Roberta Kagan – Interview

Roberta-KaganWhat inspires you to write?

My mother was Jewish and my father was Romany, therefore I grew up haunted by my families memories of the Holocaust. Most of my novels are set during the Holocaust. My reason for writing is simple. I feel that through fiction I can help to build understanding of what happened, how it happened and why. Right now, there genocides taking place. . Only through knowledge can we begin to stop these terrible genocides.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I like to meditate, play with my cat ( I love animals) do water aerobics and eat pizza. Now that sounds pretty contradictory I guess. I’m no health nut, by any means, but I do love the way the water feels on my skin especially outside in the sun. And pizza? Well, that speaks for itself!

What is your favorite book of all time and why?

This is a really difficult question! I have so many books that I love. I could fill this page and two more with the titles. But I’ll name a couple. I don’t want to get boring or long winded here: I loved :”The Far Side of the Sky,” by Daniel Kalla. It was a beautiful love story and I’m a sucker for a great love story. “East of Eden” by Steinbeck. It was one of the only books I read twice. So powerful.

Are you writing more books? If so, what is your next release?

I am in the process of finishing the sequel to “You Are My Sunshine.” It will be called “The Promised Land.” It is a complex story that begins at the end of WW2, involving a group of survivors trying to build a Jewish Homeland. However, it is also the story of the Nazi’s that were tried in Nuremberg, and the ones that escaped to South America. There are love stories, revenge plots, and betrays involved as well. This was a riveting period in history, so I’ve inserted fictional characters into factual situations. . I am hoping to release this novel sometime around Christmas.

Tell your readers something about you that they might not know yet.

My readers probably don’t know that I am a quiet, almost reclusive person. Quite often, due to the nature of my research, I find that I battle depression. It is very difficult to read about man’s inhumanity to man and not feel some inner pain. But I work hard to stay positive, to look for the heroes during the Holocaust, the people who went above and beyond to help others while putting themselves at risk. When I do this I am reminded of the goodness in Mankind.

Other Info

This is a beautifully written book about a beautiful subject in an ugly and monstrous world. It is like orchids growing in fifth. In short it is about friendship and love in the midst of the third Reich. Ms. Kagen is an unbelievably talented writer. She has exceeded her own very high standards. You will be stuck in this book until the end and you will be unhappy that it ended. This is an interesting and intriguing look at possibly the worst evil in modern times. The writer has generated characters that even at there worst are so well defined you feel that this is a true story. If you lost family in the holocaust this is a read that is liberating. This is a writer we will be taking about. This is a story that we will be talking about. So do not be left out get this book and start reading now.

author writes in a beautiful manner…loved how she uses words….story line so true but sad…we should never forget what happened during WW11 and the horrible treatments caused by the Nazi regime…..

Vincent Zandri – Interview

vincent-zandriWhat will readers love about your character Dick Moonlight?

The fact that he can die at any moment due to a tiny piece of .22 caliber hollow-point bullet lodged inside his brain directly up against his cerebral cortex offers him an odd perspective on life. While he often does the wrong thing or, due to his condition, makes the wrong decision, he is dedicated to finding out the truth behind any case he becomes involved in. He also wants to do what’s right at any cost even if that means breaking the law. You see the paradox there. He is also loyal to a fault. He would follow his Lola to the ends of the earth, even after she has fallen in love with someone else. I guess there’s a little bit of Moonlight in all of us. Only in him, things are more exaggerated and transparent.

What do you hope they will take away after reading Blue Moonlight?

That even the seemingly smallest of mistakes can snowball into the worse shit storms possible. And, yes, in that very, very corny way: true love never dies.

What inspired you to make the transition from journalism to fiction writing?

When I started out, I modeled myself on the old guard writers like Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn. They both started out as newspaper writers (Gellhorn and I started at the same paper, The Times Union in Albany) and eventually became freelance journalists which led to a career in fiction. I just figured if it worked for them it could work for me.

Blue Moonlight takes the reader to Florence Italy. Have you been there yourself? If so, what was it about Italy that inspired you to send Dick Moonlight there?

