Saturday, November 3, 2012

Author Interview ~ Roberta Goodman

From Ink Gypsy:


Upon her first book debut, I had the pleasure of interviewing a great New Author, Roberta Goodman, Author of Snow Escape and hopefully many more in to come. With busy schedule, she was able to let me interview and review her book. From the exchange of emails, Roberta Goodman is extremely sweet and very professional. She is a doll and would love to see more of her work. We have much to see of this lovely and talented new Author and her work. Keep it tuned!


What is your name? Do you use a Pen Name? If so what is it and why do you use it?
Roberta Goodman and no, I don’t use a pen name, though I do call myself Ro Goodman on my blog. Ro is my nickname.

At What age did you start writing?
I’ve always been a writer to some extent, but I didn’t start seriously pursuing a writing career until I turned thirty-six. I was busy raising two kids, so I waited until they were both in school to concentrate on writing my first manuscript.

What inspires you to write?
What doesn’t? I could hear a story or read something that clicks in my head. It’s funny because it’s not something I can control. When inspiration hits me, I have to sit down in front of my computer and just go with it.

As a mother and a writer, How do you manage to do both?
It’s not always easy. I’m fortunate that I don’t have a job outside my home, so I’ve been able to do the majority of my writing when my kids are in school. On days where they’re home and I have work to do, I always end up feeling bad because I do have to focus on the work. I just explain to the kids that I’ll spend time with them when I’m finished.

What is the hardest and easiest part of the writing process for you?
The hardest part is writing down what I want to convey in the simplest way possible. I tend to overwrite things. I also have to work on my sentence structuring. I sometimes overuse commas. It’s a bad habit I’m trying to break. The easiest part is the inspiration, because I have a wonderful imagination.

Do you have any plans for your current book and any upcoming books?
I’m hoping to sign a contract for a trade paperback of Snow Escape. Not everyone has an eReader and some people just prefer a traditional book, so I want them to have the opportunity to read the story. Snow Escape is the second manuscript I’ve written. After it was published, I decided to revise my first manuscript. I’m still in the process of doing this. It’s a tragic romance/family saga that’s loosely based on events that happened in my family. Growing up I heard lots of interesting stories and I decided to weave them together. I’ve also thrown in some fictionalized aspects. It’s very different than Snow Escape, which was purely fiction. It’s a tear-jerker. I’m hoping to land an agent with it. I want someone who will be as passionate as I am about the story, so they fight for me to get it published by a big publishing house. If I can’t succeed than I will probably go the independent publishing route again.

What kind of genre do you classify your writing?
I’m primarily a fiction writer. Obviously, Snow Escape is a mystery/thriller, but I enjoy writing all types of fiction. I’ve written a third manuscript and it’s about my husband’s battle with cancer. He was treated earlier this year and is cancer-free, so there is a happy ending. I wrote it as a way of coping with what we were going through, so I have written non-fiction, but it’s not something I would normally do.

Are any of the characters in your books (published or unpublished) based off real people?
None of the characters in Snow Escape are based on real people. Like I already said, I was inspired by members of my family for the manuscript I’m revising right now. My third manuscript is about my husband, me, and my family and how we dealt with a cancer diagnosis.

Are any of the events in your books based on real events? If so, what inspired you to use them in your story?
Writers write what they know, so that’s why I decided to write about things that happened in my family’s past for the first manuscript. Many times fact is stranger than fiction and I thought the things that certain individuals went through should be documented in some way. I feel that if I don’t write about it then these people would have lived in vain. I did choose to omit several things, because it’s too painful to go there. Overall, it’s been a cathartic experience for me. As far as my third manuscript about my husband’s cancer, I wanted to get the word out about the type of cancer he suffered with. I also needed the outlet of writing to help me cope while we were going through it.

Is there a certain person who has either influenced or inspired you in writing?
There isn’t any one person. Overall, I’ve been influenced and inspired by every writer I’ve ever read. The list is way too long to write down here.

Do any of your books have any hidden messages for the reader? And what is it?
Snow Escape does. “For every action there is a consequence.” My main character, Allegra, stalked a previous guy she dated. Maybe it wasn’t to the extent that certain individuals in the book made it out to be, but she still obsessed about this person and did things she shouldn’t have done to him. Knowing this, the reader can begin to understand why she was chosen to be tormented throughout the book. She wasn’t a random victim. I don’t condone what happened to her, but I view it as her karma coming back on her to a certain extent.

Do you have any advice or tips to new writers?
If writing is your passion, don’t ever give up. Even in the face of adversity, push through it and don’t let others tell you that your work isn’t good enough to get published. It’s a tough business to break into. Sometimes you have to take a non-traditional route to get your work out there such as using an independent publisher or self-publishing. If you happen to get published, or you make the decision to self-publish, promote your work everywhere. No one will work harder to get your work the attention it deserves than you.
    You can follow her....
Blog * Twitter * Facebook * LinkedIn * GoodReads
    You can Purchase her new book Snow Escape::
Amazon * Fiction Wise * Write Words Inc * MobiPocket

Friday, November 2, 2012

Author Interview ~ John Zunski

From Ink Gypsy:


This author is extremely talented and knows how to capture his readers with vast amount of emotion in his writing. He can paint a picture with his pen like a painter with his brush. I had the pleasure to interview John Zunski and read his new novel called Cemetery Street, who also wrote Shangri-La Trailer Park. These novels are available in several sites, like Smashword and Amazon. Now lets take a journey in getting to know the author and view his world in his eyes, also in writing.

