Interviewing Stuart Woods On His Bestselling ‘Stone Barrington Series’

Guest Author: Stuart Woods

stuartBorn in Manchester, Georgia, Stuart Woods is the author of New York Times-bestselling Holly Barker series and Stone Barrington series. Known for his incredible gift for keeping readers on the edge of their seats, Stuart has been engaging people with his more than forty-four novels for more than two decades. A successful writer and an avid sailor and pilot, Stuart won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for his debut, Chiefs, in 1981 by Mystery Writers of America. His later book, Palindrome was also nominated for the Edgar. Moreover, he is considered as one of biggest names in the crime fiction genre for his memorable characters, excellent writing style, crafty subversive humor and non-stop action and suspense.

He spent much of his time in sailing and travelling and out of his passion in these he wrote two books, ‘Blue Water’ and ‘A Romantic’s Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland. We recently had the pleasure to interview Stuart Woods on his “Stone Barrington Series” as well as his passion for sailing and travelling. Here are the excerpts:

Sherry: Thank you Stuart for agreeing to this interview, why don’t we start with you telling us about your latest book, Paris Match, in Stone Barrington Series?

Stuart: I don’t want to tell anybody anything about the book.  It’s best that Paris Matchthey discover it by reading.

Sherry: You have been writing Stone Barrington Series for 23  years, and still it is showing no signs of slowing down. This is just awesome. How you successfully kept this particular series going for 31 books? Also, how do you keep track of your stories and ideas?

Stuart: It’s all in my head, and when I sit down to start a book, it comes back.  Occasionally, I have to refer to an earlier book for something like a character’s name.

Sherry: On your website, you’ve mentioned that you wanted to write at the age of 10? Who inspired you to write when you were young?

Stuart: My mother taught me to read a year before I went to school, and as a result, I became a voracious reader.  That inspired me to want to write.

Sherry: What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why?

Stuart: Tom Sawyer.  I loved how funny it was.

Sherry: Your new and final novel in the ongoing series, Insatiable Appetites, is coming out in January, plus your other projects. So how do you keep up with everything?

Stuart: I don’t; among my wife, my agent and my editor, I can usually find out what’s going on.

Insatiable appetitesSherry: What should the readers expect when they read Insatiable Appetites?

Stuart: More of Stone Barrington and some of the series characters from other books.

Sherry: Apart from writing books, you’ve also been a passionate sailor and pilot. Which job did you enjoy the most?

Stuart: For vacationing, I like to be on the water.  For travel, I prefer flying myself.

Sherry: What types of marketing do you employ to get the word out for your books (social media, press releases, blog posts, promotions ads, etc.)? Which sort of book marketing do you feel is most effective?

Stuart: The only thing I deal with is my website and my email.  The publisher takes care of the rest.

Sherry: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to the reviews, good or bad? Have any review ever bothered you? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad ones?

Stuart: I publish too often to be reviewed on any sort of regular basis.  Usually, I see only trade reviews, such as those in Publishers Weekly.

Sherry: Writing is not only a tough job but requires a lot of passion, dedication and continuous reading, if you have to say a few words of wisdom to budding writers what would that be ?

Stuart: Write something and finish it.  Too many aspiring writers forget to do that!

Thank you so much, Stuart for this opportunity to talk. It’s been very entertaining and interesting.

 

Love and Mayhem-The Life of a Foster Parent

Guest Author: Dr. John DeGarmo

profile pic for newspaper - smallBefore I was a foster parent, I had two misconceptions about foster parenting. First, I thought children in foster care were strange, and were often at fault. Secondly, I thought foster parents were a little odd, themselves, for taking in the children into their homes. I was wrong on both accounts. As a foster parent of 13 years, I have had wonderful opportunity to care for over 45 children in my home; children placed into foster care. I have discovered that foster children are just like any other child, yet different in one way. They have all suffered in some fashion. Moreover, they are in need of stability, security, and most importantly, children in foster care are in need of a parent or adult to love them unconditionally. 

So many children abused; so many children beaten. Children who haveLove and Mayhem cover image been abandoned by family. Children whose parents have beaten them and are living in fear. These are children in need, and placed into foster care. At any given day, there are over 500,000 children placed in foster care in the United States. Each of these children has suffered immeasurable hurt, unimaginative pain, and unspeakable horrors from those who were supposed to love them the most. Make no mistake, the life of a child in foster care has been one of great pain and tremendous suffering. For many of these children, a stable home and a loving family is all they crave, yet never truly find. More often than not, these children in care never truly recover from the emotional, physical, and psychological wounds that they suffer from.

In writing the book Love and Mayhem; One Big Happy Family’s Story of Fostering and Adoption, I have tried to describe some of the stories that the children in care have gone through while living in my home, as well as how their stories and their lives have affected my own family. In this sequel to the best selling and inspirational book Fostering Love: One Foster Parent’s Journey, I share the story of taking care of children who have suffered from horrific traumas, as well as the adoption of two of these children. Each of these children who have come into my home has allowed my own family to grow in love, as we dedicated our lives to care for them. For that, I am grateful; for that I am blessed. May you also find a way to help children in need, and may you find the joy that only children can bring.