I spend about three months a year in Florence, writing, eating, drinking, traveling, and just generally messing around with the friends I’ve made there over the years. Jim Harrison likes to escape to his cabin in the Michigan wilderness in order to write. Hemingway used to rent one hotel room in Bimini for writing in solitude and another where his mail would be forwarded. I’ve somehow come to the conclusion that I need Italy in my life in order to be creative and to be somewhat alone with my crazy thoughts.

If you could write yourself into Blue Moonlight for a walk on scene, who would you be, and what would you say in that scene?

I’d be sitting at a café table inside the Pizza del Duomo sipping a glass of vino russo and reading the International Herald Tribune. I’d be dressed in black pants, black leather coat and sunglasses. When a panting Moonlight races up to my table while being chased by gun-toting Russian thugs, his eyes looking lost and forlorn like he hasn’t a clue where to hide, I would casually tell him there’s a secret door located on the back side of the cathedral that leads to an old tunnel that ends somewhere in the city center. Then I’d hand him the key to the door. “Go now,” I would insist. “Go. Now. Live.”

“Gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting.” –Harlan Coben, bestselling author of Six Years

“Tough, stylish, heartbreaking.” –Don Winslow, bestselling author of Savages

“Non-stop action.” –I Love a Mystery

“Vincent Zandri nails reader’s attention.” –Boston Herald

“(Zandri) demonstrates an uncanny knack for exposition, introducing new characters and narrative possibilities with the confidence of an old pro…Zandri does a superb job interlocking puzzle pieces.” –The San Diego Union-Tribune

Vincent Zandri is the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 16 novels including THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT RISES, and the forthcoming, THE BREAKUP




Author Interview – Stephen T. Brophy

What inspires you to write?

Stephen Brophy

These days, I’m inspired by free time. As you approach (and maybe even surpass) middle age, you start to realize how precious that time really is, and you want to find the most creative and pleasurable ways to fill it that actually remind you that you’re alive. I’ve spent enough time being passive and excessive in my misspent youth, and it’s easier to write with a lifetime of experiences under my belt, and no pretentious notions about doing this for posterity, wealth or fame. Writing is and should be fun. Not “man, this is easy” fun, but the pleasure that comes with working your ass off to do the best job you can while also recognizing that you get to spend your time in a world of your own making playing god for awhile.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m frequently wishing I was. Of course, when I AM writing, I frequently look for any reason not to be, and having the internet piped through the typewriter might be the best/worst thing to ever happen to writers. Mostly, I like to spend time with my wife and kid, friends, being spontaneous but not exhaustively so. I used to write and perform sketch comedy and much as I loved it, I aged out of the bracket enough that it started to seem like an unseemly unpaid hobby. Middle-aged sketch comics should be well-paid with way more TV and film credits than I have. I love movies, comics, reading, all the usual stuff that us pasty genre-writer-types are into. Also, sleep. Sleep is terrific. Never get enough of the stuff.

What is your favorite book of all time & why?

Wow, that’s a tough question to answer without changing my mind and my answer halfway through. I love Hunter Thompson’s “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas” for the wild thrills it gave me as a teen, the balls-out fearlessness in both prose and narrative that made me feel like I did when I heard punk rock for the first time. I love Don Delillo’s “White Noise” for showing me that you could be a grown-up writing literary fiction and still have a crazy science-fiction brain. I love Philip K. Dick’s “Valis” and “A Scanner Darkly” for being batshit scifi of the mind that felt like it was happening next door and to people I knew. I love Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” for making me believe that his weird heroes had long histories and adventures sprawling out behind them that were better hinted at than known. I love Brubaker’s “Captain America” run for reminding me that comics could be grown-up and fun. And I owe a huge debt to Austin Grossman’s “Soon I Will Be Invincible” for waking me up to the idea of the growing genre I’m currently working in, superhero fiction, or as some call it “capepunk.”

Are you writing more books? If so, what is your next release?

I am on the verge of releasing “The Eternity Conundrum,” a short prequel to my novella “The Villain’s Sidekick” that will go up for FREE on Amazon very shortly. The full-length sequel, “Citizen Skin,” should be finished by the end of this year and out early 2015 (free time willing).

Tell your readers something about you that they might not know yet.

I am so totally an Aquarius who does not believe in astrology.