    ::Author Interview:: ::John Zunski:: 
1) What is your name? Do you use a Pen Name? If so, what is it and why?
A) Hi Carmen, John Zunski here, and Zunski isn’t a pen name, though the name has penned a novel or two. I’m glad to have a semi-unique name as not to be confused with established authors. I know an author named Stephen King, no, not that Stephen King, so imagine the dilemma he faces. I think I’ll stick with my given name. Plus, my name has provided me with cool initials – JAZ.

2) At What age did you start writing?
A) I was introduced to the world with a pen in hand, before I could crawl I drew squiggly lines on my crib. When I could walk, I found my way to the typewriter, maybe it the noise of the keys, that rhythmic ratta-tat-tat sounded more magical than music, or maybe it was the bell that dinged after a bunch of ratta-tat-tats. Whatever it was, I found myself looking up, impatient to sit before it. When I finally did, I made lots of noise and a blizzard of scrap paper.
Okay, it didn’t happen quite like that, but, I write fiction and that sounded interesting.
In reality, I was anything but a prodigy. In my early years I struggled with reading, I couldn’t understand that sotp was pronounced stop or that gniht was pronounced night and that meant time for bed. Despite the confusion, something about reading seemed magical – that I could open a book and fall into another world. I wanted to be a magician, I wanted to create worlds people would enjoy.

3) What do you do/use for inspiration?
A) The flippant answer is life. Great characters and plots are all around, patiently waiting to harvested. That doesn’t mean I literary translate what I see to the page, but with a dash of embellishment and two pinches of creativity, the elements of a story are placed in the mixing bowl called a manuscript. Then the ingredients are spiced up and whipped into a delicious novel.

4) How do you manage your real life and your writing life?
A) I would like to say they’re neatly compartmentalized and they don’t bleed into each other, but that would be a lie. I guard my writing life very jealously – meaning, I make sure that time is set aside to both further my craft and promote published works. That being said, I own a small-town bar and the demands of business occasionally cut into writing time, which is dangerous, because I have a tendency to be cranky if I’m not writing. It’s as if the ideas accumulate within my mind and press against my skull demanding release.

5) What is the hardest and the easiest part of the writing process for you?
A) I’ve found that my creativity is sharpest in the wee-hours. So the hardest part of writing is pulling myself out of a warm bed and sitting before my computer. The easiest part, is when the muse slips from the moonlit shadows and reveals what it has in store. It’s also the most joyous part of writing.

6) Do you have any plans for your current book and any upcoming books?
A) Cemetery Street is about to be released in paperback by Orangeberry Publishing. Shangri-La Trailer Park was recently released as an e-book and will be released in paperback in 2013. My third book, Nightwatching, which is a ghost story, will be released later this year as an e-book with the paperback tentatively scheduled for 2014.

7) What kind of genre do you classify your writing style?
(A) Life can’t be encapsulated into a single genre, neither can my work. The novels range from stories of impossible love to forays into the darkest recesses of the mind. In short I enjoy exploring the human experience. My stories aren’t for the faint of heart. A reader may laugh, cry, feel repulsed and rejoice within a chapter. Creating engrossing fiction entails weaving a web of elaborate lies and presenting them to the reader in a believable fashion. It’s my job to lie to the reader – but to do so in such a manner that the reader is appreciative of being entangled in that web of embellishment.

8) Are there any characters in your books (published or unpublished) based off real people?
A) Of course. But very rarely do I snatch one without tweaking or combining personality traits with other ‘inspirational sources. I’ve been blessed in life with incredible voyeuristic opportunities, I would be discarding that gift if I didn’t mix real people into the fray. I’ve met some characters, that if I simply dropped them into a story, wouldn’t be believable. That’s the curse of a fiction writer.

9) Are there any events in your books based on real events? If so, What inspired you to use them in your novel?
A) In Cemetery Street I used news events of the 80’s and 90’s to lend relatability to the storyline. The most obvious example is the Gulf War segment. A ton of research went into the sub-plot to give it authenticity. As a reader, nothing turns me off more than a plot line based on real events that has historical errors.

10) Is there a certain person who has either influenced or inspired you in writing?
A) I’ve cited three major influences: John Irving, Stephen King and Carl Hiaasen. John Irving because the depth of his characters, Stephen King because it’s all about the story, and Carl Hiaasen because, for me, he makes the absurd seem plausible.

11) Do any of your books have any hidden messages for the readers? What is it?
A) Of course they do. But if I told you, or a reader, I would rob everyone involved of discovering my intent or worse yet, obscuring meaning that a reader assigns to any given circumstance.

