I don’t prefer to read books written in present tense. I stopped saying that I don’t like to read certain genres. Having met some terrific authors, I’ve broadened my reading horizon and have read really terrific books in genres I wouldn’t have previously read. It all boils down to how I connect with the book’s voice. 
We all have our favorite authors.  Can you share some of yours and tell us why you like them? 
I’m a big fan of Boyd Morrison. He writes action/thrillers. If you haven’t read books by him, start off with The Ark. It’s a story about the quest for Noah’s Ark, but is so much more than that. I like the way he blends his engineering background into the stories he tells. 
We all have a pet peeve, care to share yours? 
My biggest pet peeve is lack of personal responsibility. If you say you’re going to do something, do it, and if for some reason you can’t, at least let me know there will be a delay. 
When you’re not writing, what are the things you enjoy doing to relax? 
I like to exercise and belong to a local fitness place that offers a variety of classes that keep me interested.  Of course I like to read. I also enjoy gardening and watching sports. I’m a diehard Cleveland sports fan. My husband and I both have motorcycles so we enjoy riding. We also like ATV’ing and traveling. 
Thank you so much for joining me here today, Kelley.  I know my followers will enjoy this spotlight as much as I have conducting it.  Good luck on all your future endeavors. 
Thank you for having me! I appreciate the opportunity. Best of luck to you as well!

A Little About Kelley
What do most people do when they go through a midlife crisis – buy a sports car or get a makeover? Not Kelley Grealis. Her career midlife crisis reignited her passion for creative writing.  

A worker-bee by day, writer by night, Kelley is the author of The Descendant Vampire Series. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two cats, riding her Harley, enjoying what few days of sunshine there are in Cleveland, and dreaming up the next story she wants to tell. Kelley is a graduate of both Baldwin Wallace College and Cleveland State University. Connect with her at

Twitter or @KelleyGrealis


Allison Carmichael is thirsty for blood and hungry for answers.
Lured away from her illicit extracurricular activities by news about her kidnapped husband, Allison rejoins her adopted family that’s promised to help her find him. Allison's search is detoured, however, by sinister vampire politics, the seeming good will of her fanged family, and the return of her nemesis. Circumstances unfold that shatter the foundation of her world.

In order to successfully play the game she has been thrust into, Allison must battle loss and betrayal and accept unexpected love.

THE SEARCH is on for answers, but when answers are found, will they be what Allison was looking for?



Mortal death or eternal damnation? If those were your choices, which would you choose?

Allison Carmichael is frustrated with the doctors who can’t diagnose her seemingly common ailments. Her frustrations are further compounded by her inability to discover her life’s calling, a purpose she desperately desires yet which has eluded her for thirty years.

A car wreck throws Allison into a life she doesn’t recognize filled with vampires, centuries-old secrets, betrayal, and vengeful enemies she never knew existed.

When Allison discovers the source of her ailments and the truth about her biblical lineage, she wishes she hadn’t searched so hard for the answers she thought she wanted.

Faced with an impossible decision – sacrifice her mortal life or damn her soul for eternity – which will Allison choose?

And can she decide before the choice is made for her?

THE DESCENDANT – A Vampire Tale of Biblical Proportions