Watch this Exclusive Video by Dr. John Degarmo…

Love and Mayhem: One Big Family’s Uplifting Story of Fostering and Adoption: Exclusive Video

About Author:

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent for 12 years, now, and he and his wife have had over 45 children come through their home.  He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering passionate, dynamic, energetic, and informative presentations. Dr. DeGarmo is the author of several books, including the new book  Keeping Foster Children Safe Online, The Foster Parenting Manual: A Practical Guide to Creating a Loving, Safe and Stable Home, and the foster care children’s book A Different Home: A New Foster Child’s Story. Dr. DeGarmo is the host of the weekly radio program Foster Talk with Dr. John, He can be contacted at drjohndegarmo@gmail, through his Facebook page, Dr. John DeGarmo, or at his website, http://drjohndegarmofostercare.weebly.com.

 

A Boy With A Girl’s Disease

Guest Author: Lois Metzger

LOIS-ORIGINAL HEADSHOT, 4-25-12 copy - Copy“A Trick of the Light” is the story of a 15-year-old boy who nearly dies of anorexia. It’s based on a true story—actually, it’s based on many true stories.

It was 10 years ago that I saw an article in the New York Daily News called “Not for Girls Only,” with a photo of a too-thin young man. I thought the whole thing was a misprint.  Boys didn’t—couldn’t—get anorexia. It’s a girl’s disease! I kept waiting for the article to “correct” itself. It never did. It said that 10 percent of people with eating disorders are boys and men; that there are 10 million people in this country with eating disorders, which means one million boys and men (a low estimate, as I’ve since learned). The article described a boy who, at 13, practically stopped eating and had to be hospitalized. In the hospital, he saw a too-thin girl in the hallway, talking to herself. He thought: “I really don’t want to be like that. I want to get out of here.”

I never intended to write a book about eating disorders. I clipped the article but tried to forget about it. I couldn’t. In fact I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Within a week I got in touch with the writer of the article, Julie Patel, and she put me in touch with the young man, then 16 and recovered (and, even better, healthy to this day). After that I spoke with other young men, their doctors and therapists, and the staff at hospital eating-disorder wings. Bits and pieces of what I learned found their way into “A Trick of the Light.”

Things like eating but not eating, such as chewing bread to a mushy ball9780062133090 before spitting it out; staring in mirrors for long periods of time; and the fact that eating disorders can escalate alarmingly quickly. Every story was different, of course, but there were some universal similarities: these kids were bright, motivated, hardworking, and disciplined.  The problem was, when they became anorexic, they put all that focused energy into being anorexic.

Generally girls start out wanting to be thin. They begin dieting, and the dieting takes on a life of its own. Girls restrict food, cutting out anything that’s “bad” or “fattening.” Eventually they eat only tiny amounts of “pre-approved” food, and can starve to death. For boys, it’s different: they don’t want to look like supermodels. They aspire to a fit, strong body, and it’s the workouts that spiral out of control. It’s not enough to run a few laps or do a few push-ups. Minutes spent exercising turn into hours. Boys can work themselves to death.

My main character in “A Trick of the Light,” Mike Welles, develops full-blown anorexia. He does get better.  It’s not an easy recovery—eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder, up to 20 percent—and professional help is essential. Happily, all the young men I met have been able to do it.

Watch this Exclusive Book Trailer of Lois Metzger’s A Trick of the Light

Exclusive Book Trailer of Lois Metzger’s A Trick of the Light …

About Author:

Lois Metzger was born in Queens and has always written for young adults. She is the author of “A Trick of the Light” (2014 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults and Bank Street College Best Children’s Books 2014), three previous novels, and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies.  Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world.  Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker and The Nation, and she blogs for The Huffington Post.  She lives in New York City with her husband, writer Tony Hiss, and their son.

To know more about the author, kindly visit her website www.loismetzger.com, and follow her on Twitter @MetzgerLois.

41: A Portrait Of My Father By George W. Bush: A Touching Biography By A Son About His Father

Author: Sherry Helms

George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, hasnew 1 authored a personal biography of his father, George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States. Never in the history of civilization has this happened that a President has told a story about another President and his father, through his own eyes and in his own words. This definitely makes a unique and intimate biography.

Though not much new has been talked or discussed which we already do not know about the elder Bush but still it generates a curiosity to relearn it from his own son and president. A Portrait of My Father covers elder Bush’s early career in the Pacific during World War II, his pioneering work in the Texas oil business, and his political rise as a Congressman, U.S. Representative to China and the United Nations, CIA Director, Vice President, and President of the United States.

The book is interesting in the sense that it also portrays Bush both as the accomplished statesman and the warm, decent family man. Besides, Jr. Bush also discusses about the fact that how his father’s has deep influence on him from his childhood in West Texas.