12) Do you have any advice or tips to new writers?
A) Never, ever, give up. Honor thy craft as if it is a sacred part of thyself. Despite the difficulties and frustrations the process brings, it’s all worth it. Cemetery Street took ten years from the completion of the first draft to it found the light of publication. Seeing it published was one of the greatest joys of my life. Don’t be guilty of denying yourself such an accomplishment or worse yet, don’t deny a potential reader the uniqueness of your creativity.

    ::You Can Check Him Out At::
Facebook Pages @ Cemetery Street or Shangri-La Trailer Park * Website

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review ~ Snow Escape

From Ink Gypsy

Snow Escape
Roberta Goodman

    My Rating::

Description from
Set against the backdrop of a historic snowstorm, Snow Escape is the story of one woman’s innocent foray into the world of online dating turned deadly.

Allegra Maxwell is a 30-year old, single school teacher looking for love. Having chosen to use the Internet to meet the opposite sex, she encounters an articulate, prospective beau on the night the biggest blizzard in history is blanketing the Big Apple. Their pleasant conversation soon turns sinister when she discovers that "Charles" has been stalking her for weeks and claims he lives in her building. With threats of destroying her little by little are made, Allegra must stay one step ahead of the mind games. Turning to neighbors for help, tragic consequences ensue.

When her sanity is questioned, because the online evidence her stalker exists disappears, Allegra must prove he does exist and she isn’t losing her mind. When a power outage thrusts her into darkness, will she be able to overcome the helplessness she feels? Placed in a situation that’s spiraling totally out of her control, while trapped in her apartment building with no escape, will she survive until the authorities can reach her?

This book was a pleasure to read with a wide range of emotions, among them being suspense and anxiousness. The book focuses around Allegra Maxwell, the main character, who looks for love online and gets the surprise of her life as a man named "Charles" plays mind games that lead to extreme events. When her sanity is questioned things start to spin out of control in her apartment building during one of the biggest snowstorms in New York. While reading the book, it starts out slow as you begin to learn about the main character and her past. Being on her toes, Allegra questions and learns about her stalker as to who it might be.

The author Roberta Goodman wrote a roller coaster story, giving the reader a wonderful view of the mystery/thriller that will keep you from putting the book down. Its also very inspirational story that keeps you thinking and reflecting on yourself. Of course, its available in e-book format which makes it excellent for those who have Kindle, Nook, IPad, and various available eReaders. You can get to know the Author behind the book here: Interview.
    You can Purchase her new book Snow Escape::
Amazon * Fiction Wise * Write Words Inc * MobiPocket

****Leave a Comment with you Review on this Book.****

Book Review ~ Cemertery Street

Review From Ink Gypsy

Cemetery Street
    John Zunski
    My Rating::

Description from Smashwords:
“In a world of presumptuous people, irony is alive and well,” concludes James Morrison, the narrator of this touching coming of age novel. A view Shannie Ortolan - James’s longtime friend, sometimes lover, and full-time obsession - wouldn’t argue. From their first encounter as teenagers until Shannie’s death, experience the twists, turns and enthralling characters that populate Cemetery Street.
On the cusp of the new millennium, James fulfills a promise. Reenacting a childhood ritual, he places a mud pie upon a grave. This simple act triggers powerful memories.
Meet the people that shaped James’s life. Shannie, who among other things, introduces him to the sport of dodging freight trains. Count, the cemetery caretakers son, helps James navigate the minefields of adolescence until destiny is met in Desert Storm. Russell, an aging blind African-American, guards a horrifying secret behind a cloud of cigar smoke. Diane, Shannie’s mother, a college professor dispels the notion of tweed jackets and elbow patches. Steve Lucas, a mortician’s son, who despite bizarre obsessions, stands by James during his most challenging times.
Laugh, cry, and blush as James recounts events of late twentieth century American life.

Adult-Content Rating:
This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

A brilliantly written coming of age story about a boy named James Morrison. Him and his family move into a house on Cemetery Street. After moving in he befriends a witty spirited young girl named Shannie who he eventually falls inlove with. He also became friends with an older boy named Count who just so happens to be the local cemetery caretaker's son. All Three soon started spending time, doing almost everything together. They loved playing games of course, especially one called catch the train, where they would one by one go into the local train tunnel and wait to see oncoming visible headlights from a train, and at the very last minute they would run out from the tunnel laughing, thinking were able to cheat death. Numerous events shake up James' life along with those around him. As you read on, a vast emotion of happiness, love, and appreciation run through you like a flowing river of words. After some time goes by, his grandfather, who is an army veteran, visits him and his family and inspires many lives. During this time James' mother leaves for California never to be heard from again. After his grandfather left, a series of events lead to adventures in which all the characters in the book especially James', grow. As years past, Shannie and James grow apart and tragedy follows with an inspirational but reflective ending. This novel is a must-read, it will make you laugh, cry and fall in-love with the characters.

    ::To Purchase This Book::
Smashwords * Amazon * Barnes & Nobles

****Leave a Comment with you Review on this Book.****

Friday, October 26, 2012