This book does not talks much new about Junior Bush pivotal moments as President nor about Sr. Bush’s tenure in White House. This book is more a “Love story” about his Dad, which he admits himself. Even while discussing important presidential events, the book’s narrative shows Bush senior emphasized personal relations with foreign leaders. He substantiates this by stating that in 1989, he invited French President François Mitterrand to the Bush family retreat at Kennebunkport, Maine. As a result, France supported the use of force to oust Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait in 1991.

When Bush 41 went to war against Saddam Hussein in 1991 (after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait), he made a decision not to go on to Baghdad and topple Iraq’s dictator, later explaining that if we had gone in and created “more instability in Iraq, I think it would have been very bad for the neighborhood.” The younger Bush looks defensive here by writing that in ordering the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he “was not trying ‘to finish what my father had begun,’ as some have suggested. My motivation was to protect the United States of America, as I had sworn an oath to do.”

In an interesting story projecting the warmth of elder Bush, he writes, “when his Democratic friend Dan Rostenkowski was convicted of corruption, he called him in prison hoping to lift his spirits, putting civility and decency ahead of the ugliness of politics”.

This book should be considered as not political but personal Mr. Bush. The critics also say that Jr. Bush writing style does not have that charm as that of his Father’s as seen in his letters-All the Best, George Bush or the literary gift displayed  by her mother in her memoir, “Spoken From the Heart”. But unlike his earlier books, “A Charge to Keep,” and his 2010 autobiography, “Decision Points”, this volume comes close to capturing Mr. Bush’s distinctive voice — by turns jokey and sentimental, irreverent and sincere.

There is not much talked in this book about his other Siblings but definitely there is a very touching passage that is devoted to his younger sister Robin’s death from leukemia in 1953. “In one of her final moments with my father,” Mr. Bush writes, “Robin looked up at him with her beautiful blue eyes and said, ‘I love you more than tongue can tell.’ Dad would repeat those words for the rest of his life.”

We recommend this book for reading. If you have already read this book do share your reviews below.

The Drumbeater… The Story Behind A Story

Guest Author: Clive Allan

Misc 29.5.13 099 I have always loved writing, even as a small boy, often composing short stories for my own amusement during the school holidays. Then as a teenager, I was lucky enough to be taught English by a charismatic and larger than life teacher who did much to inspire me in terms of creative writing. I went on to study English literature at college and having examined in detail the works of some of our literary greats, I often dreamed of becoming a novelist. But the realities of life kicked in, and having first considered a military career, I eventually ended up in the police service. For thirty years, any desire to write was well and truly curbed. My literary efforts were almost exclusively restricted to crime reports and witness statements…which, ironically, I often enjoyed writing…although I must stress they were never fiction!! Then, as retirement finally loomed, I promised myself that I would one day write that elusive novel, and encouraged by my long suffering wife, I set out to do so.

Like many prospective writers, I naturally sought to exploit areas of knowledge in which I had a strong grounding. Predictably, policing was one of them, having worked in a number of specialist roles and ranks during a very varied and eventful career.

Being a child of the sixties, with parents who lived through World War Two, and grandfathers who served in the armed forces, I was also brought up on the many dramatic tales still circulating strongly twethedrumbeaternty years after the last shots had been fired. Not surprisingly then, my long held fascination for all things historical, developed into a profound interest in military history, a subject that still captivates me today.

So having drawn upon thirty years police experience, my interest in military history and a profound knowledge of the Scottish Highlands, developed over many years as a home owner in the region, I created Detective Inspector Neil Strachan. He is not the usual dysfunctional urban detective, but an academic, a graduate historian struggling to build a reputation in the gritty world of modern day policing. His adventures (and I am already working on the second of them) are played out amongst the rugged beauty of Britain’s last great wilderness, a setting rarely focused upon in detective novels. My first DI Strachan novel, The Drumbeater, is a coalescence of the past and the present. Two stories developing along their own distinctive lines, finally uniting to produce what I hope readers will agree is an impactive climax. 

My current project, The Well Of The Dead, sees Inspector Strachan embroiled in a double murder investigation with a sinister link to the Jacobite rebellion, and the turbulent days immediately prior to the Battle of Culloden. Researching this earlier period in Scotland’s turbulent past has presented me with an additional challenge, one I really enjoyed getting to grips with!  So I sincerely hope those readers who enjoyed The Drumbeater find this latest offering an equally compelling read… I look forward to their feedback in due course!

Book Review: Clive Allan On His Book The Drumbeater: Exclusive Video

Clive Allan exclusive video:book review

About Author:

Born in 1959, Clive Allan is a native of West Sussex, living near Chichester with his Scottish born wife. He completed thirty years service with Sussex Police in 2008, retiring with the rank of Inspector at London’s Gatwick Airport. During a varied career, he spent time as a detective, and in various counter terrorism roles, mainly related to aviation security.

He now divides his time between the Sussex coast and his remote cottage in the Scottish Highlands. Clive Allan is a pseudonym.

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